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Define Ijtahad

January 24, 2020, 12:04:51 am Heba E. Husseyn: Do please read our blog entry @ Zainab's Lounge titled Murder of Qassem Soleimani and comrades.
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Author Topic: Define Ijtahad  (Read 235 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: February 03, 2018, 04:48:29 pm »

Wa'Salam and yes Sister, Ijtahad is definitely necessary for a Quran alone follower .. and it's something very simple.  No need to get into that labyrinth of complicated man-made rules as you correctly articulated.   If you have only the Quran before you as your Benchmark, you will automatically not need those man-made regulations.  That's plain logic, right?

Ijtihad is an Islamic legal term referring to independent reasoning, and the Noble Quran very definitely encourages every believer to exercise their independent reasoning by thinking, reflecting and analyzing on the basis of Quranic principles.  You don't need to be a diploma holder with numerous experiences of attending dars and ijtemas.  But you do need to be conscientious concerning Quranic values so you don't depart from the Path of Allah.  You do require plenty of desire to acquire His guidance directly from Him alone with plenty of fear of intentionally disobeying Him by piling up your life with wrong priorities.

The jurists often contrast the concept of Ijtahad with taqlid  which is the following of an existing legal procedure or conformity to it.  But that "legal procedure" might not be in conformity with the Quran.  It could come purely from the Hadith or from the mindset of a jurist who uses the titles of his "religious studies" as leverage to a "legal procedure" of interest.   Such things happen all the time and thus one needs to be super careful.  In traditional circles, Ijtihad is considered a religious duty for those 'qualified' to perform it, though many of them aren't wholly honest nor impartial.   They maybe "qualified" in their own ways that may not adhere to Quranic values.   The Quran is seldom or never their Sole Criterion.  That's for sure.

As we know, many or most of our jurists don't consider the Quran sufficient to answer all our questions, a concept which is a huge violation by itself.  They implement ijtahad where they consider the Quran and Hadith to be ambiguous.  Hadith has plenty of ambiguities and discrepancies.  The Quran does NOT.  Essential Quranic commands are direct while those issues that may differ from case to case contain their broad guidelines in the Quran to help us construct a decision compatible with Quranic values.  This itself is ijtahad by definition.  What's necessary for Ijtahad is basic guidance from Allah which is first and foremost.  Furthermore, one needs to consider the Quran as the Sole Criterion and be well informed of its contents and values to understand it as one deems right in accordance with their unbiased and unmotivated perception / judgment.  And of course, one cannot afford to lose one's common sense provided to each one of us by The Almighty, The One and Only.  That's it, as far as Ijtehad is concerned for a submitter.

For a true believer who never deviates from the Message of the Divine Power, ijtahad is a simple matter to understand though it may require much and careful thinking depending on the issue one needs to decide in consultation with the Quran.   You then make your decision with prayers and supplications to Allah The Almighty that you decided something important in your life making your best effort with the help of His Message alone by piecing together all its values that pertain to your case and trying your best to maintain conformity with it. 

Ameen ya Allah.   Please keep guiding us.  Guidance and help comes only from YOU.  Without YOUR guidance we are surely lost. 

Allah helps those who strive for the purity of HIS guidance.  That can only be found within the Noble Quran and no where else.

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