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Grand Ayatollah Shirazi explains ruling on following “non-A’alam” Mujtahid

The daily scholarly meeting of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Sadegh al-Hosseini al-Shirazi was held on Saturday, the third of Jumadi al-Awwal. In this session, like the previous meetings, the supreme Marja answered the questions of the attendees about various jurisprudence issues.

Grand Ayatollah Shiraz discussed the issue of selective taqlid, and said: This issue is mentioned in the book of Urwa al-Wuthqa, and most of the jurists have commented accordingly that being selective in taqlid is not permissible, and the mukallaf cannot follow a mujtahid in some issues and another mujtahid in others.

His Eminence continued: Of course, there is no problem with selective taqlid, where being “A’alam (of superior knowledge)” is not a determinant or it is not possible to recognize the “A’alam” from among several mujtahids. Therefore, if being “A’alam” is a determinant in a situation, and also the “A’alam” can be identified with certainty, then selective taqlid it is not permissible.

Referring to some other cases of permissible selective taqlid, he said: There is no problem in selective taqlid between two mujtahids who are equal in knowledge or at least it is not clear which one is “A’alam”.

Grand Ayatollah Shirazi also explained that, when someone follows the fatwa of a mujtahid for several years, and later it becomes clear he was not the “A’alam” mujtahid, the actions of such a person will be treated under the rule of “Ejza’”, meaning that their past actions up to that point are accepted, but they must follow the fatwa of A’alam mujtahid from then on.

It should be noted that “Ejza’” is a term in the science of the principles of jurisprudence (Usul), which is derived from the root “jaza’a”, and means to be satisfied with something, and in Usul terminology, it means the sufficiency of the action performed from redoing and qadha. It is qadha.

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