A path to the oasis: Sharī'ah and reason in islamic moral epistemology [Book Review]

Abstract
I propose a framework for comparative Islamic—Western ethics in which the Islamic categories "Islam, Iman," and "Ihsan" are juxtaposed with the concepts of obligation, value, and virtue, respectively. I argue that "shari'a" refers to both the obligation component and the entire structure of the Islamic ethic; suggesting a suspension of the understanding of "shari'a" as simply Islamic "law," and an alternative understanding of "usul al-fiqh" as a moral epistemology of obligation. I will test this approach by addressing the question of reason in Islamic moral epistemology via an examination of an argument advanced by a founding usul scholar Muhammad bin Idrīs al-Shāfi'ī (150 A.H./767 C.E.)
Keywords Islam  Sharī‘ah  Ethics  Moral  Epistemology  Fiqh  Usul
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-007-9145-6
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