Taqleed and Being Aware of the Different Opinions of the Scholars

CategoriesKnowledge [325]

Fatwa ID: 05699

 

Answered by: Alimah Habiba Akhtar 

 

Question:

 

For  Example:

 

* Do I have to have the opinion of all/many scholars until I adopt a view? I ask some I trust like you, isn’t this enough? Or do I have the opinion of many scholars like said?

 

*Can one use a not chosen view in times of necessity?

 

* I really make an effort to choose the Muftis I ask. If I know that the Muftis have knowledge and piety, can I use the easiest opinion in my Madhab?

 

For Example:

 

Until the last months, I did not know that there is an academic difference in pictures of real humans (photography/videos). The Muftis and scholars I know from Turkey regard it as permissible and do religious speeches and some even recitation of Quran with their pictures. This is regarded normal there. A Turkish scholar in his 90ties whom I really trust says it is permissible (Leader of the Ismailaga-Jama’h)

 

While some say wearing Nike is permissible, another religious A’lim says it is strongly haram.

 

While one side says:

 

“While following a madhab is required, following a single madhhab on every issue is not according to many scholars. The obligation of taqlid is to follow a school or an authority on a given issue or set of issues. …

 

This is not interdicted so long as one:

 

  1. actually knows the rulings of the other school on the issue, and
  2. does not systematically seek out dispensations (i.e. the easiest position):”, Askimam says: Adhering to one Madhab – IslamQA.

 

While Mufti Usmani says that digital pictures on TV are not of the pictures the Prophet s.a.w. mentioned because of being not permanent, others say that they count.

 

While it is said that doing things that are void of worldly or/and ukhrevi benefit makruh (which is the opinion of the Imam A’zam), some say it is allowed as long as it doesn’t contain unlawful elements, do not distract from Allah’s remembrance, do not prevent from worldly and/or ukhrevi duties and responsibilities (https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/playing-games-that-have-educational-benefit/)

 

Isn’t there so-called “ruhsat ve azamet” (in Turkish) meaning that those ones who are strong adopt the most difficult view for the nafs and those ones who are weak adopt the easiest opinion?

 

For someone like me who lives in the west and is 20 years old, it is really really challenging. I think you know what I mean. I feel distressed. Didn’t Imam Ghazali say that only prophets can stand being earnest for a long time?

 

Finally, the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Va Sallam) once said in a Hadith: “One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the former’s distress on the Day of Judgement. He who helps to remove the hardship of another will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. […] Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister).” (Muslim)

 

 

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

Answer:

 

Most of the questions asked stem from the concept of Taqleed. Hence, the following discussion will be split into the following:

  • Following a certain Mufti and Purpose of Taqleed
  • Following opinions

 

1)

The knowledge of Islam is vast and detailed. Its knowledge is grasped by a few from the entire Ummah in its totality.

 

Therefore, there is a great encouragement for Muslims to seek knowledge. The following hadith emphasises and demonstrates the vitality of teaching:

 

Narrated `Uthman:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” (1)

 

Hence, we understand that solely studying the Qur’an isn’t enough but passing on knowledge is important. This, we understand the role of a teacher.

 

Moreso, the protocol for the Ummah when unaware or underqualified regarding something are encouraged to make use of those who have been given the knowledge.

 

“[Prophet], all the messengers We sent before you were simply men to whom We had given the Revelation: you [people] can ask those who have knowledge if you do not know. (Surah An-Nahl, 16:43-44)(2)

 

Therefore, we can see that when the common people require assistance, the correct method is to seek those who are knowledgeable.

 

As for how scholars should determine between information that may seem contradictory, they have been advised to follow the following method of Qur’an, the Sunnah, then Ijma and then Qiyas as described in the following hadith:

 

It was narrated from Shuraih that:

 

He wrote to ‘Umar, to ask him (a question), and ‘Umar wrote back to him telling him: “Judge according to what is in the Book of Allah. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, then (judge) according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah [SAW]. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah [SAW], then pass judgment according to the way the righteous passed judgment. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah [SAW], and the righteous did not pass judgment concerning it, then if you wish, go ahead (and try to work it out by yourself) or if you wish, leave it. And I think that leaving it is better for you. And peace be upon you.” (3)

 

Thus, as scholars have a protocol to follow, often their interpretations may differ thus creating different opinions. Opinions may differ for various reasons such as time differences or different cultures, each scholar has their own set of criteria to overlook. Nevertheless, their research and conclusion would be based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

 

As understood from the verse of Surah Nahl mentioned before, the requirement for the common people is to approach those of knowledge and thus, one may approach a scholar and seek advice.

 

Another reason for scholars differing on opinions could be due to their taqwa level or their ability to understand the needs and requirements of their questioner, thus, often one seeks the guidance of a certain scholar or group and that is valid.

 

From the above discussion, we can better understand the purpose of Taqleed.

 

Taqleed is defined as the following in Jami Jawami:

 

“Taqlīd is to adopt a view without [detailed] knowledge of its evidence, and it is binding on the non-mujtahid.” (3)

 

The purpose for this was mentioned before as not all hold the ability to understand the knowledge of Deen.

 

Taqleed of a certain Madhab is to make it easy for the common people to follow and act upon the Deen trusting the opinion of the scholars.

 

“Allah intends ease for you; He does not intend hardship on you.” [Quran, 2:185]

 

 

2)

On the other hand, it is discouraged to follow other opinions and move in and out of madhabs as the danger of following one’s desires appears.

 

It was mentioned in at tasheel wat tarjeeh:

 

“And as for passing a ruling or verdict on a non-preferred view is against the consensus of the scholars” (4)

 

This is the opinion upon the scholars of a certain Madhab who are warned against passing non-preferred views, hence, it can be understood the reason why one should follow the opinions of one Madhab.

 

Thus, in response to your query, it has been conditioned for one to follow a certain Madhab as the scholars obtain the knowledge required to understand the rulings. Following a Madhab, one can trust one is acting appropriately within the Deen and carrying out the appropriate actions. As for different scholarly opinions within a Madhab, as mentioned regarding the background that contributes to an opinion being formed, each scholar can be trusted to have followed the correct protocol and have different opinions, one can follow the opinion they relate to according to their level of Taqwa.

 

 

Only Allah knows best

Written by Alimah Habiba Akhtar 

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

 

 

 

(1)

عَنْ عُثْمَانَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ خَيْرُكُمْ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَعَلَّمَهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 5027

 

(2)

(وَمَاۤ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالࣰا نُّوحِیۤ إِلَیۡهِمۡۖ فَسۡـَٔلُوۤا۟ أَهۡلَ ٱلذِّكۡرِ إِن كُنتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ)

[Surah An-Nahl 43]

(بِٱلۡبَیِّنَـٰتِ وَٱلزُّبُرِۗ وَأَنزَلۡنَاۤ إِلَیۡكَ ٱلذِّكۡرَ لِتُبَیِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَیۡهِمۡ وَلَعَلَّهُمۡ یَتَفَكَّرُونَ)

[Surah An-Nahl 44]

 

(3)

عَنْ شُرَيْحٍ، أَنَّهُ كَتَبَ إِلَى عُمَرَ يَسْأَلُهُ فَكَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ أَنِ اقْضِ بِمَا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَبِسُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاقْضِ بِمَا قَضَى بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلَمْ يَقْضِ بِهِ الصَّالِحُونَ فَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَتَقَدَّمْ وَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَتَأَخَّرْ وَلاَ أَرَى التَّأَخُّرَ إِلاَّ خَيْرًا لَكَ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ‏.

Sunan an-Nasa’i 5399

 

(3)

مسألة: التقليد أخذ القول من غير مغرفة دليله، ويلزم غير المجتهد

(Jami Jawami, Darul Kutib Ilmiyyah, Page 121)

 

(4)

واما الحكم او الفتيا بما هو مرجوح فخلاف الاجماع

Tasheel wat tarjeeh, maktab Ilmiyyah, page 130)

 

 

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