We, the general massess often get confused with the different rulings from different Ulama. What should we do? For example, regarding one of my questions, one Alim said its Halaal and the other said its Haraam. Is there any criteria in Shariah for our guidance in such situations?
If one reliable Alim declares something permissible and another declares it as prohibited and both have equal substantiations, then it is wajib for the massess to exercise precaution and follow the ruling of prohibition. (Taqrir e Tirmidhi – Mufti Taqi Usmani- Vol:4 Pg:37 – Memon Islamic Publishers)
Such an attitude is also closer to Taqwa and piety. The Ulama of Tasawuf have always guided their mureeds to adopt this path. However, the above ruling is in a purely doubtful situation. On the other hand, if there are clear prohibitions on an issue, the differences among Ulama on that has no merit and will not be considered. Imam Bukhari (RA) presents many ahadeeth in the Chapter of transactions to the effect of abstaining from doubtful situations. (Sahih Al Bukhari Vol:1 Pg:279 – Kutub Khana Rashidiyah)
Mufti Ebrahim Desai