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Exertion and following (Ejtehad and Taghlid)

A human can act according to the practical laws of Islam through either Ejtehad orTaghlid.

Ejtehad is a comprehensive effort in the part of the religious decrees from its sources such as the Holy Quran and the traditions of the immaculate Imams (peace be upon them), which are the most important sources. Of course, it must be done after learning the sciences which aid human in extracting the religious decree from its sources. This person who is an expert in the law of Islam is called a Mujtahid.

Taghlid means immitation of the opinion of a learned jurist. Here it means to follow the Mujtahid so a person must perform the action according to religious opinion pronunced bythe Mujtahid (Fatwa).

1 - A Mujtahid who is followed by people is called a "Marja Taghlid" and a person who follows the Mujtahid is called Moghallad.

2 - A person who is not a Mujtahid and can not extract divine decrees and commandments from its sources, should follow the Mujtahid and perform his actions according to the religious decrees of the Mujtahid (Fatwa).

3 - The duty of the majority of the people is to follow the Mujtahid because they are experts in religion.

4 - Attributes of a Mujtahid:
* Just
* Living
* Male
* Mature
* Wise
* Legitimate birth
* Twelve - ImamShi¨te.
The most learned (A'lam) who is more capable of the understanding the divine laws than any of the contemporary Mujtahids.

5 - If the Mujtahid of a person passed away, and his Mujtahid was the most learned, he must remain his follower. If the dead Mujtahid and living Mujtahid are equal in religious abilities, it is permissible to follow the dead Mujtahid.

6 - The most learned person is a man who is more capable in extracting Islamic laws from their sources thus he is more of an expert than the other Mujtahids.

7 - There are 3 ways of identifying a Mujtahid and the most learned man:
*When a person is certain that a particular person is a Mujtahid, or the most learned one.

For this he should be a learned person himself, and should posses the capacity to identify a Mujtahid or A'alam.
*Two persons, who are learned and just and posses the capacity to identify a Mujtahid or the A'alam, confirm that a person is Mujtahidor A'lam provided that two other learned and just persons do not contradict them.
* His being the most expert has been established to such a degree that a person is assured about his religious knowledge.

8 - There are four ways of obtaining the Fatwas (religious decrees or Religious edicts) ofMujtahid.
* To hear it from the Mujtahid himself.
* To hear it from two just persons.
* To hear it from one just person if one attains certainty from that person's statement.
*To see it in a legitimate print of the book of practical rules so one is assured of its accuracy.

9 - If the Fatwa changes in any subject the follower must carry out the new one. Acting according to the previous Fatwa is not permissible unless the earlier Fatwa was based on caution.

10 - It is obligatory to learn the rules which a person continuously needs to use.