Ijtihad Of The Mujtahids

Question: Asalamualaikum.

My question pertains to the mas’ala of Allah revealing which Ijtihad was correct in the akhira on any given issue. For example, will Allah reveal who was correct in the issue of Rafa’ yadain between the Hanafis/Malikis and Shafis? Will such revelations take place in the akhira and will we know which mujtahid arrived correctly at an ijtihad?

I know recent ulamaa such as, Anwar shah Kashmiri said that such revelations will not take place because it is pointless as the objective was achieved. But i was very interested in knowing what the other ulamaa have said and some of the evidences they have used for their positions. Please explain the different the positions of the ulama and their evidences/references insha’allah.

Jazakallahukhair Mufti, i have been searching for the answer to these questions for a very long time now.




Answer: Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

When one looks at revealing the correct decision and judgments in the hereafter, this will be regarding that which was either right or wrong. In other words, when a person does something on the face of the earth which has the possibility of either being right or wrong, then in the hereafter, the judgement will be given by Allah as to who was right and who was wrong. This will occur with respect to all such differences which were held by people where judgements and decisions were made by individuals which could have been right or wrong. So on the day of judgement, Allah will judge between mankind and reveal to the people as to who stood upon truth and who stood upon falsehood. He will make it clear to the people as to who oppressed others in their judgements, and who were oppressed. In this way, those who were on the correct path and right teachings, would be identified, and those who were on the wrong teachings will also be identified.

With respect to the differences held by the Imams of Fiqh, pertaining to different practices, these are not based on ‘some being right’ and ‘others being wrong’. Instead, these differences are based on choosing that which one sees as more a preferred practice and that which has a stronger proof. When an Imam of Fiqh accepts Raf’ul Yadain as the best practice, he does not consider the opposite of this to be wrong. Instead, he considers the other practice to be valid and authentic which is also based on the actions of the Prophet (s.a.w). It is just that on account of his research and investigation, he has preferred a certain practice above the other. Therefore in these differences held by the Imams of Fiqh, which they all  have proofs for, there is no matter or verdict which would be classified as ‘wrong’ or ‘falsehood’. Since all the opinions are based on the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w) and the understanding of the Holy Quran, they are all considered to be upon the truth by all scholars. Hence, even though there are points of differences, each one is correct in his findings and verdicts, based on his Usools (maxims) which he has established for extracting laws from the Quran and Sunnah. As such, since they were all upon the correct path and their verdicts and explanations were based on the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w), there will be no reason/need to identify ‘who was correct’ and ‘who was wrong’ in their Ijtihad.

In dealing with matters in the Shariah, whenever there were clear-cut evidences and texts, all the Mujtahids adopted these, and interpreted and explained these based on the profound knowledge they had in all the sciences of Islam. Thus, in this area, each followed a solid proof in the form of a text which was given in the Shariah. However, whenever matters arose where there were no clear-cut texts in the Shariah, the Mujtahids applied the process of Ijtihaad, which was practiced by The Prophet (s.a.w) and the Sahabahs. The objective of Ijtihad was to search and exert one’s effort in arising at the correct answers acceptable to the Shariah. Through this, Muslims were be able to find out what was correct so that they can continue to be obedient to Allah and follow the sacred teachings of Islam.

Alhamdulillah, all the Mujtahids of the past did, what they did to the best of their ability, with the Quran and Sunnah as their guides, with deep Ikhlas (sincerity), and with great concern and worry for the Ummah. Based on the tradition of the Prophet (s.a.w), all of them were to be rewarded by Allah, even if some did not ‘hit the target’ (by arriving at that which was the accurate opinion). All their efforts were accepted by Allah, for they did their Ijtihad with true faith, great piety, profound knowledge and complete sincerity.

The sign of the acceptance of the goodness of their works can be witnessed today where until this moment, thousands of Muslims throughout the world accept their verdicts and hold them in high esteem.

Hence, on the Day of Judgement, there will be no matter of ‘who was right’ and ‘who was wrong’. All have work arduously for the Deen of Islam, and have sacrificed their lives for propagating and defending the truth. Hence, they, as well as those who followed their Madhabs will be rewarded by Allah since they were all upon the Haqq (truth) with the main objective of pleasing Allah.

And Allah knows best,

Mufti Waseem Khan