The Hadith Scholar Without Knowledge of Fiqh

Imam al-Qarafi al-Maliki رحمه الله said:

“And beware of doing what some students do when they reason directly from the Hadith, and yet they don’t know their soundness, let alone what has been mentioned by the Imams concerning the subtleties involved in them; by doing this, they went astray and led others astray. And whoever interprets a verse or an Ahadith in a manner that deviates from its intended meaning without proof is considered one who covers up the truth.”

Imam Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani al-Maliki رحمه الله narrated that Imam Sufyan ibn Uyaynah رحمه الله said:

“ Hadith are a pitfall except for the Fuqaha’ –> {Legal Jurists},”

Imam Malik’s رحمه الله student and friend `Abd Allah ibn Wahb رحمه الله said:

“The meaning of every Hadith is a pitfall except for the Ulamah {scholars}, means that everyone who memorizes Hadith that does not have an Imam in Fiqh {Law} is misguided, and if Allah had not rescued us with Imam Malik and al-Layth, we would have been misguided.”

Ibn Abi Zayd رحمه الله continues and comments:

“What Imam Sufyan رحمه الله means is that other than the jurists might take something in its external meaning when, in fact, it is interpreted in the light of another hadith or some evidence which remains hidden to him; or it may in fact consist in discarded evidence due to some other {abrogating} evidence.

None can meet the responsibility of knowing this except those who deepened their learning and obtained Fiqh.”

Imam ash-Shafi’i رحمه الله said: “You –> {the scholars of Hadith} are the pharmacists but we {the jurists} are the physicians.”


Mullah Ali al-Qari رحمه الله commented on this and said:

“The early scholars said:

The Hadith scholar without knowledge of Fiqh is like a seller of drugs who is no physician: he has them but he does not know what to do with them; and the Fiqh scholar without knowledge of Hadith is like a physician without drugs: he knows what constitutes a remedy, but does not have it available.”

{Mu`taqad Abi Hanifata al-Imam fi Abaway ar-Rasul `Alayhis-Salat was-Salam, pg. 42}

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