Can You Throw Some Light on the Importance of Choosing and Following a Particular Madhhab?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Over a year ago, I started practicing Islam. I grew up as a Hanafi, but I then looked at different madhhabs and followed the Maliki school despite most people around me being Hanafi. I want to make up the prayers I missed, but I want to ensure I am following the right madhhab. I want to go back to Hanafi before I make them up.

I originally switched to the Maliki madhab because of its fewer restrictions on women. Was that sinful? But now I think parts of the Hanafi school are more manageable for me. I want to make up my prayers but ensure I am not following a madhab because of bad intentions, which might make my prayer invalid. Which madhhab should I follow? I will try sticking with it.

Answer

Thank you for your question. It was not sinful for you to choose a school of thought based on what would be easier for you. Most people choose a madhhab for this reason, and they are all equally valid to follow.

Please see this link and how to choose a madhhab to follow:
How Do I Choose a School of Thought (Madhhab) & Why?
Do I Have to Follow One Madhab (School of Law)? [Video]

In short, I advise you to stick to the Hanafi school as long as you can learn it. Free courses at Seekers cover this, so that part should be easy. Also, following the same school as others around you is always more accessible and pleasant, as you can encourage and teach each other. Make sure you have covered the basics of purification and prayer before making up your prayers. May Allah reward you for taking on this momentous obligatory task and facilitate it.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.