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At the core of the question of maqasid is the conception of the engagement of the community with the revelation. From this core, one can gain perspective on the usul al-fiqh and maqasid approaches. The former does not provide priorities and does not address directly the pressing concerns that are overwhelming contemporary societies – it focuses on ‘form’ at the expense of ‘substance’. For the latter, the issue of methodology is important – how are the goals of the law ascertained? Finally, the author looks at key contributions of the maqasid approach, which opens the door to applications into areas typically beyond the scope of the usul al-fiqh, such as civilisational renewal.