Maqasid al-Sharia

Ibn-e-Maryam hua kare koi
Mere dukh ki dawa kare koi

I know I am bad with the shairi thing and most probably I have gotten the shair above wrong, apologies for that, but thats not the point of the post. The point of the post is to talk about the self-proclaimed sualiheen aka holy beings aka messiahs aka Talibans.

But before talking about Taliban and whether we like em, support em or not, i think its important to understand what the buzz word, Sharia, is all about.

Now this will obviously be a summary and/or an introduction to the topic and will not include a lot of minute details.


The word Sharia itself has been used only once in the Qur’an [45:18] and can literally be translated to mean ‘way’ or ‘path.’ It is the legal framework (based on fiqh) for the private and public lives of Muslims providing laws for politics, economics, family, hygiene and several social issues. (Do read The Comparison with the Common Law here)

The objectives of Sharia

The law was basically developed for the falah of the people, both in this world and in the hereafter and thus include all aspects of life.

  1. Protection of Religion: To protect the freedom of practicing religion, specifically the 5 basic pillars of Islam. To provide basic health facilities so as to enable all to undertake activities of physical ibadat (includes marriage at appropriate age) and help people in earning halal rizq.
  2. Protection of Life: To promote meditation through salaat (mental relaxation) and physical health through medical facilities and exercise. Family health to be protected through laws on quarantines during epidemics and the isolation of persons with contagious disease. This category also includes laws of revenge, qisas andhomicide.
  3. Protection of Progeny: To provide medical facilities to the females to ensure a healthier society. This category also includes the laws related to marriage (the contract itself), divorce, custody of children, adoption, inheritance and also illegitimate relationships (zina) and the children that might be born as a result of such relationships.
  4. Protection of The Mind: To provide services that would provide mental peace and laws that keep people away from alcohol, drugs and other addictive habits. This may include a lot of laws that govern the economical condition of the society (poor economic condition can lead to mental imbalance) and false accusations.
  5. Protection of Wealth: To facilitate people in ensuring proper usage of their zakaat. This category also includes laws about financial independence of women and regulations about property, trade, preservation of property rights and the punishments for stealing.

Do we know of a country that protects religion, life, progeny, mind and wealth?


12 thoughts on “Maqasid al-Sharia

  1. There is a little glitch in the definition. To put it simply, Fiqh is based on Sharia and not the other way around as it seems to be suggested in your post.

    Though I know that for practical purposes there is little difference between the two.

  2. @ jingoist
    thanks…i sure plan to write one more post in its continuation

    @ Brickwall
    ummmm, but isnt the set of laws a bit different for each fiqh?

  3. The set of tertiary laws may be different in different fiqh, but the primary and secondary laws are same.

    It would be correct to say that each fiqh is a subset of the shariah….

    But yes, during the course of time ‘some’ biddah’s have been introduced within each fiqah (especially the Hanafi fiqh, because of its dominance during the ottoman era), at least thats what some people think.

    So I agree with brickwall, it does nt make much of a difference in the context of your post, and even in a general context. The four fiqahs go along quite fine with each other.

    @bw: Hey I owe you a reply on that long comment, I have nt forgotten it. I m just crazy busy!

  4. ummmm…well thats wat i implied from wat i read. obviously wat the two of you are saying makes sense but the way it is today, it is basically the fiqh that supersedes the sharia. Yea, i know that we should look at the early times and go back to the basics to understand things rather than how it is today and i totally understand your point of view.

    Khair, that wasnt the main point of the post. the main point was whether there actually is a country (muslim or non-muslim) that comes even close to achieving the objectives of sharia.

    as for owing replies, i owe both you guys lots of replies on lots of long comments by both of you.

  5. The only thing I meant to put across was that terminologically, Sharia is considered as the framework in which Fiqh is derived or studied. It refers to the body of laws revealed to Prophet Muhammad, PBUH. Fiqh, on the other hand, is the extension of it to situations not covered directly therein. One major difference that arises due to this distinction is that on a conceptual level, Fiqh can mutate but Shariah does not.

    And the above shall hold, until terms are redefined, even in circumstances where, hypothetically speaking, different fiqh schools take completely orthogonal stances.

    And both of you should consider it your good fortune to be busy than taking part in that senselessness with me : )

  6. i have nothing against shariah or islamic way of life!
    but the people who read me surely come up with the misconception that i have a devil’s mind which works for both worlds!

    sickos… and that is why i hate to see power go into wrong hands!
    those who dont understand religion should not b given the right to impose it!

  7. Pingback: Do more « Leena's Idle Curiosities

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