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Website of the Office of Grand Ayatullah Saanei :: The Difference between Ihtiyat-ul-Wajib (obligatory precaution) And Ihtiyat-ul-Mustahab (recommended precaution)

The Difference between Ihtiyat-ul-Wajib (obligatory precaution) And Ihtiyat-ul-Mustahab (recommended precaution)

Issue 11: A recommended precaution always accompanies a Fatwa, that is, in that particular issue, the Mujtahid observes a precaution which is stated before or after the Fatwa itself, and the imitator can act on either the Fatwa or the precaution and they are not allowed to refer to another Mujtahid in that issue. The following issue is an example of a recommended precaution:

“If an unclean vessel is washed once in Kurr water, it will be clean, although the precaution is to wash it three times”.

An obligatory precaution does not accompany a Fatwa and the imitator must act on the precaution and is allowed to practice the Fatwa of another Mujtahid in that particular issue. For example, “The precaution is to avoid prostrating on vine leaves if they are fresh and green”.

Q12: Is it obligatory that one's belief in the fundamentals of religion be based on one’s own understandings and findings, or does it suffice to imitate a Mujtahid in this regard?

A: To believe in the fundamentals of religion, one can take any path. The very belief that Muslim people hold and share, which is the origin of all goodness, worship, Jihad and martyrdom suffices, and ordinary people are not supposed to have a deeper look into the fundamentals of religion.

Q13: Is it allowable for a person who is imitating a living Mujtahid, to change their source of imitation if they want?

A: It is not allowable to turn to another Mujtahid when the Mujtahid whom a person is imitating, is living, unless it is proved that the other Mujtahid is more learned.

Q14: What is the veredict on the prayers and fasts of a person who has not been imitating any Mujtahids since their puberty?

A: If their practices conform to the verdicts of the Mujtahid whom they are going to imitate, they are valid.

Q15: Is it allowable for those who reach puberty after the death of Imam Khomeini, to imitate him?

A: It is not permissible to begin imitation upon the Fatwas of a deceased Mujtahid.

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