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Comparative Fatwas on Taqlid

Fatwās Of Imam Khomeini (q.)

Fatwās of the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei (d.)

1- It is obligatory to follow a mujtahid who is just, living, mature, sane, male, born out of a legitimate marriage and a Twelver Shi‘ite. One should, by obligatory caution, follow a mujtahid who does not crave for this world, and is the most knowledgeable among mujtahids of his time.

1- If there are different mujtahids who enjoy all requirements and their fatwās are not alike, it is, by obligatory caution, incumbent upon a mukallaf to follow the most knowledgeable mujtahid. However, if the mukallaf finds that the verdicts of the most knowledgeable one do not conform to caution and the verdicts of the one who is less knowledgeable conform to caution, then it is not obligatory for the mukallaf to follow the most knowledgeable one.


2- A most knowledgeable mujtahid is a person who is more familiar with the principle rules and documents/references related to an issue, more acquainted with similar issues and traditions and also capable of understanding the traditions best. In brief, a most knowledgeable mujtahid is the one who shows mastery in inferring shar‘ī injunctions more than any other mujtahid.

2- A most knowledgeable mujtahid is the one who is more capable of knowing Allah's law and inferring the duties assigned by Allah from the references than other mujtahids. He should also have more knowledge about what is going on in the world to the extent that it plays an effective role in identifying the subjects of rulings and delivering a jurisprudential opinion.

3- It is not permissible to start following a deceased mujtahid.

3- In initiating taqlīd, one should not neglect caution in following a living and a most knowledgeable mujtahid.

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