Home > Knowledge (iLm), Why did the Imâms Differ? > Why did the Imâms Differ? Part 1

Why did the Imâms Differ? Part 1

By Shaykhu-l-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH / 1328 CE)


This article is taken from the beginning of Shaikh ul-Islam’s (Rahimahullah) treatise” Raf’-ul-Malâm ‘an-il-A’immat-il-A’lâm (Removing the Harms from the Noble Imâms)”.


In this treatise, the Shaikh (Rahimahullah) discusses the reasons why the famous and righteous Imâms, that are followed by the masses of Muslims,
differed in some issues and contradicted the established ahâdîth of the
Messenger of Allâh(subhanahu wa Ta’ala) in some cases. He lists over ten reasons in the introduction of this treatise. However this article only contains the first one. However, it is the most important one, as stated by Ibn Taimiyyah (Rahimahullah). And it is for this reason, as the Shaikh says, that many of the Imâm’s opinions, that contradict the Sunnah, can be explained and
acknowledged. Thus, there is no deficiency on the part of our scholars. Rather, they were rewarded in their correctness as well as in their errors. May Allâh have mercy on them.


This article was translated by Isma’îl ibn al-arkân. The notes where taken from Zuhair Ash-Shâwîsh’s comments and footnotes to this treatise, unless otherwise specified.



All praise is due to Allâh for His countless blessings. I bear witness that
none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh, He stands alone and
with no partners, whether on His earth or in His heavens. And I bear
witness that Muhammad(saw) is His slave, Messenger and the last of His
prophets. May Allâh send His eternal peace and continuous blessings upon
him, his family and his companions until the Day when we shall all meet



To Proceed,


It is binding upon the Muslims, after declaring loyalty to Allâh and his
Messenger, to declare loyalty to the believers as is stated by the Qur’ân.
This especially includes the scholars, for they are the inheritors of the
prophets. And they are the ones whom Allâh has given the status of
bearing the similitude of stars, through which guidance is achieved in
times of darkness, on land and on sea. The Muslims of this nation have
agreed upon their guidance and their knowledge.


“The Scholars”

Before the advent of our Prophet, the scholars of every nation were the
worst of its people. But this is not the case with the Muslims, for indeed
their scholars are the best from among them. They are the delegated
successors of the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in regards to his nation and they are the ones who revive what has been caused to die from his (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) Sunnah. It is through them that the Qur’ân is established and through it, they are established. Through them the Qur’ân is articulated and through it, they are articulated.



Following the
Messenger(sallallahu alihi wasallam) upon a firm and certain understanding


It must be known that there is not one scholar, who is accepted widely and willfully by the ummah, that purposely intends to oppose the Messenger of Allâh(subhanahu wa ta’ala) in any aspect of his (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) Sunnah, whether small or large. For indeed, they all agree on the obligation of following the Messenger(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) upon a firm and certain understanding. They also agree that one can accept or reject the statement of any individual from mankind, except that of the Messenger of Allâh.

This is a saying that can be attributed to the Salaf, among them Imâm
Mâlik (rahimahullah).



Therefore when it is found that an opinion, held by one of them, contradicts an authentic hadîth, there is no doubt that excuses must be made for him, in explanation to his abandoning of it.


These excuses can be divided into three categories:


1. The lack of his believing that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said it

2. The lack of his believing that particular issue was affected by that statement

3. His belief that that ruling was abrogated


InshaAllah Part 2 soon.




  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: