What is a Mujtahid مجتهد?

You may have heard the term mujtahid before. But what does it mean? Let’s break it down into two parts: the linguistic and technical meaning.

Linguistic Meaning

This word is an ism fa’il اسم فاعل from the form VIII verb root ج ه د. It is from the same root as the word jihad, which is form III.

We see from the “VIII” part that it means to put onself out, work hard, and then it gives us the technical usage as well, which is “to formulate an independent judgement in a legal or theological question (based on the application of the 4 usul; as opposed to taqlid).”

We also find similar meanings by checking the masdar.

Technical Meaning

From the book Wajeez fi Usul Al-Fiqh, we find the following definition:

“The mujtahid is the one who possesses the aptitude to do ijtihad. And he is the one who is capable of utilizing these guidelines and making it a pathway to understanding the rulings and deriving from the sources.”

So what does that mean? Basically the mujtahid can:

  1. Use the principles of usul al-fiqh to derive new rulings
  2. Use the principles as a pathway to understand existing rulings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s