Al-Din al-Qayyim: On Taqlid and Ijtihad
A Refutation of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah’s Arguments against Taqlid
In Allah’s Name, the Infinitely Merciful, the Beneficent. All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May blessings and peace shower on His final Messenger, Muhammad, his family and his companions.
This book is a translation of the treatise al-Din al-Qayyim by the late Indian scholar, Mawlana Habib Ahmad al-Kiranawi, published with a number of his other writings under the title Fawa’id fi ‘Ulum al- Fiqh. Al-Din al-Qayyim was written as a detailed refutation of Shaykh Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah’s (691 H/1292 CE – 751 H/1349 CE) arguments against taqlid from his I’lam al-Muwaqqi’in which offers the most thorough denunciation of taqlid and its proofs to date. The refutation was written in Arabic by Mawlana Habib Ahmad under the supervision of Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali al-Thanawi (d. 1362 H/ 1943 AD) as part of the general introduction to the 20-volume compendium of hadith- proofs for the Hanafi madhhab, I’la al-Sunan.*
Mawlana Habib Ahmad in a rigorous and precise manner shows not only that taqlid, which is the non- mujtahid’s deference to a mujtahid Imam in rulings of the Shari’ah without asking for detailed proofs, is established from the Qur‟an, Sunnah and the practice of the Salaf, but that it is so fundamental and necessary for Islamic scholarship and practice to function at any level that its detractors have no option but to resort to taqlid, while repackaging it as “adherence to proof.” It is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand the structure of Islamic scholarship and the weakness of the arguments presented by those who wish to deny the legitimacy and necessity of taqlid.
I preferred adhering to a literal translation rather than an explanatory one except where this was not possible, as I wished to preserve the language and style of the author’s original work. I have included parentheses in squared brackets to indicate translator’s insertions. I have taken liberties with titles and subtitles to make the format more reader-friendly. I have sourced and checked most of the quotations in the book using more recent editions of the works cited, and have provided references for Qur’anic verses and hadiths.
Rajab 1432, June 2011
*According to what is mentioned at the end of Fawa’id fi ‘Ulum al-Fiqh, a draft of the book was completed on 1357 H (1938 CE), and “that was under the supervision of the foremost victor, the worker of wonders, the sage of this nation, the remover of obscurity, possessor of countless virtues, our patron, the hafiz, the proof, the trustworthy, the firm hadith-scholar, the exegete, the jurist, the saint, our master, Mawlana Muhammad Ashraf ‘Ali al-Thanawi, may Allah extend his stay, and increase his perfection and beauty, and give all worlds the good fortune of his sacred breaths, and illuminate the hearts of the seekers of guidance with the lights of his pure soul.” (Habib Ahmad al-Kiranawi, Fawa’id fi ‘Ulum al-Fiqh, ed. Na’im Ashraf Nur Ahmad, 1414 H, Karachi: Idarat al-Qur’an, p. 305)