The Thematic Interpretation of Quran

What Are the Objectives of Quran?

One of the major themes of the Quran are the objectives (Maqasid). The maqasid are the main mode of thinking in the Quran.

When Allah talks about the universe, He gives objectives why He created the mountains, skies, and heavens, why He created us?

Therefore, the objectives are not a partial theme of the Quran, they actually represent everything in the Quran because they are interstated as objectives.

There are Arabic tools of rationalization or reasoning that mean the reason of, because, for the reason of… or they’re not stated like that but they are obvious for those who reflect upon the Quran to see how Allah aims at particular objectives from the (divine) discourse itself.

How the revelation is read is very important, and it’s very important to read the purposes in the Quran.

The Quran focuses on the purposes and objectives. It’s a very futuristic book because every objective that you come across is actually talking about achieving that objective in the future, whether individually I’d like to achieve the worship of Allah, taqwa, heedfulness, thankfulness… or as a communicate, we’d like to be united, we’d like to stand for the truth…

All these objective are looking into the future and encouraging us to try to plan and try to see what tools can we follow in order for us to get to that future of achieving these purposes.

Also purposes and objectives are deep in the logic of the Quran. The Quran is a book of the critical thinking; there is a why for everything: why I pray? To remember Allah, and therefore, if I don’t remember Allah enough while praying, my prayer is not valid because I’m not achieving the purpose of prayer.

Why do I fast? Because of taqwa.

Because of the why thinking, the Quran is teaching to be critical of ourselves and of the reality we look at. The Quran is also a very practical book because it doesn’t give anything unless there is benefit for our hearts and for humanity.

It’s a practical book in that sense because it has this theme of objectives. It’s also a very holistic book because once you talk about the purposes, the high level of objectives, you’re actually looking at the bigger picture, you’re looking at how the system itself works in order for the objective to be achieved.

Therefore, if you look at the objectives of Quran, you’ll start to have this thinking of yours moving towards this very important methodological advantages.

It takes a lifetime to really look at the sub-themes of the objectives. The objectives of the Quran are not three, five, or seven, or ten, as some scholars have given us in some literature, they are much higher than that.

In order to understand the objectives theme of the Quran, we need to draw a complex and highly interconnected web of meanings of these objectives connecting themselves, leading to each other and then circling back.

There are so many dynamics in the objectives of the Quran, but we can think about a few examples. If you look at humanity and the objectives ‘why humanity’?

Worship Allah

Worship is something that every Prophet had ordered his people first. It’s a command, an objective, it’s a major concept: the oneness of Allah is tied to this and is leading to worship Allah. Belief is leading to worshipping Allah. Taqwa leads to worship Allah. Thankfulness leads to worship Allah.

Worshipping Allah is not just carrying rituals, this is a small angle that we look at, but worshipping Allah is an objective when you reach, then everything in your life is directed towards Allah and everything in the collective life is directed towards Allah.

Not just our worship and what we do in the mosque, but what we do in the lab, what we do in the business, what we do in the street, and what we do with our families, and our sports, our arts… everything should be directed towards that objective of worshipping Allah.

Rectifying the Earth

There is an objective for humanity: to rectify earth.

The rectification of earth is a major objective and a major theme in the Quran. It’s not only the material rectification, but also rectifications in terms of morals and meanings.

We can’t just maintain our material life on earth, hence, rectifying the material inside of our lives. But we mess up the balance and morality as we do these days.

Part of the mischief, which is the anti objective of the rectification, is for people to disbelieve in Allah, for people to be immoral about their conduct in life, to people who lie or carry hypocrisy in their hearts, or to cut what Allah has ordered us not to cut like family ties, neighbors ties, relatives ties… All of these are mentioned in the Quran as corrupting the earth.

Guarding Life

Saving and dignifying lives is a major objective in the Quran and that includes dignifying our families, taking care of our children so that they can grow, not just healthy in terms of their bodies bit also healthy in terms of their hearts.

That form of dignifying the human being and saving the lives. A life is a concept that has to do with the afterlife. In fact the afterlife is the real life, that’s one of the major concepts and it’s a theme in many ways when you look throughout the stories and similes in Quran, throughout what Allah says in the life and the afterlife, you will see that Allah is forbidding everything that compromizes life and is telling us how we can save lives in many ways.

And saving lives of the people is tied to saving the minds and the intellect, their existence and their dignity.

Dignity is defined as a term of faith and it has major punishments for those who go against the human dignity.

It’s actually a universal term that not only encompasses the current generation, but the future generations, something that secular definitions of human dignity didn’t even reach, except for the alternative theories and post-modern theories in partialistic ways.

But the basic objective of the human dignity and saving the human life in the Quran is very comprehensive and progressive.

The Quran has the objectives for the ummah as part of humanity in order to witness upon mankind what is good and what is evil.

If we look at the themes of the Quran this way, then we are able to discover meanings that are highly applicable in our lives.

We ask Allah to allow us this kind of knowledge.

Part 1.

About Dr. Jasser Auda
Jasser Auda is a Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, a global think tank based in London, and a Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at Carleton University in Canada. He is a Founding and Board Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, Fellow of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India, and General Secretary of Yaqazat Feker, a popular youth organization in Egypt. He has a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from University of Wales in the UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from University of Waterloo in Canada. Early in his life, he memorized the Quran and studied Fiqh, Usul and Hadith in the halaqas of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. He previously worked as: Founding Director of the Maqasid Center in the Philosophy of Islamic Law in London; Founding Deputy Director of the Center for Islamic Ethics in Doha; professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Alexandria University in Egypt, Islamic University of Novi Pazar in Sanjaq, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the American University of Sharjah. He lectured and trained on Islam, its law, spirituality and ethics in dozens of other universities and organizations around the world. He wrote 25 books in Arabic and English, some of which were translated to 25 languages.