Can I Follow a Juristic School?

Question and answer details
S. Essam
Can I follow a madhhab?
Wael Shihab

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thank you sister for your good question and your interest to know more about Islam.

As a matter of fact, a Muslim is not obliged to follow a certain madh-hab (a school of Fiqh). Rather he is to follow the authentic opinion based on sound proofs of Shari`ah.

In his response to your question, Dr. Wael Shihab, PhD in Islamic Studies, Al-Azhar University, and the Head of the (English) Shari`ah Dept. of Onislam.net website, stated,

Thank you for your good question.

In fact, a Muslim is not bound to follow a single or a specific madh-hab. One is to follow the authentic opinion that is based on sound proofs of Shari`ah.

Here, we should understand that there is a difference between scholars of Shari`ah and laymen as follows:

For the Shari`ah scholars, they are required to verify and check the various opinions and follow the authentic ones. It is not acceptable for scholars to blindly imitate other scholars.

For the laymen, they may follow one of the correct schools of Fiqh. It is also acceptable for a person to apply opinions of various schools as long as he doesn't invent or fabricate a way or a view that is not supported by any of the sound schools of Fiqh. A layman, in short, should follow the fatwas for which he asks the scholars in order to avoid confusion and errors.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.