Chapter two: The Fundamental Principles that a layman must learn with regard to seeking a fatwa (istiftaa’)
Etiquettes of the layman with the mufti.
There are a number of characteristics that the layman must adorn himself with when dealing with a scholar. From amongst the more prominent ones:
- He must observe good manners with him.
- He should honour and respect him. Thus it is not deemed correct that a person behaves with him like the way people usually behave with one another such as pointing with one’s finger to his face or to say inappropriate words.
- He should not ask him questions when he seems to be irritated, worried or angry etc.
- Some scholars mentioned that it is not befitting for the layman to ask the scholar for the evidence of his judgement in the same gathering where the question was asked. This is in order to prevent a sense of distrust with his statement whereas the legislator has commanded him to ask him and act in accordance with his statement. Moreover, it is possible that the layman may not understand the evidence or how the ruling is extracted from it. It has also been stated that it is permissible for the layman to ask for the evidence without there being any dislike. This is on condition that the person asks earnestly wanting to know the correct position without being obstinate and stubborn. In such a situation the scholar should supply the evidence if it is very decisive in meaning and easily comprehendible by most minds.
 Sharh al Kawkab al Muneer 4/593, al Faqeeh wal Mutafaqqih 2/98-180.