Fiqh, The Legal Status of Following a Madhab / Monday, August 18th, 2008

Taqleed & New Issues

(9) Another objection to Taqleed of an individual is that it impedes progress and presents no solution to new problems.

We have pointed out earlier that the taqleed of an erudite scholar is not the same as that of the layman. Taqleed of the individual allows for ijtihad in issues. If no answer is found in a mujtahid’s rulings, then his principles should be used to deduce conclusion from the Qur’an and sunnah. This ijtihad can be done in spite of taqleed of an individual. So, there is no impediment, at all.

Besides, the ulama can contemplate over the changing issues resulting from changing times and usages. They can also issue rulings based on principles of other mujtahids on conditions laid down in relative books. Thus, the Hanafi ulama have given rulings of this kind on many present days issues, like salary for teaching the Qur’an, the dissolution of marriage of a missing man’s wife, and so on. Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi has elaborated it in Al-Hilyat ul Najizah lil Hilyat ul Aajizah.

The ulama can find solutions to modern day problems from the four schools of thought. However, they should not borrow parts of principles but observe the whole lot of them with their conditions. The ulama of that school of thought must be consulted as was done when al-Hilyat un-Najizah was being compiled. The ulama should have mutual consultations rather than rely on individual opinions.

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