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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue V, May 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Understanding Ijtihad or Personal Reasoning in Islam

Juma Shaban Chibololo (PhD)
Muslim University of Morogoro, Tanzania

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: It is legally established that every event or incident in the universe or matter in the world that pertains to human beings has a legal ruling before the Almighty Allah. Some people know the rulings about those events and incidents while others are ignorant about their rulings. And it is the duty of the Muslim scholars to explain and make these rulings clear to Muslim Ummah. In fact, it is their obligation and duty for them to do so because this act is neither limited nor confined with time and duration and does not end with progress and development.
The texts contained in the Qur’an and the Sunnah to explain the legal rulings are limited and restricted, while the universe’s events that relate to human beings in different times and places, and with the development of life, the advancement of science, and the advancement of nations and civilizations are neither limited nor restricted hence it becomes inevitably for both Qur’an and Sunnah to become a legitimate and acceptable source that clarifies the rulings on incidents in which there is no text. This will ultimately help Islamic laws “Shari’ah” to be compatible with the society and make Muslims being part of it instead of being isolated and becoming strange in their own land.
The revelation from the Almighty Allah in the form of Qur’an and Sunnah was completed and stopped with the demise of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Ijtihad, however, continues and this is the source or methodology which gives Islamic law, its adaptability to new situations and capacity to tackle all new issues and problems. The various sources of Islamic law that feature next to the Qur’an and the Sunnah are all demonstrations of ijtihad. In this way, Ijma, Qiyas, Istihsan, etc., are all interrelated and come under the main heading of ijtihad. Ijtihad in its widest sense means the use of human reason in the elaboration and explanation of the Shari’ah.

Key words: Ijtihad

1.0Introduction

It is legally established that every event or incident in the universe or matter in the world that pertains to human beings has a legal ruling before the Almighty Allah. Some people know the rulings about those events and incidents while others are ignorant about their rulings. And it is the duty of the Muslim scholars to explain and make these rulings clear to Muslim Ummah. In fact, it is their obligation and duty for them to do so because this act is neither limited nor confined with time and duration and does not end with progress and development.
The texts contained in the Qur’an and the Sunnah to explain the legal rulings are limited and restricted, while the universe’s events that relate to human beings in different times and places, and with the development of life, the advancement of science, and the advancement of nations and civilizations are neither limited nor restricted hence it becomes inevitably for both Qur’an and Sunnah to become a legitimate and acceptable source that clarifies the rulings on incidents in which there is no text. This will ultimately help Islamic laws “Shari’ah” to be compatible with the society and make Muslims being part of it instead of being isolated and becoming strange in their own land.
The revelation from the Almighty Allah in the form of Qur’an and Sunnah was completed and stopped with the demise of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Ijtihad, however, continues and this is the source or methodology which gives Islamic law, its adaptability to new situations and capacity to tackle all new issues and problems. The various sources of Islamic law that feature next to the Qur’an and the Sunnah are all demonstrations of ijtihad. In this way, Ijma, Qiyas, Istihsan, etc., are all interrelated and come under the main heading of ijtihad. Ijtihad in its widest sense means the use of human reason in the elaboration and explanation of the Shari’ah.