Malik on Fiqh: Imam Malik refuse to force his school upon Muslims

Ibn Abdul Barr reported: Malik ibn Anas, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: When Abu Ja’far Al-Mansur performed the pilgrimage, he called me, so I entered upon him and he spoke to me and he asked me questions and I replied. Then he said, “I am determined to have several copies made of these books of yours. I will send a copy to every region in the lands of the Muslims and I will command them to adhere to its contents without referring to any other, and they will set aside everything but this new knowledge. Indeed, I see the foundation of knowledge in the narrations of the people of Medina and their teachings.” I said, “O leader of the believers, do not do this, for the people have received sayings, heard narrations, and transmitted various accounts. Each people holds to what it has received and acts according to it. They deal with their differences accordingly and, indeed, to turn them away from their beliefs would be very difficult, so leave the people with what they are upon and with what the people of every country has chosen for themselves.” Al-Mansur said, “I swear on my life, if you had accepted my request, I would have commanded it.”

Source: Jāmi’ Bayān al-‘Ilm 1/532

عن ابن عبد البر قال مالك بن أنسرَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ لَمَّا حَجَّ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ الْمَنْصُورُ دَعَانِي فَدَخَلْتُ عَلَيْهِ فَحَدَّثْتُهُ وَسَأَلَنِي فَأَجَبْتُهُ فَقَالَ إِنِّي قَدْ عَزَمْتُ أَنْ آمُرَ بِكُتُبِكَ هَذِهِ الَّتِي وَضَعْتَهَا يَعْنِي الْمُوَطَّأَ فَيُنْسَخُ نُسَخًا ثُمَّ أَبْعَثُ إِلَى كُلِّ مِصْرٍ مِنْ أَمْصَارِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِنْهَا نُسْخَةً وَآمُرُهُمْ أَنْ يَعْمَلُوا بِمَا فِيهَا لَا يَتَعَدَّوْنَ إِلَى غَيْرِهِ وَيَدَعُونَ مَا سِوَى ذَلِكَ مِنْ هَذَا الْعِلْمِ الْمُحْدَثِ فَإِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَصْلَ الْعِلْمِ رِوَايَةَ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ وَعِلْمَهُمْ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَا تَفْعَلْ فَإِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ سَبَقَتْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَقَاوِيلُ وَسَمِعُوا أَحَادِيثَ وَرَوَوْا رِوَايَاتٍ وَأَخَذَ كُلُّ قَوْمٍ بِمَا سَبَقَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَعَمِلُوا بِهِ وَدَانُوا بِهِ مِنَ اخْتِلَافِ النَّاسِ أَصْحَابَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَغَيْرَهُمْ وَإِنَّ رَدَّهُمْ عَمَّا اعْتَقَدُوهُ شَدِيدٌ فَدَعِ النَّاسَ وَمَا هُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَمَا اخْتَارَ كُلُّ أَهْلِ بَلَدٍ لِأَنْفُسِهِمْ فَقَالَ لَعَمْرِي لَوْ طَاوَعْتَنِي عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَأَمَرْتُ بِهِ وَهَذَا غَايَةٌ فِي الْإِنْصَافِ لِمَنْ فَهِمَ

1/532 جامع بيان العلم وفضله لابن عبد البر فَصْلٌ فِي الإِنْصَافِ فِي الْعِلْمِ