Assalamu'alaikum what do you think of the statement "it does not matter which madhab you follow, what matters is that you choose one and follow it 100% rather than picking and choosing what you like from each one" I agree you shouldn't pick & choose, but I don't understand why you have to follow one school of thought and cannot digress in your understanding of its rules. why are we meant to seek knowledge if all the answers are preset by the schools of thought? And why do Muslims encourage that
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
That statement is actually completely ridiculous. We should always follow the opinion that seems to be most just and logical and most in agreement with the text and spirit of the Quran and Sunna, regardless of where it comes from. Please see my article: On deciding which madhhab to follow and the multi-madhhab approach
Maa shaa Allaah.
In support of the author’s view, I would like to relate some quotations from the well-known Imaams, which support the idea that people should follow the religious opinions which are the best, and not simply to adhere to one scholar.
The quotations are from a book in the Bosnian language, written by Safet Kuduzovic. The overall text is well-researched. Unfortunately, it has not been translated into English, so I hope to use this as a writing exercise to improve my skill of translation.
-Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim, rahimuhu-llaah related the following saying of Imaam Abu Hanifa (‘Ar-Ruuh’, page 587): “This is my (religious) ruling (on the matter); whoever presents a better argument, we will accept it.” There are five additional quotations attributed to Abu Hanifa, of a similar nature, but they will not be listed here for the sake of brevity.
-Ibn Hazm, rahimuhu-llaah, relates the following saying from Imaam Malik (‘Mawaahibul-Jalil’, 3/40): “I am (only) human; (certain things) I get right, and (certain things) I get wrong. If you believe that my religious rulings are in accordance with the Qur-aan and Sunnah, you can accept them; otherwise, you should dismiss them.”
-Ibn Abi-Haatim relates the following saying from Imaam ash-Shaafi’i (‘Adab ash-Shaafi’i, pages 67 – 68): “Authentic hadith are more important than my rulings. Do not follow my rulings blindly.”