If there is no other Muftī in that city, it is obligatory for the common man (`āmmī) to turn towards that lone Muftī. If there are many, then he can ask whosoever he likes, as it is not necessary for him to seek the most knowledgeable amongst them. This was the practice in the time of Sahāba, when common folk would ask companions of every rank and they did not restrict themselves to just Abū Bakr, `Umar or other Caliphs.
How should the common man act ...
when faced with multiple opinions of scholars?
Imām Abū Hāmid al-Ghazālī