Understanding Public Policy in Islam

Institutionalizing Unity, Purposefulness, Collective Decision-Making and Rectification


  • Basma I. Abdelgafar International Peace College South Africa, South Africa




public policy, decision, leadership, neoliberalism, unity, rectification, collective decision-making, Tawhid, Maqasid, Shura, Islah, Maqasid al-Shari’ah


This paper presents an original model for Public Policy in Islam (PPI). It asserts that the four key elements of unity, purposefulness, civic engagement and rectification that characterise PPI offer an infinitely better alternative to the neoliberal ideology that currently constrains policy especially at the global level. It demonstrates the importance of revelation, i.e., the Quran and Sunnah, in defining the purposes of policy and governance, while remaining sufficiently open and flexible to allow adaptation to diverse contexts and to respond to changing and complex questions.

Author Biography

Basma I. Abdelgafar, International Peace College South Africa, South Africa

Basma Abdelgafar is a Professor of Public Policy. She consults and provides training internationally on policy, governance and Muslim affairs. Prof. Abdelgafar has worked in the Canadian federal government, academia and the third sector. She has contributed to the development of graduate studies in public policy at the American University in Cairo, Qatar Foundation and the International Peace College of South Africa. She was founding head of the Public Policy in Islam Masters Program at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University. She has a keen interest in research and teaching in public policy and governance in Islam as well as in Muslim history, thought, institutions and communities. She obtained her Ph.D. in Public Policy from Carleton University, Ottawa, in 2003. Her book publications include: Public Policy Beyond Traditional Jurisprudence (London: IIIT), Thriving in a Plural World (Singapore: MUIS), M.A. Draz’s Morality in the Quran and the Greater Good of Humanity (Wales: Claritas), and The Illusive Tradeoff (Toronto: University of Toronto Press). Prof. Basma is currently authoring a book on the Quranic Theory of Invention and Innovation.


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ثانيا: الأجنبية:

Abdelgafar, Basma. Public Policy: Beyond Traditional Jurisprudence. London: IIIT, 2018.

Auda, Jasser. Re-envisioning Islamic Scholarship: Maqasid Methodology as a New Approach. Wales: Caritas, 2021.

Draz, Muhammad Abdullah. The Moral World of the Qur’an. New York: I.B. Tuaris, 2008.

Kamali, Mohammad Hashim. Freedom of Expression in Islam. Kuala Lumpur: Ilmiah Publishers, 1998.

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How to Cite

Abdelgafar ب. . (2021). Understanding Public Policy in Islam: Institutionalizing Unity, Purposefulness, Collective Decision-Making and Rectification. Journal of Contemporary Maqasid Studies, 1(1), 97–122. https://doi.org/10.52100/jcms.v1i1.50