Ijma (Consensus)

One of four recognized sources of Sunni law. Utilized where the Qur'an and Sunnah (the first two sources) are silent on a particular issue. There is considerable debate concerning whose opinions are relevant for ijma. Some argue that only the opinions of scholars are relevant. Others contend that ijma includes the consensus of the laity. Most agree that the consensus of Muhammed's Companions, the people of Medina, or the family of the Prophet is authoritative. Once an ijma is established, it serves as a precedent.

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