Is Taqleed supported by the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)?

The injunction of Taqleed is supported by many Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Hereunder, a few Ahaadith will be presented:

In the blessed era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) Hadhrat Mu’aaz bin Jabal (Radiyallahu Anhu) was nominated as the governor of Yemen by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) commanded the people of Yemen to refer their Deeni issues to Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu). Hence, Taqleed commenced in the noble era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) with the permission of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Aswad bin Yazeed reports: “Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) came to the people of Yemen as a teacher and a leader. The people of Yemen enquired from him regarding a person who passed away leaving behind a daughter and a sister. Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) issued a verdict that half of the estate will be given to the daughter and the remainder half will be given to the sister. This occurred during the lifetime of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).”

Huzaifah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “I do not know how long I will be amongst you. Therefore, follow the two who are to come after me, Abu Bakr and Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma).”

Note: From the above-mentioned two ahaadith we understand that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not ask the people of Yemen to directly refer to the Hadith. Instead, they were asked to refer to Hadhrat Mu’aaz (Radiyallahu Anhu) for shar’ee guidance and rely upon what he says. The reason for Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) instructing the people of Yemen (and similarly the entire ummah) to make taqleed is that every person is not capable of correctly extracting laws from the Qur’an and Hadith. Referring to the Qur’an and Hadith is the responsibility of highly qualified specialists of the ummah, known as the A’immah-e-mujtahideen. Accordingly, in the second Hadith Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) instructed us to follow the guidelines given by Abu Bakr and Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma). Furthermore, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not ask us to question their authenticity or query their proofs for they possessed the total capability of correctly deducing laws from the Qur’an and Hadith. Rather, he asked us to merely follow what they said. In essence, this is taqleed.

Prohibition of Da' Wata Ajjal

Saalim reports that Ibnu Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) was asked regarding a person who was owed money on credit, whether it would be permissible for him to wave a portion of the debt in exchange of early payment. Ibnu Umar disliked the idea and prohibited it.

Note: Moulana Thaanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) explained that in this narration, we find that Ibnu Umar issued a verdict without furnishing any proof for his decision, nor did the questioner enquire from him regarding the proof of his ruling. Instead, he relied upon Ibnu Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma’s) ruling since he recognised the high status and position Ibn Umar (Radiyallahu Anhuma) held in the field of deducing laws from the Qur’an and Hadith. Thus, we conclude that taqleed was practised in the very noble era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). (At-taqleed pg.10)

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