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Islamic Concepts and Bioethics

  • Hassan Hathout
Chapter
  • 237 Downloads
Part of the Bioethics Yearbook book series (BIYB, volume 1)

Abstract

Islam is the third of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions, following Judaism and Christianity. Islam recognizes and respects Judaism and Christianity, in spite of certain doctrinal differences. The three religions share the same moral code, but Islam introduces de novo the framework of a comprehensive legal system to regulate and legislate for individual and communal human affairs. This total system is called the Shari’a, and is so flexible that the human (legal) mind can adapt it to variable times and places. The sources of the Shari’a are the Quran (to the Muslims, God’s very words), the sayings and deeds of Prophet Mohammad, derivation of rulings by analogy, and finally, the consensus of Muslim scholars. The Shari’a is to serve the interests of the people, which are categorized as indispensable, necessary, and complementary. Each category has its set of rulings, maintaining the order of priority. The principal goals of the Shari’a are the preservation and protection of self (life, health, procreation, nourishment, etc.), of mind (relief from stress, psychological health, prohibition of drink and drugs, etc.), of ownership (sanctity of private ownership, legitimate pursuits of wealth and commercial laws, social function of capital, prohibition of stealth, fraud, and usury, etc.), and of honor (chastity, marriage and family laws, prohibition of fornication and adultery, social conduct, etc.). A set of juridically-recognized guidelines helps ethicists and legislators to derive rulings on issues not specified in the Quran or the authentic tradition of the Prophet, among which are: that necessities overrule prohibitions; the choice of the lesser of two harms; the priority of repelling harm over obtaining benefit; the priority of communal over individual welfare; and the rule of “wherever welfare goes, there goes the statute of God”.

Keywords

Contraceptive Method Legal Ruling Human Organ Surrogate Mother Selective Abortion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hassan Hathout
    • 1
  1. 1.Islamic Center of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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