IRSYAD USUL AL-FIQH SERIES 13: WHAT IS IJMA’?

Irsyad Usul al-Fiqh #13.PNG

 

Mukadimah

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

We often hear the claim that ijma’ happens in a certain issue. Whoever disagrees would be considered as someone who differs with the ijma’, which is one of the agreed four sources of rulings. The basis that we should all understand is the true meaning of ijma’ and matters related to it. Hence, in this series of Irsyad Usul al-Fiqh, we will discuss this issue further.

The Definition of Ijma’ According to the Fuqaha

Imam al-Ghazali Rahimahullah defines ijma’ saying: The agreement for the ummah of the Prophet PBUH in matters pertaining to religion. See Syarah Mukhtasar Ibn Hajib, Mahmud bin Abd al-Rahman al-Asbahani (1/520).

Whereas, Imam al-Thusi give a different definition stating: (Ijma’ is) the agreement among the mujtahid in a certain time from among the ummah in religious matters. Refer Syarah Mukhtasar al-Raudhah, Sulaiman al-Thusi (3/5).

While Imam al-Zarkasyi Rahimahullah said: Ijma’ is the agreement of mujtahid from the ummah of Muhammad PBUH after his death in certain incidents for certain situations in certain matters in a certain time. See Bahrul Muhith, al-Zarkasyi (6/379-380).

Discussion Regarding the Definition Given by Imam al-Zarkasyi

According to the above definition stated by Imam al-Zarkasyi, there are several important points as the following:

Who Are Qualified in the Issue of Ijma’?

There are some scholars whose opinion will be taken into account in the issue of ijma’ and some whose opinion will not matter. As an example, if the issue is regarding a problem in fiqh, then the jurists’ opinions will be taken into consideration. While if it is an usuluddin issue, then the theologians must reach an agreement. The same goes, if it is an issue of nahu, then the Arabic grammarians must decide on an agreement to come up with an ijma’. Refer al-Bahrul Muhith, al-Zarkasyi (6/415).

Reference Books Pertaining the Issue of Ijma’

Through our research, there is a limited number of books discussing this issue. Some of them are:

Some scholars like Syeikh Fuad Abdul Mun’im made a muqaranah (comparison) between the book Ijma’ written by Ibn al-Munzir and Maratib al-Ijma’ written by Ibn Hazm and draws the following conclusions:

Conclusion

Lastly, our chosen opinion in the definition of the term ijma’ is The agreement of the mujtahid from the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH as a whole on religious matters and issues that happens in certain times. This is also the opinion chosen by Imam al-Thusi as stated above. We pray that Allah SWT will give us understanding in this issue. Ameen.

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