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Last Updated: 2007/10/23
Summary of question
Does asking about Islamic rulings require any expertise?
question
Sometimes, we ask questions of our ulema who make us feel Shaytan is within us when we don't know the answers, or if we question certain things for clarification. They also make us feel that because we have not learned Arabic/Farsi or have not obtained the level of Dars-e-Kharej--that we are in no position whatsoever to quote hadith or make analysis and we are only supposed to come to them as the "experts." Is this fair on their parts? Is Islam so deep that Allah has not given people brains for common sense or to think about such things? These ulema are actually making people go away from Islam rather than bring them through love, compassion and a mutual understanding.
Concise answer

The knowing and learning of Islamic rulings and teachings is classified into different degrees and categories depending on its depth and how substantial it is:

1- A simple and minimal understanding and familiarity; like learning Islamic rulings and traditions and its practical, theological and moral guidelines.

2- An understanding through reasoning and logic; like learning the fiqhi and jurisprudential reasons and proof for certain Islamic rulings.

3- Understanding the philosophy and main reasons behind the abovementioned items and why Allah (swt) has legislated them.

Learning and asking in the first category is an obligation upon all and everyone’s responsibility, and answering these needs is the duty of Islamic scholars. Yet, the latter two aren’t everyone’s responsibility and one who goes after them without first obtaining their prerequisites will face undesirable consequences and might even be considered wasting time. It is like for someone who doesn’t have an expertise in medicine to insist on the doctor explaining in professional and clinical terms what is wrong with a patient. It is clear that this person won't understand anything.

In order to get more acquainted with the prerequisites of fiqhi and ijtihadi sciences, see question 1077 (website: ), and indexes: The essentials needed to issue a fatwa, question 66 (website: ), The Quran and Ijtihad, question 725 (website: ), and The difference of opinion between some mujtahids in certain issues.

Islamic scholars have always strived to enhance the degree of knowledge of the laity through writing books and holding gatherings and ceremonies and question and answer sessions and the like. They have tried to answer all of everyone’s questions with desirable Islamic behavior and kindness.

Our proof for this claim are the numerous websites that have been made for answering the many questions that come up, even questions that relate to the second and third of the three categories mentioned above.

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