Al-Ghazālī and Al-Shāṭibī are two prominent Islamic scholars who contributed significantly to the doctrine of maqāṣid al-Sharīʻah, which refers to the higher objectives of Islamic law. Although they shared some similarities in their approaches, they also had some differences.
Al-Ghazālī was a theologian and philosopher who lived in the 11th century. He believed that the primary purpose of Islamic law was to serve the welfare of humanity and that its ultimate objective was the attainment of happiness in both this world and the hereafter. Al-Ghazālī emphasized that maqāṣid al-Sharīʻah should be derived from the Quran and the Sunnah and that the laws should be interpreted in a way that promotes justice, mercy, and compassion.
On the other hand, Al-Shāṭibī was a jurist who lived in the 14th century. He believed that the primary purpose of Islamic law was to preserve five essential values, which are religion, life, intellect, property, and lineage. Al-Shāṭibī argued that these values are universal and that Islamic law should protect them. He also emphasized the importance of balancing these values and not giving priority to one over the other.
The doctrine of maqāṣid al-Sharīʻah has two types of purposes: primary and secondary. Primary purposes refer to the essential values that Islamic law seeks to protect, such as religion, life, and property. Secondary purposes refer to the means and methods that Islamic law uses to achieve these primary purposes, such as prayer, fasting, and charity.
Earlier jurists have identified five primary purposes of Islamic law, which are the preservation of religion, life, intellect, property, and lineage. However, some contemporary scholars argue that there may be more primary purposes, such as environmental protection, social justice, and the promotion of human rights.
In conclusion, Al-Ghazālī and Al-Shāṭibī had different approaches to the doctrine of maqāṣid al-Sharīʻah, but both emphasized the importance of protecting essential values and promoting justice and compassion. The primary and secondary purposes of maqāṣid al-Sharīʻah are definite in number according to earlier jurists, but some contemporary scholars argue that they may be increased to include other values.