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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.
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This study that reviews the Islamic ethical deliberations on the Human Genome Project (HGP) and the field of genomics in general, which started as early as the beginning of the 1990s. To our knowledge, no earlier study analysed this vast amount of literature. The chapter focuses on the interdisciplinary discussions which took place between Muslim religious scholars and biomedical scientists, with frequent references to the contributions made by individual scholars as well. The key questions addressed in this chapter include: How was the HGP and genomics framed and approached through the lens of Islamic ethics? Who contributed to the Islamic bioethical discourse on these issues, which positions did they adopt, and which arguments and counterarguments did they use in order to defend their positions? What impact did these discussions have on the actual scientific activities conducted in Muslim countries?

In order to address these questions systematically, the chapter is divided into three main sections, in addition to a conclusion. The first section, “Genomics in the Age of Collective Reasoning”, outlines the mechanism of the collective juristic reasoning (al-ijtihād al-jamāʿī). It sheds light on how this mechanism was employed to facilitate the interdisciplinary discussions between Muslim religious scholars and biomedical scientists on bioethical issues, in addition to focusing on the main conferences and expert meetings which made use of this mechanism to discuss the ethical issues related to the field of genomics. The second section, “Framing Genomics: Two Main Approaches”, addresses two main approaches within the Islamic ethical discourse towards genomics and related fields, such as genetics and genetic engineering. This section explains how both the “precaution-inclined approach” and “embracement-inclined approach” framed genomics from an Islamic theological perspective and how this framing affected their positions on some practical questions. The third section, “Further Developments”, explores the possible impact of the interdisciplinary discussions and the related two main approaches, reviewed in the first two sections, on the recent developments in the field of genomics and biobanking in the Muslim world. Finally, the “Concluding Remarks” section summarizes the key points of the chapter and further highlights a number of critical remarks and challenges facing the Islamic ethical discourse on genomics and the field of Islamic Bioethics in general.

Open Access
In: Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question
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This chapter provides an analysis of the possible role of Sharia, as envisaged by contemporary Muslim religious scholars, in the light of modern biomedical breakthroughs, especially in the era of genomics. The aim here is to highlight the views of these contemporary scholars and how they addressed questions related to the role of Sharia in the age of modernity, as exemplified by the breakthroughs in modern biomedical sciences. These breakthroughs have transformed much of what previously belonged to the category of "impossibilities" into that of "ordinaries” in our daily life. Against this background, we address questions like: How did contemporary Muslim religious scholars maintain a role for Sharia in these new fields, what are the nature and limits of this proposed role, and how far historical developments, including the advent of the genomic era, impacted their perception of this supposed role? The concluding part of this study is dedicated to raising some critical questions and remarks in addition to making proposals about how such questions can be addressed in future research.

Open Access
In: Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question
In: Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question
In: Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question
In: Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question