Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 19, 2019

Necessity of Reinterpretation of Sharia in the Thoughts of a Grand Ayatollah: Saanei’s Response to the Challenge of Human Rights in Islam

Masoumeh Rad Goudarzi and Alireza Najafinejad

Abstract

The common method of the traditional Islamic Jurisprudence in seminaries has been challenged by Ayatollah Yousef Saanei, one of the ten prominent Iranian Grand Ayatollahs. Saanei is well known for attempting to institutionalize a new method of Ijtihad, known as searching Ijtihad, which seeks to reconsider the common mode of understanding religious texts and jurisprudential inferences. His experiences of observing the systematic ineffectiveness and discrimination in popular jurisprudence regarding women’s rights, family, and religious minorities persuaded him to take scientific action in revising the common jurisprudential method. In the present paper, the necessity of revising the common jurisprudential approach in seminaries from Saanei’s point of view is firstly studied. Afterwards, the foundations, principles, and methods of modern Saanei’s Ijtihad will be investigated to determine the structure and foundations of his jurisprudential method and evaluate its impact on resolving the contradictions between traditional perceptions of religion and human rights.

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Published Online: 2019-10-19
Published in Print: 2019-10-25

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