Early scholars on the issue of blind imitation

Muhammad Al-Hurr Al-Amili writes:

اختلف في جواز التقليد في الأصول والفروع فمنهم من منع منه فيهما ومنهم من أجاز فيهما ومنهم من أجازه في الفروع والخلاف مشهور وأدلة الجواز ضعيفة والآيات الشريفة صريحة في ذمه والمنع منه مطلقا بل بعض الآيات ظاهرة في تناول المنع للفروع وقد جمعنا الأحاديث والأدلة وما يرد عليها في محلى آخر ومن أجازه في الفروع من أصحابنا المتأخرين لا يجيزون تقليد الميت والمتقدمون لا يجيزون تقليد الميت ولا الحي

“There is disagreement about the permissibility of imitation (Taqlid) in the legal issues (Furu’) and the beliefs (Usul) of religion. Among them is the one who forbids it in both and among them is the one who permits it in both and among them is the one who permits it only in legal matters (Furu’), but the opposite is well known and the proofs of permissibility are weak and the verses of the Qur’an clearly state the condemnation and the absolute prohibition of it. Rather, some verses clearly state the prohibition in the legal matters (Furu’) and we have already provided the traditions and the evidences and that which is answered in another place all together. Those of our later companions who allow it in questions of the legal issues (Furu’) do not allow the imitation (Taqlid) of the deceased, while the early scholars do not allow the imitation (Taqlid) of the deceased nor that of the living.” [Al-Fawa’id-ut-Tusiyyah, page 326]

Al-Hurr Al-Amili is the author of the famous work “Wasa’il-ush-Shi’ah.”

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