Taqlid or taqleed (Arabic تَقْليد taqlīd) is an Islamic terminology denoting the conformity of one person to the teaching of another. The person who performs taqlid is termed muqallid. The definite meaning of the term varies depending on context and age.
Taqleed is based on the logical necessity for the non expert to refer to the expert.
This is followed in every field of knowledge in life. All human beings practically follow this fact in every matter. Religious day to day rules are not an exception. Non experts in religious studies need to follow the experts. We believe that every religious act must be based on real evidence. Evidence is known to the experts who spend long time in studying and researching the Islamic sources ( Quran, Hadeeth, Aql and Ejmaa'). People must refer in religious matters to the most learned Islamic scholar who is called al-'Alam.
From the time of the Prophet (SAWA) and the Ifallible Imams, Muslims who lived in places far away from them, were ordered to refer in religious matters to the scholar in their area.
Taqleed is obligatory on non experts in religious studies (non Mujahid or non Muhtaat). With out Taqleed, non expert will practice religious acts with out authentic evidence and this is not accepted in Islam.
Thank you for your question. Although you may be satisfied with authentic reports (perhaps not all at the level of tawatur) to construct your framework of belief, it is more common to start from an intellectual starting point. Aqaed is generally taught through a number of intellectual proofs for the existence of God, followed by an intellectual discussion on His Attributes in the light of the scriptural sources and then proofs for Prophethood, Imamate and Resurrection. At the same time, religious experience plays an important role in reaching certainty in what one believes. In short, a combination of the scriptural sources, the intellect and religious experience that contribute to the framework of belief. This is why taqlid is not required when it comes to belief.
May you always be successful
Language is never a condition or reason in Taqleed. The conditions of Taqleed are mentioned in the books of Fiqh and in answers of few questions on this website.
Nevertheless, There is one Marja' of Taqleed in Najaf Ashraf who is originally from Pakistan but studied and taught in Najaf Ashraf since mnay decades. His name is Ayatullah Shaikh Basheer Al-Najafi, may Allah grant him and all the Maraaji' long life.
The Marja' of Taqleed must be the most or one of the most knowledgeable scholars in Islamic knowledge who has:
1. Full understanding of the verses of the Holy Quran with the Hadeeths related to the meaning of Quranic verses.
2. Full understanding of all the Hadeeths from the Prophet (SAWA) and his Holy Progeny (Ahlul Bayt)(AS) including the narrations of different meanings and choosing the meaning which is more authentic.
3. Full understanding of Arabic language which is the language of Quran and Hadeeths. With out full understanding of Arabic language the scholar will not be able to reach full understanding of the meanings of Quranic verses and Hadeeths.
Many non Arab scholars understand the Arabic language very well but do not speak it fluently due to no practice or little practice. This does not harm their ability to be a Marja'.
4. The ability and the practice of deriving the Islamic rules from its evidence, which is called Ejtihad. The Mujtahid is the highly learned Islamic scholar who is able to derive the Islamic rule of every matter in Shariah from its evidence in the Four Islamic sources which are: Quran, Hadeeth, Aql ( Reason) and Ejmaa'( consensus).
5. The high degree of God fearing (Taqwa) as one of the most crucial conditions of the Marja' of Taqleed as mentioned in the Hadeeth narrated from Imam Al-Askari (AS) ( Wasa'il al-Shia, Vol.18, P.131).
6. Being male born from valid marriage طيب الولادة.
The ability of giving speech in Arabic is not a condition of A Marja' as far as he has the all the above conditions.
The Marja' Al-A'la is the Marja' who is been followed by majority of the Shia scholars in the Hawzas (Islamic seminaries and religious knowledge centers). Now a days the majority of scholars refer to Ayatullah Al-Udhma Sayyed Ali Al-Sistani is the Marja' al-A'la.
Every Mujtahid acts upon his own verdicts because Taqleed is not on the Mujtahids but on the public.
The main four Marja's in Najaf Ashraf are:
1. Aytullah Seestani who is followed by the majority of the Shia Muslims all over the world.
2. Ayatullah Sayyed Mohammad Saeed al-Hakeem.
3. Ayatullah Shaikh Eshaq al-Fayadh.
4. Ayatullah Shaikh Basheer al-Najafi.
The Marja' who is been followed by the majority of the Shia is called ( Al-Marja al-A'la) ( The highest Marja).
We have a system of our religious leadership based on highest degree of knowledge and piousness, which is quite different from Vatican.
The Marja' of Taqleed does not come through election, selection nor appointment. He reaches to this status of knowledge by his own hard work and dedication and sincerity with the help of Allah (SWT). The scholars in the Hawza are the responsible persons to identify and recognize the level of knowledge of the Mujtahid scholar and whether he is entitled to be Marja' or not. Such high level of scholars give witness that this Mujtahid is a Marje' then people can do his Taqleed.
Thank you for your question. The reason for different rulings despite shared sources is because of intricate differences in the methodology of deriving and applying those rulings. These positions are taken by Jurists over years of careful study as their implication is that rulings will be different. To understand this further a person will have to study the principles of jurisprudence as well as have an awareness of the modern discussions in fiqh.
It is possible to follow the rulings of more than one Marja if they are all at the same level and if there is no possibility of identifying the most learned Jurist among them.
May you always be successful
No, they do not need to repeat them.
The concept of taqleed is indeed something important to look into, and although it sounds complex it is pretty straight forward.
1. Read about this topic from reliable sources, and educate yourself about the basics of taqleed.
2. Consult with a reputable qualified scholar about the selecting of a Marja'.
3. It should not take more than a few minutes for you to make the intention and follow the correct criteria for following a Marja' taqleed.
4. Do not complicate things by politicising your choice, or being influenced by hearsay, or looking for an "easy" Marja'.
5. Stick with mainstream, and do not be diverted to other ways.
It is not allowed to break the fast before the start of the night as we read in Quran (ثم أتموا الصيام إلى الليل ) (And complete fasting till night). This is the Quranic order which can never be challenged. This is for all people who have day and night in 24 hours.
If you live in a place where there is no day and night in 24 hours, then you need to either leave the place to another place where there is day and night in every 24 hours or to follow the timings of Salah of the nearest place to you. There is question at all to follow the timings of places which very far away from your place like Makkah, Madina, Najaf, Karbala etc.
The holy Qur'an says that believers should act upon knowledge: "And do not pursue that which you have no knowledge" (17:36). The idea of acting according to guesses and conjectures have been clearly rejected: "And they have thereof no knowledge. They follow not except conjectures, and indeed conjectures avail not against the truth at all" (53:28). Consequently, the one who is not able and is not qualified to deduce religious rulings should follow an expert and a mujtahid to learn the necessary details of Islamic law that are relevant to his life and situation. Not doing so would imply to follow conjectures of his own self or non-qualified people and this is condemned by the Qur'an. It is also possible to act according to precaution which implies to take the most precautionary steps and opinions but this requires a considerable amount of knowledge often difficult to attain for the ordinary person; it is therefore advisable for those who are not experts in religious sciences to follow a fully-qualified mujtahid whose knowledge has been fully established.
With prayers for your success.