This conversation took place between me and a Revert Sister on another forum.
Sister: Brother, there are so many people telling me what to do and I get so confused as to who is right and who is wrong, what should I do?
Me: Yes, I can understand what you are saying but to be honest with you we shouldn't be asking random people rather we should refer our queries to Ulama i.e. Scholars of Islam as Allah (SWT) has commanded us to do in [21:7].
[21:7] And We did not send before you messengers except men whom We inspired with revelation. So, ask the people (having the knowledge) of the Message, if you do not know.
If we are not experts then we should refer to Experts. When we ignore the advice of Allah (SWT) there will always be consequences.
Sister: But there are so many sites on the Internet and so many "Scholars" who is right and who is wrong?
Me: That is also a good question and the way to distinguish is to look at practise of Scholars and adopt those who are strict in following the Sunnah as those who are strict on following the Sunnah are the ones who are closest to Allah (SWT).
There is no way to get close to Allah (SWT) without following the Sunnah and anyone who claims to be on the right path and is relaxed or careless about following the Sunnah is false in their claim and this principle is also explained in the Qur’aan, see [3:31]
[3:31] Say (O Prophet): .If you really love Allah, then follow me, and Allah shall love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.
Again, when we ignore the advice of Allah (SWT) there will always be consequences. Allah (SWT) has given us the criteria the yard-stick to judge right from wrong and its pretty simple.
Sister: Who do you personally follow?
Me: I am not very knowledgeable and not an expert so I have to rely on experts therefore I follow the Hanafi Madhab and rely on the verdicts and judgements of Ulama of Deoband.
Sister: What is Deoband? Is that some kind of a sect?
Me: No and in fact we are strictly commanded in the Qur’aan not to follows sects and cults, , see [3:103]
[3:103] Hold fast, all of you, to the cord of Allah, and be not divided...
Deoband is a place in India where they founded an Islamic university and the graduates further spanned out and created institutions worldwide and as a sign of affection they refer to the mother-institution which was originally setup in Deoband.
Sister: I have never heard of it?
Me: Yes you have, you have just never realised it. People associated with Deoband are the most recognised brand are the most recognised brand on Earth even by Non-Muslims!
Sister: Really? "Brand"
Me: Yes, have you not heard of Taliban or Tableeghees? They are both associated with Scholars of Deoband and then there are other movements and Scholars etc. But probably everyone on the globe knows about these two I am off course simplifying it for you to understand who Deobandees are!
Sister: I see what you are saying, now. I know them. Is there a Islamic site associated with these Scholars?
Me: Many but one of the premier ones in English is:
You should be able to find most of what you are looking for on there.
Revert: Jazakullah Khairun