Using the Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah to Furnish an Islamic Bioethics: Conceptual and Practical Issues
The field of Islamic bioethics is currently in development as thinkers delineate its normative content, ethical scope and research methods. Some scholars have offered Islamic bioethical frameworks based on the maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah, the higher objectives of Islamic law, to help advance the field. Accordingly, a recent JBI paper by Ibrahim and colleagues describes a method for using the maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah to provide moral end-goals and deliberative mechanisms for an Islamic bioethics. Herein I highlight critical conceptual and practical gaps in the model with the hopes of fostering greater discussion about how maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah frameworks may fit within Islamic bioethics deliberation.
KeywordsHigher objectives of Islamic law Religion Muslim Medical ethics
The author’s time for this project was partially supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation via The Enhancing Life Project and was carried out partially under the auspices of a visiting fellowship at the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Virginia, in 2016. This work was presented in partial form at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in 2017.
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