Communication and Human Development

Islamic Ethics: Concept and Prospect

Islamic ethics as a discipline or a subject does not exist at the present. We do not have works that define its concept, outline its issues, and discuss its problems. What we have, instead, is a discussion by various writers  - philosophers, theologians, jurisprudents, sufis and political and economic theorists-in their particular fields of some issues that are either part of, or relevant to, Islamic ethics. Philosophers like Abu Nasr al Farabi (d. 329/950) and Abu ‘Ali Miskawayh (d. 421/1030), in their ethical works, have mostly rehashed Greek ethics. True, they have introduced, here and there, some Islamic terms and concepts and modified some notions that hurt their Islamic susceptibilities. But this does not make their ethics Islamic. They do not raise many issues that Islamic ethics must raise, and many ideas they have set forth cannot be considered to be Islamic unless they are seriously modified.

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