Among the Four Math-habs of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah there is difference of opinion on the question of the permissibility and prohibition of consuming sea animals. The verdict vacillates between Hurmat and Hillat (Prohibition and Permissibility). Some say that all sea animals are halaal; some say most are halaal. However, according to the Hanafi Math-hab all sea animals besides fish are haraam. Only fish is halaal. Each Math-hab has its dalaa-il (proofs) based on the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
This question has been settled and finalized long ago – almost fourteen centuries ago. After its finalization, there has not been any further argument among the followers of the Math-habs on this issue as well as other issues of differences among the Four Mathaahib. The Fuqaha and even the ordinary followers of the Mathaahib have adopted a broadminded tolerant attitude towards the differences of the Math-habs. Since it is the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah that all Four Math-habs are the Products of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, the differences have been accepted without rancour and bigotry. These differences are confined to academic circles – to the Madaaris where Students of higher Deeni Uloom engage in the technicalities of dalaa-il (evidences).
In recent times there has developed the deviated Salafi sect whose adherents are the blindest muqallideen (followers) of their Imaam Ibn Taimiyyah. While they put out that they arrive by their views on the basis of their study of the Qur’aan and Hadith, they are too dishonest to admit that they are too stupid to make a direct study of the Qur’aan and Hadith. They crib from the writings of Ibn Taimiyyah and disseminate the story of being independent researchers and scholars.
Among the Salafis are two categories of muqallideen of Ibn Taimiyyah. The one class consists of totally ignorant followers who are constrained to follow blindly whatever their muqallid ‘scholars’ dish out to them. The other class are the so-called ‘scholars’ who are deceitful since they are the ones guilty of cribbing from the writings of Ibn Taimiyyah, but lack the decency to acknowledge that they are following his views and opinions.
The members of this deviated sect teach that all sea animals are halaal. In the process of the propagation of their view they find it expedient and imperative to castigate Hadhrat Imaam A’zam, Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). They claim that the Hanafi view on the question of sea animals is devoid of Shar’i basis and that it is the product of personal opinion. It is to dispel this slander against the illustrious Imaam of the Hanafi Math-hab that we have prepared this concise booklet which presents the Qur’aanic and Sunnah dalaa-il of the Hanafi Math-hab.
The aim of this booklet is not to assault the dalaa-il of the other Three Math-habs since all Four Math-habs constitute the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. The aim is merely to refute the slander of the deviate Salafi sect which claims that the Hanafi view lacks Qur’aanic and Sunnah proofs. It is only Shaitaan who has harnessed the deviates to churn up theoretical arguments fourteen centuries after the settlement of the differences. And, the aim of Iblees is to keep Muslims perpetually engrossed in unnecessary strife and to mislead the followers of the Sunnah from Siraatul Mustaqeem into Dhalaalah (Deviation) which is the path of the modern-day Salafi sect.
The scurrilous attacks which the Salafis launch against Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) in particular, testify to their jahaalat (crass ignorance) and shamelessness. Great Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and Fuqaha of the Khairul Quroon epoch hung their heads in submission to the grandeur of the Uloom and Taqwa of Imaam A’zam (rahmatullah alayh). The greatest Fuqaha of all Math-habs, acknowledge the superiority of Imaam A’zam. The statement of Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh), viz. , “We are the children of Abu Hanifah in Fiqh”, is more than adequate commentary of the lofty status occupied by Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) in the Firmament of Islamic Uloom.
Every great and illustrious authority of the Shariah in all ages have stood up in honour of Imaam Abu Hanifah, but we find these ignorant blind muqallideen of Ibn Taimiyyah in this belated age slandering the great Imaam. May Allah Ta’ala save us from the consequences of blasphemy and slander.
Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa,
Jamaadal Ula 1425 July 2004