Between a Mujtahid, a Muqallid and Muttabi; the Thin Line

Wednesday 27-Sep-2023, 2:46AM / 486

Al-Imaam Shamsudeen Adh-Dhahabi - rahimahullah - said:

نعم ، من بلغ رتبة الاجتهاد ، وشهد له بذلك عدة من الأئمة ، لم يسغ له أن يقلد ، كما أن الفقيه المبتدئ والعامي الذي يحفظ القرآن أو كثيرا منه لا يسوغ له الاجتهاد أبدا ، فكيف يجتهد ، وما الذي يقول ؟ وعلام يبني ؟ وكيف يطير ولما يريش ؟ والقسم الثالث : الفقيه المنتهي اليقظ الفهم المحدث ، الذي قد حفظ مختصرا في الفروع ، وكتابا في قواعد الأصول ، وقرأ النحو ، وشارك في الفضائل مع حفظه لكتاب الله وتشاغله بتفسيره وقوة مناظرته ، فهذه رتبة من بلغ الاجتهاد المقيد ، وتأهل للنظر في دلائل الأئمة ، فمتى وضح له الحق في مسألة ، وثبت فيها النص ، وعمل بها أحد الأئمة الأعلام كأبي حنيفة مثلا أو كمالك ، أو الثوري ، أو الأوزاعي ، أو الشافعي ، وأبي عبيد ، وأحمد ، وإسحاق ، فليتبع فيها الحق ولا يسلك الرخص ، وليتورع ، ولا يسعه فيها بعد قيام الحجة عليه تقليد. 

'Yes, whoever has attained the level of Ijtihaad (where he can make independent deductions from Islamic proofs) after a number of erudite scholars have testified to his acumen, then it is not proper for him to follow (another scholar) just as it is not proper for a beginner in Islamic jurisprudence and a novice who has memorized the Qur'aan or much of it to ever engage in Ijtihaad. How will he even exercise Ijtihaad? What is he going to say? Upon what is he going to build his statements? How will he fly without wings?

The third category is a qualified jurist who is mentally alert and understands the hadeeth, who probably has memorized some summary of extended rulings, and perhaps a book on the fundamentals (of jurisprudence), who has learnt the Arabic Grammar, has taken part in the priorities while he has memorized the Book of Allaah, and has busied himself with its Tafseer and has mastered how to make points with it, this a level of someone who has attained a Limited Ijtihaad, and is qualified to look into the proofs often cited by scholars. Therefore whenever a matter becomes clear to him and the proof for it is established (as authentic) while there had been one of the major scholars who acted on it the likes of Abu Haneefah or Maalik, or Ath-Thauree, Al-Auzaa'ee, ash-Shaafiee, Aboo Ubayd, Ahmad or Ishaaq (bn Rahawayh), he should follow the truth therein not a weak point. He shouid be careful and it is not proper for him to follow any scholar when the truth has become clear to him.'
As-Siyar: 19/192