In this paper, I explore the concept of applied Islamicethics, the facts, its challenges, and its future. I aim to highlight some of the deep-rooted issues that Muslims have faced historically and continue to experience today as they apply religious guidance to their daily lives. I consider the causes and rationale behind the current situation and look beyond to suggest ways in which this may evolve, calling for a radical reform. Muslims throughout the world are experiencing a (...) deepening crisis of identity and confusion about their faith's principles and practices. I suggest how improvements might be achieved, in order to gain more coherence and understanding. This approach recognizes the importance of inviting an in-depth, deliberate analysis of relevant dialogues between religious experts of the text (scholars) and practitioners, those working at the grassroots. This approach remains faithful to the fundamental principles of the Islamic sources but also considers our present context. I recommend a shift in authority from scholars alone to a more inclusive, critical engagement of practitioners. Through this more comprehensive methodology of applied Islamicethics, I suggest that Muslim communities, organizations, and individuals can remain faithful to their religious principles while, at the same time, actively participating in and contributing to our evolving societies. While I recognize that this will be a long process, I am confident that with applied Islamicethics, the current feelings of confusion, self-doubt, and even apathy, given the previous failed processes of adaptation and reform, will give way to a new confidence in knowing how to address contemporary challenges. (shrink)
This volume collects the published essays of the late Professor Hourani on Islamicethics in the earlier classical and formative periods of Islamic civilisation. Ethics was from the start at the core of Islam, and the construction of philosophical theories to support normative ethics made those centuries among the most profound and intensely active in the history of ethical thought. The book opens with two general and contextual pieces and thereafter it is organised by schools (...) of thought in a broadly chronological order. The essays centre around two related debates in Islamic philosophy: over the ontological status of value, and over the sources of our knowledge of value. The answers developed follow similar lines to the rational theology and philosophy of the West, and Professor Hourani brings out the frequent parallels. As a whole, the volume will introduce and establish the importance of the Islamic tradition of thought about ethics. (shrink)
As global business operations expand, managers need more knowledge of foreign cultures, in particular, information on the ethics of doing business across borders. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to share the Islamic perspective on business ethics, little known in the west, which may stimulate further thinking and debate on the relationships between ethics and business, and (2) to provide some knowledge of Islamic philosophy in order to help managers do business in Muslim (...) cultures. The case of Egypt illustrates some divergence between Islamic philosophy and practice in economic life. The paper concludes with managerial implications and suggestions for further research. (shrink)
This article examines the, hitherto comparatively unexplored, reception of Greek embryology by medieval Muslim jurists. The article elaborates on the views attributed to Hippocrates (d. ca. 375 BC), which received attention from both Muslim physicians, such as Avicenna (d. 1037), and their Jewish peers living in the Muslim world including Ibn Jumayʽ (d. ca. 1198) and Moses Maimonides (d. 1204). The religio-ethical implications of these Graeco-Islamic-Jewish embryological views were fathomed out by the two medieval Muslim jurists Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī (...) (d. 1285) and Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 1350). By putting these medieval religio-ethical discussions into the limelight, the article aims to argue for a two-pronged thesis. Firstly, pre-modern medical ethics did exist in the Islamic tradition and available evidence shows that this field had a multidisciplinary character where the Islamic scriptures and the Graeco-Islamic-Jewish medical legacy were highly intertwined. This information problematizes the postulate claiming that medieval Muslim jurists were hostile to the so-called ‘ancient sciences’. Secondly, these medieval religio-ethical discussions remain playing a significant role in shaping the nascent field of contemporary Islamic bioethics. However, examining the exact character and scope of this role still requires further academic ventures. (shrink)
Amid the growing coalescence between the religion and ecology movements, the voice of Muslims who care for the earth and its people is rising. While the Islamic position on the environment is not well-represented in the ecotheology discourse, it advances an environmental imaginary which shows how faith can be harnessed as a vehicle for social change. This article will draw upon doctoral research which synthesised the Islamic ecological ethic (eco-ethic) from sacred texts, traditions and contemporary thought, and illustrated (...) how this ethic is enlivened in the educational landscape of Islam. Knowledge of the relationship between human beings and the natural world, of the creative order upon which the world was created, and of right living, is essential in this educational project and the global ecoIslamic movement employs a range of institutes, from the masjid to the maktab, to impart the environmental message of Islam. Despite the manifestation of environmental education activities across the educational establishment, much of what passes as Islamic education today is not representative of the holistic, integrated and comprehensive educational philosophy of Islam. Contemporary social concerns, such as the environmental question, can, in my view, act as an impetus to develop a pedagogy which endeavours to be true to the religious traditions, values and ethics of Islam, while also displaying the transformative force of this faith. Muslims, at more than one-fifth of the world population, own a fair share of global concern around the earth’s health and well-being. Across the world, many continue to base their life and lifestyle decisions on the teachings of Islam, and are showing the relevance of traditional resources and institutions in meeting one of the greatest challenges facing humanity—the health of our planet. (shrink)
In Islamic law paternity is treated as a consequence of a licit sexual relationship. Since DNA testing makes a clear distinction between legal and biological paternity possible, it challenges the continued correlation between paternity and marriage. This article explores the foundations of paternity regulations in the Islamic ethico-legal tradition, with a particular focus on what is termed here “the licit sex principle,” and investigates the extent to which a harm-based argument can be made either by appeal to or (...) against Islamic paternity regulations. It argues that in Islamic bioethics the definition of harm and its boundaries is a function of both: (1) identification of legal and religious rights and the extent to which these rights are violated; and (2) balancing and reconciling perceived harm against both specific principles in relation to a given issue and also the overarching objectives of Islamic law. The article is divided into three main sections addressing the Islamic legal, ethical, and bioethical dimensions of paternity. (shrink)
International marketing practices, embedded in a strong ethical doctrine, can play a vital role in raising the standards of business conduct worldwide, while in no way compromising the quality of services or products offered to customers, or surrendering the profit margins of businesses. Adherence to such ethical practices can help to elevate the standards of behavior and thus of living, of traders and consumers alike. Against this background, this paper endeavors to identify the salient features of the Islamic framework (...) of International Marketing Ethics. In particular, it highlights the capabilities and strengths of this framework in creating and sustaining a strong ethical international marketing culture. At the heart of Islamic marketing is the principle of value-maximization based on equity and justice (constituting just dealing and fair play) for the wider welfare of the society. Selected key international marketing issues are examined from an Islamic perspective which, it is argued, if adhered to, can help to create a value-loaded global ethical marketing framework for MNCs in general, and establish harmony and meaningful cooperation between international marketers and Muslim target markets in particular. (shrink)
John Harris is one of the prominent philosophers and bioethicists of our time. He has published tens of books and hundreds of papers throughout his professional life. This paper aims to take a ‘deep-look’ at Harris' works to argue that it is possible to find some principles of Islamicethics in Harrisian philosophy, namely in his major works, as well as in his personal life. This may be surprising, or thought of as a ‘big’ and ‘groundless’ claim, since (...) John Harris has nothing to do with any religion in his intellectual works. The major features of Harrisian philosophy could be defined as consequentialism or utilitarianism with liberal overtones. Despite some significant and fundamental differences in the application of principles (ie, abortion, euthanasia), the similarities between the major principles in Harrisian philosophy and Islamicethics are greater at some points than the similarities between Islamicethics and some other religious ethics (ie, Christian, Judaism). In this study I compare Harrisian teachings with major Islamic principles on ‘Responsibility’, ‘Side-effects and Double-effects’, ‘Equality’, ‘Vicious choice, guilt and innocence’, ‘Organ transplantation and property rights’ and ‘Advance directives’. (shrink)
The paper advocates that a middle ground between the many theories attempting to explain Islam and its view on the relationship between politics and religion is provided by the textual and discursive approaches. Islamist and/or Islamic revivalist movements are essentially concerned with the relationship between religion and social reality in the context of ‘change’. Worldly politics and the hermeneutics of disagreement also essentially deal with ‘change’ and ‘public space’. What is ‘changeable’ and what is ‘unchangeable’ is a question of (...) hermeneutics. Understanding a text is a human enterprise, and as such it is likely to create ‘difference’ of opinion. But while disagreement triggers conflict, proper understanding and application of a systematic hermeneutics leads to an ethics of disagreement which eventually allows for a modus vivendi in the public space. It is thus important for any tradition to have a hermeneutical framework towards an ethics of disagreement. In the particular case of Islam it is not difficult to find such a hermeneutical methodology that allows for differences and otherness to live side by side, towards unity in diversity. It only needs to be reappraised. (shrink)
Religion and work are seldom discussed. The two have caused scholars to question the religion’s role with work. This paper reviews research on the integrate between religion and work by examining issues of concept, definition, measurement, and reviewing research that examines the relationship of work and religion with respect to: different times, types of people, organize human interactions and sources of knowledge. We then discuss the methodological requirement for reintegrating work studies into social institutional theory and indicate what the conceptual (...) payoffs of such integration might be. These payoffs include breaking new conceptual ground, resolving theoretical puzzles and envisioning the nature of new social institutions. (shrink)
Egypt, a less affluent, predominantly Muslim country, suffers from numerous forms of environmental pollution, some severe. This study investigates pro-environmental behaviors of citizens in Cairo, Egypt’s largest metropolis, and studies the relationship between pro-environmental behavior and demographic variables, beliefs, values, and religiosity. Analysis shows that three types of pro-environmental behavior are present: Public Sphere, Private Sphere, and Activist Behavior, with the latter occurring less frequently. Importantly, the study identifies an ecocentric value among respondents which is correlated with Public Sphere Behavior. (...) It also confirms earlier research that characterized Egyptians’ perceptions of the environment as being set in the context of health and cleanliness. Religious teachings and religiosity are shown to be associated with pro-environmental behavior, thus lending support to the presence of an Islamic environmental ethic. (shrink)
Lynn White’s seminal article on the historical roots of the ecological crisis, which inspired radical environmentalism, has cast suspicion upon religion as the source of modern anthropocentrism. To pave the way for a viable Islamic environmental ethics, charges of anthropocentrism need to be faced and rebutted. Therefore, the bulk of this paper will seek to establish the non- anthropocentric credentials of Islamic thought. Islam rejects all forms of anthropocentrism by insisting upon a transcendent God who is utterly (...) unlike His creation. Humans share the attribute of being God’s creations with all other beings, which makes them internally related to every other being, indeed to every single entity in this universe. This solves the problem that radical environmentalism has failed to solve, namely, how to define our relation with nature and other beings without dissolving our specificity. Furthermore, Islamicethics structures human relations strictly around the idea of limiting desires. The resulting ethico-legal synthesis, made workable by a pragmatic legal framework, can sustain a justifiable use of nature and its resources without exploiting them. The exploitation of nature is inherently linked to the exploitation of one’s self and of fellow human beings. Such exploitation, according to Qur’anic wisdom, is the direct result of ignoring the divine law and the ethics of dealing with self and “other.” Only by reverting to the divine law and ethics can exploitation be overcome. The paper ends by briefly considering possible objections and challenges vis-à-vis developing a philosophically viable yet religiously oriented environmental ethics. (shrink)
Ethical considerations, especially those religiously driven, play a significant role in shaping business conduct and priorities. Profit levels and earnings constitute an integral part of business considerations and are relevant and closely linked to prevailing ethics. In this paper, Islamic prescriptions on profit maximization are introduced. Islamic business ethics are outlined as well. It is suggested that while Islamic teaching treats profits as reward for engaging in vital activities necessary for serving societal interests, profit maximization (...) is not sanctioned and therefore should not be the goal of ethically guided business ventures. (shrink)
Qur'an 3:104 speaks of "commanding right and forbidding wrong" as a constitutive feature of the Muslim community. Michael Cook's careful and comprehensive study provides a wealth of information about the ways Muslims in various contexts have understood this notion. Cook also makes a number of comparative observations, and suggests that "commanding" appears to be a uniquely Muslim practice. Scholars of religious ethics should read Cook's study with great appreciation. They will also have a number of questions about his comparative (...) comments. In this article, I suggest that scholars of comparative ethics should think less about the "uniqueness" of the materials examined by Cook, and more about the ways groups of human beings discipline their members, thereby constituting and maintaining themselves as communities of virtue. (shrink)
Using the example of contemporary Islamic fundamentalism, and especially the writings of Sayyid Qutb, this article raises questions about discourse ethics as a mode of conflict resolution. It appears that discourse ethics is only relevant when all parties have already agreed to settle disputes deliberatively and already share the notions of rational deliberation and individual autonomy. This raises questions not only about the capability of discourse ethics to incorporate a deep plurality of worldviews, but also about (...) its capability to successfully solve disputes. When confronting situations where the willingness to deliberate is absent, discourse ethics is left standing empty handed. This, I argue, is due to both the conceptual distinction between communicative action and strategic action, as well as the abstracted nature of Habermas's discourse ethics. (shrink)
What kind of duty do we have to try to stop other people doing wrong? The question is intelligible in just about any culture, but few of them seek to answer it in a rigorous fashion. The most striking exception is found in the Islamic tradition, where 'commanding right' and 'forbidding wrong' is a central moral tenet already mentioned in the Koran. As an historian of Islam whose research has ranged widely over space and time, Michael Cook is well (...) placed to interpret this complex subject. His book represents the first sustained attempt to map the history of Islamic reflection on this obligation. It covers the origins of Muslim thinking about 'forbidding wrong', the relevant doctrinal developments over the centuries, and its significance in Sunni and Shi'ite thought today. In this way the book contributes to the understanding of Islamic thought, its relevance to contemporary Islamic politics and ideology, and raises fundamental questions for the comparative study of ethics. (shrink)
Stem cell research is very promising. The use of human embryos has been confronted with objections based on ethical and religious positions. The recent production of reprogrammed adult (induced pluripotent) cells does not – in the opinion of scientists – reduce the need to continue human embryonic stem cell research. So the debate continues.Islam always encouraged scientific research, particularly research directed toward finding cures for human disease. Based on the expectation of potential benefits, Islamic teachings permit and support human (...) embryonic stem cell research. The majority of Muslim scholars also support therapeutic cloning. This permissibility is conditional on the use of supernumerary early pre-embryos which are obtained during infertility treatment in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics. The early pre-embryos are considered in Islamic jurisprudence as worthy of respect but do not have the full sanctity offered to the embryo after implantation in the uterus and especially after ensoulment.In this paper the Islamic positions regarding human embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning are reviewed in some detail, whereas positions in other religious traditions are mentioned only briefly.The status of human embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning in different countries, including the USA and especially in Muslim countries, is discussed. (shrink)
The role of the business leader is key to develop the culture of an enterprise. To exemplify its importance in the national and globalcontext, the Muslim author from Indonesia points with admiration to Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electric Corporation, who already in the 1930s set up the seven ethical principles for healthy business growth, which also are commended by the Islamic imperative. Due to the current dynamic business environment, Muslims find themselves confronted with serious dilemmas and need guidance (...) from a clearly developed Islamic business ethics. For this purpose the author offers, first, the essentials of such an ethics: the utmost importance of all sort of productive work and the distribution of wealth in society; the vocation of trade; the fundamental principles of freedom and justice for business conduct; the prescription of certain manners such as leniency, service-motive, and consciousness of Allah; and mutual consultation. He, then, presents his personal view on leadership in business. It involves three basic ingredients: an inspiring vision of high and achievable standards; a value system based on the principles of freedom and justice and promoting fairness, business integrity, and efficiency; and courage to face tough decisions while putting one’s complete trust in Allah. (shrink)
This essay focuses on three of Islam's best-known philosophers: Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes. It sets forth and compares their ethical teaching on the following basic issues: (1) the relation of philosophy to religion, (2) the communal basis of ethics and the comcomitant role of statecraft, and (3) some specific charac- teristics of their ethical teaching. Throughout the essay the close connection of medieval Islamic with classical Greek philosophy is noted.
While the practice of Western medicine is known today to doctors of all ethnic and religious groups, its standards are subject to the availability of resources. The medical ethics guiding each doctor is influenced by his/her religious or cultural background or affiliation, and that is where diversity exists. Much has been written about Jewish and Christian medical ethics. Islamic medical ethics has never been discussed as an independent field of ethics, although several selected topics, especially (...) those concerning sexuality, birth control and abortions, have been more discussed than others. Islamic medical ethics in the 20th century will be characterised on the basis of Egyptian fatawa (legal opinions) issued by famous Muslim scholars and several doctors. Some of the issues discussed by Islamic medical ethics are universal: abortions, organ transplants, artificial insemination, cosmetic surgery, doctor-patient relations, etc. Other issues are typically Islamic, such as impediments to fasting in Ramadan, diseases and physical conditions that cause infringement of the state of purity, medicines containing alcohol, etc. Muslims' attitudes to both types of ethical issues often prove that pragmatism prevails and the aim is to seek a compromise between Islamic heritage and the achievements of modern medicine, as long as basic Islamic dogma is not violated. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Spoken, intended and problematic divorce in Hanafi Fiqh; 2. Between person and property - slavery in Qudūrī's Mukhtasar; 3. Pig, purity and permission in Mālikī slaughter; 4. Islamic and other perspectives on evil; 5. The language of love in the Qur'ān; 6. Virtue and limits in the ethics of friendship 7. Drinking and drunkenness in Ibn Rushd.
In search of principles of health care in Islam -- Health and suffering -- Beginning of life -- Terminating early life -- Death and dying -- Organ donation and cosmetic enhancement -- Recent developments -- Epilogue.
Usury is a concept often associated more with religiously based financial ethics, whether Christian or Islamic, than with the secular world of contemporary finance. The problem is compounded by a tendency to interpret riba, prohibited within Islam, as both usury and interest, without adequately distinguishing these concepts. This paper argues that in Christian tradition usury has always evoked the notion of money demanded in excess of what is owed on a loan, disrupting a relationship of equality between people, (...) whereas interest was seen as referring to just compensation to the lender. Although it is often claimed that hostility towards ‘usury’ has been in retreat in the West since the protestant Reformation, we would argue that the crucial break came not with Calvin, but with Jeremy Bentham, whose critique of the arguments of Adam Smith, upholding the reasonableness of the laws against usury, led to the abolition of the usury laws in England in 1854. There has to be a role for law, whether Islamic or secular, in regulating financial relationships. We argue that by retrieving the necessary distinction between demanding usury as illegitimate predatory lending and interest as legitimate compensation, we can discover common ground behind the driving principles of financial ethics within both Islamic and Christian tradition that may still be of relevance today. By re-examining past ethical discussions of the distinction between usury and just compensation, we argue that the world’s religious traditions can make significant contributions to contemporary debate. (shrink)
A dialogical approach to understanding Islamicethics rejects objectivist methods in favor of a conversational model in which participants accept each other as rational moral agents. Hans-Georg Gadamer asserts the importance of agreement upon a subject matter through conversation as a means to gaining insight into other persons and cultures, and Jürgen Habermas stresses the importance of fairness in dialogue. Using human rights as a subject matter for engaging in dialogue with Islamic scholars, Muslim perspectives on issues (...) such as democracy, toleration, and freedom of conscience emerge. A capabilities approach to human rights, such as that developed by Martha Nussbaum, enables the coexistence of multiple religious ethical visions while insisting upon the need to protect and nurture essential human abilities. (shrink)
A comprehensive paradigm of environmental ethics should encompass two things: (1) a particular way of life, and (2) a path to achieve that ideal. An effective paradigm must also be internally consistent, yet externally workable in the real world. On the whole, the modern environmental movement has failed to provide these essential components and qualities in its associated philosophies, most of which suffer from being too abstract or too utopian.This paper suggests that Islam, as a religion and as a (...) body of knowledge, is capable of providing its followers with a comprehensive and practical system of environmental ethics. The basic principles and guidelines of the faith represent the conceptual ideal, while Islamic institutions and laws provide the operational components of an ethical system. (shrink)
This essay focuses on the normative teachings of Islam. Justice, honesty, and public welfare are the pillars of Islamic business ethics. These values have two major roots: (1) belief in and devotion to Allah (God), and (2) the earthly trusteeship that grounds moral accountability. The business values of productivity, hard work, and excellence are encouraged. However, at the heart of various injunctions relating to business transactions are the imperatives of lawfulness, honesty, and fair play. Products or services must (...) be lawful, and produced in lawful ways causing no undue harm to others or to the environment. Competition, distribution, and consumption must be lawful as well. Lawful behavior is enforced by consciousness of Allah, supportive social norms, and government control. Islamic norms may not be uniformly or strictly followed, yet they provide a helpful background to practitioners andresearchers. (shrink)
This paper is a rejoinder to papers by Sabina Lovibond, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Sumner B. Twiss, G. Scott Davis, M. Cathleen Kaveny, and John Kelsay on the author's recent book "Democracy and Tradition". The argument covers a host of topics, ranging from epistemology and methodology to human rights, the common law, and Islamicethics.
The field of medicine provides an important window through which to examine the encounters between religion and science, and between modernity and tradition. While both religion and science consider health to be a ‘good’ that is to be preserved, and promoted, religious and science-based teachings may differ in their conception of what constitutes good health, and how that health is to be achieved. This paper analyzes the way the Islamic ethico-legal tradition assesses the permissibility of using vaccines that contain (...) porcine-derived components by referencing opinions of several Islamic authorities. In the Islamic ethico-legal tradition controversy surrounds the use of proteins from an animal (pig) that is considered to be impure by Islamic law. As we discuss the Islamic ethico-legal constructs used to argue for or against the use of porcine-based vaccines we will call attention to areas where modern medical data may make the arguments more precise. By highlighting areas where science can buttress and clarify the ethico-legal arguments we hope to spur an enhanced applied Islamic bioethics discourse where religious scholars and medical experts use modern science in a way that remains faithful to the epistemology of Islamicethics to clarify what Islam requires of Muslim patients and healthcare workers. (shrink)
Islamic religious norms are important for Islamic bioethical deliberations. In Muslim societies religious and cultural norms are sometimes confused but only the former are considered inviolable. I argue that respect for Islamic religious norms is essential for the legitimacy of bioethical standards in the Muslim context. I attribute the legitimating power of these norms, in addition to their purely religious and spiritual underpinnings, to their moral, legal, and communal dimensions. Although diversity within the Islamic ethical tradition (...) defies any reductionist or essentialist reconstruction, legitimacy is secured mainly by approximation of Islamic ethical ideals believed to be inherent in the scriptural texts, rather than by the adoption of particular dogmatic or creedal views. With these characteristics, Islamic (bio) ethics may provide useful insights for comparative ethics and global bioethics. (shrink)
In spite of a renewed interest in the relationship between spirituality and managerial thinking, the literature covering the link between Islam and management has been sparse – especially in the area of ethics. One potential reason may be the cultural diversity of nearly 1.3 billion Muslims globally. Yet, one common element binding Muslim individuals and countries is normative Islam. Using all four sources of this religion’s teachings, we outline the parameters of an Islamic model of normative business (...) class='Hi'>ethics. We explain how this ethics model seeks to balance the needs of multiple stakeholders, and discuss its enforcement mechanisms. This Islamic approach to business ethics is centered around criteria that are in common with stakeholder theory such as justice and balance, and includes unique additional criteria such as trust and benevolence. (shrink)