The Aadaab of Istiftaa'

(Asking a question to obtain the ruling of the Sharee'ah)

  1. When the need arises to obtain Shar'ee ruling for one's practical purposes, not for debating and arguing, then pose the question to a reliable, authoritative Aalim on whom you have confidence.

  2. Ask only the Mas’alah (the rule or the law). Do not ask the Daleel (the proof of the rule or the basis on which the ruling is given).

  3. Once a question has been posed to a reliable and an authoritative Aalim, do not unnecessarily ask the same question to another Aalim. If, despite having taken into consideration the aforementioned facts, you are not satisfied with the answer, then refer the matter to another Aalim of the same qualifications and attributes. If his answer contradicts the answer of the  first Aalim, do not refer it to him (the first Aalim) nor inform the second Aalim of the reply of the first Aalim. Fear Allah Ta’aala and remembering the reckoning of the Aakhirah, act according to the answer which satisfies you. This act of choosing between the two contradictory rulings for one's practical purposes may be resorted to only if one had heard or learnt of  something conflicting against this view prior to having referred it to another Aalim. These are the Aadaab which should be remembered whether the Istiftaa' is written or verbal.

  4. The question should be posed very clearly, without ambiguity, and so should be the writing: clear and legible.

  5. Do not include futile and unnecessary statements in the question.

  6. Write your name and address clearly. If several letters are written to the same place seeking answers, then write your name and address on each letter.

  7. Send sufficient stamps to cover postage on a suitable self-addressed envelope.

  8. If several questions are asked, do not write these on a postcard.

  9. Number the questions and keep a copy by you. Inform the addressee that you have a copy of the letter, hence he should not take the trouble of repeating the questions in his answer.

The Aadaab of the Masjid