I myself do not necessarily hold to the teachings of any one particular school of juristic thought (as Hanafi, or Shafii or Maliki etc.) and was wondering if that is wrong?Â
Should I affiliate myself with one Imam’s teachings in order to remain consistent?
No, it is not wrong if you do not ascribe to any one school. Actually, I believe that it is absolutely right and, sometimes, even desired. If God wants us to be known as “Muslims“, and nothing but “Muslims“, then why should we call ourselves by the names “Sunni” or “Shia” or “Shafi`i” or “Hanafi” etc., why not just stick to the name that God has preferred for us?
As far as remaining consistent is concerned, that obviously is a matter of common sense. Nevertheless, even for this purpose, you do not have to ascribe to any particular juristic school.
My dear brother, on the Day of Judgment, you shall be answerable not for following any particular Jurist’s opinion, but for searching and submitting to whatever you believed and understood to be God’s truth. All scholars, Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi`i, Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taimiyyah and all others were great scholars of Islam. However, even in their greatness they were all human beings and prone to making human errors in their judgments. If there is anything, which is absolutely free of any error, it is the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). We must therefore base our beliefs and our actions on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and not on the opinions of any particular scholars.
19th April 1998