The Mufti’s knowledge of the different opinions by Shaykh Wasiullah Abbas
We have established with decisive proofs and evidences that it is necessary for the ‘mufti’ and the student of ‘fiqh’ in every era and especially this era, to look in the Quran and Sunnah and know that there is no opinion after the establishment of the Sunnah. Then the Quran and Sunnah are proceeded by the consensus of the companions. Which is proceeded by the individual narrations of the companions.
Then these are proceeded by the statements of the four ‘fiqh’ scholars and their ‘ijtihaad’. Then the ‘mufti’ may give his verdict according to that which is the closest to the Quran, Sunnah and narrations of the companions as well as their religious verdicts, as well as giving precedence to the most preponderant and strongest narrations of the companions, as we mentioned previously. Qatadah ibn Du’aamah said: ‘Whoever doesn’t know the different opinions of the companions his nose will never smell the scent of ‘fiqh’.
Sa’eed ibnu Abee Uroobah said: ‘Whoever doesn’t listen to the different opinions do not consider him a scholar.’
Hisham ibn Ubaydillah ar Raazi said: ‘Whoever doesn’t know the different methods of Quranic recitation then he is not a reciter, and whoever doesn’t know the different opinions of the jurists then he is not a jurist’.
Uthmaan ibn Ataa’a said on the authority of his father: ‘No one should give religious verdicts to the people until he is well versed about the various opinions of the companions, and if he is not familiar with them then he will reject the knowledge which is stronger and more precise in exchange for the knowledge which (proceeds it) is in his hands, which is weaker.
Ayuub as Sikhtiyaani and Ibn Uyainah said: ‘The most audacious of people in giving religious verdicts are the ones who have the least knowledge of the different opinions of the scholars.’ Ayuub added on saying: ‘And he who is the most abstaining from giving religious verdicts is the most knowledgeable of the different opinions of the scholars.’
Imam Malik was asked: ‘For who is it permissible to give religious verdicts? he replied: ‘It is not permissible to give religious verdicts except for the one who knows what the people differ in’, then it was said to him: ‘Differences amongst the people of opinions?’, Imam Malik replied: no, the different opinions amongst the companions of Allah’s Messenger , and knowledge of the ‘nasikh’ and ‘mansookh’ texts from the Quran and the hadeeth of Allah’s Messenger , this is how he gives religious verdicts…’
Also Abdullah ibnul Mubaarak was asked: ‘When is it permissible for a person to give religious verdicts? He replied: ‘If he is knowledgeable and well versed regarding the narrations and discerning about opinions.’
Yahyaa ibn Salaam said: ‘The one who doesn’t know the different opinions should not give religious verdicts, and it is not permissible for the one who doesn’t know the statements of the salaf to say: I prefer this statement or that one…’
Taken from the shaykhs book – Al ‘I’tibaa’a And The Principles Of Fiqh Of The Righteous
 (TN) The narrations of the companions which are in agreement are given precedence over the narrations which are contradictory or in opposition
 (TN) Ibn Abdul Barr men<oned it in ‘Jami’ Bayaan al Ilm wa Fadlihi’ #1520,1522 and the chain of narration is weak because of the narrator Sa’eed ibn Basheer al Azdee and Abu Aasim Rawaad ibnul Jaraah al Asqalaani. Khateeb al Baghdaadi mentioned it in ‘Faqeeh wal Mutafaqih’ #659
 (TN) Ibn Abdul Barr mentioned in in the previous mentioned book #1521 with an authentic chain of narration.
 Ibn Abdul Barr mentioned it in ‘Jami Bayaan al Ilm wa Fadlihi’ #1523, in the chain of narration is Hisham ar Raazi, Imam adh Dhahabee said in Meezan al I’tidaal #923: Abu Haatim said he is ‘Sudooq’, I haven’t seen anyone greater than him in Ar Ray’u.” End of quote. Ibn Abee Haatim also said: ‘he is trustworthy and he is someone whose narrations are good’ see al Jarh wa Ta’deel for Ibn Abee Haatim ar Raazi #15911, vol.9/85.
 Jami Bayaan al Ilm wa Fadlihi #1524, in the chain of narra<on is Uthmaan ibn Ataa’a ibn Abee Muslim who is ‘Da’eef’ (weak)
 Jami Bayaan al Ilm wa Fadlihi #1525,1527, and al Khateeb Baghdaadi men<oned it in al Faqeeh wal Mutafaqih 2/350 #1079 with a similar meaning from the narration of Ishaq ibn Rahaway’yah on the authority of Sufyaan ibn Uyaynah with an authentic chain of narration.
 Jami’ Bayaan al Ilm wa Fadlihi #1529
 previous reference #1532
 Jami’ Bayaan al Ilm wa Fadhlihi #1534 with a ‘Hasan’ good chain of narra<on.