Ijtihad (Arabic اجتهاد, DMG iǧtihād 'effort' ) is a technical term of Islamic legal theory, which refers to the determination of standards by independent Urteilsbemühung. He is shortened for the Arabic term al- ijtihad ra'y, " striving for their own judgment ." The opposite of ijtihad is taqlid ( "imitation" ). The user of ijtihad is called mujtahid; in part, this term is also applied to the persons who do not themselves carry out ijtihad, but only have the ability to do so.

Justification and content of ijtihad

To justify the application ijtihad a Hadith is commonly cited, according to which the Prophet when he sent Mu'adh ibn Jabal his companions in the Yemen asked how he acted when he had to make a judgment. Mu'adh replied that he initially orienting themselves to the Book of God; if he can not find anything in it, to the Sunnah of the Prophet; and even if this is nothing in that he would form his own judgment. The Prophet approved this response. The Hadith is narrated in the Musnad of, among others, Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Although he has gaps in the isnad, but he is generally accepted as a normative basis in the Sunni legal theory.

After the formation of the different schools of law in Sunni Islam, there was the notion that the possibility of independent judgments was greatly limited. Against proponents of that view turned to the Egyptian scholar Jalal ad -Din as- Suyuti (d. 1505). He stated in one of his writings that the ijtihad in every age a collective duty ( fard Kifaya ) of Muslims is so that the Ummah, as long as individual scholars fail to meet this task, a total of mistaken go.

Early Muslim legal scholars such as al- Shafi ʿ ī put the ijtihad nor identical with the analogy ( qiyas ). In this case, it was considered the duty of the mujtahid, the ratio legis ( ʿ illa ) to determine which is the base case described in the Qur'an or Sunnah and the target case to be solved jointly. Later, it was assumed that the ijtihad also includes different method of text interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Since al -Ghazali (d. 1111), there is a tendency to maintain the principle of the common good ( Maslaha ) ascribe great importance in the process of rational verdict. See Today's Sunni scholars in this principle, an indispensable means for legal education.

The epistemological assessment of ijtihad - profit

Given the fact that the ijtihad activity of different people produces disagreement, the question of the position of the decisions of the various Ijtihad presented performers scholars: meets every mujtahid the truth, or has only a right, while the others go wrong? The basrische scholar ʿ al - ʿ Ubaidullah Anbari (d. 785) established the principle: "Wherever someone falls an independent judgment, he hits something right " ( kull muǧtahid muṣīb ). The scholars who followed this view were called muṣauwiba ( " For - Right Holder " ), the representatives of the opposite direction as muchaṭṭi'a ( " For false - holder ").

Among the muṣauwiba however, the representatives of two divergent views are accurately taken together. While some felt that there could be a question that lacks a relevant text, multiple correct answers, others were of the opinion that there is only one correct answer definitively, but this could know no one, so that the sentences of all mujtahids would have to be held to be correct. The latter epistemological position, which has close ties to the fallibilism, is of modern Arab legal theorists as "mu ʿ tazilitisches For - Right - hold" ( taṣwīb mu ʿ tazilī ) refers to the former as " arītisches ash ʿ For - Right - hold" ( taṣwīb aš ʿ arī ).

Ijtihad in the Shia

The concept of ijtihad was rejected in early Shiism first. Abū al -Hasan al - Ash ʿ arī reported in his work al - Maqālāt islāmīyīn: " The Rāfiḍiten in its entirety reject ijtihad ar -ra ʾ y in the legal rules ( Ahkam ) from and do not recognize him." As part of the acquisition of the right -discovery methods of Sunni Islam of ijtihad but was subsequently recognized by most Twelver Shi'ites.

A key role in the mediation of ijtihad concept played the so-called School of Hilla. The two scholars al - al - Hilli Muhaqqiq (d. 1277 ) and al - ʿ Allama al - Hilli (d. 1325 ) integrated the principle in their works on the " principles of the course of justice " ( usul al - fiqh) and described it in content. In contrast to Sunni Islam is at the Twelver Shia, the application of reason ( ʿ aql ), the basic form of ijtihad. This includes some of the weighting ( tardschīh ). Alone in the Achbārīya, a traditionalist oriented minority group within the Twelver Shia, the application of ijtihad is still rejected.

Modern ijtihad discussions

In the understanding of modern reform -Muslims such as Irshad Manji or Abdelwahab Meddeb ijtihad means a non-dogmatic, rational -led mindset that would permit every Muslim to bring his religious practice in the light of contemporary circumstances to date: " In order to practice ijtihad [ ... ] we just have to make our open questions to Islam. "