Q. I got a mail from this wahabbi person saying that the analyst Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eid (rahimahullaah) collected together, in a bulky volume, the issues in which one or more of the four Imaams’ madhhabs had contradicted the authentic hadeeth, please clarify it.
A. With respect to the work done by Ibn Daqeeq Al Eed, there have been many other scholars like him who have done a great amount of research on many issues. Ibn Daqeeq Al Eed was certainly a great scholar of the 8th century. He was a Muqallid of the Mazhab of Imam Malik (a Mazhab to which his father belonged), and then he adapted to the Mazhab of Imam Shafi. As a great scholar of Fiqh, Usool, Hadith, Tafseer and the other sciences, he adopted his opinions based on his understanding of the texts which at times were different from what other Fuqaha and Imams adopted. Probably in his opinion, he thought that the Imams contradicted the ahadith, but in reality the Imams of Fiqh did not contradict the ahadith. Instead, they accepted from the wide collection of ahadith, what they saw as the best, sound and most reliable and gave interpretations and explainations for those which they did not accept or practiced. The Imams of Fiqh were indeed from among the greatest scholars of Hadith and Fiqh from the very early generations of Islam. They knew exactly why they accepted certain ahadith for their opinion/verdicts, and gave reasons for not accepting others. An indepth study into the Mazahib of the Imams of Fiqh shows that the Imams of Fiqh did not reject ahadith nor did their verdicts contradict ahadith. They accepted what they saw as the most authentic and sound, and gave explainations for those which they did not accept. These Imams were also very great scholars of hadith and hence, each had his own conditions for accepting a hadith. As such, the conditions fixed by one Muhaddith cannot become binding upon another Muhaddith (as it has happened in the case of the six compilers of ahadith).
Therefore, it will be sheer ignorance for one to condemn an Imam of Fiqh when he does not accept a hadith which another scholar has considered reliable, or if he had accepted a hadith which another scholar did not accept.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan