For the second successive year, Dr. Usama Hasan spoke at the 3-day Ramadan Retreat of the New Muslims Project (http://newmuslimsproject.net/ ). His topic this year was “Maqasid or Universal Objectives – The Spirit of the Sharia.” Usama outlined how the classical theory of Maqasid, with its roots in the Prophetic example, was articulated over the centuries by leading theologians and jurists such as Juwayni, Ghazzali, Ibn Abdissalam, Qarafi, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim and Shatibi. The presentation focused on how Maqasid results in a set of rational principles derived from a holistic reading of the Islamic tradition and provides a solid methodology for expressing the spirit of Islam, i.e. justice at minimum and mercy at maximum, in considerations of Sharia, law and jurisprudence.

Usama commented, “It is heartening to note that there is a contemporary resurgence of interest in the theory of Maqasid that had been neglected for the last 600 years since Shatibi of Andalusia. Maqasid theory provides the flexibility for Islamic jurisprudence to adapt to varying times and contexts, such as the rapidly-changing modern world.”