Roles of the Mujtahid According to the Hanafi School

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Salah Abu-Alhaj
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I have spoken in this paper about the most fundamental of issues related to the principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) – the issue of independent reasoning (al-ijtihad) – by explaining, in detail, the roles played by a mujtahid. I explain that a mujtahid has ten roles by examining historical and current evidence of the types of activity that he engages in. Furthermore, these ten can be reduced to five main roles. The first is deriving legal rulings directly from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The second is extracting legal rulings from the opinions and principles of previous scholars. The third is collating and deeming opinions correct or weak. The fourth is differentiating between opinions from the dhahir ar-riwayah, opinions deemed correct, opinions deemed weak and other types of opinions. The fifth is application of these rulings within the framework of legal verdicts (al-ifta’). I also indicate, before entering this discussion, that independent reasoning by a mujtahid is a condition of acting upon a ruling, because truth is one according to Allah, not many. I also detail the most important classes of mujtahids.
تحدّثتُ فيه عن أبرز القضايا الأصوليّة، وهي مسألةُ الاجتهاد ببيان حقيقتها من خلال تفصيل وظائف المجتهد، فبيَّنتُ أنَّ للمجتهد عشرةُ وظائف من حيث الاستقراء الواقعي والتّاريخي للتّصرُّفات التي تصدر عنه، وهذه العشرة ترجع إلى خمسةٍ رئيسية، وهي الاستنباطُ من الكتاب والسنة، والتّخريجُ على أقوال المجتهدين، والتّرجيحُ والتّصحيحُ بين آراء الأئمة الأعلام، والتَّمييزُ بين الظّاهر والصّحيح والضَّعيف وغيره، والتَّقرير والتَّطبيق للأحكام بالتصور وأصول الإفتاء، وأشرت قبله إلى أنَّ الاجتهاد شرط العمل؛ لأنَّ الحق واحد عند الله ، مع بيان أبرز طبقات المجتهدين.