Is the saying of a Sahabi a binding proof based on which an Islamic legal decree can be issued?


Someone requested Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa for guidance regarding a principle of fiqh according to which “the saying of a companion of the Holy Prophetsa is binding proof based on which an Islamic legal decree can be issued”. 

Huzooraa, in a letter dated 20 July 2020, gave the following guidance:

“There is no doubt that the Companionsra were trained by the Holy Prophetsa. They acquired knowledge and spiritual insight from him. Hence, they had better insight into the objectives of the Shariah. However, this rule of the jurists cannot be considered a hard and fast rule because the sayings of the Companionsra, like the ahadith, were collected after the passing of the time of the Holy Prophetsa and the Companionsra.

“The status of the sayings of the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa is certainly below the ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa. Even numerous ahadith, after critical analysis, have been classified by jurists and other scholars as weak [da‘if] or forged [maudu‘]. Imam al-Muhaddithin, Hazrat Imam Bukharirh had memorised some 600,000 ahadith, of which he included only about 3,000 in his Sahih after 16 years of hard work. There are numerous ahadith narrated by Waqidi, a historian of the second century AH, which have not been considered authentic by the scholars. 

“Hence, the real verdict is that which the Promised Messiahas, the ardent devotee of the Holy Prophetsa who was sent as the Just Arbiter [Hakaman ‘Adlan] for the Second Revival of Islam, has proclaimed. He states:

“‘What kind of a believer would not declare the Holy Quran as the Judge over ahadith? Since the Holy Quran itself proclaims that this Word represents a judgement, is a decisive word, and is the Discrimination [Al-Furqan] and a measure to distinguish between the truth and the falsehood, then would it be considered faithful if we did not believe in such statements of God Almighty? And if we are believers, then we must have the view and the madhhab that we must judge every hadith and every narration in light of [the criterion of] the Holy Quran so that we may ascertain that it has indeed been illuminated through the same lustrous Niche of Revelation from which the Quran has originated.’ (Al-Haqq Mubahitha Ludhiana [Urdu], Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 4, p. 22)

“Therefore, in light of this teaching, our view and madhhab is that those sayings of the Companionsra which are in accordance with the Holy Quran, the sunnah [practise] of the Holy Prophetsa and the authentic ahadith, shall be considered as binding proofs based on which Islamic legal decrees can be issued.”

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