The International Centre for Collective Ijtihad (ICCI) believes that the most accurate method of deriving Sharia regulations is through the collaborative efforts of religious scholars (mujtahids) and experts in various fields. Whilst Muslims concur that Sharia rulings are revealed by God with the objective of leading humankind towards perfection, modern-day advancements raise complex questions regarding the appropriate stance which ought to be adopted.
Traditionally, an individual mujtahid is tasked with deducing Sharia regulations by using and interpreting evidences that are considered to be authoritative – a process known as ijtihad. Owing to constant developments in areas such as medicine, economics and technology, it is rather difficult, if not impossible, for an individual mujtahid to arrive at an accurate understanding of different subject matters and deduce Sharia regulations in relation to them. The collective model of ijtihad holds that conclusions deduced by a body of mujtahids in consultation with subject matter experts provide a more accurate understanding of regulations intended by God than the endeavours of an individual.
ICCI’s understanding of ijtihad is rooted in the statement of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) which says, “Indeed the life of knowledge is sustained through constant discussion and critique”. In light of this, ICCI not only deliberates on new questions but also reconsiders issues already concluded within traditional jurisprudence if they pose great challenges to Muslim communities.
The conclusions of ICCI are published as statements of guidance with justifications that provide in-depth rationale of how they were deduced. This enables individuals to make an informed decision and gives them the liberty to accept or reject the guidance of ICCI.
Meet the Mujtahids.
Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad
Ayatollah Professor Seyed Mohaghegh Damad completed his seminarian studies at the Fayzieh School at Qom, Iran, where he achieved the status of a mujtahid by the age of 25. Read More!
Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain
Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain founded the Al-Mahdi Institute in 1993, and currently serves as its Director and Senior Lecturer in Islamic legal theory and Muslim philosophy. Read More!
Professor Seyed Mohammad Ghari S Fatemi
Professor Seyed Fatemi pursued seminarian education for over 13 years in the Hawza illmiyya of Qom, Iran, where he studied Islamic jurisprudence and legal theory under renowned teachers including Ayatollah Montazeri and Ayatollah Mohammad Rohani. Read More!
Dr Ali Fanaei
Dr Fanaei undertook traditional seminarian studies in Qom, Iran for over 17 years under renowned teachers including Ayatollah Montazeri, Ayatollah Syed Kazim Haeri, who was a student of Ayatollah Baqir al-Sadr, and Ayatollah Javad Tabrizi, who was a student of Ayatollah Khoie. Read More!
Shaykh Kumail Rajani
Dr Kumail Rajani is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, where he completed his doctoral thesis. Read More!