What does ijtihad mean?

Definitions for ijtihad

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ijtihad.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ijtihadnoun

    the endeavor of a Moslem scholar to derive a rule of divine law from the Koran and Hadith without relying on the views of other scholars; by the end of the 10th century theologians decided that debate on such matters would be closed and Muslim theology and law were frozen

    "some reform-minded Islamic scholars believe that reopening ijtihad is a prerequisite for the survival of Islam"


  1. ijtihadnoun

    the process of Muslim jurists making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the Qur'an and the Sunna; such a jurist is a mujtahid


  1. Ijtihad

    Ijtihad ( IJ-tə-HAHD; Arabic: اجتهاد ijtihād, [ʔidʒ.tihaːd]; lit. physical or mental effort) is an Islamic legal term referring to independent reasoning by an expert in Islamic law, or the thorough exertion of a jurist's mental faculty in finding a solution to a legal question. It is contrasted with taqlid (imitation, conformity to legal precedent). According to classical Sunni theory, ijtihad requires expertise in the Arabic language, theology, revealed texts, and principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), and is not employed where authentic and authoritative texts (Qur'an and Hadith) are considered unambiguous with regard to the question, or where there is an existing scholarly consensus (ijma). Ijtihad is considered to be a religious duty for those qualified to perform it. An Islamic scholar who is qualified to perform ijtihad is called as a "mujtahid".Throughout the first five Islamic centuries, the practice of ijtihad continued both theoretically and practically amongst Sunni Muslims. The controversy surrounding ijtihad and the existence of mujtahids started, in its primitive form, around the beginning of the sixth/twelfth century. By the 14th century, development of Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) prompted leading Sunni jurists to state that the main legal questions had been addressed and the scope of ijtihad was gradually restricted. In the modern era, this gave rise to a perception amongst Orientalist scholars and sections of the Muslim public that the so-called "gate of ijtihad" was closed at the start of the classical era. While recent scholarship established that the practice of Ijtihad had never ceased in Islamic history, the extent and mechanisms of legal change in the post-formative period remain a subject of debate. Differences amongst the Fuqaha (jurists) prevented Sunni Muslims from reaching any consensus (Ijma) on the issues of continuity of Ijtihad and existence of Mujtahids. Thus, Ijtihad remained a key aspect of Islamic jurisprudence throughout the centuries. Ijtihad was practiced throughout the Early modern period and claims for ijtihad and its superiority over taqlid were voiced unremittingly.Starting from the 18th century, Islamic reformers began calling for abandonment of taqlid and emphasis on ijtihad, which they saw as a return to Islamic origins. Public debates in the Muslim world surrounding ijtihad continue to the present day. The advocacy of ijtihad has been particularly associated with Islamic modernist and Salafiyya movements. Among contemporary Muslims in the West there have emerged new visions of ijtihad which emphasize substantive moral values over traditional juridical methodology.Shia jurists did not use the term ijtihad until the 12th century. With the exception of Zaydi jurisprudence, the early Imami Shia were unanimous in censuring Ijtihad in the field of law (Ahkam). After the Shiite embracal of various doctrines of Mu'tazila and classical Sunnite Fiqh (jurisprudence), this led to a change. After the victory of the Usulis who based law on principles (usul) over the Akhbaris ("traditionalists") who emphasized on reports or traditions (khabar) by the 19th century, Ijtihad would become a mainstream Shia practice.


  1. Ijtihad

    Ijtihad is the Islamic legal term, which means “independent reasoning” or “the utmost effort an individual can put forth in an activity.” As one of the four sources of Sunni law, it is recognized as the decision making process in Islamic law through personal effort, which is completely independent of any school of jurisprudence. As opposed to taqlid, it requires a “thorough knowledge of theology, revealed texts and legal theory; an exceptional capacity for legal reasoning; thorough knowledge of Arabic.” By using both the Qu'ran and Hadith as resources, the scholar is required to carefully rely on analogical reasoning to find a solution to a legal problem, which considered to be a religious duty for those qualified to conduct it. Thus, a mujtahid is recognized as an Islamic scholar who is competent in interpretting sharia by ijtihad. Today, there are many different opinions surrounding the role of ijtihad in modern society, and whether or not the “doors of ijtihad are closed.”

Rap Dictionary

  1. ijtihadnoun

    Ijtihad is the latest album released by the swedish all star lineup Jihad Mujahidinz. It's produced by the group member Levent in cooperation with Averroes Records.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce ijtihad?

How to say ijtihad in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ijtihad in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ijtihad in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ijtihad

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for ijtihad »


Find a translation for the ijtihad definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"ijtihad." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ijtihad>.

Discuss these ijtihad definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for ijtihad? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    equally skillful with each hand
    • A. incumbent
    • B. epidemic
    • C. proprietary
    • D. ambidextrous

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for ijtihad: