Lesson 18 : Taklif and Taqleed

Once a person reaches the age of Taklif (estimated at completion of 15 years for boys and 9 years for girls) he is called a MUKKALAF. This means that that individual has reached a point where he has become answerable to Allah (S.W.T.) for all the obligatory actions and duties prescribed by Him.

When a Muslim becomes a Mukkalaf, he must learn all his wajibat, which include Salaat, Sawm, Hajj and Zakat amongst others. A Mukkalaf must also avoid doing anything Haram (forbidden) such as lying and stealing. Those who do not avoid that which is forbidden, will suffer Allah (S.W.T.)'s wrath and punishment. Disobedience to the Almighty who has created us all is a grave sin.

Ahkam and Ebadah thus form the core of Islam. Allah (S.W.T.) expects human beings to attain happiness in the eternal abode by seeking His pleasure in this world.

However, every human being must try to utilize his Aql (Reasoning) in his beliefs. He must spend time searching for the philosophy behind the religious duties and not perform them blindly. This will deepen the effect of the action and strengthen his faith in Allah (S.W.T.) the Creator.

Logical proofs are a necessary ingredient in the quest for the true path. One has to fully understand his beliefs and cannot follow another persons' ideas in this matter. This is the reason why Islam does not allow Taqlid (acting according to the verdict of another) in Usool - e - Deen.

Coming to the Branches or the laws, how can one learn the practical laws of Islam? How can we derive the Haram (Prohibited) and Halal (Lawful) actions from the Qur'an and the Sunnah?

Is it possible for everyone or just anyone to teach this important issue? Can all pursue higher studies to the point of Ijtihad i.e. learning, analyzing and understanding all the Ahkams?

Such a great task is not possible for everyone. The majority of us cannot attain the highest stage of Ijtihad and so the question is what should we do in order to ensure that our actions are according to the command of Allah (S.W.T.)?

Thus, we can see the need to follow a Marja'e Taqleed. It is therefore necessary for every Mukkalaf to follow the present A'alam in the laws of Islam.


Taqleed in religious laws means acting according to the verdict of a Mujtahid. It is necessary for that Mujtahid, among other things, to be:

Male Shi'a Ithna Asheri Adult Sane Of Legitimate Birth Living Adil (Just)


  1. When one is certain that a particular person is the most learned Mujtahid alive and possesses Islamic understanding in making laws, then he can consider him as an A'alam amongst the existing Marja'e Taqleed

  2. When two learned persons recognize a scholar as an A'alam and confirm this, then, provided that two other learned and just persons do not contradict them, this can be taken as a fact. The fact can also be established by a statement of only one trusted and reliable person

  3. When a number of learned persons (Aalim) claim and certify that a Marja'e Taqlid is the A'alam of the time then this can also be accepted provided all are satisfied by the learned people's verdict.

Think and Answer

  1. When does a girl/boy enter the stage of Buloogh?
  2. What are the duties of a Mukkalaf?
  3. Define Taqleed in the Islamic terminology.
  4. What are the qualities of a Mujtahid?
  5. Who can be called a Marja'e Taqleed?

Lesson 19 : Wudhoo and Tayyamum

We perform Wudhoo to clean and prepare ourselves physically, spiritually and mentally for direct communion with the Almighty. We begin with the beautiful words in praise of the Supreme Lord saying "Bismillahir Rahman Rahim" which means "In the name of Allah (S.W.T.), the Beneficent, the most Merciful."

In Wudhoo, we physically wash our hands and face while asking Allah (S.W.T.) to forgive us and wash our souls clean from all sins. Through this act, we bear witness in the Oneness of Allah (S.W.T.) and in the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w.) before we begin our Salaat (Prayers).

Incase one is unable to perform Wudhoo (conditions are listed at the end of the lesson), he has the option of performing Tayyamum.


The following are the basic steps of performing Wudhoo

  1. Make a Niyyah (Intention) that you are performing the Wudhoo for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.).

  2. Wash your face. The area that must be covered in this step is from the upper part of the forehead, where the hair begins to grow, down to the farthest end of the chin and what falls between the thumb and the middle finger (across the face).

  3. After washing your face, wash your right arm from the elbows to the tips of the fingers.

  4. Now wash your left arm in same manner as above.

  5. The next step is wiping the front part of your head. Do not take more water but use the wetness left on your hand from the previous step.

  6. Next continue with the same wet hands and wipe your right foot from any toe of the foot up to the ankle joint.

  7. Finally, wipe your left foot to complete your wudhoo.


Under certain circumstances, instead of Wudhoo, we are allowed to perform Tayyamum. A person can perform Tayammum if:

  1. He has no access to pure and clean water.
  2. Water is harmful to his health/body at that time.
  3. There is very little time before the prayer becomes Qadha and performing Wudhoo will take too long.

Tayyamum can be performed on the following things:

Earth Sand - hard or soft

A Lump of clay Dust that gather on dresses, carpets etc.


We will describe the process using dust as our medium.

  1. First of all make a Niyyah (Intention) similar to the one you would for Wudhoo.

  2. Gently strike or keep both palms on the dust. This should be done with both the palms at the same time.

  3. Wipe/stroke your forehead with the palms of both hands. You must cover all the area from the point where your hair grows down to the eyebrows just above the nose. It is recommended that you pass your palms over the eyebrows as well. You can do this by beginning from the middle of the forehead and then passing your palms to the left and right ends.

  4. Next, pass your left palm on the back of your right hand and after that pass your right palm on the back of your left hand.

  5. Strike your hands on the dust for a second time and repeat the fourth step above.


  1. Tayyamum is a replacement for Wudhoo only under certain conditions.
  2. Tayyamum can be performed on sand, dust or earth.
  3. Tayyamum performed on Najis or Ghasbi sand is Batil (Null)


Tayyamum when performed instead of Wudhoo must be carried out in the following sequence:

First strike your hands on the earth, then wipe your forehead and the back of your hands, and then strike the hands on the earth once again to wipe the back of the hands for the last time.

Think and Answer

  1. In what circumstances can one perform Tayyamum instead of Wudhoo?
  2. Mention the seven steps of Wudhoo in sequence (Tartib).
  3. Mention the five steps of Tayyamum in sequence.


Perform Wudhoo and Tayyamum in front of your teacher.