Byline: Claude Salhani, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The solution to the turmoil gripping Muslim society today may be found in reintroducing ijtihad. Reopening the gates of ijtihad will allow Muslims "to reinterpret Islam for the 21st century," states a comprehensive August 2004 special report produced by the United States Institute of Peace.
"The practice of ijtihad," stresses the report compiled with the participation of several respected Muslim scholars, "must be revived."
Ijtihad - or hermeneutics - refers to the institutionalized practice of interpreting Islamic law (sharia) to take into account changing historical circumstances and, therefore, different views.
Ijtihad is the independent or original interpretation of problems not covered by the Koran (Islam's …