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Taqleed and Ijtihad

Please explain the conflict between Taqleed and Ijtihad

Bismihi Ta’ala

There is no apparent conflict between Taqleed (following of a Madhhab) and Ijtihad (to exercise judgement in legal matters)

The principles of Islamic Law have been carefully understood from the Qur’an and Hadith and been laid down by the Jurists. These principles are relevant for all times and places. All new situations will be judged according to these principles. This doesn’t mean that the doors of Ijtihad are closed. Rather, a Jurist can work within the Law School he follows and make judgements on legal issues according to the principles of that School if required.

An example of this is the Hanafi School. The principles of Islamic Law according to this school were deduced from the Qur’an and Hadith, laid down by Imam Abu Hanifah Rahmatullahi alaihi. This doesn’t mean that after him, no Hanafi Jurist has the right to exercise Ijtihad. Instead, his Ijtihad will be within the Hanafi Usool (principles of Islamic Law).

If we look at it with an open mind and from this angle, then we will not see any conflict between Taqleed and Ijtihad.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Yaseen Shaikh

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This answer was collected from MuftiSays.com, based in London (UK). It is one of the fruits of Darul Uloom London. Many ‘ulama are involved in answering the Q&A on the site, including: Shaikul Hadeeth Mufti Umar Farooq Sahib, Mufti Saifur Rahman Sahib, Mufti Abdullah Patel Sahib, Maulana Qamruz Zaman Sahib, Mufti Abu Bakr Karolia Sahib.

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