Shaikh Muqbil [may Allah have mercy upon him] was asked:
“To what extent is consensus (الإجماع) proof and is there an authentic consensus which is considered? We hope for some examples, may Allah reward you with good.
“I do not hold the view that consensus is proof because Allah, the Exalted said:
وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ
And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah (He is the ruling Judge)
And He said:
فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ
(And) if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day
And Allah says:
وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُمْ مَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ
While He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you
So the explanation in the Book of Allah and in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) is sufficient. As for their use of the statement of Allah as evidence:
وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرً
And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination
Then the intent is opposes the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and the believers. So the opposition here is disbelief and turning away from the path of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the path of the believers. Ash-Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his book Fathul-Qadeer and his book Irshaad ul-Fuhool which he preceded to say in a chapter that the issue in which there is a consensus on it brings more tranquility to the soul. Its meaning is that consensus is paid attention to. As for us saying that the evidences are the Book, the Sunnah, consensus and analogy (Qiyas), then no. Rather the evidence is the Book and the Sunnah.
اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
[Say (O Muhammad) to these idolaters (pagan Arabs) of your folk:] Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord (the Quran and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah), and follow not any Auliya’ (protectors and helpers, etc. who order you to associate partners in worship with Allah), besides Him (Allah). Little do you remember!
Despite the fact that most of the consensuses declared are mere claims as Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Whoever calls a consensus after the companions, then he has lied. What does he know, perhaps they differed?”
Some of the people of knowledge said that the consensus of the Companions is considered. Abu Muhammad bin Hazm (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, ‘We have agreed to the proof of the Book and the Sunnah. So we take what we have agreed on such as the consensus of the companions in relation to the obligation of prayer, their consensus on Zakat, and their consensus on affairs which have established proofs’.
Then they say that consensus must be based on proof just as they say that analogy must have an original issue and a subsidiary issue. The analogy made for the subsidiary issue is based on the original issue. So we take the proof for which this consensus is based on if it is proof. From the implication of the speech of Imam Ahmad and other than him from the people of knowledge is that they affirm the consensus of the companions. And Allah Knows Best”. End translation. [Reference]
Shaikh Muqbil (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in another fatwa:
“The issue of the proof of consensus is an issue which has been differed over in the past. So the majority of the scholars took the opinion that it is proof and from the people of knowledge are those who said it is not proof . . . And what is correct is [the evidences] are the Book and Sunnah only. As for consensus, then one pays attention to it, but it is not binding. Likewise, al-Qiyas (analogy). It is permissible for an insightful scholar to make analogy. However, it is not binding. And consensus is not proof and that is what we believe and worship Allah with it”. End translation. [Reference]
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan