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Need of Ijtihad in Modern Times

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Need of Ijtihad in Modern Times

Abdul Rasool syed

“[I]f we contemplate on the present situation we will come to the conclusion that as, in order to support the fundamentals of re­ligion, we need a new theology, similarly we need great jurists for the reinterpretation of Islamic law. The jurist must be able not only to codify Islamic law on a modern pattern but he should also be capable of extending these principles, by his power of imagination, to cover all the possible situations of the present-day social needs. …”

(From Iqbal’s article “Qaumī Zindagī” published in Makhzan, October 1934)

Many Muslims believe that they must choose between Islam and modernity or between Islam and democracy, but these are false choices. To reinterpret Islam for the twenty-first century, the practice of ijtihad (interpretation and reasoning based on the sacred texts) must be revived. Moreover, demands of life change day by day thus it become necessary to take on the structural review of Islamic laws keeping in mind the spirit and discipline of Islam

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