In this latest issue of IAIS’s flagship journal, Islam and Civilisational Renewal, I have the honour of presenting an innovative and exciting body of work by a truly global collection of scholars. Each author tackles their subject with consummate skill, providing us with a series of fruitful discussions, each with actionable policy recommendations. In this issue, we carry six substantive articles and five viewpoints, in addition to a number of significant event reports and a book review.
I have contributed our first substantive article, a focus piece entitled ‘The Shari’ah Purpose of Wealth Preservation in Contracts and Transactions.’ I begin by discussing preservation of wealth (hifz al-mal) as an essential objective of the Shari’ah, before proceeding to consider the objectives (maqasid) of contracts, a rather underdeveloped aspect of fiqh. I then deliberate on the role these two aspects of Islamic law play in the Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) sector, concluding that they are sadly neglected. As a consequence, Muslims tend to be somewhat circumspect of modernday Islamic financial instruments, perceiving them to be little more than imitations of their conventional alternatives. I therefore recommend that IBF providers pay greater attention to the Shariah-designated spirit and purpose of contracts, including the concept of sadd al-dhara’i (obstructing the means to procuring unlawful ends).