Essays on Ijtihad in the 21st Century

Abu Ismael Al Beirawi

Paperback, 183 pages
14.7 x 21 cm
MaktabaIslamia Imprint

Due to the intellectual decline that has affected the Muslims throughout the last few centuries the subject of Ijtihad has become vague in the minds of many, unfortunately, including some thinkers as well as Ulema. Different extremes exist, some believe the doors of Ijtihad are closed whereas others have broken the doors of Ijtihad altogether. The following are some of the key misconceptions that have crept into the minds:

a) The doors of Ijtihad are closed i.e. it is impossible and not permitted to undertake Ijtihad today.

b) The scope of Ijtihad includes most things including definitive matters such as the prohibition of Riba (usury) and the prohibition of having nation states with a multiplicity of rulers in the Muslim world. It allows Islam to be reformed in order to apply to the modern age.

c) Ijtihad is only personal reasoning and not the hukm of Allah i.e. it is the reasoning of an individual and therefore cannot be a shariah rule.

d) Ijtihad is an individual obligation (Fard Ayn) and therefore Taqleed (following an opinion of a Mujtahid) is prohibited (haram).

This book “Essays on Ijtihad in the 21st Century” is a compilation of independent articles written over a period of time, put together in a logical sequence. Written in a lucid language this book is a suitable read for all those who want to understand the practical reality of Ijithad and how it can be applied to the current reality.

This key Islamic concept needs to be understood even more so in this era where the enemies of Islam attempt to defame it and portray it as a backward religion unable to deal with modernity and the challenges of the technologically advanced world. The doors of Ijtihad are not only open, rather it is a great Islamic duty, a fard kifaya (obligation of sufficiency) and the revealed method by which we are able to extract the rulings of Islam for all problems we face until the day of judgement.

Besides the confusion over Ijtihad, there is ambiguity over the definition and conditions of a Mujtahid. This book explains the types of Mujtahid namely the Mujtahid Mazhab, Mujtahid Masála and Mujtahid Mutlaq.

Chapters of the book include:

Ijtihad and Applying it in the 21st Century – This chapter explains in detail what Ijtihad is, its scope and how it is indispensable for the Muslims to practice it.

– Evidences for Ijtihad – This chapter clarifies that Ijtihad is not something new, rather it is something which is the part of Islam since the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).

– The Mujtahid – This chapter is about the conditions for Ijtihad and the types Mujtahid.

– Exposing the Call for Reformation – This chapter elaborates how the word Ijithad is misused today by those who attempt to reform Islam and make it compatible with the secular liberal values.

– Understanding Dar al-Kufr (land of disbelief) and Dar al-Islam (land of Islam).

– Between Sufism and Salafism.

– Moon sighting – Distinguishing between nationalism, political allegiance & fiqh (jurisprudence).

– Understanding Illah (legal reason) and Qiyas (analogy).

This book is also available on other websites, in case you cannot find it on the above link, we recommend you search on the internet as well.