It is always a great blessing when one meets scholars. One night I was blessed to meet Sheikh Salman al-`Oadah.
Suhaib: “Asalamu `alaykum!”
Sheikh: “Welcome! Wa `alaykum al-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh!”
Suhaib: “Sheikh! I’m an American-born convert, currently studying at al-Azhar and wanted your advice on building a good background in fiqh.”
Sheikh: “First, it was wise of you to choose al-Azhar. It is respected for its moderation and wide outlook. As for your second question, I would advise many of our brothers and sisters to master two important texts that will give them a good foundation in Fiqh and assist them in the future:
- Fiqh al-Sunna is an excellent work and has many benefits for the student.
- One should memorize and be familiar with Bulugh al-Muram of al-Hafidh ibn Hajar.
These texts will certainly provide a novice with a good foundation and serve the master when he is in need.”
Sh. `Oadah is a well respected scholar in all circles. A student of some of the great scholars, including Sheikh bin Bayyah, he runs one of the most popular English blogs on the web. Recently he wrote an important work addressed to extremist groups within the Muslim world, which can be read here.
Sh. Salman al-Oudah’s website, IslamToday.com, is the best fatwa site on the net, hands down.
Sh Suhaib your lucky man meeting all these Shuyukh. Someone i was talking to denied that Sh Awdah is Sh Bin Bayya’s student.
Salaam Alaykum – May Allah reward you for all you efforts, I read your website everyday and thoroughly enjoy it. As a new Muslim I am in need of building my personal knowledge of the foundational acts of worship (prayer, wudu, zakat, etc.). I noticed that you listed Fiqh As Sunna as a good source for anyone learning the basics, would this be more appropriate than studying one madhab? If so, is there an Englisd version of Foqh As Asunna you would recommend?
Thanks in advance – Jason
Assalam Alaikum Jason,
If you are looking for an English version of Fiqh us Sunnah, you can find it here:
I Love Sh. Oadah. May Allah preserve him. I too believe his website is of the best for answering common questions found in the community. In regards to the current topic the following advice is also found on his website…AMAZING advice… http://islamtoday.com/show_detail_section.cfm?q_id=74&main_cat_id=38
I once heard a scholar mention that Fiqh As-Sunnah follows the Shafi’i madhab in about 90 percent of its fiqh opinions.
I have also heard that Bulugh Al-Maram is a collection of hadith which basically contains the proof texts of hadith for the Shafi’i madhab.
I would be interested to hear about anyone else’s information about these two great texts which al-hamdulilah are translated into English.
Shaykh Nuh Keller (hafidhahu Llah Ta’ala) mentioned this, that Fiqh as-Sunnah corresponds with the Shafi’i school in about 90 or so percent of its fiqh rulings/opinions.
Also, there is a Q&A on SunniPath, answered by shaykh Faraz Rabbani (hafidhahu Llah Ta’ala), which states that, “Fiqh al-Sunnah is not a reliable manual of fiqh”.
How are we to weigh these opinions with the one on this site, i.e. the recommendation(?) of using Fiqh as-Sunnah? It is an honest question, and I am not trying to stir up any arguments or such.
Wa alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuh,
This is a very good question. Ultimately it would come down to:
Scholarship and training- Meaning, one should compare qualifications in Islamic law to see which scholar’s words have greater weight.
Compatibility- Meaning at the end of the day, it is upon the person to follow the one he feels most comfortable with.
Absence of Fanaticism- Meaning, the opinions mentioned above are just that. Thus, since this is an issue open for discussions and disagreements, one should not be harsh or abusive towards those who differ with the scholar he follows.
Studying a Madhab- I would personally recommend it for a number of reasons but would emphasis, that for the scholar it is only a beginning.
Based on my research, studying from a madhab seems like the most appropriate method BUT without a person who can walk me through these practices is where things get complicated. I don’t have anyone in my immediate area, at least not that I’m aware of that teaches Fiqh. I purchased Reliance of the Traveler and went through some of the book but find that its challenging to swallow and comprehend alone versus in a group setting. Thanks for the advice and I will continue to ask Allah to give me guidance so I can worship Him how He deserves.
Your Brother – Jason
Jason, are you in the UK or US?
I’m in the US..
Oh I thought I may able to help if you were in the UK, close to to London to be more specific lol
Where in the US?
Masha Allah, great advise from the Shaykh, I met him when he came to South Africa in 2008. He has inspired and influenced me greatly in my thinking.
May Allah reward him abundantly