Al-Mufid on imitation

What was Al-Mufid’s view on imitation (Taqlid)?

Abu Abdillah Al-Mufid writes: “It may be right to forbid discussing in times of necessity and other than this, but it is not right to forbid looking (at the evidences), for giving up that is the way to imitation (Taqlid) and imitation has been condemned unanimously by the scholars and the text of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. God mentioned the imitators among the disbelievers and condemned them for their imitation (Taqlid): “We found our fathers at a path and are followers of their footsteps.” (43:23) He said: “Even though I brought you something more right than that on which you found your fathers?” (43:24) [Tashih-ul-I’tiqadat, pg. 72]
قال الشيخ أبو عبد الله المفيد رضي الله عنه: وقد يصح النهي عن المناظرة للتقية وغير ذلك ولا يصح النهي عن النظر لأن في العدول عنه المصير إلى التقليد والتقليد مذموم باتفاق العلماء ونص القرآن والسنة قال الله تعالى ذاكرا لمقلدة من الكفار وذاما لهم على تقليدهم: إنا وجدنا آباءنا على أمة وإنا على آثارهم مقتدون قال أولو جئتكم بأهدى مما وجدتم عليه آباءكم
Abu Abdillah Al-Mufid writes: “If the imitation (Taqlid) was right and the looking (at evidences) wrong, then the imitation of one group would not be better than the imitation of another and every wrongdoer would be excused by way of imitation and every imitator of an innovator would be innocent and nobody says that. Therefore, through what we mentioned, we know that looking is the truth and discussing with the truth is correct, and the reports which Abu Ja’far (As-Saduq), God have mercy on him, narrated and their viewpoints, which we mentioned – although the matter is not about their point – provide an image, of what is contained in them and God is the Lord of Success.” [Tashih-ul-I’tiqadat, page 73]
قال الشيخ أبو عبد الله المفيد رحمه الله: ولو كان التقليد صحيحا والنظر باطلا لم يكن التقليد لطائفة أولى من التقليد لأخرى وكان كل ضال بالتقليد معذورا وكل مقلد لمبدع غير موزور وهذا ما لا يقوله أحد فعلم بما ذكرناه أن النظر هو الحق والمناظرة بالحق صحيحة، وأن الأخبار التي رواها أبو جعفر رحمه الله وجوهها ما ذكرناه وليس الأمر في معانيها على ما تخيله فيها والله ولي التوفيق


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