1.4.5 Recovering the Ethical: Practices, Politics, Tradition

How can we translate norms into lived societies? Dr. Ebrahim Moosa addresses the place of ethics in guiding social and ritual practice in this third chapter of The Shari’a: History, Ethics, and Law (2018), edited by Dr. Amyn Sajoo.
Guiding Questions:

  1. What is the relationship between religion and morality?
  2. Did al-Ghazali and Ibn Khaldun have different perspectives on change? What does Dr. Moosa believe is the “litmus test” for assessing whether change is constructive or heretical?
  3. What relationship did Ibn Aqil see between revelation and governance? What does this mean for the application of shari’a to politics, with a “big picture” view of shari’a?
  4. How does a rule-based approach differ from an ethical one? What elements might a process of moral discernment have considered and prioritized in the Imrana case that were not included in a solely rule-based approach?
  5. What concern does Dr. Moosa express about the current state of Muslim ethical discourse? How does this concern relate to the “clash of civilizations” thesis?


Reproduced with permission from I.B. Tauris. If the PDF does not appear below, you may find it here.
Thumbnail: AKM288.17, Distributing Riches, Folio from a manuscript of the Ethics of Nasir (Akhlaq-i Nasiri), Fol.253r. © The Aga Khan Museum, CC BY-NC 2.5 CA.