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In Islamic canon law, the unquestioning acceptance of legal precedent. The interpretation of taqlid varies widely among the major schools of Islamic law. Taqlid is compulsory for Shi'ites. Of the four Sunnite legal schools, views are mixed; most scholars of the Shafi'i, Maliki, and Hanafi schools embrace taqlid, but those of the Hanbali do not view the opinions of earlier scholars as necessarily binding. Support for the practice is based mainly on the belief that early Muslim scholars, being closer in time to Muhammad, were in the best position to derive authoritative legal opinions.
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