Murshid Mureed: Blind Following

Can you explain the issue of using Khidr and Moosa (alayhi salaam) as the example of the sheikh who was murshid and the mureed who follows him blindly?

Khidr received revelation from Allah and was guided by it, thus he didn’t do what he did by himself. This is a claim no sheikh can make, and one who makes such a claim has gone outside the fold of Islam. If he claims inspiration, then the main body of Muslim scholarship has concluded that one can’t act on inspiration because the individual who is doing so is not infallible. He is not infallible, thus his inspiration may be from satanic sources, and he is therefore not allowed to act on inspiration. Anything which ‘inspires’ him to do something is like a voice in his head telling him to do it. He should not do this and follow the Shari’ah instead.

Secondly, Prophet Moosa (alayhi salaam) was the prophet of Allah; he was knowledgeable about the Shari’ah and objected to what Khidr did. His objection was legitimate. However, he was in special circumstances where he was learning from somebody who has been given the knowledge of the unseen by Allah. These sheikhs, peers, moulanas etc, can’t claim that for themselves, and those who follow them blindly don’t have the kind of knowledge that Prophet Moosa (alayhi salaam) had to be able to discern. So, to make that comparison is a false comparison. We are bound by the obvious meanings of the Shari’ah as Mohammad (ﷺ) said: “I have left you upon clear proof, its night is like its day, no one deviates from it except one who is destroyed, and whoever lives long from amongst you will see great controversy."[1]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

No one has to blindly follow any particular man in all that he enjoins or forbids or recommends, apart from the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ). The Muslims should always refer their questions to the Muslim scholars, following this one sometimes and that one sometimes. If the follower decides to follow the view of an imam with regard to a particular matter which he thinks is better for his religious commitment or is more correct etc, that is permissible according to the majority of Muslim scholars, and neither Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i or Ahmad said that this was forbidden.” [2]

Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Rather what the believer must do, if the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (ﷺ) have reached him and he understands them with regard to any matter, is to act in accordance with them, no matter who he may be disagreeing with. This is what our Lord and our Prophet (ﷺ) have enjoined upon us, and all the scholars are unanimously agreed on that, apart from the ignorant blind followers and the hard-hearted. Such people are not scholars.[3]

And Allah knows best.


[1] Ahmad (4/126), Ibn Maajah (no. 43), al-Haakim (1/96) and others - Hasan

[2] Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 23/382

[3] Tayseer al-‘Azeez al-Hameed, p. 546

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