Islamic law reform and maqasid al-shari'a in the thought of Mohammad Hashim Kamali
Mohammad Hashim Kamali is one of the leading contemporary scholars writing on the concept of maqāṣid al-sharīʿa as well as Muslim reformist thought. The purpose of this chapter is to closely examine his numerous writings on maqāṣid al-sharīʿa with particular focus on how he employs this concept for the purpose of reforming Islamic law. In the first section of this chapter, I describe the nature of Islamic reform in Kamali’s thought as encapsulated in the two terms he frequently employs: tajdīd haḍari (civilizational renewal) and siyāsa al-sharīʿa (maqāṣid al-sharīʿa-compliant method of governance). In the second section, I discuss how Kamali’s understanding of the nature and the delineating features of the Qurʿān, the Sunna, and the relationship between revelation and reason creates space for the reform of Islamic law. In the third section of this chapter, I focus on some specific methodological considerations Kamali discusses in rethinking existing premodern uṣūl al-fiqh mechanisms for reform purposes by linking them to the concept of maqāṣid. These include maṣlaḥa, istiḥsān, ijtihād, ijmāʿ, qawāʿid (legal maxims), ḥikma, ʿilla, and asbāb al-nuzūl. In the fourth section, I discuss the main arguments outlined by Kamali for the need for and the importance of maqāṣid-oriented Islamic law reform. I also describe his original contributions to the topic of the nature and the salient features of maqāṣid and their identification. Finally, I outline his proposal on the new methodology of maqāṣid and his views on the future tasks and challenges for maqāṣid-oriented uṣūl.
Maqasid al-Shari'a and Contemporary Reformist Muslim Thought: An Examination