The higher purposes, or maqasid of shariah are applied and actualized (taf'il) through their means (wasa'il). This paper begins with the definition and meaning of maqasid and proceed to ascertain three discernible tendencies regarding their scope: reductionist, expansionist, and the moderate approach of wasatiyyah/i'tidal. It addresses the question as to whether the maqasid may be recognised as a proof or source of shariah in its own right. Can one, in other words, extract a ruling (hukm) of shariah directly from the maqasid, or should one always follow the usual al-fiqh approach?

Responding to these questions would help the reader to know more clearly what to expect of the maqasid. We often speak of the maqasid but when it comes to actual practice, we apply the fiqh rules. Can one just ignore the latter and refer directly to maqasid?

Thus this work explores the relationship of maqasid to the Qur'an and hadith, and to usul al-fiqh respectively. It also ascertains the roles respectively of the human intellect ('aql) and innate human nature (fitrah) in the identification of maqasid. The author reviews the means and actualization of maqasid and elucidates this subject through several illustrations and a set of actionable recommendations.


Author: Prof. Mohammad Hashim Kamali

Publishers: IAIS Malaysia, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)

For further information and/or to order please visit: bookstore.iais.org.my

The higher purposes, or maqasid, of Shariah are applied and actualised through their means (wasail). Since the maqasid are not applied directly, they are usually a step further removed from actual practice. For the maqasid to be actualised, the first step would naturally be to identify the maqsad one is having in mind. This would give rise, in turn, to.........Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Siyasah Shar’iyyah is the nearest equivalent of public policy, with one difference perhaps, which is that the Islamic notion of publicy policy is closely tied to the Shariah, and more specifically to the goals and purposes, or Maqasid of Shariah. This paper begins with an introductory note on the contemporary understanding of public policy in its Western context, and then provides an overview of the two main areas of our concern: siyasah and maqasid. The rest of this paper engages in identifying the synergies between the two disciplines, and in this regard looks more specifically at al-Qaradawi’s work on how siyasah shar’iyyah can be guided by the guidelines of maqasid al-shari’ah............. Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Islamic Legal Theory

Friday, 30 May 2014 16:00
Published in Books

Islamic legal theory (usūl al-fiqh) is literally regarded as ‘the roots of the law’ whilst Islamic jurists consider it to be the basis of Islamic jurisprudence and thus an essential aspect of Islamic law. This volume addresses the sources, methods and principles of Islamic law leading to an appreciation of the skills of independent juristic and legal reasoning necessary for deriving specific rulings from the established sources of the law. The articles engage critically with relevant traditional views to enable a diagnostic understanding of the different issues, covering both Sunnī and Shī‘ī perspectives on some of the issues for comparison. The volume features an introductory overview of the subject as well as a comprehensive bibliography to aid further research. Islamic legal theory is a complex subject which challenges the ingenuity of any expert and therefore special care has been taken to select articles for their clarity as well as their quality, variety and critique to ensure an in-depth, engaging and easy understanding of what is normally a highly theoretical subject.


Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali is one of the contributors to this volume.

ISBN 978-1-903682-83-8

For more information please refer to the publisher's website; http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754628781

Maqasid Al-Shariah, Ijtihad and Civilisational Renewal

Sunday, 08 July 2012 14:44
Published in Books


The paper develops the idea of a maqasid-based framework for ijtihad and civilisational renewal (tajdid hadari), a broad and engaging prospect that also involves a review and reappraisal of the methodology of Islamic jurisprudence relating to both the maqasid and ijtihad. The author argues that this would enable Muslims to widen the scope and horizon of the maqasid or objectives of Islamic law from their currently legalistic leanings towards the wider perspective of civilisational renaissance. The nexus that needs to be developed between the maqasid and ijtihad aslo needs to be supported by a credible methodology, which is what the author has attempted in this paper.



By Mohammad Hashim Kamali

ISBN 978-I-56564-579-0

Sources, Nature and Objectives of the Shariah

Wednesday, 13 December 1989 13:05
Published in Articles

Literally, Shariah means the path to the watering place, the clear path to be followed and the path which the believer has to tread in order to obtain guidance in this world and deliverance in the next. In its common usage, Shariah refers to commands, prohibitions, guidance and principles that God has addressed to mankind pertaining to their conduct in this world and salvation in the next.


The Islamic Quarterly, Vol XXXIII, (1989), pp 215-236.

Law and Ethics in Islam – The Role of the Maqasid

Wednesday, 30 December 2009 12:45
Published in Book Chapters


It is due to their relevance to real-life issues of vital concern to people welfare that the maqasid (goals and purposes of Shariah) have become the focus of attention in recent decades, as it is attested by numerous scholarly works, books and conferences that have concentrated on developing the important, yet somewhat neglected, chapter of Shariah.


in ed Kari Vogt etal., New Directions in Islamic Thought – Exploring Reform and Muslim Tradition, I B Tauris, London, (2009), pp 23-46.

Maqasid al-Shariah: The Objectives of Islamic Law

Thursday, 30 December 1999 12:43
Published in Books

 Maqasid al-Shariah: The Objectives of Islamic Law, Islamic Studies, 38 (1999), 193-209.

M H Kamali. “Maqasid al-Shariʿah Make Simple” (London, Washington), London & Washington. The International Institute of Islamic Thought, Occasional paper Series 13, August 2008.

Maqasid al-Shari’ah Made Simple

Tuesday, 30 December 2008 22:34
Published in Books

The paper focuses on a general characterisation of maqasid al-shariah and its origins in the Quran: the classification of maqasid; historical developments and the contributions of some of the leading ulama to the theory of maqasid; the differential approaches the ulama have taken toward the identification of maqasid; and finally the relevance of maqasid to ijtihad adn the ways in which maqasid can enhace the scope and caliber of ijtihad.


Occasional Paper Series 13
London & Washington: The International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2008. pp. 26
ISBN: 9781565-644427

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