83. Why do we have to do Taqleed (following) of jurists when it comes to the jurisprudence of our religion?
All of humanity during all of history and in every land, would go to ask an expert in the field specific to their questions. Jurists and scholars also follow the prescription given to them by doctors when they fall ill. Therefore, following instructions from the learned has historical and logical roots and jurisprudence should also be sought from experts in the field of religious jurisprudence, just as the jurists themselves will seek advice from experts in other fields.
In the Qur’an we read:
فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
“So ask the people of remembrance if you do not know.”1
The Ayah does not say ask your question from any scholar, but rather: ask your question from those who are people of remembrance, God conscious and fearing, and are not forgetful with regards to their own knowledge and what they have learnt.
In our traditions, we must not only follow those who have the highest level of knowledge, but also must be just, and his thoughts and words and behavior must not be inclined towards whims and desires and selfishness.
A building without a license and permit can be destroyed unless per chance it happens to be exactly in line with council requirements (and even then, it is up to the council whether it remains standing!).
Deeds without following a jurist are also void. A deed must be as per the jurisprudential rules of the jurist which one follows.
- 1. Al Nahl 16:43