Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
The way of seeking guidance is to have close, living relations with living scholars in one’s land. This is why I would recommend holding fast to the guidance and inspiration of scholars in your land. The point of life is not to live out the salvific minimum, but to follow the means of increasing in faith and piety (taqwa), which are the keys for electhood (wilaya) and the good pleasure of Allah Most High.
"It is precisely because of the sunnah prayers that I am having problems. However, since the Hanafis here strictly prohibit joining between madhabs, I am in a quandary. I am quite certain that I would not be able to make reasonable progress in making up my Qada if I continue to perform my sunnah mu'akkada. At the same time, leaving out the sunnah muakkada while a Hanafi gives me a very strong sense of guilt as I have been taught since childhood that in our madhab leaving them out is sinful and on top of that, Witr is wajib".
I would recommend that you stick to your school, and perform your sunnas and what you can of makeups with each obligatory prayer. For example, pray the confirmed sunnas of each prayer, and one makeup prayer (or more) with each obligatory prayer. Then, try to find one or two times in the day (such as the early morning or late night) when you can make up a number of missed prayers. This way, you can easily make up 3 days of prayers each day. If you can do more, all the better.
The position of both Hanafis and Shafiis in the Arab world is that while it is best, most precautious, and most conducive to piety to follow one’s own madhhab without exception, it is not obligatory to follow one madhhab in all one’s affairs.
As such, one can take dispensations from other madhhabs when:
a) one does not make it a habit;
b) one does so properly and soundly.
For details, see:
Objection to Following Another Madhab
"I also believe that the Hanafi madhab has very strict conditions on makruh-tahriman and makes it sinful to continually engage in it. I do not know what the Shafii position is on sunnah and makruh. I understand that in Maliki fiqh, there is no punishment for engaging in makruh (it is not possible for me in my current occupation to wear my trousers above the ankles) and no punishment for leaving out the sunnah(I also cannot grow a fist length beard just now though I can leave my face unshaven and mantain a stubble). I do not want to be burdened with a sense of guilt and at the same time, do not want to join between madhabs. I was therefore wondering whether it would be valid for me to change to the Shafii madhab. I would be able to learn the minimum necessary fiqh for prayers and fasting from the sunnipath website and from asking people I know to be qualified in the madhab and who have been kind to answer my queries from time to time".
The position of the majority of Hanafi scholarship, including Ibn Abidin al-Shami—the key reference for fatwa in the Hanafi school—and Imam Abd al-Hayy al-Lakhnawi, is that lengthening one’s trousers below the ankles is somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan). It is not the right thing to do, but it is not sinful unless accompanied by pride. Thus, you may lengthen your trousers for work. However, outside work, do your best to try to follow the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) on this matter.
For further details, Search for ‘trousers’ on this site.
As for the beard, the relied upon position of the Hanafi school is to have a full beard. One should follow this. However, the range of legal opinions within scholarship regarding this has been discussed by Shaykh Nuh Keller: see www.masud.co.uk.
In closing, we should never forget the words of Allah in the Qur’an:
003.031 Say, (O Muhammad, to humanity): If you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
And Allah alone gives success.
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