8) If someone chooses not to follow ijma and just follows Quran and sound/authentic hadith, does he goes outside the fold of islam? Will he ever enter paradise?
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 is His slave and Messenger.
There are two categories of Ijmaa‘ (consensus of opinion): the first is the Ijmaa‘ Qat‘i (decisive consensus), which is what is known in the religion by necessity, like the Ijmaa‘ regarding the obligation of performing the five daily prayers, the prohibition of consuming Khamr (intoxicants), and the like. Whoever denies and disbelieves in this category of Ijmaa‘ is a disbeliever who is out of the fold of Islam.
The second category is the Ijmaa‘ Dhanni (speculative consensus), which incorporates the rulings of Islam that were transmitted to us by small numbers of scholars through extrapolation and deduction. There is a very weak scholarly difference of opinion regarding the juridical authority of this category of Ijmaa‘. The majority of scholars hold that it carries a juridical authority and that denying it is a clear mistake but is not considered an act of disbelief. If someone denies the juridical authority of this category of Ijmaa‘ based on misinterpretation, then he is excused for this, and it is hoped that Allah, The Exalted would treat him mercifully.
Allah Knows best.
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