Strictly following a particular school of thought
Fatwa No: 89353

Question

I am staying in a country where the people follow Madhab Hanafi. Here people do not pray behind Salafi so can we pray according to Madhab Hanafi or Sunnah?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

A Muslim should be keen on acting in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in all his matters even if one behaves contrarily to people's desires and opinions, especially in relation to the prayer which is the most important pillar of Islam. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Pray as you see me praying." [Al-Bukhari]

Acting in concordance with the Sunnah is a great evidence of the sincerity of the love of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Allaah Says (what means): {Say (O Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to mankind): "If you (really) love Allaah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Say (O Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): "Obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad)." But if you turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers.} [Quran 3:31-32]

Moreover, a Muslim should be keen on uniting the Muslims on the truth and avoiding division and disputes because of controversial Fiqh issues. The companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them used to differ on Fiqh issues; however, they were merciful among themselves. Allaah Says (what means): {Those who are with him [the Prophet ( sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ))] are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.} [Quran 48:29]

Therefore, it is forbidden for Muslims to quarrel with their Muslim brothers especially those who follow the way of the righteous predecessors, [the Companions and their followers]  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them. Loving these brothers and being an ally to them and friendly with them is something confirmed and important. A person is loved according to the extent of his love for the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). So a person who follows the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) more than others should be loved more than those who do not follow the Sunnah.

For more benefit on As-Salafiyyah, please refer to Fatwa 84166.

Also, for more benefit on the different schools and the date of their foundation, please refer to Fataawa 88391, 82358 and 87424.

Allaah Knows best.

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