Imam al-Shatibi: Two Reason Why the Shari’ah is Moderate


Imam al-Shatibi, the great Andalusian Jurist, wrote that it is incumbent upon the Mufti to carry people on a way that is balanced and moderate. His basis for this were the numerous Qur’anic verses and Hadith that emphasize moderation and caution regarding one’s expression of faith.

In his famous al-Muwafaqat he states two important reasons for the ease and removal of hardship found in the Shari’ah that lead one towards a balanced religious expression:

1. To protect people from hating worship and religion because over burdening rituals will only increase people’s dislike and distain for faith.

2. Enable people to observe the rights of self, family and society. If people are so engrossed in rituals and acts of worship that they neglect the things around them, or are forced to neglect them, then the world will fall into chaos, and a stain will appear in their hearts towards worship.

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1 Comment

  1. affad shaikh says:

    Subhan-Allah the numerous mountains of knowledge that illuminate our history is unbelievable. So many of them have been lost over the ages by our own lack of respect for scholarship.

    Is this Imam al-Shatibi the grand scholar from Andalus, maliki jurist and the person who established maslaha as a means of reaching decisions in fiqh issues?

    I am reading an amazing book called “islamic legal philosophy” that chronicle’s his contributions to our Ummah.

    I encourage all who are interested in shariah and living in the west to pick the book up and pursue through it to gain an understanding of how centuries before Muslims even had to live in the West this man was already working on addressing issues that we face today as Muslims. He was a man ahead of his time dealing with modernity and shariah (modernity is being used relatively and historically here. Modernity in the sense that Shatibi worked with trying to reconcile Muslim practices and the reality of Christian laws and customs encroaching on the Muslim state/sharia and modernity in the sense that we live in a world secularized and far removed from divine law and the concept of static jurisprudence)

    Jazaka-Allahkhair for posting.

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