Sunday, May 28, 2017

Understanding Maqaasid al-Ahkaam ash-Shar'iah

Allah (swt) sent Muhammad (saw) with the Islamic Sharee’ah as a mercy for mankind. He (swt) said:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds” {Al-Anbiyaa’ : 107}
And Allah Ta’Aalaa said:

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا

“And we have revealed from the Qur’an that which is a cure and mercy for the believers” {Al-Israa’ : 82}
Allah (swt) sent His Messenger with Islaam, as a mercy to mankind, to bring them out from worshipping other than Allah to worshipping Allah and He (swt) organised their relationships with the best of systems.
The aim and purpose of the Sharee’ah as a whole is therefore a Rahmah (mercy) for mankind. As the Sharee’ah represents a Rahmah. This means that the Sharee’ah as a whole came to bring and secure Masaalih (benefits/interests) and to repel Mafaasid (unbeneficial and corrupting/bad elements) in relation to the people generally when it is applied upon them. The Adillah (evidences) are explicit in respect to the Rahmah (mercy) representing the overall aim or objective of the Sharee’ah as a whole. That is whilst there isn’t any indication within these general evidences to indicate that the Rahmah represents the aim or objective of every single individual ruling in itself or of every text from amongst the Sharee’ah texts.
Consequently, the overall Maqsad (aim) of the Sharee’ah is the realisation or accomplishment of the interests of the ‘Ibaad (servants/people) however these Masaalih (interests/benefits) are not what the human views to be representative of a Maslahah or benefit in accordance to his whims or desires but rather the Maslahah is that which is a Maslahah according to the scale of the Shar’a and not the scale of whims and desires. The ‘Ulamaa have classified these Masaalih into three categories:
1 – Ad-Darooriyaat (essentialities/necessities):
By these it is meant the Masaalih upon which the life of the people, the establishment of the society and its stability rests. If these Masaalih are not fulfilled or realised the system of life will become flawed and chaos and corruption will prevail. They will face hardship and suffering in this Dunyaa and punishment in the Aakhirah (hereafter). These Darooriyaat (essential matters) number five: Hifzh ud-Deen, Hifzh un-Nafs, Hifzh ul-‘Aql, Hifzh un-Nasl and Hifzh ul- Maal (preservation of the Deen, life, mind, progeny/lineage and property). Islaam has legislated Ahkaam for the preservation of each of these Darooriyaat (essential matters).
– Hifzh ud Deen:
The Islamic legislation does not force or compel anyone to enter into Islaam. Allah (swt) said:

 ۖلَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

“There is no compulsion in (respect to) the Deen” {Al-Baqarah 256}
And this was applicable after the Arab Mushrikeen entered into Islaam. However, in respect to the Muslim that apostatises from Islaam, he is discussed with and his repentance is sought for three days. Then, after that, if he persists upon his apostasy, he is killed. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
Whoever changes his Deen, then kill him (Al-Bukhaari)
That is because the Islamic Aqeedah is in harmony with the Fitrah (intrinsic nature) of the human being and built (or based) upon the mind (rationality). As such, the Murtadd (apostate) from this
Aqeedah becomes like a manifestation of sickness that must be uprooted so that it does not infect the rest of the Islamic society. This relates to the preservation of the Deen.
Islaam has considered Al-Fitnah (strife) in the Deen to be worse and more severe than killing. Allah Ta’Aalaa said:

وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ

“Al-Fitnah is worse than killing” {Al-Baqarah: 191}
As such Islaam has legislated the following for the preservation of the Deen: The Da’wah (invitation) to it, repelling the assault or aggression against it and the obligation of Al-Jihaad against those who wish to negate it. Allah (swt) says:

 ۖ وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلَّهِ

“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah and the Deen is to Allah” {Al- Baqarah 193}
– Hifzh un-Nafs (preservation of the life):
For the preservation of the Nafs (life) Islaam legislated all that which is required for its continuance or survival like food, drink and punishing the one who aggresses against it. Allah (swt) says:

وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ

“And you have in Al-Qisaas (law of retaliation) life” {Al-Baqarah: 179}
It has also prohibited exposing the life to destruction by making suicide Haraam.
– Hifzh ul-‘Aql (preservation of the mind):
For the preservation of the mind Islaam has prohibited the drinking of Khamr or consumption of drugs (intoxicants). At the same time, it has encouraged and urged the pursuit of knowledge, contemplation and Ijtihaad, which are all matters that develop the intellectual capability within the person. Islaam commends those who are knowledgeable and attain knowledge:

هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Say: Are those who know and those who don’t know equal (or the same)” {Az- Zumar: 9}
– Hifzh un-Nasl (preservation of the progeny/lineage):
For its preservation Islaam has legislated the prohibition of Zinaa and a punishment for its perpetrator. It has also prohibited Al-Qadhf (accusations against chastity) and legislated the punishment for the one who makes such accusations or claims (Al-Qaadhif). It prohibited abortion for other than a Shar’iy ‘Udhr (excuse) and encouraged marriage and the reproduction of many offspring.
– Hifzh ul-Maal (preservation of the property):
Islaam has legislated the prohibition of stealing and the Hadd (set punishment) for the thief in regards to the preservation of the property. It has also prohibited the damaging of property, provided restrictive legislation to safeguard the wealth of the Safeeh (foolish) and Majnoon (not of sound mind), made (private) ownership permissible and encouraged wealth growth.
2 – Al-Haajiyaat (the needs):
These are the matters that the people need to lift the hardship or difficulty (Haraj) from them and to lighten the burdens of the Takleef upon them. Allah (swt) said:

يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship” {Al-Baqarah: 185}
So in relation to the ‘Ibaadaat the Takleef is in accordance to their capability whilst Rukhas (special permissions) have been legislated for them as a lightening for them in the case where there is a hardship upon them in respect to the ‘Azeemah (the obligation before the Rukhsah). Consequently, it made the Iftaar (breaking of fast) in Ramadhaan Mubaah for the traveller and the prayer sitting for the one incapable of standing amongst other such rulings.
And in respect to the foodstuffs, the Tayyibaat (good things) were made Halaal for them and the Khabaa’ith (dirty/bad things) were made Haraam, whilst the one who is compelled to (Mudtarr) has been permitted to eat that which has been made Haraam upon him. Allah (swt) said:

فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ ۙ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” {Al-Maa’idah: 3}
Within the area of the ‘Uqoobaat’ (punishments/penal-code) the following principle has been legislated:
‘Repelling the Hudood by doubts’
And the Diyah (blood money) has been legislated upon the ‘Aaqilah’ (relatives of the killer) in relation to the unintentional killing as a lightening (of the burden) upon the killer.
3 – At-Tahseenaat (improvements/betterments):
These are the matters that improve the condition of the people conforming with the requirements of a sense of honour, dignity and noble virtuous morals.
Consequently, in respect to the ‘Ibaadaat the purification of the body, clothing and place was legislated in addition to legislating caution in respect to the Najaasaat (impurities) and for the Muslims to pay attention to their adornment at every Masjid (i.e. where nice clothing.)
In regards to the Mu’aamalaat Al-Ghish (swindling/cheating), fraud, deceit, Israaf and stinginess has been made Haraam. In addition, dealing with every kind of Najas (impurity) and Daarr (harmful matter) is prohibited. The Shar’a forbade a person conducting a trade over the trade of his brother and fixing prices amongst other matters.
Similar to that applies in respect to the ‘Uqoobaat (punishments/penal code) whilst the killing of monks, children and women have been made Haraam in Al-Jihaad, just as mutilation, treachery, killing of messengers (envoys) and burning the dead or living has been forbidden.
In relation to the Akhlaaq (morals) Islaam has demanded the person to be characterised with truthfulness (honesty), trustworthiness, patience, perseverance and righteousness whilst it has forbidden lying, cheating, deceiving, cowardice and lewd speech. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
Verily, from those of you are most beloved to me and sat the closest to me (in seating) on the Day of Judgement are the best of you in Akhlaaq (morals/manners) (Al-Bukhaari and At-Tirmidhi).
And the Messenger of Allah (saw) was asked about that which most enters (its possessor) into Al-Jannah (paradise) and he (saw) said:
The Taqwaa of Allah and the good manners/morals
(At-Tirmidhi which he classified as Saheeh).
The Akhlaaq Al-Hasanah (good morals/virtues) as such are responsible for generating affection, respect and trust or confidence amongst the individuals of the society.
The difference or disagreement amongst the ‘Ulamaa in respect to the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah being Mu’allalah (reasoned) by Al-Maslahah (the interest/benefit)
The ‘Ulamaa differed in respect to the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah being Mu’allalah (reasoned) by the Maslahah into a number of groupings:
1 – The first group:
This group denied the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah being reasoned by Al- Maslahah i.e. that the Maslahah is the motive or reason for the Hukm Ash-Shar’iy. In accordance to their opinion they say that it is possible for the Shaari’ (Legislator) to legislate a Hukm Shar’iy that does not have a Maslahah (interest or benefit) within it. Those holding this view are the Asha’irah (the followers of Abu-l-Hasan Al-Ash’ariy) and the Zhaahiriyah (the followers of Daawood Azh-Zhaahiriy).
Despite that, they did however establish that an examination (of the texts and rulings) affirms that the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’i are all restricted to falling under a Maslahah from amongst the five matters: the preservation of the Deen, life, mind, progeny and property.
2 – The second group:
This group includes some of the Shaafi’iyeen and some of the Hanafiyah and they affirmed that the Maslahah is valid to be an ‘Illah (reason) for the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah on the basis that it represents the ‘Amaarah’ (sign) of the Hukm but not the motive for the Hukm i.e. that it is closer to the Sabab than the ‘Illah.
3 – The third group:
This group includes the Mu’tazilah, the Maatureediyah and some of the Hanaabilah and Maalikiyah. They viewed that that Ahkaam Ash- Shar’i are reasoned by Masaalih without restriction (to the will of Allah Ta’Aalaa) on the condition that the reasoning does not demolish the text (i.e. go against it).
My opinion in respect to the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah being Mu’allalah (reasoned) by Al-Maslahah
1 – The deduction of some of the ‘Ulamaa in respect to the bringing of interests (Jalb Al-Masaalih) and the repelling of harms or corrupted matters (Dar’u l-Mafaasid) being representative of an ‘Illah (Shar’i reasoning) for the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah is an invalid deduction.
The proof and evidence for that is that the Aayaat that they used for evidence in their deduction do not indicate ‘Illiyah (reasoning) whether in the form that they have come (Seeghah) or in respect to the reality.
They used as evidence the Qawl of Allah Ta’Aalaa:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds” {Al-Anbiyaa’: 107}
The Aayah indicates that the sending of the Messenger (saw) represents a Rahmah (mercy) for mankind which means that the objective and purpose of the Islamic Sharee’ah in its overall description is to bring the Masaalih and repel the Mafaasid whilst the Aayah does not mean that the bringing of the Masaalih and repelling of the Mafaasid is representative of the ‘Illah of the Islamic Sharee’ah in its overall description or that it is the ‘Illah for every single Hukm Shar’iy in itself.
That is because the Aayah guides to the result that comes as a consequence of the Sharee’ah which is the bringing of benefit and the repelling of the Mafaasid whilst it does not indicate that they represent the ‘Illah of the Shar’iyah. There is a difference between the result and the ‘Illah as the result relates to the consequence of the Hukm after its implementation whilst the ‘Illah is the reason or motive (Baa’ith) for the ruling itself i.e. the reason for which the Hukm was legislated. There is therefore a clear difference between the two.
They also used as evidence the Hadeeth of the Messenger (saw):
There is not Harming and reciprocation of harm in Islaam
The most that this Hadeeth can indicate is the negation of the Mafaasid (corrupt and harmful matters) from the Islamic Sharee’ah as a whole whilst it does not mean or indicate Al-‘Illiyah (reasoning), whether it is in respect to the Sharee’ah (as a whole) or to any specific Hukm Shar’iy.
Additionally, this Hadeeth was related to repel the harm from the people whilst the wording ‘In Islaam’ was not mentioned in it. Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
There is no harming and no reciprocating of harm, and it is for a man to place a wooden peg in the wall of his neighbour and if you dispute on the path then make it seven arm spans (in width) (Ahmad)
The Hadeeth was therefore not within the subject area of the Maqaasid of the Sharee’ah but was rather related to preventing or repelling the harm (Darar). Consequently, there is no Dalaalah (implied indication) within it in relation to the subject of bringing the Masaalih and repelling the Mafaasid or to indicate that it represents an ‘Illah for the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah.
Even if the texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah have guided to the result that occurs from the implementation of application of the Islamic Sharee’ah manifested in the bringing of the Masaalih and repelling of the Mafaasid, they do not however indicate that they represent an ‘Illah (reasoning) for the legislation of the Sharee’ah or an ‘Illah for every Hukm Shar’iy in itself. As a result, the deduction based upon these evidences is not valid and falls down in respect to this subject area.
2 – The Ghaayah (aim) or Nateejah (result) of the Islamic Sharee’ah to bring the Masaalih and to repel the Mafaasid is only realised from the Sharee’ah in its description as a whole. As for every Hukm in itself then this could be realised just as it may not be realised. So for example, in the lands of Islaam today and under the shade (or rule) of the man-made systems that have been established within them, it is seen that Ribaa, which is Haraam, has become a part of the economic life of the people and so any trader or factory owner who does not deal with Ribaa is afflicted by an economic harm. That is whilst it could be perceived that he would carry a burden of significant losses as the result of his adherence to his Deen, in which case he would be like the one who is holding onto burning embers of coals. So in this case where does the worldly benefit of Maslahah lie?! And where is the Maslahah in relation to the implementation of the Hukm that has been guided to in the Hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah (saw):
The master of martyrs is Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib and a man who stood before the unjust Imaam, then commanded him and forbade him, and so he (the ruler) killed him (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Haakim who said the Isnaad is Saheeh).
Therefore, the acquisition of the Masaalih or the repelling of the Mafaasid do not represent the Ghaayah (aim) or result of the application of every Hukm Shar’iy in itself but rather they represent the aim or result of the Islamic Sharee’ah as a whole.
3 – As for what occurs in terms of interests or benefits (Masaalih) as a result of the application of specific Ahkaam from the Islamic Sharee’ah, then this is not considered to be representative of a Daleel to support that the Ahkaam are Mu’allalah (reasoned) by the Maslahah. Consequently, the occurrence of a benefit or interest from marriage or trade or hiring, for example, could occur just as it may not occur. Someone could get married whilst he does not benefit or he could hire and lose out just as he could trade making a loss. Adherence and commitment to these Ahkaam emanates from the Shar’iyah Adillah (evidences) that have guided to them whilst they have not emanated from the premise that they bring a Maslahah or repel of a Mafsadah.
As such, implicating or involving the acquisition of Masaalih or the repelling of Mafaasid in respect to the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah as an ‘Illah for them or as a result has no place or justification for it, as it does not just represent an implication but rather represents a gross error that distances the people and particularly the Muslims from a precise or accurate adherence to the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah. It attracts leniency in respect to this adherence just as it brings about errors in respect to the legislation and deduction of the rulings as a result of connecting or tying the Hukm itself within the (scope of the) Maslahah that has been perceived to be present in relation to the Hukm.
4 – As for the Shar’iyah ‘Ilal (reasons) then from an examination of the Shar’iyah texts it is found that there are Ahkaam (rulings) that are Mu’allalah (i.e. containing an ‘Illah) just as there are rulings which do not contain an ‘Illah (legal reasoning) for them.
The Ahkaam of the ‘Ibaadaat do not have a Shar’iyah ‘Illah for them. Consequently, the Wudoo’ and performing Ghusl from the Janaabah (state of impurity) was not legislated for the purpose of cleanliness because the address of the legislator does not indicate that ‘Illah. Similarly, the Salaah was not legislated to exercise the body and fasting was not legislated to improve the health of the fasting person, indeed someone could become ill from fasting… and so on.
Other Ahkaam did come with an ‘Illah attached to them within the Mu’aamalaat (transactions) and ‘Uqoobaat (punishments). So the Shaari’ (Legislator) prohibited trade at the time of Salaat ul-Jumu’ah with the ‘Illah (reasoning) of distraction (Al-Ilhaa’) from the Salaah and the Shaari’ has permitted visiting graves after having forbidden that with the ‘Illah that the action reminds the person about the hereafter. The Shaari’ also forbade the Qaadi (judge) from judging whilst he is angry because his anger muddles his mind and influences his judgment. These ‘Ilal (reasons) could be stated in the text by the Shaari’ either Saraahatan (explicitly) or Istinbaatan (by way of deduction). That is because they are ‘Ilal Shar’iyah and not ‘Aqliyah and each ‘Illah from amongst the ‘Ilal is specific to a specific Hukm and does not extend beyond that to another Hukm.
Therefore, the statement or opinion that Jalb Al-Masaalih (gaining the benefits) and Dar’u l-Mafaasid (repelling negative consequences) represents an ‘Illah for every Hukm Shar’iy is an opinion that has no basis for it, as the Hukm containing an ‘Illah must have a Shar’iy text indicating that ‘Illah.
The confusion and error related to the extraction and deduction of the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah led to a weakness in respect to the understanding of Islaam which led to the weakness of the Muslims and then to the weakness of their State and to its downfall in the time of the ‘Uthmanis. Precision and investigation is therefore necessary when taking or extracting the Hukm Ash-Shar’iy from its Daleel (evidence) and through utilising the correct method of Ijtihaad that the Sahaabah (rah) of the Messenger of Allah (saw) proceeded upon and the method proceeded upon

Source: Al-Waadih Fee Usool ul- Fiqh (Clear Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)
Muhammad Hussein Abdullah

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