[ لا عبرة بقول من يريد إلزام الناس بمعرفة الدليل لكل مسألة ]
There are no satisfactory grounds for the one who desires to compel people to know the evidence for each and every point
قال الفقيه أبو الوفاء ابن عقيل رحمه الله :
The Faqih, Abul Wafa’ Ibn `Aqil, may Allah be pleased with him, remarked:
» ولا عِبْرَة بقول من زَعَم أن على العامِّيِّ العلمَ بدليلٍ يرشِده إلى حكْم الحادثِة ؛ لأن ذلك يقطعه عن مصالحهِ، ولا يَتأَتى منه ولا له دَرْك البغْيَةِ؛ لكون ذلك يحتاج إلى تقدُّمِ معرفةِ أصولِ الفقهِ على ما قدَّمْنا، وأَنَّى ذلك للعامِّيِّ.«
“There are no satisfactory grounds for the one who would claim that the layman must have knowledge of an evidence in order to resolve a new affair as this will assuredly take him away from the affairs necessary for the upkeep of the earthly realm and its continuation. And this is not of him or for him to know this level of information as that gives rise to also needing to access the aforementioned knowledge of Usul ul-Fiqh and how is that the providence of the layman?”
And this is taken from Imam Ibn `Aqil’s work, Al-Wadih, vol.1, p.270.
قلت : ويقصد ( قول من زعم أن على العامي …) المعتزلة ، لأنهم يوجبون على العوام معرفة الدليل لكل مسألة ، وقد صرح بذلك أبو الحسين البصري المعتزلي ، وكذا القدرية كما ذكر ذلك الموفق في الروضة ، وتقي الدين رحمهما الله .
I would like to mention that the intent of his expression the one who would claim that the layman must have knowledge of an evidence references to the Mu`tazilah, as they made it wajib for the laity to know the evidence and proof for each and every matter. And that was explicitly mentioned by the Mu`tazilah scholar Abul Hussain Al-Basri. And the same thing was the position of the Qadariyyah as that was mentioned by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah in Ar-Rawdah and Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah be pleased with both of them.
فكل من يلزم أو يزعم أن على عامة الامة معرفة الدليل فهو في مصاف أهل البدع.
So anyone who requires or claims that it is required of the laity of the Ummah to know the evidence in all matters, then he is following on the pathway of the people of innovation and astrayness.
وكتب فارس بن فالح الخزرجي
And this was written by (Shaikh) Faaris ibn Faalih Al-Khazraji
21 / شعبان / 1442
21 Sha`ban 1442
 431-513 (AD 1036-1118). He is Abul Wafa’ `Ali ibn `Aqil ibn Muihammad ibn `Aqil ibn Ahmad Al-Baghdadi Az-Zufri. One of the luminaries of his time, Shaikh ul-Islam and theologian of many areas, he is author of many works covering fiqh, usul and theology. cf. Ibn Rajab’s Adh-Dhailu `Ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, vol. 3, pp.118-135.
 This is in reference to taqlid. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, from the third blessed generation, said of the matter of taqlid, “Whoever says that he does not believe in taqlid and that he does not follow anyone in his religion, such is the statement of a rebellious sinner in the sight of Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Such a one only seeks by doing so to nullify and strip the footsteps given before, and to nullify the knowledge and the Sunnah. They want to stay isolated and alone with personal opinion, speculative theology, innovation and contradiction, and opposition to what came before them.” Tabaqat ul-Hanabilah, vol.1, pp. 33-34. Imam al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 463 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, when commenting upon these and other statements of Imam Ahmad and other scholars, said: “We have already mentioned in detail the evidence that the mujtahid will use when he looks into knowing the rulings of the Revealed Law. Now all that remains is to discuss what authority the common person returns to in acting on an issue, and this is known as taqlid. The general meaning is that taqlid refers to accepting the statement of someone without knowing any evidence for it. Rulings are built upon two matters; rational and those pertaining to the Revealed Law. As for the rational, then it is not permissible to make taqlid in this area, in matters such as knowing the Creator, Exalted be He, and His Attributes, knowing the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, testifying to his truthfulness and other matters that have to do with judgements and punishments to come in the Hereafter. It has, however, been narrated from `Ubaidullah ibn Al-Hasan al-`Anbari, who said that taqlid in the foundations of the religion is permissible, but this is a mistake due to the Words of Allah the Exalted, Follow what was sent down to you from your Lord and do not follow those besides Him as protectors. Little indeed do you reflect. Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 3. Allah has also said, When it is said to them, ‘Follow that which Allah sent down,’ they say, ‘We shall follow what we found our fathers upon.’ And if your fathers did not know anything nor were they guided. Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 170. The Exalted One has further said, Likewise, we did not send before you to any town a warner except that its inhabitants said, ‘We found our fathers upon a religion and we shall follow in their footsteps.’ Say, ‘What if I have come to you with more guidance than that which you found our fathers upon.’ Surat uz-Zukhruf (43), ayah 23. When the following of their fathers prevented them from accepting that which is more guided, they said, We do not believe in that which you have sent to us. Surat uz-Zukhruf(43), ayah 24. The Exalted One has said, Recite to them the news of Ibrahim when he said to his father and people, ‘What do you worship?’ They said, ‘We worship idols and we are steadfast in maintaining them.’ Say, ‘Do they hear you when you call on them and can they benefit or harm you?’ They said, ‘We found our fathers doing likewise before us.’ Surat ush-Shu`ara’ (26), ayat 69-74. They, therefore, abandoned giving the answer to the issue due to their inablility to do so and the question actually exposed the falsity of their position. The people mentioned what they had not been asked regarding their fathers and their making taqlid of them. The Exalted One has also said, ‘They said, Our Lord, we obeyed our leaders and senior folk, and they led us astray from the path.’ Surat ul-Ahzab (33), ayah 67.The Exalted One also said, They took their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah. Surat ut-Tawbah (9), ayah 31. `Adi ibn Hatim said, I came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, while I was wearing a crucifix around my neck made of gold. He said, Ibn Hatim, remove this idol from your neck. I took it off and then he recited the whole of Surah Bara’ah until he reached, They took their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah. Surat ut-Tawbah (9), ayah 31. I said, Messenger of Allah, we did not worship them. So the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, Did they make permissible the impermissible and you obeyed them and they made the permissible impermissible and you obeyed them? I said, yes and he said, Then that is worship of them. Abul Bukhtari said that Hudhaifah was asked about the ayah, They took their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah, how the people worshipped their priests and rabbis. Hudhaifah answered, ‘They made permissible what Allah declared impermissible and they made impermissible what Allah had made permissible’.” Imam Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, may Allah be pleased with him, commented further after quoting all this, “So because the principles of the faith that we mentioned have to do with what is awareness and intellect, and the people all share in that matter, there is to be no taqlid in the foundations. As for the judgements and rulings of the Revealed Law, then there are two points regarding taqlid: 1) One knows by necessity from the religion of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the compulsory nature of things like the five prayers, zakah, fasting the month of Ramadan, Hajj. It is also known by necessity the impermissibility of fornication and adultery, taking intoxicants and other such things. In these matters, there is no taqlid, for all people share in knowing them and having knowledge of them, so taqlid has no basis in this matter. 2) There are the things that are not known except by investigation and gathering evidence, such as the branches of worship, transactions, marriage, divorce matters and other things that are connected to the foundational rulings. This is a matter in which one does taqlid, according to the evidence of the statement of Allah the Exalted, Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know. Surat un-Nahl (16), ayah 43. If we should stop taqlid in these matters that are from the branches of the religion, it would have been necessary for everyone to learn that knowledge, and by obligating this it would stop all occupations, the cultivation of the earth, whether it be crops, livestock or the movement of people from place to place. Thus it is necessary that everyone is not responsible for this knowledge. The one who does taqlid is the layman. The layman does not know the different ways that the rulings of the Revealed Law are found, so it is permissible for such a person to make taqlid of a scholar and act by his words. Allah the Exalted has said, Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know. `Amr ibn Qais said of the ayah, ‘Those to be asked are the People of Knowledge’. It is narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that there was a man with a head injury in the time of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who had a wet dream and was commanded to make ghusl, and upon doing so died. Once this reached the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he said, ‘They have killed him. May Allah kill them. The only cure for when someone does not know something is to ask a question’. When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was asked after that, he answered, ‘If he had washed his body, but left his head and wiped over it, this would have been sufficient’. Because that man was not from the people of ijtihad, it was compulsory for him to make taqlid just as the blind person makes taqlid regarding the direction of prayer. If he does not have with him the tool of ijtihad in the direction of prayer, he is to make taqlid of the person with sight regarding the matter. It is narrated from one of the Mu`tazilah, who said that it is not permissible for the layman or common man to act by the statement of the scholar until he knows the ruling for it. When he has asked the scholar the matter, then he only asks him to know the ruling and when he finds the evidence behind it, he acts by it. This is a clear mistake, as there is no way for the layman to go to the evidences except after studying for years and keeping the company of and mixing with the scholars of fiqh for a long period of time. He will then have to investigate the rules and ways of analogy, know what validates and nullifies it and what is compsulory to give preference to in regards to other evidence and the preference of one evidence over another, but by making the layman responsible for this, one is charging him with what he is not able to do and has no way to reach it. As for the scholar, is it permissible for him to make taqlid of another scholar? The matter has to be investigated. If there is plenty of time to look into the issue and it is possible for him to make ijtihad, then it is necessary for him to make ijtihad for the ruling and it is not permissible for the scholar to make taqlid. There are some who have declared it permissible for the scholar to make taqlid, and this has been stated by Imam Sufyan ath-Thawri. He said, ‘Whatever the scholars of fiqh have differed in, I do not forbid any one of my brothers from taking hold of it. When the man sees an action being done that the scholars of fiqh have differed in and you have another position besides him, do not forbid him from the action’. Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan ash-Shaibani remarked, ‘It is permissible for the scholar to make taqlid of the one with more knowledge than him and it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of the one equal in knowledge to him’. The reason for the principle that it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of one of the same calibre is because of the length of time that he has and the the tools of ijtihad that he can use to make the ruling sought. In this case, it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of someone besides him as we have said of the matters of the intellect. Now if the time should be short and he believes that worship may be left if he spends much time in ijtihad, then there are two points to this matter: 1) It is permissible for him to make taqlid in that affair, 2) It is not permissible for him to make taqlid so long as he has the tools of ijtihad, so the ruling is the same as if he had plenty of time. It is said that this is the more correct of the two positions. Allah knows best. Abu Ibrahim al-Muzani said of this affair, ‘It should be asked of the one who makes ruling by taqlid whether he has proof. If he should say that he does, then he has nullified the taqlid, as the proof makes that compulsory for him to follow and not taqlid. If the person should say that it is by other than the proof, then it should be asked about the rulings on judicial punishments and rulings on the lives of people and the charity in wealth Allah has made all that impermissible then you have made it permissible without evidence. If he should say that he knows the proof and that if he does not know it he will ask his teacher, as he is from the senior scholars, and his opinion in the knowledge takes more precedence. Anything that he might say is only with proof that is hidden from me at the moment. It should then be said to to him that the taqlid of the teacher of your teacher is more befitting of taqlid than that of your very own teacher, as he does not speak except by the proof that has been concealed from your own teacher, and your teacher speaks of things and has the proof concealed from him. If he should agree to this, he has abandoned taqlid of his teacher to taqlid of the teacher of his teacher and, likewise, whoever is higher until he reaches the scholars from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. If he should refuse to do that, he has contradicted his own words. It should be asked of him how it is permissible for him to make taqlid of the one who is less than him and has less knowledge, and it is not permissible for him to make taqlid of one who is greater than him and has more knowledge? Is this not a contradiction? If he should say that the matter is because the person is his teacher and that even if he has less knowledge, he has gathered knowledge of those above him and added it to his knowledge, so he has greater insight and more knowledge of what has been left. It should be said that, likewise, whoever learned from your teacher, has added the knowledge of your teacher and the knowledge of those above him to his knowledge. It then becomes compsulsory to make taqlid of him and abandon taqlid of your teacher. Likewise, you have more right to make taqlid of yourself than your teacher, as you have added his knowledge and the knowledge of those above him to his knowledge, so by the words of this person mentioned he has contradicted himself. He has made the one who is less and speaks from the lesser in knowledge of the scholars greater than the taqlid of the companios of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and he put taqlid of someone less than a companion over them and the taqlid of the one who is higher, subservient to the one who is less, and this is the case in the analogy. He has made it necessary for whoever is correct to follow other than his teacher in the mistakes of his teacher, and he is mistaken in this matter regarding his teacher and his taqlid alone’.” Kitab al-Faqih wal-Mutafaqqih, vol.2, pp. 66-70. Thus, those who are not people of ijtihad of any calibre are obligated in this area to accept the evidence that the scholars have given, even though we do not know all the texts on the topic. One example is Consensus. Allah has indeed mentioned it in the Qur’an, And whoever contends with the Messenger after the guidance has been made clear to him and he who follows other than the path of the believers, We will hand him over to whatever he has turned to and We will roast him in the Fire. What an evil destination. Surat un-Nisa’ (4), ayah 115.
We know this is the case, but the scholars have given the verses and explained them in such a manner that means, if we ask them the evidence for an understanding (i.e. abrogation, the categories of strong, authentic, weak in Hadith science etc), they state that this is Consensus, but if we ask them for an explicit text upon that which they have all agreed, there is not one present, but just the general texts on Consensus. This goes back to what the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said of the scholars, “Whoever travels a path seeking knowledge, Allah makes him travel a path to Paradise. The angels spread out their wings in pleasure for the one seeking knowledge. Every creature in the skies and the Earth seeks forgiveness for the scholar, even the fish in the sea. The virtue of the scholar over the worshipper is like the virtue of the moon over the rest of the stars in the sky. Indeed, the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. They do not believe behind any coin or measure of wealth, but it is the knowledge that they leave behind. Whoever should take hold of it, takes hold of much good indeed.” Musnad Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.16, pp. 70-71
 541-620 AH (AD 1146-1223). He is Muwaffaq ud-Din Abu Muhammad `Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Qudamah. One of the Revivers of Islam in his time, scholar of fiqh, hadith, ihsan, math and many other disciplines, he is one of the highest voices of authority in the school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Please see Ibn Rajab’s Adh-Dhailu `Ala Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, vol.4, pp. 105-119.
 661-728 (AD 1263-1328). He is Abul `Abbas Taqi ud-Din Ahmad ibn `Abdul Halim ibn `Abdus-Salam ibn Taymiyyah. Born in Harran to a family of scholars, he learned from his father, Imam Shihab ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 682 (AD 1283) and read the books of his grandfather, Imam Abul Barakat Majd ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 653 (AD 1256), who is the second highest authority in the school and was the chief judge in Iraq. At a young age, Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah showed promise and studied with various scholars until he was given the title of Mujtahid Murajjih. A vast pillar of knowledge, he made restricted juridical reasoning in the creed and some areas of Consensus and was opposed by scholars from the schools. A quiet man who was known for his referencing, he was often pardoned due to his retraction of some of his positions that were divergent. Some of his more novel rulings include prophets committing sin, three pronouncements of divorce in one sitting being counted as one, the three categories of Tawhid as well as rulings he passed against scholars of the Ash`aris and Maturidis, two groups within Muslim Orthodoxy. Scholars of the school sifted through his works and corrected the things in them, i.e. in books such as Al-Ikhtiyarat ul-Fiqhiyyah, Kitab ul-Furu`, Tashih ul-Furu` and others. It is in the best interest of the wise man to read these documents first, to know what can be kept or discarded from the works of Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah.