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Posts Tagged ‘Legal School of Thought’

A number of my students have asked me about the position of our beloved teacher, the late Sayyid Muhammad ‘Alawi al-Maliki regarding the question of madhahib (Legal Schools of Thought) and ijtihad (the creative exercise of reason). It is important to remember that while he endorsed the distinction between those qualified to engage in ijtihad and those who are bound to follow the opinion of one or another mujtahid (one qualified to perform ijtihad) that his distinction was certainly not one of an absolute nature. He was far more wary of sectarianism than any degree of taqlid (imitation). He was acutely aware of the fact that both the mujtahid, particularly those who are mujtahidin within any particular school of thought, and the muqallid (the one bound to the learned opinion of a mujtahid), may well find themselves entrapped in the snare of rigidity and bigotry. In short, the relationship between the individual and any learned opinion or school of thought is defined and determined more by the attitudes inculcated in those individuals than any degree of adherence to a madhab or taqlid of an opinion could ever be.

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