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).

The Age of Adulthood
Question :

What is the age of religiously recognized adulthood?

Answer :

Religious adulthood is recognized for the male by any of the following three, whichever happen first:
1. The presence of hard hair on his face or in the pubic area.
2. The release of semen, whether it was during a wet dream or when awake.
3. The completion of fifteen lunar years.
The female reaches adulthood when she completes the age of nine lunar years.

The Ruling of Taqleed
Question :

Is the act of emulation, Taqleed obligatory? If yes, then kindly give me a reference from the Quran?

Answer :

Taqleed is an obligation based on intellect. Muslims are asked to implement the laws of the Islamic religion and they cannot be known in details and in a correct way except by referring to the people of expertise who are the religious scholars and emulating them in their findings that they concluded by research and study.
The proof of this concept from the Holy Quran is when Almighty Allah said: “And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them, so that they may beware.”(Qur'an, 122:9).

Emulating His Eminence
Question :

I started referring to his eminence Sayyid al-Hakim (may Allah prolong his life) before I reached the age of adulthood. Is my Taqleed valid? Can I continue following him after I reach the mentioned age?

Answer :

Your previous Taqleed is valid and you can continue to follow his eminence.

Without Taqleed
Question :

What is the ruling about someone who does not emulate a Mujtahid?

Answer :

Emulation (Taqleed) is a necessity when a lay believer faces a situation where he does not know the correct religious ruling, as he is supposed to refer to the expert to get the proper answer. Otherwise, without referring to the expert and implementing the ruling, he would be liable for the mistake, whereas he will not be liable when he refers to the expert; even the latter made a mistake. Taqleed secures a layperson from liability before the Almighty Allah.

The Concept of Taqleed
Question :

The concept of Taqleed has been popular recently. I am not convinced of its religious obligation.Can you help me?

Answer :

he popularity of the concept of Taqleed amongst the masses in these days is due to the broad existence of means of communication which have led to the wide spread of knowledge of religious laws. It is not because the concept is new. Rather, It was present at the time of the Imams (peace be upon them) when they were directing their companions and followers, in general, to learn the religious laws. This made the people ask, and practically not all of them could reach the Imam (peace be upon him) and ask him in person, but they used to refer to a close companion who could be reached to gain knowledge in Islamic laws. There were known narrators who were giving verdicts to people and the Shias used to refer to them during those days, like Mohamed bin Muslim, Zurara, Zakaria bin Adam and others.
This need continued to exist after the disappearance of the Twelfth Imam (peace be upon him) until now. It is a natural need and a sensible way, as people refer to the experts in various fields like medicine, engineering and other kinds of expertise, as people are not satisfied with their own limited knowledge in these areas.

Emulation
Question :

How can I bring myself in to Taqleed?

Answer :

By referring to and acting upon the verdicts of the religious scholar who has reached the level of Ijtihad and has the qualifications of a Marja and being the most knowledgeable.

Following more than one Marja
Question :

Do I have to follow one Marja in a particular issue, or can I follow more than one in an issue, choosing one of their verdicts?

Answer :

If the verdicts of the Marjas are different in the same issue, one must follow the most knowledgeable. If his opinion is a compulsory precaution, one has a choice of following him by acting upon the precaution or referring to another Marja provided that the latter is more knowledge than the rest of the Marjas.