Weight of opinion of majority of scholars
Fatwa No: 367411

  • Fatwa Date:1-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 14, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. We hear “the majority held this or that opinion” frequently. How much weight does the majority carry, and is there anything wrong with being a Jumhuri (a person who always follows the majority) except in cases where there is clear proof? Could a person adopt the majority as their Madhhab (School of Thought), and are there any books (or chapters of books) that deal with this? May Allah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

There is no doubt that the opinion of the Jumhur, which is the opinion of the majority of the scholars, on an issue has strength and prestige, and there is no harm on the one who adopts it and acts according to it in all issues or most of them or some of them.

The correct view is often that of the majority of the scholars, as determined by the prominent verifying scholars.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

Know this rule: if you see the majority of the scholars adopting an opinion, then do not avert from it except after careful consideration and examining the evidence and pondering on it. Why? Because the opinion of the majority of the scholars is not to be taken lightly. The view of the majority is closer to the truth than the view of one single scholar. So do not rejoice by finding a strange view to tell to the people, so that the saying: ‘contradict and you will be known’ or 'Contradict and you will be remembered' would apply to you. No; be with the group, but if it becomes clear that the truth is not in the view of the majority of the scholars, then you must follow the truth.

There are some books on this subject, like Mawsoo'at Masaa'il Al-Jumhoor fee Al-Fiqh Al-Islaami (the Encyclopedia of the issues of the majority of the scholars in Islamic Jurisprudence) authored by Muhammad Na‘eem.

Allah knows best.

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