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A_Global_Ethics_for_a_Globaliz.pdf

A_Global_Ethics_for_a_Globaliz.pdf

[63]

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

Anis Ahmad

Abstract

[Islamic ethics recognizes the role of intuitions, reason, customs and traditions, so long as all these draw their legitimacy from the Divine principles. First and foremost is the principle of coherence and unity in life. The second foundational ethical principle is the practice of justice or equity, fairness, moderation, beauty and balance in life. Then come respect, protection and promotion of life. The role of reason and rational judgment in human decision-making is also important. Protection of linage and dignity of genealogy, too, has relevance to people of the entire world. These divinely inspired ethical principles of Islam – transcending finitude of human mind and experience – are not local, regional or national on their origin. Their universality makes them globally applicable, absolute and pertinent in changed circumstances and environment. They are human friendly and offer appreciable solutions to human problem in this age of globalization. – Eds.]

A phobia generally stands for an obsession or an intense fear of

an object or a situation, like dog phobia, school phobia, blushing

phobia. Phobias are associated with almost any psychiatric condition

but are most often related with anxiety or obsessional states leading to

queer compulsive behavior.1 Islamophobia, a pegurative terminology,

used more frequently in post 9/11 era, refers to a reactionary

understanding of Islam and Muslims as dogmatic, fundamentalist, less

civilized, anti-rational, backward, destructive and terrorist. Islam is

perceived through the prism of news and media as a faith which

prescribes all those things which conflict and negate the western value

system and pose a threat to the western civilization and rationality.2

This conceptual and psychological problem of the western statesmen,

media experts, think tanks and researchers is not recent. Islam and

Muslims have been for centuries regarded rivals, enemies and

opponents of the west. For the past two centuries, at the least, a

political, intellectual and cultural encounter, between the west and the

Muslim world, has taken place. In this encounter the west was has been

on an offensive and the Muslim world took mostly a defensive

approach. With the rise capitalist economy, secular political system and

liberal intellectual tradition in the west, the western imperialism

penetrated its political, economic and cultural colonialism deep in the

Muslim world. One symbol of it was that the official and commercial

language of the colonizer replaced the native languages. Consequently

in some Muslim lands (Algerian, Tunis, Morroco) French because

Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad is a meritorious Professor and Vice Chancellor, Riphah

International University, Islamabad. He is also Editor of Quarterly Journal Maghrab awr Islam (West & Islam), published by Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. 1 Ley, “Phobia,” 7. 2 Said, Covering Islam, 7.

Policy Perspectives

64

practically their first language and Arabic become secondary; In the

Pakistan sub-continent, Sudan, Malaysia, South Africa and Nigeria

whenever the British colonialism ruled, English because official

language. Similarly Italian and Dutch languages were popularized

among in Libya and Indonesia. Adoption of a foreign language had its

socio-cultural implication on the Muslim people. At the same time their

relationship of the colonizer and the colonized also persuaded the

colonizer to understand the mind of the colonized and take necessary

measures to keep the colonizer subjugated. In order to understand and

control the colonized, imperialists tried to learn about the native

languages and cultures. This persuaded the British, French, Italian and

Dutch, to create centers for study of the Orient with focuses on study of

language and culture of the natives. They also trained a generation of

native scholars who subscribed to the western mind-set, research

methodology and its basic assumptions.

All known civilizations have their distinct concepts of good and

bad. Even those considered as “uncivilized” and heathens believe in

certain norms and values. They generally respect their elders and love

children, they value honesty and disapprove cheating. Traditionally,

local customs and traditions, after continuous practice, evolve into

norms and laws. These norms and laws define for them what is good or

bad behavior. When ethical behavior is considered an obligation and

duty, it is called deontological ethics. Furthermore while determining

right or wrong, one may take up an objective or subjective approach.

Those who think good and right can be known like natural objects, or

that right and wrong can be empirically verified are called ethical

naturalists. While those who think right or wrong are a matter of

emotions, or attitude of a group, are termed emotivists. Those who

hold to non-cognitivism and think that attitudes of a group determine

ethicality or non-ethicality of a judgment are called ethical relativists.

The word ethics [ethickos in Greek, from ethos meaning custom

or usage] as a technical term also refers to morals and character.

Moralis was used by Cicero, who considered it the equivalent of the

ethikos of Aristotle with both referring to practical activity3. Ethical

behavior in general means good conduct, acting with a sense of right

and wrong, good and bad, and virtue and evil. Philosophers classify

ethics in various categories, for example Normative ethics deals with

“building systems designed to provide guidance in making decisions

concerning good and evil, right and wrong…”4.

With these preliminary observations on the meaning of the

term, we may look briefly on the axiological and teleological aspects of

ethical behavior. The axiological or value aspect subsumes that ethical

behavior is to be considered good. The latter simply means that the

3 Reese, Dictionary of Philosophy, 156. 4 Ibid, 156.

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

65

ultimate objective and purpose of an action should be achievement of

good. In either case western and eastern ethical thought consider social

consensus, at a given time, as the source of legitimacy of an ethical

act. Though certain ethical values apparently carry universality e.g.

truth, the question, what is truth as such, whether truth is practiced for

the sake of truth, or to avoid a personal harm, or for the collective

benefit of a society, can be approached from different perspectives.

In Western thought Bishop Joseph Butler (1692-1752 C.E.) held

that a person‟s conscience, when neither polluted nor subverted or

deranged intuitively, makes ethical judgments. Immanuel Kant (1724-

1804 C.E.) is known for his taking law as the basis of ethics; therefore

here ethical behavior, for him, is a matter of a categorical imperative.

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832 C.E.) considered the greatest good of the

greatest number of the people as the goal of ethics. Herbert Spencer

(1820-1903 C.E.) evolved the concept of evolutionary utilitarianism.

Edward A. Westermarck (1862-1939 C.E.) pleaded the view of ethical

relativism thus considering ethical systems as a reflection of social

conditions. While William of Ockham (1290-1349 C.E.) regarded ethics

as having religious origin in the will of God where the Divine command

declares what is right or wrong.

Except for a handful of religious thinkers and philosophers,

those in the East or the West

consider intuition, collective

good or social conditions

responsible for considering an

act good and ethical or bad

and immoral. Nevertheless

certain concepts such as

justice, beneficence and non-

malfeasance are commonly

agreed as basic ethical

principles in the West. Islamic

ethics on the contrary draws

its legitimacy from Divine revelation or Wah}ī. The Qur‟ān and the Prophetic Sunnah provide

universal ethical principles with specific instructions on what is good, therefore permissible and allowed (h}alāl), what is desirable (mubāh})

and what is bad and impermissible (h}arām) as well as what is disliked

(makrūh).

These two comprehensive terms, h}alal and h}aram cover all

possible areas of human activity wherein one exercises ethical

judgment, and thus acts morally or immorally. Ethical boundaries (h}udūd) are drawn to indicate areas to be avoided. A vast area of

mubāh} also exists where under general universal Divine principles,

Maqās}id al-Sharī‘ah or objectives of the Divine law, individual and

collective rational, logical and syllogistic reasoning (ijtihād) leads to

judgments and positions on emerging bio-medical and ethical issues.

All known civilizations have their

distinct concepts of good and bad.

Even those considered as

“uncivilized” also believe in

certain norms and values.

Policy Perspectives

66

The basic difference between the Eastern and Western ethical

philosophy, and the Islamic ethical paradigm can be illustrated with the

help of a simple diagram.

Evolution of Ethical Values in the East and the West

Ethical Norms

and values

Social Habits

and Behavior

Local Customs

and Traditions

Sociologist, anthropologists and historians of culture trace origin of

ethical values of a people in their physical environment. With the

change in space and time, values and norms are also expected to

change. The norms and values of a pre-industrial society and a post-

modernist society are not expected to be similar. Social, economic and

political evolution is supposed to cause basic changes in the value

system of a people who go through this process. Values and norms,

therefore, are considered relative to socio-economic change. Truth,

beauty and justice are, therefore not absolute but subject to

environmental change and evolution. Man is supposed to adjust his

behavior and conduct accordingly.

Islamic ethics recognizes the role of intuitions, reason, customs

and traditions, so long as all these draw their legitimacy from the

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

67

Divine principles of Sharī‘ah. No customs or traditions contrary to the

principles of Sharī‘ah can serve as the basis of social, economic,

political, legal and cultural policies and practices. Social development

and progress is subservient to Sharī‘ah. Divine legislation (Sharī‘ah, in

the strict sense of the word) is neither a product of social evolution nor

particular to a place, people, society or historical context. Its principles

are operational in all seasons and in a variety of human conditions.

Islamic ethics is founded on divine principles of sharī‘ah (the maqās}id) which can be summarized as follows: First and foremost is

the principle of coherence and unity in life (tawh}īd). It simply means

that human behavior has to be coherent, unified and not contradictory

and incoherent. If it is ethical to respect human life, the same principle

should be observed when a person deals with his friends or adversaries.

Justice, truth and thankfulness should not be selective. If a person

declares that Allah is the Ultimate Authority in the universe, then His

directions and orders should be followed not only in the month of

Ramadan and in the masjid or within the boundaries of the Ka‘bah, but

even when a person is in the farthest corner of the world one should

observe Allah‟s directions in one‟s personal life, in economic activities,

social transactions, as well as in political decision making. Unity in life or tawh}īd in practice, therefore, is a value and norm not particular to a

place, time or people.

If a comparison is made with Confucianism for example, one

finds that in Confucianism (founded by Confucius: 551-479 B.C.E.),

there is great emphasis on the noble person (chuntzu). The noble

person is expected to observe

certain values like humanity,

benevolence and compassion

(jen); righteousness (yi), filial

piety (xiao) and acting

according to “rules of

propriety” in the most

appropriate manner, or

observing ritual and ceremony

(li).

Jin or human

heartedness and yi or

righteousness together build a person of high moral quality5.

Righteousness and human heartedness in Confucianism are not for the

sake of any utilitarian end. Righteousness has to be for the sake of

righteousness. This reminds us of the Kantian categorical imperative, or

following ethics as a legal obligation. Confucianism does not accept

ethical relativism. In other words, ethical behavior and a righteous

person stand for “principled morality”.

5 Yu-Lan, The Spirit of Chinese Philosophy, 10-12.

Islamic ethics recognizes the role

of intuition, reason, customs and

traditions, so long as all these

draw their legitimacy from the

Divine principles.

Policy Perspectives

68

The Confucian term li is often translated as “ritual” or

“sacrifice”. The fact of the matter is that it stands for more than doing a

ritual in the prescribed manner. Confucius, in response to one of his

students, is reported to have said: “in funerals and ceremonies of

mourning, it is better that the mourners feel true grief, than that they

be meticulously correct in every ceremonial detail.”6 Ethics in practice

appears a major concern of Confucianism. It also indicates that ethical

consciousness and a desire for ethical and moral conduct and behavior

is a universal phenomenon.

Thus according to the Islamic worldview, ethical and moral behavior (taqwa, ‘amal-s}āleh), observing what is essentially good

(ma‘rūf) and virtue (birr) is an obligation. Reasoned ethical judgment is

the basis of man‟s relation with his Creator as well as the basis of

serving and interacting with His Creation .Every human action is to be

based on ma‘rūf and taqwa, which are the measurable manifestations

of tawhid or unity in life. Man is neither an economic entity nor a social

animal, but an ethical being. Allah informed the angels before the

creation of the first human couple that He was going to create His

khalīfah, vicegerent or deputy, on earth. Allah did not say a “social

animal” or an “economic man” or a “shadow of god/monarch” or one

“obsessed with libido” was going to be created. khalīfah conceptually

means a person who acts ethically and responsibly. Therefore Man in

the light of the Qur‟ān is essentially an ethical being.

This realization of the unity in life, is the first condition for being

a believer in Islam and this principle has global application. Hence not

only for a Muslim but also equally for a Buddhist, Confucian, a

Christian, or a Hindu it is important to liberate oneself from

contradictions in conduct and

behavior. Specifically for a

Muslim observance of one and

the same ethical standards is

a pre-requisite for Īmān or

faith. An authentic Prophetic h}adīth states:

“It is reported on the

authority of Anas b. Malik that

the Prophet (May peace and

blessings be upon him)

observed: one amongst you

believes (truly) till one likes

for his brother or for his neighbor that which he loves for himself.” 7

The Qur‟ān in several places underscores unity in action or unity

in behavior and profession as the key to ethical and moral conduct.

6 Creel, Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao Tse-tung, 33. 7 Saheeh Muslim. Book 1. Hadīth no. 72.

The principle of coherence and

unity in life is the first and

foremost. It simply means that

human behavior has to be

coherent, unified and not

contradictory and incoherent.

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

69

“O Believers! Why do you say something which you

do not do? It is very hateful in the sight of Allah that

you say something which you do not do.” 8

Unity in life as the first core teaching of Islam also happens to

be the basis of what have been called objectives of the Sharī‘ah (maqās}id al-Sharī‘ah). Since unity in life means elimination of dual

standards of ethics and morality and development of a holistic

personality, its applicability and relevance is not particular to be

Muslims. Needless to say the objective of sharī‘ah are essentially

objectives of humanity as such truly global. The Qur‟an invites the

whole of humanity to critically

examine human conduct and

behavior, and through the application of tawh}īd, create

harmony, balance, coherence

and unity in human conduct and

social policy. This principle was

not a tribal, Arabian or Makkan

practice. It was revealed to the

Prophet that the Rabb or

Naurisher of the whole of

human community is Allah

alone, therefore He alone to be

taken as Transcendent creator

and sustainer of the whole universe and mankind. The Qur‟anic

terminology Allah is not an evolved form of ilah but proper and personal

name of Transcendent creator of mankind. Islamic law similarly was not

a matter of Arabian customs traditions assigned normativeness by

Islam. Islam cause to Islamize the Arabs and non-Arabs. It never

wanted to Arabize the non-Arabic speaking world community.

The second foundational ethical principle, and an important

objective of the Sharī‘ah is the practice of „adl (justice) or equity,

fairness, moderation, beauty and balance in life. ‘Adl (justice) is one of

the major attributes of Allah, for He is Most Just, Fair and

Compassionate to His creation. At the same time, it is the principle

operating in the cosmos, in the world of vegetation, in the animal

world, sea world as well as in humanity at large. The Qur‟ān refers to

the constitution of man regarding this principle:

“O man! What had lured you away from your

Gracious Rabb, Who created you, fashioned you,

proportioned you.”9

8 As-Saff:61:2-3. 9 Al-Infitaar: 82:6-7.

Second foundational ethical

principle, is the practice of

justice or equity, fairness,

moderation, beauty and balance

in life.

Policy Perspectives

70

In Islam ethical conduct and virtuous behavior (taqwa) is

directly linked with ‘adl:

“O Believers! Be steadfast for the sake of Allah, and

bear true witness, and let not the enmity of a people

incite you to do injustice; do justice; that is nearer to

piety….”10

‘Adl is a comprehensive term. It also includes the meaning of

excelling and transcending in ethical and moral conduct:

“Allah commands doing justice, doing good to others,

and giving to near relatives, and He forbids

indecency, wickedness, and rebellion: He admonishes

you so that you may take heed.”11

Though generally taken to mean legal right of a person, „adl has

much wider implications. At a personal level it means doing justice to

one‟s own self by being moderate and balanced in behavior. Therefore

if a person over sleeps or does not sleep at all, starves in order to

increase spirituality or to lose weight, or on the contrary, overeats and keeps on gaining weight, in both cases, he commits z}ulm or injustice

to his own self. „Adl is to be realized at the level of family. The h}adīth

of the Prophet specifies that one‟s body has a right on person similarly

his wife has a right on a person.

One who is kind, loving, caring and

compassionate toward family is

regarded by the Prophet a true

Muslim. „Adl has to be the basis of

society. A human society may

survive despite less food but no

society can survive without „adl or

fairness and justice. „Adl in

economic matters means an

economic order with oppressions,

monopoly and unfair distribution of

wealth. It also demands political

freedom and right to association, difference of opinions, criticism and

right to elect most suitable person for public position. If a political

system does not provide freedom of speech, respect for difference of

opinion and practice of human rights it cannot be called a just political

order. The capitalist world order, because of its oppressive nature cannot be called an „adil order. It remains a z}alim order so long it does

not provide the due share of the laborer.

10 Al-Ma’idah: 5:8. 11 An-Nah}l: 16:90.

A human society may

survive despite less food

but no society can survive

without fairness and

justice.

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

71

‘Adl in a medical context means professional excellence in one‟s

area of competence and specialization, for the simple reason that ‘adl

means doing a thing at its best. It implies devoting full attention to the

patient in order to fully understand the problem and coming up with the

best possible remedy. It also means prescribing a quality medicine with

least financial burden on the patient, and avoiding unnecessary

financial burden on a patient by prescribing irrelevant laboratory tests

or high cost medicine when a less costly medicine can do the same.

Thus if in one single area proper attention is not paid, it is deviation

from the path of ‘adl.

The third vital global ethical principle and one of the objective of

the Sharī‘ah is respect, protection and promotion of life. It too has

wider and vital implications for the whole of mankind. This principle is

drawn directly from the Qur‟ānic injunction that saving one human life

is like saving the whole of mankind, and destroying one single life,

unjustly, is like killing the whole of mankind.12

This Qur‟ānic injunction

makes it obligatory on every believing Muslim to avoid harming life or

killing, except when it is in return for committing manslaughter or

causing lawlessness in society.13

Since the word used in the Qur‟ān is nafs which means, self,

soul, individual human being, it is not particular to the Muslims or

people of a particular faith, creed or ethnicity. No individual or group of

human beings can be killed, or their life harmed without an ethical,

objective and legal justification. It also means that life when even in its

developmental stage is equally honorable and valuable. A fetus hence

has the same sanctity as a full-grown human being. Therefore any

things that can harm the fetus is also to be avoided in order to ensure

quality of life is not marginalized. For example if a female during

pregnancy uses alcoholic beverages, or drugs or even smokes,

medically all these are going to harm the fetus, and thus effect the

quality of life in future of a child yet to harm.

Not only this, but the principle has further serious implications

even for environmental policies. It is also directly relevant to the

manufacturing and production of pharmaceuticals. If the quality of

pharmaceuticals is not controlled, their use is bound to harm life.

This principle is also related to public policy on population. It

does not allow state to interfere in the bedroom of a person and impose

an embargo on childbirth, or allow abortion. These are only a few

serious ethical issue directly related to the principle of value of life.

12 “That whoever kills a person, except as a punishment for murder or mischief in the land, it will be written in his book of deeds as if he had killed all the human beings, and whoever will save a life shall be regarded as if he gave life to all the human beings…” Al-Ma’idah:5:32. 13 Ibid.

Policy Perspectives

72

Obviously these are universal applications of this principle and not

confined to the followers of Islam.

The fourth major ethical principle relates to the role of reason

and rational judgment in human decision-making. The fact that human

beings should have reasoned judgments, and rise above emotional

behavior, blind desires and drives is a major concern of the Sharī‘ah.

Consequently Islam does not permit suspension of freedom of

judgment. An obvious example is, if a person gets addicted to drugs or

hooked to intoxicants, their use influences his personal and social

relations, freedom of will, as

well as personal integrity. In

Islam independence of reason

and rational judgment is a pre-

condition for all legal

transactions. The Qur‟ān

considers the use of intoxicants immoral (fah}āsh). It is not only

sinful but also legally prohibited.

Modern medical research also

confirms the harmful effects of

drugs and intoxicants on the

mental health of people

irrespective of their race, color

or religion. However Islam‟s concern for reasoned and rational behavior

in personal and social life is not peculiar to Muslims. It‟s universal

values have global relevance to the conduct and behavior of all human

beings at a global level.

The fifth principle, protection of linage and dignity of genealogy,

too, has relevance to people of the entire world, irrespective of their

religion, race, color or language. It makes protection of genetic identity

and protection of lineage an ethical and legal obligation. The Islamic

social and legal system considers free mixing of sexes and pre-marital

conjugal relations immoral as well as unlawful. This has serious

implications for health sciences, social policy and legal system. This

global ethical principle deters a person from commercialization of the

human gene and also from the mixing of genes (such as in the case of

a surrogacy). This principle helps in preserving high standard of

morality in human society. It also discourages anonymity of the gene

and helps in preserving tradition of genetic tree.

This limit review of the objectives of Islamic shari‘ah indicates

that every principle has global relevance to ethical and moral conduct of

persons in a civilized society. The purpose of this brief resume of

universal and foundational Islamic ethical and moral principles, has

been first to dispel the impression that Islamic ethics is particular to the

Muslims; second to understand the objectives and origin of these

values in the Divine guidance and third, to find out how viable they are

in the contemporary world.

Islamic ethical principles

clearly differentiate between a

reasoned and rational judgment

and a judgment based on the

so-called blind drives.

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

73

The principles and the objectives of the Sharī‘ah, as mentioned

above, are practically the objectives of humanity. Many of the

biological, emotional or intellectual and social needs of man have been

interpreted in western social sciences as blind drives, instincts and

animal desires; Islamic ethical principles clearly differentiate between a

reasoned and rational judgment and a judgment based on the so-called

blind drives. For instance, some human actions may have apparent

similarity but they may be poles apart. A person may take a loan from

a bank on a mutually agreed interest rate to establish an industry.

Another person may also borrow money from a bank on the Islamic

ethical principles of profit sharing, and with no interest at all. Both

appear industrial loans yet essentially one supports the capitalistic

exploitative system, while the other encourages commercial and

industrial growth without indulging in interest or usury, totally

prohibited by Islam.

Legitimacy of Ethical Values

Before concluding, it may also be appropriate to add a few words on

the legitimacy of Islamic ethical principles. It may be asked, “do these

principles draw their legitimacy from their customary practice, or draw

their power and authority from somewhere else?

Ethical behavior in all walks of life is a major concern of Islam.

However it does not leave ethical judgment to the personal like or

dislike, or to the greatest good of the largest number of people, though

one of the maxims of the Sharī‘ah directly refers to public good or

maslaha ‘amah. The origin and legitimacy of values in the Islamic world view resides in Divine revelation (wah}ī). Revelation or kalaam/speech

of Allah should not be confused with inspiration or intuition, which is a subjective phenomenon. Revelation, wah}ī or kalaam of Allah is

knowledge which comes from beyond and therefore, it is not subjective

but objective. Being the spoken word of Allah, makes it transcend the

finitude of space and time. Though revealed in the Arabic language, it

addresses the whole of humanity (an-Naas). It uses Arabic language

only incidentally, for clarity in communication. The purpose of

revelation in Arabic was to Islamize the Arabs and not to arabize those

who enter in to the fold of Islam.

Islamic values by their very nature are universal and globally

applicable. None of the ethical norms have their roots in local or

Arabian customs and traditions. These are not particularistic, temporal

values that normally change with the passage of time. These are

universal values having their roots in the Divine, universalistic

revelation. The principle of ‘adl discussed above, is not particular to a

race, color, groups or a specific region, or period of history. Respect

and promotion of life is also a universal value. Similarly honesty,

fairness, truth are neither Eastern nor Western, these are universally

recognized applied values.

Policy Perspectives

74

The purpose of these universal Islamic values is to help human

beings develop a responsible vision of life. It is a gross underestimation

to consider life a sport, a moment of pleasure. Life has meaning, an

ethics by which it has to be lived, fashioned and organized.

The Islamic world view, as pointed out earlier looks on human

life holistically. It advocates integration and cohesion in life, and avoids compartmentalization and fragmentation. Tawh}īd or unity in life is

created when one single standard is observed in private and public life

and all human actions are motivated only by one single concern i.e how

to gain Allah‟s pleasure by observing an ethical and responsible life.

Islamic ethics can be summarized in only two points. First and

foremost, is observance of the rights of the Creator; living an ethical

life with full awareness of accountability on the day of Judgment as well

as in this world. Secondly, to fulfill obligations towards other human

beings not for any reward, recognition or compensation, but simply

because it pleases Allah. Serving humanity for the sake of humanity

may be a good cause but what makes serving humanity an ‘ibadah or

worship is serving Allah‟s servants for His sake, and not for any worldly

recognition by winning an excellent reward.

Islamic ethics in practice helps in binding the balanced,

responsible, receptive and proactive personality of a professional. The

primary Islamic ethical values briefly discussed above allow anyone

who follows these in their letter and spirit to reflect as a global citizen,

who transcends above discriminations of color, race, language or

religion. The Qur‟ān invites the entire humanity to adopt the path of

ethical living and practice, in order to make society peaceful, orderly

and responsive to needs of

the community. The Muslim

community is defined in the

Qur‟ān as the community of

ethically motivated persons

(khayra-ummah) or the

community of the middle path (ummatan-wast}ān)

that does not go out of

balance and proportion and

implements good or ma‘ruf.

Ethically responsible

behavior means a behavior that follows universal ethical norms and

laws and resists all immediate temptations. The strength of character

simply means strict observance of principles a person claims to

subscribe to. Thus Islamic professional ethics guides a professional in

all situations where an ethical judgment is to be made, in medical

treatment as well as in business transactions, and administrative

issues.

It is a gross underestimation to

consider life a sport, a moment of

pleasure. Life has meaning, an

ethics by which it has to be lived,

fashioned and organized.

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

75

Islamic ethics in practice encompasses not only formally known

social work but practically every action a human takes in society.

Islamic professional or work ethics is not confined to customer

satisfaction. A believer has to act ethically in personal as well as social,

financial, political and cultural matters. Change in space and time does

not lead to any change in ethical and moral standards and behavior.

Quality assurance as an ethical obligation is one of the major concerns

of the Qur‟ān. The general

principles of quality

assurance are mentioned at

several places in a variety

of context.

“Weigh with even

scales, and do not

cheat your fellow

men of what is

rightfully theirs…”14

It is further

elaborated when the Qur‟ān directs, that while delivering goods or

products one should not observe dual standards:

“Woe to those who defraud, who when, they take by

measure from men, take the full measure, but when

they give by measure or by weight to others, they

give less than due.”15

A medical practitioner for example, when he gets his

compensation in terms of consultation fee, it is his or her ethical

obligation to advice a patient with full responsibility, care and sense of

accountability to Allah. The same applies to a teacher, who must deliver

knowledge with full honesty, responsibility and fairness without hiding

the truth, or manipulation of facts. It equally applies to students and

researchers who do their utmost in seeking knowledge and truth, and

produce knowledge while avoiding plagiarism and other unfair means in

research.

14 Ash-Shū’ara:26:182-183. 15 Al-Mut}affifīn:83:1-3.

Islamic ethics in practice

encompasses not only formally

known social work but practically

every action a human takes in

society.

Policy Perspectives

76

The divinely inspired ethical principles transcend finitude of

humans mind and

experience. These are not

local, regional or national

on their origin, they are

not for a people with a

specific denomination

either. Their universality

makes them globally

applicable, absolute and

applicable in changed

circumstances and

environment. They are

human friendly but not a

result of human intellectual

intervention and offer

appreciable solutions to

human problem in this age

of globalization.

Wamā tawfīqī illa, bi Allah, wa Allahu A’lamu bi als}awāb.

The divinely inspired ethical

principles of Islam – transcending

finitude of human mind and

experience – are not local, regional

or national in their origin. Their

universality makes them globally

applicable, absolute and pertinent in

changed circumstances.

A Global Ethics for a Globalized World

77

References:

Creel, H.G. Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao Tse-tung. Chicago:

University of Chicago Press, 1953.

Ley, P. “Phobia.” in Encyclopedia of Psychology. edited by H.J. Eysenck,

et al, Vol III. New York, The Seabury Press, 1972.

Reese, William. Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion Eastern and

Western Thought. New Jersey: Huamanties Press, 1980.

Said, Edward W. Covering Islam, How Media and the Experts Determine

How We See the Rest of the World. New York: Panthoos Book,

1981.

Yu-Lan, Fung. The Spirit of Chinese Philosophy. Boston: Beacon Press,

1947.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited withoutpermission.

How it Works

  1. Clіck оn the “Place оrder tab at the tоp menu оr “Order Nоw” іcоn at the bоttоm, and a new page wіll appear wіth an оrder fоrm tо be fіlled.
  2. Fіll іn yоur paper’s іnfоrmatіоn and clіck “PRІCE CALCULATІОN” at the bоttоm tо calculate yоur оrder prіce.
  3. Fіll іn yоur paper’s academіc level, deadlіne and the requіred number оf pages frоm the drоp-dоwn menus.
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Nоte, оnce lоgged іntо yоur accоunt; yоu can clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn at the left sіdebar tо navіgate, make changes, make payments, add іnstructіоns оr uplоad fіles fоr the оrder created. e.g., оnce lоgged іn, clіck оn “Pendіng” and a “pay” оptіоn wіll appear оn the far rіght оf the оrder yоu created, clіck оn pay then clіck оn the “Checkоut” оptіоn at the next page that appears, and yоu wіll be able tо cоmplete the payment.

Meanwhіle, іn case yоu need tо uplоad an attachment accоmpanyіng yоur оrder, clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn at the left sіdebar menu оf yоur page, then clіck оn the “Vіew” buttоn agaіnst yоur Order ID and clіck “Fіles” and then the “add fіle” оptіоn tо uplоad the fіle.

Basіcally, іf lоst when navіgatіng thrоugh the sіte, оnce lоgged іn, just clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn then fоllоw the abоve guіdelіnes. оtherwіse, cоntact suppоrt thrоugh оur chat at the bоttоm rіght cоrner

NB

Payment Prоcess

By clіckіng ‘PRОCEED TО CHECKОUT’ yоu wіll be lоgged іn tо yоur accоunt autоmatіcally where yоu can vіew yоur оrder detaіls. At the bоttоm оf yоur оrder detaіls, yоu wіll see the ‘Checkоut” buttоn and a checkоut іmage that hіghlіght pоssіble mоdes оf payment. Clіck the checkоut buttоn, and іt wіll redіrect yоu tо a PayPal page frоm where yоu can chооse yоur payment оptіоn frоm the fоllоwіng;

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