IJTIHAD AND TAQLID
Taqlid had two means: 1.) Luqwi and 2.) shariyya.
Luqwi means to put a chain around the neck; Shariyya means to
believe that a statement or act is compulsory on us as where we believe the
person is an authentic authority, like we believe Al-Imam Al-A’zam Abu Hanifah’s statements and acts are an example for us. So, the meaning of taqlid
is to follow some acts or statements while considering someone as an authority
in Shari’ah, and our knowledge of Shari’ah is NOT comparable
to his (or any where close), but his words and acts are not the last words and
statements on Shari’ah.
Under the light of the above explanation, we come to know that
obedience to Sayyidina Rasulullah (SallAllahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) is NOT
taqlid for us and we are NOT muqallid of Sayyidina Rasulullah (SallAllahu
'alayhi wa Sallam), because every word or act of Sayyidina Rasulullah (SallAllahu
'alayhi wa Sallam) is the last word for us. So, we are Ummati of
Sayyidina Rasulullah (SallAllahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) as all of the Sahaaba and
A’imma are Ummati and not Muqallid. Obedience to an ordinary
imam is not taqlid for us for no one is going to believe in their statement
considering their words as a final authority in the masa’il of Shari’ah. We
believe the ‘Ulama and Mawlawi take their answers from many
books; if that answer is against the Shari’ah or Fiqh, we shall
not act upon it. On the other hand, if the Imam al-A’zam gives an answer of
any problem or masa’il in the light of Holy Qur’an, or from the majority of
the Ummah, or from his own research or opinion, then we have to believe in his
There are two (2) types of taqlid. Taqlid Sharriyy and Taqlid
Ghairi Sharriyy. Taqlid Sharriyya means to follow any one in Shari’ah
as we follow A’imma Arba and the masa’il of Sawm, ßalaah, Hajj, etc. Taqlid
Ghairi Sharriyya means to follow anyone in worldly affairs (like a doctor,
poet, etc.). Similarly, if taqlid ghairi sharriyya is against the Shari’ah, it
is harm, and if it is not against Shari’ah, it is ja’iz (permissible).
And which masa’il of taqlid is ja’iz and which is not
ja’iz? There are three kinds of sharriyya ghairi: 1.) Aqa’id, 2.) those
which are clearly and openly discussed in Holy Qur’an and Hadiiths, and Ijtihad
can not take place about this masa’il, and the solution of those masa’il,
the Imam gets from the Holy Qur’an and Hadiiths. In Aqa’id,
taqlid of anyone is NOT ja’iz; similarly, taqlid in direct orders if
Example: Believe in Sawm and Ramadhan,
eating hharaam; these are direct orders of Holy Qur’an and Hadiiths, and
in these masa’ili, we are not muqallid of anyone.
Question: To whom is taqlid Wajib? There
are two (2) types of muqallid Muslim, 1.) he who is Mujtahid, 2.) Those
who are not Mujtahid (ghairi Mujtahid). Mujtahid means those who can
understand the language of Holy Qur’an completely according to the rules of
Arabic grammar and its indications, its aim, the nasiq, the mansuq, and to be
able to solve any problems himself in light of this education. He should know nahw
and surf and all other Islamic sciences and those who do not know
about Islamic sciences are ghairi mujtahid. Taqlid is Wajib for the
ghairi mujtahid and not for the Mujtahid.
The six groups of Mujtahideen
are those who make the rules with the help and deep study of
al-Islam, such as the Four Imams (Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik bin
Anas, Muhammad Shafi’i, and Ahmad bin Hanbal, Radhi Allah
|Mujtahid fee Masa’il
are those who are Muqallid in principle and foori in masa’il; they
can give answers of these masa’il from The Holy Qur’an and hadiith on
condition that there is no explanation from any Imam. Examples would be Imam
al-Tahawi, Imam Kazi Khan, and Imam Sharkhail.
||Mujtahid fee Mathhab
are those who follow the principles of Mujtahid fee Sharriy’a; they
can get answers of any masa’il in the light of the ijtihad of the Mujtahid
fee Sharriy’a, but they are independent in masa’il. Examples would be
Al-Imam Muhammad bin Mubarak al-Shaybani (Rahmatullah Alayh) and Al-Imam Abu
Yusef al-Ansari (Rahmatullah Alayh).
are those who can not make ijtihad, but they can give an explanation of a
statement of an Imam. An example would be Imam Qarki.
are those who can give preference to any statement of Hazrat Imam Abu
Hanifah; for instance, if there are two statements by al-Imam al-A’zam
about one masala, they can point out which one is the more important. There
were only two of theses: Imam Sahib Hadiya, Imam Sahib Qardari. No
one can become ‘Alim without reading from both of these.
are those who can find the difference between the two statements from
al-Imam al-A’zam as to which one is strong and which one is weak. Examples
would be Sahib Kanz and Sahib Mukhtar.
The Wahhabiyya say we are at the stage of ijtihad now. We should
know if a person who claims he can make ijtihad has the capacity or not, and
what his capabilities are according to ranks you have just been given. Imam
Razi (Tafsir Kabiya), al-Imam al-Ghazali, Imam al-Bukhari, Imam
Al-Tirmithi, and al-Sheikh ‘Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (Radhi Allah
were all complete ‘Alim and Awliya who had all sorts of sciences and did not
announce their ijtihad. They were all Muqallideen of different Imams.
Proof that Taqlid is Wajib
The fourth Ayah in Surah al-Fatehah:
"Ihdi nas-Siiraha-tal-Mustaqeem. Siiraha-tal-latheena ‘an’amta ‘alayhim."
This Ayah shows that the correct path is that which all noble personalities
adopt such as muhadditheen, mufassireen, awliya, and mutaqeen ‘alim-uddeen.
They were all Muqallideen.