Definition of Taqlid
Ibn Humam said in his Tahrir as quoted from Shawkani in his “Irshad ul Fuhul”: “Taqlid is acting on the action of someone whose saying is not among Hujjah without prove.”
Also in “Muthalam uth Thubut” p 289 it is said that following Quran, Hadith, Ijma’, Qadhi making judgment based on testimony of witness, laymen coming to a scholar is not Taqlid.
Imam Ash-Shawkani said that accepting narrations of narrators is also not Taqlid, because there are proofs that justify accepting narrations from trustworthy narrators of this community. It is like accepting their testimony. There is no Taqlid in Khabar, only in Fatwa. So it is the right of human beings to tell this one informed me of such and such and we should accept his narration if the conditions are met, yet for saying this matter is Wajib or Haram, then it is the right of Allah, and humans can only say this with a proof, so accepting the Fatwa without Dalil is Taqlid, and accepting the narration or testimony of someone is not Taqlid.
Imam Ash-Shafi’i used word Taqlid for following the Prophet (saw), but as explained by Shafi’i scholars, he did not mean the Istilahi meaning of Taqlid, but accepting his saying without questions as said by Ar-Ruwiyani in al Bahr (“Bahr ul Muhit” v 6 p 271) as quoted by Ash-Shawkani.
Deobandis and Taqlid Shaksi
Deobandis declare Taqlid Shaksi obligatory, meaning people should only follow one scholar, and they even make it obligatory on the scholar other than Mujtahid. So for them it is forbidden for the layman to ask different scholars of different Madhab, also a scholar cannot act on the Quran and Hadith, but he should take a Madhab of one of the four famous Imams and should not leave it, even if it opposes Quran, Sunnah and other Imams acted upon it.
These are words of Mahmud ul Hasan Deobandi in his “Taqrir At-Tirmidhi”, published by Maktabah Rahmaniya Lahore, p 49. This edition is in the beginning of “Sunnan At-Tirmidhi” with “Urf ush-Shazi” of Anwar Shah Kashmiri.
In the “Taqrir Ut T-Tirmidhi”, it is said in chapter of transactions (Buyu’) on the subject on Khyar ul Majlis
“What is obtained is that the topic of khyar is among important topics and Abu Hanifah contradicted in it the majority and a lot of people from the first and later generations, they wrote rasail in refutation of his (Abu Hanifah) Madhab on this topic and Maulana Shah Waliyullah Muhadith gave preference (Tarjih) in his Rasail to the Madhab of Ash-Shafi’i taking evidence from the Ahadith and Nusus, and the same our Shaykh gave preference (Tarjih) to his Madhab and said the truth and justice in this topic is to give preference to Ash-Shafi’i and we are Muqalid and the Taqlid of our Imam Abu Hanifah is obligatory (Wajib) upon us. Allah knows best”
Shaykh Zubayr ali Zay p 26-27 of his Risalah “Deen me taqleed ka masalah” quoted more Deobandis saying that the Hujjah for the Muqalid is the saying of his Imam and not Quran and Hadith.
There is an authentic Hadith in the two “Sahih” saying that the one who catches one Rak’ah of the prayer of Subh before the rising (Tulu’) of the sun, he has caught the prayer of Subh, and Mufti Rashid Ahmad Al-Ludhiyanvi said in this topic :
“With this our fatwa and action will remain on the saying of Imam (rahimahullah Ta’ala), because we are Muqalid of Imam (rahimahullah Ta’ala) and for the Muqalid the saying of (his) Imam is Hujjah and not the four Adilah (proofs), and taking a proof (istidlal) with them (four Adilah : Quran, Hadith, Ijma, Qias) is the Wazifah (action) of the Mujtahid”(“Irshad ul Qari ila Sahih ul Bukhari” p 412)
In the same book p 288, Ludhiyanvi said : “People of innovation leave Hanafi Fiqh doing Istidlal with Quran and Hadith, and to consulate earths we use this methodology (doing istidlal with Quran and Hadith), else for the Muqalid only the saying of (his) Imam is Hujjah”
In his “Ahsanul Fatawa” v 3 p 50, he added : “We have written this detailed explanation Tabaru’an, else turning to the Hadith is not the action (Wazifah) of the Muqalid”
Qadhi Zahid Al-Husayni Deobandi said in introduction of the book “Wafa Imam Abu Hanifah” of Abdul Qayum Haqqani”:
“While for the Muqalid the final proof is the saying of the Mujtahid as said in “Muthalam uth-Thubut” : “As for the Muqalid, his base is the saying of the Mujtahid”“
Mahmud ul Hasan Deobandi asked Ahlul Hadith : “You ask us a proof (Dalil) for the obligation of Taqlid, and we ask you a proof for the obligation of Itba’ Muhammadi and the obligation of Itba’ Qurani”(“Adilah Kamilah” p 75)
Hanafi scholars rejecting Taqlid Shaksi
Contrary to the Deobandi, many Hanafi scholars rejected Taqlid Shaksi for the layman and scholars. They clearly said that the layman has no Madhab, and a scholar can leave his Madhab if he sees stronger proofs with another Madhab and judge with Hadith. The quotes below are taken from “Haqiqat ul Fiqh” of Maulana Jepuri, who quoted in most cases from ”Mi’yar ul Haqq” of Allamah Nadhir Husayn Ad-Dehlawi.
Allamah Al-Bahari said in his “Muthalam uth-Thubut”:
“Then there is no Wajib except what Allah (Ta’ala) has made Wajib, and the Hukm belongs to Him, and He did not make Wajib on anybody to take a particular Madhab from men among Imams, making it Wajib is a Tashri’ (legislation) of a new law”
In “’Iqd ul Farid” Mulla Hasan Ash-Shurunbulali Al-Hanafi said:
“We conclude from what we said, it is not compulsory for the human being to make Iltizam (sticking) to a particular Madhab”
Ibn Humam Al-Hanafi said in his “Fath ul Qadir”:
“There is no proof for the obligation of following one particular Mujtahid by making his soul Lazim to this saying or that saying, rather the proof necessitates action upon the saying of (any) Mujtahid in what he needs because of saying of Allah : “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know”
He said in his “Tahrir”:
“And there is no Wajib except what Allah and His Prophet (saw) have made Wajib, and Allah and His Prophet (saw) did not make Wajib upon anybody among people to take a Madhab among Madhab of people from Imams and he makes Taqlid of them in his religion in all what occurs to him and he leaves other (Imams)”
Maulana Abdul ‘Ali Bahr Al Ulum in his Sharh of “Musalam Ath-Thubut” wrote :
“Al-‘Iraqi said, there is consensus on the fact that he who becomes Muslim, then it is upon him to make Taqlid of whoever he wants among scholars without any blame, and there is consensus of Sahabah that one who sought a Fatwa from Abu Bakr and Umar, the two emir al Muminin, then he can seek the Fatwa from Abu Hurayrah and Mu’az ibn Jabal and others without any blame”
In his Sharh of “Tahrir”, Maulana Bahr ul Ulum wrote :
“Know that Taklif (religious charge) from the Legislator is nothing but action on the Fatwa of a Mujtahid, and singling out one Mujtahid for action on his fatwa without other Mujtahid, this is Tahakum ( judging) and it is not considered ( la Yultafatu ilayhi), rather it is a Taghayur (alteration) of the Hukm of the Legislator without any proof (Burhan).”
Mulla Ali Qari said in “Kitab Shar’ Aynul Ilm” :
“And it is known that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) did not make Taklif upon anybody to be Hanafi, or Maliki, or Shafi’i or Hanbali, rather he made Taklif upon acting on the Sunnah”
Allamah At-Tahtawi Al-Hanafi said in “Qawl us Sadid”
“Know that Allah did not made Taklif upon anyone among his slaves of being Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i or Hanbali, and He made Wajib knowledge of religion with which Sayduna Muhammad (saw) was sent and to act on his Shari’ah”
Mirza Mazhar Jan Jannan, considered by the Deobandis as a Naqshabandi saint said, as in his “Kalimat ut Taybah”, in “Maktubat Mirza Mazhar Jan Jannan” :
“Following (Ittiba’) the Prophet (saw) is Wajib upon every individual, and among Imams, none of their Ittiba’ is Wajib”
Mulla ‘Abid As-Sindhi al-Hanafi said in “Tawali’ ul Anwar Hashiyah Dur ul Mukhtar”
“And the obligation of the Taqlid of a particular Madhab, there is no proof (to justify it) neither from Naql (religious texts) nor from ‘Aql (Qiyas and others)” (as quoted in “Irshad ila Sabil ir Rashad”)
Mulla Jewaan said in his “Tafsir Ahmadi”:
“It is permissible from him to make Intiqal (change) from one Madhab to another, as it is quoted from a lot of Awliya, and it is permissible for him to act in a case on a Madhab and in another (case) on another Madhab, as it is the Madhab of the Sufis”
Qadhi Thanaullah Pani Pati said in his “Tafsir ul Mazhari”:
“I say about acting on Hadith, the condition is that any of four Imams did act on it”
Said Ismail Shah, great son of Shah Waliyullah, said in his book “Tanwirul ‘Aynayn”:
“People have made Ghulu (exaggeration) in Taqlid and Ta’assub in making iItizam to Taqlid to one particular individual, until they forbade Ijtihad in a case, and forbade Taqlid of other than their Imam in some cases, and this is a serious disease that destroyed Shi’ah and these people are also close to destruction”
Ahmad As-Sirhindi said in his “Makutbat” v 2 p 23:
“Our Peers did not taught us Bid’ah (innovation), they did not put us in the misguidance of their Taqlid, They (our peers) did not told us anything except the Sunnah of the Messenger (saw), and except Ittiba’ of the Messenger, they did not taught us anything”
End of the quotes from “Haqiqat ul Fiqh”
Allamah ibn ‘Abidin Ash-Shaami said in “Rad ul Muhtar” explanation of “Dur ul Mukhtar”, also called “Fatawa Shaami”, edition Dar Ihya Turathil Arabi
In vol 1 p 130 , Chapter : Taqlid of inferior is permissible in presence of superior.
“Know that it is mentioned in Tahrir (of Ibn Humam) and its explanation the permissibility of Taqlid of the inferior (Mafdul) in presence of the superior (Fadil)….
Then they (scholars) mentioned about Iltizam to one particular Madhab as (the Madhab of) Abu Hanifah or Ash-Shafi’i, it has been said it is Lazim (necessary) for him (to make iltizam), and it has been said it is not Lazim for him, and this is more authentic.
And it has been propagated that the ‘Aami (layman) has no Madhab
When you know this it becomes evident for you that what is mentioned by An-Nasafi about the obligation of believing that his Madhab is right and has possibility of mistake, is based on the fact that Taqlid of the inferior is not permissible and Iltizam of his Madhab is Lazim for him (according to An-Nassafi) and this is not for the ‘Aami (layman).
I saw in the end of Fatawa Fiqhyah of Ibn Hajar (Al-Haytami) affirming some of that: he was asked about the saying of An-Nasafi mentioned and he claimed that the Shafi’i Imams said the same. Then he said this is for the weak, the one for whom there is Taqlid of more knowledgeable without other. And what is more authentic is that he has choice of Taqlid of whoever he wants even inferior if he thinks so, then he cannot know definitively or with Zann, that he is right. Rather for the Muqalid, he should believe that what his Imam said, it is possible to be right. Ibn Hajar said: Then I saw the Muhaqiq ibn Humam affirming what supports this where he said in his Sharh Hidayah that if the ‘Aami (layman) takes what comes in his heart as being right, that is better, and based on this, if he asks two Mujtahids and difference occurs to him, the best is to take what his heart leans to from them. And for me even if he does not take from the saying his hearts leans to, it is permissible, because his leaning and not leaning are same. And what is Wajib for him is the Taqlid of a Mujtahid and he did that.” End of Ash-Shaami’s words
In the chapter: “Ruling of Taqlid and returning from it (Ruju’s ‘anhu)”, p 163, about the Muqalid who follows a particular Madhab and changes sometimes:
“If one prays one day according to a Madhab and he wants to pray another day according to another, then he is not prevented from that…the conclusion is what we mentioned that there is no Iltizam for the human being to a particular Madhab and that it is permissible to act on what opposes what he acted on his Madhab, making Taqlid of other than his Imam taking his (other Imam) conditions…”
Also in chapter “When the Hadith is authentic this is my Madhab”, ibn ‘Abidin clearly said that one is still Hanafi when he follows an authentic Hadith from other than his Imam and Madhab, and he said this is for people of Nadhar knowing abrogated Hadith. So there is no condition of being a Mujtahid Mutlaq for a Muhadith to act on a Hadith. Any Muhadith who has knowledge of Nasikh and Mansukh can act on a Hadith opposing his Imam, contrary to what Muta’assib scholars say by adding from themselves this condition of Ijtihad Mutlaq.
Allamah Fulani quoted in his “Iqadh ul Himam”:
In “Bahr Ur Raiq” it is said : “Taqlid of any Mujtahid he desires is permissible, and if he takes a Madhab like nowadays, then he has right to make Intiqal (change)”
And the Shaykh of our Mashaykh, Muhammad Hayat As-Sindhi said (about that) : What he (ibn Nujaym told) is what upon which there is justified by the Book and the Sunnah and the saying of the best scholars from old time and those following them, and there is no value to the saying opposing this, and every saying that opposes the Book, the Sunnah, the saying of the scholars that are Sudur of the religion, then it is rejected, and I don’t think there is in him (the one opposing the Book, Sunnah and ancient scholars) except lack of knowledge and a lot of Ta’assub, and Allah gives Tawfiq to what He loves and is satisfied with.”
The Shaykh of our Mashaykh, The Muhaqiq Abul Hasan As Sindhi in his Hashiyah of “Fath ul Qadir” on his saying (of ibn Humam) that the ruling for the layman is the Fatwa of a Mufti, extended that Ta’ayyun (distingishing) of a particular Madhab is not for the layman, because of his lack of guidance to what is better …The Wajib upon him is to take the saying of a scholar he trusts in the religion, because of His saying : “Ask people of Zikr (knowledge) if you do not know” and similar to this has been said in “Bahr” after he quoted from Al-Muhit long extracts extending (on subject), and we know from this that the Madhab of the layman is the Fatwa of his Mufti without condition of a Madhab, and this has been said in “Fath ul Qadir” : The ruling for the layman is the Fatwa of his Mufti.”
Al-Fulani quoted elsewhere in book :
”The Shaykh of our Mashaykh, Muhammad Hayat As-Sindhi said : It is Lazim for the Muslim to makes efforts in order to know the meanings of the Quran and to follows Ahadith, and to understands their meanings, and to take the Ahkam from them, and if he cannot do that then he should do Taqlid of the scholars without Iltizam to a Madhab because it resembles the fact of taking him as a Prophet…and the Iltizam to a particular (Madhab) that people of our time have invented, and they do not consider that it is not permissible for anyone to make Intiqal from one Madhab to another, then this is great ignorance, innovation, … We see them leaving some authentic Hadiths that are not abrogated and they are sticking to their Madhab without Isnad, Ina Lillahi wa Ina Ilahi Raji’un. “
After these quotes of Al-Fulani, we can see that Abu Bakr Al-Jassas Al-Hanafi in his book “Usul al-Jassas” even forbade Taqlid for anyone. In the chapter called: “The saying about the obligation of Nadhar and blame of Taqlid”, he mentioned a dialogue with a Muqalid, he said:
“It is said to him (Muqalid): Tell us about your saying that Taqlid is obligatory, do you know whether this Madhab (of obligation of Taqlid) is authentic or not?
If he says: I do not know its authenticity, then he has decided on his belief (of obligation of Taqlid) with falsehood, because it is not permissible for anybody to believe in the authenticity of something and he does not know whether it is authentic or false.
If he says: I know its authenticity, then it is said to him: with proof (Dalil) or without proof?
And if he says: I know with proof, then it is said to him: How do you know its authenticity? If he says I know with proof, it is said to him: you have left Taqlid and came to Nadhar.”
Allamah Al-Jassas wrote further:
“It is said to him what is the proof (of Taqlid)? If he claims a Nass (text) or Ittifaq (of scholars), then I do not find it. If he turns to Taqlid (to justify Taqlid) and says: “My Hujjah in proving Taqlid is itself” then he said falsehood, because a point cannot be a proof for itself…
It is said to him: If it is permissible for him (to be on error), you are not free of being on falsehood in your Taqlid of him, you believe in his Madhab and you are not upon knowledge about the authenticity of your saying and the falsehood of your opponent’s saying.
Allah forbade this in His saying “And follow not that of which you have no knowledge” (Isra 36)
And He said “[Shaytan (Satan)] commands you only what is evil and Fahsha (sinful), and that you should say against Allah what you know not” (Baqarah 169)
If one out of stupidity were to say: I say about (the obligation of) Taqlid following the Salaf, they have ordered us to make Ittiba’ and warned us against innovation and following Ray, it is said to him: you have done approximation on what the Salaf said (Zann, you have not said their Madhab, but done an estimation), because they used Nadhar and Ray in their matters. Nobody denies this except someone extremely ignorant and stupid.
Let’s say, we agree to your claim about the Salaf, tell us from where do you establish the obligation of the Taqlid of the Salaf in what you mentioned?
If he says: I know they do not gather upon error, then it is said to him: From where did you establish the authenticity of the Kitab, and he won’t have any solution except to return to establish Nadhar and proofs from reason (‘Uqul)… and one who is on this way, he does not say with Taqlid, because he said with the Taqlid of the Salaf on what they have made Ijma’ upon, because there is a proof on the authenticity of their Ijma’, this is from what is not followed except with proof, and in this there is the establishment of Nadhar and destruction of Taqlid, upon whose authenticity there is no proof
Allah insisted upon (the use of) the reason (‘Uqul) and the denial of Taqlid and the establishment of Nadhar, as he gave clear texts in His Book ordering Nadhar and Istidlal: “Fa’tabiru ya Ulil Absar ” (Ponder O people of intelligence), and I’tibar (pondering) is Nadhar and Istidlal.
And He said: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. “(Nisa 59)
And He said: “Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)? “(Muhammad (saw) 24)
And His Saying: “Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions “(Nisa 82)
And He said: “Have they not travelled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith to understand and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind “(Hajj 46)
And He said: “Or have they taken for worship (other) aliha (gods) besides Him? Say: “Bring your proof:” This (the Qur’an) is the Reminder for those with me and the Reminder for those before me. But most of them know not the Truth, so they are averse” (Anbiyah 24)
End of Al-Jassas’ words. The Ayat of the Quran have been quoted fully while Al-Jassas only quoted some parts.
Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali wrote in his “Mustasfa”, edition Muasisah Al-Risalah vol 2 p 367 and after:
“If there is only one Mufti in the country, then it is obligatory for the layman to turn to him. If there is a group, then he should ask whoever he wants, and it is not Lazim for him to turn to the most knowledgeable, like it happened at the time of Sahabah when laymen were asking superior and inferior, and they were not prevented from asking a Fatwa to other than Abu Bakr, Umar and other than the rightly guided caliphs.
Some people said that turning to the superior is obligatory, and if they are equal, then he has the choice (to turn to whomever he wants). And this opposes the Ijma’ of the Sahabah that they were not preventing (anyone) to ask a Fatwa to superior over inferior, rather it is only obligatory for him to turn to the one he knows with knowledge and integrity…
Yes, if two Muftis differ in a verdict, if they are equal, then he comes back to them and says: “Your Fatwa oppose each other and you are equal for me, what should I do?”
If they both give him choice, then he chooses, and if they agree on one point out of precaution, or agree to turn to one position, then he does that. And if they remain upon difference, then there remains nothing but choosing, there is no way to negate the ruling, and no one is prior to other, because the Imams are like stars, whoever you follow you will be guided.
If one of them is superior and has more knowledge in his (layman) belief, then Qadhi (Al-Baqilani) chose that he also has choice, because the inferior is also from the people of Ijtihad even if he is alone, same if there is someone with him, increase of value does not have any effect.
And the best for me is that it is Lazim for him to make ittiba’ of the superior. Whoever thinks that Ash-Shafi’i and his Madhab are right in most cases, then he should not take the Madhab opposing it with desire”
Al-Ghazali further wrote:
And it is not for layman to take in every matter what is better according to him, so he makes it larger (meaning he takes with desire what is easier), but this is Tarjih (giving preference) as Tarjih between two contradictory proofs for the Mufti, as he follows his Zann (opinion) in Tarjih, the same here.
Even if the Mujtahid is right, but error is possible with Ghaflah from a decisive proof or with verdict before complete Ijtihad and looking in deep. And error of more knowledgeable is further, but not impossible.
And in this Tahqiq (verification), we believe that there is a secret for Allah in making his slaves return to their Zann (opinion) so they are not following and leaning to their Hawa (desire), left like are left walking animals without their having rope of Taklif (religious charge), so they turn from one side to another…
We did not stop from being Qadir to attach them with a rule (choosing with Zann), and this is better than their choosing and leaning (with desire) like animals and children.
And when we are not capable (to choose) in the contradiction between two Muftis and their being equal, or when two proofs (dalil) oppose each other, then this (referring to Zann) is necessary…
It is not for him (layman) to contradict Zann with desire, this is what is authentic for us…”
End of Al-Ghazali’s words
So one can see that Al-Ghazali does not consider sticking to one Madhab as obligatory, rather he believes that the layman should follow his Zann when two Muftis differ, and only if he believes one to be more knowledgeable like if he believes Ash-Shafi’i to be more knowledgeable, then the best for Al-Ghazali is that the layman should take Ash-Shafi’i’s Madhab and not oppose it with desire.
Lets have a look now at Al-Amidi’s saying in his “Ihkam” v 3 p 256, chapter Taqlid, Masalah number 8:
“Has he (the layman) the right to make Ittiba’ of another Mujtahid in another ruling. There is difference (of opinions) in this, some forbade this, some allowed it, and this is the truth considering the Ijma that happened with the Sahabah in permitting the layman to ask the Fatwa to all scholars in a case. And it has not been said from any of Salaf that they prevented the layman from this. If this was forbidden then why did Sahabah omit its prevention and remained silent from objecting to it?
If the layman restricts to a particular Madhab, like the Madhab of Ash-Shafi’i or Abu Hanifah or other than them, (and) he says : I am upon his Madhab and makes Iltizam to it, then has he got right to return (from it) and take another’s saying in a case among cases?
There is difference (of opinions) in this. Some people gave him the permission considering that his Iltizam to one Madhab is not Lazim for him, and other forbade that because his making it Lazim makes it Lazim for him…
The chosen view for me is to make the distinction (Tafsil) : If he acted on any topic on the first Madhab, then he cannot make Taqlid of another, and if action on it did not happen yet, there is nothing preventing him to do Ittiba’ of another in this” End of Al-Amidi’s words
So his words are clear, there is Ijma of Sahabah not preventing people to go to different Muftis in different topics, also if one takes a Madhab, and he did not act on it yet, there is nothing preventing him to change. Yet if he acted upon it, like he did a matter according to a Madhab, he cannot cancel it according to another, yet for the future case, he can take the opinion of another Madhab.
Imam Ash-Shawkani said in “Irshad ul Fuhul” in his Maslah number six in chapter of Taqlid:
“The people who made Taqlid permissible then differed whether the layman should make Iltizam to a particular Madhab in all cases. A group said that it lazim for him and Ilkiya gave preference to that, and others said it is not Lazim for him, and ibn Burhan (as quoted in “Bahr Al-Muhit of Az-Zarkashi) and An-Nawawi gave preference to this, and they took the proof from the fact that the Sahabah did not object to the layman doing Taqlid of some in (some) matters and of others (among the Sahabah) in some (other matters)…
Then if layman makes iltizam of one particular Madhab, then they differed whether he can oppose his Imam in some cases and take the saying of someone else. It has been said it is permissible and it has been said it is not…
And it has been said that if it is after the occurrence of an event in which he made Taqlid, then Intiqal is not permissible, else it is permissible (for future cases) and Imam ul Haramayn chose that (in his “Burhan” v 2 p 1344)
And it has been that if his thought leans towards the fact that another Imam’s Madhab is stronger in this case than his Imam, then it is permissible (to change), else it is not and this has been said by Al-Qaduri Al-Hanafi (“Kawkab Al-Munir” v 4 p 575)
And it has been said that if the Madhab he wants to make intiqal to breaks the ruling, then it is not permissible, else it is permissible, this has been chosen by Ibn Abdis Salam (in his “Qawaid” v 2 p 157),
And it has been said that it is permissible if his chest is convinced and if he does not desire to play, and it is not breaking the ruling on him, and this has been chosen by ibn Daqiq ul ‘Id.
And Al-Amidi and ibn Hajib have claimed agreement (Ittifaq) on fact that it is permissible before action not after, and they have been answered that there is difference in what they claim to be agreed upon.
And if the Muqalid chooses from all Madhabs what is easier for him, then Abu Ishaq AL- Marwazi said he his a Fasiq and ibn Abi Hubayrah said he is not Fasiq (“Kawkab Al-Munir” v 4 p 579 and “Jam’ ul Jawami’” v 2 p 400)…
Ibn Abdis Salam said that we should look at the action he did, if it was from forbidden things whose forbiddance is famous then he is sinner, else not. (“Qawaid” v 2 p 157)”
In Masalah number five Imam Ash-Shawkani wrote :
“If there is difference in the Fatwa he receives from scholars of his time, then it has been said he has the choice, he takes what he wants ( see “Kawkab Al-Munir” v 4 p 570 and “Sharh Tanqih ul Fusul” p 442), and this has been said by the majority of the companions of Ash-Shafi’i and it has been declared authentic by Abu Ishaq Al-Shirazi (in his Lam’ p 72), Khatib Al- Baghdadi, ibn Dhabagh, Qadhi and Al-Amidi (in his “Ihkam” v 4 p 241). They have taken the proof from the Ijma of the Sahabah on the absence of objection to the action on the saying of the inferior in the presence of the superior…
And it has been said from Ar-Ruwiyani that he takes from the first he asked to.
And it has been said that he makes action on the narration instead of Ray, this has been told by Ar-Rafi’i.
And it has been said that he should make Ijtihad to know what he takes in matters of difference, this has been told by ibn Sam’ani.
And it has been said that if it is in rights of Allah he takes the easiest and if it is in rights of slaves, then he takes the difficult one, this has been told by Ustaz Abu Mansur
And it has been said that he asks both of them that differed about their proofs if his intelligence can understand this, then he takes the preponderant proof among them, and if his reason cannot do this, then he takes what is reliable for him. This has been said by Al-Ka’bi (see all these sayings in “Bahr Al Muhit” v 6 p 313, “Sifat uf Fatwa” p 80, “Mankhul” p 483, “Mukhtasar ibn Hajib” v 2 p 309, “Jam’ ul Jawami’” v 2 p 395…)”
Note: All notes in brackets are from the Muhaqiq of “Irshad ul Fuhul”, Muhammad Subhi ibn Hassan Al-Hallaq, edition Dar ibn Kathir.
So one can see that the majority of Shafi’i scholars allow the layman to ask to different scholars, and they claimed an Ijma that the Sahabah did not restrict laymen to one Mujtahid only, rather the laymen could ask any scholar they would like. Also if the layman chooses a Madhab, then the majority of scholars liek Al-Amidi, An-Nawawi, Ibn Daqiq Al-‘Id and others allow change and some put some conditions.
May Allah send Salah and Salam upon the Prophet (saw), his household, companions and those who follow them
Complied by Ali Hassan Khan