The objectives of Shariah (Maqasid Shariah) are the guiding principle in determining any Islamic laws widely used in areas revolving around Muslims’ way of life. The primary purpose of Shariah is to achieve maslahah and to uphold the interest of the public at large in this world and the Hereafter. It deals with prioritization in Islam, safeguarding the purity of religion, mental, life, property and offspring of humankind. In facing or solving current issues either directly or indirectly touching the aspects of social, economic, political and financial spheres, the application of Maqasid Shariah is an essential element that needs to be incorporated by most Muslims in their lives.
Classify the Maqasid Shariah and examine the ways of realizing the noble objectives of Shariah in all aspects of wealth planning, i.e., wealth generation, wealth purification, wealth protection, wealth preservation and wealth distribution. It also looks at the implementation of these scopes in the current practice in Malaysia. Understanding this principle’s application is not to determine what is “halal” and what is “haram” but to ultimately achieve al-Falah – to be successful in this life and the Hereafter.
The concept of compassion and guidance is part of Shariah’s objectives which are declared in the Quran, “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (Surah Al-‘Anbiya’:107) and “O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (Surah Yunus: 57).
It seeks to establish justice, eliminate prejudice and alleviate hardship. Furthermore, it promotes cooperation and mutual support within the family and society at large. This ensures the preservation of public interest as the objective of the Shariah, which Islamic scholars considered that all the intents and purposes synonymous with compassion. Shariah identifies three areas that constitute the component: promoting maslahah to people, educating individuals, and establishing justice.
The objectives and the rationale of the Shariah are promoting maslahah (benefits) to the people concerning their affairs both in this world and the Hereafter. It also aims at preventing people against mafsadah, e.g., corruption and evil, as illustrated from the following verse: “Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (Surah Al-Ankabut: 45).
One of the most important aspects/processes in developing a holistic financial plan is the Financial Needs Analysis process. In classifying and prioritizing the needs of Muslim in their financial plan, the concept of Maqasid Shariah should always be upheld. The conditions should not transgress the dictates of Islam. The satisfaction of these needs should adhere to the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah, thus gaining God’s blessing and Barakah as mentioned in the Quran.
Some technical knowledge has to be introduced to appreciate the subject truly, and it is the aim of this series of articles to satisfy the curiosity of Islamic financial planning. All Islamic worldviews are derived from the Quran and the Sunnah. Therefore, it is essential to learn from these two primary sources when learning about anything Islamic, simply because they are divine. Those who excel in their learning become the Shariah scholars. For the many, we would just become more literate.
Allah SWT said in Quran, “He (Yusuf) said: You shall sow for seven years continuously, then, what you reap leave it in its ear except a little of which you eat. Then, there shall come after those seven years of hardship which shall eat away all that you have beforehand laid up in store for them, except a little of what you shall have preserved. Then there will come after that a year in which people shall have rain and in which they shall press (grapes)” (Surah Yusuf: 47-49).
The above verses – also known as the “Planning Verses” – underscore the need to plan for an individual or society when faced with the certainty of a vital event.
All Muslims regards that life on earth as temporary and that life in the Hereafter is the everlasting one. Therefore, a good Muslim is required to have a proper balance between the fulfilment of his spiritual and worldly needs. Nevertheless, whilst we are here on earth, the need to provide one’s financial requirements is a responsibility of all Muslims, especially so for Muslim men/husbands and fathers. Therefore, in deciding which important needs to be fulfilled, the level of necessities provided by the Maqasid Shariah has to be observed at all times.
The objectives of Shariah can be divided into three levels of necessities; essentials (Dharuriyyat), complementary (Hajiyyat) and embellishments (Tahsiniyyat). The scope of Islamic financial planning included cash flow and liability management; risk management and takaful; zakat and tax planning; retirement planning; and Islamic estate and waqf planning; and investment portfolio management, which involved risk management and investment planning. It corresponded to a person’s life-cycle, from the person began earning an income until the day the person dies. It involved wealth generation, wealth protection, wealth accumulation, wealth preservation, wealth purification and wealth distribution.
Apart from that, Shariah also aims to entail the commitment of individuals to achieve Hayatan Toyyibah and Al Falah by promoting brotherhood, justice and social welfare. The concept focuses on fulfilling three levels of necessities, i.e., essentials, complementary and embellishment. They are vital to ensure standard order in society as well as the survival of individuals. Therefore, in developing a holistic financial plan for a Muslim, the needs must be analysed carefully to determine suitability according to Shariah’s objectives. Consideration must be given to preserving the five essential values: religion, life, lineage, aql and property. Once the needs are met, the benefit to be received is during the lifetime and for the Hereafter.
Written by Dr Shahizan Md Noh., Ph.D. The author is an Assoc. Director in a talent development institution for Islamic Finance in Malaysia.
- Ahmad, M., Sulaiman, R. & Md. Noh, S. (2016). Islamic Financial Planning a Brief Introduction. Financial Planning Association Malaysia & IBFIM.
- Lahsasna, A., & Sulaiman, R. (2010). Realizing Maqasid al-Shari’ah in Islamic Financial Planning. Paper presented at the A Paper presented at the 4th Islamic Banking, Accounting and Finance Seminar.