Mujtahid
(231 words)

In the mainstream Imāmῑ (Twelver) Shīʿī sense, a mujtahid (Ar. jurisprudent) is a jurist who exercises ijtihād; that is, reaches legal decisions based on the Qur'ān, ḥadth, ijmāʿ (Ar. consensus), and his own intellect. Believed to constitute the avenue connecting the community with the hidden Twelfth Imām, mujtahidūn gained prestige and influence and belonged to the higher echelons of the ʿulamāʾ, the body of religious scholars. They rendered legal verdicts and collected religious taxes and distributed them for different purposes.  The importance of Iranian mujtahidūn increase…

Cite this page
Daniel Tsadik, “Mujtahid”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 19 September 2017
First published online: 2010



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