Contents > Chapter 12: The Deobandi’s Understanding of Taqleed > Extreme Taqleed of the Deobandis: 4: Can the Imam be Wrong?


Extreme Taqleed of the Deobandis


4: Can the Imam be Wrong?

Allah says: “And we have inculcated upon man concerning his parents – his mother bore with weariness upon weariness and his weaning is in two years[1]

Shabbir Ahmad Usmani says in the Tafseer of this verse, “The period of weaning according to the majority of the scholars is two years. Imam Abu Haneefah must have some reason with him when he described two and a half years.”[2]


The Qur’aanic verse is clear in its meaning that the period of weaning is two years. According to Shabbir Ahmad Usmani – the majority of those whom he considers to be scholars also agree with this apparent meaning of the Qur’aan. Shabbir Ahmad Usmani himself does not know the reason behind the alleged opinion of Imam Abu Haneefah of two and a half years. Elsewhere, in the Tafseer of Soorah 46:15 and Soorah 2:233[3], he himself agrees that the correct ruling is the ruling of Allah – i.e. two years. But despite of all this, he says, “Imam Abu Haneefah must have some reason with him when he described two and a half years.” The very thought that the Imam can make a mistake or give a ruling based upon his opinion in the absence of a Hadeeth is repulsive to the Deobandis and they deem such an occurrence to be impossible, even though there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. There are many instances where the rulings of the other three Madhhabs are closer to the Book and the Sunnah.

[1] Soorah Luqman (31): 14.

[2] Tafseer-e-Usmani, (Eng. Trans.) vol.3, p.1797.

[3] See the Tafseer of these verses as explained in Tafseer Usmani by Shabbir Ahmad Usmani.