Your Questions

Are there general principles or maxims that are used to determine Shari’ah?

Even though shari’ah is an expansive and fluid concept, there are certain maxims and aims of shari’ah that remain constant and help inform those trying to determine the law. Beyond specific rulings, maxims play a central role in decision making. Moreover any decision must relate to the protection and enhancement of one of the six central aims of shari’ah: life, intellect, religion, family, wealth, and dignity. Scholars have determined that without these elements, the individual and the entire community (including non-Muslims) cannot truly thrive; therefore every fiqh decision must work towards their promotion.

There are 5 established and widely agreed upon maxims to help determine the Shari’ah as well: Matters will be judged by their intentions; Certainty will not be overturned by doubt; Harm must be removed; Hardship must be alleviated; Custom has the weight of law.

Related posts