Islamic Thought: Taqlīd Vs Creativity*
Prof. Ruqaia Alalwani**
Taqlīd (blind imitation) is one of the phenomena that coincided with the existence of different human societies worldwide. For Ibn Khaldoun, Taqlīd is deep-rooted in mankind.
Muslim Fundamentalists (Usul Scholars) thoroughly tackled the issue of Taqlīd. They studied its issues, relevant scholar’s opinions, limitations and Shari’ rulings. In addition, others studied its different domains, dilemmas and intellectual dimensions affecting both individual and society.
All these studies adopted the jurisprudential theorization as an epistemological approach to understand Taqlīd. They mainly depended on Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Usul (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence) as reference.
Although many writings have revealed the negative side of this phenomenon, most of them did not thoroughly tackle, through an independent comprehensive study, its beginning and its historical and social context. If the reasons of its emergence and the factors of its continuity are still unknown, finding a cure will be impossible.
Thus, this study is a humble devoted attempt to investigate the nature of the social conditions and the psychological and intellectual factors which helped in establishing the bases of an imitating mind; surrendering to the ready points of view in understanding, judgment and interpretation. Such mindset laid the foundations for intellectual rumination, self-repetition and passive learning, with no ability to criticize, analyze and investigate by regarding them fallible human efforts.
The disease of Taqlīd began to spread in the middle of the fourth Hijri century (tenth Georgian century) when the Ummah witnessed different political, intellectual and social circumstances that deeply influenced all the aspects of their life. Consequently independent reasoning was suspended and the new writings focused only on the opinions of the four scholars and other earlier scholars, may Allah shower them with His Mercy. That’s how the early Fiqh has become a fixed reference.
Hence, this study focuses on the phenomenon of Taqlīd during the period starting from the fourth Hijri century till the twelfth century approximately. In fact, this period witnessed similar conditions and factors.
To analyze these factors and deeply study its repercussions, this study adopts a multi-directional approach; depending on a fundamental and Jurisprudential view, plus a broad scope to cover different social, psychological and historical aspects as a way to discover the roots of this phenomenon and the reasons of its spread and survival.
Among the most significant deductions of this study is that Taqlīd has a deep social and psychological side. It has appeared amid an ideological historical climate, and all forms of Taqlīd and intellectual dependency are the outcome of an established meaning of imitation inside Muslim mentality. In fact, imitation is a principal issue for mankind; affecting his purpose, values, psychological side, educational programs and relationships inside his society.
Taqlīd from a Linguistic Perspective:
Linguistically, The Arabic word “Taqlīd” (تقليد) is derived from the root “Qallad” (ق ل د). It means to put something around the neck. Taqlīd is also used when someone imitates in religious affairs, assigns rulers and marks the sacrificial animal (Al-Hady).
According to many definitions, Taqlīd means to blindly follow a person in his opinions and actions without asking for a proof or evidence, as if this follower place this person’s opinions and actions around his neck.
Technically, It is obvious through the sayings of the fundamentalists about Taqlīd that the most popular definition is: “To follow a person’s opinions without knowing his supporting evidence, or to follow a person’s opinions without asking for a proof.
However, this definition was refuted by many scholars among which is Al-Juwaynī, Imam Ul-Haramayn, (478 H) in his book entitled “Al-Ijtihad“, where he explained that this definition does not refer to the meaning intended by scholars. This is because a scholar’s opinion is binding only the person who asks him for a verdict, and this goes outside the scope of imitation.
He added: “…this is definitely not imitation, as the scholar’s opinion is binding for the verdict seeker. Our Lord Almighty makes the scholar’s opinion binding the populace. The scholar should follow his opinion. In fact, his independent reasoning guides him, and his opinion guides the verdict seeker….”
In addition, Abu al-Mudhaffar As-Sama’nī (489 H) mentioned also the sayings of some scholars that the attempt of populace in seeking the scholar for a verdict is not a form of Taqlīd, because he depends on some kind of independent reasoning.
Al-Qadi, in his book entitled “Al-Taqreeb“, mentioned that the scholars unanimously agreed that the one who follows the Prophet Muhammad’s saying is not a Muqallid (imitator), because he follows crystal-clear evidence and an unquestionable knowledge. In addition, Imam Ul-Haramayn said that the disagreement over this issue is not crucial.
Thus, a group of fundamentalists set limits to the definition of Taqlīd to exclude any non-relevant meanings from the concept of imitation. Ash-Shawkānī mentioned many definitions stating that Taqlīd is the acceptance of a non-binding opinion with no supporting evidence. Thus, this definition excludes the Messenger’s sayings, Ijmā‘ (Consensus), a person seeking a verdict and a judge depending on an upright witness.
Moreover, Taqlīd adopts a narrower approach when the late scholars used it to refer to: when someone sanctifies a certain scholar’s opinion; regarding it superior over any other opinion and even the Divine Texts unless they are in accord with his opinion.
In this regard, Abū Shāmah Al-Maqdisī (665 H) said: “Lately, the Shafiite classifications of the two sheikhs, Abu Ishāq ash-Shirānī and Abu Hamid al-Ghazālī spread among people. People were dedicated to these texts and a lot of them became fanatic followers, to the extent that ash-Shirani and al-Ghazali texts were equated with Quran and Sunnah, and other schools of thought were neglected if adopting different opinions…”.
After mentioning the wrong definition of Taqlīd, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (751 H) said: “This is the meaning of Taqlīd which is unanimously prohibited. This appeared after the end of the golden centuries”
In another paragraph in his book, he asserted that: “Islam witnessed after the end of the golden centuries…. the assigning of one scholar and sanctifying his verdicts. They regarded them superior over the Divine Texts and other scholars preceded the Messenger of Allah and adopted Taqlid instead of following the rulings of the Quran, Sunnah and sayings of the Sahabah (Prophet’s Companions)“.
Ash-Shawkānī (1255 H) explained this meaning: “Alas! How could the imitators follow personal opinions in the presence of the Quran and Sunnah and their followers who are distinguished by their profound understanding and intelligence. .” Those Muslim imitators replaced Allah’s Scripture and the Prophetic Tradition with a book recording opinions of a Muslim scholar.
In another paragraph, he added: “(Blind) imitation and belonging to a specific scholar, by following all his narrations and opinions and neglecting others’, is the worst heresy and the terrible infliction in the Muslim world.
Taqlīd, in this study, adopts the same meaning intended by the late scholars which is mentioned and deduced from the writings of Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ash-Shawkānī and other scholars who criticized imitation and imitators.
Taqlīd in Usul al Fiqh:
We have to confirm first that the spread of Taqlīd does not necessarily mean that different ages and eras witnessed no Mujtahids. In fact, many scholars rejected and refuted the classical approach through their writings. Thus, its spread refers to the sovereignty of Taqlīd and the rise of its advocates.
Taqlīd does not occur suddenly or through short-term periods but it has been established across long historical periods. It does not appear and spread due to one factor, as it is the outcome of different factors. These factors are intersected to the extent that it is hard sometimes to dismantle them to study the impact of each one of them solely. The phenomenon of Taqlīd has passed by a slow process; merging between different social, psychological and political factors.
Therefore, explaining this phenomenon by depending on one-dimensional view or trying to attribute it to one factor or impact should be abandoned. Instead, we should present a comprehensive view that aims to investigate different factors and impacts. In addition, Taqlīd, as a phenomenon, is not connected to a certain historical phase. Yet, this phenomenon is stimulated by the renewal of its causes.
Early Usul scholars deduced, through their studies, that Taqlid is unanimously rejected. They agreed that Taqlīd is permissible in the scope of practical Shari’ Rulings or minor issues, because the Mujtahid, whether right or wrong, is rewarded and not regarded as sinful. Thus, it is permissible to follow Taqlīd in such scope. In fact, assigning the populace to Ijtihad leads to the suspension of different arts and interests. Thus, a group of scholars such as Ibn Abdul Bar, Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawzī, Ash-Shawkānī and others deemed it impermissible.
On the other hand, a group of scholars and Mujtahids regarded Taqlīd, null and void because of its negative impacts on individual and society and their intellectual life. In fact, it establishes the meaning of absolute dependance rejected by Islam. This phenomenon also causes a mental block; the inability to practice independent reasoning, creativity, innovation and generous contribution.
Regarding Taqlīd as impermissible, those scholars depended on their understanding of various Quranic Texts such as:
“وَمِنَ النَّـاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِـذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّــهِ أَنْدَاداً يُحِبُّونَهُــمْ كَحُبَّ اللهِ…”
“Yet of mankind is one who takes (others) apart from Allah as rivals to Him. They love them with a love like that due to Allah…”
(Noble Quran: Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 165)
In his commentary, Al–Qurṭubī said: “This implies an order to use reason-based evidence and refute Taqlīd …”.
“وَإذَا قِيلَ لَهُـمْ تَعَـالَوْا إلَــى مَـا أنْـزَلَ اللَّـهُ وَإلَى الرَّسُــول قَالُوا حسْبُنـــا مَا وَجَـدْنَــا عًلَيْـــه ءَابَاءَنَا…”
“Thus when it is said to them, ‘Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger, they say, ‘Sufficient for us is what we found our forefathers upon’..”
(Noble Quran: Al-Ma’edah (Table spread): 104)
In his commentary on this Ayah (Quranic Verse), Ash-Shawkani said: “This shows that Taqlīd is detested and impermissible.”.
In fact, Ash-Shawkānī dedicated a book entitled: Al-Qaul fi Hukm At-Taqlīd (The ruling of Taqlīd) to study imitation and assure its impermissibility.
Allah Almighty also said:
“اتَّخَذُوا أَحبَـارَهُمْ وَرهْبَـــانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًــا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّــهِ…”
They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from Allah…”“
At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 31
Ash-Shawkānī said: This Ayah warns everyone who blindly follows a certain school of thought, although it contradicts the Divine Revelations and Evidence, Scriptures and Prophets. This person is like the Jewish and Christians who took their rabbis and monks to be their lords apart from Allah. In fact, they claimed that they did not worship them, but obeyed them; avoiding their prohibitions and following the permissible. In fact, this is the same approach adopted by modern imitators.
– Ash-Shawkānī mentioned many Ayahs which show the Quranic approach in condemning the imitation of forefathers and leaders. He emphasized that scholars depended on some Ayahs which rebuke infidels and pagans for blindly imitating their forefathers and ancestors. Their infidelity does not prevent scholars from using them as a supporting evidence, because the analogy was not set between infidel and the faithful. The point of similarity here is the bind imitation, such as the one who imitates someone then becomes a disbeliever or commits a sin, or generates a wrong judgment. Every person is blamed for his blind imitation, because all these are forms of imitation although the sins are not of the same level.
It has been narrated that Umar b. Al-Khattab said: Your narration of Hadith is the evilest narration, and your words is the evilest words. You have narrated the Hadith so much to the extent that people are saying: “so-and-so said, and so-and-so narrated”; abandoning the Scripture of Allah. If you want to say something whether say it is from “Quran” or be silent. Umar b. Al-Khattab uttered this statement in the best century witnessed ever. If Umar was still alive, what would he say about how far we have abandoned the Noble Quran for the personal deductions.
-Ibn Ḥazm asserted that Taqlīd is unanimously forbidden.
-It has been narrated that Malik said: “I am fallible, so listen critically to my opinion. Follow what is accord with the Divine Scripture and Prophetic Tradition. If not, leave it.” This was also the approach of Ash–Shāfi’ī and Abu Ḥanīfah.
So we can say that if all the scholars did not agree on the prohibition of Taqlīd, the majority of Muslim scholars did.
-The four Imams, of the famous dependable Islamic school of thoughts, forbid others to blindly imitate them and they condemned those who blindly follow their opinions. In this regard, Ibn Al-Qayyim said:
“The four scholars forbade people from imitating them. Allah Almighty did not oblige anyone to imitate anyone of the Sahabah and their successors and even more the Mujtahids and the scholars, although they are their models, leaders and good ancestors. Yet, all Muslims are obliged to follow the Divine Scripture and the Prophetic Tradition. In fact, imitating Mujtahids was necessary at the time when Hadiths and sound narrations were not written down. Now, thanks to Allah, scholars who are well-versed in the Prophetic Tradition recorded the science of the Hadith. Thus, it was sufficient. May Allah not grant serenity to a servant who blindly imitates and abandons the Prophetic tradition”.
Ibn Al-Qayyim dedicated a book entitled: I’lam Al Muwaqqi’in ‘an Rabb al’Alamin to refute the imitators and Taqlīd especially throughout a chapter entitled:
“في عقـد مجلس مناظـرة بين مقلـد وبين صاحب حجة منقــاد للحق حيث كان”
“Conducting a debate between an imitator and a truth seeker with supporting evidence”
We can notice that the late fundamentalists’ writings did not tackle Taqlīd. This is reasonable, because this concept has appeared recently (according to the late writings), so there was no need to study it in the early age.
Studies in Usul and Fiqh, during their eras, reflected real life, societies and phenomena. They were not assumptions or expectations but echoes of reality and its outcomes.
Taqlīd: Its Roots and Origin in the Islamic thought:
Muslim mindset, during the first stage of the golden ages, adopted a sound intellectual approach in reaching sciences, facts and rulings of different controversial issues. Thus, the Noble Quran and the Authentic Sunnah were the dominant controller of all approaches, as no opinion, reason-based evidence, imitation or analogical deduction can be superior over them.
Therefore, a wise mindset, apart from fanaticism (a blindly adherence); depending on evidence and proof and firmly following the truth in all circumstances, appeared. Such mindset follows the evidence once it appeared. This mindset established its thinking rules and approaches depending on the Noble Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah; as a reference to judge all other approaches and schools of thoughts. So, they never witnessed any approach adopting dictatorship, fanaticism or neglecting the intellectual duality.
In this regard, Prince As-San’ānī (1182 A.H.) commented: It is impossible to imagine that one of the prominent scholars, whatever his level of knowledge, memorization, authenticity, excellence, contribution and reputation, may firmly depend on his own judgment and oblige others to follow it “.
Amid such free environment, the society witnessed a huge jurisprudential and social movement. Scholars fulfilled the societies’ needs through their independent reasoning and up-to-date applicable opinions responding to the fast-changing reality. As a result, the scientific movement was flourished by the establishment of a number of intellectual schools and approaches which follow the Prophetic path and mission. That is how the first era of Abbasid dynasty (Islamic Golden Age: 132-232 H) was known as the era of creativity in the Islamic civilization.
In fact, this huge scientific movement flourished and spread due to many factors, among which are the keenness of the Caliphs on knowledge and scholars and their special attention to learning. Thus, they paid homage to scholars and placed them at the top of the social hierarchy. In addition, they organized special events for learning and debates. At that time, many scholars were well-versed in different fields of knowledge and many scholars were qualified for Ijtihad. Then, recording process in many scientific branches was flourished.
The expansion of the Islamic state and the diversity of its resources and the stability of its economic status helped in creating such scientific and cultural renaissance which the whole East never witnessed before. This is to the extent that all people, in such environment, appeared to be knowledge seekers and advocates.
Moreover, scholars and knowledge seekers used to combine between Ijtihad in Islamic Studies and creativity in natural sciences. Through this, Muslims succeeded in many fields of knowledge. As a result, the Islamic culture was built through a comprehensive interaction between the natural sciences and the Islamic sciences unitedly.
In addition, Goldziher, an orientalist, couldn’t deny this fact when saying: “We can see the Quran from the same perspective of Peter Werenfels, a Christian theologian affiliated to the modern church, when describing the Gospel: ‘Through this Bible, every person establishes his beliefs and every person finds his special cure.‘ So, any scientist, in the field of natural sciences and physics, and any scholar, in the field of Islamic studies, can find in the Noble Quran what he sought after.”
Similarly, Horten, an orientalist and a Professor of Semitic Philology at the University of Bonn, realized the high capacity of Muslims to participate in any intellectual cross-fertilization and connection with different civilizations, and following the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah within a distinctive epistemological system. In this regard, he said: “The soul of Islam is very broad to the extent that it is boundless. It benefited from ideas of other nations, as much as possible, except atheist ideas, then added a special character to it.“.
Thus, Fiqh has become among the most significant sciences which witnessed a huge progress in the field of research and legalization during those golden centuries. This helped in the establishment of at least nineteen Fiqh schools since the middle of the first century till the beginning of the fourth Hijri century.
In this regard, Al-Maqdisī (665H) said: “These eras were full of Mujtahidines. Each one of them deduced his opinion and followed the steps of the others by depending on the two main sources: Quran and Sunnah.”.
However, Muslim society witnessed a gradual change. Trials, political instabilities and social changes paved the way for a number of social and intellectual diseases. People became fascinated by life and its materialistic delights, so they searched for all kinds of enjoyment and a spirit of absurdity and insanity began to haunt a lot of people in many social classes.
This stage reached by the society was described by Ibn Khaldoun through his Muqademah. He called it the stage of luxury and leisure to harvest the fruits of kingship. If a man failed to control his morals and renew his faith, his humanity will be ruined and he will be doomed.
In addition, the political and geographical divisions causing the decline of the Caliphate State and the scattering of its lands into small statelets, accelerated the spread of those diseases in the society in a wide scope.
The spreading of Shu’ubiyya, (a movement which opposed the privileged status of Arabs within the Muslim community), during the Abbasid era, also contributed in spreading many social and intellectual diseases such as immorality and Zandaqa (heresy) which contradict all values, conducts and ethics of the society.
Consequently, scholars and the populace, firmly rejected all forms of immorality, through intense debates between scholars and leaders.
Many scholars violently rejected those aspects through their writings. They focused on social aspects, intellectual diseases and doubts never witnessed in Muslim society before, as they were the echoes of their interaction with the reality at that time and a true reflection of the strong challenges they faced.
All these factors reflect its negative impacts on the scientific and cultural atmosphere. They caused a deep gap between Muslim political leadership and the intellectuals, which was increasing day after day, generation after generation. Thus, Abstract approach, rational inspirations and logical deduction were adopted instead of the scientific aspects adopted before. This announces the beginning of the paralysis of the scientific, economic and social life. This affliction reached its peak after the sack of Bagdad by Mughals and the fall of the capital of the Islamic Caliphate in the year 656 H.
However, many of Mujtahidines, during these ages of afflictions, refused to follow the path of Taqlīd and intellectual inferiority. Yet, their effort was in vain.
Those factors combined to produce a self-centered mentality, which intends to take Taqlīd as a shelter to save his heritage which is under the threat of decay and identity loss. Muslim mentality adopted the path of Istiṣḥāb (principle of the presumption of continuity) and repetition of topics and issues discussed by the previous scholars. Thus, it was detached from reality and indulged into theorization, abstract approach and assumptions.
Many scholars claimed that the heresy of Taqlīd appeared in the fourth Hijri century; the period that witnessed the announcement of some scholars the interdiction of Ijtihad.
As-San’ānī (1182 H) said in his book: Irshad an-Nuqad ila Taisir al-Ijtihad (Guiding critics towards facilitating Ijtihad): “Islamic Fiqh, during the golden ages, was in a state of ongoing prosperity, growth and progress. Scholars’ opinions were refutable even among them till Taqlīd spread during the middle of the fourth century. Then, fanaticism for a specific school of thought began to spread. Later on, everything was getting worse; Taqlīd was freely adopted and honesty was being removed from hearts. Thus, they found no problem in abandoning the religious discussions, as if they are saying:
“بَلْ قَالُوا إِنَّا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءَنَا عَلَىٰ أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِم مُّهْتَدُونَ”
“Rather, they said, ‘Indeed, we found our forefathers on a course, and indeed we are being guided in their footsteps.”(Quran- 43:22)”.
The phenomenon of Taqlīd, with all its negative consequences has continued all throughout many centuries,. Nowadays, Muslim mindset is still suffering from inferiority and imitation although it seems that the flame of this phenomenon has being extinguished from time to time and the level of its effects and causes differs.
Through their writings, a number of scholars and historians discussed the ills facing the Ummah (Muslim Nation) due to Taqlīd and fanaticism. Books of history and biographies  recorded many seditions and afflictions. In fact, fanaticism lead fanatic followers of a certain school of thought or a certain scholar, to commit murders, destruction and pillage.
In this regard, As-San’ānī said: Unfortunately and shamefully, the unfair traditional flame of Taqlīd lasts till now amid the community of the followers of certain school of thought across many countries. If they had the upper hand, they would impose non-Muslim taxes on the followers of other schools of thought! The innovator Muhammad b. Musa Al-Blāsāghunī, the judge of Damascus who died in 506 H, stated: “If I had the upper hand, I would impose the non-Muslim taxes on Shafiites.”
Thus, Muslim societies, across history, inherited the heritage and harmful impacts of Taqlīd. This led to the spread of intellectual rigidity, stagnation and fanaticism.
Taqlīd, which is among the most dangerous heresies, became a prevailing approach and somehow a familiar intellectual current. Therefore, Fiqh scholars were dedicated to fabrication and collection. All their contributions were just within the scope of Taqlīd and intellectual stagnation. The temporal, historical and political accumulations hide the essence of true religion and its pure teachings.
Taqlīd: Social Reasons
We cannot mention specific factors as the reason of the formation and establishment of the phenomenon of Taqlīd. Yet, many of them contributed together to form such phenomenon and spread its negative impacts. In fact, social factors are among the first and most significant causes of the emergence and dominance of Taqlīd.
In fact, social structure is the first and most important cradle that shapes individual’s personality. Whatever the level of his brilliance is, man remains within the scope of social structure. This does not underestimate the value of the role played by Mujtahidines, scholars and prominent figures in history. Yet, all of them are influenced by the social structure. This also does not mean that society totally controls the individual and forcefully determines his conducts, through the power of social commitment, but human is the only living creature who can socially interacts; to be affected and to cause effect. In fact, the effect of social atmosphere and environment on individuals is obvious. In general, individuals have the ability to be shaped according to any situations in their society.
Psychologists and sociologists agreed that human beings are naturally civilized; subjected to the general effect of the social atmosphere and he always tends to communicate with his society to fulfill his innate nature.
Based on this, psychologists interpreted the phenomenon of the formation and dominance of the falsest myths and tales across different communities. They found that the inclined tendency of an individual to be greatly influenced by his society and surrounding environment is behind such spread. In fact, human’s life depends on simulation and imitation. This is the reason behind continuity among generations, as they inherit beliefs, perspectives, values, traditions, thinking patterns and behavior forms, whether they are right or wrong. Thus, the superiority of traditions over communities cannot be doubted.
Objective perception is rare, as it can be reached only by a limited number of people. Those minorities are the source of renewal, evolution, progress and cultural emergence.
Moreover, social structures often encourage the individual to have a sense of belonging to the earlier ideas. In fact, human mind depends on the prior information and is often built from the first impressions.
This explains the continuity of Taqlīd as an intellectual approach adopted by individuals and inherited generation after generation despite of all its obvious negative impacts and harms.
Al-Ghazzālī (505 H) explained this sense of belonging to the early when talking about obstacles in knowledge and truth. He said: “..The pious who beats his whims and adopts an objective way of thinking may not see this (the truth) because of a belief adopted during his childhood which he accepts with a good intention. This prevents his eyes from seeing the reality of the truth and his mind from contradicting any facts he got it by Taqlīd. This is also a great obstacle facing many theologians and fanatic scholars yet many pious people who are overwhelmed by the charms of classical beliefs which were embedded and deeply established inside their hearts; preventing them from realizing the truths”.
In fact, prior information controls minds, and erasing them requires time. That’s why the crowds are always late behind scientists and philosophers in the field of thoughts.
In this regard, Pierre Manouni said: “Prior judgment and stereotyping also affect the social life. Both of them are expressions of thoughts by which individuals announce their affiliation to a certain class or their implicit belonging to applicable rulings which is their reference…They also represent the psychological aspect that this individual owes to other thoughts which he often involuntarily inherits.” Then, he emphasized that prior information and judgments or stereotypes represent a social cement preventing from reaching the newest that may hold a lot of truth, correctness and rationality.
Due to majority influence, each individual is encouraged by the crowd to choose certain behaviors against his personal preference. This depicts the disappearance of the sentiment of responsibility which always controls individuals.
Gustave Le Bon, a philosopher, explained the same meaning. He said: The most significant feature in the crowd psychology is that its individuals, despite of their similarities or differences in their lifestyle, professions, morals and ways of thinking, form part of an organized crowd. This unity makes them, in the crowd, feel, think and live in a way against the preference of each one of them when isolated …
The Crowd are not questioned for their actions, because those actions are widely practiced. So each individual does not fear the consequences of his acts; quite the reverse if he has to make a certain decision by his own self, he will feel hesitant. Thus the individual does not feel responsible for his acts when he is with others, he is just an individual in a crowd.
This produces a feeling of fear from going against the public flow which ends up with an intergroup aggression. Such fear contributed in refraining Mujtahidines from trying to oppose the prevailing flow of Taqlīd, or announcing their affiliation to a certain school of thought. This is only because of the increasing psychological pressure imposed by the populace.
Al-Qannojī (1307 H) expressed this status saying: “Most of the scholars, adopting a certain school of thought, are not imitators even if they are affiliated to each other, because they are qualified as Mujtahidines who are known for their authentic sayings, dependable rulings and wise deduction and reasoning. Thus, degrading them, by regarding them among imitators, is unfair. The truth is that they are afraid from the populace to be known adopting Ijtihad and abandoning Taqlīd. So they accepted the idea of attributing them to a certain school of thought.”
As-Shawkanī expressed the fear and panic experienced by the one who tried to go against the prevailing flow by saying: “During these ages, we witnessed the most fanatic scholars. Hearing about a scholar who announced his adoption of the way of Ijtihad, depending on the Quran and Sunnah of the Messenger Muhammad, they harshly attacked and accused him and deprived him from the rights which they granted to non-Muslims living in an Islamic state with legal protection (Ahlu-Dhimmah). They defamed and cursed him. This is to the extent that they dared to break into his house, stone him, and commit a trespass. Were it not for their fear of the Caliphate, may Allah strengthen its pillars and reinforce its power, they would regard the killing of those scholars who follows both Quran and Sunnah as permissible. They also would dare to degrade them in a way which they refuse to follow when dealing with non-Muslims living in an Islamic state with legal protection. We witnessed many incidents but there is no room to mention them all.”
This reason explains many incidents faced by a number of scholars which reached the level of insults and disrespect by the populace. There was no reason behind this except the rebel of those scholars against the prevailing flow of Taqlīd. The Mujtahids did not only face the populace’s attacks, but they faced other contemporary scholars who adopted the approach of Taqlīd.
Explicitly, this was depicted through the biographies of the Mujtahidines and the sayings of their opponents, whether among their contemporaries or successors. In fact, those scholars were only accused of Ijtihad; adopting its way and calling for its application and rejecting the prevailing traditional approach.
In this regard, Professor Madkour said: “Scholars avoided criticizing their colleagues. Yet, if one of them adopted the approach of Ijtihad, they harshly attacked him out of a fake religious zeal or jealousy and malice.”
However, many of the reformers and scholars did not dare to fly outside the box of their era, whether in the perception or methodology or both of them. Thus, they surrendered to the public flow, instead of changing anti-religious thoughts and traditions and misleading methodologies. Few of them had enough courage to face challenges by moving away from the popular, tradition and public opinion.
In addition, one of the reasons, which contributed in establishing the phenomenon of Taqlīd in the society, is the influence of deep collective feelings on the individual to perform certain practices and show a certain behaviour against his own preferences. These cases may reach its peak to the extent that the psychologists named it: “Mass Hysteria”; which is a kind of a mania where a person in a collectivity can find himself producing uncontrolled actions. That’s how crowd’s thoughts and opinions get apart from analysis and verification, as they are under the shelter of familiarity and repetition. Thus, the phenomenon of Taqlīd becomes irrefutable by being a collective phenomenon and a popular prevailing tendency.
In fact, human communities tend to protect their inherited traditions, popular interests and prevailing tendencies… The difficulty of abandoning the popular resembles the difficulty of removing a mountain from its roots even if this popular is a source of hardship. This is proved throughout many historical events. For example, turning from a lower cultural stage to a higher cultural one is always accompanied by continuous difficulties like what was depicted through the stories of the prophets, peace be upon them, with their nations..
In this regard, Ibn Al-Qayyim commented on such prevailing Taqlīd during his age. “For them, the one who strictly adheres to the Quran and Sunnah is unaccepted and detested, while the imitator who blindly follows the contradictory opinions and scattered thoughts is accepted and praised! For them, people of Quran and Sunnah who firstly depends on both of them are ignorant”.
Taqlīd: Intellectual Reasons
Human’s mind has a great ability to produce and create. Yet, this ability, according to the Quranic Teachings, is available for everyone and not for certain scientific elites and genius minds only. Thus, the early golden ages of the Islamic history represent a true reflection of these Quranic Teachings and Prophetic Guidelines. The atmosphere of these centuries motivated rational and scientific contribution, and limited ignorance with all its patterns and forms. This historical stage witnessed infinite creative contributions and wide experiences in different fields and in all humanitarian sciences and knowledge. This reflects the ability of all members in the Muslim nation to contribute, develop, offer a distinctive cultural addition and renew different life domains.
Masterpieces, written during this time in all fields of sciences and knowledge, indicate such significant abilities of the Ummah. For instance, when the science of Fiqh was applied to the real life, it had a great influence. It succeeded in establishing the Islamic lifestyle in the society, applying the Divine Commands to the real life and re-formulating them according to the Islamic objectives and teachings, and helping the Islamic civilization in achieving communication, renewal and contribution.
Those masterpieces, reflect the interaction of the previous scholars with their real life and contemporary social issues. In addition, favorable atmospheres, mentioned before, helped in forming, establishing and applying such approach. The gifted faculties of the earlier scholars in the fields of education, crafts and all other fields were reflected through their writings which prove their great intelligence, wise judgment and authentic reasoning within an integrated cognitive pattern.
Later on, next generations inherited those different writings and collections and dedicated their life in studying them. They discovered the great abilities of the earlier scholars to adapt and interact with their real life. They were so impressed to the extent that they thought that there is a difference between their humanitarian nature and that of the earlier generations.
The illusion of this difference was expressed in different ways. Perhaps, the most popular one is that their claim that they are unqualified for Ijtihad. As a result, they focused on memorizing such collections and comments without trying to read them critically by encouraging discussions, or re-read them in the light of the current changes and increasing updates in the fields of issues and rulings.
Moreover, the public atmosphere and the political and social situations contributed in establishing this situation through the attempts of mouth muzzling and the prevention of all forms of discussions and debates. In fact, this situation was not witnessed during the golden ages.
Indeed, the great influence of the constructive scientific debate following the standards of a soft Islamic dialogue, is obvious in motivating, reinforcing and training the faculty of learning. For example, participating in scientific dialogues and debates is considered one of the easiest ways to acquire the faculty of learning. But in these ages many knowledge and learning circles refrained from dialogues and prevented the approach of scientific debate.
Commenting this case and its impacts on human’s mind and learnability, Ibn Khaldoun said:
“You will notice that students of this time are silent, with no negotiation skills, although they are a great devotee of scientific learning circles. They excessively focused on improving their memorization faculty abandoning the faculty of creativity and production. Despite of attaining a certain level of knowledge, it is obvious, during a negotiation, debate or lecture, that their creativity faculty is limited. Yet, they are distinguished by their prodigious memory due to their great devotion and their belief that this is the objective of the scientific faculty. Yet, this is incorrect.”
It is important here to differentiate between the constructive scientific dialogue of the previous golden ages and the argument and disagreements of the next ages which did not intend to support or follow the truth, but it tried to impress and won favor with authority and power. Therefore, they used to organize scientific circles in front of the governors and ministers to challenge others and show off their faculties. Al-Ghazzālī described their status in details when discussing the negative impacts of arguments and debates.
In fact, Ibn Khaldoun’s words indicate that improving the memorization faculty without boosting other divinely granted mental potentials has many negative impacts. If human can save and recall certain information doesn’t mean he can analyze, understand or evaluate such information.
Hence, those ages witnessed the first steps of educators towards narration and the first steps of students towards memorization especially in the field of Fiqh and Islamic sciences. This was accompanied by the spread of writings and classifications, as mentioned by Ibn Khaldoun:
“The negative effect, which weakened the eagerness to seek knowledge and knowing its objectives, is the abundance of composition and diverse terminologies assigned to the learner. The learner, then, needs to memorize them all or most of them including their different narrations. In fact, if he spends his entire life in one branch, he will never achieve the mastery level”.
That’s how the attention was driven, in the field of education, towards memorization with no attempts to achieve critical reading through reflecting, analyzing or understanding its content. And developing a specific mental faculty while neglecting others is the main factor which weakens other faculties especially when human being totally abandons using them.
So, stagnation and rigidity prevailed by adhering to the sayings and opinions of the previous scholars. Fiqh, then, no longer had its previous charm in drawing life, achieving harmony with its updates and offering effective solutions. Consequently, the faculty of Ijtihad and interaction with life updates, in the light of Quran and Sunnah, disappeared.
Yet, many scholars participated in promoting the scientific movement by classifying a large number of writings. However, most of them intended to simplify, explain, summarize with no deep insight or creativity.
Taqlīd prevailed among the majority of scholars, and the fanatical tendency towards schools of thought had overcome in each region or environment. Most of Fiqh scholars preferred to strictly follow their educator; adopting only his school of thought even in the minor issues, because they believe that their leading scholar is always infallible. Hence, they forbade others from adopting Ijtihad under the pretext that no one is qualified to be a Mujtahid. Consequently, the Ijtihad, which depends on the Quran and Sunnah, the main sources of Islamic legislation without being limited to a certain school of thought, is almost non-existent.
Then, the outdated givens and sayings were applied to a new life with different situations and challenges, without realizing that the life had changed and the possible great dangers that can result from this situation.
Ibn Khaldoun said, in this regard: “Someone may hasten to apply what he knew from the previous scholars and set an analogy without realizing the change between the past and modern age. If the difference between the past and the modern is great, he will bark up the wrong tree.”
The prevailing situation led to the weakness of Muslim intellect, the return of ignorance with different forms and patterns, the inferiority of the role of knowledge and scholars and the superiority of imitators. There were various patterns and forms of Taqlīd, including summaries, commentaries, annotations and other forms dominating the late intellectual life and leading to further rigidity and fanaticism.
Discussing the negative effect of summaries on the scientific mind, Ibn Khaldoun said: “The abundance of the scientific summaries violates the education system. Many of the late scholars preferred to simplify knowledge by composing a summarized program for each branch. This style is ineloquent and ambiguous. Perhaps, they summarized the long volumes of essential Islamic references (Umahāt ul-Kutub) in different fields, to be memorable. This was the path of Ibn al-Ḥājeb in Fiqh, Ibn Mālik in Arabic language and Al-Khūnajī in Logic and others. In fact, this corrupts education and hinders the academic progress”.
Furthermore, Al-Ḥajwī (1376 H) emphasized the danger of those summaries and their significant role in establishing the phenomenon of Taqlīd. He said: “Studying was narcotized by the summaries. Scholars abandoned the Quran, Sunnah and Usul, and chose to decode these useless symbols. As a result, Fiqh scholars spent their life reflecting on the commentaries then footnotes/endnotes and verbal studies. For us, our minds were chained by further restrictions and hardships. The first restrictions are imposed by strictly following a certain school of thought…while the second restrictions are imposed by the chains of complex summaries which could not be understood except through commentaries… This is the inevitable hardship”.
All these factors and influences cooperated to establish in our hearts the importance of a thorough study of writings, books and opinions. Gradually, those human sayings and opinions become a main reference on which human depends in every incident and contemporary issue, without realizing the nature of the situation and the context of those opinions and sayings at the very least.
Ibn Al-Qayyim explained: “They (fanatic Fiqh scholars) equated Texts (of Quran and Sunnah) with the position of the Caliph of this age. The coins carried his name and prayers were raised for him during Friday sermons. Yet, his voice was weak and his orders were disobeyed.” In reality, texts of the Noble Quran and authentic Sunnah were no longer a reference for those scholars. They only pretended that they are following them. They only followed the tendencies and methodologies of Taqlīd.
Moreover, Al-Ḥajwī said: “The sayings of those scholars were equal to the Quran and Sunnah. That’s how Muslims were driven away from the Divine Texts. This happened gradually till the Sunnah was forgotten and Quran was seen as a stranger due to the increasing backwardness of their language. Therefore, Islamic Shariah was presented through the texts and sayings of Fiqh scholars not the sayings of the divinely assigned Prophet..”
Reading texts and opinions of previous scholars out of their context is obviously dangerous. This is because contextual reading helps in understanding the intended meaning and avoiding any generalization.
Regarding this issue, Abu Abdullah Al-Harrāni (695 H) mentioned: “The greatest dilemma in the text-based compositions is neglecting quoting the exact terms and just mentioning their meanings without fully understanding the meaning intended by the original speaker. Perhaps, other dilemmas are just originated from this, because the certainty of reaching the intended meaning of the speaker or the writer depends on the absence of ambiguity, specialization, abrogation, reversed order of words (Taqdeem and Ta’kheer), homonyms and summarized style..”.
In the course of time, human written opinions which are only suitable within their context, were regarded as the absolute reference that should only be for the Noble Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah. This was indicated by many prominent scholars, such as Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ash-Shawkānī and others, who foresaw the dangers and negative impacts of Taqlīd; depending on the sayings of leading Imams and scholars instead of the Quran and Sunnah.
In addition, Abū Shāmah Al-Maqdisī said: “The four schools of thought prevailed the arena, while others were abandoned. Thus, other followers, except few of them, adopted the path of Taqlīd although imitating a person other than Messengers was impermissible. This is to the extent that they regarded the sayings of their leading scholars at the same level of the two sources of Islamic legislation, as Allah Almighty said:
“اتَّخَــذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَــانَهُـمْ أَرْبَاباً مِنْ دونِ اللَّــــهِ…”
“They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from Allah…”
(At-Tawbah (Repentance): 31).
Consequently, this period witnessed no Mujtahids but imitators, and fanaticism dominated the arena… Such fanaticism led them to falsely twist the interpretation of the Quran and authentic Sunnah if it rejects their school of thought or dependable opinion.”
The sayings of Al-Maqdisī and other scholars indicate the importance of distinguishing and differentiating between scholars’ texts, opinions and personal reasoning to reach different verdicts and rulings, and between the Texts of the Noble Quran and Prophetic Sunnah.
To avoid any extravagant appreciation and deification of the previous personal reasoning, scholars’ texts should not be regarded as perfect; suitable for the past, present, and future. This is because personal opinions are relative and limited, as they are affected by the surrounding context, no matter how high the status of their speakers is.
Concerning the Texts of the Noble Quran and the authentic Sunnah, they are the superior source over all sayings and opinions, unaffected by any temporal or spatial context and suitable for the past, present and future.
Appreciating the sayings of the previous scholars and respecting their enormous cognitive heritage, should not exceed the limits by claiming that they are absolutely suitable for any time and place. In fact, this is only applicable to the Quran and the authentic Sunnah.
Describing this intellectual status prevailing those eras, Professor Al-Khodari Bey said: “…The spirit of imitation dominated the whole society including scholars and the populace. The Fiqh student used to study first the Quran and Sunnah; the main source of deduction, but, later on, he used to study the writings of a certain leading scholar and his methodology in deducing his rulings. If he successfully completed them, he was regarded as a qualified Fiqh scholar. Yet, other devoted seekers can reach the level of composing a book tackling the rulings of his leading scholar, either as a summary of an earlier book, an explanation, or a collection of scattered information from various books. None of them could dare to oppose any of his leading scholar’s opinions, as if he is the only one who is inspired with the truth. In this regard, Abu al-Hasan ‘Ubaid Allah al-Karkhī, the vanguard of Hanafi Fiqh scholars, said: “Every Ayah or Hadith which contradict our Scholars’ opinions is personally interpreted or abrogated as well.”
One of the intellectual reasons which helps in establishing the phenomenon of Taqlīd is the common opinion denying the presence of any infallible Mujtahid. This opinion was spread among some fundamentalists and was discussed and refuted by Ash-Shawkānī through his book entitled “Irshad Al Fuhul” (Guidance of the Luminaries).
Ash-Shawkānī refuted this saying. He emphasized that in all eras we can notice a number of scholars who were well-versed in many sciences more than what is asked to be a Mujtahid. In addition, Allah facilitates Ijtihad for the late scholars more than the earlier. In fact, they inherited a plenty of written collections in different sciences, while the earlier scholars used to travel across countries for one Hadith. In fact, Ijtihad for the late was easier than for the earlier.
Although there was an increase in the establishment of schools, learning hubs and religious institutes, during the eighth Hijri year in particular, and although some Mamluk Sultans raised scholars to their side, consulting them in many of the state affairs, assigning them to academic positions in mosques and schools and encouraging the composition production again, However, all these attempts did not affect the course of Taqlīd and its dominance. In fact, the sun of Ijtihad did not rise again despite of the flourish of literature and teaching and the establishment of schools and institutes.
Taqlīd: Psychological Reasons
Muslim Psychological side encountered many changes amid various atmospheres and environment due to different political and social factors. This led, at the end, to the emergence of a mentality tends to adopt the approach of Taqlīd as the only path.
-Perhaps, one of the significant psychological reasons and causes of Taqlīd is that the Muqallid (imitator) does not realize that he is an imitator. Al-Ghazzali succeeded in perfectly depicting this through his book “Al-Munqidh min Aḍ-Ḍalal” (Deliverance from Error). He said: “…No desire to return to Taqlīd after abandoning it. To be a Muqallid means that the person does not know that he is an imitator. If he realizes his situation as a muqalid, the bottle of his imitation will be broken.”
In fact, when the Muqallid discovers the nature of Taqlīd, he will break its chains. This is because recognizing the illness is the first step to reach the cure after realizing its danger and negative impact. After discovering the nature of Taqlīd, the Muqallid is forcefully pushed to get rid of it even if he insists to follow this approach. His mind will reject it and his heart will refrain from it.
Al-Maqdisī referred to this reason when talking about who adopted the path of Taqlīd. He said: “However, he thinks that he is one of the prominent scholars… yet he is, for religious scholars, from the most ignorant people”
-Among the psychological factors that help in spreading the Taqlīd also is the feeling of incapability of creativity and Ijtihad, which generates a feeling of vulnerability and weakness and makes the Muqallid thinks that Taqlīd is a comprehensive approach that all people adopts.
In this regard, Ash-Shawkānī said: “If you rethink about it, you will find that those deniers are unfair. When they adhered to Taqlīd and abandoned the Quran and Sunnah, they accused others with what they had committed…”.
In fact, psychologists called this “projecting” which happened when someone is doing something wrong and attribute his feelings to someone else to feel free.
This is accompanied by a loss of self-confidence, an inability to be up-to date and the fear of Ijtihad. These feelings led to the preference of Taqlīd over Ijtihad. This was also accompanied by a weak determination and an unmotivated soul to seek knowledge. Scholars, during the fourth Hijri century and the following centuries, had means of recording and collecting Prophetic Traditions and Sayings, which were not available to those who preceded them. This should motivate them to exert more effort and achieve creativity. Yet, this was not achieved.
“Unwise judgment and low determination led many people to follow the path of Taqlīd …thus, they only depended on previous narrations and focused on explaining, studying and summarizing the earlier books…this led to the inevitable weakness, and corrupted the Fiqh, yet all sciences…”.
-Among the psychological factors that led to the establishment of Taqlīd is regarding scholars infallible. Believing that there is a big difference between them and other scholars which cannot be exceeded, convinced scholars that the ideal path is Taqlīd.
– Ash-Shawkānī tackled such issue as Muqallids claimed that Allah did not provide them with the full understanding, strong realization and eagerness to knowledge which were granted to the previous scholars .
In fact, the populace used to sanctify scholars. They greatly glorified the scholars to the extent that they sought blessings from them; by kissing their limbs and asking for supplications. They also admitted that they are Allah’s argument to His servants, and obeyed all their commands and sacrificed their souls and properties for their sake. Ibn al-Jawzī (597 H) commented on this: “The majority of the followers of a specific school of thought exaggerate in glorifying their Imam and blindly follow his opinion. This is a full astray because one should deal with the speaker’s utterances not the speaker himself…”.
Thus, the populace did not depend on the personal reasoning of the modern scholars because they fully trust the earlier. As a result, their opinions were not subjected to critical reading. Furthermore, the modern scholars lost their passion, as they would not dare discuss any contemporary issues.
Considering personal reasoning of previous scholars suitable for the past, present and future may lead to exaggeration in respecting the Islamic heritage represented through their opinions and personal reasoning. Thus, one can also consider them ideal and infallible without realizing any consequences of that exaggeration by considering it an unattainable role model. This replaced it as a supernatural project that cannot be revived through humans’ efforts.
This does not mean to reject all the heritage without differentiating between what should be kept and what could be left. The jurisprudential heritage is the fruit of great efforts of prominent and knowledgeable scholars. Nevertheless, they are just human efforts which are relative and contextual. Thus, a Mujtahid in every era should respect such effort without exaggeration by denying that it is changeable and alterable.
This study is an attempt to discover the most important social, intellectual and psychological factors contributed in the emergence and reinforcement of the phenomenon of Taqlīd. This study emphasizes the most significant influence of these circumstances and factors in establishing the methodology of Taqlīd by preventing its limitation and any attempts to avoid its adverse impacts.
Although this study mentioned some factors and consequences of Taqlīd, it does not deny the presence of other factors influencing the emergence of Taqlīd especially during the previous two centuries.
Translated by: Rehab Jamal Bakri***
* The Original research published:
ظاهرة التقليد في الفكر الأصولي/ رقية العلواني. مجلة المسلم المعاصر. ع. 109 (2003). ص ص. 39- 78.
** PhD in Usul Al-Fiqh (Fundamentals of Islamic Jurisprudence), Assistant Professor in the Department of Islamic Studies, University of Bahrain.
 محمـد بن أبى بكــر الرازي، مختــار الصحـاح، ت: محمـود خـاطـر، مكتبـة لبنــان ناشـرون، بيـروت، 1415هـ/ 1995م، ص 229.
أحمـد بن محمـد الفيومـي، المصبـاح المنيـر، المكتبـة العلميـة، بيـروت، بدون تاريخ، ص 512، 513.
 على بن محمـد الجرجـاني، التعـريفـات، ت: إبـراهيـم الإبياري، دار الكتـاب العـربي، بيـروت، 1405هـ، ج1، ص90.
 See definitions of fundamentalists (Usul scholars):
أبــو المعـالي عبد الملك بـن عبد الله الجويـني، البرهـان في أصـول الفقـه، تحقيق: عبد العظـيم الديب، مكتبـة الوفـاء، مصـر، الطبعـة الرابعـة، 1418هـ، ج2، ص888.
أبو أسـحـاق إبراهيـم بن على الشـيرازي، اللمع في أصـول الفقـه، دار الكتب العلميـة، بيـروت، 1405هـ/ 1985م، ج1، ص125.
عبدالله بن أحمـد قدامــة المقـدسي، روضــة الناظـر، تحقيق: عبد العـزيز السـعود، جـامعـة الإمـام محمـد بن سـعود، الرياض، الطبعـة الثانيـة 1399هـ، ج1، ص 382.
أبو المظفـر منصـور بن محمـد السمعـاني، قواطع الأدلـة في الأصـول، تحقيق: محمـد حسـن الشـافعـي، دار الكتب العلميــة، بيـروت، 1997م، ج2، ص340.
 أبو المعـالي عبـد الملك بن عبـد الله الجويني، الاجتهـاد، تحقيق: عبد الحمـيد أبو زنيـد، دار القـلم، بيـروت، 1408هـ، ج1، ص97.
 أبو المظـفـر منصــور بن محمـد السمعـاني، قواطـع الأدلــة في الأصـول، تحقيق: محمـد حسن الشـافعي، دار الكتب العلميـة، بيـروت، 1997م، ج2، ص340.
 Ibid, Vol.1, P.96.
الجويني، مرجع سـابق، ج1، ص96، محمـد بن على الشــوكـاني، إرشـاد الفحـول، تحقيق: محمـد البـدوي، دار الفكــر، بيـروت، 1412هـ / 1992م، ج1، ص444.
 See all these definitions in:
محمـد بن على الشوكـاني، المرجـع السـابق، جذ، ص 442، 443.
 أبو شـامـة عبد الرحمـن المقـدسي، مختصـر المؤمل، ت: صلاح الدين مقبـول، دار الصحـوة الإسـلاميـة، الكويت، 1403هـ، ج1، ص68.
 ابن قيم الجوزيـة، اعلام الموقعين عن رب العالمين، تحقيق: طه سعـد، دار الجيل، بيـروت، 1973م، ج2، ص236.
 Ibid, Vol.2, P. 263
 الشوكـاني، فتح القدير، دار الفكـر، بيـروت، ج2، ص199.
 Ibid, Vol.2, P. 412.
 الشـوكـاني، فتح القـدير، ج4، ص45.
 For the majority of fundamentalists, Taqlīd is impermissible in the theological issues such as believing in the Presence and Oneness of Allah Almighty, Worshipping Him with no associate and believing in the truthfulness of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). For them, this requires a full understanding and a sound reflection which achieve knowledge, tranquility and help in reaching the supporting evidence. Consensually, they also added to the theological issues every issue which is necessary to correctly perform the obligatory acts such as the five pillars of Islam, as this issue does not suit Taqlīd because such religious knowledge is transmitted through consecutive narrations and consensus. For more information: see the previous reference of Ibn Al- Qayyim about the Ruling of Taqlīd.
 ابـن قيـم الجـوزيــة، إعلام الموقعين، ج2، ص211
Their ruling of impermissibility is also mentioned in the books, epistles and verdicts of Ibn Taymiyyah in the field of Fiqh. See:
ت عبد الرحمن العـاصمـي، مكتبـة ابن تيمية، السـعودية، ج20، ص211
See also: Ibid, Vol. 1 P. 449.
(الشـوكـاني، إرشــاد الفحـول، مرجع سـابق ج1، ص449)
ابن جزم، النبـذة الكـافية، ت: محمـد أحمـد عبد العزيز، دار الكتب العلميـة، بيـروت، 1405هـ، ج1، ص72.
 Bridges’ Translation of the Ten Qira’at of the Noble Qur’an
 أبو عبد الله محمـد بن أحمـد القرطبي، تفســير القرطبي، تحقيق: أحمـد عبد العليــم البردوني، دار الشعب، القــاهرة، الطبعــة الثانيـة، 1372هـ، ج1، ص231.
 Ibid, Vol.1, P 167.
(محمـد بن على الشـوكـاني، مرجـع سـابق، ج1، ص 167).
 الشـوكـاني، فتح القـدير، ح2، ص353
أبو محمـد على بن أحمـد بن حزم، النبـذة الكـافيـة في أصـول الفقـه، مـرجع سابق، ج1، ص71، ومـا بعـدهـا.
تعـوذ العلمـاء من التقليـد، الجويني، البرهـان في أصـول الفقـه، ج2، ص625.
 ابن قيــم الجـوزيـة، إعـلام الموقعـين، ج2، ص190 ومـا بعـدهـا.
إيـراد الأدلـة على منع التقليـد: صــالح بن محمـد العمـري، إيقاظ الهمم، دار المعـرفـة، بيروت، 1398هـ، ج1، ص35.
 . ابن قيـم الجـوزية، إعـلام الموقعين، ج2، ص194 ـــ 195.
 الشـوكـاني، إرشـاد الفحـول، ج1، ص446.
 ولي الله الدهلـوى، الإنصــاف في مسـائل الخــلاف، ت: عبد الفتــاح أبو غـدة. دار النفـائس، بيـروت ط2، 1984، ص99، صديق بن حسن القنوجـي، أبجـد العلـوم، ت: عبد الجبـار زكـار، دار الكتب العلميـة، بيـروت، 1978م، ج2، ص 403.
 Reflect on this meaning:
ابن القيـم الجـوزيـة: إعلام الموقعين عن رب العـالمين، ج1،ص6.
 محمـد بن إسمــاعيل الصنعـاني، إرشــاد النقـاد إلى تيسـير الاجتهـاد، ت: صلاح الدين مقبول، الدار السلفيـة، الكويت، 1405، ج1، ص14.
 محمـد مصطفى شـلبي، المدخـل في التعـريف بالفقـه الإســلامي، دار النهضـة العـربيـة، بـيروت، 1405هـ، 1985م، ص129 ومـا بعـدهـا.
 محمـد فـاروق النبهـان، المدخـل للتشـريع الإسـلامي، وكـالة المطبوعـات، الكويت، الطبعـة الثانيـة، 1981، ص 123 ومـا بعـدهـا
. Nicholson، Literary History of the Arabs، Cambridge، 1930، p281.
 أجنتس جولديسـهـر، مـذاهب التفسـير الإسـلامي، ترجمـة: عبد الحليـم النجـار، مكتبـة الخـانجي، مصـر، ومكتبـة المثنى، بغـداد، 1955 ـــ 1974، ص3.
 سهيـل فرح، الفلسـفة العربيـة المعـاصرة، مـركز دراسـات الوحـدة العربيـة، 1988، ص263.
 محمـد إقبـال، تجـديد التفكــير الدينـي في الإســلام، ترجمـة عبـاس محـمود، لجنـة التــأليف والترجمـة والنشــر، القـاهرة، الطبعـة الثـانيـة، 1986م، ص 189 ــ 190.
 أبو شــامـة عبد الرحمـن بن خلدون المقـدمـة، دار القلم، بيـروت، 1984، ط5، ص 493.
 عبد الرحمـن بن خلدون، المقـدمـة، دار القلـم، بيـروت، 1984، ط5، ج2، ص493.
أحمـد أمين،ضحـى الإسـلام، مكتبـة النهضـة المصـرية، الطبعـة الثامنة، بلا تاريخ، ج1، ص49.
Hamilton A.R. Gibb on the Civilization of Islam, Princeton University Press، New Jersey, 1982, P.69.
The term “Zandaqa” has several meanings, which are impudence, immorality and the action of flouting the religious issues and spreading skepticism. It also denotes the followers of Manichaeism. This tendency prevailed during this age and many of Persian authors, who failed to break the chains of the past and the traces of their ancient doctrines such as Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, are among its advocates.
For more information, see:
ســورديل دومنيـك جـانين، الحضـارة الإســلامية في عصـرهـا الذهبي، دار الحقيقــة، بـيروت، 1980م، ص123. أحمـد أمين. مرجه سابق، ج1، ص123.
A commentary on these writings, see:
أحمـد بن عبد الحليـم ابـن تيمية، مجمــوع فتاوى شيخ الإسـلام، جمع وترتيب: ابـن قـاســم، السـعودية، 1398هـ / 1978م، ج20، 392
 ابن قيـم الجوزيـة، إعلام الموقعين، ج2، ص208
 محمـد بن إسمـاعيل الصنعـاني، إرشـاد النقـاد، مرجع سابق، ج1.
 A group of scholars believe that Taqlīd has been extending from the fourth century or the beginning of the fifth century. See:
محمـد بن الحســن الحجوى، الفكـر الســامي في تـاريخ الفقـه الإســلامي، تعليق: عبــد العـزيز القـارئ، المكتبـة العلميـة، المدينــة المنـورة، 1397هـ، 1977م، الجزء الثاني، القسـم الرابع، ص163.
عبـد الحـي بن أحمـد الدمشقي، شـذرات الذهب في أخبـار من ذهب، دار الكتب العلميـة، بيـروت، بلا تاريخ، ج2، ص188.
 الصنعـاني، إرشـاد النقـاد، ج1، ص23 وما بعـدهـا.
 ابن حزم، الإحكـام في أصـول الأحكـام، مرجع سابق، ج6، ص292.
. Durkheim, a sociologist, refrained from interpreting the social influence on shaping individual’s behaviors, by emphasizing the presence of social fact which is capable of exerting over the individual an external constraint. See:
محمـد سعيد فرج، البناء الاجتمـاعي والشخصية، دار المعـرفـة الجـامعية، مصـر، 1989م، ص8 ومـا بعـدهـا.
 This was mentioned also by Aristotle. For sociologists, it is a classical indisputable issue to regard human as a social and civilized being, which means that he could not live alone or studied by separating him from his society. see:
أحمـد الخشــاب، التفكير الاجتمـاعي، دراســة تكـامليـــة للنظـرية الاجتمـاعية، دار النهضـة العربيـة للطباعـة والنشـر، بيـروت، بلا تاريخ، ص123
 غوستـاف لوبون، روح الجمـاعات، ترجمـة: عـادل زعيتر، دار المعــارف، مصـر، 1955م، ص78. انظـر للمؤلف كذلك: روح الاجتمـاع، ترجمـة: أحمـد فتحى زغلول باشـا، مطبعـة الشعب، مصـر، 1909، ص59
 إبراهيـم البليهي، موقع منتـدى الكتـاب، الرياض الإلكتروني على الانترنت.
 أبو حـامد الغزالي، إحياء علوم الدين، دار المعـرفـة، بيـروت، ج3، ص14.
 غوستاف لوبون، روح الاجتمـاع، مرجـع سـابق، ص61
 بيار مانوني، علم النفس الجمـاعي، شـركـة انترسبيس للنشـر، قبرص، بلا تاريخ، ص78 وما بعـدهـا.
 غوستاف لوبون، المرجع السـابق، ص30.
 غوستاف لوبون، روج الاجتمـاع، مرجع سابق، ص21.
 فؤاد البهي السيد، سعـد عبد الرحمـن، علم النفس الاجتمـاعي، دار الفكـر العربي، مصر، 1999م، ص75
 القنوجي، أبجـد العلـوم، مرجع سابق، ج2، ص405.
 الشـوكـاني، القـول المفيد، ج1، ص66
 عوض الله جـاد حجـازي، ابن القيـم وموقفـه مـن التفكير الإسلامي، دار الطبـاعة المحمـدية، مصـر، 1380هـ، 1960م، ص38 ــ 39.
 محمـد سلام مدكـور، مناهج الاجتهـاد في الإسلام، جامعـة الكويت، الكويت، 1973، ج1، القسـم الثاني، ص63
 إبراهيم عقيلي، تكـامل المنهـج المعـرفي عند ابن تيمية، المعهـد العالمي للفكـر الإسـلامي، أمريكـا، 1415هـ، 1994م، ص63
 ابن قيــم الجوزية، مـدراج الســالكين في منـازل إيـاك نعـبد وإيـاك نستعين، تحقيق: محمـد حـامـد الفقي، دار الكتــاب العـربي، الطبعـة الثانيـة، بيـروت 1973، ج1، ص5.
 Reflect on what Ibn Khaldoun said about the gap between the civilized countries and the Bedouin regions: “When the civilized became well-versed in arts and its faculties, those who failed to reach such achievement thought that he reached this because of his perfect intelligence and that the Bedouin are inferiors due to their innate nature.” Vol.1, P 433.
ابن خلـدون، المقـدمة، ج1، ص 431 ــ 342
 الحجـوي، مرجع سـابق، ج2، القسـم الثـالث، ص144 ومـا بعـدهـا.
 ابن خلـدون، ج1 ص 531.
 ابن خلـدون، ج1 ص29.
 ابن خلـدون، المقـدمـة، ج1، ص532
 الحجوى، مرجـع سابق، ج2، القسـم الرابع، ص393
 ابن قيـم الجوزيـة، مدارج السـالكين في منازل إياك نعبـد وإياك نستعين، ت: محمـد حـامـد الفقهي، دار الكتب العربي، بيـروت، ج1، ص5
 محمـد بن الحسن الحجـوي، مرجـع سابق، الجزء الثاني، القسـم الثالث، ص5
 أحمـد بن حمـدان الحـراني، صفـة الفتوى، ت: محمد ناصـر الدين الألباني، المكتب الإسـلامي، المكتبـة الثالثة، بيـروت، 1397هـ، ج1، ص 105 ما بعـدهـا
 المقـدسـي، مختصـر المؤمل، مرجع ســابق، ج1، ص 41 ــ 42، وانظـر كذلـك في ذات المعنى: الشــوكـاني، القـول المفيـد: مرجع سابق، ج1، ص 58.
 الخضـرى بك، تاريخ التشـريع الإسـلامي، دار الفكـر، دمشـق، ص 278
 الشوكـاني، إرشـاد الفحـول، ج1، ص423
 عبد الله مصطفى المراغـي، الفتح المبين في طبقـات الأصوليين، مطبعــة عبد الحمي،د حنفي، مصـر، ط2، ج2، ص99
 أبو حامـد الغزالـي، المنقذ من الضلال، تحقيق: جميل صليبـا وكـامل عيـاد، دار الأنـدلس، لطبعـة التاسـعة، بيـروت، 1980، ص89 ــ 90
 أبو شامة المقـدسي، مختصـر المؤمل، ج1، ص36
 الشوكـاني، إرشـاد الفحول، ج1، ص 424
 فـاخـر عـاقـل، علـم النفس دراسـة التكيف البشـري، دار العلـم للملايين، بيـروت، الطبعـة التاسـعة، 1984م، ص235 وما بعـدهـا بتصرف
 الصنعاني، إرشـاد النقـاد، ج1، ص25
 أبو شـامة المقـدسي، مرجع سـابق، ج1، ص55
 الحجوى، مرجع سابق، ج1، القسـم الرابع، ص163
 إرشـاد الفحـول إلى تحقيق الحق من علم الأصـول، ص223، إبراهيـم هلال، الإمـام الشـوكـاني والاجتهـاد والتقليد، دار النهضـة العربيـة، مصـر، 1979، ص56
الشـوكـاني، القـول المفيـد مرجـع سـابق، ج1، ص68.
 أبو الفرج عبـد الرحمـن بن على بن الجـوزي، تلبيس إبليس، ت: السـيد الجميلي، دار الكتـاب العربي، بيـروت. 1985، ج1، ص 101.
 الصنعاني، إرشـاد النقـاد، ج1، ص26.
*** Egyptian Researcher and Translator.