Taqlid

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Taqlid or taqleed (Arabic تَقْليد taqlīd) is an Arabic term in Islamic legal terminology. It literally means "to follow". In Islamic legal terminology it means to follow a mujtahid (as an Islamic scholar who is competent in interpreting sharia) in religious laws and commandment as he has derived them, that is, following the decisions of a religious expert without necessarily examining the scriptural basis or reasoning of that decision,[citation needed] such as accepting and following the verdict of scholars of jurisprudence (fiqh) without demanding an explanation of the processes by which they arrive at it,[citation needed] hence adherence to one of the classical schools (madhhab) of jurisprudence.

Taqlid may be contrasted with independent interpretation of legal sources by intellectual effort (ijtihad).

Overview[edit]

Taqlīd is an Arabic verbal noun based on the verb qallada, literally "to place, to gird or to adorn with a necklace"(qilādah).[1] The term is believed to have originated from the idea of allowing oneself to be led "by the collar". One who performs taqlid is called a muqallid,[2] whereas one who rejects taqlid is called a ghair-muqallid. Sheikh Shaamee Hanafi said it is "to take the statement of someone without knowing the evidence."[3]

There are several verses (ayat) in the Quran that condemn "those who follow others blindly in matters of belief"[4] (taqlid in matters of belief), namely 5:104-105,[5] 17:36,[6] 21:52-54[7] 43:22-24.[8] This is interpreted as referring only to fundamentals (usul ad-din) and not to subsidiary elements (furu `ad-din) such as details of law and ritual practices that can only be learned through extensive study.[citation needed]

Sunni Islam

Traditionally, taqlid is lawful and obligatory when one is not qualified as a mujtahid. [9] According to Rudolph Peters, this is by consensus and known in the religion by necessity (ma'lum min al din daruratan) in the eyes of traditional Muslim scholars. [10]

Traditional Sunni scholars rely on two verses of the Qur'an, which order one to ask the people of knowledge or remembrance if they do not know and to obey Allah, the messenger and those in authority among them. [11] They also rely on several hadiths including one where the Prophet Muhammad tells his companions "If one does not know what to do, the only remedy is to inquire." Prophet Muhammad did this after a companion who had fractured his skull asked other companions with him whether he could perform dry purification. They said no. So this injured companion washed his his head with water and died. The Prophet admonished his companions by saying, "They killed him. May Allah kill them. If one does not know what to do, the only remedy is to inquire." [12]

Shia Islam

In Shia Islam Taqlid "denotes the following of the dictates of a mujtahid".[13] Following the Greater Occultation (al-ghaybatu 'l-kubra) in 941 CE (329 AH), the Shia are obliged to observe taqlid in their religious affairs by following the teachings of a thinker (mujtahid) or jurist (faqih).[14] As of the 19th century the Shia ulama taught believers to turn to "a source of taqlid" (marja' at-taqlid) "for advice and guidance and as a model to be imitated."[15] Thus Shia who are not experts in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) are "legally required to follow the instructions of the expert, i.e., the mujtahid" in matters of sharia, but are forbidden to do so in "matters of belief" (usulu 'd-din).[4]

Salafi

According to Salafi (or at least Salafi Publications of Masjid As-Salafi), many Muslims believe incorrectly that all Muslims fall into one of two categories:

  • Mujtahid (those who are knowledgeable in the Islamic sciences and equipped to make ijtihad), or
  • Muqallid (those who are generally ignorant and unable to understand proofs or derive proofs and must perform taqlid of "anyone whom they consider is fit enough to be followed").[16]

In fact (Salafi believe), there is a third category known as Muttabi` that many Muslims fall under. While the level of religious knowledge varies among Muttabi`, on some issues they are all able to "evaluate viewpoints" and determine which of them "are stronger in light of the evidences" and so to choose to follow what is most correct. On other more issues they "may still may be required to perform taqlid", depending on the difficulty of the issue and their level of knowledge.[16]

Thus for mujtahid taqlid is forbidden (except where "he is incapable of researching in a particular issue or issues due to difficult circumstances, scarcity of time etc."); for the muqallid it is compulsory; and for the muttabi` it is permissible.[16]

The explanation goes on to say that the mujtahid/muqallid dichotomy "is based upon this false perception that they argue the case for blindly-following - in every single matter - what is found in a particular madhhab. And this is in opposition to the requirements of the Book and the Sunnah and constitutes making obligatory, that which Allaah did not make obligatory."[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Najm al-Din al-Tufi, Sharh Mukhtasar al-Rawdah (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-Risålah, 1410H), 3:65.
  2. ^ Surkheel (Abu Aaliyah) Sharif, The Truth About Taqlid (Part I), the Jawziyyah Institute, 2007, p. 2 [1]
  3. ^ Aqood Rasm al-Muftee, p. 23
  4. ^ a b "Taqlid: Meaning and Reality". al-Islam.org. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  5. ^ Quran 5:104-5
  6. ^ Quran 17:36
  7. ^ Quran 21:52-54
  8. ^ Quran 43:22-24
  9. ^ Peter, Rudolph. "IDJTIHAD AND TAQLID IN 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY ISLAM". Die Welt de Islams: 139. 
  10. ^ Peter, Rudolph. "IDJTIHAD AND TAQLID IN 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY ISLAM". Die Welt de Islams: 139. 
  11. ^ Peter, Rudolph. "IDJTIHAD AND TAQLID IN 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY ISLAM". Die Welt de Islams: 139. 
  12. ^ Peter, Rudolph. "IDJTIHAD AND TAQLID IN 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY ISLAM". Die Welt de Islams: 139. 
  13. ^ Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction to Shiʻi Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shiʻism. Yale University Press. p. xxii. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  14. ^ al-islam.org 1. What is taqlid?
  15. ^ Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction to Shiʻi Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shiʻism. Yale University Press. p. 143. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c d "The Positions of Taqlid and Ijtihad in the View of the Salaf". Salafi Publications. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 

External links[edit]