The Overarching Purposes (maqāṣid) of Medicine

From the perspective of the Shari‘ah, the overarching purposes (maqāṣid) of medicine are

  1. the preservation of life, the body, its limbs, and considering them as necessities;
  2. warding off harms and anything which is harmful;
  3. preservation of health and providing treatment; and,
  4. enabling mankind to fulfill its role of stewardship (Ar. khilāfah).1

There is a large body of Arabic literature concerning the fiqh of contemporary medical issues that is largely overlooked in English speaking circles. This is one of that body’s gems.


  1. Ali Al-Qaradaghi, Fiqh al-qaḍāyā al-ṭibbīyah al-mu‘āsirah, (Dār al-Bashā’ir al-Islamīyah, 2008), 98–102. [link