Why must we follow. The importance of expert religous authorities and rulings

Question) Why do we need an
Imam ?? Isn’t Taqleed = Blind
Following ?? Please explain the
statements of Mujtahid Imams.
Extracting Law and Taqleed:
There are certain
commandments in the Quran
and Sunnah which a lay person
can understand. For example:
“Do not back bite” (Surah al-
Hujaraat: 12)
There are some statements
which seem to contradict other
verses of the Quran or a Hadith.
For example, the Prophet S.A.W
said in a Hadith:
“Whoever has an Imam, then the
Imam’s recitation is his
This seems to indicate while the
Imam is reciting in Salaat, the
follower should remain silent.
However, another Hadith says:
“There is no salaat for he who
does not recite Surah Al-Fatiha.”
This seems to indicate that
everyone should recite Surah
Fatiha. The question arises
whether the first Hadith should
be taken as the primary sourch
referring to the Imam or the one
who offers salaat individually and
the second Hadith explained as a
corrobborating evidence; or
should we make the second
hadith the base and the first
Hadith refers to the Imam’s
recitation after he recites Surah
Needless to say from the above
examples, the process of
extrapolating rules from the
Quran and Sunnah can be
complicated. One soultion is that
we exercise our understanding
and insight in such issues in
order to make our judgments
and rulings. Another solution
could be that instead of making
independent rulings ourselves,
we look into what the
predecessors ruled concering
these issues.
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The concept of Taqleed in the
“O you who believe! Follow Allah’
follow the Messenger and those
of authority (Amr) amongst you.”
“And when there comes to them
a matter concerning (public)
safety or fear, they relay it. If they
had only referred it to the
Messenger and to those of
authority (Amr), those who can
investigate and extract
(information) among them
would know (the rumor’s
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Blind Following:
Ibn Hamam and Ibn Nujaim, both
define Taqleed thus:
“Taqleed is to follow the opinion
of a person – whose opinion is
not a proof in Islamic law –
without asking for his [the
person followed] proof.”
This statement has clarified the
fact that a person who practices
Taqleed (the Muqallid) does not
hold the opinion of the one
whom he follows (the Mujtahid)
as a source of Islamic law
because the source for Islamic
law are confined to the Quran
and Sunnah (both Ijma and Qiyas
[analogy] are derived from the
Quran and Sunnah). The only
reason why a Muqallid follows an
Imam is because of the
conviction that the Mujtahid has
inisights into the Quran and
Sunnah (which he, the follower,
does not posses) by which the
Mujtahid is able to understand
their meanings, in this regard the
follower has relied upon the
Imams’ opinion. Perceived in this
perspective Taqleed cannot in all
fairness, perceived be equaled
with shirk nor blind following.
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The Statements of Mujtahid
Imams themselves:
Contentions that the Imams
themselves have prohibited the
following of their opinions until
they have discovered the proofs
and that if their opinions conflict
with any Hadith, they should
smite their opinions against the
wall and practice the Hadith, are
of course true. However, to do
justice to such statements, one
would have to conclude that they
are NOT addressed to people
who do not possess the faculty
of Ijtihad. Rather, they were
appealing to those scholars who
were capable of Ijtihad. Shah
Waliyyullah of Delhi has
summarized such statements
“These statements can be
assessed against those who have
some ability to exercise
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Imam Abu Hanifa RUA:
Imam Abu Hanifa RUA was a
Tabi, who met 4 Sahaba RAU. He
was born in one of the Best
generations. His time was very
close to Prophet SAW. Opinions
of MODERN DAY scholars hold NO
weight against the rulings of the
people of “Khair ul Quroon” (the
best 3 generations).
Following an Imam:
Everyone has to do the Taqleed
of someone. There is not a single
person who doesn’t do the
Taqleed. As of those who deny
the Taqleed of four Imams, they
do the Taqleed of Ibn Tamiya. We
always need someone to guide
The way of “Ahle-Sunnah Wal
Jamaat” is that we follow the
opinions and practices of the
Best of the Generations. Sahaba
RAU directly learned from
Prophet S.A.W and understood
the meaning far better than
anyone can understand now.
I once began to believe that it
was not necessary to follow an
Imam. However, I only held this
view until I learned the other
side. After reading the books of
both Ahle-Hadees and Ahle-
Sunnah I, personally, came to the
conclusion that Ahle-sunnah wal
Jamaat is the way.
Therefore, I can only invite and
ask brothers and sisters to do
thorough research on this
subject. Read the books that
support and explain why we
should do Taqleed of one of the
Imams and answer all the
questions raised by Ahle-Hadees.
Well, at least look at both sides.
This link contains books that
explain the importance of


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