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al-Gama'ah al-Islamiyah

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196771

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196771.001.0001

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The Commonweal and Communal Harm

The Commonweal and Communal Harm

Chapter:
(p.56) Chapter One: The Commonweal and Communal Harm
Source:
Initiative to Stop the Violence
Author(s):

Sherman A. Jackson

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300196771.003.0003

This chapter spells out the Gamā‘ah’s understanding of the relationship between Islamic law and the commonweal. They insist that the law—including the provision of jihad—is for the purpose of promoting the welfare of society and that any application of any rule that does not serve this purpose is invalid. Key to this calculus is weighing the actual situation on the ground and anticipating the likely consequences of a particular application of the law. The Gamā‘ah authenticates this position by citing an endless list of classical authorities, pre-modern historical examples and the model of the Prophet himself. Their contention is that such an assessment of reality is critical to being able to apply the law in a manner that upholds the public good. For that reason, this factual assessment is as important as interpreting that actual sources of the law, e.g., Qur’ān and Sunna.

Keywords:   Gamā‘ah Islāmīyah, commonweal, sharī‘ah, factual assessment, application of the law, scriptural interpretation

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