Al-Majlisi on imitation

Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi writes:

من أطاع أحدا فيما بأمره به مع أنه خلاف ما أمر الله تعالى به وعلمه بذلك أو تقصيره في التفحص فقد اتخذه ربا وعبده من حيث لا يشعر كما قال الله تعالى أن لا تعبدوا الشيطان وذلك لأن العبادة عبارة عن الطاعة والانقياد وأما من قلد عالما أفتى بمحكمات القرآن والحديث وكان عدلا موثقا به فإنه ليس بتقليد له بل تقليد لمن فرض الله طاعته، وحكم بحكم الله عز وجل وإنما أنكر الله تعالى تقليد هؤلاء أحبارهم ورهبانهم وذمهم على ذلك لأنهم إنما قلدوهم في الباطل بعد وضوح الحق وظهور أمر النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فلذا لم يكونوا معذورين في ذلك
Whoever obeyed someone in that what he commanded him, even though it goes against what God has commanded, and he made him to be aware of it or because they did not verify it, he took them as Lords and worshipped them, not realizing it, just as God said: “That you will not worship Satan.” (36:60) For worship expresses obedience and submission, but as for those who imitated (Taqlid) a knowledgeable, who had provided the clarification (Fatwa) of the explicitness of the Qur’an and the tradition, and were just and trustworthy in it, it is not imitation (Taqlid) of him, but imitation (Taqlid) of the one to whom God made obedience to him as obligatory (4:59) and judged with the judgment of God and God rejected the imitation (Taqlid) of their scholars and monks (9:31) only because of that and damned them for it because they imitated (Taqlid) them in the falsehood, after the truth and the command of the Prophet (s.) had been revealed and so they were not excusable in it.” [Mir’at-ul-Uqul, Volume 1, page 182 – 183]

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