Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question is one of the very first academic works, which examine the field of genomics from an Islamic perspective. This twelve-chapter volume presents the results from a pioneering seminar held in 2017 at the Research Center for Islamic Legislation & Ethics, College of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, in Qatar. The contributors to this volume, coming from different disciplines and specializations, approached the key ethical questions raised by the emerging field of genomics, viz. the Genome Question (GQ), from various angles and perspectives. Their shared thesis is that the breadth and depth of both the GQ and the Islamic tradition necessitate going beyond just producing quick answers in response to immediate questions. In order to accommodate the complexity and wide scope of the GQ, the volume included critical analyses of the ethical discourse on genomics, from outside the Islamic tradition. Within the Islamic tradition, the contributing authors explored how the QG can be better explored by involving insights from various disciplines including Quran exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy and theology. Besides its interest for researchers and students specialized in ethics, bioethics and Islamic studies, this volume will be a source of important information for geneticists, genomicists and social scientists who are interested in the ethical discourse about genomics in the Muslim world.
Contributors include Arzoo Ahmed, Abbas Amir, Saadia Bendenia, Mohammed Ghaly, Mutaz al-Khatib, Amara Naceur, Aasim I. Padela, Ayman Shabana, Trevor Stammers, Mehrunisha Suleman and Hub Zwart.
In this article the author attempts to give a brief summary and critique of the various ways Islamic Psychology is conceptualized and defined. She then proposes and discusses a conceptual model, the Multilevel Interdisciplinary Paradigm (MIP), as a potential theoretical unifier for the emerging field, which also serves as a methodology for defining it. Recommendations for ways forward in the domain of Islamic Psychology are also provided.
This paper tackles the vexed relationship between the ethical and the legal in the patriarchal construction of marriage and spousal rights in Islamic interpretive tradition and its modern manifestations (i.e. contemporary Muslim family laws and conservative religious discourses). I approach the issue from two angles. First, I examine the work of selected Muslim women scholars from different countries, who since the late 1980s and early 1990s have been engaging critically with Islamic interpretive tradition, to unpack and critique patriarchal interpretations and rulings on marriage and divorce rights, and provide alternative egalitarian readings that are grounded in Qurʾānic ethics. Second, I shed light on how this patriarchal construction of marriage and gender rights impacts the lived realities of ordinary Muslim women and men. I focus on two national contexts: Egypt and Finland. I show-through analysis of courtroom practices in family disputes, marriage practices, and ordinary women’s understandings of the sacred text-that the exegetical and juristic construction of spousal roles and rights is increasingly unsustainable in the lived realities of many Muslims as well as becoming a source of tension on an ethico-religious level.
Contemporary Political Islam, or Islamism, is commonly defined as a movement that seeks to apply the Sharīʿa as the basic law of Muslim states. This suggests that political legitimacy in Islamic thought can be reduced to the conformity of a polity’s actions to a pre-determined body of rules that are supplied by revelation, as supplemented by the interpretations of jurists. Such a demand is reasonably understood to be non-democratic because it includes no room for self-government by making it either redundant, if it produces results that are in conformity with the norms of the Sharīʿa, or contradictory to self-government, if the results of self-government differ from revealed norms. I argue instead that Islamic constitutional theory and political thought provide explicit grounds for self-government based on a conception of the state that is grounded in the ideals of agency and fiduciary duties rather than conformity with the pre-determined substantive norms of revelation simpliciter. On this account, self-government is essential to political legitimacy because the legitimacy of the ruler’s decisions can only be understood from the perspective of whether the people, as the principal who authorized the agent (i.e., the government), approves of the government’s conduct, or can reasonably be understood to approve of the government’s conduct. This has important implications for understanding how a state can, consistent with self-government, incorporate the Sharīʿa and its values in its legislative system. Far from imposing particular outcomes, in most cases, the rules of the Sharīʿa will only present options for how public law may be made, while giving the public the freedom, through the exercise of its collective deliberation, to choose how it operationalizes various provisions and values of the Sharīʿa in positive law in relation to its own determination of its own rational good (maṣlaḥa).