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Question: Why do we do TAQLEED of the IMAMs of FIQH (eg. Imam Abu Hanifa RA, Imam Shafii RA, etc.)?

Why don't we do TAQLEED of the KHULAFA-e-RASHIDEEN (the four rightly guided KHALIFAS after the time of RasulAllah SAWS)? Do we consider the IMAMS greater in stature that the KHULAFA-e-RASHIDEEN? Answer: The status of the four KHULAFA-e-RASHIDEEN is far greater than the four IMAMS of FIQH. Still, we do TAQLEED of the IMAMS because they preserved their IJTIHAAD in the form of books, which could be used by later generations. Prior to these IMAMS, no one attempted to document their IJTIHAAD. Imam ABU HANIFA (RA) was the first Mujtahid to get his IJTIHAAD written in the form of a book. After him, Imam SHAFII (RA), Imam MAALIK (RA), Imam AHMED BIN HANBAL (RA) documented their IJTIHAAD in their books, which are followed till today. Among the SAHABA (RA), many were MUJTAHIDS including the four KHULFA-e-RASHIDEEN. Different mujtahid SAHABAs were governors of different provinces and their IJTIHAAD was followed in their respective provinces. However, the noble SAHABA were engrossed in the work of TAMKEEN-e-DEEN, i.e. the spread of the word of ALLAH to the whole world, so they didn't get enough time to document their IJTIHAAD in books. That is why, after their demise, their IJTIHAAD was replaced by those of other mujtahid SAHABA or TABAEEN. However, their QIYAS (logical deduction) was duly embedded in the FIQH of the four IMAMS of FIQH who later arrived on the scene. So, we must understand the sources of the FIQH of the four IMAMS. Following are the sources of FIQH (Islamic Jurisprudence): QURAAN AHADEES IJMA-e-SHABA QIYAS of a MUJTAHID

To declare a ruling on a certain issue, the MUJTAHID first refers to the QURAAN, if he is able to find the answer categorically from the QURAAN, then there is no need to go to other sources, if, in many cases, there is no clear cut indication of the issue in QURAAN, then the collection of AHADEES is referred to by the MUJTAHID. In certain cases, there are apparent differences between AHADEES that need to be resolved. SO, the MUJTAHID first tries to find out the opinion of the SAHABA on that issue, so, for example, if there was a consensus among the KHULAFA-e-RAHSIDEEN on a particular opinion regarding that issue, then the MUJTAHID need not jump to QIYAS, it is not allowed in this situation, then MUJTAHID accepts that collective opinion of the SHABA (IJMA-e-SAHABA). And finally, if the MUJTAHID finds that there are differences in the opinion among the SAHABA on that issue, then the MUJTAHID makes QIYAS (logical deduction) and gives a solution (FATWA). So, it is sheer Ignorance to say that a MUJTAHID makes laws on his own, or that muslims are blindly following the IMAMS of FIQH. Their utmost care in the deduction of Islamic SHARIAT cannot be, and must not be challenged by a bunch of ignorant muslims of modern times. This is sheer JAHALAT.