The Taqleed Of An Individual And Following One’s Whims And Fancies
When the level of moral integrity and compliance with the spirit of
the Quran and Sunnah deteriorated, scholars issued a Fatwa confining Taqleed to an
individual only. The attitude, which the scholars hoped to curb with this Fatwa, was abuse
of ambiguous issues in the name of Islam and Islamic legislation.
Today, the whole Muslim world is in a frenzy of this kind of permissiveness and so-called modernisation.
In the name of Ijtihad and freethinking the edifice of classical Muslim scholarship is
being dismantled. Academic institutions have been erected to bolster absurd
interpretations legalising promiscuity, profane photography, dancing, usury and music.
Articles quoting the Qur’an and Sunnah to justify such positions have proliferated
throughout the Muslim world.  Denouncing Taqleed has been highlighted as one of the
many means to achieve this profane goal. Ironically, in the effort to denounce the works
of the classical scholars, these reformers have inadvertently confirmed the foresight of the
very same scholars who had issued the Fatwa centuries ago. They have become the very
proof of unbridled pursuit of one’s caprices and passions. As long as the Taqleed of an
individual was the norm in Muslim communities, these ideas were not given any due
attention. Vulnerability to unfounded propaganda and pseudo-intellectual claims of
scholarship in the contemporary era has given rise to the acceptance that Taqleed of an
individual is forbidden in Islam. The state of affairs today is that established principles of
Islam and issues which are conclusively forbidden by the Qur’an and Sunnah have been
targeted and treated with skepticism and even scorn.
145 Prominent writers in this campaign include Muhammed Aabduh and his student Rashid Rida