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Rules of Taqleed

1. Taqleed (following) in principles of religion is not permissible, and a Muslim should be certain about principles of the religion, and regarding other rules, he must either be a Mujtahid (authority) and act according to his own ruling or follow a Mujtahid, in other words, follow Mujtahid’s ruling.

2. A Mukallaf (one who has reached the age of maturity and thus has become obliged for performing the Islamic duties) who is obliged to Taqleed, if he acts against Taqleed, his actions are invalid.

3. It is obligatory to follow a Mujtahid who is an adult male, sane, Shiah Ithna Ashari (believing in 12 Imams), of legitimate birth, living and just. A person is said to be just when he performs obligatory acts and is able to refrain from committing major sins and in addition to that, he has Murawwat (virtue) which is proved by apparent good character. An obligatory precaution is that Marja’ (Islamic authority) should not be greedy for material world and it is necessary that the Mujtahid who is followed be A’alam or the most learned. In other words, he should be able to understand Allah’s commandments better than all other Mujtahids in his time.

4. If two Mujtahids are equal in Elm (understanding divine laws), obligatory precaution is to follow the most virtuous and abstemious one.

5. The most learned Mujtahid can be identified in three ways:
*First, a person is positive or reaches the certainty that a particular Mujtahid is A’alam. For example, some people may be expert and capable of knowing who is the most learned Mujtahid.
*Second, two just persons who are able to identify the most learned Mujtahid, testify that a particular person is A’alam, provided that two other just persons do not contradict them.
*Third, the status of Ejtehad (being a Mujtahid) and being A’alam for a particular person is so widely known that bring certainty and awareness about his position.

6. If it is difficult to identify the most learned Mujtahid, then one should follow the person whom he considers to be A’alam. But if he weakly believes that someone is A’alam and does not believe in others having the same position, he should follow the same person. Also, if he knows that two people are equal in Elm or one of them is definitely A’alam and he does not consider the possibility of the other one being A’alam, he should follow one particular person and if there are several persons who are A’alam in his view and they look equal to him, then he should follow only one of them.

7. There are three ways to obtain the Fatwa (religious commandment) of Mujtahid:

First, hearing from Mujtahid directly;

Second, Fatwa of Mujtahid in quoted by two just persons. Confirmation by one person is not enough unless his statement is so valid as to bring certainty and awareness;

Third, referring to a Fatwa in Resalah of a Mujtahid .

8. Taqleed (following) is only necessary in obligatory and prohibited acts, but Taqleed in recommendatory acts (Mustahabat) is not obligatory, unless there is Mustahab act which is possible of being considered as obligatory.

9. If a person is sure that the Fatwa of Mujtahid has not been changed, he can perform his duties according to whatever is mentioned in Reslah and if only he suspects that the Fatwa might have been changed, investigation in that issue is not required.

10. It is permissible to continue following a deceased Mujtahid, provided that the deceased and living Mujtahid are in the same level of Elm. But if one of them is the most leaned (A’alam), it is obligatory to follow the most leaned one. When someone continues to follow a dead Mujtahid, then there is no differentiation regarding those issues that he has acted and not acted.

11. Changing Taqleed from one living Mujtahid to another living Mujtahid is permissible provided that they are in the same level, and if one of them is the most learned (A’alam) then it is obligatory to refer to him.

12. If the view of a Mujtahid is changed, it is not obligatory to continue following him, unless the first view conforms with precaution, in which case observing the first view would be considered as an act of precaution and not obligatory.

13. If a Mukallaf has performed his religious duties without Taqleed for some time and he does not know how long that period was, then if he has actually performed those duties according to the Fatwa of a Mujtahid whom he should have been followed in the first instance, he acts are accepted and if not, it is obligatory to perform Qadha (setting what has not been performed) as much as he feels confident that he has fulfilled his duties, of course, provided that the said Mujtahid considers this obligatory.

14. It is obligatory for a Mukallaf that he follows the view of the most learned Mujtahid in the issue of finding “Taqleed of A’alam’ or the issue of “not being obligatory.”

15. If a Mujtahid is the most leaned in rules of prayers but the other one is the most learned in rules of transactions, the precaution requires that the Mukallaf to follow the first one in prayer issues and the second one in transactions.

16. It is obligatory for the Mukallaf who is searching for A’alam, to act according to precautions.

17. If the most learned Mujtahid pronounces a Fatwa regarding a particular issue, the follower (Moqaleed) of him is not free to act according to Fatwa of someone else. If the above said Mujtahid has not issued a Fatwa but has pronounced an obligatory precaution, the Moqaleed may act according to that precaution or refer to a Mujtahid who is less learned.