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AbuZayd
12-07-2004, 09:07 AM
Assalamu alaykum,

Could someone please clarify the statement that "The doors of Ijtihad were closed in the seventh century Hijri" in relation to our current Ulema and their capacity to make Ijtihad on new issues.

JazakAllah khair.

Wasalam.

Shaykhs-Pir Sahib
12-07-2004, 09:19 AM
as salamu alaykum

as far as my understanding is of that:

- it is highly unlikely that there is someone who is capable of ijtihad mutlaq

- even if there was, it would need verification

- from my understanding, even if there were a scholar of such might from among the scholars i have seen who could 'potentially' fit this category, they would not call to their madhhab.

in terms of new issues, one does not need to ask why there are no mujtahid mutaqs around today, because such a maqam is not necessary to make ijtihad on new matters.

the ummah is not in need of new ijtihad on matters already well-established by the four madhhahib such as salat, hajj, zakat etc etc...

and for ijtihad to be made on new matters, all is necessary is that the scholar follows the usul of a recognised madhhab. i believe there are mujtahideen f'il madhhab who are capable of ijtihad..

at the end of the day, as long as we follow rightly-guided scholars, we are not in danger of being misguided...

Allahu a'lam

AbuZayd
12-07-2004, 10:22 AM
Assalamu alaykum, I found the following on www.htspub.com from Sidi Abu Ja'far al Hanbali:





as-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Noble brother,

Thank you for your post. May Allah reward you. As far as the point that was mentioned about the 13th century, I am unaware of it. I can perhaps give some help in this issue of ijtihaad.

1. After the death of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH, who was one of if not the last independant mujtahid, the doors to absolute ijtihaad were declared closed. This was for the following reasons (and it was the students of these imaams who did so, for there were no new principles to be elaborated, but rather it was time to systematise and put them in place),

a. The three generations had passed. Anything that was faith or connected with its' foundations was explained. What was faith they knew and what they did not know was not faith. The third generation was over and now they had come into the fourth, or in terms of the Christian calendar it was the late 10th century. Everyone thereafter just spent time systematising the work.

b. The absolute mujtahids were rare in their own time and gradually died out. The rigorous study it took to produce them could no longer be maintained as the Ummah further aged.

c. There could be no absolute mujtahids unless one in turn was trained by one. In the non-existence of one, there could be no one to be trained as one.

There are many other reasons, but usually they fall under one of the three above.

2. After absolute ijtihaad, then there is the issue of the ibaadaat, the worshipful actions. That door is for the most part closed, as all that was meant to be elucidated has been done by the first three generations. There may be new issues that come up with regard to purification and wudu in space or other extreme limits, but the foundations, what the salaah is to appear like and so on are set in stone.

This is one of the reasons why I tell Salafis to beware, as none of the taabi`in saw their salaah or verified it, so how could they feel safe praying in a way that has not been passed down or understood in that way. This again comes back to the issue of practice.

3. As far as the issue of transactions, such as buying and selling, this door remains open and ready at all times due to the constant transformation of these affairs.

4. It is not so much an issue that requires proof to say that the doors are closed, but the fact that those individuals cease to exist.

5. A classic case in point was when Imaam Ibn Daqiq al-`Eid RH saw Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah. The former said to the later, 'I thought that we had seen the last of your kind,' making allusion to the fact that the latter was a mujtahid murajjih and that they were rare. But there were still a few that existed.

In contemporary times, where are the mujtahid murajjih people that are teaching? For someone to claim that rank, they need to have been trained by them. The requirements are huge and most of the people today that crown themselves with titles don't even know the mashhur of their madhab, let alone the mu`tamid, so how could they possibly claim some other lofty rank?

I hope that this answer helped. And with Allah is every success,

was-Salaam,

brother in Islam

salman
12-07-2004, 05:52 PM
Sallamu Alaikum

There are 4 types of Ijtihad:

1. Absolute and independent Ijtihad i.e Ijtihad Mutlaq Mustaqil
2. Absolute and dependent Ijtihad i.e Ijtihad Mutlaq Muntasib
3. Ijtihad in the Madhab i.e Ijtihad Fi'l Madhab
4. Ijtihad in the Fatwa i.e Ijtihad Fi'l Fatwa

Ill just briefly explain the four.

1. This is the level of the Sahaba and the Imams. They dont follow the furu or Usul of anyone.

2. This is the level of the students of the Imams. They follow the Usul of their teachers but not strictly the Furu when judging sources.

3. This level consists of the great Fuqaha, who derive rulings for new cases that have arisen but sticking to the furu and usul of their Imams.

4. This level consists of those scholars who stick with the Furu and Usul of their Imam AND to the new judgements of the Fuqaha (discusses above). What they basically do is tell which of the different opinions amongst the Madhab are stronger and weaker and so forth.


1 and 2 are closed and will remain closed. As for 3 and 4 they will always remain open.

Inshallah that helps.

Wallahu A'lam

Mossy
12-07-2004, 06:25 PM
I find that htspub excerpt intriguing.. So one of the conditions for being a mujtahid is being taught by a mujtahid (1.c)? Is there any basis in the nusus for this?

I think something that would be good to get clear first is what the word ijtihad actually "means" and what it covers before discussing it's types (ie as seen by each of the madhabs..)

AbuZayd
13-07-2004, 09:15 AM
Asalamu alaykum,

From what I can gather from the htspub reply the doors of Ijtihad were closed as regards the Ibaadaat and not the Muamalaat.

As for the exact reasons why there can be no Mujtahid Mutlaqs any longer (or categories 1 and 2 mentioned by Akhi Salman) - I too am slightly unclear on this and it would be useful to clear this up as I have heard some ludicrous claims to the position of Mujtahid Mutlaq in recent times.

Could someone please elaborate?

Wasalam.

salman
13-07-2004, 03:24 PM
Sallamu Alaikum


So one of the conditions for being a mujtahid is being taught by a mujtahid (1.c)? Is there any basis in the nusus for this?

The basis is recognition from ones teachers and associates and permission from them to perform Ijtihad. It is just like getting an Ijaza from a Sufi Shaikh to teach Tasawwuf. You will not go to a Mufti who doesnot have permission in any of the schools of Tasawwuf to learn Spirituality!


I think something that would be good to get clear first is what the word ijtihad actually "means" and what it covers before discussing it's types (ie as seen by each of the madhabs..)

According to "Principles of Islamic Jurusprudence" by Kamali:

1. Muslim of sound mind and intellectual competence.
2. Knowledge of Arabic so he can understand the Quran and Sunna correctly.
3. ALL the requisites of Tafisr. Where a verse was revealed, why, Legal texts, aborgated texts etc etc.
4. Knolwedge in Hadith. He should be able to distinguish them and know exactly where to find them. He should also be able to specify legal texts.
5. Knowledge of the Furu works and points on which there is an Ijma.
6. Knowledge of Qiyas.
7. Knowledge of MAqasid.
8. Knowledge of general Maxims of Fiqh.

This is for category 3 and 4.

As for a Mujtahid Mutlaq, then it is someone who has reached the status of the 4 Imams in Language, Independently Inferring rulings, Hadith studies, Qiyas, application of the law, Textual knowledge etc.


I too am slightly unclear on this and it would be useful to clear this up as I have heard some ludicrous claims to the position of Mujtahid Mutlaq in recent times.

All we need to know is there is an Ijma among the scholars that no Mujtahid Mutlaq exists now and nor can one come. If someone does claim it then well say ok good for you but we wont follow you.

Mossy
15-07-2004, 07:41 PM
Now, here's something interesting..

On the one hand we have ijtihad (which still hasn't really been defined), on the other we have the definition of the mujtahid as one who is able to do ijtihad.

We then see one of the views of the different "types" of mujtahid dependent on the "type" of ijtihad they perform.

From this, we see there is a distinct qualifier for the status of being a mujtahid - it isn't an absolute status, ie you have knowledge (1 to 8) sufficient for ijtihad, so your ijtihad will be permissable, but rather you are considered by others to have this level of knowledge by others and this is the qualifier for the status of mujtahid.

I would take issue with your statement that there is an ijma amongst current scholarship that no mujtahid mutlaq's can exist - ijma means complete consensus (although of course it can be silent), which I do not believe is the current state of affairs. It does, of course, depend on one's definition of scholarship - but if you take it as those who have ijazas in one of the four madhabs, there are those who are calling for a "reopening" of the gates of ijtihad who have this accreditation. Indeed, there are even those who are calling for a reanalysis of usul for this day and age..

Hisham Kamali has some.. interesting.. views as well on this topic. Should we discuss them?

With regards to br AbuZayd's post, the differentiation between ibadat and muamalat is an interesting one. Ideally, shouldn't it be the case that there is no seperation between these two? Every act also contains an element of ibadat and should be constrained by this - acting in the name of and for the love of Allah (swt). Certain principles in fiqh such as public interest/qiyas have a direct impact on this, with some jurists suggesting a greater emphasis on others such as minority fiqh, but I'm not sure that this is the right place for that discussion?..

salman
15-07-2004, 10:08 PM
Sallamu Alaikum

Note Akhi Mossy that by Mujtahid Mutlaq i mean one who has reached the status of the 4 Imams in all aspects of religious sciences, independently, free from their Usul and Furu. In other words, the capacity of one being able to open his own school of thought.

Mossy
15-07-2004, 10:38 PM
I know brother Salman.. As I said, there are those who believe (at varying degrees of seperation from the traditionalist stance) that an adaptation of traditional usul is required to tackle current issues. The extremes of this opinion would indeed indicate that some believe that it is entirely possible to formulate a "new" school of thought (which would invariably take from others) - as to whether the exact definition of a mujtahid mutlaq would be relevant with respect to such a system (given the fact ijtihad would have it's own definition within this) and the variance which would then occur with respect to the other community/acknowledgement-requiring mujtahid rank seperation is another matter which boils down ultimately to semantics. This is something I've noticed a lot - when we discuss issues related to deen, we face a rather interesting lingual barrier on the one hand. Arabic doesn't translate well to English, simple enough. However, it goes beyond the simple language - there is a different mentality that must also be dealt with and acknowledged. When one recieves a traditional education, there are a number of differentiators between this and today's standard secular education. I would say the main one is that you are essentially thought to think in a traditional way - ie your thought processes are guided to approximate to those of the great scholars of your madhab. This only makes sense as otherwise it is difficult to objectively analyse and vaguely understand the rulings - indeed, it makes it hard to do taqleed/ittiba. Within this framework, the seperation of ijtihad into the four parts you outlined (as is accordant with the Hanafi view), makes perfect sense. With respect to the wider question of whether "independent ijtihad" is possible - this does not make as much sense. Why? Because the reference frame is within the specific Hanafite usul with it's distinct basis.

However, that does not seem to be the question being asked in this thread, as indeed, it appears to have been asked with respect to the Hanafi framework.. I digressed, my bad ;)

Still, it's interesting to think about..

AbuZayd
08-08-2004, 03:59 PM
I am looking for a scholarly definition of Ijma - does anyone have one?

Mossy
08-08-2004, 09:27 PM
I am looking for a scholarly definition of Ijma - does anyone have one?

Think of it as generally agreement on a subject by all of a certain group of qualified individuals. The exact details aren't agreed upon (are they? cf ijma of Malik vs Shafi). Which school's definition would you like?

You can get different flavours too, but that can be expanded on when you indicate which juristic system you want to work within..

edit: or you could pick up a copy of Kamali's Principle's of Jurisprudence - he spends a couple of dozen pages going over these titbits, plus it's a good primer..

ilm_seeker
09-08-2004, 11:29 AM
Sallamu Alaikum

There are 4 types of Ijtihad:

1. Absolute and independent Ijtihad i.e Ijtihad Mutlaq Mustaqil
2. Absolute and dependent Ijtihad i.e Ijtihad Mutlaq Muntasib
3. Ijtihad in the Madhab i.e Ijtihad Fi'l Madhab
4. Ijtihad in the Fatwa i.e Ijtihad Fi'l Fatwa

Ill just briefly explain the four.

1. This is the level of the Sahaba and the Imams. They dont follow the furu or Usul of anyone.

2. This is the level of the students of the Imams. They follow the Usul of their teachers but not strictly the Furu when judging sources.

3. This level consists of the great Fuqaha, who derive rulings for new cases that have arisen but sticking to the furu and usul of their Imams.

4. This level consists of those scholars who stick with the Furu and Usul of their Imam AND to the new judgements of the Fuqaha (discusses above). What they basically do is tell which of the different opinions amongst the Madhab are stronger and weaker and so forth.


1 and 2 are closed and will remain closed. As for 3 and 4 they will always remain open.

Inshallah that helps.

Wallahu A'lam

As sallamu alaikum Br. Salman, how r u?

Anyway I wanted to know if you wrote all that info (that i have quoted above) by urself or got it from a website?

Wa alaikum as salalm

Sadiq
10-08-2004, 04:24 AM
As sallamu alaikum Br. Salman, how r u?

Anyway I wanted to know if you wrote all that info (that i have quoted above) by urself or got it from a website?

Wa alaikum as salalm
Not to add 'extra spice' to this very interesting topic, i found this, when i was reading up on this issue in my internet 'research'.


Shah Wali Allah Dehlawi (d. 1180/1765), in a treatise (risalah) called "al-'Insaf fi bayan sabab al-'ikhtilaf" - which has been quoted by Farid al-Wajdi under jahada in the Da'irat al-Ma'arif, with the remark that it is the best treatise written on the topic - acclaims the closure of the door of independent ijtihad and the latter scholars' imitation of one of the early imams and says: that is, 'It is a secret that God Almighty has inspired in the scholars with' to safeguard Islam and protect the religion from disintegration. Farid al-Wajdi himself does not approve of the prohibition on Ijtihad and does not confirm those words of Shah Wali Allah.

May see some eyes rolling, but thats what some scholars said.

And this is from Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam of daruliftaa.org




As far as the first question is concerned, it should be known that the evidences found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah are divided into four types:

1)Evidence which is decisive (Qat’i) both in respect of authenticity [f: of its transmission] and meaning.

2)Evidence which is decisive in authenticity but speculative in meaning.

3)That which is of probabilistic authenticity (Zanni), but definite and decisive in meaning.

4)Evidence which is probabilistic, both in authenticity and meaning.

One must also remember here that all the evidences in the Qur’an are decisive in authenticity, yet not all are decisive in meaning. The evidences in the Sunnah can be from all four categories.

Ijtihad does not apply to the first of the abovementioned categories, such as the clear texts concerning the prescribed penalties (Hudud).

However, Ijtihad is valid and permissible for those qualified to exercise it in regard to any of the remaining three types of evidences.

This shows that if there is a evidence in the Qur’an (which is obviously decisive in authenticity), but the meaning of the verse is probabilistic in what it indicates (according to the standards of the science of legal methodology (usul al-fiqh)), then Ijtihad is valid.

Bold=my editing.

Hope this helps

lets discuss more...very interesting points from all.

salman
10-08-2004, 09:54 PM
As sallamu alaikum Br. Salman, how r u?

Anyway I wanted to know if you wrote all that info (that i have quoted above) by urself or got it from a website?

Wa alaikum as salalm

Sallamu Alaikum

I asked Shaikh Gibril this question quite a while ago through his personal email and this was the answer he provided. I do not know if he has put it online or not, since he told me alot of his articles have not been uploaded yet.

Wallahu A'lam

faqir
23-10-2004, 02:59 PM
So just to clarify the door of ijtihad were only close in issues of Ibaadaat and not muamalaat?







Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
as-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Noble brother,

Thank you for your question. Yes, you are correct, the door to the ways of `ibaadaat is closed and there is no need and no one to open it. And with Allah is every help.

was-Salaam,

brother in Islam

abeer_xyz
24-10-2004, 03:12 PM
What is Ijtehad?

I suppose everyone here knows about it much or less. But addressing the question, whether the door is still open or not, requires the answer of another question.

What is the need for Ijtehad?

Perhaps all will agree that before trying to get the answer we still need another prior question to be answered.

What Islam wants us to do on Earth?

Ijtehad shall take a form in accordance with the answer to this question.

Law and gnosis:

So far Islam has been taken as a set of laws in practical life. These laws are considered to be abided by. This is considered as obedience to God. And obedience to God is considered as the vocation of man on earth.

On the other hand, some thought such obedience as a spiritless form. True worship or obedience is related with mind. They inclined to gnosis along with laws.

Practical laws (sharia), ethics (akhlaq) and gnosis (tasawwf) are so far considered as all that a Muslim can look for to fulfill his purpose of creation.

Ijtehad has been essentially related with the arena of laws. It encompassed all aspects of individual and social activities. But laws are just laws. It only thinks of the present. It has no vision for the future.

Muslims face changes. So they need Ijtehad in the field of laws. Muslims are in fact passive to these changes. They are only interested in how to cope up with the changes. So their idea about Ijtehad evolved with this need.

What is this change? Who causes this change? To be honest, these changes are from outside. It was the Umayyads, the Abbasids, the Otomans, and at last the West. None of them much bothered about Islam from true sense. So all changes are in fact befallen on Muslims and Muslims are only careful just to cope up with the changes.

Creative Cultural Evolution:

But Islam has a wider program for the Muslims. It is the responsibility of the Ummah to take in hand. I like to call it Creative Cultural Evolution on the basis of Koran and Sunnah.

It is a process that has no end. To realize every step in this march, Muslims need vision for the future. Such vision needs knowledge of scopes for such evolution and of the method for realization. What is this knowledge? Where shall we get it from? We need science and philosophy for that, along with increasing understanding of the Koran and Sunnah.

If we wish to take this role on our hands, we need to be active in determining the changes and causing the changes at our will. Without a higher grade Ijtehad this can not be achieved. As this process is, as I said, endless, Ijtehad shall also be endless. As this process is continuous, Ijtehad shall be continuous. What I mean by continuous is that it shall never be cut-off from the past though it may require some changes in usul at certain level of attainment.

As long we fail to produce such Mujtahids and to palce them in charge of our affairs we shall have to continue our living under bondage. It is not freedom, it is slavery.