In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Can the statements of the companions be used as proof?

By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him

ibn al-’Uthaymeen mentioned this point of benefit in his explanation of the poem format of “al-Waraqaat” by Yahya bin Musaa bin Ramadaan bin ‘Umayrah Sharaf ad-Deen al-’Amreeti 989 AH. The original Waraqaat was written by the famous Shaafi’ee scholar Dhia’ ul-Din Abd al-Malik ibn Yusuf al-Juwayni al-Shafi’i 478 AH. This explanation can be found under lines 140-141,

ثم الصحابي قوله عن مذهبه … على الجديد فهو لا يحتج به

و في القديم حجة لما و رد … في حقهم و ضعفوه فليرد

The author, may Allah have mercy on him, switches to the topic of whether the statement of the companions are used as hujjah (proofs) or not. He said, may Allah have mercy on him, that they are not evidences for the Jadeed (new madhab). Jadeed (new madhab) is referring one of two statements of ash-Shaafi’ee, may Allah have mercy on him. That is because ash-Shaafi’ee had two madhabs. The old madhab which was his madhab in ‘Iraaq, and his new madhab which was his madhab in Egypt.

The author’s statement,

و في القديم حجة

means: ash-Shaafi’ee’s view, in his old madhab, was that the statement of the companions were used as evidences, and this is the view which Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal also held. However there are conditions for this view:

1.The statement of the companion must come from the known fuqahaa among the companions. If the view comes from a companion who is not known to be a faqeeh, then his statement is not considered to be an evidence. For example, if there was a man who came at the beginning of  prophethood of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), he believed in him, and took knowledge from him (for a short period of time), then it is not said that this companion’s statement is an evidence (because he wasn’t considered to be from the known fuqahaa; he was just a regular companion).

2.Their statement must not oppose the text. If their statement opposes the text, then the text is given precedence over the statement of the companion, no matter who it was; even if he was from the biggest faqeeh of the companions.

3.A statement of a companion cannot contradict another companion’s statement. If one companion’s statement contradicts another companion’s statement then the correct statement must be searched from the Kitaab (Qur’an) and Sunnah, and then the most correct out of the two must be followed.

This is the middle view in regards to whether the statement of a companion is used as a proof or not, and Allah knows best.

Benefit:

If a companion does an action that was famous between the companions, and it was not rejected by a text, then it is strong to follow because of the absence of a prohibition.

Benefit:

If fuqahaa of our times, or our major (kibaar) known scholars, all agree upon something today (in which there was disagreement about in the past) then their agreement is not considered to be a hujjah. That is because there were scholars before them who had opposing views.

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

Can the statements of the companions be used as proof? -Shaykh ibn al-’Uthaymeen

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