I've read these questions and their answers on consensus (ijma), forming a consensus through ijtehad, and opinion:
- A Question Concerning Consensus and Hadith
- What is Ijmaa? How is it established?
- What are Ijma (izma) and qiyaas (kias) and when are they applied?
I'm wondering about when there is no ijma among scholars but there are a majority of scholars who, given some hadith, think the ruling should be X and a minority who believe it should be Y, but there is still some agreement.
To come up with a silly example (because I've seen this several times on different topics and don't want to get answeres sidetracked by a particular topic), the scholars find a hadith that you should eat baked beans on toast on a Sunday. The majority say it means you must only eat baked beans on toast on a Sunday and only on Sunday but the minority think it's good but not obligatory on the Sunday bit but say you can also eat it on other days too.
What is the responsibility of the non-scholar who follows their madhhab?
- Should they go with the majority?
- Should they pick from the opinion they think is best?
- Should they avoid following either opinion? (if possible)
Perhaps there's a mechanism for this I'm unaware of, like the madhhab giving out different levels of advice?
Any insight on the matter would be greatly appreciated.