(A Beginner’s Guide)
By : Duski Ibrahim
I start my words with the name of Allah, The All Merciful, The Ever Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Sustainer and the Lord of the worlds. I praise Allah and thank Him for the blessing of Islam. And I humbly ask Allah to raise the rank of our prophet Muhammad (PBUH). I witness (declare) that there is no god but Allah, and I witness (declare) that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. Oh! God, bless the Prophet Muhammad and grant him salvation, and also his family, his companions or friends and all his followers, until Judgement Day.
Before talking about the topic of this short paper, let’s pray to our God, Allah (The Almighty and Most Worthy) : “Ihdinâ as sirât al-mustaqîm” (Q. Al-Fatihah, verse: 6), means : “Guide us (in) the straight Path”, whether through the five senses (al-hawâs al-khams azh-zhâhirah); the intellectual (al-‘aql); the divine inspiration (al-ilhâm); or through the religion of Islam (ad-dîn), that has texts (nusûs) of the Qur`ân and Sunnah. Rabbanâ âtinâ fi ad-dunyâ hasanah wa fi al-âkhirah hasanah wa qinâ ‘adzâb an-nâr (Q. Al-Baqarah, verse: 201), means: “Our Lord! bring us in the (present) life a fair (reward), and in the hereafter a fair (reward), and protect us from the torment of the Fire”. Amin.
We know, that Allah (The Almighty and Most Worthy) has sent the real Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH) to the worlds to bring a mercy. Allah said in the Holy Qur`an surat (chapter) al-Anbiya` ayah (verse) : 107: “Wa mâ arsalnâka illâ rahmatan li al-‘âlamîn”, means: “And in no way have We sent you except as a mercy to the worlds.” From this verse, we understand very clearly that Lawgiver, Allah did not decide or draw up regulations in the worlds without having any purpose. He intended to realize maslahah (public benefit or public welfare) and to remove mafsadah (something harmful). This issue is, in ‘Ilm Usûl al-Fiqh, well-known as maqâsid ash-sharî’ah or the aims of shari’ah.
By understanding the significant theory of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah or the aims of shari’ah as an approach in Islamic studies by some kinds of method, someone can determine a certain rule for a case has happened in society, whether there is a text (nass) in the Qur`an and Sunnah or not, even he can formulate a new concept of something, includes economy affairs, besides rule and law. Therefore, a discussion about the maqâsid ash-sharî’ah is very important for us, especially, for the Islamic jurists as well as the Islamic scolars.
It is interesting to note, that some contemporary Islamic jurists imagine the theory of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah is separable from ‘ilm usûl al-fiqh. It seems that they have a creative thought to develop this subject to face the development of society in some kinds of aspect. However, according to almost all of Islamic jurists, classic and contemporary, this urgen theory is inseparable from that science. In brief words, the theory of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah is a part of ‘ilm usûl al-fiqh. By paying honor to the contemporary Islamic jurists that have different opinion, I myself agree with the second sight, because the maqâsid ash-sharî’ah is one of theories in Islamic jurisprudence methodology (‘ilm usûl al-fiqh), besides others.
But at this good opportunity, I only want to communicate my idea about the theory of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah, its sets of equipment (namely the complements and the mediums of it), and its implementation in some aspects of matter in general, not in detail. I will not present the concept of ‘Ilm usûl al-fiqh and its connection with the theory of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah. I will discuss it in other time, God willing (in syâ Allâh). And It is interesting to know that this theory of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah can be consodered as a beginner’s guide to understand some aspects of Islamic studies.
- The Theory of Maqâsid ash-Sharî’ah
The theory of maqâsid ash-Sharî’ah is, actually, based on the Qur`an, Sunnah, and other significant sayings, including contextual situations (ahwâl qarâ`in). And the maqâsid ash-sharî’ah can be preserved or carried out by two sides of direction, namely: by side of existence (min jânib al-wujûd), in sense of realizing the maslahah (something benefit); or by side of non-being (min jânib al-‘adam), in sense of rejecting or removing the mafsadah (something harmful).
A part from the above concept, according to the Islamic jurists, the essence of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah is maslahah. Imâm al-Ghazâli, in his famous book, al-Mustasfâ min ‘ilm al-usûl, said that maslahah is “an expression for seeking benefit and removing something harmful (‘ibârah ‘an jalb al-manfa’ah wa daf’ al-mafsadah). He further explained that maslahah is, essentially, the preservation of the maqâsid ash-sharî’ah, which consists of five universal things (al-kulliyât al-khams) or five principles. The five principles of maqâsid ash-Sharî’ah are:
- Preservation of religion or faith (hifzh ad-dîn),
- Preservation of soul or life (hifzh an-nafs),
- Preservation of intellectual or mind (hifzh al-‘aql),
- Preservation of posterity or offsprings (hifzh an-nasl), and
- Preservation of property or wealth (hifzh al-mâl).
And then, al-Ghazâli concluded his concept by saying “What assures the preservation of these five principles is maslahah and whatever fails to preserve them is mafsadah, and its removal is maslahah (al-Ghazâli, 1: 286-287).
Ash-Shâtibi in his Magnum Opus, al-Muwâfaqât fi Usûl ash-Sharî’ah, reinforced the definition and concept given by Imâm al-Ghazâlî. According to him, the primary objectives of the Lawgiver is the maslahah of people. In brief words, ash-Shatibî said: Inna wad’ ash-sharâ`i`i innamâ huwa li masâlih al-‘ibâd fi al-‘âjil wa al-`âjil ma’an (ash-Shatibî, 1977. 2 : 5), means: Surely, creating of sharî’ah is only for the masalih of servants of God in the present life and in the hereafter simultaneously. The obligations in sharî’ah concern the protection of the maqâsid ash-sharî’ah, which in turn aim to protect the masâlih (the plural of maslahah) of people. In his book, ash-Shatibi also explained the five principles of maqâsid ash-Sharî’ah, viz: preservation of religion, life, intellectual, posterity, and property (ash-Shâtibî, 1977. 2 : 6). Thus, the aim of sharî’ah is to realize the masâlih.
- Some Kinds of Masâlih
There are some kinds of Masâlih, namely : (1) Based on the hierarchy of importance; (2) Based on the admission of Lawgiver (ash-Shâri’); and (3) Based on the scope of meaning.
Based on the hierarchy of importance, according to both Imâm Abû Hâmid al-Ghazâli (al-Ghazâlî, 1: 139-141) and Imam Abû Ishâq Ibrâhim ibn Mûsâ ash-Shâtibî (ash-Shâtibî, 1977.2: 12), even other Muslim scholars, classify these masâlih into three levels, which they call:
- Ad-Darûriyât or The essentials. The essentials are necessary, because they are indispensable in sustaning and preserving the five principles of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah, in the sense that if they are disrupted the stability of the society will be at stake or chaos in the present life (fi hayât ad-dunyâ), and will be detriment or loss in the hereafter (fi al-âkhirah).
- to preserve the religion (hifzh ad-dîn) sharî’ah orders us to believe in six pillars of faith or creed (arkân al-îmân); and to perform five pillars of Islam (arkân al-Islâm).
The six pillars of faith or creed are: Believe in Allah, His Angels, His Holy books, His Messengers, Judgement Day, and Divine decree whether good or bad.
And the five pillars of Islam are: Testimony in sense profession of faith (shahâdat), prayers (salât) five times a day, alms giving or divine tax (zakât), fasting during the month of Ramadan (saum ramadân), and performing the pilgrimage to Mecca (al-hajj).
- to preserve the life (hifzh an-nafs) sharî’ah orders us to fulfil the basic need of stapple supplies; and it regulates qisâs (retaliation) sanction, with its some conditions.
- to preserve the intellectual (hifzh al-‘aql) sharî’ah orders us to consume allowed drinks and foods; and it forbids us to consume al-khamr and other alcoholic drinks and foods, such as: drugs, narcotics, herm plant or hashîsh, marijuana, heroin, morfhin, nicotine, and the like.
- to preserve the posterity (hifzh a-nasl) sharî’ah regulates the marriage institution; and it forbids us to do sexual acts outside of marriage,
- to preserve the property (hifzh al-mâl) sharî’ah regulates how to posses the riches; and it permits us to have house, clothes, motorized vehicles (such as: car, motocycle, motorscooter); and then it forbids us to get other people’s wealth by invalid manner; and so on.
- Al-Hâjiyât or The complementary. The complementary are needed in order to remove hardship and impediments ((raf’u al-mashaqqah wa al-haraj) from the people in their lives. But, the disruption of these hâjiyât are, however, not disruptives of the normal order of life.
- to preserve the religion (hifzh ad-din), syarî’ah regulates that there are dispensations (rukhas plural of rukhsah) in obligatory prayer (such as: four raka’ats becomes two raka’ats), and in fasting Ramadan for the traveler or the sick.
- to preserve the life (hifzh an-nafs) sharî’ah permits us to go hunting the animal to relish delicious and nutritious food; and it orders us to do good social intercourse, or do good interaction with society.
- to preserve the intellectual (hifzh al-‘aql) sharî’ah orders us to seek knowledge and science,
- to preserve the posterity (hifzh a-nasl) sharî’ah regulates the brideprice (mahar) and divorce in marriage; and it allows the parent to marry off a daughter before she is in age (qabl al-bulûgh),
- to preserve the property (hifzh al-mâl) sharî’ah permitss us to do some kinds of transaction; and then it permits us to have good house, good clothes, good motorized vehicles (such as: good car, good motorcycle, good motorscooter, and the like); and so on.
- At-Tahsîniyât or the embellisments (tahsîniyât). The embellisments refer to maslahah which realization leads to refinements and perfection in the customs and conduct of people. In other words, they are intended to hold on good characters, ethics, morals, customs and conduct of people in their lives (at-tamassuk bi makârim al-akhlâq wa mahâsin al-‘âdât).
- to preserve the religion (hifzh ad-din) sharî’ah orders us to close aurat (part of the body which may not be visible) in or out of prayers; it orders us to clean body, clothes and place; and then it allows us to be decorated or to be adorned, when we go to mosque,
- to preserve the life (hifzh an-nafs) sharî’ah regulates about customs and manners of eating and drinking,
- to preserve the intellectual (hifzh al-‘aql) sharî’ah orders us to study hard and develop some kinds of knowledge or science; it suggests us to avoid fantasizing or thinking about a useless thing,
- to preserve the posterity (hifzh a-nasl) sharî’ah regulates khitbah (asking for woman to be wife) and walîmah (wedding party),
- to preserve the property (hifzh al-mâl) sharî’ah motivates us to donate lawful wealth, when we give a donation; it permits us to have good house with accessories, good clothes with accessories, good motorized vehicles with accessories; it forbids us to do dishonesty in trade (buy and sell); it also forbids us to do deceit in bearing witness or in bearing tertimony; and the like.
But, all of them are allowed during do not contradict with the principles of shari’ah (mâ lam yata’ârad ma’a usûl ash-sharî’ah).
It is interesting to note, that all examples of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah are interrelated and interconnected one another, even one example is, actually, for two or three principles. And then, the above examples of each level of maslahat (whether the essencials level, the complementary level or the embellisments level) can be changed and developed together with the contextual situations (ahwâl qarâ`in).
If we observe the above examples, we can understand that the complementary level perfect the essentials level, and the embellisments (tahsîniyât) level perfect the complementary level.
Based on the admission of Lawgiver (ash-Shâri’), the masâlih can be devided into three kinds.
- Al-maslahah al-mu’tabarah, namely the maslahah admitted by Lawgiver (al-maslahah allatî i’tabarahâ ash-Shâri’) through the texts (nusûs) of the Qur`an or Sunnah;
- Al-maslahah al-mulghah, namely the maslahah claimed by humankind, but it is not admitted by Lawgiver (al-maslahah allatî alghâhâ ash-Shâri’);
- Al-maslahah al-mursalah, namely the maslahah that’s not witnessed by certain indicant, whether by admission or neglect (al-maslahah allatî lam tasyhad lahâ dalil khâshsh bi al-i’tibâr aw al-ilghâ`i). But, the maslahah brings up the benefit and removes something harmful (tajlib al-manfa’ah wa tadfa’ al-madarrah).
Based on the scope of meaning, the masâlih can be classified into two kinds, namely:
- Al-maslahah al-kulliyah or al-maslahah al-‘âmmah (universal or general), namely the maslahah that has universal characteristics or universal values, such as: justice (al-‘adâlah), equation (al-musâwah), tolerance (at-tasâmuh), freedom (al-hurriyah), brotherhood (al-ikhâ`) and so on.
- Al-maslahah al-juz`iyah or al-maslahah al-khâssah (particular or partial), namely the maslahah related to specific affair, such as: prohibition to hurt the woman in scope of familiy, prohibition to do hardness in household, and so on.
It is interesting to explain, that according to the Islamic jurists, there are other sets of equipment to perfect the implementation of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah, which they call the complements (mukammilât or mutammimât) and the mediums (al-wasâ`il). The two concepts will be discussed in the chronological order; the first about the complements and next about the media.
- The Complements of Maqâsid ash-Sharî’ah
To perfect the implementation of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah, the Islamic jurists also have formulated some sorts of complement, which they classify into three categories or levels, namely:
- The complement of the essentials (mukammil ad-darûriyat):
- When sharî’ah determines the obligation of prayers five times a day, it is completed by the calling for prayer (âdzân), and the calling for beginning of prayer (iqâmat), and then it is performed in groups (jamâ’ah), not individually (fard).
- When syarî’ah determines qisâs (retaliation) sanction with its some conditions, it is completed by comparable (bi al-mithl).
- When sharî’ah forbids the believers to do sexual acts outside of marriage, it is completed by prohibition for man and woman in solitary spot (khalwah), without possessing a relative relationship.
- Likewise, when sharî’ah prohibits drinking khamar, it is completed by prohibition of drinking it more or less (much or little), mâ askara kathîruhu fa qalîluhu harâmun.
- The complement of the complementary (mukammil al-hajiyât):
- When sharî’ah determines rukhshah (despensation) in the prayer obligation for travelers or the sick, it is completed by a permission to combine (jama’) the certain prayers, whether a proffer combination (jama’ taqdîm) or a postponement combination (jama’ ta`khîr), such as: midday prayer ((zhuhur) and afternoon prayer (‘asar), or sunset prayer (maghrib) and evening prayer (‘ishâ`)).
- When sharî’ah allows parents to marry off a daughter before she is in age (qabl al-bulûgh), it is completed by determining equal in rank (kufu`) between the prospective wife and the prospective husband; and then brideprice (mahar) must be mahar mithl (viz: the brideprice which it’s value is in a conformity with the social condition of the prospective wife’s family).
- Likewise, when sharî’ah allows some kinds of transaction, they are completed by a prohibition of non-being commodity (bai’ al-ma’dûm), except salam and istisnâ’.
- The complement of the embellishment (mukammil at-tahsiniyât)
- When sharî’ah makes a pure compulsion, it is completed by a pure recommendations in taking ablution (wudû`) or taking a bath (al-ghusl).
- When sharî’ah teaches us to slaughter animal sacrifice, it is completed by an ordering that the animal is not physical defect or deformity.
- Likewise, when sharî’ah motivates us to like giving a donation very much, it is completed by ordering us, that the donated thing is lawful riches or wealth, not unlawful one.
- The Media of Maqâsid ash-Shari’ah
According to Imâm Ab û Ishâq Ibrâhîm ibn Mûsâ ash-Shatibî, there are three media (wasâ`il) must be understood to perfect the application of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah, namely:
- Itmâm al-wâjib (Perfection of the obligation)
There are two concepts related to the perfection of the obligation, namely: The cause (as-sabab) and the condition (ash-shart). To understand the two concepts, let’s pay attention to the following example: to perform the obligatory prayer must be fulfilling the cause (as-sabab) and the condition (ash-shart), such as: arriving time for it, being of age (bulûgh), and having intellectual (‘aql). And also to perform alms giving (zakât) must be fulfilling the cause (as-sabab) and the condition (ash-shart), such as: reaching nisâb (minimum amount of property liable to payment of the zakat, and one year of possession.
- The cause (as-sabab).
There are two kinds of the cause (as-sabab) that can produce the effect (al-musabbab), namely:
- the cause of tradition, for example, mastery of a certain science is because of learning diligently; and advances in education are because of fulfilling sufficient tools and infrastructures;
- the cause of shar’î, for instance, removal commodity from someone to another is because of transaction according to sharî’ah; and the obligation of pilgrimage to Mecca is because of al-istitâ’ah (ability) according to sharî’ah.
- The condition (ash-shart).
There are three kinds of the condition (ash-shart) that can produce the effect (al-mashrût), namely:
- the condition of intellectual, for example, according to intellectual (‘aql), honest can not be reached without avoiding lie character;
- the condition of tradition, for instance, according to tradition, washing face will not perfect without washing a part of head;
- the condition of shar’î, for example, according to sharî’ah, performing prayer will be invalid without taking abolution.
Based on the above explanation, we understand that perfection of obligation is very important to implement the five principles of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah. In this case, the perfection of obligation is a cause (as-sabab) or a condition (ash-shart). Thus, causes and conditions perfect the obligatory, and perfection of obligation is on obligatory too. This is meant by fiqih norm “Mâ lâ yatimmul wâjib illâ bihi fa huwa wâjib (Whatever of the obligatory does not perfect except it, becomes obligatory). It is line with fiqih norm “al-amr bi ash-shai’i amrun bi wasâ`ilih”: means command for something is command for its mediums. It is also parallel with fiqih norm: “Li al-wasâ`il hukm al-maqâsid : For instruments are law of destinations.
- Sadd adz-dzari’ah (Obstruction the medium of wickedness)
- The Concept.
Sadd adz-dzarî’ah consists of two words, sadd means a obstruction, and adz-dzarî’ah means a medium of wickedness. Originally, adz-dzarî’ah is a word or deed that can become a medium that brings out another word or deed. And in this case, adz-dzarî’ah means wicked word or wicked deed. For example, someone insults other man, and the insulted man insults him too, whether by wicked word or wicked deed. Another example, felling of the inclined tree toward to general street brings out the traffic disturbance or traffic jam.
The insulting word or deed is a medium that brings out another insulting word or deed, as well as felling of the inclined tree is a medium that brings out the traffic disturbance or traffic jam. Thus, sadd adz-dzarî’ah is an obstruction the medium of wickedness, whether by wicked word or wicked deed. In brief word, sadd adz-dzarî’ah is a prevention of the danger of sayings or acts.
In connection with the concept of sadd adz-dzarî’ah, as-Suyutî (t.t: 95) in his good book al-Ashbâh wa an-Nazhâ`ir said ad-daf’u `aulâ min ar-raf’i. This fiqih norm, means “removing (something harmful) is more prominent than ommision.” It is line with the adaqium al-wiqâyah khairun min al-‘ilâj, means: “prevention is better than cure.”
- The sources of Sadd adz-dzarî’ah.
The concept of sadd adz-dzarî’ah is, actually, understood from the Holy Qur`an and Sunnah or Prophet’s tradition. Allah said in surat (chapter) al-An’an ayah (verse) 108: Wa lâ tasubu alladzîna yad’una min dûni Allâh fa yasubu Allâh min ‘aduwan bi ghairi ‘ilmin. Means: “And do not abuse the ones whom they invoke apart from Allah, (or) then they would abuse Allah aggressively without knowledge....” From this ayah (verse) we can understand, that sharî’ah forbids us to abuse the unbelievers or abuse their god (they worship). Because, the action can be a reason for them to abuse our God, Allah SWT (The Almighty and Most Worthy).
Our Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), said: Inna min akbar al-kabâ`ir an yal’an ar-rajul wâlidaih, qâlû: Ya rasûl Allâh wa kaifa yal’an ar-rajul wâlidaih? Qâla: Yasubbu abâ ar-rajul fa yasubbu abâhu wa yasubbu ummahu fa yasubbu ummahu. Means: “Including the big sin, someone curses his parents. The Companions replied: O Allah’s Mesengger, how does he curse his parents? The Prophet answered: He abuses someone’s father, the someone abuses his father too, even he abuses his mother, he abuses his mother.” This Prophet’s saying explains, clearly, that the Messenger forbids the believers to abuse someone’s father. Because, the action can be a reason for him to abuse their both fathers and mothers.
- Some kinds of adz-Dzarî’ah.
There are some kinds of adz-dzarî’ah. Among other things: First, adz-dzarî’ah brings out a certain damage, for example, sexual acts out side of marriage becomes a medium of posterity mixed and uncertainty of offsprings. This kind of adz-dzarî’ah is prohibited clearly in sharî’ah. Second, adz-dzarî’ah, originally is allowed, but in turn it can produce a bigger damage. This kind of adz-dzarî’ah is quarreled by Islamic jurists. Some allow it and others do not permit it.
- Hilah (Juridical trickery)
Hîlah literally means “juridical trickery” or we can say “juridical fiction”, and technically means “a trick used by someone to avoid doing sharî’ah obligations, or to do sharî’ah prohibitions. For example, someone donates part of his riches or wealth to avoid performing alms giving (zakât). This kind of hîlah action is quarreled by Islamic jurists. Some of them allow it, but almost all of them do not permit it. Another example, someone imagines that selling is like riba` because of he wants to eat riba`. All Islamic jurists reject this kind of hîlah action.
In connection with the concept of hîlah Abu Ishâq Ibrâhim ibn Musâ ash-Shâtibî said, that we must pay attention to it seriously. He further said, that Allah has obligized some kinds of obligation, such as: prayers five times a day, fasting during the month of Ramadân, alms giving, pilgrimage to Mecca, and the like. And then He has forbidden many kinds of prohibition, such as: doing sexual acts out side of marriage, eating ribâ`, stealing or robery, killing someone without any right, and the like. If the mukallaf (the obligated to observe the precepts of religion) does feigned reason to avoid doing the obligations or to permit performing the prohibitions, his efforts or actions are mentioned as hîlah (ash-Shatibi, 1977.2: 287-288).
In line with ash-Shâtibi’s opinion, Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyah, in his good book, Ighâthah al-lahfân min masâyid ash-shaitân, said : There is no doubt, whoever muses about the Qur`ân, Sunnah and Maqâsid ash-Shâri’, will determine that the hilah action is prohibited (Ibn Qayyim, 2011.1: 331).
- The General Guidelines to Implement the Theory of Maqâsid ash-Sharî’ah
With regard to the implementation of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah as an approach in Islamic studies, Abu Ishâq Ibrâhim ibn Musâ ash-Shâtibi (1977.2: 30) offered two essential guidelines, that can be considered by Islamic scholars, namely:
- Al-amr al-a’zham, or considering the dominant thing of maslahah or mafsadah. In sense, the Islamic jurists have to observe the characteristics of the problem that they face, before drawing an inference of it. If there is a dominant thing of maslahah they can determine that the matter is permissible, and vice versa;
- Mâ tuqâm bihî al-hayât ad-dunyâ li al-hayât al-`âkhirah, or whatever done by someone in the present life will be have the consequences in the hereafter. In other words, whatever we do or say in the present life will be recompensed, after we have passed away;
- Farouq Abû Zaid in his book, ash-sharî’ah al-Islâmiyah bain al-muhâfizhîn wa al-Mujaddidîn, added another guideline, especially for responding the opinion, sight, invention and innovation come from ‘outside world’ or out-of textual Islamic teachings, namely the important proposition of fiqih norm: Kullu shai’in jâ`iz mâ lam yata’ârad ma’a usûl ash-sharî’ah : Everything is permitted during it does not contradict with the principles of sharî’ah.
The theory of maqâsid ash-sharî’ah as an approach in Islamic studies can be implemented in some aspects of matter. By this significant theory, for instance, we can determine certain rules or laws for cases happened in society, as seen in the above examples. Besides that, we can formulate a new concept of something, such as: the tolerance of interfaith or religion; the integration of science; Islam as a theology of liberation; the program of healthy (promotion, prevention, curration and rehabilition); the formulation of human rights; the program of family planning; the aims and principles of Islamic economy, includes the consumtive and productive zakat, and so on. But, I am sorry, at this opportunity, I will not discuss the implementation of this theory in any aspects. (Allah Knows the best).