CSSIslamic Studies

Q.5 Defind Ijma (consensus) and explain its different kinds. Can legislation by a parliament of an Islamic state be regarded as a valid consensus? 2023

In Islamic jurisprudence, Ijma or consensus refers to the agreement of the scholars of the Muslim community on a particular issue. It is considered as one of the sources of Islamic law, alongside the Quran, Sunnah (the teachings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), and Qiyas (analogical reasoning). Ijma is based on the principle of collective reasoning and is seen as a way to ensure the coherence and unity of the Muslim community.

There are different kinds of Ijma, based on the degree of consensus and the level of authority:

  1. Ijma al-Ummah: This is the consensus of the entire Muslim community on a particular issue. It is considered the most authoritative kind of Ijma and is rarely achieved, except on fundamental issues of faith and doctrine.
  2. Ijma al-Aimmah: This is the consensus of the leading scholars and jurists of the Muslim community on a particular issue. It is considered a strong and reliable source of Islamic law, especially in matters of jurisprudence and legal interpretation.
  3. Ijma al-Mujtahidin: This is the consensus of the jurists and scholars of a particular school of thought on a particular issue. It is considered a valid source of Islamic law, especially in matters that are specific to a particular school.

Regarding the legislation by a parliament of an Islamic state, it can be regarded as a valid consensus if it meets the conditions of Ijma. For example, if the legislation is based on the Quran, Sunnah, or the consensus of the scholars of the Muslim community, it can be considered as a valid source of Islamic law. However, if the legislation contradicts the principles of Islamic law or goes against the consensus of the scholars, it cannot be considered as a valid consensus.

Moreover, the concept of Ijma is not limited to the scholars of the Muslim community, but it also involves the participation and consent of the wider Muslim public. In a democratic Islamic state, the parliament can act as a representative of the Muslim community, and its legislation can be seen as a reflection of the consensus of the people. However, the parliament’s legislation should be in line with the principles of Islamic law and the consensus of the scholars of the Muslim community. Ultimately, the validity of the consensus depends on its adherence to the sources and principles of Islamic law and the acceptance of the Muslim community.

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