What Is Talfiq, and How Does One Determine an Act When Combining Two Schools?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


How do I determine whether an act is one act or multiple? For example, is determining the setting in of Salah one act and the actual performance of the salah separate, or if one determines the entering of salah according to the Hanafi madhab, must he also pray as a Hanafi?

Also, can one do an act that fulfills both madhabs, for example, performing salah according to the Hanafi, which also satisfies the Maliki madhab, thus being able to choose the status of witr, as it will be wajib according to the Hanafis, but not the Malikis as it is an emphasized sunnah for the latter?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are well.

Yes, the entire prayer, from the pre-conditions to the end of the prayer, is one act and performance in a school.

Talfiq is when two madhhabs are chosen in a single issue, resulting in a “compound situation” that is not permitted in either of the two madhhabs. For example, if a man follows the Hanafi ruling on wudu not breaking upon touching a woman and the Shafi’i ruling on wudu not breaking with flowing blood, then prays after touching a woman and having blood flow from him, this prayer is invalid in both schools. [Taqi Usmani, Usul al-Ifta Wa ‘Adabuhu]

Witr is necessary (wajib) in the Hanafi school and sunna in the Maliki school. Furthermore, in Maliki school, witr comprises two distinct salams; two rak’aat with one salam and one rak’a with another. In this case, it is impossible to follow both schools.

Can We Follow Different Schools of Thought on Separate Issues?
How to Choose to Follow an Opinion within a School of Law?

Course Suggestions:
How Islam Works: What is Religion, and How It Is Preserved, Transmitted, and Interpreted
Usul al-Fiqh: Aqhisari’s Samt al-Wusul Explained – Understanding the Principles of Legal Interpretation (Hanafi)

I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.