Relationship Between Purposes (Maqásid) and Fundamentals (Usul) of Islamic Law

Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Maqasid Centre Lectures
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This lecture was delivered in Makkah, on 3rd of April 2006. In this lecture, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah addressed the relationship between the purposes (maqāsid) and fundamentals (usul) of the Islamic law. The Sheikh considered maqasid methodology to represent the ‘philosophy of Islamic law’ - in a modern sense - because it allows the law to deal with new issues and circumstances in order to achieve common good, while realising God’s revelation.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah

Sheikh bin Bayyah examined many definitions of the term maqasid, underlying objectives of the law, utility (maslahah) that the law aims to achieve, and human intents. He also pointed out how various schools of Islamic philosophy (kalam) had contributed to maqasid theories through their revelation-rationality debates, i.e., whether the ‘focal point’ in Islamic legistlation is the literal word of the script or it is the good that the script is attempting to achieve (according to human rationality). Hence, the Sheikh outlined the importance of the ‘question of why’ in understanding the law.