The Mufti Is Accountable and the Layman Follows a Trustworthy Scholar
Fatwa No: 382294

Question

On this temporary planet, earth, Allah sent down His Prophets and Messengers to their people to know Allah and to be on His straight path. Today, all of mankind have to follow Prophet Muhammad as he is the last Prophet and Messenger. In Islam, we have different interpretations on certain issues since Prophet Muhammad passed away without clarifying what is correct and incorrect. In this Ummah, we have many Ulemas who may agree on some rulings and disagree on some rulings. Likewise with laymens. My questions:1.Allah will ask each Mufti individually on why they establish a ruling?2.Allah will inform all Muftis together on what is the correct and incorrect ruling?3.Allah will ask inform each layman individually on why they follow a ruling?4.Allah will inform all laymans, including the ones who differ on a ruling on what is the correct and incorrect ruling?5.After Allah consults Muftis and laymans, He will inform them what is their destination; Heaven or Hell?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we thank you for writing to us, but we draw your attention that it is more appropriate for a Muslim to ask about practical Islamic rulings that are of benefit to him. There is no great benefit in investigating what you have mentioned in the question; so you should be mindful of this.

In general, the mufti, like any other person, is accountable in front of Allah for all that he does or says, among which is the Fatwa (that he issues).

Allah Says (what means):

·    {Then We will surely question those to whom [a message] was sent, and We will surely question the messengers.} [Quran 7:6]

·    {Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]}. [Quran 50:18]

If the Mufti exerts all efforts in finding the correct Islamic ruling, then he is rewarded for his Fatwa, whether he is right or wrong.

Amr ibn Al-'Aas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that he heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) say: “When a judge gives a ruling, having tried his best to decide correctly, and is right (in his decision), he will have a double reward; and when he gives a ruling having tried his best to decide correctly, and is wrong (in his decision), he will have a single reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

A layman is obliged to ask the scholars whom he trusts, so if he does this and asks a scholar whom he trusts and then acts according to his Fatwa, then he has done what he is required to do. Allah Says (what means): {So ask the people of the message if you do not know.} [Quran 16:43]

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 374002, 365404, 313558, and 202966.

Allah knows best.

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