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Question: I want to know what are Ijtihad and Qiyas and what is the difference between them.
Answer:

Ijtihad in Arabic is putting the best of one's effort. In Islamic jurisprudence, it is used to describe the effort of a jurist as he uses all the available means of interpretation at his disposal to find a rule for a new case.

Qiyas is linguistically analogy; as a term in jurisprudence, it refers to a jurist's attempt to extend the rule of a stated case to a new case based on a common underlying rationale or cause.
It is clear from the above that qiyas or reasoning by analogy is one of the methods that jurist uses (as he exercises ijtihad) to find a rule. An example of ijtihad by means of qiyas is the ruling that consumption of any substance, whether in the form of liquid or powder, etc. is haraam or forbidden; he arrives at this judgement by extending the rule of prohibition of wine to every single substance that causes intoxication; since it is the common rationale in all of them.

Just as a jurist may use qiyas, when available, to find a new rule, he may also use other methods or principles such as maslahah or public interest to issue a ruling. An example of a jurist's use of maslahah is the indemnification of an artisan such as a tailor for the loss of a commodity entrusted to him (in this case the clothes for tailoring).  

 

 

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