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Taqleed in Islam

1. Some scholars say that taqleed is very important because the Holy Qur’an says: “If you don’t know ask the people of knowledge.” Can you cite the reference and its implication?

2. What is the exact definition of sahih hadith? Do only Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari qualify to be called sahih? Are there any other books of hadith which are also called sahih?


Regarding the issue of taqleed, the Quranic verse under question has been interpreted out of context. A simple reference to the context will show that it refers to the People of the Book and has no bearing on the issue of taqleed.

The word sahih in Sahih Bukhari or Sahih Muslim is a term and does not refer to the Urdu meaning of something being correct. It refers to those ahadith which conform to 5 standards: the narrators have a sound memory, they are of good character, the two consecutive narrators of a chain are contemporaneous, there is no hidden defect in the chain and the narrative is not against a more sound narrative. Any narrative which is in accordance with these criteria is called sahih by the scholars of hadith whether it occurs in Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim or any other anthology of hadith.

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