Is it permissible to completely switch into another madhab?

Nov 5, 2023 | Miscellaneous


Assalamu alaikum. I live in a Hanafi dominant country. Recently I met a friend in the internet who follows the Shafi’i fiqh. After talking with him about their fiqh and also reading several books of Shafi’i fiqh I am very interested in following Shafi’i fiqh completely. I know that it is not permissible to mix to madhabs that’s why I want to switch to Shafi’i fiqh completely and follow it. So is it permissible for me to switch into Shafi’i fiqh? Though this fiqh is not followed in my country I can communicate with Shafi’i scholars.
Please let me know if I can completely switch into Shafi’i fiqh? Jazakallahu khair.


As you live in a Hanafi dominant country it would be best to follow the Hanafi fiqh for ease and practically purposes. It might seem easy to communicate with Shafi’i scholars at this moment in time but when you are faced with a pressing issue for which you require an immediate response, accessing a Shafi’i scholar who knows the answer to your question may prove difficult. It would be much more pragmatic to follow the madhhab of those scholars who are around you and are easily accessible. Another issue to take into consideration is that the local public will not be aware of rulings of the Shafi’i madhhab so if they suddenly see you praying or practicing other worship in a different way it may become a point of conflict and hinder you from being able to integrate peacefully into your community. For instance, if you were told to give adhan or iqamah or in fact lead prayer they may not accept the way you perform these. You would end up having to always pray fajr prayer later than the preferred Shafi’i time and that also without qunut because you would have to pray with the Hanafi congregation. In Ramadan you would be praying the witr prayer behind a Hanafi imam. You may also find yourself praying behind an imam whose wudu was invalidated according to the Shafi’i madhhab due to touching his wife. These are just a few issues you may face.

It seems from your question that your delving into the Shafi’i fiqh has left you convinced that it is more correct. This is natural if you have not had a proper chance to study your own fiqh. We would advice you to study your fiqh with a local authority to gain a proper insight into the Hanafi fiqh. We can assure you that an in-depth study of the Hanafi madhhab will leave you content that all its rulings are based on reliable evidences.

Nevertheless, if you still do decide to completely switch to the Shafi’i fiqh then this would be permissible.

«الدر المختار شرح تنوير الأبصار وجامع البحار» (ص12) – «وفيها: إذا سئلنا عن ‌مذهبنا ومذهب مخالفنا قلنا وجوبا: ‌مذهبنا صواب ‌يحتمل ‌الخطأ، ومذهب مخالفنا خطأ يحتمل الصواب، وإذا سئلنا عن معتقدنا ومعتقد خصومنا قلنا وجوبا: الحق ما نحن عليه، والباطل ما عليه خصومنا»

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel