Reading Text: Why is the Emergence of Madhhabs Inevitable?


All madhhabs agree unanimously that salah (prayer) is fard. They also agree unanimously that wudu is fard for prayer. 

They also agree that the head must be wiped during wudu.

The difference is related to the form and amount of wiping that are not among fundamental issues not to the act of wiping.

For instance:

1. Imam Malik and Ahmad bin Hanbal regarded it necessary to wipe the whole head.

2. Abu Hanifa said it was enough to wipe one fourth of the head.

3. Imam Shafii had the opinion that it was enough to wipe a few hairs.

Some people who see this difference in the views of the imams say:

– Since they base their judgments on the same verse and hadith, this difference should not have existed even though it is in the detail.

Some of those who say so think like that due to their good intentions. Others speak like that because their beliefs have been weakened and they have been in the pit of doubt; they speak like that in order to cause destruction in the religion. .

However, there is no need for those with good intentions to have a delusion like that; and those with bad intentions cannot oppose like that in the pit of doubt:

Arabic is the richest language. The word ‘ja’ala’ has 15 meanings in Arabic; letters (prepositions) have comprehensive and rich meanings, too.

In Arabic, the letter “b” is used as a preposition before various words.

It changes the meaning of the word before which it comes.

Let us have a look at the meaning of “b”  

1 – B is used to embellish the word; it does not change the meaning.

2 – B means “some”.

3 – B means to “abut”, “adjoin”.

Our Lord used the letter (B) that has the meanings mentioned above in the verse “wipe your head” before the word “ruusikum” and said “Bi-ruusikum”.

That is, what our Lord meant by the verse “wipe your head” includes the meanings of the letter (B).

Because of those different meanings, Imam Ahmad and Imam Malik said:

– While wiping the head with wet palm, all of it should be wiped. This is because the letter “b” here is used for embellishing the word. It does not have any kind of meaning on its own.

       Imam Abu Hanifa said:

– That ‘b’ means ‘some’. Thus, it is sufficient if some part of the head is wiped with wet palm.

Imam Shafii said:

– That ‘b’ stands for ‘to abut on’. It is acceptable if only the hand abuts on the head and touches a few hairs.

Then, since the truth is like that, who can accuse a mujtahid of making mistakes? Who can claim that the difference of madhhabs in the details means difference in the religion? It is our Lord who sends the word. It is our Lord who sent the word putting (B) before it.

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