Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Taqleed Definition

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah


I took Sharia paper after I returned from pilgrimage as one of a subject in my A-Level paper after I feel something that makes me wanted to return to my "real" responsibility. Unfortunately I did not do well in it because the pressure of time and I had left the Sharia classes since I was around 15-16 years old but I still could answer certain questions regarding the law and rulings. If I stayed longer perhaps I could be a jurist because that time we were almost registered to tsanawi papers but how could person become an Islamic scholar if he believes not in the path? LOL.

15 was the age where I embraced Buddhism by heart through rituals and it is actually formal which I did according to prescriptions of monastic rules and beginning to stop Islamic rituals or even listening to advises from people around due to my hatred to environment. Urmm, quite a kenangan (memory). Ironically, now I have a special passion to sciences of jurisprudence and the path which makes me reading and memorize everything about the sciences because I wanted to correct myself, hahahahaha. This is the real science for me as the contrast of what we had been taught in schools.


This is from articles that I had read and always keep with me. So, thinking to put it here for myself and if it is useful for others... I would also feel happy for everyone. I'm trying to simplify everything yet making it as easy as possible to be understood by audiences through simple translations of points. When reading articles or anything in the posts of this site please don't rely on it as it is from a scholar and it is wrong to take something without reference and proofs. Make sure to get guidance from teachers, clerics or ulamas, and jurists who are specialists in their fields.  

Definition of Taqleed

According to Sheikh Muhammad bin Uthaimeen in al-Usool min 'Ilmil Usool, taqleed linguistically mean placing something around the neck and it encircles the neck. Technically it means following he whose sayings is not a proof or without hujjat

This is the view according to Salafi scholar and the definition according to Salafis. Salafi usually refers to Sunnah Muslim of Hanbali school of jurisprudence in general and not specifically to those of Wahhabi movement so please try not to associate us with them although I read treatises of Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. We are different and are not in agreement with any violence. On the other hand, we respect local customs that are in accordance to our traditions differently to those from Middle East or even tolerant than Europeans because I just visit chinese temples or churches where I think possible for me to recite blessings and asking mercy and love of the God for everyone. 

The Sheikh further mentions that those who are following any of these in their path are not committing taqleed because these are proofs for their acts of worship:

1. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
2. Guidelines from the assembly of the ulamas
3. any companion of prophet Muhammad s.a.w by considering any sayings of the companions as a proof for their acts of worship  

However, these type of matters are still categorized as taqleed in a metaphorical and loose sense. I think this make sense because I also read an article written by Ustad Abu Muhammad Idral Harith of Indonesia regarding on those who are fanatic with their imams, school of jurisprudence, teachers, and etc while giving the advise to others who are slightly different from them in term of practices. We would discuss about this in another post if possible just for our general knowledge so in the future we won't be blurred by terms.

In What Cases do Taqleed Happens?

It happens in two cases...

I. When a muqallid (follower) is a common person who does not have the ability to acquire knowledge of the shari'a rulings and principles by himself. Taqleed will become obligatory upon him as what has been mentioned by the God the Most Highest: "ask the people of the knowledge if you do not know." Taqleed will be done by placing the dependency on a person whom he considers as knowledgeable and pious for example like Imam Hanafi, Imam Ja'afar, Imam Shafi'ie or Imam Maliki. In our way of talking about this for example, I would mention that I put my naqal or carriage over the knowledge of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. So, my acts of worship is according to what has been taught by him according to his scholarship. If there are two of such people who are equal in his view in certain jurisprudence, the muqallid chooses any one of them.   

II. A mujtahid (a diligent person in sciences) when he encounters a new situation where an immediate solution is required. However it's not possible for him to do research into this matter. In this case, he is permitted to perform taqleed. Some also bringing questions about the permissibility of taqleed that it is not the fundamental of the path or law of life. Or on the questions about 'aqeedah since matters of 'aqeedah requires certainty, while taqleed only amounts to dzann or the knowledge which is not certain, assumption can we say?  

The correct saying in this matter of following the 'aqeedah is unlikely a condition due to the generality of sayings of the God the Most Highest: "ask the people who are knowledgeable if you don't know". This verse according to the Sheikh is in the context of affirming messenger-hood which is from the basis of the law of the path. A common person could also not acquire knowledge of the law rulings with its proofs by himself since law rulings need specific knowledge on sciences of the path. Due to that he can't arrive to such truth by himself, he has nothing remains in his self except for taqleed.  

The God knows more than His creatures...

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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