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In: Ways of Knowing Muslim Cultures and Societies
Author: Mutaz al-Khatib

The power of biomedical technology lies not only in treating diseases and relieving pain, but also in intervening in our bodies at the molecular level in a way that makes us wonder if this is (re)shaping our very human nature. This technology raises ethical, philosophical and religious questions related to understanding and identifying our essential humanity, that which is “uniquely human” in us, and how far genetic interventions in our human bodies may affect all this. Biomedical developments and their associated philosophical and religious dilemmas shed new lights on old questions like: What makes us distinctively human? Why is human life sacred? When does human life begin? What makes an individual eligible to certain rights? How would the answers to these questions determine the optimal way to deal with a human being throughout the various stages of his/her lifespan?

All the previous questions were usually linked to the classical topic of abortion, but modern biomedical technology expanded the reproduction possibilities in unprecedented ways. This new situation puts humans in front of a new and increasing list of options and alternatives, including striking ones like the so-called “liberal eugenics”. These developments make the decision-making process about these issues quite complex because one’s moral world, consisting of basic moral assumptions and convictions, does not always have readymade and clear-cut answers about these questions. This holds true to both the deliberations taking place among Western philosophers like Habermas and the parallel discussions in the Islamic tradition.

This chapter will tackle the above-mentioned questions by examining first the moral status of biomedical technology itself and understanding the different perceptions of its potential among philosophers and Muslim jurists. Further, the chapter will discuss the philosophical and jurisprudential perceptions of human beings and human life; and the identification of the key ethical dilemmas raised by modern biomedical technology, as epitomized by genetic intervention.

Open Access
In: Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question
الأخلاق الإسلامية ونسق الائتمانية: مقاربات في فلسفة طه عبد الرحمن
Volume Editors: Mohammed Hashas and Mutaz al-Khatib
Islamic Ethics and the Trusteeship Paradigm explores the emerging ethical theory of the trusteeship paradigm as developed by the Moroccan philosopher Taha Abderrahmane (b. 1944). The volume, with contributions in English and Arabic, examines the development of this modern Islamic theory of ethics and how it permeates various disciplines: philosophy, theology, legal theory, Sufism, moral theory, sociology and anthropology, communication, environment and biomedical ethics. The trusteeship paradigm aims to make ethics the compass of human thinking and action in order to overcome the predicaments humanity faces and realize a more just and balanced world. This makes of it one of the principal and profound ethical theories in Islamic scholarship that engages both classical and modern thought.

Contributors: Mutaz al-Khatib, Mostafa Amakdouf, Mohamed Amine Brahimi, Assia Chekireb, Abdelmounim Choqairi, Issam Eido, Hicham El Makki, Amin El-Yousfi, Adil Et-Tahiri, Ramon Harvey, Mohammed Hashas, Eva Kepplinger, Mohamed Ourya, Harald Viersen.

يدرس كتاب الأخلاق الإسلامية ونسق الائتمانية الفلسفة الأخلاقية للفيلسوف المغربي طه عبد الرحمن (و. 1944م)، والتي بدأ الاشتغال عليها منذ أواخر سبعينيات القرن الماضي. يضم الكتاب مساهمات باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية تعالج تطور النظرية وتطبيقاتها وحدودها في المجالات الآتية: الفلسفة وتاريخ الأفكار، وفلسفة الدين وعلم اللاهوت، والتشريع والفقه، والتصوف، والأخلاق، والسوسيولوجيا والأنثروبولوجيا، وعلم التواصل والبيئة، والأخلاق الطبية. يحاول نسق الائتمانية جعل الأخلاق روح الفعل والقول الإنساني بدلاً من الاكتفاء بالعقل المجرد الذي يُفقد الوجود الإنساني جوهره الأخلاقي. وبهذا يُعتبر نسق الائتمانية واحدا من أهم المدارس الفكرية التي تساهم في فتح أفق فكري إنساني أرحب انطلاقًا من الأخلاقية الإسلامية وروحها العقلانية النقدية.

المساهمون: مصطفى أمقدوف، محمد أوريا، محمد أمين البراهمي، محمد حصحاص، معتز الخطيب، عبد المنعم الشقيري، آسيا شكيرب، عادل الطاهري، عصام عيدو، هارالد فيرسن، إيفا كابلينغر، هشام المكي، رامون هارفي، أمين اليوسفي.
Studies in Islamic Ethics is a double-blind peer-reviewed book series that covers all aspects of ethics in the Islamic world, both historical and contemporary. The series welcomes volumes in English, French, and Arabic.
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics

Abstract

While various Arab-Islamic modernist projects have proclaimed issues like politics and political authority, education, public culture, religious thought and institutions as the starting points for reforms, other projects have taken ethics as the starting point for any possible renewal, be it theoretical or practical, intellectual or political. This introductory chapter contextualises this discussion, following this outline. First, it briefly refers to the place of ethics in classical and early modern Arab-Islamic thought, touches on the reformist thought of the so-called Arab renaissance (nahḍa) of the late 19th century, focuses on the scholarship of the first half of the 20th century, and discusses the new trajectories of ethical thought and studies in the second half of the 20th century, i.e. the post-1967 era. Second, four major reflective notes on the trusteeship paradigm of Taha Abderrahmane as a modern robust theory of ethics are made. This in order to clarify the scope of the paradigm, to open new scopes of reflection and research around the issue of ethics and modernity. The chapter ends by presenting a summary of the book content.

Open Access
In: Islamic Ethics and the Trusteeship Paradigm: Taha Abderrahmane’s Philosophy in Comparative Perspectives