Ijtihad & Taqlid
Author : Dr. Hassan Abu_Arqoub
Date Added : 27-01-2020

Ijtihad & Taqlid



Ijtihad and Taqlid represent a controversial issue for students of Sharia. This article will provide answers for the following questions: Who is a Mujtahid? What are the requirements of a Mujtahid? What are the levels of Mujtahids? Who is a Muqalid? Whom does a Muqalid follow? Is a Muqalid obligated to follow a particular Madhab? Is a Muqalid allowed to follow other Madhabs?

First: Ijtihad

Definition of Ijtihad:

Ijtihad refers to the effort and critical thinking necessary to arrive at a properly formulated legal conclusion.

Some rulings of Ijtihad:

Ijtihad is considered a religious duty for those qualified to perform it.

Ruling when there is no practitioner of Ijtihad in a certain era:

From mental and religious perspectives, a practitioner of Ijtihad could be lacking in a certain era; be he a Mujtahid Mutlaq "Absolute Mujtahid" or not.

Ruling when Ijtihad is performed on particular aspects of Islamic Jurisprudence:

Practicing Ijtihad on certain aspects of Islamic Jurisprudence is permissible because some Mujtahids are qualified in certain areas of jurisprudence.

Ruling when a Mujtahid delivers the correct ruling or makes a mistake:

When a Mujtahid utilizes his skill of judgment and comes to a right decision, he will have a double reward, but when he uses his judgement and commits a mistake, he will have a single reward.

Ruling on nullifying someone`s Ijtihad:

It isn`t permissible to nullify someone`s Ijtihad unless it contradicts a text from the Quran or Sunna, Ijma` or Qiyas.

Second: Taqlid

Definition of Taqlid:

Taqlid is to follow the opinion of a scholar without knowing the evidence on which it is based.

Some rulings of Taqlid:

It is incumbent on the non-practitioner of Ijtihad, whether he might be an ordinary person or a scholar who didn`t reach the level of Mujtahid Mutlaq, to follow a Mujtahid, because Allah The Almighty Says (What means): "ask the people of knowledge if you don`t know" [An-Nahil/43]. However, it isn`t permissible for the Mujtahid who has met the requirements of Ijtihad to follow the opinion of another scholar.

Ruling on following another Madhab (School of thought):

It isn`t incumbent on the one who hasn`t reached the level of Mujtahid  to follow a particular Madhab; rather, he may seek Fatwa from different Madhabs.

Ruling on following other than the four Madhabs:

Some scholars permitted following, on the individual level, opinions of scholars from other than the four Madhabs, but not for Fatwas and the justice system, provided that the opinions are well authenticated.

Some scholars banned following the opinions of other than the four Madhabs, because they weren`t documented, their conditions and restrictions are unknown and they didn`t reach us through many ensured lines of transmission.


هذا المقال يعبر عن رأي كاتبه، ولا يعبر بالضرورة عن رأي دائرة الإفتاء العام

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Summarized Fatawaa

Is it permissible for a woman who is observing `Iddah(waiting period) due to the death of her husband to travel for performing Umrah(Minor Hajj)?

A woman observing `Iddah of a revocable(Rajee`) divorce isn`t allowed to travel for Umrah except with the consent of her husband.

I am a disabled woman who has vaginal discharges and can`t control her urine. Therefore, I combine prayers. Is that permissible?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions. According to the Hanbali doctrine, it is permissible for the sick to combine prayers. In your case(Asker), it is better that you delay the noon prayer until a few minutes before the afternoon prayer in order to minimize the time span between the two and perform each alone. In addition, you can do the same with sunset and evening prayers. Finally, we ask Allah to bless you with recovery. And Allah knows best.

Is it permissible for a man to lie to his wife? Is it permissible for a man to abandon his wife to work in Saudi Arabia, without her approval, although he is wealthy?

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
The Messenger of Allah commanded men to treat women kindly, so marital problems should be solved through understanding, and whatever causes harm to a woman is forbidden. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

Is it permissible for a Christian man to embrace Islam in secret and is it permissible for a Muslim woman to marry him?

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
His embracing Islam in secret is between him and Allah; however, it isn`t permissible for a Muslim woman to marry him except after he declares his Islam and it is ascertained that he is sincere about that. And Allah the Almighty knows best.