FRAMING THE PARAMETERS OF MASLAHAH: A COMPLEMENTARY AND COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS ON AL-GHAZALI’S WORK IN ALMUSTASFA
Maslahah is a source of law for the theoreticians and jurists to adduce hukm (legal ruling).
Even though it is put under secondary source of law, but it becomes an underlying foundation
for the primary sources of law because it is the general purpose of the divine revelation. The
jurists have put maslahah as the main paramount consideration in their ijtihad (juristic finding).
However, some of them are criticized for being unduly over-reliant in applying maslahah while
some others are faulted for the lack of reliance on maslahah which may lead to rigidity.
Therefore, it is pertinent for the jurists to observe rules in applying maslahah to avoid criticism.
The rules may be considered as parameter that can be a guidance to apply maslahah or to justify
maslahah based-finding. This parameter also can avoid the misuse in the application of
maslahah. One of the earliest works in framing the parameter of maslahah is al-Ghazali’s work
namely al-Mustasfa. Al-Ghazali has discussed in detail about the characteristics and conditions
for maslahah. However, there is also gap in al-Ghazali’s discussion which can be filled by
others. Therefore, this present research will try to look at other jurist’s works, classical and
contemporary, to compare and complement what was found by al-Ghazali in providing a
comprehensive and reliable parameter for the application of maslahah and subsequently it can
be a guidance to avoid misuse of maslahah in addressing the social change and accommodating
the societal needs.