We Are only Obliged to Adhere to the Commands of the Prophet
Fatwa No: 402922

Question

Assalamualikum, I am asking this question again as you haven't answered it. Please Answer this question as if you are answering to a layman who doesn't know what is Salafi, madhab, fiqh etc. What is the ruling on listening to, reading the books of Scholars belonging to a Madhab(School of thought). For example is it allowed to listen to the Khutba of a Hanafi Scholar of a Hanafi Masjid? Is it allowed to read the books written by Maliki Scholars ? Is it allowed to listen to a speech on "What happens in a Grave?" by a Shafi Scholar.. And the likes of similar cases and so on.
So to conclude my question what would be the ruling for a layman on listening to, reading the books of Scholars belonging to a Madhab(School of thought).

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.

In principle, there is nothing wrong with a Muslim reading any of the books of the known Schools of Fiqh adopted by Ahlus-Sunnah, or to listen to a preacher who follows the Shaafi'i School of jurisprudence, or any other School.

However, he should rely on a Shaykh who would explain to him what he does not understand; it is said that knowledge is taken from the mouths of people and not only from the pages of books.

It should also be noted that the student of knowledge should first be busy studying the School of jurisprudence that is adopted in his own country and which is followed in its Islamic courts so that he does not become strange from his people, but he should not be fanatical to the School that he imitates and thinks that all other Schools are void.

The Majmoo’ al-Fataawa of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reads:

A Muslim who faces an unfamiliar situation should seek a Fatwa from someone he believes will tell him the Ruling of Allah and that of His Messenger on it regardless of what School of jurisprudence the Mufti represents. No Muslim should imitate a particular scholar in all that he says, nor is there anyone, apart from the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) whose commands and sayings a Muslim should always adhere to.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 325342 and 91463.

Allah knows best.

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