Doctrine of the Necessity for Imitation (taqlid) in the Various Branches of the Religion (furu' ad-din)
Adopted from the book : "The Faith of Shi'a Islam" by : Allamah Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar"
By the branches of the religion we mean those religious laws which govern our actions (shari'ah), but concerning which not everyone is required to exercise juristic reasoning (ijtihad). However, it is the duty of everyone to take one of the three following ways in regard to them:
(a) he should exert himself in study until he becomes a mujtahid,
(b)he should exercise juristic precaution (ihtiyat) if he is able to,
(c) he should follow one who is a recognized mujtahid, who must be a man of wisdom and justice, "who keeps himself from sin, not following the dictates of his own desires, but obeying the commands of Allah"
It follows that one who is neither a mujtahid, nor exercise ihtiyat, nor follows a mujtahid, does all the actions of his din in vain, and that neither his prayer nor his fasting will be accepted by Allah, even though he has carried out his duties in these matters for the whole of his life;unless he begins to follow a mujtahid, in which case, those of his actions prior to his following the mujtahid which were done for the sake of Allah will be accepted.
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