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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
  When Is Ijtihad or Taqlid Binding?
Author: Shaykh Muhammad Eed Abbaasee
Source: Bidah at-Taassubul-Madhhabee (pp.13-14)
Article ID : MNJ060004  [19342]  

(Shaykh Muhammad Eed Abbaasee is one of Shaykh Albanee's old students who was released from prison in syria about 3 years ago after being imprisoned for 20 years)

Our view is that it is upon every Muslim to follow that which Allaah,the Most Perfect, commanded in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. This is the purity of Islaam and the true reality of faith. No Muslim can ever be displeased with following what comes from Allaah and His Messenger; as He, the Most Perfect, said:

The only saying of the Believers, when they are called to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam to judge between them, is: We hear and we obey. They are the ones that are successful. [Soorah an-Noor 24:51].

And Allaah said concerning the Hypocrites:

And when it is said to them: Come to what Allaah has revealed and to the Messenger; you see the Hypocrites turn away from you in aversion. [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:61].

As well as other Verses like this.

So following the Book and the Sunnah is obligatory, and it should be made the fundamental goal for every Muslim; this is the path that should be traversed. However, the people are of differing types with regards to understanding and comprehension. So from them is the ignorant one (jaahil) who does not understand the meanings of the Glorious Book and the noble hadeeth; nor does he have the ability to deduce [rulings] from them; nor can he comprehend what is sought from them. From them is the scholar who has understanding (fiqh) of the Verses and the hadeeth and is aware of what rulings can be deduced from them; he has the ability to deal with the apparent differences between them;and he understands the arabic language and its ways. And from them are those that are [at a level] between this. They are not ignorant; nor do they have the understanding to derive rulings; nor do they have the ability to understand what is being indicated to by the text; rather, they have some knowledge, awareness, understanding and contemplation. However, they do not reach the level of the scholar and the one who has penetrating insight of the Book and the Sunnah. So these are the levels of the people; and between them there are many varying grades.

The scholars call the first type of people muqallidoon (those who do taqleed), the second type are technically referred to as mujtahidoon (those who do ijtihaad), and the third type are technically referred to as muttabioon (those who follow). The obligation upon the people of the first type is to make taqleed of any scholar of the Book and the Sunnah, who is reliable in his knowledge and Religion. The obligation upon the second type of people is to make ijtihaad in understanding what is indicated by [the texts of] the Book and the Sunnah, and [then] to follow it and to direct the people upon it.The obligation upon the third type is to make ittibaa (lit. follow) of the Shareeah evidences that they are aware of, from the statements of the scholars. And whoever has the ability to perform ijtihaad, then taqleed and ittibaa of others is not lawful to him, except in cases of necessity.

Whoever has the ability to perform ittibaa then taqleed and ijtihaad are not lawful for him. Whoever does not have the ability to perform ijtihaad nor ittibaa then taqleed is obligatory upon him. The proof for this is that the basic principle (asl) upon everyone is to make ittibaa of the Book and the Sunnah, if they have the ability; just as Allaah, the Most Perfect, said:

Make ittibaa of what has has been sent down from your Lord, and do not make ittibaa of friends and protectors other than Him. [Soorah al-Araaf 7:3].

Take what the Messenger gives you, and abstain from that which he prohibits you. [Soorah al-Hashr 59:9].

So if the Muslim does not have the ability to understand the Book and the Sunnah and to deduce rulings from them, then he descends to the level of ittibaa. If he does not have the ability for this, then he descends to the lowest level, which is taqleed...


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