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Conditions of Ijtihad

Posted by Abd Al Mustafa on Tuesday 7th April, 2009

(1) He must be a master of the language of the Arabs, knowing its different dialects, the import of their  poems, their proverbs, and their customs. [30]  

(2) He must have a complete grasp of the differing opinions of the scholars and jurists of Islam.  [31] 

(3) He must be a jurist himself, learned in the Qur’an, having memorized it and knowing the difference of the seven readings of the Qur’an while understanding its commentary, being aware of what is clear and what is obscure in it, what it abrogates and what is abrogated by it, and the stories of the prophets.

(4) He must be learned in the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah, capable of distinguishing between its sound hadith and its weak hadith, its continuous hadith and hadith whose chain of transmission is broken, its chains of transmission, as well as those hadith which are well known. [32]

(5) He must be scrupulously pious in the religion, restraining his lower desires with respect to righteousness and trustworthiness, and his doctrine must be built upon the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet. One who is missing in any of these characteristics falls short and is not permitted to be a Mujtahid whom people imitate. [33]



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