A Critique of Today's Process of Ijtihad

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A Critique of Today’s Process of Ijtihad
Recent achievements in Islamic banking do not indicate an advance in the jurists interpretation of riba. Writings on riba have been extensively concerned with the expositions of riba, but with disquisitions about riba. Thought about riba, and any other Qur’anic penetrative codes, must be a story of movements in outlook and ever-changing ideas, and developments taking place in contemporary social sciences. Its province is destined by God, may he be exalted, in a way to be determined and re-determined in the course of time by drawing insights from different branches of human science. The subject of riba, and other divine codes in Qur’an regarding dealings and transactions is such that no cohesive delineation of the scope can be regarded as final.
Some of needless difficulties that have arisen in a proper interpretation of riba are of linguistic origin. The jurist’s business is with words. Words are not only tools of thought, but also control it. Accordingly, to think profitably about riba will be assisted by a sharpened awareness of possibilities of language, not only to lead thought but also to mislead it. This paves the ground on which the Islamic jurists’ adherence to their predecessors’ grasp of riba is questioned. This should not be deemed a denial of the rich legacy handed down from the predecessors. A modern society cannot but build upon the foundations laid in the past.
However, this must be carried out with due

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