Definition of mujtahid in US English:


nounPlural mujtahids, Plural mujtahidūn

  • A person accepted as an original authority in Islamic law. Such authorities continue to be recognized in the Shia tradition, but Sunni Muslims accord this status only to the great lawmakers of early Islam.

    • ‘The mujtahids that the ayatollah helped educate during his years in Qom composed the center of [the revolutionary] network.’
    • ‘When a mujtahid draws judgments based on a hadeeth, it is an indication of its being sound in his opinion.’
    • ‘Recent scholarship, however, suggests that the gates were never closed completely, and that famous mujtahids in the Sunni tradition continued to practise at least until the sixteenth century C.E.’
    • ‘A mujtahid does not invent original values; he deduces rules of behavior from holy sources.’
    • ‘Being a mujtahid, he had the right and authority to derive his own conclusions.’
    • ‘The leaders of the four schools of fiqh were qualified mujtahids who used their tremendous knowledge and understanding to resolve the apparent conflict or provide the missing answer.’


Persian, from Arabic, active participle of ijtahada ‘strive’.