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In this unique work of Ibn Taymiyah, his primary aim is to present cogent answers to the following questions as he displays humble deference towards his predecessors:
■ Why did the distinguished jurists, notably the Four Imams of early Muslim history, differ?
■ Why do some of their views apparently contradict authentic scriptural texts?
■ Why do their followers seem to prefer their opinions, even when they outwardly contradict sound prophetic traditions?
He begins his work by outlining three explanations as to why the eponymous four Imams sometimes contravened the import of sound prophetic traditions. He then proceeds to explicate ten things prompting them to adopt one of the three aforementioned explanations.