Imam Abu Dawood was not a Muqallid


Was Imam Abu Dawood a Muqallid as Modern muqallideen claim? No.

Imam Abu Dawood was not a Muqallid. A tremendous article by Shaikh Siddique Raza (Hafizahullah) in urdu entitled “Kya Muhadditheen muqallid thay?” i.e Were the Muhadditheen muqallid? from the monthly magazine of Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai “Al Hadeeth” 77. This article is translated by brother Raza Hasan.

Refer to the following 3 articles for a detailed list of Muhadditheen/Salafs and their rejection of Taqleed:
1) Muhadditheen were not Muqallid Part 1:
2) Muhadditheen were not Muqallid Part 2:
3)100 proofs Salaf us Saaliheen were not Muqallideen:



Muqallideen use many different tactics to prove their unproven Taqleed. They concoct many things to satisfy the people, one of which includes that the writers and collectors of the books of ahadeeth were Muqallid. The people who have extended tongues say many other things too, but right now, our discussion is restricted to the Muhadditheen.

1- Ameen Okaarvi from the Deobandi School of thought titled “Wakeel-e-Ahnaaf (The Lawyer of Ahnaaf), Tarjumaan ul-Islaam (Representative of Islam), Munaazir-e-Islaam (Debater of Islam)” and has been given many other titles (by deobandis only), writes:

“Whereas, all the books of ahadeeth that we have today, are either written by Mujtahideen or by Muqallideen, who are mentioned in Tabaqaat Hanafiyyah, Tabaqaat Maalikiyyah, Tabaqaat Shaafi’eeyyah, and Tabaqaat Hanaabilah…. There does not exist a single reliable book of hadeeth in which believing in Ijmaa and Ijtihaad is considered to be Haraam & Shirk; or believing in Fiqh has been prohibited. Not even one reliable reference can be presented concerning its compiler that he was neither able to do Ijtihaad nor did he do Taqleed, that’s why he was a Ghayr Muqallid.”[Tajalliyaat Safdar: 1/113; Published in Multan, Majmoo’ah Rasaail: 3/13]


2- Mufti Ahmed Mumtaaz Saahib “Ra’ees Daar ul-Ifta Jaami’ah Khulafa Raashideen, Karachi” writes:

“This is why in these two last issues, Muhadditheen – rahimahumullah also do the Taqleed of Mujtahideen – rahimahumullah. Therefore, it is due to this taqleed that the mention of Muhadditheen (rahimahumullah) is only found in 4 types of books: (1) Tabaqaat Hanafiyyah, (2) Tabaqaat Maalikiyyah, (3) Tabaqaat Shaafi’eeyyah, (4) Tabaqaat Hanaabilah. No Muhaddith or a Historian has ever written a book named ‘Tabaqaat Ghayr Muqallideen’ in biographies of Muhadditheen”[Asli Chehra, P. 7]


It can easily be understood from these two quotes that they have tried to prove the authors of all the books of ahadeeth to be Muqallid.

Okaarvi Sahab had only written that the Muhadditheen are either Mujtahideen or Muqallideen, but while copying him, Mufti Ahmed Sahab, went even more ahead and tried to prove all the Muhadditheen to be Muqallid.

Anyway, this is correct that the mention of Muhadditheen is only found in these 4 tabaqaat, however, this is not correct at all that it is the result of the same Taqleed – meaning, they [the tabaqaat] are the cause of Muhadditheen being Muqallid.

On the contrary, it is the result of these Muqallideen being engaged in Taqleed that upon seeing the mention [of Muhadditheen] in these 4 tabaqaat, they think that the Muhadditheen were Muqallid.


So what is the actual reason for the existence of these tabaqaat? If we say something from our own selves then it is possible that ta’assub might come in the way of accepting our remarks. Therefore, we will present a “big” reason for it from the books of “Major Deobandi Scholars” themselves. It is possible that they might accept the reality then. See below:


1- Their “Shaikh ul-Hadeeth (of deoband), al-Muhaddith al-Kabeer (of deoband)” Zakariyyah Kaandhalwi writes:

“An issue here is that: Were Ahl ul-Hadeeth and Aimmah Muhadditheen Muqallid or Ghayr Muqallid? And if they were Muqallid then who did they do Taqleed of? There is a difference of opinion in it among the Scholars. And the thing is that a person who is big [respected/Major Scholar], everyone wants that he should join his party, because he has too much value & attraction, and everyone tries to pull him towards himself….”[Taqreer Bukhaari: 1/52, Published in Daarul Aha’at Karachi, Vol 1 Pg 41 in another version]


So what is the reason that the mention of Muhadditheen is found in 4 Tabaqaat? It has many other reasons, but the reasons that are made clear from the statement of Zakariyyah Deobandi are as follows:

i- It is the result of Muhadditheen being big [great] personalities

ii- Everyone wants that the big [great] personalities should join his party

iii- There is “attraction” in proving big personalities to be theirs.


Because of this attraction, everyone seems to pull big personalities towards them. For example: Hanafis say that so-and-so was a Hanafi, Shaafi’ees say that he was a Shaafi’ee, Maalikis and Hanbalis also try to prove him to be theirs. A big reason that these 4 Tabaqaat came into existence is this “Attraction”. What is more is that many of the Muhadditheen have been added in these 4 Tabaqaat merely because of studentship also. Moreover, we do not also lack the amount of Muhadditheen who have been added in 2 to 3, in fact in all 4 Tabaqaat at the same time. If the reason is only to indicate their being the student or to indicate that they gained benefits from those Imaams, then there does not seem anything wrong in it. But above that reason, the attempt to prove Muhadditheen to be Muqallid is absolutely intolerable.


2 – The “Imaam Ahl-e-Sunnat” of Muqallideen, Sarfaraz Khan Safdar writes: “If one is a Jaahil (ignorant), he should do taqleed of Scholars. And Taqleed is only for a Jaahil who is unaware of the proofs of Ahkaam….” [Al-Kalaam ul-Mufeed: P. 234]


Notice what he wrote: “And Taqleed is only for a Jaahil”! Na’oozubillah Were the noble Muhadditheen Jaahil? And were they not aware of the Proofs of Ahkaam? Those who dedicated their whole lives in service of ahadeeth, possessing great memories, extracting Masaail from each hadeeth by naming chapters and Tarajim were Jaahil? If not, and certainly not, then it is also not correct to call Muhadditheen Muqallid. And it is akin to strengthening the claims of Munkireen (Rejecters of) Hadeeth, though unknowingly. Because on this claim, they would immediately say that “Taqleed is only for a Jaahil” and Muhadditheen also used to do Taqleed, therefore they were Jaahil! Now how can we trust the ahadeeth collected by these Jaahils?


If Muqallideen had paid attention to the consequences of their claims, then they would not have dared to call Muhadditheen Muqallid. May Allaah give them the ability [to speak truth]!


3- Another one of their “Muhaddith al-Kabeer, Allaamah” Abdur Rasheed Nu’maani, after narrating the opinions of different people of knowledge concerning the Madhaahib of the authors of Sihaah Sittah, writes:

“فانظر الي هذا التجاذب الذي وقع بين هولاء العلام فتارة يعدون احدهم شافعيا و تارة حنبليا و اخري مجتهدا وهذا كله عندي تخرص وتكلم من غير برهان فلو كان احد من هولاء شافعيا او حنبليا لا طبق العلماء علي نقله ولما اختلفوا هذا الختلاف كما اطبقوا علي كون الطحاوي حنفيا و البيهقي شافعيا و عياض مالكيا وابن الجوزي حنبليا، سوي الامام ابي داود فانه قد تفقه علي الامام احمد و مسائله عن احمد بن حنبل معروف مطبوع”

“Look at this force of attraction which occurred between these big Scholars. They count one of them to be Shaafi’ee, sometimes Hanbali, and after sometimes Mujtahid. According to me, all these are merely pointless, and sayings without evidence. If anyone of them had been Shaafi’ee or Hanbali then the Scholars would have agreed upon narrating it and they would never have fallen into such difference, as they agreed upon Tahaawi being a Hanafi, Bayhaqi being a Shaafi’ee, Eyaadh being a Maaliki, and Ibn al-Jawzee being a Hanbali, except Imaam Abu Dawood as he learned fiqh from Imaam Ahmed and his Masaail from Ahmed bin Hanbal are famous and published” [Ma Tamassu Ilaihi al-Haajjah Liman Yutaali’ Sunan Ibn Majah: P. 26]


This was the statement of Nu’maani Deobandi, which makes the following points clear:

· * Calling the authors of Kutub as-Sittah to be Hanbali or Shaafi’ee is “Tajaazub” (act of pulling towards oneself), pointless, and rubbish, which have no daleel.

· * These are “Takharrus” made up, fabricated, and sayings made up from minds, without any evidence & Burhaan.

· * Someone calls a Muhaddith to be Shaafi’ee; some call him Hanbali, while some declare him to be Mujtahid.

· * No one of them is Shaafi’ee, Hanbali etc. If they were, then the Scholars would have agreed upon narrating it.

· * The Scholars are differed upon these Muhadditheen being Hanbali, Shaafi’ee etc. They are not agreed upon.


4- Their “Mufti A’dham Pakistan (for deobandis)” Rafee’ Uthmaani writes:

“The opinions of the Scholars are different as to what is the Fiqhi Madhab of these six Aimmah of hadeeth; because none of them ever confirmed their Madhab. Therefore, some Scholars opine that all these were absolute (Mutlaq) Aimmah & Mujtahideen; they were not the Muqallid of anyone. While some say that none of them was Mujtahid and their Madhab was that of other common Muhadditheen which are neither Muqallid nor Mujtahid. And some have gone into details, and then there is difference in that detail as well.”[Dars-e-Muslim: P. 71-72]

Muhadditheen did not confirm it themselves. Of course how would they have done so when the Taqleedi Madhaahib had not yet come into existence! Thus people made it their blank book, and wrote whatever came in their minds. Some even counted a Muhaddith from their Madhab if they merely saw some of his ahadeeth in accordance to their Madhab and in opposition to the other Madhaahib; while some declared him to be from another Madhab by looking at other Chapters and Ahadeeth. And Muqallideen took these sayings so seriously as if these are the actual facts and realities. Let’s come and see how people “pulled each other” as per the saying of Zakariyah Kandhalwi, and how they “made up” guesses, as per the saying of Nu’maani Sahab. We will, in example, mention their sayings concerning some of the Muhadditheen:


Imaam Abu Dawood Sulemaan bin al-Asha’th as-Sijistaani (rahimahullah), Was he a Muqallid??

There are different opinions found concerning him as well. Mentioning all of them would cause too much length to the article. To make it short we will mention the opinions of two personalities of “Muqallideen”, and it itself will contain a lot of contents for those who understand.


So listen, Zakariyyah Kaandhalwi writes:

“My opinion concerning Abu Dawood is that he was a firm Hanbali. Therefore, Hanaabilah have also added him in the Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah; and with that, he has proven the permissibility of urinating while standing by naming a chapter in his book ‘Al-Baul Qaa’iman’ which is the Madhab of Hanaabilah, whereas, it is Makrooh according to the other A’immah…. Similarly, (the issue of) performing wudoo upon eating the food touched by fire is Mansookh according to everyone, except Hanaabilah, this is why, Imaam Abu Dawood has mentioned this Baab (Chapter) after giving precedent to the chapter of Tark-e-Wudoo and has emphasized it even more ahead with the title ‘At-Tashdeed fi Dhaalik’ and the hadeeth which says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) abandoned (Tark) performing ablution upon that which touched fire at the end (of his age), Imaam Abu Dawood interpreted it to be related to a restricted incident.”[Taqreer Bukhaari: 1/41].


“Mufti” Sa’eed Ahmed Paalanpoori, the teacher of Hadeeth in Daarul Uloom Deoband, writes:

“According to the insignificant opinion of the Author (which is Paalanpoori himself), this last opinion is correct, because taraajim (Chapters) of the Sunan (Abi Dawood), where, accord with Imaam Ahmed, at the same time, some are also against him. Some of its examples are as follows:


1. Concerning the Virgin Adult (Baalighah) Woman, does the Wali (Guardian) has the authority of compelling her or not? Ahnaaf refuse it, according to them, her (the woman’s) agreement is a condition for the Nikaah to be valid; but the A’immah Thalathah (the three other Imaams) say that as long as she is virgin – though a Baalighah (Adult) – still the wali has the authority to compel her (to do Nikaah); meaning, her agreement is not a condition for the Nikaah to be valid… Imaam Abu Dawood has brought a chapter concerning this issue in his Sunan named: ‘Chapter: On the virgin girl whose father marries her without her permission’ and then he narrates the hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radiallah anhu) that: A virgin girl came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, upon which the Mercy for all Man-kind (peace be upon him) gave the girl permission to keep or not to keep her Nikaah. [Bazl al-Majhood: 3/26]


Allaamah Kaashmiree said concerning this chapter: ‘The purpose of Imaam Sahab with this chapter is to accord the Ahnaaf (Iraaqis) and this is also assumed from the approach of Imaam Bukhaari’


2. Does touching the ‘private part’ invalidate Wudoo or not? The wudoo is not invalidated according to the Ahnaaf, whereas, it is invalidated according to the Shawaafi’ and Hanaabilah [Bidaayat al-Mujtahid: 1/39, al-Minhal: 2/196]

Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) brings the first chapter on this issue by the name: ‘Chapter on one performing wudoo upon touching the penis’, and then he names the other chapter: ‘Chapter on permissibility concerning that’. The order of (naming the chapters) by Imaam Sahab denotes that he is favoring the view of Ahnaaf.


3. Does eating the food touched by fire invalidate wudoo or not? The opinion of A’immah Arba’ah (the four Imaams) is that the wudoo remains [al-Manhal: 2/213]. The first chapter that Imaam Abu Dawood brought concerning this issue is: ‘Chapter on the abandonment of performing wudoo from that which touched the fire’, and then after that, he says: ‘Chapter: At-Tashdeed fi Dhaalik (meaning, on the wudoo being necessary upon eating the food touched by fire)’, from which this can be deduced that according to Imaam Abu Dawood, the obligation of performing wudoo is raajih (the more correct view)…… Hadhrat Maulaana Zakariyyah Sahab rahmatullah alaih has presented the same example in proving him a Hanbali, but as you saw, this chapter is in fact against Imaam Ahmed rahmatullah alaih. Then how can this chapter be a proof of Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) being a Hanbali?! Rather this chapter is against the Jumhoor!

Then on page 32 he writes

These were a few examples I presented, otherwise, there are many Taraajim (Chapters) in the Sunan which can be found against the Madhab of Imaam Ahmed (rahimahullah). That is why, instead of considering Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) to be a Hanbali or a strict Hanbali, it is more correct to consider him a Mujtahid.” End Quote of Paalanpoori [Hayaat Abu Dawood with reference to the translation of Sunan Abu Dawood: 1/30-32]

Scan of page 30-31:


Pg 32:


Did you see, how by looking at only one or two chapters, Zakariyyah Sahab considered Imaam Sahab (Abu Dawood) to be a firm or strict Hanbali, and then the chapter he presented from Sunan Abi Dawood as an example, the same chapter came out to be against the view of Imaam Ahmed (rahimahullah), as per the saying of Paalanpoori “How can this be the proof of him being a Hanbali or a Mutashaddid Hanbali?” Anyway, we can imagine from this that by looking at a few chapters like this, people have tried to make guesses and assumptions, and whatever anyone could understood, they made him such. Whereas, we can even find some chapters in Sunan Abu Dawood which support & strengthen Hanafi Madhab; if this is the measure of considering him a Hanbali, then why don’t the people declare him a “Hanafi”? Similarly, even Maaliki Madhab can get some support from some of the chapters, then why is he not declared a “Maaliki”? In fact Taaj as-Subki did bring his name in Tabaqaat ash-Shaafi’eeyyah!!


Imam Abu Dawood was not a hanbali muqallid. May Allah guide us All, Ameen. And Allah knows best.