Objectives of Financial Transactions (2)

Author : Dr. Safwan Odaybat

Date Added : 09-02-2023

Objectives of Financial Transactions (2)

(In Light of Ibn Ashur`s Book "Maqasid Al-Shariah Al-Islamiyah")


Imam Tahir bin Ashur has excelled in deducing the objectives of financial transactions in Islam and clarifying that through general principles established and illustrated in his book along with providing examples. These have become a guideline for the researcher in the jurisprudence of transactions and rules to rely on when addressing emerging issues. Truly, his words deserve to be written with gold and this article and the one before it merely arrange and summarize Ibn Ashour`s objectives.


Preserving wealth is one of the total rules classified under necessities (Daruriyat) and is based on growing and circulating wealth, which is classified under needs (Hajiyat). 

In order for wealth to be considered as such, it must be valued based on five things:

1. It can be saved since that which cannot be saved cannot be used at the time it is needed.

2. It is desirable to collect since it is only desired to collect the wealth that is of benefit.

3. It is tradable since what isn`t tradable is not desired to be collected.

4. It is limited in amount since what is unlimited in amount, such as seas and sand, can`t be owned in specific; consequently, it isn`t considered a wealth.

5. It is earned since what isn`t earned is not of benefit. For example, things that occur spontaneously, such as picking up weeds that are useless and there is no desire to collect them.


Some financial transactions are due to ownership while some are due to gain:


1. Ownership. This term refers to the acquisition of property, such as buying a house for residence. There are three reasons for ownership:

A. It can be owned in particular, such as reviving arid land and owning it for that.

B. Farm leasing.

C. Exchange for compensation like a sale transaction.

One is free to dispose of one's property as long as he/she has the capacity to do so without causing harm to others and without infringing on the provisions of the Sharia.


2. Earning.  This term refers to working to secure one`s needs. For example, sharing agreements, such as Muzara'ah, an Arabic word for sharecropping: a partnership in crops whereby one party (the landowner) presents a piece of land to another (the agricultural worker) for the latter to cultivate and maintain in return for a common defined share in the crop. Another example is Mogharasa.


There are three principles for earning:


A. Earth. It includes anywhere that human action reaches in the globe.

B. Work. It is the means of extracting most of the Earth's benefits, and it is based on the soundness of the mind and the health of the body.

C. Capital. It is money saved for spending on what generates profits.


The objectives of Sharia concerning wealth are five:

1- Circulation. It refers to the circulation of wealth amongst people in a lawful manner, such as trade and other, as reflected in the following verse, whereas Allah, The Exalted Says (What means): "In order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you." {Al-Hasher/ 7}.


Some means of preserving the circulation of wealth are: 

A- Contracts were legislated to transfer financial rights via commutation or donation.

B- The general rule in financial contracts is irrevocability without selection save with a condition.

C- Tolerating a bit of uncertainty in some contracts, such as Salam and Istisna`, out of facilitation. 

D- Making maintenances an obligation, such that given to the wife, encouraging donations and charities, and allowing spending on luxuries. All of this help support the lower and middle classes.

E- Facilitating transactions and favoring interest over potential corruption. Therefore, the presence of both compensations isn`t a condition to conclude a deal.

F- Dealing in gold and silver as an alternative for exchange to allow circulation. This indicates the wisdom behind the Prophet`s prohibiting men from using gold and silver, and that is leaving no room for the circulation of these two metals instead of keeping them and consequently minimizing their amount.

2- Documentation of financial rights, and this is why it is legislated to have witnesses and mortgage when borrowing money.

3- Preserving public and private wealth. Allah The Almighty Says {What means}: "O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God hath been to you Most Merciful!" {An-Nisa`/29}.

4- Proof of ownership.

The Sharia objective behind proof of ownership and earning is:

A- A person`s wealth is his/hers.

B- A person is free to dispose of his/her wealth without harming others nor transgressing against the provisions of Sharia.

C- It is forbidden to take someone`s wealth unjustly since the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "If anyone revives dead land, it belongs to him, and the unjust root has no right." Malik explained, "The unjust root is whatever is taken, or planted without right."

5- Earning wealth justly.

There are four methods for making wealth in a lawful manner:

A- Work

B- Compensation

C- Donation

D- Inheritance

Aspects of justice as regards wealth are:

A- Preserving public interests

B- Warding off harm

A person`s freedom to dispose of his/her wealth is conditioned by not causing harm to others nor conflict with public interest.


* (This article is adapted from "Maqasid Al-Sharia Al-Islamiah", At-Tahir Bin Ashour, introduction by Hatim Bo Sama, Egyptian Book House, Cairo, Lebanese Book House, 1st floor, 2011, pp. 293-319)