Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 347–352 | Cite as

Using the Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah to Furnish an Islamic Bioethics: Conceptual and Practical Issues

  • Aasim I. PadelaEmail author
Critical Response


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.


Higher 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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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Faculty, Maclean Center for Clinical Medical EthicsThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Associate Faculty, Divinity SchoolThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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