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Questions and Answers Related to Taqlid


Mukallaf's Duty

To Act According to Previous or Actual Taqlīd

Q: A person was ignorant about certain rule regarding purity — during his following of a particular mujtahid — which caused invalidity of his prayers but he discovered his mistake after he changed to another mujtahid in taqlīd. Now, should he act upon the fatwā of the previous mujtahid or the present one?
A: If the practices he was doing, which he considered as void, were invalid according to the previous taqlīd but in order according to the contemporary one, he may consider the contemporary taqlīd and he is responsible for nothing then.

Tab'id in Taqlid

Referring to Other Marji‘s in Particular Matters

Q: Assuming one’s marji‘ does not respond to one’s enquiry – for whatever reason – and one, subsequently, receives different answers from other marji‘s, may one revert to one’s (own) rationality in such cases?
A: Referring to one’s rationality is not indicated in the above scenario; here, one must act by caution. Assuming this isn’t feasible, then one ought to abide by the verdict of the most learned marja‘, next in line.


Obligatory Caution
Q: What is the mukallaf‘s duty in relation to those matters to which you have attributed obligatory caution? Assuming another marji‘ has, in fact, issued an explicit fatwā on the aforementioned matter, is one allowed to abide by the latter‘s fatwā (assuming the mukallaf is willing)? If it is permissible, ought one to follow the most learned marji‘ next in line? And if so, how must one determine such a marji‘?
A: Referring to a mujtahid who hasn’t decreed obligatory caution upon a given matter is unproblematic. Caution dictates that one ought to observe the most learned mujtahid among those with a clear-cut fatwā on this issue; such a duty (i.e. determining the mentioned mujtahid) lies upon the mukallaf him/herself.

Rule of the Worships Practiced before Becoming a Shī‘ī

Q: I was born and grew up in a place with a majority of our Sunnī’ brothers. Two years ago, praise be to God, Allah Has blessed me with the embracement of the Shī‘ah school of thought. Since I was 15 years old, I was and still offering my prayers regularly but according to the method we learned in our locality starting from wuḍū’ until the last steps of the prayer. Should I repeat all my prayers in the last 12 years? Or what should I do?
A: All prayers, fasts and hajj you practiced according to your previous school of thought prior to embracing that of Shī‘ah are valid and you are neither required to repeat them nor to make their qaḍā.

The Criterion in Differentiation between Opinion of a Marji‘ and That of his Attorneys

Q: In Shī‘ah circles some problems emerges every now and then concerning the declarations of some attorneys of the Islamic jurists and marji‘s in which sometime it is difficult — especially for the common people — to differentiate between the personal views of the attorneys and the advices and guidelines of the marji‘ which are considered as binding shar‘ī evidence for his followers.
What is the criterion in differentiating between the attorney’s personal view in the political and social issues and the advices and declarations of the marji‘ who appointed him?
A: The criterion is that the declarations and guidelines issued by the attorneys should be compatible in the religious, political and social perspective with the marji‘ who appointed them and be in conformity with the views the same marji‘ expressed as fatwās or declared in his public speeches. On the other hand, any declaration by the attorney, which is not in agreement with the above-mentioned, is to be considered as their personal opinion and it is they who are responsible for it.

Meaning of 'Highly Mustaḥabb'

Q: What does phrase 'highly mustaḥabb' or 'highly recommended' means?
A: It means that there is so much encouragement in shar‘ for doing a certain act.


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