An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities)


I have spoken in this paper about the most fundamental of issues related to the principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) –the issue of independent reasoning (al-ijtihad) –by explaining, in detail, the roles played by a mujtahid. I explain that a mujtahid has ten roles by examining historicaland current evidence of the types of activity that he engages in. Furthermore, these ten can be reduced to five main roles. The first is deriving legal rulings directly from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The second is extracting legal rulings from the opinions and principles of previous scholars. The third is collating and deeming opinions correct or weak. The fourth is differentiating between opinions from the dhahir ar-riwayah, opinions deemed correct, opinions deemed weak and other types of opinions. The fifthis application of these rulings within the framework of legal verdicts (al-ifta’). I also indicate, before entering this discussion, that independent reasoning by a mujtahid is a condition of acting upon a ruling, because truth is one according to Allah, not many. I also detail the most important classes of mujtahids.