Skip to main content
The Theorization of Maqasid al-Shari’ah : A Historical Analysis
Journal of Islamic Law & Judiciary (2017)
  • Abu Talib Mohammad Monawer
Some Muslim scholars negate the underlying purposes (Maqāsid) cemented by reason behind a ruling under Islamic Law. On the other hand, some orientalists propose some yet temporal benefits as maqāsid that are alien to the sources of Islamic law and not linked to the ultimate success in the Hereafter. Hence, it is necessary to study the theorization of maqāsid al-sharīʿaḥ to determine its originality. This paper in employing a historiographic method aims to discuss the theorization of maqāsid al-sharīʿaḥ from its inception until theorization. The paper reveals that although the concept of maqāsid al-sharīʿaḥ was not established as a theory since its inception, the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah emphasize it enough through their rulings (ahkaām). Hence, down through the generations, the Muslim jurists had been found to appliy this concept in their ijtihād while extracting rulings. Maqāsid al-sharīʿaḥ started to be systematically theorized by Imam al-Juwaynī and followed by his disciple Imam al-Ghazalī. Afterwards, it was crystallized by Imam al-Shatibi and proclaimed as a new branch of knowledge by Ibn ʿĀshur. The paper also reveals that maqāsid al-sharīʿaḥ ensure human welfare by achieving all possible benefits and avoiding all harms so as to prove Islamic law so dynamic and applicable over time and space. 
  • Sharīʿaḥ,
  • Maqāsid al-Sharīʿaḥ,
  • Maslahah,
  • Istihsān
Publication Date
Winter December 24, 2017
Publisher Statement
It is a open access journal