Taqleed is not prohibited totally
Fatwa No: 90479


As a revert to Islam I have been trying hard to ensure that I follow only the authentic Sunnah of Rasulallah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and to leave off any practice that I have over the past years adopted which I have found to have been based on fabricated Hadeeth or innovations. With regard to this I would like to ask 2 questions.
1) It is clear from my studies that Saheeh Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim are not the only source of Saheeh Hadeeth, but other sources have a mix of Saheeh, Hassan and Da'eef Hadeeth, with a number having been declared not just weak but fabricated. As someone trying not to blindly follow a Madhab how can I ensure I am not adopting these Da'eef Hadeeth? If I reject blind following of a particular scholar then what difference is there when I have to constantly turn to another scholar, e.g. this web site, and ask for Fataawa? If one relies solely on Saheeh Bukhaari and Muslim then one is rejecting many Saheeh and Hassan Hadeeth from the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, which are to be found in other sources. In trying to stick to the Quran and the authentic Sunnah how can a Muslim safeguard themselves from adopting wrong practices. My husband who was brought up to follow the Hanafi Madhab says I have just swapped following Hanafi for Maaliki because I have changed the way I pray!
2) On the subject of praying, I have tried to adopt the prayer of the Prophet according to authentic Hadeeth and to aid me in this have read an e-book from Islam web by Shaykh Al-Albaani, who I believe is a very respected scholar who emphasized following only authentic Hadeeth. I noted in his book the following footnote concerning a Hadeeth that the Prophet would open his prayer with Allaah is the Greatest: Muslim and Ibn Maajah. The Hadeeth contains an indication that he did not use to commence it with the words of some people: "I intend to pray, etc." which is in fact agreed to be an innovation." I have been taught that I must make silent intention before I pray. Is this in fact an innovation?


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Merely referring to a school of jurisprudence or a certain scholar or a Fatwa center and following their decrees is not considered as Taqleed (imitating blindly). Taqleed means as defined by the scholars 'adopting the saying of a person who is not infallible without knowing his evidence.'

Therefore, whoever adopts an opinion of a school of jurisprudence or a saying of a scholar after knowing the evidence on which the opinion is based, then it considered as Ittibaa' (following) not Taqleed.

Moreover Taqleed is not prohibited totally since the people's intellectual capacity and knowledge vary. Whoever is eligible to make Ijtihaad (a scholar strives hard to the best of his knowledge to come to the correct religious ruling from the given evidences in the absence of a clear text in a given matter) and meets its conditions, Taqleed is forbidden for such a person. The one who does not reach that rank but is able to look into the evidences on which the juristic opinion is based and can decide which one is stronger than the others, such a person has to follow what he perceives is stronger and more correct. He has to implement this ruling in all religious matters; whether it is related to the juristic opinions or to the grade of narrations or the like. This is a middle rank which is between the rank of Ijtihaad and Taqleed.

As for a common person who cannot understand the evidence or cannot find out the most authentic opinion, Taqleed is allowed for such a person.

Allaah Says (which means): {so ask the people of the message if you do not know.}[16:43].

Burdening a person, who is in this position of seeking the evidences and comparing between them to decide on one of them, is beyond his scope. Allaah Says (which means):  {Allaah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.}[2:286].

Consequently, the questioner sister should know that Taqleed is not completely forbidden.

The best way for a Muslim in order to worship his Lord with knowledge and insight is to seek the religious knowledge and should sacrifice every precious thing for this purpose.

For details in this matter read our previous Fataawa: 82777 and 84248.

As for pronouncing the intention read Fatwa: 88037.

Allaah Knows best.

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