Fiqh versus Hadith

Once a scholar of ḥadīth visited the great Ḥanafī jurist Abū Yūsuf to exchange knowledge and benefit. On the first day, the muḥaddith relayed a number of ḥadīth. The next day, he approached Abū Yūsuf for a fiqh ruling on a contemporary issue, who promptly provided him with the ruling. When the muḥaddith asked Abū Yūsuf for his proof and what he based his ruling on, Abū Yūsuf replied, “From the ḥadīth you relayed to us yesterday,” and spelled out his proof derivations. The muḥaddith laughed and announced to all present:

يَا مَعشَرَى الفُقَهَاءُ  أَنتُمُ الأَطِبَّاءُ وَ نَحنُ الصَّـيَادِلَةُ

“O company of jurists, you indeed are the doctors while we are the pharmacists.”

—from Shaykh Waleed Idrees’s commentary on Bakr Abu Zayd’s Book on Knowledge, available on islamway.com

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