Following the Most Knowledgeable
Question :

Is it necessary to follow the most knowledgeable religious scholar?

Answer :

Yes, it is obligatory to follow the most knowledgeable Mujtahid.

The Difference Between the Verdicts
Question :

If one is not aware of the difference between Maraje' opinions on a particular ruling, and does not know the verdict of his own Marja', can he follow any other one?

Answer :

If one is aware that there are differences between the Maraje' in the rulings that affect him, which is usually the case, then he must observe precaution. Since its not practical for many to do so, he must find the most knowledgeable from them and follow him.

The Most Knowledgeable
Question :

How can we know that one Mujtahid is most knowledgeable?

Answer :

The scholars mentioned in their treatises of practical Islamic laws the way to find the most knowledgeable which consists of referring to the experts who can differentiate between Mujtahids and determine the most knowledgeable.

Ahlul-khibra
Question :

How do I know who Ahlul-khibra (people of expertise) are so that I may ask them about the most knowledgeable Mujtahid?

Answer :

The Ahlul-khibra are those who can recognize the most knowledgeable by his books and verdicts. Those experts can be reached through communicating with the Hawza. If such communication is not possible or determining the most knowledgeable is not possible, a believer is required to choose one of the scholars that reached the level of Ijtihad and possesses the qualities of a Marja and follow him. The chosen should be the most God-fearing amongst them if possible. Otherwise, the believer can choose one of them and follow his verdicts.

Blind Taqleed
Question :

These days many people have been saying that we don’t do a blind taqleed and we follow those rules of a Marja, which is not against Quran or the narrations, and not follow those who are against them. Is it a right thing to say? How do normal humans like us who are busy in daily lives can measure the verdict of a Marja on the Quran and the narration?

Answer :

The emulation that Shias do is not a blind emulation. It is, rather based on vision and wisdom, since everybody is asked to observe the Sharia and act upon its obligations and refrain from what it prohibits; and at the same time, a normal Muslim does not possess the specialized capabilities to know the laws of the religion. It becomes natural for those who are not experts in this field to refer to the jurist who specializes in deriving the rulings of the Sharia after exerting great efforts in order to reach religious conclusions.
The sources that the Mujtahid uses in the process of derivation are the Holy Quran and the narrations, so it is natural that the religious findings are not against them.
This process is commonly practiced by normal people all the time, when they refer - in the aspects that require scientific efforts – to those who specialize in the specific fields, like medical doctors and engineers, and they act upon their findings and conclusions.

The Most Society-learned Marja
Question :

Is it permissible to follow the most society-learned Marja in matters of society and follow the most knowledgeable in other matters?

Answer :

It is not permissible to differentiate in Taqleed.

The Most Knowledgeable
Question :

To me all the Marja are God-fearing, most knowledgeable and pious etc. It is difficult for me to see who exactly is the most knowledgeable. What should I do?

Answer :

If you could not determine the most knowledgeable, you can choose one of them and follow his verdict.

Worldly Sciences
Question :

Is knowing politics, economics and other worldly sciences a condition to be a Mujtahid or not?

Answer :

The said sciences are not related to reaching the level of Ijtihad but during the search for a religious answer to an issue that corresponds to another field, like politics, economy or medicine, a scholar is expected to make sure that the issue is understood in such a way that the obligation before Almighty Allah to know the subject of the religious verdict is fulfilled. This might require the reference to the experts in these sciences. Using this knowledge, the religious verdict is determined using the religious knowledge and evidences that he already possesses.

The Most Knowledgeable Marja
Question :

Who is the most leading and knowledgeable Jurist (Marja) currently?

Answer :

One can refer to the trusted experts who possess the scientific ability to determine the most knowledgeable in deriving the religious rulings and the most understanding of the religious texts.

The Marja
Question :

Is it a condition in the Marja to be a man?

Answer :

Yes, based on compulsory precaution.

Adil Person
Question :

Who is an Adil person?

Answer :

An Adil person is one who avoids sins, and repents when a sin is committed and does not insist on committing the sin.

Marja of Taqleed
Question :

I am in the process of selecting a Marja for Taqleed and have been recommended Sayyid Hakeem. However, I am in need of his book of Islamic laws before I can make a well judged decision.

Answer :

It is obligatory on individuals to follow the most knowledgeable when possible and that can be determined by referring to the experts that are able to know him. It is not permissible to base the choice of the Mujtahid on learning about his verdicts and feeling comfortable with them.

The Most Knowledgeable
Question :

If the layman decided on who is the most knowledgeable based on his own research and without needing to ask the religious scholars who can determine the most knowledgeable, would the layman's research be sufficient?

Answer :

A normal regular individual is not qualified to determine the most knowledgeable in the right way without referring to whoever can determine him amongst the experts, since they are the ones – and not any inexperienced people – who know the level of knowledge of the people that reached the level of Ijtihad.

Level of Ijtihad
Question :

Is the degree of Ijtihad awarded after attending lectures of Dars-e-Kharij, or after delivering lectures of Dars-e-Kharij to students? Can we do Taqleed of a person who has degree of Ijtihad, or there are some other qualifications for him to become a Marja?

Answer :

This differs from one person that reached the level of Ijtihad to another. It is compulsory to follow the most knowledgeable amongst those who reached the level of Ijtihad and it is not sufficient to follow any jurist that reached the level of Ijihad.

Determining the Most Knowledgeable
Question :

Can one depend on his parents in determining the most knowledgeable Marja?

Answer :

It is permissible for the individual to depend on his parents in finding out the most knowledgeable if he trusted their choice to be in accordance with the religious guidelines. If he does not, then he should search himself.

Definition of Adalah
Question :

What is Adalah?

Answer :

Adalah - as a condition in the imam of the congregational prayer and in the witness - is a level of fearing Almighty Allah that leads to avoiding committing major sins. Committing small sins without insistence does not affect it. Adalah - as a condition in the Marja - is a high level of God-fearing which causes the person to refrain from disobeying religious laws and committing sins - whether they were small or major. If he rarely commits a sin, he would rush to repent and return to the Almighty Allah.

Depending on Istikhara
Question :

Since it is obligatory to follow the most knowledgeable Mujtahid, the most capable in deriving the religious laws from the appropriate sources. I’m unable to find Ahlul-khibra to refer to them in order to determine him. However I have found multiple Mujtahid who have all the necessary qualification to be followed in Taqleed. I want to be certain that a particular person is the most knowledgeable jurist of his time. Is it permissible to do Istikhara for such situation and would my Taqleed be correct?

Answer :

It is not permissible to depend of Istikhara to choose the right Mujtahid to follow. If they were equal in knowledge or you were not able to determine the most knowledgeable amongst them and when observing precaution - to guarantee that the religious obligations are fulfilled - is not a choice, one must choose the most God fearing amongst the most knowledgeable Mujtahids. If this was not possible, any one of them can be chosen to be followed.