Author(s): Salih KESGIN
Islamic jurisprudence is to be actively constructed on the basis of Quran and Hadith texts which are its acknowledged sources. Throughout the Islamic history Muslim scholars have appealed to these sources to find out answers for the changing needs of the Muslim society. However, Schacht argues that after the formative period, the door of 'ijtihâd was closed, with the result that legal activity became characterized by imitation and lack of originality. This study focuses on the contemporary debates, particularly Schacht’s arguments, around the legal reasoning, ijtihad, which is the main instrument of interpreting the Divine message and relating it to the necessities of the Muslim community in its aspirations to attain justice, salvation and truth. In addition to this, the attention in the paper is drawn to importance and continuity of legal reasoning in Islamic thought and also the analysis especially emphasizes the role of ijtihâd in Islamic sciences.