The author indicates the advantages of collective reasoning (ljtihad), against individual reasoning. Collective reasoning is more reliable, less fallible, and is compatible with the spirit of the modern age. Modern Muslim societies are in need of valid reasoning, both as regards inherited jurisprudence, or in connection with existing social conditions and events that need legal provision s to cover. Validity of collective reasoning is established through the following: 1- If it is the result of unanimous explicit or implicit opinion that makes it an authority. Though this unanimity is difficult, it is not impossible. 2- where unanimity is not possible, a majority can endorse Collective reasoning, and also distinct individual reasoning supported by consultation, debate and through examination. In both these two cases, collective reasoning is not an authority binding on opposes. 3- Collective reasoning is binding on a ruler if he is not of a reasoning caliber. 4- Collective reasoning is binding on the public. 5- It is also binding on a reasoning fellow who was unable to reach a verdict, or did not seek thereof; or has tried but failed due to the presence of equally valid evidences. 6- Validity of joint reasoning is confined to producers thereof, and to rulers and the public in its particular time or place. It ceases to be valid should fresh conditions or interests emerge, or new evidence is set forth, in accordance with the rule of flexibility of jurisprudence.
Abu Leil, Professor Mohamed Ahmed
"Status of Collective Reasoning (ljtihad) in Islamic Jurisprudence,"
Journal Sharia and Law: Vol. 1998
, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol1998/iss11/1