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What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

This is a discussion on What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites? within the Fiqh and its Application forums, part of the Main Topics category; Salam, This is an important question that I cannot seem to find the answer for here. I hope some knowledgeable ...

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    Default What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Salam,

    This is an important question that I cannot seem to find the answer for here. I hope some knowledgeable brothers can answer this. When discussing Taqleed, I see many members stating that "The Deobandi/Sufi perception of Ijtihad has made it literally impossible for anyone to achieve this status" etc, but no actual prerequisites outlined from the books of Usul.

    I say this because I came across this non-Deobandi fatwa here, which also raises ijtihad to a very high level. Furthermore, it states that one can only depart from the Madhabs once they have reached Mujtahid Mutlaq. I am wondering if there are different levels of ijtihad, such as a level where one can compare between the different schools and choose a stronger opinion, and what prerequisites the scholars of Usul laid out for this level etc.

    This is the fatwa I'm talking about: Fatwa of Shaykh Murabtal Haaj on the issue of taqlid of the four Imams

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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Here is an excellent post in Arabic from Multaqa Ahl ul-Hadith: ملتقى أهل الحديث - عرض مشاركة واحدة - ما هي درجة الشيخ ابن عثيمين رحمه الله في المجتهدين ؟

    I really want to translate a good portion of it as it's really interesting and it gives examples, but it's too late right now. In Sha Allah, tomorrow.

    But here are the basic categories according to al-Mardawi:

    1) Absolute Mujtahid
    2) Mujtahid only in the school of one's Imam
    3) Mujtahid in the school of more than just one's Imam
    4) Mujtahid in only a category of knowledge or a science
    5) Mujthiad in a Fiqh issue or various Fiqh issues

    These appear to be in order of high to low in terms of levels of Ijtihad as well.

    However I have also come across the opinion that there is only Mujtahid and Muqallid (Ibn Taymiyyah and others) with only some saying the level of al-Ittiba' in between the two (ash-Shawkani and others).
    "Their generosity is impressive, their faces luminous, their voices soft, their manners exquisite. And they have given us the satisfying feeling that we are more important to them than time, or anything else."


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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Brother Ibn al Iskhandar,

    Correct me if i am wrong- but should Number 3 not be Number 2 on the list? The Mujtahid who can make Ijtihaad according to more than One Madhab is greater in degree than the One who can make Ijtihaad in just One Madhab?

    Jazakhallah Khair

    Wasalaams

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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Quote Originally Posted by abuimaan View Post
    Correct me if i am wrong- but should Number 3 not be Number 2 on the list? The Mujtahid who can make Ijtihaad according to more than One Madhab is greater in degree than the One who can make Ijtihaad in just One Madhab?
    Indeed, and in fact I was thinking about this before sleeping and just didn't motivate to edit the post. I don't know why it was written in Arabic in that order.

    Jazak Allahu khayran.
    "Their generosity is impressive, their faces luminous, their voices soft, their manners exquisite. And they have given us the satisfying feeling that we are more important to them than time, or anything else."


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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Salam,

    This is an important question that I cannot seem to find the answer for here. I hope some knowledgeable brothers can answer this. When discussing Taqleed, I see many members stating that "The Deobandi/Sufi perception of Ijtihad has made it literally impossible for anyone to achieve this status" etc, but no actual prerequisites outlined from the books of Usul.

    I say this because I came across this non-Deobandi fatwa here, which also raises ijtihad to a very high level. Furthermore, it states that one can only depart from the Madhabs once they have reached Mujtahid Mutlaq. I am wondering if there are different levels of ijtihad, such as a level where one can compare between the different schools and choose a stronger opinion, and what prerequisites the scholars of Usul laid out for this level etc.

    This is the fatwa I'm talking about: Fatwa of Shaykh Murabtal Haaj on the issue of taqlid of the four Imams
    wasalam,

    Ijtihaad means independent judgment

    Shareeah wise, Ijtihaad can be done by anyone who has the capabilities for that particular matter. This means there are different degrees of Ijtihaad via the level of knowledge one carries and one has only attained knowledge once the signs of taqwa have appeared. This means that merely being considered a scholar by others doesn't mean you're an actual scholar, as Allaah says only those with knowledge have taqwa

    So there's no actual breakdown of the levels of ijtihaad in the Shareeah, although scholars have tried doing it, yet neither of their claims have any legal premises since we're discussing Islaam and nothing has been revealed (wahi) restricting Ijtihaad to certain individuals. That was only done by persons who gave their own personal opinions even though there's no daleel for it, for example, either you're a Mujtahid or you're a Muqallid. This categorisation has no Shareeah basis and only came into being once the Bid'ah of Mathhahib cults became rampant in society

    And keep in mind Ijtihaad is not synonymous with being a scholar, it' an open field for any individual. Those who restricted Ijtihaad to particular individuals have a first hand in helping to destroy a Muslims intellectual creativity, they're responsible for the intellectual decline in the Ommah which led to our current state

    So it's important to stick with Shareeah and not personal opinions of "scholars" who were not free from speaking ill of the Deen

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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    But here are the basic categories according to al-Mardawi:

    1) Absolute Mujtahid
    2) Mujtahid only in the school of one's Imam
    3) Mujtahid in the school of more than just one's Imam
    4) Mujtahid in only a category of knowledge or a science
    5) Mujthiad in a Fiqh issue or various Fiqh issues
    6) Mujtahid in IA forumitis with delusions of grandeur and batilism exp saif ul haq
    "Sit with one whose limbs address you, not his mouth." Sahl ibn `Abd Allah ibn Yunus, Abu Muhammad al-Tustari (d. 283), may Allah be well-pleased with him.

    قال إبن عمر: "ولا يكن في قولك فضل على فعلك" ,أخرج البيهقي: شعب الإيمان وابن حجر العسقلاني: الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة

    Ibn 'Umar said: "And do not let your words be in excess to your actions", Al-Baihaqi: Shu'ab al-Imaan and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani: Al-Isaabah fee Taymeez as-Sahaaba




    Justice for those who are oppressed!

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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abu'l 'Eyse View Post
    6) Mujtahid in IA forumitis with delusions of grandeur and batilism exp saif ul haq
    Don't incite him...I don't want another thread to be ruined.

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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Don't worry I will delete his derailments, but you know from our brother Ibn Al-Iskandar's list that was kinda asking for that
    "Sit with one whose limbs address you, not his mouth." Sahl ibn `Abd Allah ibn Yunus, Abu Muhammad al-Tustari (d. 283), may Allah be well-pleased with him.

    قال إبن عمر: "ولا يكن في قولك فضل على فعلك" ,أخرج البيهقي: شعب الإيمان وابن حجر العسقلاني: الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة

    Ibn 'Umar said: "And do not let your words be in excess to your actions", Al-Baihaqi: Shu'ab al-Imaan and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani: Al-Isaabah fee Taymeez as-Sahaaba




    Justice for those who are oppressed!

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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bilal_123 View Post
    Salam,

    This is an important question that I cannot seem to find the answer for here. I hope some knowledgeable brothers can answer this. When discussing Taqleed, I see many members stating that "The Deobandi/Sufi perception of Ijtihad has made it literally impossible for anyone to achieve this status" etc, but no actual prerequisites outlined from the books of Usul.

    I say this because I came across this non-Deobandi fatwa here, which also raises ijtihad to a very high level. Furthermore, it states that one can only depart from the Madhabs once they have reached Mujtahid Mutlaq. I am wondering if there are different levels of ijtihad, such as a level where one can compare between the different schools and choose a stronger opinion, and what prerequisites the scholars of Usul laid out for this level etc.

    This is the fatwa I'm talking about: Fatwa of Shaykh Murabtal Haaj on the issue of taqlid of the four Imams
    Wassalam

    There are many inaccuracies in this article. Yet, I don't see anything in that article which is as close as the polarisation Deobandis suffer from when discussing the prerequisites of Ijtihad. No doubt the level of Ijtihad is high and deserves the truth, both in theory as discussed in Usool, as well in practice as who did what and how historically.

    I'll say that all of these levels of Mujtahids are baseless and fabricated and detracts from the main discussions in Usool, of which there are two and two only. Yet, both can be split into a further two discussions:

    Both need to be discussed here - separately:
    1. Ijtihad and Taqleed
    2. Mujtahid and Muqallid

    There is a difference between the two discussions. The first is in relation to practice, whereas the second is a label attached to the person.

    So whereas a person might exercise Ijtihad, he does not automatically be worthy of the technical label Mujtahid.

    The two main forms of Ijtihad are:
    1. Looking into the Quran and Sunnah directly and taking rulings without primarily taking into consideration the various opinion out there (precisely, Istinbat)
    2. Looking primarily into the opinions of the scholars, then their evidences and preferring one over the other (precisely, Tarjeeh)

    All four Imams did both. A Mujtahid may use a combination of the two in his work, and even in one particular issue he is researching.


    As for later scholars working within the framwork of their Madhhab, they too can do Ijtihad of another type/s
    3. Extracting rulings from the fatwas of the Imams (Takhreej)
    4. Preferring one ruling over another in terms of attribution to the Imam (Tamyeez, also can possibly called Tarjeeh)
    5. Creating new Usool and rules based on the pre-existing material of the Madhhab (Ta'seel)
    6. Creating new fatwas based on pre-existing Usool of the Madhhab (Tafree`)
    7. Justifying the Madhhab by shoring it up with new evidence (Intisar, Fiqh 'l-Khilaf)

    These are all types of Ijtihad. Scholars do a mixture of all. Therefore, it is completely incorrect to say so and so scholar is a Mujtahid of this level but not the other. It makes no sense. Unfortunately, many scholars of the past have fallen into the trap of categorising scholars into levels. This is completely baseless and I have discussed this many a time on the Deception thread. The best detailed refutation against such categorisations is by al-Marjani in his book Nazurat 'l-Haqq. If you can translate that discussion for us, that would be fantastic.

    Coming back, a person who does anyone of these does not make him entitled to the title of Mujtahid. To be a Mujtahid, one would need to prove himself consistently with a high-level of discussion over a period of time and over a number of chapters, issues. To be really recognised, one would need to deal with the Nawaazil of his own era.

    Importantly, one should realise that becoming a Mujtahid is not an overnight process. A student and eventual scholar will do Ijtihad in some issues whereas he would still be a Muqallid in others. The fragmentation of Ijtihad (Tajazzu' 'l-Ijtihad) is therefore the strongest opinion (that a person can be a Mujtahid in some chapters only).

    The issue of students of knowledge is also connected to this discussion. They are non-Mujtahids, but they can exercise Ijtihad in their own capacity and after reasonable research in the issues they have studied.

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    Default Re: What are the different levels of Ijtihad and their Prerequisites?

    ^Akhi Karim,

    You declare the divisions of Ijtihad as Batil and then proceed to engage in Tafseel directly after that, dividing the 'kinds' of Ijtihad in the same way really (if you forget for a moment any contrived restrictions of Ijtihad or the need to package a scholar into one or another ).

    If we look at some of your definitions and understand them in relation to the groups previously mentioned without seeing them as fixed or predetermined, then they are as follows:

    1) Absolute Mujtahid
    -a person who does anyone of these does not make him entitled to the title of Mujtahid. To be a Mujtahid, one would need to prove himself consistently with a high-level of discussion over a period of time and over a number of chapters, issues. To be really recognised, one would need to deal with the Nawaazil of his own era.
    -Looking into the Quran and Sunnah directly and taking rulings without primarily taking into consideration the various opinion out there (precisely, Istinbat).


    Everyone else aside from the above: look primarily into the opinions of the scholars, then their evidences and preferring one over the other (precisely, Tarjeeh), which are divided as follows:

    3. Extracting rulings from the fatwas of the Imams (Takhreej)
    4. Preferring one ruling over another in terms of attribution to the Imam (Tamyeez, also can possibly called Tarjeeh)
    5. Creating new Usool and rules based on the pre-existing material of the Madhhab (Ta'seel)
    6. Creating new fatwas based on pre-existing Usool of the Madhhab (Tafree`)
    7. Justifying the Madhhab by shoring it up with new evidence (Intisar, Fiqh 'l-Khilaf)


    And the above would be done by the below kinds of Mujtahideen:

    2) Mujtahid only in the school of one's Imam
    3) Mujtahid in the school of more than just one's Imam
    4) Mujtahid in only a category of knowledge or a science
    5) Mujtahid in a Fiqh issue or various Fiqh issues.


    Like you said, you were simply discussing types of Ijtihad as opposed to types of Mujtahideen. However I don't think there is a need to completely disregard the existence of scholars who are specialists or whose knowledge is limited to certain types of Fiqh or Usul practices whether that is limited to one's school, or particular issues in one's school.

    You might even find an example of this among the Companions RA and the Salaf, wherby a Companion would ask about a particular topic and be told that so-and-so should be asked about it. Or the fact that some of the Companions RA were relied upon in recitation, others in Fiqh, others in Fara'idh, others in giving verdicts, others in Tafsir, etc.

    I'm just saying, I think to say that dividing up levels of Ijtihad is 'baseless' is a bit strong, especially considering it seems that you did the same thing from a different perspective.

    Also, I found the book you were mentioning, however due to the script used and the quality of the copy, I'm having trouble locating the section dealing with the discussion on Ijtihad. I'm thinking it begins around page 17. Is that correct?

    http://ia600305.us.archive.org/20/it...i-books/25.pdf
    "Their generosity is impressive, their faces luminous, their voices soft, their manners exquisite. And they have given us the satisfying feeling that we are more important to them than time, or anything else."


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