Is it Obligatory to Follow a Fatwa?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Is it fard to follow a fatwa?  How do we know if it’s fard or not? Can there be a difference of opinion regarding following a fatwa?


Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

The short answer is that with respect to fatwas, the focus should be more on whom one trusts rather than what one wants. That is, the layperson should find a scholar (or scholars) whom he trusts in both knowledge and piety, after which he should follow their verdicts on legal matters.

If there is difference of opinion among the scholars he trusts, or if in a particular situation he cannot reach them, then he should follow the prophetic counsel of ”Consult your heart. Righteousness is what the heart and soul feel comfortable with, while sin is that which causes restlessness in the soul and wavers in the breast, despite the recurring advice of others.” [Musnad Ahmad]

Of course, consulting the heart is predicated upon one’s spiritual efforts of purifying the heart. And Allah knows best.


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answer:

Leaving the Position of Abu Hanifa and How to Determine the Relied-Upon Position in the Hanafi School