Critical Thinking and Its Implications for Contemporary Ijtihad

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Sayed Sikandar Shah
Mek Wok Mahmud



As an intellectual process, critical thinking plays a dynamic role in reconstructing human thought. In Islamic legal thought, this intellectual tool was pivotal in building a full-fledged jurisprudential system during the golden age of Islamic civilization. With the solidification of the science of Islamic legal theory and the entrenchment of classical Islamic jurisprudence, this process abated somewhat. Recent Islamic revival movements have engendered a great zeal for reinstituting this process. The current state of affairs in constructing and reconstructing Islamic jurisprudence by and large do not, however, reflect the dynamic feature of intellectual thought in this particular discipline. Thus this article attempts to briefly delineate this concept, unveil the reality on the ground, and identify some hands-on strategies for applying critical thinking in contemporary ijtihad.

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