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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of this book titled Maṣlaḥa and the Purpose of the Law contains the table of contents, a list of tables and diagrams and the acknowledgement. Law is a changing thing, rulings and judicial interpretations shift in time. Legal reinterpretations should come as no surprise, given that even the laws of nature-thought to be unchanging-every so often get revised or newly discovered by physicists, as Einstein and others have shown us. Islamic law is no exception. Maṣlaḥa which literally means a source or cause of well-being and good, is sometimes translated as 'public interest' or 'social good'. The principle of Maṣlaḥa as the purpose of the Sharīʿa did not emerge overnight. It has a history, a pedigree, and an evolution that is the object of the book.

Keywords: Islamic law; Maṣlaḥa; Sharīʿa

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