What is ijma-agreement? Can you explain it?
In dictionary, ijma means gathering, and agreement. Terminologically its meaning is uniting and agreeing upon an issue of the mujtahids that come in the same century. As can be seen, both in the lexical and terminological meaning, there is a unity in question. However, with this unity we mean here the unity of the mujtahids; because they are the greatest of the Muslims in terms of knowledge and insight. And the provision of ijma is the unity of the ones capable of ijtihad, which is the act of deducing secondary judgments from the Quran and Hadiths-the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). And after the mujtahids agree upon an issue, it becomes evidence and an Islamic rule. It is dependent upon the unity of all the mujtahids for the ijma to take place. If even one of the mujtahids opposes, then there would be no ijma in question, because there is the possibility that the truth is with the opposing mujtahid. This makes it clear that unity is the biggest requirement of ijma.
It is reasonable for the mujtahids in the same century to agree upon an issue and for the Muslims to be informed of this unity. It is definite that the Ashab-the believers who saw Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)-agreed on some issues. It is seen as evidence when the powerful representatives of the Muslims united upon an issue. And it is a gift to this community that this unity is taken as an evidence and religious criterion.
There are many proofs of ijma. The most known of them; the verse: Whoever opposes to the Prophet and sticks to the way of the ones other than the Believers after the right path has been clear to him, we will leave him in the way he deviated to. (But in the Hereafter) we will put him into the hell. What a bad place! and the hadith: My community does not unit upon error. Another hadith: The thing the Muslims see good is also seen good in the place of Allah.
There is no possibility of mistake in the legality of ijma. After it has been achieved, it cannot be opposed to, because opposition to the majority is a big mistake.
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