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

Finally, just as personal opinion in opposing taqleed and legal issues is blame worthy so too is inactivity and exaggeration in taqleed. This is visible in such cases:

1. Regarding the mujtahids as givers of law and innocent, and like Prophets free of mistakes.

2. Refusing to act on an authentic Hadith because to command is fortcoming from the imam concerning it. Thus, many people do not raise their index figure while reciting:

and neglect this sunnah because the Imam does not say anything about it. Some people pass a very rude comment about it. Theirs is perhaps the dormant taqleed which the Qur’an and Hadith renounce.

3. Twisting Ahadith to reconcile with the Imam’s mazhab. If a person really experiences a favourable heart condition while another does not find it correct then the second should not raise objections over the first.

4. If a learned scholar establishes sincerely that an opinion of the imam is contrary to a Hadith which has no different version but he continues to neglect the Hadith then this too is dormant taqleed. We have discussed it in the preceding pages.

5. It is also sheer exaggeration to imagine that only one’s imam is on the right. The fact is that all mujtahids are on the right and have adopted a correct procedure. If anyone has made a mistake in ijtihad not only is that forgiven but the mujtahid also gets reward. The muqallid may believe that his imam’s mazhab is correct with possibilities of mistake while the other imams have erred in ijtihad but there is possibility of authenticity.

6. Presenting differences among mujtahids in exaggerted form. Often there is a difference of opinion on the question of excellence or otherwise of omitting but not on lawful or unlawful. They are issues like raising hands in salah, saying Aameen loudly, etc. These things are allowed with everyone and it is exaggeration in taqleed to call them lawful or unlawful causing dissention in the ummah.

7. Even in cases where the mujtahids differ on lawful or unlawful nature of anything, the discussion must centre round scholastic argument. Allamah Shatbi has spoken very well on this subject. (Al-Mawafiqat v4 p220-224)

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