Follow Quran and Sunnah, not any particular scholar

Two main sources of knowledge and guidance in Islam are Quran and Sunnah. Quran is the divine word which will never be changed till the last day and sunnah is the practice and words of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w. these two sources are to be followed as primary source of guidance in Islam. It does not mean that we cannot consult the scholars concerning the religious matters. But to follow any person blindly is also not permissible.

The blind following of one or more than one scholars is called taqlid which is not allowed in Islam. It is not allowed because the person to be followed without doubt is none other than Muhammad s.a.w.w and the only book which can never be doubted for forgery is Quran because Quran is the divine revelation and ALLAH swt has promised us to take care of HIS book i.e. Holy Quran, till the last day. And HE HIMSELF has challenged the wrongdoers to produce a verse like that of Quranic verses and it is open challenge till the last day of earth.

Coming to the topic, why is it not allowed to follow a scholar? This question may look absurd by those who do taqlid of pious people like imam abu hanifah or imam shafi, imam malik etc. they can come up with countless justifications. But whatever they say will be as wrong as the act of blindly following even a pious person.

Scholars are also humans like us, though ALLAH swt has given them knowledge more than us but even then they are humans and have a limited capacity of understanding and thinking. Just take example of two students of 10th grade. Both of them if asked to reply an open question, they will come up with different ideas and their reply will be different.

It is because they both possess different mental capabilities and their approach of life will be different. Both have seen and lived in different environments and both have different exposures. Similarly, when we talk about scholars, they had different understanding of the din and they came up with different (sometimes) same results. Thus if a scholar does ijtehad and still reaches the wrong conclusion, it will not be sin on his part but those who want to follow him will surely follow and practice that wrong result thus a wrong practice will be introduced in the Muslim society.

This is the reason we should not rely on the sayings of only one person. Instead we should think with reasoning and if we doubt certain conclusion of any scholar, it will be the best thing to raise our doubts on that particular point. By doing so, we will be able to do two goods, one will be to let the scholar think and rework his understanding and second thing will be to take the people out of this mindset that they cannot question a scholar. In fact, scholars should be most concerned parties in the Muslim society because on their shoulders lie the biggest responsibility to help ummah in the religious matters.

Another reason for not following a scholar blindly is to prevent that scholar from pride which caused the satan to leave jannah. History has seen many pious men of ALLAH to go astry because they fell into pride of their knowledge. They thought of themselves to be right and flawless. Khawarijis, the people on whom ALLAH’s messenger Muhammad s.a.w.w. sent curse are the people who think of their knowledge as best and without flaws.

To sum up, if we want to follow something blindly, it should be Quran and sunnah because in Quran and sunnah we cannot doubt all other sources are bound to be erroneous because they are manmade and man concluded.
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