Contents > Chapter 12: The Deobandi’s Understanding of Taqleed > Analyzing the statement, ‘the door to Ijtihad has been closed after the four Imams.’
The Deobandis claim that the four Imams were Mujtahid and had the ability to deduce the principles of the Sharee’ah. After their time, the door to Ijtihad has been closed. They make Taqleed a requirement even for the scholars who can directly understand the Qur’aan and Sunnah and have knowledge of the Ijma, Qiyas, Abrogation and other related fields of knowledge.
Allah, the All-Knower of everything, sent a Book that has complete guidelines for a believer’s success in this world and the Hereafter. Furthermore, he sent a Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to explain the Book and to teach detailed injunctions. Despite of this, Allah also allowed the scholars of the subsequent generations to derive new rulings based upon His Book and the Sunnah, on those issues that have no direct reference from the Book and the Sunnah; i.e. Ijtihad – which is better defined as, “the process of expending efforts to derive a ruling from the Sharee’ah on a difficult issue by an authoritative Islamic scholar.”
Allah, Who Knows all what will happen since ever, could have sent a Sharee’ah that gives the minutest details on each and every issue that all the generations of Muslims will face. But in His Divine Wisdom, He sent general as well as detailed rulings and left the door to Ijtihad open, so that the Muslim scholars would deliberate on the Book and the Sunnah and guide the believers in matters of the Sharee’ah. The blind-followers of the Madhhabs however closed the door that Allah left open and claimed, “Ijtihad has been closed since the fourth century of Islam.”
But this is both impractical and impossible, and the proponents of Taqleed have themselves never kept up to this claim of theirs, as we shall see next.