The Office of the Supreme Leader

Practical Laws of Islam

  • Rules of Taqlīd
    • Options: Caution, Ijtihād, and Taqlīd
    • Conditions of Taqlīd
    • Methods to Know Who Is Mujtahid
    • To Change from One Marji‘ to Another
    • To Continue with Following a Deceased Marji‘
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      To Continue with Following a Deceased Marji‘


      Q 33: Someone has been following a certain marji‘ since the late Imam Khomeini (q.) passed away and now he/she wishes to follow the Imam again. May he/she do so?
      A: By caution, changing taqlīd from a qualified living mujtahid to a deceased one is not permissible. However, in case the living mujtahid was not qualified when he/she started following him, changing to him in taqlīd was void. And thus, the mukallaf enjoys the choice either to continue following the late Imam (q.) or to change to a living mujtahid whose taqlīd is permissible.


      Q 34: I had reached the age of shar‘ī puberty when Imam Khomeini was alive. I followed him in certain rules, but did not have a clear notion of the issue of taqlīd. What is my duty now?
      A: If you performed your rites of worship and other acts according to the Imam’s (q.) fatwās while he was alive and you were practically a follower of him, even in certain issues, you may keep following him in all issues.
      Q 35: What is the rule in continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid if he is the most learned?
      A: Continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid is not mandatory even though he is the most learned one. However, it is advisable not to skip caution in continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid who is the most learned.


      Q 36: Is the most learned mujtahid’s permission necessary in continuing the taqlīd of a deceased marji‘ or is it enough to have the permission of any mujtahid?


      A: If the scholars are unanimous in their view about the permissibility of continuing with the taqlīd of a deceased mujtahid, it is not obligatory to get the permission of the most knowledgeable one.
      Q 37: Someone who used to follow the late Imam Khomeini (q.) changed, with respect to certain issues, to another mujtahid after the Imam passed away. After a while, the second mujtahid also passed away. What is this person’s duty now?
      A: It is permissible for him/her, as before, to continue following the late Imam (q.) regarding those issues in which he is still acting according to his views. As for the issues in which he changed to the second marji‘, he has the choice of either continuing to following him or to change to a living mujtahid.
      Q 38: After Imam Khomeini (q.) passed away, I thought it was not permissible, in accordance with his fatwā, to continue with following a deceased marji‘, and therefore, I chose a living marji‘ for taqlīd. Is it now permissible to return to the taqlīd of the late Imam (q.)?
      A: Regarding issues in which you had changed to a living mujtahid, it is not permissible by caution for you to return to Imam’s (q.) taqlīd again. This is unless the fatwā of the living marji‘ is that it is obligatory to continue with following the most learned marji‘ who has passed on; and you are of the opinion that the late Imam (q.) was more knowledgeable than the living marji‘. Therefore, in this case it is obligatory for you to return to the late Imam’s taqlīd.
      Q 39: Is it permissible for me to refer sometimes to a deceased mujtahid and at other times to the most learned living one with respect to a particular issue on which they have different opinions?
      A: Before referring to a living mujtahid, it is permissible to continue with following a deceased marji‘. However, once you change to a living mujtahid, it is not permissible - by caution - to refer back to the deceased one.
      Q 40: Is it obligatory for the followers of the late Imam Khomeini (q.) who wish to continue his taqlīd to seek the permission of a living marji‘? Or, does the unanimity of most of the marji‘s and well-known scholars concerning the permissibility of continuing to follow a deceased marji‘ suffice?
      A: Supposing the unanimity of scholars regarding the permissibility of continuing to follow a deceased marji‘, continuing the taqlīd of the late Imam (q.) is permissible and there is no need to refer to a specific mujtahid in this regard.
      Q 41: What is your opinion about continuing to follow a deceased marji‘ with respect to an issue upon which the mukallaf has, or has not, acted during the lifetime of that marji‘?
      A: Continuing to follow a deceased marji‘ with regard to all issues, even those which he has not acted upon during the life time of the marji‘, is permissible and valid.
      Q 42: Does the permissibility of continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid also apply to those who, during mujtahid’s life, acted upon his fatwās although they were not mukallaf?
      A: If the taqlīd of a person, before the age of shar‘ī puberty, to a qualified mujtahid was realized in a correct way, it is permissible to continue with the taqlīd of that mujtahid after his death.
      Q 43: We are followers of Imam Khomeini (q.) and have continued to follow him after his heartbreaking demise. At times, we face some new religious problems, especially due to the fact that we live in a period of struggle between the Islamic world and the global arrogance. So we feel that we should refer to your Excellency, and do your taqlīd, May we do so?
      A: You may keep following the Imam (q.) and at the time being there is no reason for you to give up his taqlīd. If the need arises to obtain shar‘ī ruling concerning new issues, you may correspond with our office.
      Q 44: What is the duty of a follower regarding his marji‘ when another marji‘ is recognized to be the most learned mujtahid?
      A: It is based on obligatory caution, to shift from the marji‘ who is currently being followed to the one who is the most learned with respect to issues in which their fatwās differ.
      Q 45: a) When is it permissible for a follower to change his taqlīd to another marji‘?
      b) Is it permissible to change from the most learned marji‘ to another one if the fatwās of the former are not in accordance to the time or are difficult to practice?
      A: a) According to caution, it is impermissible to change from a living marji‘ to another unless the second marji‘ is more learned than the first one and his fatwā in a particular issue differs from that of the first marji‘.
      b) It is not permissible to shift from the most learned mujtahid to another simply based on speculations that his fatwās are not compatible with the contemporary circumstances or are difficult to act upon.
    • Miscellaneous Issues of Taqlīd
    • Marji‘iyyah and Leadership
    • Authority of the Jurist Leader and the Edict of the Authorized Religious Authority
  • Rules on Purity
  • Prayer
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  • Khums
  • Jihad
  • Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil
  • Ḥarām Gains
  • Chess and Gambling Instruments
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  • Glossary
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