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Jurisprudence

An important recommendation

Adopted from the book : "The Principle of Ijtihad in Islam" by : "Shahid Murtadha Mutahhari"

Here I have a recommendation which could be most useful for the advancement and development of our fiqh. It was previously put forward by the late Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim al-Yazdi43, and I am here only reiterating his proposal. He asked what it was that required people to follow only one person in taqlid in all matters. Would it not be better if specialised divisions were established in fiqh? That is to say, there would be groups who, after having completed the general study of fiqh and become experts in it, would specialise in one particular section, and then people would follow them in that particular section. For example, some would take as their specialisation 'ibadat (the rites of Islam), and others mu'amilat (transactions), some siyasat (politics), and other ahkam (criminal law); this is exactly what has been done in medicine where specialised branches have been created, and doctors divided into groups for each speciality, some being heart specialists, some eye specialists, some ear, nose and throat specialists, and others specialists in other branches. If this were done, each person could study his own branch more thoroughly. I believe that there is a discussion of this matter in the book "al-Kalam Yajurru l-Kalam" by the Sayyid Ahmad al-Zanjani.44

This recommendation is a very good one, and I will add only that the need to divide fiqh up and to create specialised branches arose a hundred years ago, and in present circumstances the fuqaha of today will impede the forward development of fiqh and stunt its growth unless they heed this recommendation.

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43. The Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim b. Muhammad Ja'far al-Mirjirdi al-Yazdi al-Hairi (1276/1859-60 - 1355/1937), whose move from Arak to Qum in 1920 began the modern history of that city as a centre of Shi'i learning.

44. The Sayyid Ahmad al-Husayni al-Zanjani (1308/1890 - 1393/1973), a Qummi scholar. His "al-Kalam Yajurru l-Kalam" (3 vols, Tehran, 1363/1944) is a compendium of historical, literary, biographical and hadith information.