Taqleed is of two types: general and specific.
1) The general type: that a person sticks to a particular
madhhab (school of thought), accepting it’s concessions and
non-concessions, in all matters of the deen.
The scholars have differed about such a state. So some amongst
the late-comers have reported that this is obligatory upon him, due to his
inability to perform ijtihaad. Others report it as being forbidden for him, due
to its being a case of necessitating unrestricted following of other than the
Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) .
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said,
"The saying that it is obligatory, causes obedience to
other than the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) in every matter of command and pohibition, and this
is in opposition to the ijmaa’. And the allowance of it contains what it
He (RH) also said,
"He who sticks to a particular madhhab, and then acts in
opposition to it - without making taqleed of another scholar who has given him a
ruling, nor does he use an evidence as a proof which necessitates acting in
opposition to his madhhab, nor does he have an acceptable Sharee’ah excuse
which allows him to do what he has done - then such a person is a follower of
his desires, doing what is haraam - without a Sharee’ah excuse - and this
is evil and sinful."
However, if there becomes clear to him, something which
necessitates preference to one saying to another - either due to detailed proofs
if he knows and understands them, or because he holds one of two people to be
more knowledgeable about this matter and having more piety with regards to what
he says - and so he leaves the saying of that one for the saying of the other
one, then this is permissible, rather, it is obligatory. And there is a text
from Imaam Ahmad about this."
2) The particular type of taqleed is that he accepts a saying
about a particular matter. This is permissible if such a person is unable to
arrive at knowledge of the by ijtihaad - whether he is unable to in reality, or
he is able, but with great difficulty.
Fatwaa of a Muqallid:
Allaah - the Most High - said, "Ask the people of
knowledge if you do not know." And the Ahludh Dhikr are the Ahlul Ilm
(the people of knowledge), whereas the muqallid is not a person of knowledge who
is followed - rather he himself is a follower of someone else.
Ibn Abdul Barr (d.463) and others have said,
"the people are united in ijmaa that the muqallid is not
counted as being from the Ahlul Ilm, and that knowledge is the realisation of
guidance along with it’s proof."
Ibn al-Qayyim said,
" And it is as Abu Umar (Ibn Abdul Barr) said: Indeed, the
people do not differ about the fact that knowledge is the realisation attained
from proof, but without proof, it is only taqleed."
Ibn al-Qayyim then quotes,
"There are three sayings about the permissibility of
giving fatwaa based upon taqleed:
1) It is not permissible to give fatwaa based upon taqleed,
because it is not knowledge; since issuing a fatwaa without knowledge is
forbidden. This is the saying of most of the Hanbalee scholars and the majority
of the Shaafi’iyyah.
2) That it is permissible with regards to himself, but it is
not permissible to give a fatwaa to others based upon taqleed.
3) That it is permissible when there is a need for it, and
there is no mujtahid scholar. And this is the most correct of the sayings and is
what is acted upon."’
Shaykh al-Albaanee says in his, ‘The Hadeeth is a Proof
in itself’ after mentioning the statements of the Imaams on Taqleed as
found in the introduction to ‘The Prophets Prayer Described’ brings
a chapter heading, "Taqleed for whoever cannot search for proofs by
‘"Some may ask: "Not everyone has the ability
to be a Person of Knowledge, as explained before?" We say: yes indeed. No
one disputes this fact. Allaah said, "So ask the People of Knowledge if
you do not know." (16:43) and, "ask the knowledgeable about
it" (25:59). The Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) , for those who issued fatwa without
knowledge: "Could not they have asked if they did know? The cure for the
confused one is to ask." However, we did not mention all of the above
evidence to show who can and who cannot be a scholar. Our research is with
regards to those few who are considered to be People of Knowledge....Taqleed is
upon the common person and the ignorant one. The scholars, who can search for
the evidence, are excluded from this group. They are the ones whose
responsibility is not to do Taqleed. Rather, their responsibility is to perform