Fatwa and Ijtihad in Malaysia: Juristic and Historical Perspectives
The paper is presented in two parts, one of which explores the various dimensions of fatwa and ijtihad in Islamic jurisprudence and how they are applied in Malaysia and other Muslim countries whereas part two is devoted to fatwa-related developments in Malaysia. Fatwa and ijtihad are explored together as there are many commonalities between them and the source evidence concerning the one often converge with the other. The discussion begins with a comparative note on fatwa and ijtihad and some of the ways in which they differ. Whereas ijtihad is not regulated by any statutory instrument, various Muslims countries have regulated the fatwa issuance procedures through legislation or by-laws and Malaysia has done so perhaps more than most.