Please explain about imitation (Taqlid) and its place in Islam.
A very important rule that every Muslim must know and pay attention to is that conjecture has no authority in Islam. God Almighty has explicitly stated in the Quran: ﴿إِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا﴾ which means, “Indeed, conjecture is not sufficient for (proving) the truth”, and He has rebuked those who follow conjecture and said: ﴿إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ﴾ which means, “They follow nothing but conjecture and do nothing but guess”. This means that Muslims’ beliefs and actions must always be based on certainty, and those beliefs and actions that are based on conjecture, are not correct nor acceptable to God. This is while imitating others in beliefs and actions, in the sense of following their words and deeds without knowing their reasons, obviously does not lead to certainty, but leads to conjecture, and therefore, according to the explicit words of God Almighty in His Book, “[It] is not sufficient for (proving) the truth”.
But the proof of those who believe imitation in actions is permissible is that they consider actions to be different from beliefs, whereas this difference is not proved in Islam, and God’s words in the Quran are general and include both beliefs and actions. This means that every Muslim must learn his Islamic beliefs and actions, just as he learns reading, writing and other necessities of life, and must not accept or perform any belief and action unless with a certain reason, and the certain reasons in Islam, as explained by Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani, may God protect him, in his book Return to Islam, are the verses of the Quran and mutawatir Hadiths and of course hearing from the Caliph of God on the earth. This is the pure and complete Islam which is not tainted by conjectures.