Posted by: admin | February 8, 2008

MS07 – Summary of Hukm and Maqsad

So far we’ve been introduced to a number of new definitions and terminologies which are foundational in our understanding of the science of Maqasid and the Shari’ah as a whole. They all describe concepts which are closely linked and to illustrate the relationship between them, the following diagrams should prove useful Insha Allah.

Diagram illustrating relationship between Hukm and Maqsad

In the above diagram, the hukm is the rule, i.e. any law in the Shari’ah. The reason for the existance of this hukm can either be clear, apparent and measurable in which case it is called an ‘illah. Or by definition it can be other than this, i.e. unclear, not apparent and not measurable, in which case it is referred to as a wisdom, a hikmah.

This is on the side of the hukm, and the hukm itself serves a maqsad, one of the objectives of the Shari’ah. If the relationship between the hukm and its maqsad is established with certainty, it’s called maqsad qat’ee. On the other hand, if the relationship is supposed rather than certain, it is called maqsad dhanni.

Diagram illustrating the Ruling of Wine in light of the above

The ruling regarding the consumption of wine (khamr)* is one of prohbition (tahreem). This ruling is based on the presence of intoxicating properties (sukr). This we call the ‘illah for the ruling. The maqsad that this ruling serves to achieve is “Protection of Intellect” (Hifdh al-‘Aql).

In the diagram above, we can see under the maqsad, there is a list of several rulings (ahkaam), one of which is the prohibition of wine (tahreem al-khamr). [The others are here for illustration only, we will explain them in detail later]. These are all laws that serve the common purpose of protecting the intellect and can either be commands or prohibitions (recall that the Shari’ah is essentially “do’s” and “don’ts”).

* Note that here we are referring only to the prohibition of wine and not alcohol in general. This is because the Qur’anic text only prohibits wine itself, other intoxicating substances are prohibited using Qiyas (Legal Analogy). This will be expanded on when we look at Usool al-Fiqh, but it suffices us to say that the ‘illah is a key component in the application of qiyas.

Hopefully the meanings and relationships of these should be clear now. From the next post we will begin looking at the maqasid and the subcategories therein, namely the darooriyaat (essentials), the haajiyaat (supporting needs) and the tahseeniyaat (embellishments). As in the above diagram, we will present examples of laws that serve each of the maqasid to make the explanations both easier to understand and relevant.



  1. Salam Alaikum Akhee,

    Jazakallahu Khairan for your efforts. Two requests:

    1. Now that you’d have learnt more about Maqaasid. Would it be possible to edit, delete or add a few points in this series

    2. “Diagram illustrating the Ruling of Wine in light of the above” isn’t clear. Would be helpful if you post a high clarity one, or please give the link to high definition pic 🙂

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