- Jasser Auda
- The International Institute of Islamic Thought
Maqasid al-Shariah : A Beginner’s Guide
Children often come up with deep philosophical questions, and one cannot tell whether they mean these questions or not! However, the beauty of a child’s question is that it is often not bound by pre-set ‘facts’ or ‘this is the way things are’ logic. I often start courses on a with the story of a little girl who asked her father: ‘Dad, why do you stop the car at the traffic light?’ Her father replied, with an educative tone: ‘Because the light is red, and red means stop.’ The girl asked: ‘But why?’ The Dad replied also with a tone of education: ‘So the policeman does not give us a ticket.’ The girl went on: ‘But why would the policeman give us a ticket?’ The Dad answered: ‘Well. Because crossing a red light is dangerous.’ The girl continued: ‘Why?’ Now the Dad thought of saying: ‘This is the way things are,’ but then decided to be a bit philosophical with his little beloved daughter. Thus, he answered: ‘Because we cannot hurt people. Would you like to be hurt yourself?’ The girl said: ‘No!’ The dad said: ‘And people also do not want to be hurt. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Love for people what you love for yourself.”’ But instead of stopping there, the girl asked: ‘Why do you love for people what you love for yourself?’ After a bit of thinking, the father said: ‘Because all people are equal, and if you would like to ask why, I would say that God is The Just, and out of His Justice, He made us all equal, with equal rights, and that is the way He made the world!’
Current applications (or rather, misapplications) of Islamic law are reductionist rather than holistic, literal rather than moral, one-dimensional rather than multidimensional, binary rather than multi-valued, deconstructionist rather than reconstructionist, and causal rather than teleological.