The Role of Legal Maxims in Attaining Good Islamic Governance
Islamic states around the world have been challenged in a number of ways - for their perceived lack of healthy governance, with political injustice, and for the undemocratic system of government they are said to favour. Although some of these allegations may have some truth in them, they stem from the fact that many Islamic values have been neglected when considering the governance of a country's or state's subjects. Islamic legal maxims is one of the sciences that deals with the internal and external objectives of Islamic Law. They are extrapolated from an extensive study of the textual evidence available in Islamic Law. This article attempts to explore some of the relevant maxims that are relevant to a discourse on Islamic politics and how these maxims can be used to establish good governance in countries that claim to be Islamic states. Some of the questions that emerge from the debate/discussion in this article are: What should the intention of the members of the government be in ruling their subjects? What is the prime focus of the government? One of the more interesting maxims affirms that “al-tasarruf ‘alaa al-ra’iyyah manut bi al-maslah” - the sovereignty of a ruler over his subject is conditioned with benefits. What are these benefits, and how do they affect the public?
Keywords: Politics, Law and Justice
PhD Student, Islamic Law Department, The Muslim College London