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You Are Here: Knowledge Base Sunnah and Hadith Blameworthy Taqleed (blind-following) compared to following the scholars

Taqleed: Short comprehensive explanation

Q: What is the ruling on a person who strictly follows the Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings) of Imam Malik, and not sticking to the exact ruling based on the Qur‘an and Sunnah?

A: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions.

To proceed: Imam Malik (may Allah be merciful to him) is one of the Imams (initiators of a School of Jurisprudence) in religious knowledge, but at the same time he is a human who sometimes errs and at other times is correct, and his words may be accepted or rejected. So, his opinions conforming to the truth are accepted and those contradicting it are rejected. Furthermore, if a person has the necessary religious knowledge to understand the ruling directly from the Qur‘an and the Sunnah, then they are not permitted to adhere to Taqlid (strictly following a specific School of Jurisprudence), and if not and they got confused concerning a matter of their religion, they are entitled to ask the most reliable scholars of their country and apply their opinion. Imam Malik and other scholars are alike in this regard.

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta‘

Member     Member     Deputy Chairman     Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud     `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan     `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify     `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Permanent Committee Fatwas>Group 1>Volume 5: (Fiqh>Taharah)>Usul-ul-Fiqh>Taqlid (acting according to the verdict of a Mujtahid)>Ruling on following Malik in religious rulings as he derived them Taqlid > The fourth and fifth questions of Fatwa no. 4476


The first question of Fatwa no. 2815 Q: Some people think that it is an obligation for a Muslim to follow one of the four known Madh-habs (Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence) in order to properly fulfill their acts of worship and manage their daily affairs. However, these Madh-habs do not include the Madh-hab of the Twelver nor Zaydiyyah Shiites. Does your Eminence absolutely agree with this opinion and forbid following the Madh-hab of the Twelver for instance?

A: Praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family, and Companions.

To commence:Muslims have to follow what is prescribed by Allah and His Messenger if they can infer rulings by themselves, if not, they should ask the people of knowledgeabout any religious issue that is difficult for them to understand. They should also seek to ask the most knowledgeable among the scholars verbally or in writing.It is impermissible for a Muslim to follow the Madh-habs of both the Twelver or Zaydiyyah Shiites and similar Madh-habs followed by the people of Bid`ahs (rejected innovation in religion) like Al-Khawarij, Al-Mu`tazilah, Al-Jahmiyyah and others. However, following any of the four known Islamic Juristic Schools is permissible, provided that there is no fanaticism to the Madh-hab that a person belongs to, nor opposition to established evidence merely for the sake of supporting this Madh-hab.May Allah grant us success.

May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Fatwas of the Permanent Committee>Group 1>Volume 5: Fiqh>Taharah>Principles of Fiqh>Taqlid>Acting in accordance with one of the famous schools of jurisprudence