The Dhaahiris – A legal Madhhab?


Source: Multaqa Ahlul-Hadeeth

Editing and Publishing: al-Mustaqeem Publications



I’ve a close brother who considers himself Dhahiri. He says there are some Dhahiri scholars here and there (like in Saudi) and he believes in the superiority of the Dhahiri Madhab/Usool etc. over all other schools. Of course he follows opinions that Music instruments are Halal (thus music being Halal) and rejects some Ahadith in the Saheehayn (just like Ibn Hazm rahimahullah did) etc.


His Fiqh opinions are already strange to me, but I just wanted to know, is the Dhahiri Madhab a legal school of thought? For all I heard/read was that Ibn Abdil-Barr the giant scholar of Al Andalus use to compare them to the BATINIS (like the Rafidah) in the east. Also I heard that Ibn Hazm was PARTICULARLY Jahmi in regards to the Sifaat of Allah subhanah (this is what Shaikh Abdul-Azeez at-Tarifi said). 


So basically is it still a legal school of thought to be followed?



Answer: by Ayman bin Khalid 


وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته


The Dhaahiriyyah is not even a Madhab and scholars do not give weight to their views especially when their views oppose consensus of scholars as al-Nawawi, al-Qurtubi, al-Zarkashi, Ibn Battal al-Maliki, Abu Bakr al-Baqalani, Ibn Abdin al-Hanafi, Abu Bakr al-Jassas and many others said. As a matter of fact, many scholars such as al-Jassas, al-Juwaini , al-Safadi and others consider Dhaahiri scholars in the rank of laypeople and hence unqualified to do Ijtihaad because they oppose a principle that is agreed on by all scholars and is proven by tawatur, let alone that denying Qiyaas is taken from Mu’tazilah and that suffices to reject dhaahiri views.


There are no Dhaahiri scholars now, though some may claim so! In any case, as Dhaahiri people lack the concept of Fiqh when concluding rules, scholars did not accept them in this regard.


It is surprising though that you find all those who claim to be dhaeri ( though they are all just laypeople regardless what people call them or call themselves) would only quote you Ibn Hazm without mentioning any other opposing dhaahiri views such as Dawud who is better than Ibn Hazm in rank anyhow and the first to start this (phenomenon)!!


Anyhow, no one should pay attention to Dhaahiri or take knowledge from them though we do not deny the good rank of Ibn Hazm and his cautiousness in Hadith but knowledge of Hadith by itself does not qualify one to be a scholar of Hadith too. This is why Dhaahiri scholars are inconsistent in their views and hence their fatwa cannot be standardized since everyone has his own views and there are no actual principles or guidelines to follow through.


In any case, no one should understand scholars rejection to Dhaahiri as degrading them in terms of goodness and virtue. Rather, it is just to clarify they are not qualified in Fiqh though they may excel in other sciences such as Hadith or Language and etc.


To sum it 


Some of the reasons for which scholars did not accept the Dhaahiri views:


1- “Most rulings are derived through Ijtihaad as textual evidences covers tenth of the rulings. Thus, by denying Qiyaas (sound analogy] and Ijtihaad by them [i.e. Dhaahiri], make them included under the category of laypeople because how can they be Mujtahid when they do not do Ijtihaad as all what they do is just take the apparent meanings of texts!!” Imam al-Juwaini al-Shafi’e.


2- “Dhaahiri people have not reached the level of Ijtihaad, therefore only opposition of those who are qualified to do Ijtihaad are accepted when examining consensus of scholars.” al-Qurtubi al-Maliki and Abu Ishaaq al-Isfara’eeni.


3- “It is affirmative that Qiyaas is established the principle of Qiyaas in religion, and such principle is undeniable but nevertheless Dhaahiri still opposed it. This opposition appears to be out of stubbornness and arrogance, therefore, such opposition takes no weight. However, if it was not due stubbornness and arrogance, as we assume in sensible men, then they actually denied what is proven and established (i.e. Qiyaas) based on their Ijtihad (i.e. denying it). This makes their Ijtihaad is just an assumption that cannot stand against what is proven and affirmed.” al-Safadi.