Category: Mathaahib (Schools of Thought)
Fatwa#: 16874
Asked Country: South Africa

Answered Date: Jul 05,2008

Title: What is the proof of taqleed shaksi i.e. that you have to follow ONLY one scholar/imam.


What is the proof of taqleed shaksi i.e. that you have to follow ONLY one scholar/imam. There are verses and ahaadith from which taqleed in general can be proven, but I need some evidences that prove that you can't follow more than one person. You may say that doing so will mean following your desires, but what if one is following an opinion  of a mujtahid on a perticular issue because his ruling is easier to follow. Why is that not allowed. Doesn't it come about the Prophet (S.A.W.) that whenever he would have to choose between two different things he would choose the easier one? This is an argument that Sh. Zuhaili uses in his Al-Fiqhul Islaami page 94. He says one that page ,"And the majority of scholars say that it is not compulsory to follow one particular Imam on every mas'ala, rather it is allowed for him to follow any Mujtahid he wants... Because there is nothing wajib except what Allah makes and his messenger make wajib and Allah and his messenger did not make it wajib to follow one particular Madhab. He only made wajib to follow scholars without specifying just one. Also the people who asked about rulings did not stick to one person or madhab, instead they used to ask anyone who is available.... This opinion is the preferred one according to the scholars of Usool.


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

You have correctly indicated in your query that had taqlid not been constricted to only one school of thought, the general masses would conveniently practice on only the easiest rulings of each school. At times, this would lead them to abandon all four schools concurrently on one act. This would inevitably lead to contradictions and errors and will ultimately lead to introducing a new school which is based on carnal desires and opposes the practices of our pious predecessors.

A famous example given is, that suppose a person performs wudu, and thereafter gets cut on his finger which causes him to bleed. According to the Hanafi ‘Ulama,, his wudu is broken, whereas according to the Shafi’ ‘Ulama his wudu is still intact. In order to avoid making wudu, he takes the Shafi’ view on this matter. This man then touches his wife with desire; according to the Shafi’ opinion his wudu is broken, whereas according to the Hanafi school of thought his wudu is still perfect. Seeing that the Hanafi view is easier on this issue, he chooses to follow that school of thought. He thereafter consumes camel meat which nullifies his wudu according to the Hanbali School. He finds that there is more ease in following the view of those who say that camel meat does not invalidate one’s wudu and therefore chooses to follow their view. Thereafter, he stands up to perform prayers. It is clear that according to the vast majority of Scholars his prayer will not be valid. His worship will be based more on human ego rather than Qur’an and Hadith and his entire deen will be unsystematic. It is precisely for this reason that Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) stated, “Our deen is systemized through taqlid.” (Ashraf al-Jawab, 161) 

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And Allah knows best


Ml. Ismail Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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