I would like to start with saying Allah knows best. Anything wrong that I type is my shortcoming. May the Almighty forgive me for that (if I do).
I get what you are trying to say by "Allah commands us in the Qur'an, "Ask the people of knowledge (remembrance) if you dont know"." This does not mean one has to follow a madhab to gain knowledge. From sincere intention and hard work one can get the knowledge from Allah Subhanawa tala because he is the only one who gives the knowledge to whom ever he pleases. We are talking about real knowledge (how to become righteous) here not physics, math, computer science or biology. Certainly Allah Subhanawatala only prescribed one path to Muhammad (peace be upon him). So how come we are standing at a crossroad of four madhab and counting? Any sort of division in Islam is unwanted, does not matter even if they are tollerant among each other. May be the next generation will not be.
I also understand all the Imam's you have mentioned and the reasoning. Certainly they were among the knowledgable ones. However, I can garantee their work is not preserved as the holy Quran. Their deeds can not save me from the hell-fire either and their teachings may be reformed (I guess that is why we are having several madhabs) by now who knows how many times by others (followers).
It is the mercy of Allah which would be the only thing that can save me. I ask a question: Which madhab did Abu bakr, Omar, Usman, Ali (may be peace be upon all of them) used. I would like to follow their Madhab which was the similar and only madhab of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who was like a walking Quran.
So one can see, all the time, we go back to where we have a direct link to the Almighty. That is the Quran where the Almighty speaks directly to us.
May be to you Madhab is the way to heaven. But from my understanding I don't need any Imam, priest to reach to my creator. We have seen other religion where priest hood gets in the way when they try to contact the creator of every thing.
I didn't read the whole thing as of yet. But the part I read may be helpful for many BC members to understand what is meant by the straight path in the Holy Quran.
The Weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the Strong." - Gandhi.
Last edited by Tigers_eye; October 2, 2007 at 04:05 PM..