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Maqasid Al-Shariah and Sustainable Development

Discover how religion, particularly Islamic teachings, and scientific knowledge can work together towards sustainable solutions.

Use a blend of religion and science to explore sustainability

Sustainable Development is one of the most comprehensive worldwide concepts today in the quest to safeguard the environment. This principle of sustainability has been discovered to be intrinsically linked to the concept of Shariah, which emphasises the importance of continuity not just in this world, but also in the afterlife.

On this three-week course, you’ll explore this link and evaluate the relationship between Islam and global issues including land, water, wildlife, and forest conservation.

Delve into environmental management and challenges

As you uncover different scientific and theological standpoints, you’ll examine environmental challenges to determine the broad-ranging causes and effects.

You’ll also be exposed to fundamental concepts that will be used to examine environmental challenges, such as, the benefit-risk concept (maslahah-mafsadah), the priority (awlawiyyat) and moderation (wasatiyyah) principle in environmental management.

Explore how Maqasid Al-Shariah can protect environmental sustainability

Both concepts, sustainability and Shariah, set their own goals and objectives, known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Maqasid Al-Shariah (MS).

You’ll explore how both of these targets are critical as key indicators of human survival and environmental sustainability.

Learn from the expert at Universiti Malaya

Throughout the course, you’ll learn from Dr. Istajib, the only lecturer who has an interdisciplinary academic and research background in shariah, law, and the environment.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to implement sustainability in your workplace and everyday life.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Many of the current environmental issues are being exacerbated by climate change. It represents a significant long-term threat that requires a comprehensive approach to prevent its root causes and deal with its consequences. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are currently the most comprehensive global approach. There are 17 goals established to ensure ecological, economic, and societal sustainability through scientific indicators to meet human needs without jeopardising future generations’ well-being. Meanwhile Maqasid Syariah (MS) is a holistic traditional approach based on religious indicators that is gaining traction in efforts to protect human life, intellect, property, progeny, and the environment in order to achieve long-term goals, including well-being not only in this world, but also in the hereafter.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds Both of these approaches have their own advantages in preserving the environment. What would happen if these 2 different approaches were incorporated? Are these two approaches actually complementary or will they be more in conflict with each other? to learn more, please join us in the MS & SD course.


  • Week 1

    Maqasid al-Shariah

    • Getting Started

      Creates a welcoming informal environment in which formal learning can take place and facilitates the process of getting to know one another and encourages open and honest communication.

    • Islam and Environmental Sustainability

      This section will explain the Islamic conservation principles and the role of Islamic system of life in environmental sustainability via the lenses of aqidah, shariah, and akhlaq.

    • Theory and Concept

      In this section, learners will be able to understand and comprehend the theoretical and conceptual framework or foundation of Maqasid al-Shariah in general.

    • Fundamental Principles

      “The objective of the Shari‘ah is to promote the well-being of the people, which lies in safeguarding their faith (al-din), lives (al-nafs), intellect (al-‘aql), progeny (al-nasl) and their property (al-mal) - al-Ghazzali.

  • Week 2

    Sustainable Development

    • Conceptual Framework

      This section will describe the meaning, pillars, principles and key elements of Sustainable Development.

    • History and Case Study

      This section will describe the timeline of sustainable development and the experiences of selected countries.

    • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Targets and Indicators

      The 17 SDGs are interconnected, recognising that actions in one area have an impact on outcomes in others and that development must strike a balance between social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

  • Week 3

    Shariah-Sustainability Nexus

    • Call For a New Paradigm of Sustainability

      This section will describe the flaws in the concept of sustainable development and why it needs to be revisited.

    • Maqasid al-Shariah as Sustainability Ethico-legal Framework

      This section will show some examples of the integration of Maqasid al-Shariah in selected sustainable development goals.

    • Benefit-Risk Assessment

      This section will show the application of maslahah-mafsadah standards in benefit-risk assessment for environmental management

    • Priority and Moderation Principles

      This section will explain the important principles extracted in the concept of maqasid al-shariah, namely awlawiyyat (priority) and wasatiyyah (moderation) and its role in environmental conservation.

    • Wrap up

      Here, we will reflect on what we have gone through out this course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the role of Maqasid al-Shariah concerning environmental sustainability
  • Interpret the foundation of Sustainable Development in tackling environmental crisis
  • Describe the benefit-risk concept (maslahah-mafsadah), the priority and moderation principle in environmental management
  • Apply the Maqasid al-Shariah framework in analysing contemporary issues pertaining to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in Islamic studies and environmental science.

You could be a postgraduate, a religious leader, researcher, activist, or employee in an environment-related field.

Who developed the course?

Universiti Malaya

Universiti Malaya is the premier research university in Malaysia, committed to advancing knowledge and learning through quality research and education for the nation and for humanity.

  • Established

  • Location

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • World ranking

    Top 60Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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