ijtihad

ijtihad

[ij-ti-hahd]
noun
(in Islamic law) the use of reason to arrive at a knowledge of truth in religious matters.

Origin:
< Arabic

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WordNet
ijtihad

noun
the endeavor of a Moslem scholar to derive a rule of divine law from the Koran and Hadith without relying on the views of other scholars; by the end of the 10th century theologians decided that debate on such matters would be closed and Muslim theology and law were frozen; "some reform-minded Islamic scholars believe that reopening ijtihad is a prerequisite for the survival of Islam" 
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