MAQASED (HIGHER PURPOSES)

 

It is free from any doubt that there is nothing nonsense, unreasonable (lağv), pointless (sehv) and useless (lehv) in the creation of Allah and the religion he sent. However, our misunderstandings and wrong interpretations can route us to a fool's errand. What will save us from routing to this way is to understand the maqasid correctly. It was also stated above that we mean with makâsıd is not only Maqasidu'ş-şeria, but all goals and purposes of religion such as Maqasidu't-tekvin (the purposes of being), Maqasidu’l-umran (the purposes of civil life), Maqasidu’t-tenzil (the purposes of revelation), Maqasidu’l-Qur’ân (the original purposes of the Qur’an), Maqasidu’s-Sunnah (the purposes of Sunnah), Maqasidu’t-teklif (the purposes of obligation).

Today, it is essential to develop and improve an understanding of maqasid in order both to evaluate the existing judgments in the fiqh literature in terms of applicability and to find solutions to new issues. Both the triple classification of the maqasid (absolute necessities-zarûriyyât, expedient necessities-hâciyyât and accomplished interests-tahsîniyyât) and the collection of zarûriyyaat in five categories (protection of religion, protection of life, protection of wisdom and protection of property) stems from ijtihad and it is possible and necessary to develop this field. As a matter of fact, in addition to these five principles, it is claimed necessary to add issues such as protecting human dignity and fundamental freedoms, achieving justice, fighting poverty and ensuring social solidarity, ensuring a fair income distribution and spreading wealth to large masses, ensuring world peace, and ensuring security and trust. It is possible to carry out these studies within the framework of the methodological science or to establish a special discipline under the name of maqasid science. However, by developing the method in the maqasid section in terms of its deep-rooted history in the Islamic tradition, it can be considered to have a richness that will include both the Islamic law and moral philosophy.

One issue that needs to be addressed regarding maqasid is the issue of changing judgments (ahkâm). This topic has been discussed in fiqh literature in the context of some specific issues. However, if Islamic values are desired to be effective in Muslims’ life today, this issue should be evaluated by scientific committees systematically. And in order not to walk away from the facts of the religion, it should be taken into account of methodology in connection with the maqasid and ijtihad. Particularly, when the judgments fixed in religious texts fail to achieve their goals with the current implementation of their establishment, the question of whether they will still continue this way should also be addressed in this context. It is seen that some authors deal with these issues partially within the methodology.

In this context, three principles draw attention in terms of the dynamism of Islamic fiqh: “With the change of time and place, there can be no denying of the change in judgments”. “If the implementation of a judgment that is legitimized to achieve a particular purpose gives a result contrary to that purpose, the relevant judgment shall become invalid”. “A judgment that aims to achieve a specific purpose becomes invalid by the elimination of that purpose.”

Hanafi scholars have explained many changes of Hadhrat Omar in his time of caliphate according to these principles. If the change in judgments is handled within the context of maqasid and ijtihad based on the methodology, the issue can be discussed on more solid ground away from subjectivity. If this issue is neglected, the fiqh that will respond to current times will not be possible. At that time, it would be inevitable for a Muslim type to emerge in a dual character mentality and in behavioral crisis who both believes that the system should faithfully be kept as it is and lives according to secular values in practice. Essentially, reservations about this issue arise from the concern that religious texts will be inactive under the name of maqasid. Monographic studies on maqasid in the 20th century reveal hesitations of Muslims. Many new studies on this topic do not allow going beyond the framework drawn by classical methodology.  Some of the Salafis, who trapped Islamic thought in their own narrow patterns, even went on to say “mefasid” to maqasid.

However, Ibn Kayyim said centuries ago: “Religion is all about mercy, wisdom, justice, and relation. If any issue turns from justice to oppression, from mercy to trouble, from relation to discord, from wisdom to futility, it is far from religion. Apparently, these should be included in religion with a thousand comments.” The thing here is to re-express the mercy, wisdom, justice, and relation of the religion in a clear language.

Before finishing the topic of maqasid, we would like to point out the following issues regarding the fiqh method:

1) The main framework and tradition of methodology should be maintained, and language-related rules should be preserved. As a matter of fact, it is stated that the rules developed by methodology regarding the text interpretation can be applied to the structure of each language. Here, the real indication should be preferred to the relative indication, that is, real indication based on the higher purposes derived from all religious texts (maqasid), and relative indication based on the wordings of religious texts and the jurisptudential rulings from that wordings. And the indication of lessons should be preferred to the indications of expression.

2) In a sense, the understanding of Islamic law and morality has been philosophized in the topics of the fiqh literature regarding the judgments. In the historical process, it is seen that many scholars have exhibited remarkable approaches regarding these fields. The issue of justice can be explored in detail in the context of the husn and qubh (good and evil) issue or in the context of maqasid. Human dignity and immunity can be handled in this context in relation to the concept of right or the concept of virtue that Hanafi scholars applied while basing human responsibility. Likewise, the concept of human rights can be re-evaluated in this context. As a result, the sections of the methodological systematic on the judgments will constitute a suitable ground for issues that can be addressed under the title of Islamic law and moral philosophy. In this context, the relationship between judgments and morality should be reconsidered and it should not be forgotten that “morality is the wisdom of judgments”.

3) It is evident that the ijtihads of description and comparison have limited opportunities to respond to the current times. In this context, the idea of maqasid should be strengthened and emphasis should be given to the ijtihad of istislah. In the systematics of classical methodology, the concept of maqasid has emerged in the context of the distribution of the “appropriate qualification.” The fivefold categorization developed by Juwayni was recategorized by Ghazali under three headings: Zaruriyât (absolute necessities), haciyyât (expedient necessities) and tahsiniyyât (accomplished interests). And zaruriyât is classified into five elements which are the protection of religion, protection of life, protection of wisdom and protection of property. Shatibi has dealt with this issue in detail. However, he was not developing a new methodology based on maqasid, but he was explaining how the maqasid was observed in the existing judgments. Then, the question of how to develop the idea of maqasid that many scholars such as Tahir ibn Ashur, Allal al-Fasi, Cemaleddin Atiyye, Ahmed er-Reysuni have tried to develop, should be emphasized.

The important thing here is how the understanding of maqasid will manifest itself in the lives and relationships of Muslims. It is especially important that morality is considered as a maqasid principle. The moralization of maqasid (Tahlîk'ul-maqasid) project of the Maghreb thinker Taha Abdurrahman has importance in this respect.