Maqasid Al Shari’ah and Contemporary Reformist Muslim Thought, Contemporary Muslim Reformist Thought and Maqāṣid cum Maṣlaḥa Approaches to Islamic Law: An Introduction

Author: Dr. Adis Duderija

Summary / Excerpt: “The basic rationale behind bringing out this volume is that although many noteworthy works have been written on issues pertaining to Muslim reformist thought and the concept of maqāṣid al-sharīa,there still remains a need for a study that examines the role and the usefulness of maqāṣid al-sharīa as a philosophic-legal cum hermeneutical tool for the purposes of, what I broadly term here, “the contemporary Muslim reformist project” (as is briefly defined later). This book aims to accomplish this by, at times, critically examining how this concept is used in contemporary Muslim reformist thought in relation to a number of specific philosophical, legal, ethical, social, and political issues.Contemporary Muslim reformist thought is a complex and diverse phenomenon consisting of a number of discourses and actors with different reform agendas and priorities. Perhaps its lowest common denominator is the idea that various aspects of the inherited pre-modern Islamic tradition,especially aspects of Islamic law, with respect to its underlying worldview assumptions, episteme, and various methodologies underpinning this body of knowledge, are not adequately equipped or need serious reform/rethinking in meeting the many challenges Muslims are facing today, in the context of forming a majority versus Muslim minority society. These reformists differ in the manner in which they conceptualize and employ the concept of maqāṣid al-sharīʿa, and they assign to it different hermeneutical positions. in their overall approach to Islamic legal theory. This book specifically contributes to expanding our understanding of the role and usefulness ofthe maqāṣidi-based approach in contemporary Muslim reformist thinking,both Sunni and Shiʿi, by examining the arguments espoused by some of the main contemporary theoreticians behind this approach.”