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Unformatted text preview: h selfseeking interests. For ijtihad is a sacred trust, and anyone who is tainted with heresy and selfindulgence is unworthy of it. [42. Ghazali, Mustasfa, II, 101; Shawkani, Irshad, p. 252.] These are the conditions of independent ijtihad, but a mujtahid on particular issues need only know all the relevant information concerning those issues and may, at least according to those who admit the `divisibility' of ijtihad, practice ijtihad in respect of them. His lack of knowledge in matters unrelated to the issues concerned does not prejudice his competence for ijtihad. [43. Ghazali, Mustafa, II, 102-103; Kassab, Adwa', p.38.] Some observers have suggested that the practice of ijtihad was abandoned partly because the qualifications required for its practice were made 'so immaculate and rigorous and were set so high that they were humanly impossible of fulfilment'. [44. Cf. Fazlur Rahman, Islam, p. 78.] This is, however, an implausible Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 324 supposition which has been advanced mainly by the proponents of taqlid with a view to discouraging the practice of ijtihad. As for the actual conditions, Abdur Rahim (with many others) has aptly observed that `the qualifications required of a mujtahid would seem to be extremely moderate, and there can be no warrant for supposing that men of the present day are unfitted to acquire such qualifications'. Rahim, Jurisprudence, p. 174.] There is little evidence to prove that fulfilling the necessary conditions of ijtihad was beyond the reach of the ulema of later periods. on the contrary, as one observer has pointed out, `the total knowledge required on the part of the jurist enabled many to undertake ijtihad in one area of the law or another'. [46. Hallaq, The Gate, p. 14.] Their task was further facilitated by the legal theory, in particular the Hadith which absolved the mujtahid who committed an error from the charge of sin and even entitled him to a spiritual reward. Furthermore, the recognition in the legal theory of the divisibility of ijtihad, as we shall presently discuss, enabled the spet in particular areas of the Shari`ah to practice ijtihad even if he was not equally knowledgeable in all of its other disciplines. Divisibility of Ijtihad The question to be discussed here is whether a person who is learned on a particular subject is qualified to practice ijtihad in that area, or whether he is required to qualify as a full mujtahid first in order to be able to carry out any ijtihad at all. The majority of ulema have held the view that once a person has fulfilled the necessary conditions of ijtihad he is qualified to practice it in all areas of the Shari'ah. According to this view, the intellectual ability and competence of a mujtahid cannot be divided into compartments. Ijtihad, in other words, is indivisible, and we cannot say that a person is a mujtahid in the area of matrimonial law and an imitator (muqallid) in regard to devotional matters (`ibadat) or viceversa. To say this would be t...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2013 for the course ISLAM 101 taught by Professor Islam during the Spring '13 term at Harvey Mudd College.
- Spring '13