Taqlid in Aqidah

Oct 13, 2021 | Aqidah (Belief)


Selamun aleykum,

What is meant with “there is not taqlid in Aqidah”. I As a layman am not able to interpret what Allah says, myself. I have to ask scholars. Now Maturidiyya and Ashariyya e.g. belief that there is no real causality, instead, Allah (swt) creates cause and effect seperatly. Salafiyya believe there is causality and Allah uses causes to create effects. Now, to me, even though I am a Maturidiyya, the Salafi stance in this regard seems more logical to me. Does this mean I have to believe this, since “there is no Taqlid in Aqidah” and it is forbidden for me to blindly believe the Maturidiyya/Ashariyya view? To me, it seems more wise to just accept the Maturidiyya/Ashariyya stance, since I trust these Schools of Aqidah and believe they generally are on truth and if they say this is what they deduct from Quran and Sunnah (i.e. that there is no real causality) then to me it doesn’t matter what seems more logical to myself since I want to follow the truth not my own logic. So why shouldn’t I do taqlid in this regard?


Fatwa Summary

There appears to be a misunderstanding of the phrase “taqlid in aqida”. This refers to the theological discussion about whether a person’s iman is valid without knowing the proofs of faith and pondering. This phrase does not mean one should not follow a school of theology.

Taqlid in Iman

Muslim theologians have debated whether a muqallid’s iman (belief/faith) is valid. According to some, it is not valid as iman means confirmation and attestation in the heart (tasdiq). Therefore, one’s iman cannot be confirmed without attestation and knowledge of the proofs of faith. The opinion of the majority is that one can become a complete believer without knowing the proofs of faith. Thus the iman of a muqallid is valid. For them, confirmation in the heart is fulfilled by certainty in faith – and one can be certain with or without knowledge of the proofs of faith.[1]

However, how does one know about Allah’s divine attributes, causality, free will, prophethood, the last day and so forth, without access to the Arabic language and scholarly insight to Qur’an and Hadith? In these matters, one should return to scholars when one does not know and follow their guidance. Take the example of causality and divine power – lay Muslims do not have the capability to discern this matter through their own rational faculties or through insight into Quran and Hadith. Therefore, taqlid of a scholar is the only tenable method of discerning the correct answer.

If a lay Muslim believes that a particular theological position makes sense to them, their concurrence to this position is without consequence. This is because they do not possess the necessary insight to contextualise this position within the totality of the Qur’an and Hadith, thus allowing them to discern orthodox from heterodox. Thus, taqlid of a trusted Sunni school of aqida is a must.

[1] See al-Taftazani, Sharh Maqasid fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam, 5 vols. (Beirut: ‘Alam al-Kutub, n.d.): 5:218-224

Answered by:
Maulana Ikramul Hoque Miah

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel