Following the Easier of Two Opinions

First and foremost, we’d like to make it clear that the religion of Islam seeks not to cause any hardship to its adherents or burden them beyond their capabilities. Easiness and facilitation are among the main characteristics of Islam. Almighty Allah says: “Allah would not place a burden on you, but He would purify you and would perfect His grace upon you, that ye may give thanks.” (Al-Ma’idah 6)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way.”
Abiding by a certain madhhab (school of jurisprudence) is not a religious obligation. Neither Allah nor His Messenger oblige us to abide by the Hanafi or Maliki School or any other. Muslims are to abide by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. These are the two authentic, perfect, infallible sources, whereas every individual judgment is subject to acceptance and rejection. The renowned imams themselves forbade others to unquestionably adopt their opinions.
When there are two opinions and they both are based on sound evidence, then there is nothing wrong in following either of them or what you find easy. It is reported that when there were two opinions, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to take whatever was easy as long as it was not a sin. However, the intention of a Muslim should not be to follow whatever he finds easy without paying attention to what is closer to the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America states: “The intention should not be to follow whatever you find easy. The intention should be to follow the opinion that you find closer to the Qur’an and Sunnah. If you see that one scholar’s position on a particular issue is closer to the letter and spirit of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and another scholar’s position is closer to the Qur’an and Sunnah on another issue, then you can follow both of them. You do not have to stick to one person’s opinion on every issue. A Muslim’s loyalty and commitment should always be to the Qur’an and Sunnah, not to any particular scholar or madhhab.”