TAQLEED AND ITS REJECTORS
The objective of Taqleed is ease in following the Qur’an and Hadith.
The rejectors of taqleed whose flag is shakily held by the group that calls itself the Salafiyyoon/Salafiyyah insolently dub taqleed as “blind following”.
‘Blind’ bears the following connotations*:
- Without foresight, discernment, intellectual perception or adequate information
- Not governed by purpose or reason
The very nature of taqleed demands discernment, intellectual perception and adequate information because developing a favorable opinion that a certain Mujtahid Imam is qualified in the Islamic sciences and worthy of being followed is dependent on these factors. Taqleed can, therefore, never be blind following in this sense.
The objective and purpose of taqleed have been clarified earlier. The accusation of taqleed being blind following in the sense of not being governed by reason or purpose is therefore palpably false.
When the Muqallid(Follower or person who makes taqleed) follows an Imam or Madhhab he understands it to be a trustworthy guide and the safest course to obedience to the commands of Allah (swt) and the teachings or Sunna of the Messenger (saw). He concedes his lack of competence in understanding the Qur’an and hadith. Resorting to a self-study of the Book and the Hadith and forming his own opinion is akin to bartering away his faith. He thus opts for the safest and surest way to the obedience and pleasure of Allah and his Messenger (saw) which is Taqleed. Is this being reckless? Is this blind following? May Allah save us from the deception of Satan and the evil schemes of the Nafs. Amin.
When none of the connotations of ‘blind’ portray the true (meaning of) taqleed, the usage of this word in relation to the same is crass ignorance or malicious obstinacy. May Allah save us from the evils of the tongue and the Nafs.
The taqleed of taqleed-rejectors:
As far as the taqleed rejectors are concerned, it should be understood that according to their own principle (of taqleed being haram) it is impossible for them to practise on the hadith. This is because practising on hadith is only possible through taqleed of the scholars in the issue of the traditions being rigorously authenticated (sahih), weak (da’if), imperative for following (wajib al-‘amal), Mustahab (allowed) or impermissible.
And it is obvious that this is strict taqleed in the laws of the Shari’ah. Doubtless, the question of a hadith being incumbent for practice or vice versa or disallowed for practice or vice versa is an issue pertaining to ahkaam. It is for this reason that the jurists discuss the various laws governing the Sunna – its acceptance, rejection, employment, relaxation and the rules pertaining to the narrators – in Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh; these issues being elements of Ahkaam (Laws).
When the rejectors reject taqleed then what gives them the right to make taqleed of the hadith scholars in these issues and on what basis do they declare the views and juristic reasoning of the traditionists in the field of hadith classification to be a conclusive evidence in the Shari’ah?
*Reader’s digest Oxford complete word-finder.
Corrected and taken from 'Taqleed and Salafism' by Jami'at al-'Ulama, Gauteng.