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Ijtihad in matters of Ma`lum minad-din biddarurah (what is known from the religion by necessity)

From the Fatawa of Allamah Ibn Baz (rahimahullah)

When seekers of knowledge exercise Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings), some of them oppose something which is Ma`lum minad-din biddarurah (well-established religious matter). Is it permissible to exercise Ijtihad in something which is Ma`lum minad-din biddarurah? Please guide us regarding this issue.

Answer:

It is not permissible to exercise Ijtihad in Ma`lum minad-din biddarurah, for which there are explicit proofs from the Qur'an, Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), or Ijma` (consensus of scholars) of our Salaf (righteous predecessors).

Rather, Muslim scholars unanimously agree that it is Wajib (obligatory) for Muslims to believe in Ma`lum minad-din biddarurah, act upon them, and avoid all that oppose them.

On the other hand, Ijtihad is to be exercised with regard to disputable matters whose proofs are not made clear either in the Qur'an or the Sunnah.

Concerning such disputable matters, any qualified scholar can exercise Ijtihad and if he exerts his efforts truthfully and sincerely to attain the truth, he will receive a double reward if he is correct and he will receive one reward if he is mistaken.

A proof for the foregoing is the following Hadith related in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim)on the authority of `Amr ibn Al-`As (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If a judge gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is correct, he will receive a double reward; and if he gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is wrong, even then he will receive one reward.

From the Fatawa of Allamah Ibn Baz (rahimahullah), vol.7, Ruling on drawing closer to Jinn, prophets, etc. Question.11



Reference: qsep.com