Maqāṣid and the Renewal of Islamic Legal Theory in ʿAbdullah Bin Bayyah’s Discourse
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ʾuṣūl al-fiqh, maqāṣid, ʿAbdallah Bin Bayyah, system of ratiocination, logic, neo-traditionalism, renewal
This article investigates the central role assigned to maqāṣid by ‘Abdullah Bin Bayyah (b. 1935) in his project of renewal of uṣūl al-fiqh. He presents maqāṣid as crucial for the functioning and widening of the system of ratiocination (manẓūmat al-taʿlīl) and inference (istidlāl). In his theory of renewal, Bin Bayyah expands the role of maqāṣid in uṣūl al-fiqh beyond the system of ratiocination to all the chapters of uṣūl al-fiqh. In this context, he provides more than thirty ways in which maqāṣid are blended into the texture of Islamic legal theory and are necessary for its sound functioning. In this way, he tries to demonstrate that maqāṣid are uṣūl al-fiqh itself and its heart. This article explores the discursive strategies adopted by Bin Bayyah to establish the relevance of maqāṣid for the renewal of uṣūl al-fiqh and offers a succinct critical appraisal of Bin Bayyah’s reasoning on the topic. It argues that Bin Bayyah is successful in demonstrating the indispensability of maqāṣid for any project of renewal of uṣūl al-fiqh, but falls short in proving that maqāṣid are uṣūl al-fiqh itself and its heart.