What are the Objectives of Shariah

Islam does not base its arguments and doctrines on blind faiths. In contrast, it appeals to human wisdom and rationality. It invites man to watch the nature and working of this universe carefully and to study the reality of life and history of civilization objectively. The basic aim of Islam is to propagate good values of life and to restrict the evils. Islam stands for the attainment and maintenance of justice and kindness (Al-Adle Wa Al-Ehsan) in the society. Justice means keeping a balance and equilibrium in all affairs and interaction regarding rights and responsibilities, whereas kindness implies favour, courtesy, cooperation, mutual regard and well wishing for others in general and sympathetic attitude with moral and material support toward the weak and destitute in particular. If justice sweeps off the conflicts and bitterness, the act of kindness brings about the pleasantness of harmony and decorum in the society. Likewise, it stands for the prevention and eradicate of cruelty and oppression (Az-Zulm wa Al-Udwan) from the society. In particular Islam forbids obscenity and indecency (Fuhash), evils and act of sin (Munkar), wickedness, transgression and crossing of bounds (Baghye). Islam emphasizes human freedom to be maintained at any cost. There should be harmony between the moral and material growth rather than a trade-off. The process of growth and development should proceed in an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and coordination, albeit with fruitful competition among various parties, but to avoid class conflict and transgression over the right of others.

The prominent scholars and jurists, Imam Al-Ghazali and Al-shatibi, describe the objective of Shariah to be the general welfare of masses, which lies embedded in the preservation of the five foundations of human life. These are the Given:

1. Faith or Religion (Iman)

2. Soul or Life (Nafs)

3. Intellect or Mind (Aql)

4. Offspring or Posterity (nasl)

5. Wealth or Property (Mal)

Thus all the economics, political and legal measures that ensure the protection of these items are desirable and legitimate from Shariah point of view. An Islamic System is not supposed to confine itself to moral persuasion and voluntarism. In contrast, it has to adopt all the positive and prohibitive measures to promote these virtues and to safeguard them from deterioration. For instance, an Islamic society is obliged to:

  • Establish the five pillars of Islam and to eradicate any act or practice that is inimical to the fundamental beliefs;
  • Provide equal chances to the individual to work and earn their livelihood and to protect lives against killing, sickness and malnutrition;
  • Devise a system of education to enhance the standard of knowhow and to abandon narcotics that destroy the intellect and control the media;
  • Help in promoting the institution of marriage (Nikah) and to eradicate prostitution and obscenity to safeguard the future generation;
  • Facilitate and encourage legitimate business and investment leading to the growth of wealth and to prohibit its destruction and wastage etc.

The resources and utilities required for the achievement of this goal ( welfare or masses ), may be divided into into three categories; the necessities, the convenience and the refinements. An Islamic system pursues the individual to struggle for the attainment of these utilities within the boundaries set by Sharaih. AT the same time, it also obliges the society in general and state in particular to ensure equal opportunities for all and to provide full moral support and legal protection to the individuals in this regard.

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