The study of the philosophy of Islamic law, especially its maqasid (objectives, purposes, goals, intents and underlying principles) is a pre-requisite to understanding the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition, and to developing the Islamic law in a way that achieves common good for Muslims and protects them from harm.
For that purpose, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation organised a symposium on the philosophy of Islamic Law titled Studies in the Philosophy of Islamic Law; Theory and Applications, which took place from 1st until 3rd March 2005, at the Foundation’s Headquarters in London. This symposium was considered to be the event which established its Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law.
The symposium included the following distinguished scholars and dignitaries:
H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani (Chairman of Al-Furqan), Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaily, Dr Ahmed Yusuf Sulaiman, Dr Jamaluddin Atiyah, Dr Mohammed Haytham al-Khayat, Dr Abdul-Adheem al-Deeb, Dr Mohammed Salim al-Awa, Dr Saifuddin Abdul-Fattah, Dr Abdul-Rahman al-Kelani, Dr Noureddin al-Khademi, Dr Jasser Auda, Dr Hasan Jaber, Dr Mohammed Kamaleddin Imam, Dr Ibrahim al-Bayoumi Ghanem, Dr Mohammed al-Tahir al-Misawi and Dr Mahmoud Bilal Mahran, and was divided into two parts: The first part included papers on the theory of maqasid, such as:
- Fiqh of Maqasid (Jurisprudence of Objectives) and Fiqh of Scripts (Jurisprudence of Texts) by H.E. Ahmed Zaki Yamani
- Between Universal Maqasid and Specific Scripts by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi
- On Maqasid Knowledge and Some Applied Examples by Sayyid Hadi Khosroshahi
- Research on Maqasid: Foundation, Development and Future by Dr Ahmed al-Raissouni
- Usuli and Fiqhi Rules and Their Relationship with Maqasidby Dr Abdul-Rahman al-Kelani
- ‘Purposes’ and ‘Causes’ of the Islamic Rulings by Dr Jasser Auda
- Maqasid in the Shi'a School: Dilemma of Terminology and Scholasticism by Dr Hasan Jaber
The second part included papers on the applications of maqasid, such as:
- Maqasid in the Area of Acts of Worship: On Methodology by Dr Mohammed Kamaleddin Imam
- Activating Maqasid Paradigm in Political and Social Fields by Dr Saifuddin Abdul-Fattah
- Maqasid in the Field of Endowments by Dr Ibrahim Bayoumi Ghanem
After presenting and discussing these papers, the participants discussed the idea of founding a research/study centre specialised in maqasid al-Shari’ah (objectives, purposes, goals, intents and underlying principles of the Islamic law), as part of Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation. They concluded with a number of recommendations for the Centre’s structure, mission and role.
The Centre’s Advisory Board was formed by the end of 2005, and based on this symposium’s recommendations, the Board met in Cairo in December of that year and formulated a specific mission for the Centre, with a number of specific objectives and means, around which the Centre’s plans have revolved since it started its work in January 2006