Maslahah literally means benefit, the synonim of manfa’ah. Maslahah prioritize the needs of the public / public interest. Al – Ghazali defined Maslahah as the consideration which secures a benefit or prevent harm, but is, in the meantime harmonious with the aim and objectives of the shariah. Those objectives consist of protecting the five essential values:
- Religion/ Ad – Din / Faith
- Intellect/ Aqal / Rationality
- Posterity/ Progeny
- Wealth / Property
Ladin (2006) scholar have divided Maslahah into three categories:
- Maslahah Mu’tabarah – which the Qur’an and Sunnah has expressly upheld and has enacted a law for its realisation
- Maslahah Mulgha – which the Qur’an or Sunnah has nullified either clearly or by indication that could be found in shariah, for example: the practice of usury in transactions
- Maslahah Mursalah – can be observed in different enactments of the laws, which benefits the people and prevents them from harm, for example traffic regulations, regulations related to financial management, regulations related to family matters
In finance, application of Maslahah, for example collecting usury will lead to the exploitation of the rich against the poor which would worsen the state of society and proverty, Ghofur (2008), so that the prohibition of usury would lead to great Maslahah for the ummah, Al – Qadrawi (2001).
At the same time, to prevent harm/loss, for example in doing business, in case where Islamic banking and Finance are not available, Muslim are permitted to deposit their money in Conventional Bank as long as they not breach the shariah principles.
Another definitions says that Maslahah is the benefits or interests which are deemed necessary from shariah perspectives to protect and preserve the five darurah (Al – Mansul, Fakhruddin Ar – Razi, p.24)
Artikel ini telah tayang di Kompas.com dengan judul “Istilah Perbankan Syariah”, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2008/11/03/09230232/istilah.perbankan.syariah.