Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed M.S.Al-Hakeem


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Emulation - Taqleed
Q [1]  If people do not follow any religious jurist, Marja and asked about any laws of the Sharia, can I give an answer based on the edicts of my Marja, without mentioning that there are other opinions?
In this case, it is permissible for one to answer based on the edicts of his own Marja, and he does not need to give a reference of the source of the edicts or mention that there are other opinions of other scholars.
Q [2]  What is the age of religiously recognized adulthood (bulugh)?
Religious adulthood is recognized for the male by any of the following three signs, whichever happen first:
1. The presence of hard hair on his face or in the pubic area.
2. The release of semen, whether it was during a wet dream or when awake.
3. The completion of fifteen lunar years.
The female reaches adulthood when she completes the age of nine lunar years.
Q [3]  Is the act of emulation (taqlīd) obligatory? If yes, then kindly give me a reference from the Quran.
Taqlīd is an obligation based on intellect. Muslims are required to implement the laws of the Islamic religion, and they cannot be known in details and in a correct way except by referring to the people of expertise, who are the religious scholars, and relying on them in their findings that they concluded by research and study.
The proof of this concept from the Holy Quran is when Almighty Allah said: “And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware.”(Quran, 122:9).
Q [4]  I started referring to his eminence Sayyid al-Hakim (may Allah prolong his life) before I reached the age of adulthood. Is my Taqleed valid? Can I continue following him after I reach the mentioned age?
Your previous Taqleed is valid and you can continue to follow his eminence.
Q [5]  What is the ruling about someone who does not emulate a mujtahid?
Emulation (taqlīd) is a necessity when a lay believer faces a situation where he does not know the correct religious ruling, as he is supposed to refer to the expert to get the proper answer. Otherwise, without referring to the expert and implementing the ruling, he would be liable for the mistake, whereas he will not be liable when he refers to the expert, even if the latter made a mistake. Taqlīd secures a layperson from liability before the Almighty Allah.
Q [6]  The concept of taqlīd has been popular recently. I am not convinced of its religious obligation. Can you help me?
The popularity of the concept of taqlīd amongst the masses in these days is due to the broad existence of means of communication which have led to the wide spread of knowledge of religious laws. It is not because the concept is new. Rather, it was present at the time of the Imams (peace be upon them) when they were directing their companions and followers, in general, to learn the religious laws. This naturally led to many people asking questions about their affairs, and it was not practical for all of them to reach the Imam (peace be upon him) and ask him in person, so they used to refer to his close companions who could be reached to gain knowledge in religious laws. There were known narrators who were giving edicts to people and the Shias used to refer to them during those days, like Muhammad bin Muslim, Zurarah, Zakariyya bin Adam and others.
This need continued to exist after the occultation of the Twelfth Imam (peace be upon him) until now.
It is a natural need and a sensible process, as people refer to the experts in various fields like medicine, engineering and other kinds of expertise, as people are not satisfied with their own limited knowledge in these areas.
Q [7]  How can I bring myself in to Taqleed?
By referring to and acting upon the verdicts of the religious scholar who has reached the level of Ijtihad and has the qualifications of a Marja and being the most knowledgeable.
Q [8]  Do I have to follow one Marja in a particular issue, or can I follow more than one in an issue, choosing one of their verdicts?
If the verdicts of the Marjas are different in the same issue, one must follow the most knowledgeable. If his opinion is a compulsory precaution, one has a choice of following him by acting upon the precaution or referring to another Marja provided that the latter is more knowledge than the rest of the Marjas.
Q [9]  Is it necessary to follow the most knowledgeable religious scholar?
Yes, it is obligatory to follow the most knowledgeable Mujtahid.
Q [10]  If one is not aware of the difference between the opinions of the Maraje on a particular ruling, and does not know the verdict of his own Marja, can he follow any other one?
If one is aware that there are differences between the Maraje in the rulings that affect him, which is usually the case, then he must observe precaution. Since its not practical for many to do so, he must find the most knowledgeable from them and follow him.

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