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In: Islamic Law in Theory
In: Studies in Islamic Legal Theory

Conventionally, Qurʾānic ethics is derived from the Qurʾān and Prophetic ḥadīth, (along with certain rules of application) to form norms of moral conduct—sharīʿah. This paper argues that a study of the term maʿrūf, (meaning literally, “known”) which occurs in three contexts in the Qurʾān, suggests that the Qurʾān itself assumes that revelational knowledge is to be supplemented with conventional moral understandings of what is right and wrong.

Aside from one set of usages that seem to mean “candor” in the making of commitments, the emphatic summons to “do the maʿrūf” does not stipulate what that “known” thing is. The implication is that one knows, from social conventions and moral intuitions extrinsic to revelation, what to do. It follows then that “Islamic ethics” ought to be composed of revelational sources, supplemented by the moral knowledge of Muslims at any given time and in any given place.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics
In: Classical Arabic Humanities in Their Own Terms
In: Islamic Law in Theory
Studies on Jurisprudence in Honor of Bernard Weiss
Volume Editors: and
The contributions of Bernard Weiss to the study of the principles of jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh) are recognized in a series of contributions on Islamic legal theory. These thirteen chapters study a range of Islamic texts and employ contemporary legal, religious, and hermeneutical theory to study the methodology of Islamic law.

Contributors include: Peter Sluglett, Ahmed El Shamsy, Éric Chaumont, A. Kevin Reinhart, Mohammad Fadel, Jonathan Brockopp, Christian Lange, Raquel M. Ukeles, Paul Powers, Robert Gleave, Wolfhart Heinrichs, Joseph Lowry, Rudolph Peters, Frank E. Vogel
In: Islamic Law in Theory
In: Islamic Law in Theory