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The Conception of the Idea of ma?la?a in Islamic legal Theory and its Evolution into the Central Theme of Maqasidal-shari`ah: An Historical analysis

Author Affiliations

  • 1International Islamic University Malaysia P.O. Box 10, 50728, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 5, Issue (2), Pages 33-40, February,14 (2016)

Abstract

The central theme of Maqasidal-shari`ah constitutes the concept of ma?la?a or public interest. This paper attempts to investigate the origin and development of the idea of ma?la?afrom an unnoticed legal tool of Maliki School into the fundamental principle of Higher Intents of Islamic Law (Maqasidal-shari`ah). The study examines the early conception of the idea of ma?la?aover the periods which starts from the age of Prophet’s companions until the time of Imam al-Shatibi. The study investigates the historical development of the theme ma?la?a from its conceptual evolution, interpretations and reflections of different scholars of various schools of jurisprudence. This study analyses the formative use of this term in Maliki Madhab in the name of masalih al-mursala as a legal tool for deriving rules besides the primary sources of rulings namely Quran and Sunnah. The study makes a brief survey of the development of ma?la?a from a restricted and limited legal source of law making to the broad sense of maqasid which constitutes a wide meaning of comprehensive benefits for human both for this world and the hereafter. The study gives more emphasize on the theorization and development of the term in the broader sense by Imam al-Shatibi, who expanded the idea from an unnoticed tool of lawmaking into the fundamental principle of law making in Usul al-fiqheither with the textual evidences or without.

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