A Layman May Adhere to the Easiest View of the Scholars
Fatwa No: 384031


salam. pls dont refer to other answers and clear my confusion. i want to have peace of mind. i am originally a hanafi. but since we have access to authentic scholars these days via internet, i submit all my queries to either islamqa or islamweb. i trust both sites, the former for its cautiousness and the latter for adopting flexibility without being negligent. as a rule, when fatwas vary between islamqa and islamweb, i always go for the easiest one. i dont usually follow concessions(easy fatwas) when they go against both of these sites. i rarely do seek concessions apart from the ones provided by the above two sites. also, when islamweb declares a view to be preponderant and also mentions another view supported by majority, i go with the easiest one since both have weight. are my actions heresy or dispraised?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is not obligatory for a layman to adhere to a specific School of Jurisprudence; he is only obliged to imitate the scholars whom he trusts. If any hardship (or calamity) befalls you, and you ask the scholars whom you trust or the sites that you trust, then you are not sinful by imitating them.

If the Muftis provide you with different answers, then you imitate the most trustworthy, knowledgeable and pious amongst them. If they are equal in regard to knowledge and piety, then according to one view, you follow the strictest opinion amongst them. Another view is that you adhere to any view without choosing the one that allows concessions. A third opinion is that you follow the easiest one, and this is the view chosen by Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him as he said:

In issues of knowledge, one should follow someone whom he considers to be closest to the truth, either because he is well-versed in knowledge, or because of his trust, trustworthiness and religion. If he does not know whose opinion is the preponderant, then some scholars said that he has the choice to act according to either views.

Some other scholars said that he acts to the view that renders one on the safe side; meaning the one that takes the strictest measures in order to be acquitted from sin. Some other scholars said that he adopts the easiest view as this is in compliance with the Sharee’ah because the religion of Islam favors the easiest option. Allah Says (what means): {Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.} [Quran 2:185] Allah also Says (what means): {…and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.} [Quran 22:78] Besides, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Indeed, religion is easy.” When, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sent delegations, he advised them saying: “Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam), as you are sent to facilitate matters and are not sent to make them difficult.” Meaning that if you have different views of the scholars, and you are not able to judge which view is the preponderant one, then you adopt the easiest one for the above pieces of evidence, as in principle you are acquitted from sin. This is because if we were to impose the strictest view on a person, then this requires preoccupying him with the religious obligation whereas in principle he is not required by it. This is the view that I consider to be the preponderant one; that is to say that if the scholars differ into two views, and you have equal evidence for both in considering which one is the preponderant one, then you act according to the easier view. This is, I mean adopting the easier view, is in regard to the person himself, but if this entails a disadvantage, then he should refrain from showing this and propagating it. […] Based on the above, we say: “We act according to the easiest view as long as this does not entail a disadvantage, but if this leads to a disadvantage, then one should act according to the easiest view in regard to himself only.” [End of quote]

Allah knows best.

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