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When is it Permissible to Follow Another Madhab?

By Ibn Juzay al-Mālikī  | Translated by Suhaib Webb

It is permissible to move from one Madhāb to another if three conditions are met:

  1. One is certain of the knowledge and virtue of the one whose opinion he follows
  2. One does not follow the dispensations [Ar. Rukha] of a school
  3. One does not combine [the opinions] of the schools in a way that contradicts the binding consensus [Ar. Ijmā̓] like marrying without a bridal gift, a guardian or witnesses, as this is a scenario which no [person of knowledge] sanctioned.

Taqrīb al-Wusūl ila ‘Ilm al-Usūl pg. 448-450

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  • I had a question about Hanafi Asr times vs the other madhab Asr times. Hanafi usually ends up praying Asr about an hour after the other madhabs (one shadow length vs two). My question is, at what point does Zuhr end? Does Zuhr end at the other madhabs Asr time or does it end at the Hanafi asr time? If both are valid, then there is an hour period when both Zuhr and Asr are valid, which doesn't make sense to me. I also don't want the answer to be, just follow your madhab. There should only be one right answer. However, both Hanafi and the other madhabs claim a hadith which they base their rulings on. Which hadith is more authentic? And is there a Quranic verse that states the time for Asr?

    This has been bothering me for a couple weeks so any help is greatly appreciated.

    Wallahu Alam

    • For Hanafis their Zuhr ends at their Asr time. But a lot of the Ahnaf (this faqir included) will pray Zuhr before the start of Asr of the other schools out of scrupulousness (wara’).

      Praying Asr as per the other schools is valid in the Hanafi school, it was the opinion of Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, Imam Abu Hanifa’s two main students.

  • Salam Alaikum Imam Webb. Pls pls pls do a detailed explanation or video on this whole madhab thing. It is so confusing that it becomes detrimental to my imaan at times. Esp when ppl like to point out to me that I can’t eat crabs or lobsters, or I should be praying Hanafi timings when travelling in Thailand… I mean, since Islam is such a universal religion, how can we be restricted by madhabs since they are so regional? Why can’t I find standard practices wherever I go? :-(. Is it possible to succeed as a Muslim in the afterlife without getting into these confusions? JAK

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