Brother Hischam Khan recently answered my question about these two imams. One more question I wanted to ask in relation to these imams and their religious fatwas is that most of the traditional ullema use the concept of “Ijmah” of other 4 imams to justify that the rulings of these two imams are against the consensus of the four major imams so they are not to be followed when it comes to religious fatwas.
Are we bound by such a “consensus of four imams” as traditional scholars (followers of four schools of thought) claim in their rulings and as per them anyone going against this so-called “Ijmah” is following the wrong path or is a heretic etc?
For example, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyum are the ones who took a stance against the incorrect methods of issuing divorce (triple talaaq etc) and faced very strict opposition in their respective times and were even sent to jail due to some of their religious rulings which were against the rulings of four schools of thought.
Thank you for your time in replying to this question of mine.
The two Imams were great jurists and Hadith scholars themselves so why would they be bound by any of the other Imams in their understanding of the sources? The other Imams differed in matters between themselves also, what gives them the right to do so and not these two or any other Imam qualified in the field for that matter? Recall that there are many more jurists who also differed in their interpretation on issues with the four Imams. Imam Abu Yusuf (r) was a student of Imam Abu Hanifa (r), yet even these two differed on matters. Why narrow it down to only four? Is there any sanction for this in the divine sources or did the people over time just become too attached to the prevalent tradition to do their own research and too fearful to change a view that they had become accustomed to? The four Imams are not untouchables; they were great scholars, but humans nonetheless.
Allah (swt) knows best,
June 11, 2006