The ijtihâd (Arab: ijtihād, rear RTL اِجْتِهاد, effort of reflection ) indicates the effort of reflection that the Moslem Oulémas or Muftis and lawyers undertake to interpret the texts founders of the Islam and to transcribe them in term of Moslem Droit.
Nevertheless, this effort of reflection is also the duty of any person because if a lawyer is considered ready to extract a legal answer starting from the sources from Islam, each individual will have necessarily individually to apply it to his context. Also, if the life does not consist in falling under legal limits, each one will have to carry out this effort starting from the universal principles towards its context with in an individual capacity.
The ijtihâd is also a form of development of the right. For the legal schools (Madhhab) sunnites, the time of the ijtihâd is practically finished since the 10th century with the constitution of the four universities of right, a Caliph Abbasside having closed the " doors of the ijtihâd". In theory the Moslem can declare his adhesion at a particular legal school and endeavor to practice the Taqlid. Nevertheless the modern living conditions make that some Oulémas tend to require the reopening of the ijtihâd.
In the Shiism, the forever closed ijtihâd. The mujtahids are the spokesperson of the Imam hidden. It constituted a clergy very arranged hierarchically charged to carry out this effort of interpretation of the Moslem Droit. In Iran they are the Mollahs.
If the Ijtihâd is to think the Islamic principles in order to reflect them on a context, then null decision cannot close this door. For those which cannot provide this effort, they will not have unfortunately which has to follow ( taqlid ) a legal school whose way of the thought was closed at present.
In the company which tries to reconcile Islam and modernity, of many authors and Moslem activists launch a burning call to the return of the concept of ijtihad applied. These mujtahids , although not making school, is numerous. One can quote as example Mohammed Arkoun, Farid Esack, Abdesselam Cheddadi, Abdelwahab Meddeb.
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