Issue 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 cannot accept the word of another who knows, simply because he has said it. However, one who has faith in the true tenets of Islam, and manifests it by his deeds, is a Muslim and Mo’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 (Fatwa) of the 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 haraam, while others say that it is not, he should not perform that act. Similarly, if some Mujtahid consider an act to be obligatory (Wajib) while others consider it to be recommended (Mustahab), he should perform it. Therefore, it is obligatory upon those persons who are neither Mujta hids, nor able to act on precautionary measures (Ihtiyat), to follow a Mujtahid.P
** Mujtahid is a jurist competent enough to deduce precise inferences regarding the commandments from the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the holy Prophet by the process of Ijtihad. Ijtihad literally means striving and exerting. Technically as a term of jurisprudence it signifies the application by a jurist of all his faculties to the consideration of the authorities of law with a view to finding out what in all probability is the law. In other words Ijtihad means making deductions in matters of law, in the cases to which no express text is applicable. (See, Baqir Sadr, A Short History of ‘llmul Usul, ISP, 1984).
Issue 2684: * If a person swears to confirm that he is telling the truth, and if that is actually the truth, his taking of the oath is Makrooh; and if it is a lie, his taking of the oath is haraam. In fact, to make a false oath in the cases of dispute is a major sin. However, if a person takes a false oath in order to save himself, or another Muslim from the torture of an oppressor, there is no objection in it, in fact, at times it becomes obligatory. However, if a person can resort to ‘Tauriyat’ (dissimulation), that is, if at the time of taking an oath, he makes a vague, feigned utterance with no intention of resorting to falsehood, then it is better for him to do so. For example, if an oppressor or a tyrant who wants to harm someone asks him whether he has seen that person, and he had seen him an hour earlier, he would say that he has not seen him, meaning in his mind that he has not seen him during the last few minutes.