The Circle Group > Questions for Shaykh Rashid > A Salamun alaykum wa rahmetullah, is it necessary for a Muslim student to follow the same Madhab as the Shaykh? Is the teaching based on Ahl Sunna wal Jamaat? Thank you very much. Wa Salam.

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wa alaykum wa salaam wa rahmatullahe wa barakatuh:
Thank you for your sincere question. Of course as you must know there are those who feel that following one Madhab and indeed the madhab of the Shaykh is absolutely necessary. The real issue, however is whether one understands both the function and purpose of the Madhab and the role of ones Shaykh in our life. The differences in Madhab are based on interpretations, on personal experiences and also on the tradition one was born and educated in; the premise of taqlid one sees that it behooves a sincere Muslim to discriminate between what they know and do not know. There is no need for me to go into extreme detail on this subject when so much has been written; rather let me direct you to a writing that I personally feel expresses most of what I ascribe to and is clear on this subject. http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=3&ID=1583&CATE=389
You also ask : "is the teaching based on ahl Sunna wal Jamaat?" Yes our teaching is as it derives from the teachings of the lines of Shuyukh of the Naqshbandi/Mujaddidi, Chisti, Shaduli, Qadri tariqas; but as all sincere and understanding Muslims we maintain our love and our attention to the lives, examples and teachings of the Ahl u Bayt. Unfortunately today this position of love and respect for the family of our beloved Prophet (sal) has been misunderstood in many quarters; among brothers and sisters in Islam and hence politicized acting as a divisive force. Love for Allah swt , Love for the Prophet (sal) and his noble family, indeed love for all the prophets as well as the Shuyukh is essential for us to drink of the sweet waters of Islam and to be of those who experience and manifest that love. Hence our teaching focuses on the awakening of the subtle organs of perception that allows us to see and feel the Divine Presence everywhere. 'Wheresoever you turn there is the countenance of Allah'. 2: 115
To follow the way of Sufism is to follow the best of Islam and strive to live according to the Sunna of Rasullallah (sal) and be in the shadow of the Masters who preceeded us. Without the First there could not be the second and without the first and second there could not be the third.
May Allah swt protect and guide you to the best path and give you knowledge of what you know and the means to understand and know that which you have yet to know.

Shaykh Ahmed abdur Rashid