Full course description
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This course will explore contemporary Muslim responses to ethical questions on issues such as economics, human diversity, the regulation of sex, and medical ethics in light of the dominant theoretical approaches to ethics in the history of Muslim thought. Discussion of applied contemporary ethical questions will be approached after an exploration of diverse ethical discourses arising from readings of scripture, jurisprudence, theology, and philosophy. The survey of methodological approaches and assumptions informing different ethical trajectories in Islamic intellectual traditions will be emphasised to help understand key trends and challenges in contemporary Muslim ethical thinking, enabling an in-depth engagement with the debates arising from a range of applied cases. Key readings from a range of secondary sources and selections from primary source material – in translation – will be used to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of Muslim engagements with ethics.
An innovative level one course within the Hawza Programme, this module will demonstrate to students the interaction and overlap between traditional disciplines studied within a Hawza or Madrassa context regarding ethical questions in Islam. It will also allow for independent inquiry that relates classical tradition to contemporary responses to some of the most important ethical questions facing Muslims and Islamic thought today.
Lesson 1 Introduction: Meta-Ethics, Normative Ethics, and Applied Ethics
Lesson 2 The Role of Revelation in Islamic Ethics
Lesson 3 The Jurisprudential Traditions
Lesson 4 Theological Ethics
Lesson 5 Theological Ethics: akhlāq in Philosophical Traditions
Lesson 6 Trends in Islamic Ethics; Ethics and Sufism
Lesson 7 Al-Ghazālī and al-Kāshānī
Lesson 8 Moral Turns in Islamic Jurisprudence and Hermeneutics I
Lesson 9 Moral Turns in Islamic Jurisprudence and Hermeneutics II
Lesson 10 Moral Turns in Islamic Jurisprudence and Hermeneutics III
Lesson 11 Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance I
Lesson 12 Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance II
Lesson 13 Sexual Ethics in Islam
Lesson 14 Modernity and Muslim ‘Family Law’
Lesson 15 Islam and Medical Ethics
Lesson 16 Euthanasia: A Good Death
Lesson 17 Review and Exam Prep
Hours of Study
Written exam (60%)
Dr Ali-Reza Bhojani (Lecturer)
After completing an undergraduate degree and professional qualifications in Optometry, Dr Ali-Reza Bhojani began studying at the Al-Mahdi Institute, graduating from its Hawza programme in 2008. He then moved to Durham University for 1+3 ESRC funded doctoral programme with the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW). He was awarded a distinction for an MA in Research Methods (International Relations and Politics) and graduated from the doctoral programme at the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in 2014. His thesis was published as Moral Rationalism and Sharī‛a (Routledge, 2015). He has since held academic posts at the Al-Mahdi Institute, the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, the University of Nottingham and the University of Oxford, and is currently a Teaching Fellow in Islamic Ethics and Theology at the University of Birmingham.
Shaykh Mohamed-Riaz Walji (Tutor)
Shaykh Mohamed-Riaz Walji completed his seminary education at the Al-Mahdi Institute and went on to complete an MA in Islam in Contemporary Societies at the University of Warwick in 2010. Since graduating, he has worked as a Lecturer in Islamic Studies at AMI where he teaches contemporary philosophy and runs tutorials for students in Islamic ethics, theology, and philosophy. He also works closely with Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain in developing the latter’s legal methodology and philosophical approach known as the ‘existential framework.’ In addition to these research interests, he is also working on the legal theory of al-Sayyid Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr.