Edited and Slides by Omar K Neusser
18 Taqlīd - Following the Authority of a Mujtahid
If we keep on believing in what we have received by hearsay after having reflected on the fact that it is, after all, hearsay, this is no doubt because we trust the source from which we have heard it. The ulama take such trust as an important asset of the believer. Those who subscribe to the religion, they say, need to have taqlīd, ‘imitation.’
This is because people must imitate their teachers in order to gain access to any knowledge, not least knowledge of the religion’s teachings and scriptures. In the science of jurisprudence, the word taqlīd has the specific meaning of following the authority of a mujtahid, that is a jurist who is supposed to have achieved a complete mastery of Islamic law.
Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi; Presentation of Some 29 Texts