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GT20302

USUL FIQH/ISLAMIC
JURISPRUDENCE

Maslahah Mursalah
(Considerations of
Public Interest)
Copyright Reserved@2008 Mohd Zulkifli Muhammad 1
Contents

1) Introduction
2) Types of Maslahah Mursalah
3) Conditions (Shurut) of Maslahah
Mursalah

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Introduction

• Literally, maslahah means 'benefit' or


`interest'. When it is qualified as maslahah
mursalah, however, it refers to
unrestricted public interest in the sense of
its not having been regulated by the Law
giver insofar as no textual authority can be
found on its validity or otherwise.

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Introduction
• More technically, maslahah mursalah is defined
as a consideration which is proper and
harmonious (wasf munasib mula'im) with the
objectives of the Lawgiver; it secures a benefit or
prevents a harm; and the Shari'ah provides no
indication as to its validity or otherwise.
• Objectives consist of protecting the five
`essential values', namely religion, life, intellect,
lineage and property.

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Types of Maslahah Mursalah

1) The 'essentials' (daruriyyat):


• The `essential' masalih are those on
which the lives of people depend, and
whose neglect leads to total disruption
and chaos.

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Types of Maslahah Mursalah

• They consist of the five essential values


(al-daruriyyat al-khamsah) namely religion,
life, intellect, lineage and property.
• These must not only be promoted but also
protected against any real or unexpected
threat which undermines their safety.

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Types of Maslahah Mursalah

• To uphold the faith would thus require


observance of the prescribed forms of
'ibadat, whereas the safety of life and
intellect is secured by obtaining lawful
means of sustenance as well as the
enforcement of penalties which the
Shari'ah has provided so as to protect
them against destruction and loss.

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Types of Maslahah Mursalah

2) The 'complementary' (hajiyyat):


• The hajiyyat are on the whole
supplementary to the five essential values,
and refer to interests whose neglect leads
to hardship in the life of the community
although not to its collapse.

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Types of Maslahah Mursalah
• Thus in the area of a 'ibadat the concessions
(rukhas) that the Shari`ah has granted to the sick
and to the traveler, permitting them not to
observe the fast, and to shorten the salah, are
aimed at preventing hardship.
• Similarly, the basic permissibility ('ibadah)
regarding the enjoyment of victuals and hunting
is complementary to the main objectives of
protecting life and intellect.

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Types of Maslahah Mursalah

3) The `embellishments' (tahsiniyyat):


• The `embellishments' (tahsiniyyat, also
known as karahiyyah) denote interests
whose realisation lead to improvement
and the attainment of that which is
desirable.

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Types of Maslahah Mursalah

• Thus the observance of cleanliness in


personal appearance and 'ibadat, moral
virtues, avoiding extravagance in
consumption, and moderation in the
enforcement of penalties fall within the
scope of tahsiniyyat.

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Conditions (Shurut) of
Maslahah Mursalah
1) The maslahah must be genuine (haqiqiyyah),
as opposed to a specious maslahah (maslahah
wahmiyyah), which is not a proper ground for
legislation.
• A mere suspicion or specious conjecture
(tawahhum) that a certain legislation will be
beneficial without ascertaining the necessary
balance between its possible benefits and
harms is not sufficient.

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Conditions (Shurut) of
Maslahah Mursalah
2) The maslahah must be general (kulliyyah)
in that it secures benefit, or prevents harm,
to the people as a whole and not to a
particular person or group of persons.
• This means that enacting a hukm on
grounds of istislah must contemplate a
benefit yielded to the largest possible
number of people.

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Conditions (Shurut) of
Maslahah Mursalah
3) The maslahah must not be in conflict with
a principle or value which is upheld by the
nass or ijma`.
• Hence the argument, for example, that
maslahah in modern times would require
the legalization of usury (riba) on account
of the change in the circumstances in
which it is practiced, comes into conflict
with the clear nass of the Qur'an.

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Conditions (Shurut) of
Maslahah Mursalah
• The view that riba in the way it is practiced
in modern banking does not fall under the
Qur'anic prohibition, as Abu Zahrah points
out, violates the nass and therefore
negates the whole concept of maslahah.

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WALLAHU ’ALAM
THANK YOU VERY
MUCH FOR YOUR
ATTENTION
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