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Ruling 3

A mujtahid or the most learned can be identified in one of three ways:

  1. A person himself is certain [that someone is a mujtahid or the most learned]. For example, the person himself is a scholar and is able to identify a mujtahid and the most learned;
  2. Two learned and dutiful people who are able to distinguish a mujtahid and the most learned confirm that someone is a mujtahid or the most learned, provided that two other learned and dutiful people do not disagree with their statement. In fact, being a mujtahid or the most learned is also established by even one expert (ahl al‐khibrah) whom one trusts;
  3. A person attains confidence (iṭmiʾnān) that a person is a mujtahid or the most learned by rational means. For example, a group of scholars that are able to distinguish a mujtahid and the most learned and from whose statements one gains confidence, confirm that someone is a mujtahid or the most learned.
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