1. D E V E L O P M E N T A N D C R I T I Q U E S T H R O U G H T H E A G E S
2. OVER -
Classical definitions, development and application
Critique on the classical approach and the opposition to this
Ijma and it’s contemporary development and relevance
Critique on the contemporary approach and the opposition
to this critique
A N I M P O R T A N T P A R T O F I S L A M I C J U R I S P R U D E N C E
Ijma refers to the consensus of the scholars of the Islamic community on a
•Ijma is one of the primary sources of Islamic law, along with the Quran and the
5. Page 04
EVOLUTION OF IJMA
The Era of the Companions
The Era of the Successors
The Era of the Classical
Jurists (750-1258 CE)
The Post-Classical Period
(1258 CE onwards)
During this period, ijma was not yet
recognized as an independent source of
Islamic law. However, the practice of
seeking the opinions of the Companions
of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be
upon him) on various issues was common.
In this period, the concept of ijma
began to take shape as a distinct legal
principle. The scholars of the time
recognized that the consensus of the
scholars was a valid source of Islamic
During this period, ijma became
firmly established as a
fundamental source of Islamic
law. The classical jurists
developed a system of legal
reasoning that relied heavily on
the consensus of the scholars.
In this period, the role of ijma as a source of Islamic law
became somewhat diminished. This was due in part to the
emergence of new schools of Islamic law that did not
always recognize the consensus of the scholars as a
binding legal principle.
6. TYPES OF IJMA
•There are two types of Ijma: Ijma al-Ummah and Ijma al-Aimma.
•Ijma al-Ummah refers to the consensus of the entire Muslim community
on a particular issue.
•Ijma al-Aimma refers to the consensus of the scholars of the Muslim
community on a particular issue.
•Both types of Ijma are considered valid sources of Islamic law.
•Ijma has been applied in various areas of Islamic law,
including family law, criminal law, and commercial law.
•For example, in family law, the consensus of the
scholars is used to determine the validity of a marriage
•In criminal law, the consensus of the scholars is used to
determine the punishment for a particular crime.
•In commercial law, the consensus of the scholars is
used to determine the validity of a business transaction.
A P P L I C A T I O N
I S L A M I C
The classical approach to Ijma in Islamic
Jurisprudence has faced various critiques
from scholars who hold different viewpoints.
• Ibn Hazm
• Shah Waliullah Dehlawi
• Muhammad Abduh
10. COMMON CRITIQUES OF
CLASSICAL DEFINITION OF IJMA
1. Lack of Consensus: The claim of unanimous agreement is
unrealistic. There is no acknowledgment of the existence of
2. Incomplete Historical Record: Classical approach relies heavily
on historical accounts, but the reliability of these records can be
3. Exclusion of Marginalized Voices: There is no diversity, only the
consensus of a selected group of scholars is considered.
4. Frozen Legal Thought: Freezing legal thought in the past
hinders the development of Islamic law to address the challenges
of the present day.
5. Epistemological Concerns: Ijma should be viewed as fallible
human reasoning rather than an infallible source of divine
DEVELOPMENT OF IJMA
The concept of ijma has evolved in the modern world due to various
factors, including changes in society, advancements in
communication and technology, and the emergence of new legal and
• Conducting ijma` during modern times is not only feasible and
allowed, rather, it is obligatory for those issues for which there is no
other way except ijma` for deducing decisive rulings of the Shari`ah
17. Those capable of making tarjih (preference of stronger
opinions over the weaker ones) and those who are
capable of istinbat (deducing new rulings) should
assemble themselves in either Makkah or Madinah during
the occasion of Hajj, and discuss the issues and solve
Contemporary ijma does not replace or invalidate classical
Instead, it extends and adapts the principles established by
classical scholars to address the unique challenges and
circumstances of the modern world.
• Contemporary ijma builds upon the principles and rulings
established by classical scholars. It considers classical ijma
as a foundational source of guidance.
Example: Classical scholars have reached consensus on the
need for transparency and clarity in contractual terms and
conditions. This consensus guides contemporary Islamic
finance to avoid speculative transactions and promote
transparency and disclosure in financial contracts.
22. Ijma in modern times mostly drawn upon the classical sources while
considering the evolving nature of society and the changing needs of
Example: In the classical era, there was consensus among scholars on the
prohibition of consuming alcohol based on textual evidence and scholarly
In the modern world, contemporary scholars have extended the
prohibition on alcohol to include substances that have similar effects and
harms, such as narcotics and recreational drugs, by consensus.
23. CONSENSUS ON CHANGING
NEEDS AND CHALLENGES
Contemporary ijma is not always based on the foundation of classical
Contemporary ijma allows for interpretation and adaptation based on
the changing needs and circumstances of society.
It recognizes that new issues and challenges have emerged in the
modern world that require scholarly consensus and guidance.
1. The issue of human cloning was not addressed by
classical scholars, as it was not a relevant issue at the time.
However, in contemporary times, the advent of cloning
technology has raised new ethical and religious questions.
Contemporary scholars have engaged in scholarly discourse
and reached a consensus that human cloning is
impermissible in Islam.
2. The consensus by Muslim scholars of present time that it
is forbidden to play the role of the Prophet (peace of Allah
be upon him) or other Prophets and Messengers of Allah
(peace of Allah be upon them) in movies and TV shows.
26. 1 . O v e r e m p h a s i s o n c o n s e n s u s
2 . L a c k o f h i s t o r i c a l g r o u n d i n g
3 . I n s u f f i c i e n t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n
4 . L a c k o f t r a n s p a r e n c y
5 . L a c k o f c o n t e x t u a l r e l e v a n c e
6 . L i m i t e d e n g a g e m e n t w i t h
d i v e r s e m e t h o d o l o g i e s
27. • Emphasis on consensus as an safeguard
• preservation of historical precedent
• Authority of expert scholars
• Pragmatic considerations
• Unity and uniformity of legal rulings
OPPOSITION TO THIS
• Continuity with Islamic tradition
• Preservation of scholarly expertise
• Stability and predictability of legal
• Respect for the authority of the