Q: Is it required to follow only the most learned marji‘? And what is the criterion of being the most learned?
A: It is a caution to follow the most learned mujtahid with respect to issues in which his fatwās differ from that of others. The criterion of being the most learned is to have a greater competence, when compared to other mujtahids, in the following realms:
i. Identifying the divine laws,
ii. Inferring the shar‘ī rules from their proofs, and
iii. Being aware of the events of his time insofar as it affects identifying the subjects of religious rules and influences the expression of juristic opinion.