Fatwa: # 32249
Category: Business Matters
Country: India
Date: 29th November 2018


When the local Imaam is wrong in his ruling, who is liable?



My late mother, who was a widow after my father's death invested a lot of his money in riba based instruments like bonds, mutual funds and fixed deposits.

She had consulted a local Imam on the permissibility of such income and was told that since she was a widow, Riba was lawful for her.

Now, I have the following doubts

1. Will she be liable for following the advice of the local imam

2. If she would have heard contratrion fatwa about riba being haram for widows also and decided to still follow the imam's fatwa, will she be guilty




In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

We make du’aa that Allaah Ta’aala blesses your parents with His infinite Mercy. Aameen.

At the outset, we wish to clarify that ribaa is haraam in all cases, irrespective of one being married or widowed. Nevertheless, the answers to your queries are as follows:

1.      In principle, if a person trusted the academic qualifications of a scholar and enquired from him a ruling of Shari’ah, the person enquiring will not be responsible for following the ruling if the ruling was incorrect[1]. If the scholar was negligent in issuing a ruling, he will be responsible.

2.      If your mother heard of a different fatwaa that ribaa is haraam, she should have exercised precaution. In such a situation, we advise you to make istighfaar on behalf of your mother for that.


And Allaah Ta’aala Knows Best.

Muajul I. Chowdhury

Student, Darul Iftaa

Astoria, New York, USA


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.




[1] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (4/ 80)

مطلب العامي لا مذهب له قلت: وأيضا قالوا العامي لا مذهب له، بل مذهبه مذهب مفتيه، وعلله في شرح التحرير بأن المذهب إنما يكون لمن له نوع نظر واستدلال وبصر بالمذهب على حسبه، أو لمن قرأ كتابا في فروع ذلك المذهب وعرف فتاوى إمامه وأقواله.

وأما غيره ممن قال أنا حنفي أو شافعي لم يصر كذلك بمجرد القول كقوله أنا فقيه أو نحوي اهـ وتقدم تمام ذلك في المقدمة أول هذا الشرح، وإنما أطلنا في ذلك لئلا يغتر بعض الجهلة بما يقع في الكتب من إطلاق بعض العبارات الموهمة خلاف المراد فيحملهم على تنقيص الأئمة المجتهدين، فإن العلماء حاشاهم الله تعالى أن يريدوا الازدراء بمذهب الشافعي أو غيره، بل يطلقون تلك العبارات بالمنع من الانتقال خوفا من التلاعب بمذاهب المجتهدين، نفعنا الله تعالى بهم، وأماتنا على حبهم آمين.

يدل لذلك ما في القنية رامزا لبعض كتب المذهب: ليس للعامي أن يتحول من مذهب إلى مذهب، ويستوي فيه الحنفي والشافعي اهـ.



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