Definition of mujtahid in English:

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Pronunciation: /mo͞ojˈtähid/

noun (plural mujtahids or mujtahidūn /-ˈtähiˌdo͞on/)

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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The mujtahids that the ayatollah helped educate during his years in Qom composed the center of [the revolutionary] network.


Persian, from Arabic, active participle of ijtahada 'strive'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: muj·ta·hid

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