Maqasid al Shariah Made Simple

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Mohammad Hashim Kamali
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Maqasid Al-Shari'ah, or the higher goals and objectives of Islamic law, is an important and somewhat neglected theme of shariah. Generally the Shariah is predicted on the individual and that of the community and its laws are designed so as to protect these benefits and facilitate improvement and perfection of the conditions of human life on earth. This is an easy birds eye view of the subject, simplifying its main principles to help readers understand the subject of Maqasid Al-Shari'ah and how it explains the 'wisdom behind rulings'.

This paper focuses on a general characterization of Maqasid Al-Shari'ah and its origins in the Quran; the classification of maqasid; historical developments and the contributions of some of the leading æulama to the theory of maqasid, the differential approaches the æulamaÆ have taken toward the identification of maqasid; and finally the relevance of maqasidto ijtihad and the ways in which maqasid can enhance the scope and caliber of ijtihad.

Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali is Professor of Law at the International Islamic University Malaysia where he has been teaching Islamic law and jurisprudence since 1985. Among his other works are: Islamic Commercial Law, Freedom of Expression in Islam, The Dignity of Man: An Islamic Perspective, and Freedom, Equality and Justice in Islam. He is also the author of the well known book: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (which is one of the standard text books on Islamic Jurisprudence)

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