The Taqleed Of An Individual And New Issues

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The Taqleed Of An Individual And New Issues


Arguments have been advanced that Taqleed of an individual impedes solutions to
modern developments. The answer to such a contention is that modern issues, which
demand Ijtihad, should be delegated to an expert scholar – whose Taqleed is very different
from that of the lay person. such an expert scholar would be able to sift the principles of
earlier Mujtahids and resolve new problems based on the same. This type of Ijtihad has
been prevalent in all ages even with the concept and practice of the Taqleed of an
individual. Moreover, scholars of one school may unite upon solutions to new problems,
which arise. Where there is a severe need for an immediate national or social problem,
scholars are given leeway and hence, they can resort to the Fatwa from another school.

This is the reason why, in the Hanafi school, scholars have resorted to following the
opinion of Imam Malik in issues like accepting wages and salaries for teaching
the Quran, making legal provisions for divorce for a wife whose husband is lost or whose
husband is impotent. This has been elaborated by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi in his work
Al-Hilyatul Najizah lil Hilayatul ‘Ajiza. If there is a social need for Muslims to find
latitude in a certain issue, an expert scholar may go to any of the four Madhabs to find a
solution. Under no conditions is the practice of “Talfeeq” permissible, which is to use the
Fatwa offered by one Imam and following another Imam in the same unit of ibaadah.
Individuals are advised to seek the advice of expert scholars through a council.

Taqleed of an individual, in reality, has never rendered the community incapable of resolving new
issues: rather it has constantly been in a state of flux and development addressing new
issues for more than a millennium. [146]

Notes:
[146] The details of the methods to arrive at these solutions can be found in elaborate works like that of Ibn
Abi Deen and the work of Maulana Ashraf Ali mentioned above

Seifeddine-M