Who was the originator of the doctrine of Taqlid? Which school of thought,if any in particular,propounded it first? And the term"doors of ijtihad are closed",what are the origins of this later term as well?
Taqlid means to follow someone without demanding a proof or an evidence. It really is a style of thinking or a (behavioral) preference of an individual. Its hard to exactly pinpoint a specific time when people started doing it, or to name a person who initiated it. It relates to a society's behavior and such phenomenon requires time to manifest them fully. Such phenomenon also get hastened if they get the approval of the Government. Perhaps, if one asks, why and how taqleed came to be about, he could uncover who started it. I try to list some of them.
As Islam spread to wider areas, the new converts who had little knowledge of Arabic relied on understanding of someone who appears to be righteous.
State Patronage: Support from the state in return of the Fiqh Jursits' legitimization of the Government. Thus the religion became a tool to control the masses.
- Early Abbasids patronized Fiqh Hanafi (Its altogether a different story how it came to be as Abu Hanafi was against it and he was imprisoned and killed by the Khalifa. His fiqh was implemented by his student Abu Yusuf)
- Malikis enjoyed patronage under the second Ummayyad dynasty in Spain and parts of North Africa in return for their support for the regime.
- Ismailis got the support from Fatimids in Egypt
- Shafi were devoid of early patronage but later dynasties such as Seljuks, Mamluks, and Ayyubids lent it their support.
- Jafari/Asna-Ashari was adopted by Safavids as the jurists provided them the legitimacy and desireability until the Mehdi arrives.
- Hanbali received the least state patronage (by Ottomans and then the Sauds) and unsurprisingly is the smallest in terms of followers.