Muslims should utilize ijtihad and other Islamic religious studies' methodologies to apply currently recognized human rights standards, as incorporated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, to compare and reassess current interpretations of shari’ah law. Such review and revision respond to the needs of Muslim men, women, children and sexual minorities by utilizing international human rights standards to implement legal and social change, removing the current ill-will that support human rights violations.
Ijtihad means reviewing Quran, authentic Sunnah and reinterpreting them based upon new circumstances. Ijtihad helps keep Shari’ah contemporary with the challenges of new locales and times. Ijtihad is an intellectual discipline that is not limited to Islam alone. Secular legal thinkers also use Ijtihad methodology to form laws that support public policies. The difference between Islamic Ijtihad and secular legal reasoning is its sources; Muslims use the Quran and authentic Sunnah as their main sources to render decisions while secular legal thinkers refer to state constitutions and bylaws as well as precedent cases to develop law.
Ijtihad is based upon review from various approaches to
(1) a definite source and a definite meaning;
(2) a definite source and a probable
(3) a probable source and a definite meaning; and
(4) a probable source and a probable
By examining these possibilities, every question could have a simple, straight-forward response and yet, at times, a response may require extensive research and review before arriving at a conclusion.
Living in the West has its advantages for Muslims. Muslims from many diverse backgrounds live under the same legal system that provides them the freedom to practice Islam. In the West, Muslims have the freedom to question, read, assemble and freely discuss issues of concern within their faith.
I am uniquely qualified to offer qualified and relevant
guidance to my clients because of my training in Shari’ah Sciences and Quranic
Interpretation, Arabic language, as well as my cultural exposure living and
studying in Northern Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, China, Europe and North
America. My services to you are informed by my legal experience, and
years of pastoral counseling for individuals, couples and families.
As your counselor, I employ my specialized
skills and experience to assist you in finding possible solutions to challenges
you may be facing. Through the counseling
sessions I help you reach your personal goals with Shari’ah as one of your guiding principles.