A Brief of Islamic Law


Following a Mujtahid

-1. It is necessary for a Muslim to believe in the fundamentals of faith with his own insight and understanding, and he cannot follow anyone in this respect, i.e. he can not accept the word o f another who knows them, simply because he has said it. Ho were, one who has faith in the true tenets of Islam, and manifests it by his deeds, is a Muslim and Mu’min, even if he is not very profound, and the laws related to a Muslim will hold good for him. In matters of religious laws, apart from the ones clearly defined, or ones which are indisputable, a person must:

· Either be a Mujtahid (jurist) himself, capable of inferring and deducing from the religious sources and evidence;

· Or if he is not a Mujtahid himself, he should follow one, i.e. he should act according to the verdicts (Fatàwà) of a Mujtahid;

· Or if he is neither a Mujtahid nor a follower (Muqallid), he should act on such precaution which should assure him that he has fulfilled his religious obligation. For example, if some Mujtahids consider an act to be unlawful (Halal (allowed)), while others say that it is not, he should not perform that act.

Similarly, if some Mujtahid consider an act to be obligatory (Wàjib) while others consider it to be recommended (Mustaa*àb), he should perform it.

Therefore, it is obligatory upon those persons who are neither Mujtahids, nor able to act on precautionary measures (Ihtiyat), to follow a Mujtahid.

  1. Taqli'd in religious laws means acting according to the verdicts of a Mujtahid it isnecessary for the Mujtahid who is followed, to be male, shi ‘ah Ithna-`Ashariyyah, adult (Bàligh), sane, of legitimate birth, living and just (`Adil).

A person is said to be just when he performs all those acts which are obligatory upon him, and refrains from all those things which are forbidden to him.

And the sign of being just is that one is apparently of good character, so that if enquiries are made about him from the people of his locality, or from his neighbours, or from his nei ghbouers, or from those persons with whom he lives, they would confirm his good conduct. And it is necessary that the Mujtahid who is followed be A’lam (the most learned), who is more capable of understanding the divine laws than any of the contemporary Mujtahids.

  1. There are three ways of identifying a Mujtahid, and the A’lam:

· When a person is certain that a particular person is a Mujtahid, or the most learned one. For this, he should be a learned person himself, and should possess the capacity to identify a Mujtahid or an A’lam;

· When two persons, who are learned and just and possess the capacity to identify a Mujtahid or the A’lam, confirm that a person is a Mujtahid or an A’lam, provided that two other learned and just persons do not contradict them. In fact, being a Mujtahid or an A’lam can also be established by a statement of only one trusted and reliable person;

· When a number of learned persons who possess the capacity to identitya Mujtahid or an A ‘lam, certify that a particular person is a Mujtahid or an A’lam, provided that one is satisfied by their statement.

  1. There are four ways of obtaining the verdicts of a Mujtahid:

· When one hears from the Mujtahid himself.

· When the verdict of the Mujtahid is quoted by two just persons.

· When one hears the verdict from a person whose statement satisfies him.

· By reading the Mujtahid’s book of Masa’il (religious rules or matters), provided that, one is satisfied about the correctness of the book.

  1. If an A’lam Mujtahid gives a Fatwa on some matter, his follower cannot act in that matter on the Fatwà of another Mujtahid. But if he does not give a Fatwà, and expresses a precaution (Ihtiyat) that a man should act in such and such a manner, for example if he says that as a precautionary measure, in the first and second Rak’ah (unit) of the prayer (Salat) he should read a complete Surah after the Surah of A*amd, the follower may either act on this precaution, which is called obligatory precaution (Ihtiyat-ul-Wàjib), or he may act on the Fatwa of another Mujtahid, while consideringthe srquence of learnedness hence, if he (the second Mujtahid) rules that only Surat-ul-A*amd is enough, he (the person offering prayers) may drop the second surah. The position will be the same if the A’lam Mujtahid expresses terms like Ta’ammul (contemplation) or Ishkal (objection).

  2. If The A’lam Mujtahid observes precaution after or before having given a Fatwà, for example, if he says that if a Najis (impure) vessel is washed once with a kurr water (about 388 litres), it becomes Tahir (pure ), although as precatonary measure, it should be washed three times, his followers can abandon acting according to this precaution. This precaution is called recommended precaution (Ihtiyat-ul-mustahab).

  3. If a Mujtahid, who is followed by a person dies, his category will be the same as when he was alive. Based on this, if he is more learned than a living Mujtahid, the follower must continue to remain in his Taqlid. And if the living Mujtahid is more learned, then the follower must turn to him for Taqlid. And if their differencein learnedness is not lenouin or they are identical, he has the option to act on the verdicts of either of them, except in cases of pief knowledge about the duty or raising a pief argument on it, like the cases of diversity of the verdicts in full or shortened (Qa?r) prayer, in which, as an obligatory precaution, both verdicts should be observed. The term. ‘Taqli'd’ used here implies only an intention to follow a particular Mujtahid, and does not include having acted according to his Fatwa.

  4. It is obligatory for a follower to learn the Masa’il (matters) which he considers probable that if they are not learned, he may commit sins (i.e. abandon an obligatory act or do an unlawful act).

  5. If a person performs his acts for some time without Taqli'd of a Mujtahid, his former actions would be valid if they were according to the verdicts of the new Mujtahid, who can be his Marja’, otherwise they would be valid only when he is considered as ignorant but not negligent, and the defecf of the actions was not in elementals (Rukns) and the like. The actions would be valid also when the person has been negligently ignorant and the defect of the action has been like reciting loudly instead of silently or vice versr, in which the action would be correct in case of ignorance. The previous actions are valid also when the person does not know their quality, except in some cases menticned in Minhaj-us-salihin.


Unmixed and Mixed Water

  1. Water is either unmixed or mixed. Mixed wared (Ma ul-Mudhaf) means the water which is obtained from something, like melon juice or rose water, or a water in which something else is mixed; for example, so much dust is mixed in it that it may on longer be called water.

Any water other than mixed water is called unmixed water (Ma’-ul-mutlaq), and they are of five types:

· Kurr Water. · Under-Kurr Water (QALIL). · Running Water (JARI). · Rain Water. · Water of a Well.

I. Kurr Water

  1. Water, which fills a container whose volume is 36 cubic spans, is equal to a kurr and this is nearly equal to 384 liters.

  2. If an essential impurity (Najàsah) like urine and blood, or anything which has become impure (Najis), like an impure cloth, falls in kurr water, it becomes Najis provided the water acquires the smell, colour, or taste of that Najasah; ather wise it does not become Najis.

  3. If the smell, colour, or taste of kurr water changes owing to something else, which is not Najis, it does not become Najis.

  4. If a Najis object is washed under a tap which is connected with kurr, the water which flows from that object will be Tahir provided it remains connected with kurr, and does not contain essential Najàsah or the smell, colour, or taste of the Najàsah.

II. Under-kurr Water

  1. Under-kurr water means water which does not spring forth from the earth, and its quantity is less than a kurr.

  2. If under-kurr water is poured on something which is Najis, or if a Najis thing contacts it, it becomes Najis.

  3. Under - Kurr water which is poured over a Najis. Object to remove the essential Najàsah will be Najis, as it flows after the contact. Similarly, the under-Kurr water which is poured over a Najis thing to make it pure after the essential Najàsah has been removed, will be Najis, as an obligatory precaution.

  4. The under-Kurr water with which the outlets of urine and stool are washed, does not make anything Najis, subject to the following five conditions:

· It does not have the smell, color or taste of Najàsah. · Extra Najàsah has not reached it from outside. · Any other Najàsah like blood, has not come out with urine or stool. · Particles of stool do not appear in the water. · Najàsah has not spread around the outlet more than usual.

III. Running Water

  1. Running water is that water which springs forth from the earth and than flows, like the water of a spring or a subterranean canal (Qanat). The flowing or running water, even if it is less than Kurr, does not become Najis upon contact with any Najàsah, unless its smell, colour, or taste changes due to that Najàsah.

  2. If water from the pipes fitted in bathrooms and buildings, pouring through taps and showers, is connected to a tank holding water equal to a Kurr, it will be treated as Kurr water.

IV. Rain Water

  1. A Najis thing becomes Tahir if rain water falls on it once, provided that it does not contain an essential Najàsah, except in the cases of clothes and body which have become Najis because of urine, for they become Tahir after being washed twice, as per precaution. And in objects like carpets and dress, it is not necessary to wring or squeeze. By rain is meant a sufficient downpour, and not scanty shower or droplets.

  2. The Najis earth or ground on which rain falls becomes Tahir, and if it begins flowing on the ground, and while it is still raining it reaches a Najis place under the roof, it makes that place Tahir as well.

  3. If it rains on a pure carpet which is spread over a Najis ground, and the water seeps onto the Najis ground while rain continues, the carpet does not become Najis. In fact, the ground also will become Tahir.

V. Well Water

  1. The Wather of a well which springs forth frome the earth, (although its quantity may be less than a Kurr) does not become Najis owing to something Najis falling in it, unless its colour, smell, or taste changes.

  2. If a Najàsah falls into well water and changes its smell, colour, or taste, it well become Tahir as soon as the change in its smell etc. vanishes. But as an obligatory precaution, it will become Tahir only when it is mixed with fresh water springing from the earth.

VI. Rules Regarding Waters:

  1. Mixed water, whose meaning has been explained in Article 15, does not make any Najis thing Tahir, and its use is not allowed for Ghusl or Ghosl.

  2. Mixed water, however large its quantity may be, becomes Najis when even a small particle of Najàsah falls in it.

  3. When Najis mixed water is mixed with Kurr or running water, in a manner that it can no longer be called mixed water, it becomes Tahir.

  4. If a Najis objeet is made Tahir in Kurr or running water, the water which drops from the object after it has become Tahir, is Tahir.

  5. Water, which has been originally Tahir, and it is not known whether it has become Najis, will be deemed Tahir; and water, which has been originally Najis, and it is not known whether it has become Tahir, is Najis.

VII. Rules of Lavatory:

  1. it is obligatory to conceal one’s private parts in the toilet and at all times from adult persons even if they are one’s close relatives (Maharim) like mother, sister etc. Similarly, it is obligatory to conceal one’s private parts from insane persons and children who can discern between good and evil. However, husband and wife are exempted from this obligation.

  2. While using the toilet for urination or defecation, the front or the back part of one’s body should not as an obligatory precaution, face the holy Ka`bah.

  3. The urinary organ cannot be made Tahir without water. And washing it once will suffice.

  4. The anus can be made Tahir with stone, clod or cloth provided they are dry and Tahir. if there is slight moisture on it, which does not, wet the site there is no objection.