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Abstract

The early modern Muslim world witnessed unparalleled development in theological discussion, of which the problem of evil is a part. This paper aims to uncover a new discourse on the problem of evil in the Ottoman period, by examining the eleventh/ seventeenth-century polymath ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī’s (d. 1143/1731) synthetic theology of evil. More specifically, the study will analyze the way al-Nābulusī discusses the issue of faith (īmān) and disbelief (kufr) in his Ashʿarī kalām and Akbarian Sufism. Looking first at al-Nābulusī’s kalām metaphysics of īmān and kufr and then his mystical metaphysics, the paper corroborates how between the two sciences, there is a coherent logic in al-Nābulusī’s concordia theology.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics

الخلاصة

‫تنحت هذه المقالة إجابة عن سؤال: ما المبادئ التي يمكن استمدادها من القرآن الكريم لتأسيس أخلاقيات بيئية؟ وهل يمكن أن نجد فيه أسسًا يُبنى موقف إسلامي من قضايا البيئة استنادًا إليها؟ انتهت الدراسة إلى تمييز أربعة مبادئ تعد منطلقات دينية للتنظير البيئي. الأول: اعتراف الإنسان بحدود علمه مقارنة بعلم الله المحيط (الإيمان بالغيب)، وهذا الإقرار العقدي هو المدخل الديني لعلاقة الإنسان بالطبيعة والعوالم. الثاني: مفهوم التسخير من حيث جعل القرآن منفعة المسخرات بما جُعلت عليه من نظام وتقدير وأن أي إخلال بنظامها لا يحقق الغرض مما سُخِّرت من أجله. الثالث: ملاحظة العلاقة التي جعلها الله بين الإنسان والطبيعة والخالق، وأن الجميع خاضع للخالق، ولا تنفك علاقة الإنسان مع الطبيعة عن علاقته مع الشريعة. الرابع: أن الانتفاع من المسخرات يكون باعتدال من غير إسراف. ويجمع المبادئ الأربعة وصف الأمانة كمصطلح أخلاقي صميم يعني بالضرورة أن الإنسان مسؤول في هذه الأرض عن الفساد (العدوان على الطبيعة) وسفك الدماء (العدوان على الشريعة).‬

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics
Authors: and

Abstract

Virtue ethics may seem to be a less useful paradigm for ethical thinking than utilitarianism and deontology, insofar as it seems rather vacuous to be told to act as a virtuous person would act. But the topic considered here shows that this need not be true. Since virtue ethicists (and virtuous persons, according to this ethical approach) value the features that make human lives (more) excellent, they also value the features that make other lives (more) excellent, by way of the virtues of mercy, generosity, and justice. And this is true whether or not the lives in question are human or animal. To put it another way, a good agent will be one who shows goodness towards beings who are capable of having good lives. While that phrasing again sounds close to tautologous, it becomes substantive when we spell out which beings have such a capacity, and in what ways things can go well or badly for them. Virtue ethicists from the Islamic world were especially well placed to do that, since they also inherited from Aristotle (d. 322 BCE) a teleological conception of nature. In light of this, it comes to seem almost inevitable that philosophers in this tradition would endorse compassionate treatment of animals. In cases where they fail to do so, the failure is bound up with a tendency to downgrade the value of practical virtue as a whole. Rigorously intellectualist ascetics are unlikely to show much interest in the welfare of animals, being disinterested even in their own animal souls.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics

Abstract

The rapid escalation of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 into a global pandemic, culminating in the World Health Organization’s declaration on March 11, 2020, marked a historic milestone. The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates an interdisciplinary approach to address its myriad ethical challenges. This article categorizes the key ethical questions explored from an Islamic perspective into two groups: “Historical Issues” and “Modern Issues.” The former revisits questions examined in pre-modern discussions on historical pandemics, while the latter delves into ethical challenges relatively unique to the contemporary context of COVID-19. Each group’s exploration is complemented by a section on “Related Sources,” offering insight into pertinent primary works. The article concludes with reflections on the evolving trajectory of research in this field. Serving its introductory purpose, the article includes two appendices: Appendix 1, “Overview of Key Ethical Issues," provides a condensed summary in table form, while Appendix 2, “An Extended Bibliography on Islam, Pandemics, COVID-19, and Morality,” offers a comprehensive list of primary and secondary sources for researchers interested in further readings.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics

الخلاصة

يناقش هذا البحث التداخل بين الكلامي والأخلاقي في المناقشات الكلاسيكية الخاصة بمسألة العدوى وسبل الاحتراز منها، ويَعرض لثلاثة نماذج توضح تركيبية الموقف من العدوى داخل المذهب الكلامي الأشعري، الأمر الذي يوضح أن اختزاله في فكرة الذاتية الأخلاقية (divine subjectivism or ethical voluntarism) لا يفي بطابعه التركيبي المتنوّع. ويخلص البحث إلى أنه بالرغم من السمة الكلامية الطاغية على تلك المناقشات، فإن ثمة إطارًا أخلاقيًّا ثاويًا فيها نقف فيه على منظورات مختلفة كانت تتنازع – فيما يبدو – حول تحديد القيمة العليا التي يجب أن تصان وتكون لها الأولوية في زمن الوباء. فالعدوى شكلت محور النقاشات الخاصة بالطاعون، التي برز فيها تشابك تخصصات عدة كالطب والفقه والكلام والتصوف والأخلاق، والنظري والعملي. وبسبب هذه السمة التركيبية لتلك النقاشات حول العدوى والاحتراز يرى البحث أنها يمكن أن تُدرَج ضمن “الأخلاق الكلامية” التي تتناول الجوانب المعيارية التي تتصل بعلم الكلام.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics

Abstract

Much of the literature on “Islamic gardens” focuses on artistic and architectural features or religious symbolism attributed to the influence of Islamic beliefs and civilization. This study seeks to expand the scope of intellectual inquiry beyond traditional motifs and recurrent features to investigate the potential influence of Islamic ethical values on creating gardens. Following a brief overview of the history of “Islamic gardens” and a short survey of Qurʾānic terms denoting earthly and paradisiacal gardens, this research highlights theological and ethical principles derived from four Qurʾānic narratives featuring earthly gardens, natural landscapes and non-human creation. These principles are, then, incorporated into a holistic ethical framework for creating gardens that harmonizes theocentric, anthropocentric, and ecocentric priorities. This framework prioritizes faithfulness to God while upholding both serving humanity and safeguarding natural habitats and ecosystems as ethical imperatives and mutually reinforcing investments with spiritual consequences in this life and the hereafter. This study also presents several garden models (particularly botanic gardens and community gardens) considered suitable for adopting and applying the proposed tripartite framework. The last section of this study explores how Islamic institutions, including mosques and charitable organizations, can utilize the tripartite framework to create gardens and green spaces that contribute to fulfilling a range of spiritual, social and environmental objectives.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics

Abstract

The development of prenatal diagnosis technologies has created challenging ethical situations and raised complex ethical questions. The hardest among these is the question of whether to continue or terminate pregnancies due to fetal anomalies. This article examines the Islamic methodological approaches that are employed to resolve contemporary issues pertaining to prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy due to fetal anomaly. The objective is, firstly, to understand on which basis the various Islamic views and perspectives have been constructed, and secondly, to assess the rules and principles that Muslim jurists apply to arrive at decisions regarding prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy across the different schools of thought. This helps in identifying the methodological characteristics of contemporary Islamic discourse on prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy, and recognizing existing gaps. This methodological analysis aspires to generate further and richer discussion on how to develop thorough ethical approaches to prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy due to fetal anomaly with the aim of advancing antenatal care for Muslim patients. Key concepts and principles within Islamic theology, law, and ethics are explored.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics