International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Maslahah-Mafsadah Approach in Assessing the Shari’ah Compliance of Islamic
Banking Products

Amir Shaharuddin (Phd)

The recent financial crisis has intensified the discussion regarding the authenticity of Islamic banking modes of operation. Scholars have been increasingly demanded Islamic banks to re-instill the philosophy of Islamic economics in their products and services. Semantic modification is no longer seen an appropriate orientation. Instead, the 'Islamic' alterations are required to include genuine economic substance. The present paper advocates the role of shari'ah advisors in achieving the objective. Their role in making a new product legal and saleable in the market is significance. However, analysis of a few resolutions issued by the current shari'ah advisors of Malaysian Islamic banks indicates their incoherent legal methodology. In determining the shari'ah compliance of proposed banking products, the scholars can be very rigid, concentrating solely on the legal technicality and at the same time be very flexible, adapting an unregulated doctrine of maslahah. Both approaches are taken to satisfy the requirements of the Islamic banking sector. As more conscious Muslims begin to questioning the validity of these resolutions, the present paper supports Siddiqi's idea concerning the adaptation of maslahah-mafsadah calculus in order to reach more precise ijtihad in this matter.

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