“Islamic Economics and the Maqashid of Al-Shariah”
24-Nov-2016


Islamic economics as an established discipline cannot be separated from the Maqasid Al-Shariah. It is mainly translated in English as the objectives of Shariah.  The Maqasid Al-Shariah technically can be defined as the purpose and wisdom behind the enactment of all or most of the shariah rulings. It is related to the specific objectives that are designed to achieve specific benefits for the people in their daily activities. These principles are known in Islamic jurisprudence as Maslahah (Public benefits). Mqasid Al-Shariah aims to protect the interest of mankind and prevent the evil from them; realize the public benefit for the society and; encourage virtues and avoid vices. 

Muslim scholars divide the Maslahah into three main categories. The first category is the essentials (durariyyat) where people rely on them and without them the community cannot live together peacefully. This disaster might lead to a society collapse. The essentials have five fundamentals namely the protection of Al-Din, the protection of life (Al-nafs), the protection of human being (Al-nasl), the protection of mind (Al-’aql) and the protection of property (Al-mal). The second category is the hajiyyah which is the improvement in the quality of life and religion. The third category is tahsiniyyah which is the perfection toward a high standard of religion and life. 

The relationship between the Maqasid Al-Shariah and the Islamic economics is described in one of the essentials which is the protection of property (Al-mal). Property can be considered as an essential for people’s life. In Islam, people have the right to own and grow their wealth. In order to realize it, Islam provides different kinds of contracts and guidelines in order to protect Al-mal in permitted and lawful ways. Those contracts are currently used by Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) to structure their financial products and services. It is very important to note that those financial products and services must be in accordance to Shariah both in structure and purpose to realize the Maqasid Al Shari’ah.  At the higher level, the Maqasid Al-Shariah technically advises Muslim governments on whether to accept or reject an economic policy. When an economic policy is in line with Shariah, then it should realize the Maqasid Al-Shariah. On the other hand, when an economic policy is against Shariah, Maqasid Al-Shariah will not be realized thus the welfare of the society will not be achieved.

 Based on the above discussion, it is clear that the Islamic economics is very much related and affected by the Maqasid Al-Shariah. Therefore, it is very important for all Islamic economics, banking and finance stakeholders to embed the components of Maqasid Al-Shariah correctly in their economic activities. This compliancy in the long run will result in a healthy economic life and less economic and social problems. It will also help the society to achieve its future economic and social goals if they properly apply the instructions of Shariah in this specific matter.

 

(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of this newspaper.)


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