What is Ijtihad?

source of Islamic law Ijtihad

1. The Meaning and Basis of Ijtihad

Ijtihad From the linguistic aspect, it means doing something with full sincerity. From a terminology point of view, Ijtihad is to use all the capabilities to establish Shari’ah law based on the Qur’an and hadith. The person who performs ijtihad is called Mujtahid.

The legal basis for this ijtihad is the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad narrated by Turmuzi and Abu Dawud which reveals the Prophet’s dialogue with Muadz bin Jabal when Muadz was to be assigned as the Governor of Yemen.

The Prophet’s advice:

Prophet: “O Muadh, how do you decide a matter that is presented to you?”

Muadz : “I will decide based on the Book of Allah (Quran).”

Prophet: “(What) if you don’t find it in the Book of Allah?”

Muadz : “I will decide with the sunnah of the Prophet (hadith).”

Prophet: “(what) if you don’t find it in my sunnah?”

Muadz : “I will try to decide with my mind or my opinion without any doubt (Ijtihad).”

Prophet: “Praise be to Allah who has guided His Messenger in what Allah is pleased with.”

Then, what is the problem with ijtihad? Any problem, as long as there is no definite proof in the Qur’an or hadith. Problems with clear laws such as prayer, zakat, hajj and fasting, family planning, praying on a ship or plane? Those are some of them that must be considered.

Then, can we do ijtihad today? Of course you can, even recommended. The Prophet Muhammad himself once said:

“If a judge in punishing ijtihad, then his ijtihad is correct, then he gets two rewards. If his ijtihad is wrong, then he gets one reward.” (Narrated by Bukhari-Muslim)

So, it is not true that the door of ijtihad is now closed. The problem is, because ijtihad explores and establishes a law whose basis is still the Qur’an and hadith, someone who does ijtihad must meet the following conditions:

Requirements for People of Ijtihad

source of Islamic law Ijtihad
  • Knowing the contents (nas) of the Qur’an and hadith. If only one of them is known, the ijtihad is invalid. For the hadith that must be known, some say 3000 pieces, some say 12000 pieces, including the validity of the hadith (sahih hadith) and the weakness of the hadith (da’if hadith).
  • Knowing the questions of ijma (blindness / agreement of all ijtihad experts at one time on a syara law), so that mujtahids do not give fatwas that are different from the results of previous ijma.
  • Understand Arabic well.
  • Understanding science Fiqh Suggestions (how to take sharia law that departs from the Koran and hadith) properly.
  • Understand Nasikh and mansukh so that a mujtahid does not issue a law based on pre-existing arguments dimansukh (canceled).

2. Ijtihad at the time of the Prophet and the Mujtahid Imams

source of Islamic law Ijtihad

The scholars have agreed that it is permissible for Prophet Muhammad to perform ijtihad in matters relating to worldly interests or affairs. However, this is not the case in the case of the Shari’ah. Because, problems or problems that arise are always given the answer by Allah SWT through revelation delivered through the angel Gabriel.

As for this ijtihad, the companions of the Prophet did not feel the need for ijtihad. Because, every problem can be submitted to the Prophet and he answered or gave an example. Unless they were far from the Prophet, as was the case with Muadz bin Jabal, they had just done ijtihad.

After the Prophet died, the need for this ijtihad was felt. Including by the Khulafaur Rasyidin. One of them that they did was the appointment of the first caliph, Abu Bakr Siddiq ra, the codification of the Koran and so on.

In terms of ijtihad, great scholars of fiqh were born. However, the 4 imams whose ijtihad results have been followed by the majority of Muslims are luckier because their works are heritage works that are well preserved and serve as guidelines for practicing Islamic teachings.

The four priests are: Imam Hanafi whose ijtihad results are named Hanafi School, Imam Maliki with Maliki School, Imam Shafi’i with Shafi’i School and Imam Hambali whose ijtihad results were named Hanbali School.

3. Forms of Ijtihad

source of Islamic law Ijtihad
  • Ijma, is the unanimity of opinion of all ijtihad experts at one time on an issue related to the Shari’ah. Because of the difficulty of doing ijma in the period after the Companions, Imam Hambali even said, “Whoever says there is Ijma (that is, other than the consent of a friend, pen.), he is lying.” Ijma occurred, for example, during the appointment of the caliph after the Prophet’s death.
  • Qiyas (Ra’yu), namely establishing the law for an act for which there is no provision, based on something for which there is already a legal provision by taking into account the similarities between the two things. For example, establishing the unlawful law on marijuana, heroin, morphine, Bk pills, and so on, which explicitly have no provisions in the Qur’an and hadith, by analogizing the prohibition Wine. Because both of them have similar properties, namely ‘Muskir’ or intoxicating.
  • istishab, that is to continue the enforcement of existing laws and those that have been determined because of a proposition, until there are other arguments that change the legal position. For example, what is believed to have existed will not be lost because of doubt. Like a person who is sure that he has performed ablution, and then doubts whether it has been canceled or not, then his ablution is still valid. Likewise, in terms of the basic law (origin) everything is permissible (permissible) so there are arguments that require leaving the law.
  • Maslahah Mursalah, namely benefit or goodness that is not mentioned by syara’ to do or leave it, while if it is done it will bring benefits to avoid evil. This happened, for example, during the collection and codification of the Qur’an at the time of Abu Bakr and Usman bin Affan. There is no text that forbids and tells to do it. But considering the benefit of the Umt in the future, the friends agreed. Another example is requiring the existence of a marriage certificate for the validity of a lawsuit in matters of marriage, living, inheritance, and others.
  • “Urf, that is a habit that is carried out by a person or group of people, both in words and deeds. For example, the habit of buying and selling by handing over, without using consent.

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