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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
  On Ijtihad and Taqlid
Author: Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Uthaimeen
Source: Al-Usool min `Ilimil Usool
Article ID : MNJ060001  [42176]  
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The following saying by Ibn Abdul Barr explains this matter further, "All these rules are for the common folk, they are the ones who have to perform Taqleed of their scholars when needed. They are not capable of understanding or comprehending evidence or knowledge. Knowledge has grades, one cannot attain the topmost grade unless he goes via the base...Scholars do not differ with regards to the common folk having to follow their scholars..."

However, I believe that to generalise about the common folk by saying that they all must perform taqleed is invalid. Taqleed is to follow others without evidence. Many intelligent people can clearly understand evidence if it is presented to them. Who can deny that a common person can understand the evidence contained in the hadeeth, "Tayammum is one strike (of the hands on the dust) for the face and hands"? Even people lacking intelligence can understand this hadeeth.

Therefore, the truth is that we must say that Taqleed is allowed for whosoever cannot search for or understand the evidence, Ibn al-Qayyim also was of this opinion. Even scholars are forced to do Taqleed sometimes, when a scholar cannot find a text from Allaah or His Messenger, but only sayings of more knowledgeable scholars."


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