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Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation

A Study of Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql


Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

In Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation, Carl Sharif El-Tobgui offers the first comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s ten-volume magnum opus, Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. In his colossal riposte to the Muslim philosophers and rationalist theologians, the towering Ḥanbalī polymath rejects the call to prioritize reason over revelation in cases of alleged conflict, interrogating instead the very conception of rationality that classical Muslims had inherited from the Greeks. In its place, he endeavors to articulate a reconstituted “pure reason” both truly universal and in full harmony with authentic revelation. Based on a line-by-line reading of the entire Darʾ taʿāruḍ, El-Tobgui’s study carefully elucidates the “philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya” as it emerges from the multifaceted ontological, epistemological, and linguistic reforms Ibn Taymiyya carries out.


Edited by Mohammed Ghaly

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.

Carrie York Al-Karam


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.

Mulki Al-Sharmani


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.

Mohammad Fadel


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).

صاحب عالم الأعظمي الندوي


إن الهدف الرئيس من هذا البحث هو دراسة القنوات التي أسهمت في نقل النظريات السياسية الساسانية إلى الدول الإسلامية ومنها سلطنة دهلي في الهند. ومن أجل تحقيق ذلك الهدف تم التعريف بالمصنفات السياسية مثل كتب النصائح والوصايا التي كان يتم إعدادها برعاية السلاطين في الدول الإسلامية الشرقية بهدف تعليم النظم السياسية والإدارية، والتي دونت بواسطة الكتب السياسية والإدارية التي في عهودهم. وعلى الرغم من أن بعض هذه الكتب تختلف اختلافًا يسيرًا في مضامينها وشكلها؛ إلا أن نصوص جميع تلك الكتب تعكس الأفكار السياسية المتنوعة المأخوذة من الأفكار السياسية الساسانية. وفيما يتعلق بترويج النظريات السياسية الساسانية في الهند بواسطة سلاطين دهلي، فقد تم التعريف ببعض العلماء والمؤرخين المعاصرين وكتاباتهم السياسية تعريفًا عامًا في حين اختير كتاب "فتاوى جهانداري" للعالم والمؤرخ الهندي ضياء الدين برني كنموذج، فهو يعد من أهم الكتب وأخطرها في الفقه السياسي لتلك الفترة، وتم تحليل مضامينه ومقارنتها ببعض كتب الوصايا الساسانية لمعرفة مدى تأثير النظريات السياسية الساسانية في نظريات سلاطين دهلي السياسية والإدارية‪.‬

معتز الخطيب


يقدم هذا البحث مدخلاً جديدًا لدراسة العلاقة بين الفقه والأخلاق من خلال تأمل الأحكام الفقهية نفسها وما إذا كانت تستند إلى بنية أخلاقية بالمنظور الحديث، سواءٌ الأخلاق المعيارية أم التطبيقية، وهي محاولة لتجاوز مجرد الانشغال بالصياغة المعاصرة للأحكام الفقهية إلى معالجة مشاغل حديثة وتأمل العقل الفقهي نفسه من خلال موضوعاته وأحكامه. ويتخذ الباحث من أحكام الإجهاض في المذهب الحنبلي نموذجًا تطبيقيًّا للقراءة المنظومية الأخلاقية التي يقترحها، وهي تعني أربعة أمور: الأول: اعتبار أحكام الجنين في مختلف الأبواب منظومةً متكاملةً وحَمْل بعضها على بعض، والثاني: تَتَبع عِلَل الأحكام التي تختلف بحسب كل مسألة، والثالث: استيعاب كتب المذهب بأشكالها المختلفة، والرابع: الجمع بين الفروع والأصول عبر تأمل منهجية الحنابلة في تقرير مسائل الإجهاض‫.‬

وبناء على هذه القراءة المنظومية اتضح أن أحكام الإجهاض في المذهب تدور على ثلاثة أوصاف هي: انعقاد النطفة ولدًا بِتَحولها إلى علقة وهو أول أحوال الحمل، والتخليق وهو ظهور صورة الإنسان فيه أو بعضها، ونفخ الروح. وتختلف أحكام الجنين - وهي كثيرة - بحسب هذه الأوصاف وجودًا وعدمًا، وقد أثبت الحنابلةُ للجنين نوع استقلالية ولكنها ليست مطلقة، فحياة الجنين ليست كاملة ما دام يتحرك بغيره‫.‬

يقوم الفقه الحنبلي عامةً على المنهجية النصية والبعد عن الرأي المجرد، ويحاول إعمال جميع النصوص ما أمكنَ، ولكن فقهاء المذهب المتأخرين اعتنوا بتعليل المسائل وبيان وجه الحكم ضمن نظرٍ يَنتظم جميع الأحكام بما ينسجم مع قواعد المذهب وأصوله، ولو نظرنا إلى تعليلاتهم هنا نجدها تقوم على نظرين: أخلاقي وديني، يتلخصان في: (1) مركزية الروح الإنسانية، (2) ومراعاة الحياة الاعتبارية السابقة على نفخ الروح، (3) ووجود صفة الآدمية في الجنين واحترامها، (4) وأن الكلام في الجنين وأحكامه عامة مسألةٌ تتعلق بقضية الخلق الإلهي والحكمة المرادة منه‫.‬


Aasim I. Padela

Bioethical questions pertain to the techno-scientific matter at hand, the societal implications of that science and/or technology, and also involve particular ontologies. These fundamental, although often implicit, views about nature and essence undergird ethical assessment. Using qualitative content analyses of a systematic literature review, this paper identifies three ontological perspectives of the human that impact the bioethical deliberation over genetics and genomics. These three conceptions of the human being - (i) a source of information about the past, present, and future, (ii) a reproductive organism, and (iii) an evolving biological entity – implicate bioethical deliberation and need to be unpacked by theologians seeking to render moral guidance about genomic/genetic science and technology. Indeed, identifying and addressing such fundamental ontologies is particularly important for religiously informed bioethical reflection because religious traditions generate their own ontological frameworks. At present, many Islamic bioethics commentators address the moral challenges of contemporary biomedicine solely through the lens of Islamic ethics and law. By clarifying ontologies present in contemporary bioethics literature, this paper suggests that the “western” bioethics discourse that Muslim thinkers seek to respond to might require Muslims to think ontologically in addition to ethico-legally. Indeed we propose that Islamic bioethicists might benefit from detailing the views on the relationship between ontology and ethics as they advance particular moral visions for biomedicine.