Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah (Philosophy of Islamic Jurisprudence)
The civilisation of Islam is distinguished by several features. One of these is the fact that it covers many fields, including a flexible and sophisticated Sharīʿah which is based on justice and the public interest. It establishes the ideals of freedom, equality and mutual consultation. It extends widely to encompass sciences such as medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics and architecture. Compared to the Roman civilisation, for example, known for its historic law and architecture whose presence is fading, or the Greek civilisation, known for philosophy and medicine, and many other similar cultures and civilisations, the Islamic civilisation reflects an approach of human life that seeks to ensure healthy progress in all its aspects.
The study of the philosophy of Islamic law, especially its maqāṣid (objectives, purposes, goals, intents and underlying principles) is a pre-requisite to understanding the Qurʾān and the prophetic tradition, and to developing the Islamic law in a way that achieves common good for Muslims and protects them from harm.
The development of new Islamic rulings (ijtihad), which should always be practised by scholars, depends primarily on a comprehensive understanding of maqāṣid of the Islamic law and its prioritisation in practise. The correctness of rulings that are reached through ijtihad depends on the correctness of this understanding. Hence, ijtihad is in real need of maqāṣid, in order to achieve the objectives for which Prophet Muḥammad (peace and praise be upon him) was sent.
For that purpose, Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation established the Maqāṣid Research Centre in the Philosophy of Islamic Law (Markaz Dirasāt Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah al-Islāmīyah).
The founding seminar of the Centre met in 2005 and included the following distinguished scholars and dignitaries: HE Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani (Founder), Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaily, Dr Ahmad Yusuf Sulaiman, Dr Jamaluddin Atiah, Dr Muhammad Haythem al-Khayat, Dr Abdul Adheem al-Deeb, Dr Muhammad Salim al-Awa, Dr Saifuddin Abd al-Fattah, Dr Abdu-l-Rahman al-Kelani, Dr Noureddin al-Khademi, Dr Jasser Audah, Dr Hasan Jaber, Dr Muhammad Kamaleddin Imam, Dr Ibrahim al-Bayumi Ghanem, Dr Muhammad Attahir al-Misawi and Dr Mahmoud Bilal Mahran.