Ethical Issues in the Qur??n and ?ad?th

Authored by: A. Nanji

The Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415881609
eBook ISBN: 9781315708928
Adobe ISBN: 9781317484332

10.4324/9781315708928.ch3

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Abstract

Ethics concerns human action and practices and occupies the realm of religion and philosophy. In the medieval European tradition prior to the availability of translations from Greek and Arabic in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, philosophy from the Greek and Latin traditions played an integral yet subsidiary role in the formation of reasoning about right and wrong actions. The primary guiding source for morality and ethical action was the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament as interpreted by leading figures of the Christian church. In the Islamic milieu, while the science of philosophy influenced ethical thinking among philosophers and theologians, it did not significantly affect the development of ethical definitions grounded in religious texts and interpretations. While philosophers such as al-F?r?b?, Ibn Miskawayh, Ibn S?n?, Ibn Rushd and others wrote on practical philosophy from the Greek tradition, most Muslims used the Qur??n and ?ad?th, as religious scholars interpreted them, as guides for everyday ethical action. The present essay concerns the ethical grounds of human actions in religious texts and their interpretation. What follows here can be philosophically characterized as an account of ethical practice and the religious doctrines that formed the common mores of human right action.

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