Ijtihad in Islamic Finance: A Methodology Approach
Islamic classical contracts have been revitalized in creating various financial products in Islamic banking institutions. However, their application in the current banking industry is not without argument. It is viewed that the classical contracts are not practiced as propounded in the classical fiqh doctrines. The article discusses the issue by proposing a different methodological approach for Shariah advisors in guiding Islamic banks. Shariah advisors in Islamic banking institutions are encouraged to unbind themselves from nominated Islamic classical contracts (uqud al-musamma’). They need to unveil new contracts that suit with modern practices and authentically able to solve problems and limitations faced by Islamic banks. Based on examination of twelve main classical texts of the four Sunni schools, it is found that Islamic classical commercial contracts evolved over times especially in the Hanafis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis schools. Past Muslim scholars expanded the classical contracts in response to new challenges and problems encountered by Muslim community in their commercial dealings. The evolution of Islamic commercial contracts can be further enhanced by adhering to the principles of transparency, honesty, mutual consent and humanitarian goals.
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