The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Taqlid literally means "to follow (someone)", "to imitate". In Islamic legal terminology it means to follow a mujtahid in religious laws and commandment as he has derived them. A mujtahid is a person who is an expert of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh); he is also called a faqih. It should be observed that taqlid pertains only to the realm of the sharia; there can be no taqlid in the matters of belief (usulu 'd-din). A Muslim must hold his belief in the fundamentals of his religion after attaining conviction of their truth through examination and reflection. The Qur'an very clearly condemns those who follow others blindly in matters of belief:

And when it is said to them, "Come now to what Allah has sent down, and the Messenger," they say, "Enough for us is what we found our fathers doing". What, even if their fathers had knowledge of naught and were not rightly-guided? (5:104)

Compare: Stare decisis

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