Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Maṣlaḥa
(1,767 words)

, the concept in Islam of the public interest or welfare.

Maṣlaḥa (pl. maṣāliḥ ) is the abstract noun of the verb ṣalaḥa (or ṣaluḥa ), “to repair or improve”. Strictly speaking, maṣlaḥa , like manfaʿa , means “utility” and its antonyms are maḍarra and mafsada (“injury”); but generally speaking, maṣlaḥa denotes “welfare” and is used by jurists to mean “general good” or “public interest”. Anything which helps to avert mafsada or ḍarar and furthers human welfare is equated with maṣlaḥa. As a legal concept, maṣlaḥa must be distinguished from istiṣlāḥ , a method of legal reasoning through which ma…

Cite this page
Khadduri, M., “Maṣlaḥa”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 20 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_5019>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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