Acting in Precaution
Question :

Is following one Marja obligatory, or can one follow multiple Marajas by practicing precaution on the issues which have differences of opinion?

Answer :

It is permissible to act in precaution by ensuring that one’s acts are not against the edicts of any one Marja. This will not be considered to be emulation (taqleed).

Becoming A Mujtahid
Question :

When I go to study in Najaf, then what do I have to study to become a Mujtahid?

Answer :

Ijtihad is not a goal that a student should have from the beginning. A believer should aim to fulfill the religious responsibilities of upholding the orders of the Sharia; one of them is learning the Islamic laws and teaching them. This could be achieved by learning more about the religion – and not necessarily reaching the level of Ijtihad – by which a believer could serve the Right Path. One could serve the religion and be a role model amongst his society, family and friends by being obedient to the Islamic laws and by spreading the religious teachings in the areas where he resides.
Ijtihad is a talent that can be achieved by studying with the guidance of Almighty Allah. A religious student should study hard and make use of his time as much as possible. If he achieves this, then he can thank Almighty Allah for this bounty. If he does not, he can still serve the religion.

Different Laws of Sharia
Question :

Do Mujtahids differ in the laws of the prayer? For example one tells us to pray this way and another tells us to pray another way?

Answer :

It is natural to have different derivations as people differ in their understanding of a single text, whereas the Mujtahids deal with numerous texts, plus the fact that as time passes further away from the time of the texts, fallacies and probabilities increase. From this, the mission of a Mujtahid becomes harder and his responsibility becomes greater in protecting the religion in a correct way and to the greatest possible extent. The oppressors and the liars throughout the times have made obstacles for us in obtaining the truths from the Imams (peace be upon them) which made the mission of the Mujtahids more difficult. Therefore some variations are to be expected.

Difference in Edicts
Question :

According to another Marja synthetic alcohol is Tahir and it is allowed to use perfume containing such alcohol; however, Sayyed Al-Hakeem considers alcohol as Najis. Both of them are Marjas of Taqleed, so why are their verdicts opposite? I am following Sayyed Al-Hakeem, so what should I do?

Answer :

The difference in deriving the laws between religious jurists naturally originates from their difference in understanding the religious texts or considering some of them over the others. His Eminence, Sayyid Al-Hakeem (may Allah prolong his life) sees that alcohol is Najis, if it is an intoxicant and naturally liquid. Based on this, the prayer is invalid if the praying person’s body or clothes came in contact with it.
So if you follow his Eminence, the mentioned law should be observed.

Difference of Opinion
Question :

There are sometimes differences of opinion amongst the Marjas. For one Marja taking some money – for example, by way of winning a prize in a lottery – will be unlawful, and according to another Marja taking it will be lawful. What is the reason of these differences? Secondly, if I take this money, according to my Marja who has allowed it, and on the Day of Judgment it becomes known that the verdict of my Marja was wrong and the others were right, how will this be judged?

Answer :

It is natural to have a difference of opinions amongst the scholars of any field, not just Fiqh. This is based on a number of factors, particular to each field. The layman has to act upon the edicts of the Marja he is following, and Allah will excuse him if his Marja was not correct.

Incorrectly Recalled Edicts
Question :

If one quotes an edict of a Marja for somebody else, and later realizes that he has recalled incorrectly, is it obligatory upon him to inform the person?

Answer :

It is obligatory to inform the misinformed person if the latter is expected to act upon it.

The Edicts of the Marja
Question :

If my Marja allows something, is it permissible for me to encourage others to do it even though other Marjas have different opinions on the matter?

Answer :

It is not permissible to encourage them to disobey the verdict of the Marja that they follow in a way that the call to act a certain way is with the awareness that it is against the verdict of the Marja that they emulate.
If someone asks about the ruling of a particular issue without intending to know the verdict of his Marja or he does not have one to follow, then it is permissible to inform him of the ruling that is according to your own Marja.

Laws of the Sharia
Question :

If people do not follow any religious jurist, Marja and asked about any laws of the Sharia, can I give an answer based on the edicts of my Marja, without mentioning that there are other opinions?

Answer :

In this case, it is permissible for one to answer based on the edicts of his own Marja, and he does not need to give a reference of the source of the edicts or mention that there are other opinions of other scholars.

The Edicts of My Marja
Question :

Am I allowed to present the edict of my Marja whenever I am asked a jurisprudential question?

Answer :

If the person who asks you does not intend to know the edict of a particular Marja. you may tell him the opinion of your Marja

Without Emulation
Question :

I have heard that if a person fails to do Taqleed, his or her all good deeds will be corrupted, no matter how virtuous a devotee may be. Is it true?

Answer :

The individual - that did not reach the level of Ijtihad - can not guarantee the correctness of his deeds before Almighty Allah, unless they correspond to the verdicts of a religious jurist - Marja since s/he will then, not be responsible for the errors in the verdicts - if any. Without following, the person will be held responsible before The Almighty if the actions and transactions were not really in accordance to the religion.

The Procedure of Changing Taqleed
Question :

I would like to ask what is the procedure of changing one’s Marja of Taqleed?

Answer :

You can change the Marja that you follow based on religious evidence, like for instance when it is proven to you that the new Marja is more knowledgeable than the current one.

Following Based on Religious Evidence
Question :

I have read on your site "You can change the Marja that you follow based on religious evidence, like for instance when it is proven to you that the new Marja is more knowledgeable than the current one." What would be an example of religious evidence? For example, if I asked members of Ahl al-Khibra and they said that a Mujtahid is more knowledgeable than the one I follow, would this be sufficient?

Answer :

If the testimony was based on referring to the researches of the Mujtahids, then it is considered as religious evidence.

Changing the Taqleed
Question :

Is it permissible to change my Taqleed in a particular issue because the verdict of the Marja I am following causes hardship to me?

Answer :

It is not permissible to switch from a Mujtahid to another just because the second one’s verdict is easier or pleases the individual more than the first Marja. The first Marja must be followed as long as he is still described with all the conditions of the Marja. However, if the Marja that you are following has an obligatory precaution, then you can follow another qualified Marja in this issue.

Same Level of Knowledge
Question :

If somebody is following a certain Marja and he discovers that there is another Marja who is in the same level of knowledge according to a statement by a member of Ahlul-Khibra, can he choose between the two?

Answer :

It is not permissible to change the said Marja unless it is proven by religious evidence that another Mujtahid is more knowledgeable than him.

Questionable Taqleed
Question :

as following a Mujtahid who I believed to be worthy of being a Marja, but I later realized after some research that and he was not the most knowledgeable and his ijtihad was questionable. A trusted person told me that a particular Marja was amongst the most knowledgeable Mujtahids, and I began following him although I was not certain that He was the most knowledgeable. Is my taqleed valid?

Answer :

If it has been proven to you via religious evidence that there are Marjas who are more knowledgeable than the Marja that you used to follow, you should refrain from following the latter and search for the most knowledgeable amongst those Marjas. If you could determine him by religious evidence then you should emulate him. If you could not, you must choose the most pious amongst them and if the said is not possible too, you can choose one of them and emulate him.

Changing the Taqleed
Question :

I would like to know if I can change my Taqleed from a living Mujtahid to Ayatullah Sayyid Sa'eed al-Hakeem?

Answer :

You should stay on your Taqleed unless it is proven to you that his eminence Sayyid al-Hakeem (may Allah prolong his life) is more knowledgeable than your current Marja by referring to the experts who can certify this when they refer to the juristic derivation ways of both of them.

Following his Eminence
Question :

I am following a current Marja. After doing research, I concluded that Ayatollah Sayyid Saeed al-Hakeem (may Allah prolong his life) is the most knowledgeable. Is permissible to change my Taqleed to follow him?

Answer :

Yes, it is permissible to do so.

Following a Dead Marja
Question :

Should I remain emulating a Marja after his death?

Answer :

If it was proven to you that one of the living Marjas is more knowledgeable than the deceased Marja that you used to follow, then it is obligatory on you to switch to the living Marja. If this is not proven to you and you used to follow a religious scholar that satisfied the characteristics of the Marja then you should continue following him.

Difficult Verdicts
Question :

Is it possible to change one’s Marja because the first Marja’s verdicts are very difficult to follow in comparison to the second Marja’s verdicts?

Answer :

After choosing a certain Marja who is qualified to be followed and following him, you should continue following him, until it is proven to you via religious evidence that indicates that there is a more knowledgeable living Mujtahid than the current Mujtahid. It is not permissible to pick verdicts from another Marja just because it suits you.

Paying Kaffara
Question :

I was doing the Taqleed of a scholar who says that if I do a certain action I must pay a kaffara. I did the action, but before paying the kaffara I did more research and switched to your taqleed. After reading your rulings, I found that you do not require a kaffara to be paid. In such a case, do I act on your ruling and not pay, or am I still obligated to do so?

Answer :

A Kaffara is not obligatory in the said case.