Ruling on following Malik in religious rulings as he derived them


What is the ruling on a person who strictly follows the Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings) of Imam Malik, and not sticking to the exact ruling based on the Qur’an and Sunnah?


All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions. To proceed:

Imam Malik (may Allah be merciful to him) is one of the Imams (initiators of a School of Jurisprudence) in religious knowledge, but at the same time he is a human who sometimes errs and at other times is correct, and his words may be accepted or rejected. So, his opinions conforming to the truth are accepted and those contradicting it are rejected. Furthermore, if a person has the necessary religious knowledge to understand the ruling directly from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, then they are not permitted to adhere to Taqlid (strictly following a specific School of Jurisprudence), and if not and they got confused concerning a matter of their religion, they are entitled to ask the most reliable scholars of their country and apply their opinion. Imam Malik and other scholars are alike in this regard.