Presentation on theme: "Objectives of Shariah ( مقاصد الشريعة ) Shariah was revealed to free mankind from the grip of their own whims and fancy (الهوى), so that they may submit."— Presentation transcript:
Objectives of Shariah ( مقاصد الشريعة ) Shariah was revealed to free mankind from the grip of their own whims and fancy (الهوى), so that they may submit and surrender to the Will and guidance of Allah SWT, as in Surah al-Dhariyyat: وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me. (51:56)
The purposes of the shariah are of two types: 1. To secure the interest of mankind that pertains to Hereafter. 2. To secure the interest of mankind pertaining to this world. The objectives of shariah (interests) in respect of their importance to the existence and preservation of human life can be categorized into three categories:
a) The essentials/necessities (الضروريات): these are seen as absolute requirements to the survival and spiritual well-being of individuals and societies, to the extent that their destruction or collapse could lead to chaos and the demise of normal order in society. To protect and promote these essential values, Shariah takes affirmative and punitive measures. The essentials are enumerated as five:
1- To protect religion: Preservation: ibadah, dawah, promotion of good. Protection: jihad, defending Islamic principles intellectually, al-nahyu an al-munkar (preventing evil). 2- To protect life: Preservation: Marriage, providing sustenance, maintenance of good health. Protection: Prohibition of suicide and homicide, qisas (retaliation) and diyyah (blood money).
3- To protect intellect: Preservation: Education and pursuit of knowledge. Protection: Prohibition of intoxicants and drugs. 4- To protect lineage: Preservation: Marriage and establishing family life. Protection: Prohibition of sex outside marriage, punishment for zinah, homosexuality, qadhf (false accusation), prohibition of abortion, sterilization, surrogate motherhood and fatherhood.
5- To protect property: Preservation: The permission to trade and conduct business. Protection: Prohibition of theft and riba.
b) The needs (الحاجيات): the benefits that seek to remove the severity and hardship in case where such severity and hardship do not impose a threat to the very survival of normal order. These are to support, protect and promote the necessities, e.g., rukhsa in ibadah (concessions in worship), divorce, suspending the penalties in cases of doubt.
c) Complementary values (التحسينيات): these are the benefits that seek to attain refinement and perfection in the customs and conduct of the people in all levels. The absence of tahsiniyyat would not undermine the life of the people, but it would make it against the moral standards of decency and ethics, e. g., Islamic code of dress, cleanliness, optional prayers, adab of eating and drinking.
Maslahah or Manfaah Maslahah is defined as the seeking of benefit and the repelling of harm. Imam al-Ghazali defined maslahah as follows: As for maslahah, it is an essentially an expression for the acquisition of manfaah (benefit) or the repulsion of madarrah (injury, harm), but that is not what we mean by it, because acquisition of manfaah and the repulsion of madarrah represent human goals, that is, the welfare of humans through the attainment of these goals. What we mean by maslahah, however, is the preservation of the end of shar.
Types of Maslahah: 1- Accredited maslahah (مصلحة معتبرة): this is the interest that was expressly upheld by shariah and a law was enacted for its realization. 2- Discredited Maslahah (مصلحة ملغاة): this applies to every interest which the shariah has nullified either explicitly or by an indication that can be found in its texts and general principles.
3- Unrestricted maslahah (المصلحة المرسلة): this applies to any interest which is neither explicitly upheld nor nullified by the shariah, but does not contradict neither the texts nor the general principles of shariah.
The Rules of Conflict and Priority: 1. The stronger interest shall prevail: Although all the necessities should be observed, promoted and protected, in case of conflict they should be taken in the order in which they are stated: Din has precedence over life, life has precedence over nasl, life has precedence over aql, and aql has precedence over wealth. Daruriyyat have priority over the hajiyyat, which in turn have priority over the tahsiniyyat.
Following are some legal maxims that govern this rule: i. Committing the lesser of two harms. ii. Avoiding harm is prior to acquiring benefit. iii. Necessity dictates exception/ necessity overrules prohibition. iv. That which became permissible by necessity is estimated by the extent thereof. 2. The public interest is prior to the private: Whenever a public interest is in conflict with a private interest, the public interest will prevail.
Sources: Nyazee, Imran Ahsan Khan, Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamabad: IIIT & Islamic Research, Philips, Abu Ameenah Bilal, The Evolution of Fiqh, Riyadh: Tawheed Publications, 1990.