The Four Sunni Madhahib; The Differences That Unite Us

Madhab is the difference that unites us under one tree; the sunnah. Just because you’re hanafi, maliki, shafi’i, or hanbali doesn’t mean that you are practicing a different kind of Islam. It just means that when life throws you lemons or a curve ball you go about it by solving it with a respected Islamic school of thought you associate with. You’re still a sunni Muslim. That said, it’s not recommended to flip-flop between madhahib because one needs a loop-hole to get away with a disliked or makruh behavior. One should only choose a madhab other than his own to solve a problem when one has the back on the wall. For instance, in the hanafi madhab, if you’re bleeding and were in a state of wudu, it becomes void. For your wudu to be valid, you have to stop bleeding. In order to pray, if you can’t wait, you can make wudu with the niyat of the maliki madhab instead when faced with this situation.

A madhab isn’t in place to allow subdivisions in Islam. It was put in place as a judicial and solving way to fix the problems the ummah faced or will inevitably face. If no precedent has occurred, then a fatwa is issued by a high rank Muslim with the credentials to do so. Now, beware of biased fatawa.

If anybody has taken a law class, they will realize that the law is implemented with also four school of thoughts which are  the natural law, legal positivism,  legal realism, and  critical legal studies. Sunni madhahib are like the law but they there are religious and great concepts the ummah has used for centuries.

So, please don’t fight about madhahib. Embrace your differences. We all have different struggles we face daily as Muslims. The way we overcome them doesn’t make us more than human. It just makes us different people with different levels of faith. This is how the madhahib give a touch to our lives. They help us move up in our own spiritual ways.

You can read more on the origin of the madhahib here .

Jazak’Allah khair for reading,

Papatia Feauxzar

Papatia Feauxzar

Papatia Feauxzar is a practicing Accountant. She focused on personal finance in graduate school. She has a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). Around the year, Feauxzar expatiate on personal finance and romance tips here and on her blogs. She is also the Online Editor of Hayati Magazine and the author of the first Ivorian Cookbook in English. Also a poet, you can read three of her pieces in "WOKE & LOUD: A Faith-Based Medley of Muslim Poetry & Spoken Word" published by Inked Resistance. Visit her at or .

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