بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن اهتدى بهديه إلى يوم الدين
Quite a while back I made a post on the explanatory lectures available regarding the basic Fiqh matn/manual/primer of the Hanbali Madh-hab – ‘Umdatul Fiqh by Sh. Abu Adnan(here). I wanted to provide a disclaimer for it.
The Shaykh’s style of deliverance is probably the best when it comes to making the student think. However, the level of clarity intended for the beginner is not top-notch. The preface (muqadamah) intended by the author Imam ibn Qudamah (R) clearly states that he’s going to make it nice and simple (not add many opinions of Imam Ahmad (R) as he states that he’s not going to mention differences in al-wujooh and ar-rawayaat) because this is again a text for the beginner. In other words, the author is very careful of what he is presenting to his audience.
Sh. Abu Adnan explains everything very clearly maashaa’Allah. However, after mentioning the different opinions (that of the majority of Hanabilah then of minority, not forgetting the 3 Imams as well), he then ends by stating the correct opinion according to his understanding. And most often the correct opinion is the opinion of Shaykhul Islam Ibnu Taymiyyah (R) which I have no qualms against obviously. To be honest who am I to say anything…I’m there for the knowledge. The problem though is that he strays (not intending any disrespect here by using that verb) a lot from the text because the opinion of Shaykul Islam(R) is different from that stated by the author(R). My question would be then why is this text used? Ideally a teacher uses a text for his beginner audience so that the poor layman beginner can return to it for reference purposes even though he doesn’t have adilla up his sleeve. But if he’s going to state difference of opinions regarding every few words and state the correct opinion as the one which is opposite to that mentioned in his reference text then it’s going to be tough for the student. I understand the content completely but I’m mentally at discomfort because it doesn’t stand well with me. I trust the teacher but I thought when you study a madh-hab as a fresh beginner, you’re not presented with different opinions because really that’s just going to confuse you. Besides, I have done bits of Fiqh of Worship taught on the basis of Hanbali Madh-hab and subhanAllah how differently Sh. Abu Adnan teaches such that one is left utterly perplexed when one compares the two.
So the point of writing this post is to throw in a disclaimer to my previous post which introduced Sh. Abu Adnan’s lectures and take responsibility for what I had shared here. As amazing as they are, if you’re going towards his lectures with the mindset that I did, then there is a possibility that you will be disappointed. While I do generally heartily praise the efforts of all our teachers and contributors in Masaajid all around the world and online, I do at the same time want to reserve the right of critically analyzing the benefit of the resources. This is not to reduce their potential in any way. Like I said, who am I to do that but some things have to be said. Currently, I have no alternatives (in English) to suggest so far as well which is sadly another disappointment. Yes there’s another series available, I’ll post it only when I go through it inshaa’Allah. And Allah SWT knows best.