SHARI’AH ASPECTS IN BUSINESS AND FINANCE
THE OBJECTIVES OF ISLAMIC LAW
DEFINITION OF MAQASID AL SHARI ’AH
The word “Maqsid” (plural: Maqasid ) reflects a meaning of purpose, objective, principle, intent, goal. Maqasid comprise the wisdom and knowledge behind rulings, the objectives of particular actions. As for the term “ Shari’ah ”, some scholars define the word as following strictly the injunctions of Allah or the way of Islam ( din ). Hence, Maqasid al-Shari’ah represents “the objectives and the rationale of the Shari’ah. It encompasses all disciplines, laws, regulations, policies, instructions, obligations, principles, beliefs, devotion and actions designed to protect the interest of human beings in all segments and aspects of life. Various scholars have tried to elucidate the purposes and the objectives of Shari’ah upon which it is established. Among these the exceptional individuals are the Malikite Abu Ishaqal-Shatibi, the Shafite al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, and the Hanbalite Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah. According to Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Shari‘ah aims at safeguarding people’s interest in this world and the Hereafter. Referring to the maqasid al-Shari‘ah , al-Ghazali said: “The objective of the Shari‘ah is to promote the welfare of human beings, which lies in safeguarding their faith, their life, their intellect, their posterity, and their wealth. Whatever ensures the safeguard of these five fundamentals serves public interest and is desirable”. Al-Shatibi approves al-Ghazali’s list and sequence,hereby indicating that they are the most preferable in terms of their harmony with essence of Shari’ah . Finally, Ibn Ashur provides a broader definition stating that: Both its general rules and specific proofs indicate that the all-purpose principle(maqsad ‘amm) of Islamic legislation is to preserve the social order of the community and insure its healthy progress by promoting the well-being and righteousness ( salah ) of that which prevails in it, namely, the human species. The well-being and virtue of human beings consist of the soundness of their intellect, the righteousness of their deeds as well as the goodness of the things of the world where they live that are put at their disposal. Maqasid al-Shari’ah : An Overview Maqasid al-Shari’ah calls for establishment of justice, elimination of unfairness and alleviation of privation. It endorses relationship and mutual support within the family and community in general. This has for outcome a preservation of public interest (maslahah) as the most important objective of the Shari’ah. Shari’ah recognizes three areas which constitute well- being, namely, endorsing benefits (maslahah ) to people, educating individual and establishing justice. One of the objectives and the underlying principle of the Shari’ah is endorsing benefits (maslahah) to the people. It is associated with people livelihood in this world and the Hereafter Qur’anic verse: “… and establish regular prayer: for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing In life) without doubt. and Allah knows the(Deeds) that ye do.” ( Al-Qur’an , Al-Ankabut: 45).Every verdict in Shari’ah appears with reasoning and with a purpose, which is to shelter and protect public interests (maslahah ) in all aspects and segments of life. It should also be observed that in specific occasions emergence of arguments between endorsement of benefit and avoidance of evil arise. If none appears to be preferable, then avoidance of evil takes precedence over the recognition of benefit. Educating individuals is an essential objective of Shari’ah, too. Education encourages people with faith and Taqwa (consciousness of Allah s.w.t.) in order to accomplish public objectives. A truthful and moral person can emerge as representative of others and bearer of the ruling of Shari’ah related to ibadah , mu’amalah and jinayah. Lastly, one of the...