Allah’s Guidance is embodied in the scholars of Islam, may Allah be pleased with them. When the “Salafis” say: “We do not worship men,” know that it is kalimatu haqqin yuradu biha al-batil — a word of truth spoken in the pursuit of error. For it is only a flashy cover for their desire to follow other than the path of guidance clarified by the Imams and the fuqaha’ on certain questions. Thus they will falsely characterize taqlid as blind imitation. This is the method of a pernicious book of theirs entitled Blind-Following of Madhaahib. They will further falsely characterize ijma` as a thing of the past, claiming that it is unverifiable at present due to the great scattering of the scholars and the multifarious character of modern communication.
The truth is that taqlid is obligatory upon the majority of the Muslim Community, since the majority are not qualified scholars; secondly, knowledge of the questions that enjoy ijma`and those that fall under khilaf has always been part of the obligatory curriculum of the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah, who exerted massive efforts to make themselves familiar with the positions of each other’s schools at all times, although for them the means of communication and education was not nearly as developed as it is today. Yet they were the most intellectually accomplished, most dynamic and scholarly communicative of people, spurring on their mounts in the vanguard of other riders even past the age of sixty in the pursuit of knowledge. Thus the “Salafis'” pretense that there is no ijma` today only bespeaks their incapacity to keep abreast of such required knowledge and their estrangement from the scholarly community as well as from each other, as is visible from their perpetual internecine disagreements and mutual condemnations.
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America