It is haraam for a man to shake hands with a non-mahram woman in the Maaliki madhhab

I want to know in what reference it says that Imam Maalik forbade a man to shake hands with a non-mahram woman. 
There is an opinion which says that there are four possible scenarios, and in only one is it regarded as haraam for a man to shake hands with a non-mahram woman. These four scenarios are: when the one who is shaking hands does it for the sake of pleasure and finds pleasure in it; when he does it for the sake of pleasure but does not find pleasure in it; when he does not do it for the sake of pleasure but finds pleasure in it; and when he does not do it for the sake of pleasure and does not find pleasure in it.
Who is the author of this opinion? Does he belong to the Maaliki madhhab?.

Praise be to Allaah.


In Mukhtasar al-Akhdari and other Maaliki books there is an indication that it is haraam to shake hands with a non-mahram woman according to the madhhab of Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him).

‘Aleesh said in Minah al-Jaleel Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel (1/22): It is not permissible for a man to touch the face or hand of a non-mahram woman, and it is not permissible for them to put their hands together without a barrier. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never accepted the oath of allegiance (bay‘ah) of a woman by holding her hand; he would accept women’s oath of allegiance verbally. According to another report: His hand never touched the hand of a woman; rather he would accept their oath of allegiance verbally. End quote. Continue reading


Should every country be obliged to follow a particular madhhab (school of thought)?

Should every country be obliged with a specific school of thought? Should it be the only school of thought to be taught in this country, not any other madh-hab? I mean to teach the rulings prescribed by a specific school of thought regardless the other opinions? May Allah reward you!.

Praise be to Allaah.

With regard to ijtihaad and taqleed, people in a country fall into two categories:

1 – The scholars and mujtahids who have reached a level of shar’i knowledge where they have the tools of ijtihaad and instinbaat, whereby they are able to derive rulings. Their duty is to follow the truth wherever they see it, on the basis of evidence.

2 – The vast majority of people – those who have not specialized in study of shar’i sciences or have not reached the level of being able to engage in ijtihaad and being qualified to issue fatwas. These are the majority of people, or those who are educated and specialized in other fields of knowledge.

Their duty – in both shar’i and natural terms – is to ask the people of knowledge and take from them. We see this in the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“So ask of those who know the Scripture, if you know not”

[al-Nahl 16:43]

So the people of each country are obliged to ask the scholars and follow their fatwas, but they are not to follow absolutely in the sense that they regard the one whom they follow as infallible and sacred, with the right to legislate and decide religious issues on the basis of their own ideas– as happened among the Jews, Christians, Raafidis, extreme Sufis and Baatinis – because that is going beyond the bounds of religion and taking rivals and gods besides Allaah, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allaah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allaah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilaah (God — Allaah) Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)”

[al-Tawbah 9:31]

The idea behind obliging people to follow the fatwas of the scholars is to enable them to learn the rulings of sharee’ah via the specialists who have studied the principles and usool of sharee’ah and have reached the stage of being qualified in that field of knowledge based on evidence, not sanctity given in the name of the Lord or in the name of “sainthood” and other such false notions. Continue reading

Is it obligatory to follow a particular madhhab?

Is it mandatory for a muslim to follow a specific madhab (maliki, hanafi, hanbali,etc)?
If it is so, what madhab is the best? Is it true that Abou Hanifa’s madhab is the most followed in the muslim world?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not obligatory for a Muslim to follow any particular madhhab among these four. People vary in their level of understanding and ability to derive rulings from the evidence. There are some for whom it is permissible to follow (taqleed), and indeed it may be obligatory in their case. There are others who can only follow the shar’i evidence. In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah this question was answered in a detailed manner, which is worth quoting here in full.


What is the ruling on following one of the four madhhabs in all cases and situations?

The Committee replied:

Praise be to Allaah, and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger and his family and companions.

Firstly: the four madhhabs are named after the four imams – Imam Abu Haneefah, Imam Maalik, Imam al-Shaafa’i and Imam Ahmad.

Secondly: These imams learned fiqh (jurisprudence) from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and they are mujtahideen in this regard. The mujtahid either gets it right, in which case he will have two rewards, the reward for his ijtihaad and the reward for getting it right, or he will get it wrong, in which case he will be rewarded for his ijtihaad and will be forgiven for his mistake.

Thirdly: the one who is able to derive rulings from the Qur’aan and Sunnah should take from them like those who came before him; it is not right for him to follow blindly (taqleed) when he is believes that the truth lies elsewhere. Rather he should follow that which he believes is the truth. It is permissible for him to follow in matters in which he is unable to come to a conclusion based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah and he needs guidelines concerning a particular issue.

Fourthly:  Whoever does not have the ability to derive rulings himself is permitted to follow one whom he feels comfortable following. If he is not comfortable following him then he should ask until he finds someone with whom he is comfortable.

Fifthly:  From the above it is clear that we should not follow their opinions in all situations and at all times, because they may make mistakes, but we may follow their views that are sound and are based on the evidence.

Fataawa al-Lajnah, 5/28 Continue reading

What is the Zaahiri madhhab?

We have heard of the Zaahiri (literalist) madhhab – what is its main idea? Do they follow the Sunnah?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The Zaahiri madhhab is well known. It is the madhhab followed by Dawood ibn ‘Ali al-Zaahiri and Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm and those who follow their line of thought.

What it means is following the apparent meaning of the texts and not looking at the basis of rulings, and they do not believe in making analogies. Rather they go by the apparent meaning of commands and prohibitions and they do not pay attention to the basis and reasons behind these rulings. They are called Zaahiris (literalists) for this reason, because they go by the apparent meaning and do not pay attention to shar’i bases, wisdom and analogies which are indicated by the Qur’aan and Sunnah. But in general their way is better than the way of those who only refer to reasoning, analogy and arguments, and who do not pay much attention to the shar’i evidence of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. But they are falling short and are to be criticized for focusing only on the apparent meanings of the texts and not paying enough attention to the bases, wisdom and reasoning which the Lawgiver referred to and the objects which sharee’ah aimed to achieve, hence they made mistakes with regard to many issues which are referred to by the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

And Allaah is the Source of strength. Continue reading

Adhering to a madhhab when one knows that other madhhabs have stronger evidence

What is the ruling on adhering to a madhhab when it is clear that other madhhabs have stronger evidence)?

Praise be to Allaah.

If a person adheres to a particular madhhab, then he finds out that it is likely that another madhhab has stronger evidence, this is a serious error. It is not permissible to do that. This is included in what is mentioned in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allaah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allaah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilaah (God — Allaah) Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)”

[al-Tawbah 9:31]

This implies turning away from the guidance of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Continue reading

Which madhhab is the most correct?

Out of our four Maslaks which is the most accurate Maslak which follows the Quran & Authentic Traditions of Prophet Mohammed (SAW), and also let me know about the prominent books of that Maslak. I’ll be highly obliged if you’ll guide me to follow the right path of Islam.
Thanking you, yours brother in Islam.

Praise be to Allaah.

So long as a Muslim is following the correct evidence (daleel) and has the desire to follow the Sunnah properly, there is no harm in following any of the Imams when it comes to rules of fiqh. In the case of the ordinary Muslim (who is not educated in fiqh), his madhhab (school of thought) is that of the mufti whose knowledge he trusts. But problems of the worst type occur when people become fanatically devoted to one particular imam or madhhab, to the extent that they reject the truth or ignore other sound evidence because of this.

Allaah warns against rejecting the word of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning): “… And let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandment (i.e., his Sunnah) (among the sects) beware, lest some fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” [al-Noor 24:63]

And Allaah is the source of strength. Continue reading

Does a madhhab take priority over a hadeeth?

I have a question pertaining to the Hadith and Sunnah Nabi(s.a.w.) and the Madhhab. My country follows the teachings of Madhhab Imam Shafiee and therefore so too the people. There are instances where the teachings of the madhhab took precedent over the hadith and sunnah of the Nabi (s.a.w.). Which should I follow. eg. In Madhhab Imam Shafiee, the wudho is broken if a male purposely or accidentally touch a female either muhrim or not. I have come across a Sunnah Nabi(s.a.w.), who used to move Aishah’s (r.a.) leg while performing the fajr prayers. eg. Muslims in my country are thougt that during the Haj, their niat for wudho to switch from the Madhhab Shafiee to that of Madhaab Hambali and perform the wudho as followers of Madhhad Hambali do. The reason for this is as stated in the example above. Is this right, switching from one Madhhab to another during performing the Haj. eg. In Madhhab Shafiee, its is sunat muakad to recite the Doa Qunut during Fajr prayers. Did the Nabi(s.a.w.) recite the Doa Qunut during His Fajr prayers. What is the hukum for ones that do not recite the Doa Qunut.

Praise be to Allaah.

What is obligatory is to follow that which is indicated by the evidence (daleel) of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, even if it differs from what the madhhab says. But it is essential to understand the Qur’aan and Sunnah as they were understood by the Salaf, and not only by our understanding of them. What is meant by the Salaf is the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een.

Concerning the example which you gave, touching a woman does not break wudoo’ at all, whether it is done with desire or not – because of the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kissed one of his wives and then went out to pray, and he did not repeat his wudoo’. But if a man emits something (madhiy) because of desire, then he has to do wudoo’ – not because of the act of touching, but because something came out from him.

With regard to the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “…or you have been in contact with [lit. touched] women…” [al-Maa’idah 5:6] – this is referring to sexual intercourse, according to the correct view.

2- There is no need to move from one madhhab to another. The obligatory duties of hajj should be performed as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed them, because he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Take your rituals from me.”

The correct view concerning Qunoot in Fajr prayer is that it is Sunnah at times of calamity only, i.e., if a disaster has befallen the Muslims or some of them, then it is mustahabb to do Qunoot and to pray to Allaah to grant them relief. But under normal circumstances, the correct view is that this is not mustahabb, and this is what the daleel (evidence) refers to. So whoever does not do Qunoot, his prayer is still valid, even according to the Shaafa’is, may Allaah have mercy on them.

And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

What should I say if I am asked about my madhhab?

Very often I am asked by some of our brothers who come to the Kingdom as foreign workers about what my madhhab (school of thought) is – am I a Hanbali or a Shaafa’i, etc.? In fact I am completely ignorant about this matter, and it is sufficient for me to be a Muslim; if I have a problem with regard to some religious matter, I ask the scholars. What is your opinion?

Praise be to Allaah.

It is sufficient for you to be a Muslim who follows the sharee’ah. With regard to Hanbali or Shaafa’i madhhabs, you do not have to restrict yourself to that. Those (four) scholars have a high status that is well known throughout this Ummah; their words were written down and followed by their companions and followers, and became madhhabs that were recognized and known, even though they were agreed on matters of belief and Tawheed. They were also close to one another on minor issues, but it so happened that one of them might be unaware of some evidence (daleel) or its correct interpretation, so he made ijtihaad and issued fatwaas based on his ijtihaad. They did not oblige others to adhere to what they said, but most of those followers adopted sectarian attitudes and restricted themselves to the views of those imaams even if they went against the daleel. They went to great length to interpret the texts in such a manner as to make them agree with what they thought. On this basis, we advise the “rank and file” to call themselves Muslims and to refer problematic issues to respectable scholars and to consult the works of scholars who are known for their sincere devotion to Islam and the Muslims. And Allaah knows best. Continue reading

Brief overview of the madhhab of Imam Abu Haneefah

We hope that you could give us a brief overview of Imam Abu Haneefah and his madhhab, because I hear some people criticizing this madhhab because he relies too much on qiyaas (analogy) and ra’y (opinion).

Praise be to Allaah.

Imam Abu Haneefah is the great faqeeh and scholar of Iraq, Abu Haneefah al-Nu’maan ibn Thaabit al-Taymi al-Kufi. He was born in the year 80 AH, during the lifetime of some of the younger Sahaabah and saw Anas ibn Maalik when he came to them in Kufa. He narrated from ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabaah, who was his greatest Shaykh, and from al-Shu’bi and many others.

He was concerned with seeking reports and he traveled for that purpose. With regard to fiqh and examining and analyzing reports, he was the ultimate and people depended on him in that, as Imam al-Dhahabi said: “It would take two volumes to tell the story of his life, may Allaah be pleased with him and have mercy on him.”

He was an imam who was eloquent and well spoken. His student Abu Yoosuf described him as follows: “He was the most well-spoken of the people and the most clear in expressing himself. He was pious and very protective with regard to transgression of the sacred limits of Allaah. He was offered worldly gains and a great deal of wealth, but he turned his back on it. He was whipped to force him to accept the position of judge or controller of the bayt al-maal (treasury of the Islamic state) but he refused.

Many people narrated reports from him, and he died as a martyr of dropsy in 150 AH at the age of seventy. (Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’, 6/390-403; Usool al-Deen ‘inda  al-Imam Abu Haneefah, p. 63).

The Hanafi madhhab is one of the four well-known madhhabs, and it was the first of the fiqhi madhhabs. It was said that “The people are dependent on Abu Haneefah with regard to fiqh.” The origin of the Hanafi madhhab and all the other madhhabs is that these four imams – I mean Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad – made the effort to understand the evidence of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and they issued fatwas to people based on the evidence that had reached them. Then the followers of these imams took their fatwas and conveyed them and issued other fatwas based on them, and derived principles from them, and they set out guidelines for understanding the texts and reaching conclusions. Thus the fiqhi madhhab was formed, and the Hanafi, Shaafa’i, Maaliki and Hanbali madhhabs, and other madhhabs such as those of al-Awzaa’i and Sufyaan, but these latter madhhabs were not destined to continue.

As you can see, what these schools of fiqh are based on is following the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

With regard to the ra’y and qiyaas adopted by Imam Abu Haneefah, what this means is not opinion based on whims and desires, rather it is an opinion based on the evidence, or analogies, or following the general principles of sharee’ah.  The salaf used to describe ijtihaad in difficult issues as ra’y (lit. opinion). Many of them used to say when commenting on a verse of the Book of Allaah, “This is my opinion (my ijtihaad) concerning it,” but that does not refer to opinion based on whims and desires, as stated above. Continue reading