Quarterly: Issue No 72
TAQLEED - ITS PRINCIPLES IS BASED ON THE QURAN
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, and peace and
blessings of Allah be upon His beloved Messenger Muhammad, his family
and all his companions. Ameen.
What is Taqleed? In Islamic terminology, Taqleed is the following of the opinions of any one of the
four Schools of Thought viz. Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali.
was founded by Imam Nu'maan ibn Thaabit Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).
was founded by Imam Muhammad bin Idrees Al-Shafe’i (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).
The Maliki School was
founded by Imam Malik bin Anas (Rahmatullahi
was founded by Imam Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).
May the choicest mercy
of Allah be upon them all. Ameen.
The main purpose of the Religion of Islam
is to obey Allah alone in all spheres of our lives. It is incumbent and obligatory upon all
Muslims to follow our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him) because he interpreted and practised the commands
of Allah completely and in great detail. By
obeying the Messenger of Allah we are in fact obeying the commands of Allah. It is for this very reason that Allah says
in the Glorious Qur’an:
WHOEVER OBEYED THE MESSENGER,
HE HAS INDEED OBEYED ALLAH. (Surah An-Nisaa: 80)
Therefore, if a person claims to be obeying
the commands of any other person besides Allah, then he is in complete error
and is not fit for the title of 'Muslim'. The
question may then be asked: Why then should we make Taqleed? We follow the teachings of the Islamic
Jurists (Fuqaha) solely with the belief and intention
that because they were very obedient to the laws of the Shari’ah, their
teachings will also conform to the Shari’ah. We follow
their teachings with complete trust in them for their immense knowledge,
understanding and insight into the Qur’an and Ahaadith.
Thus, following the teachings of any one of the four great Imams (Fuqaha) will
essentially be following the Shari’ah. The only so-called 'abnormality' being
that we have made the great Imams our mediators. But this
is the price we have to pay because of our lack of those qualities, both
intellectual and spiritual to understand the real essence of the Shari’ah.
Those self-proclaimed 'scholars' who
interpret the Quranic verses incorrectly according to their own limited
knowledge and imagination and underestimate or reject the Ahaadith will never be able to follow the Shari’ah in
They instead, being deficient in the
necessary qualities and morals, will be guilty of the heinous crime of
following their own lowly desires. Their
claim to follow the Qur’an in this state will be useless. Instead of being guided aright, they will
be led astray. As Allah says:
BY IT (i.e. THE QURAN) HE CAUSES
MANY TO GO ASTRAY AND BY IT MANY HE LEADS ONTO THE RIGHT PATH. BUT HE CAUSES NOT TO LEAD ASTRAY EXCEPT
THE EVIL ONES. (Surah AI-Baqarah:
The following of one's lowly desires and deliberately
making mischief is highly condemned by Allah in the Qur’an. To quote a few verses, read the following
wherein Allah says:
AND HE FOLLOWED HIS LOWLY
DESIRES, THEN HE IS SIMILAR TO THE DOG. IF YOU ATTACK HIM HE LOLLS OUT HIS TONGUE
OR IF YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE, HE (STILL) LOLLS OUT HIS TONGUE.
(Surah AI-A'raaf: 116)
In another verse, the following of one's
lowly desires is compared to a form of idol worship. Allah says:
HAVE YOU NOT SEEN HIM WHO HAS
TAKEN FOR HIS GOD HIS LOWLY DESIRES.
(Surah Al-Jaathiyah: 23)
In another verse Allah says:
AND DO NOT FOLLOW THE LOWLY
DESIRES AS IT WILL LEAD YOU ASTRAY FROM THE PATH OF ALLAH. (Surah Saad: 26)
Nevertheless, the permissibility or perhaps
the necessity (wujoob) of TAQLEED (i.e. following the teachings
of the Islamic Jurists) is evident from the Holy Qur’an itself as outlined below. How then can such an
act be SHIR-K
(Polytheism). Those who say so have
not studied the Qur’an thoroughly. It is
only a claim that they are Quranic Scholars. Let such
so-called Quranic scholars ponder over the following verses of the Holy Qur’an
wherein Allah says:
IT IS NOT DESIRABLE THAT ALL
OF THE BELIEVERS TAKE THE FIELD (IN TIME OF WAR). FROM
WITHIN EVERY GROUP IN THEIR MIDST, SOME SHALL REFRAIN FROM GOING FORTH TO WAR,
AND SHALL EXERT THEMSELVES IN ACQUIRING
A DEEPER KNOWLEDGE OF THE RELIGION. AND TEACH THEIR HOME COMING BRETHREN SO THAT
THEY TOO MIGHT GUARD THEMSELVES AGAINST EVIL. (Surah
The verb FAQIHA means to comprehend or understand.
Therefore FIQH means comprehension. It is for
this very reason that FIQH is the name given to the whole science of Islamic
Jurisprudence because it implies the exercise of intelligence in deciding a
point of law not specified explicitly in the
Qur’an or the Prophetic Tradition. The
very permission of exercising one's intelligence is granted by Allah, the Most
High, in the verse just quoted above.
This verse shows us the very essence and principle of FIQH.
In the verse just quoted above, Allah uses the words LI-YATAFAQQAHOO FID DEEN meaning 'so that they shall exert themselves in
acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Religion'. Allah the Most High did not use the
that they shall acquire the knowledge of the Religion'. But Allah
uses the word TAFAQQUH instead of TA'ALLUM. This is
not an accidental usage of words. It is used specifically to convey the
message to us that mere acquisition
of Islamic knowledge is not enough because this task is and has been done by
many Jews and Christians, Satan acquiring the most of it. What Allah is emphasizing here is the
exertion of one's self in the understanding and comprehension (Fiqh) of the knowledge of our Religion. This is what is meant by the word TAFAQQUH and it
is this word from which FIQH is derived.
Another point worth noting is that Allah
did not use the
i.e. to understand the Islamic Religion. But instead he used the more emphatic LI-YATAFAQQAHOO
i.e. to exert oneself with all efforts to understand the Islamic Religion.
This means that we should exert ourselves
and use our intelligence to understand from the Islamic education that all our
speech and actions will be accountable on the Day of Resurrection. We should exert ourselves in understanding
how we should spend our life on earth in view of our accountability. This is
what is meant by the word TAFAQQUH. It must be emphasized that TAFAQQUH was the
very basis on which the great Islamic Jurists (Fuqaha)
worked, and it was on this very basis that the enormous wealth of Islamic
Jurisprudence came into being. That
is why it is called FIQH.
In another verse of the Quran, Allah the Most High says:
AND IF THEY WOULD BUT REFER
IT UNTO THE MESSENGER AND UNTO THOSE FROM AMONG THE BELIEVERS WHO HAVE BEEN
ENTRUSTED WITH AUTHORITY, SUCH OF THEM AS ARE ENGAGED IN OBTAINING INTELLIGENCE
WOULD INDEED KNOW. (Surah AI-Nisaa: 83)
Specifically this verse refers to
the information received about peace treaties and wars. The Muslims are ordered to refer the
information to the Holy Prophet and to those who are in authority so that they
could give the correct meaning and interpretation of the information. Generally, this
verse applies to the great Islamic Jurists (Fuqaha) who
have explained and given many inner meanings and interpretations of the verses
of the Qur’an, and have deduced laws based on the spirit of the Qur’an and Ahaadith.
In yet another verse, Allah the Most High
AND FOLLOW THE PATH
OF THOSE WHO TURN TOWARDS ME. (Surah Luqman: 75).
Once again the concept of Taqleed is explicitly mentioned here. Did those great Islamic Jurists (Fuqaha) not turn towards Allah? How then
can following the teachings of such pious and learned scholars be
SHIR-K (Polytheism)? Let those who say so read the Noble Qur’an with an unbiased mind free from all
types of jealousy and hatred for the illustrious Jurists and Ulama of Islam. Sadly,
their desire for leadership has blinded their intelligence.
Allah the Most High again says:
0 YOU WHO BELIEVE! OBEY ALLAH AND OBEY THE MESSENGER AND OBEY
THOSE FROM AMONGST YOU (BELIEVERS) WHO ARE ENTRUSTED WITH AUTHORITY. (Surah AI-Nisaa: 59)
In this verse, Allah has commanded us to
obey Him, His messenger and even the Muslim rulers
or Caliphs provided they rule by the bounds of the Shari’ah. In this un-Islamic age of ours with many
western-orientated scholars, can we include them in the category of those
entrusted with authority? Is it not
better and safer to include the Islamic Jurists (Fuqaha)
and follow their teachings than to follow today's westernized 'scholars' who are influenced
by the whispers of Satan?
In another verse Allah the Most High says:
AND FOLLOW THE CREED
OF IBRAHEEM WHO TURNED AWAY FROM ALL THAT IS FALSE. (Surah Ali-Imraan: 95).
Allah the Most High also says:
AND WE MADE THEM LEADERS
WHO USED TO GUIDE OTHERS BY OUR COMMAND, AND WE INSPIRED THEM TO
DO GOOD WORKS. (Surah AI-Anbiya: 73).
For the prophets to be leaders, others had
to follow them as is evident from the verses just quoted above. Here again the spirit and principle of Taqleed is evident. Therefore, whatever Allah the Most High
commands us to do can never be regarded as SHIR-K. Let this be clearly known to these so-called ‘Quranic Scholars’.
Thus, we have seen from some of the many
verses of the Noble Qur’an that TAQLEED
i.e. following the teachings of one of the great Islamic Jurists viz. Imam Abu Haneefa, Imam Shafi'i, Imam Malik or Imam Hanbal,
is completely in accordance with the spirit of the Qur’an itself. Let us
not be misled by such mischief-makers who like to cling to their lustful
desires and create FITNAH and confusion amongst innocent Muslims.
Finally, it must be noted that the main sources of Islamic
Law, in order of their priority, are as follows:
1. The Glorious Quran
Sunnah (i.e. the authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad - SAW)
3. Ijmaa' (i.e. the
consensus of opinion of the companions of the Holy Prophet on certain specific
matters in Islam)
(i.e. judgement upon juristic analogy)
The enormous wealth of Islamic
Jurisprudence came into existence via the last source i.e. Qiyaas. What is Qiyaas? Imam Muhammad bin Idrees AI-Shafe’i (Rahmatullahi
Alayhi) very clearly explained it in his famous book called Al-Risaalah as follows:
"For every issue concerning a Muslim,
either there is a binding text (in the Qur’an and Ahaadith)
that rules it, or there is a
guidance that indicates the way to the truth. If there
is a text, then the Muslim has to follow it. In the
case where there is no text directly applicable, then he has to seek guidance
to the truth by way of Al-Ijtihaad. Al-Ijtihaad is Qiyaas."
May Allah, the Glorified and Exalted,
us all on the Right Path. Ameen.
Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in
Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Kyalami Glen, Gauteng
Johannesburg, South Africa