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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).


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 forbid[citation needed] taqlid in matters of religion (5:104-5, 17:36, 21:52-54 43:22-24) though 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.

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).[4] 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."[5]

See also[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. ^ al-islam.org 1. What is taqlid?
  5. ^ An introduction to Shiʻi Islam: the history and doctrines of Twelver Shiʻism By Moojan Momen, p.143

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