Lesson 16: The Branches of Religion (III)
Defense is unquestionably the most important phase of a community’s life. Islam provides for the defense of the Muslim community by imposition of what is called Jihad. It means fighting in the path of Allah in response to the call from the Prophet or the Imam of the age.
“And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you: but do not transgress because Allah does not love transgressors”. (2:190)
It means enjoining the good. If a person does not fulfill the obligations laid down by Allah, it is obligatory on us to guide him to the right path provided we have a hope that he will follow our guidance.
It means forbidding the prohibited things or works. We should ask any man who is found to be doing things prohibited by Allah, to refrain from such deeds, provided we have a hope that he will act on our advice.
It means to love the Fourteen Ma’sumeen and keep friends with their followers.
It means that we should remain aloof from the enemies of the Fourteen Ma’sumeens.
In every sphere of life we have to heed to the advice of the experts in that field. Likewise, in the matter of Islamic Laws, we must obey the rulings of the experts of that Law. Those experts are called Mujtahids; and the act of obeying their rulings is called taqlid.
Here are some of the conditions which govern our choice of the Mujtahid:
(a) He must be baligh (i.e. adult), (b) Aaqil (i.e. sane), (c) Man, (d) Alive at the time of beginning the Taqlid, (e) Ithna ‘Ashari, (f) Aadil, (g) Mujtahid, (h) A’lam, (i) Of legitimate birth. (j) Having good memory, (k) Not involved in worldly affairs so as to hinder his scholarly pursuits.
Aadil means a person who does not commit major sins even unintentionally; and if he commits minor sins (not intentionally) he repents at once. Only an aadil person can lead the prayers, can be accepted as a reliable witness and be appointed as qadhi (judge).
A’lam means one who is the most learned of all.