Islamic legal maxims [Al-Qawa’id]


Matters shall be judged by their objectives(Al-Umur bi-maqasidiha)

1- Contractual stipulations are to be understood by their intended meaning, not strictly by their wording or formulation.
2- Intention generalizes the specific, and specifies the general.
3- The intention of the oath-taker determines.

Certainty shall not be removed by doubt(Al-Yaqin la yazulu bi-al-shakk)

1- the presumption that a thing remains as it was originally (unless definitely altered)
2- the presumption of innocence
3- the presumption that what is established with certainty is not altered except with certainty
4- the presumption to regard qualities and things depending on whether they are accidental or essential
5- the presumption to attribute an incident to the nearest occasion
6- that the general presumption in matters for the general populace is permissibility
7- that the general presumption in economic transactions is impermissibility
8- give no weight to evidence in the face of explicit testimony
9- do not attribute speech to the silent
10- give no weight to speculation
11- give no weight to suspicions in offenses
12- a habitual prohibition is like a definite prohibition
13- do not dispute the consequences of a proof

Hardship shall bring alleviation. (Al-Mashaqqah tajlibu al-taysir)

1- If a matter is difficulty, ease it.
2- If a matter is easy, straiten it.
3- Necessity renders the prohibited permissible.
4- What necessity makes permissible is permitted only to the extent of the necessity.
5- What is permitted with due cause is again prohibited without it.
6- A universal need is a necessity.
7- Necessity does not trump the rights of another.
8- If the principle cannot be satisfied, it falls to its equivalent.

Harm shall be removed. (Al-Darar yuzalu)

1- repel harm to the extent possible
2- remove harm.
3- An greater harm is removed with a lesser harm.
4- A particular harm can repel a general harm.
5- Averting what corrupts is more important than generating what benefits.

Cultural/Custom/ usage shall have the weight of law. (Al-‘ Adah muhakkamah)

1- What is in practice ought to be followed
2- Something becomes custom when it is generally adopted and becomes predominant
3- Weight is given what is predominant and common, not what is rare
4- Writing is considered like an oral expression.
5- A conventional gesture is considered like verbal speech.
6- Custom has the force of a contractual stipulation.
7- Something identified by custom has the force of something identified by a text.
8- The established practice of a community is considered like a stipulation between them.

Categories: Islam

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