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Last Updated: 2007/02/14
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Could you please provide me with a hadith or Quranic verse regarding the praise of a Mujtahid who is not Masoom?
Can you please provide me with a hadith or Quranic verse regarding the praise of a Mujtahid who is not Masoom?
Concise answer

In the Holy Quran it says: Yet it is not for the faithful to go forth en masse. But why should not there go forth a group from each of their sections to become learned in religion and to warn their people when they return to them so that they may beware {of divine chastisement}?[1]

In this verse the Quran has encouraged a group of believers to acquire knowledge of religion, so that after they have obtained knowledge in religious sciences, they may inform their people and warn them of divine chastisement. Moreover, people have been invited to accept the discourses of this group. Can a better Quranic verse than this be found regarding the praise of legal scholars and Mujtahids?

This same account has been explained in numerous hadiths from the Saint Imams (Peace be upon them) in reference to the praise of legal scholars; of which we will mention just a few:


  1. The late Sheikh Saduq narrates from Amir Ul-Mu’meneen (The Commander of The Faithful), that the Messanger of Allah (P.B.U.H.), said: O Allah! Have mercy upon my successors. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was then asked, who are your successors? He replied: Those who come after me and convey my hadiths and Sunnah.[2]

It is apparent that those individuals who will come after the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) are the Faqihs, not the transmitters and narrators of traditions, because the Noble Prophet (P.B.U.H.), possessed three imperative attributes[3] and it is only the Faqihs who have the aptitude to fall into these categories as the successors of the Prophet, in all of these traits.[4]

  1. In the commentary of Imam Hassan Askari (Peace be upon him), it says that Imam Reza (Peace be upon him) said: “On the Day of Judgment it will be said to the devout person, ‘you were a good person, therefore your aspiration was your own guidance and people know your expenditures, so enter into heaven!’ However the Faqih (Mujtahid) is one whose good reaches the people, he saves them from their enemies, puts the bounty of paradise in their hands and achieves for them the pleasure of God. On the Day of Judgment it will be said to the Faqih, ‘Oh you who are the surety of the orphans of the Family of Muhammad (P.B.U.H), the guide of the weak, the lover and devotee of the House of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), you must intercede for those who have learned their religious duties from you.’ Then he will halt briefly and enter into heaven while waves of people will enter into heaven with him and these are the people who have benefited from his knowledge, and those who have benefited from those who have benefited from the knowledge of this Faqih, and those how have benefited from those who will benefit from his knowledge until the Day of Judgment. So look and see how much difference there is between the rank of these two (the Faqih and the devout person)”.[5]


From this hadith and others like it one can understand the magnificence of the position of a Faqih (Mujtahid), his task (teaching people religious issues) and the magnitude of his reward in the hereafter (paradise and the ability to intercede for others).

[1]وَمَا کَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِیَنفِرُواْ کَآفَّةً فَلَوْلاَ نَفَرَ مِن کُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ لِّیَتَفَقَّهُواْ فِی الدِّینِ وَلِیُنذِرُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُواْ إِلَیْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ یَحْذَرُونَ  -Toba:122 /Of course some have said that verse seven of Sura The Prophets: وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَکَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِی إِلَیْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّکْرِ إِن کُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ  (…Ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know.) Even though the obvious applicability of this verse (according to narrations) refers to the Saint Imams (Peace be upon them), it is inclusive of the Faqihs as well, because the occasion of revelation and instance is expressing generality and whomsoever is referred to as an expert.

[2]Sheikh Saduq: "Man La Yahzuruhul Faqih – Volume 4, Page 420; Section of Nawadur – Hadith No.5919; Sheikh Saduq: "Kitabul Amali" – Page 109; Majlis 34, Hadith No.4

[3]Resalat [Messengership] (propaganda of divine verses and Islamic laws and guiding the people), Judgment (arbitration in instances of discrepancy and eliminating enmity), Vicegerency (Governing and managing an Islamic society)

[4]For more information see: Vicegerency and Religiosity

[5]Baharul Anwar: Volume 2, Chapter 8, Page.5, Marginal Note.10

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