Ijtihad: Feminism and Reform (Part 1)

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1 Sahil Badruddin = ""One other major source of law must be mentioned. During the formative stages of the Shariah, it was commonly believed that when the Quran and the Sunna were silent on an issue, and if analogy and consensus had failed to deliver a solution, a qualified legal scholar could use his own independent juristic reasoning to issue a legal ruling, or fatwa, which could then be accepted or rejected by the community as they wished. Known as ijtihad, this was an absolutely vital source of the law until the end of the tenth century, when the Traditionalist Ulama, who at that time dominated nearly all the major schools of law, outlawed it as a legitimate tool of exegesis. The “closing of the gates of ijtihad,” as this action has been called, signaled the beginning of the end for those who held that religious truth, as long as it did not explicitly contradict the Revelation, could be discovered through human reason."-No god but God, Reza Aslan "