What is Taqleed?

Question ID: 23450

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuk
Respected Mufti Saheb
My question is regarding Taqleed. From what I understand, we the ahlus-Sunnah believe that taqleed of any one of the 4 Imaams is Waajib. This Wujoob was due to the consensus of the Ulema after the 4th Century. All agreed that from that time i.e 4th century, it was not practically possible for anyone to reach the level of becoming a Mujtahid. I tried explaining this to a Salafi but they brought Dalaail to show our (Muqallid) Ulema (like Mulla Ali Qari and Ibnul Humam (RahimahumAllah) were of the opinion that taqleed is not necessary. This is the link to the page which contains a detailed discussion but I will only put the sayings of the Ulema here :
?The Majority has no Madhab
This is the opinion of the majority of the Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis, according to Ibn Taymiyah.
It is also widely reported in Shafi’i sources, that Abu al-Fath al-Harawi – from the students of al-Shafi’i – said: “The Madhab of the generality of the followers (of al-Shafi’i), is that the layman has no Madhab. Hence, if he finds a Mujtahid, he makes Taqleed of him; and if he is unable to find one, but finds instead one who is well-acquainted with a Madhab, he makes Taqleed of him”
Al-Imam al-Nawawi says: “What is dictated by the evidence is that a person is not obliged to adhere to a Madhab; rather he should ask whoever he wishes.”
Ibn Qawan al-Shafi’i says in his al-Tahqiqat, “The truth is that it is not incumbent to adhere to a Madhab; Rather, a person should ask whoever he likes, but without seeking allowances (tatabbu’ al-rukhas).”
Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi says (as reported by al-Ma’sumi): “It is not obligatory upon anyone from the Ummah to be a Hanafi, or a Maliki, or a Shafi’i, or a Hanbali; rather, it is obligatory upon everyone, if he is not a scholar, to ask someone from Ahl al-Dhikr (people of knowledge), and the four Imams are from amongst the Ahl al-Dhikr.”
Ibn al-Humam al-Hanafi says in his Tahrir (as quoted by al-Ma’sumi): “Adhering to a particular Madhab is not obligatory, according to the correct opinion, since nothing becomes obligatory, except that which Allah and His Messenger has commanded; and Allah and His Messenger did not oblige anyone to adhere to the Madhab of any particular individual from the Ummah, to make Taqleed of all that he says and to leave the sayings of everyone else. Surely, the blessed generations passed without obliging anyone to adhere to a particular Madhab.”
This is also the opinion of some of the leading Hanafi jurists of modern times, such as ‘Abdul-Fattah Abu Ghuddah – may Allah have mercy on him, (see his comments on al-Ihkam by al-Qarafi p. 231) in addition to Al-Zuhaili who says in his Usul al-Fiqh al-Islami 2/1166 that this is the correct opinion. He further adds, in the footnote of the same page, about the layman, that: “It is not correct for him to have a Madhab, even if he adheres to it.”
Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali, in al-Furu’, mentions the difference of opinion amongst the Malikis and Shafi’is, saying: “It not being obligatory is the most famous opinion”. Al-Mardawi comments: “And this is the correct opinion”.
Ibn al-Najjar al-Hanbali says: “A layman is not obliged to adhere to a Madhab;”
Ibn al-Qayyim says: “This is definitely the correct opinion, since there is nothing obligatory, except that which Allah and His Messenger made obligatory. And never did Allah or His Messenger oblige anyone to adhere to the Madhab of one of the Imams, to make Taqleed of one and leave the others.”
Ibn Taymiyah says: “If a Muslim faces an event without precedence, then he should ask the one he believes issues verdicts in accordance with Allah’s and His Messenger’s Shari’ah, irrespective of which Madhab he is from. It is not incumbent upon any Muslim to make Taqleed of a particular person amongst the scholars in everything he says” – to his words – “For one to follow someone’s Madhab due to his incapacity to find out the Shar’i ruling from other than him, then that is only permissible, and not something obligatory upon everyone if it becomes possible for one to obtain the knowledge of Shar’ through different means. In fact, everyone is obliged to fear Allah to his utmost, and seek the knowledge of what Allah and His Messenger have ordained, so that he may perform the ordered and abstain from the prohibited.”
He also says: “There are two opinions [with regards to this issue] amongst the followers of Ahmad, as well as amongst the followers of al-Shafi’i, and the majority from both groups do not oblige [adherence to one of the Madhabs]. And those who oblige it say: If one adheres to a Madhab, it is not possible for him to oppose it, so long as he is an adherent, or as long as it does not become clear to him that another Madhab is more worthy of being followed.”
He then discusses the issue of changing Madhabs and saying that if one changes his Madhab for worldly reasons, or merely seeking allowances, then that is, without doubt, condemned; it is like the companion who was known as ‘the migrant for Umm Qais’, who migrated from Makkah to Madinah to marry a woman, about which the Prophet said: “Indeed actions are based on intentions;”. As for the one who changes his Madhab due to religious reasons, or leaves an opinion in his Madhab when opinion of another Madhab appears stronger to him, then that is not only praiseworthy, but also obligatory, as no one has the right to oppose the verdict of Allah and His Messenger.
Hence, our conclusion is that, it is not obligatory on a layman to follow a Madhab, but it is still allowed for the one who finds no way but this, to obtain Allah’s ruling on an issue
My question is what are the Dalaail to show the Ijmaa of the Ulema on the Wujoob of Taqleed. Can you please mention the sayings of a few of the Ulema of that time who mentioned Wujoob
JazakAllahu Khayran

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Asked on May 23, 2010 12:00 am
Private answer

See all our literatue of Taqleed on our web-site.

If ones mother is very ill, if you take her to 4 doctors, whose medication will you use? If you use the medication of one doctor then another after 6 hours and so forth.
Will your mother

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Answered on May 23, 2010 12:00 am