“Islamic Ethics and Decolonialization - From the Certainties of Ma’ruf and Munkar to the Uncertainties of Post-this and Post-that”
The Qur’an seemingly postulates the idea of a clearly defined good based on widely accepted and acceptable knowables or knowns (ma’ruf) pitted against evil (munkar). These ethical distinctions are also reflected in the Muslim historiographical framing of pre-Islamic Arabia as ‘jahilliyyah’ (arrogant ignorance) against the light of islam/Islam. Dr. Esack reflects on these binaries in the light of the heurism and uncertainties offered by contemporary approaches to ethics. In this talk, he offers a decolonialized perspective as a response to the challenges posed by the seeming certainty of Islamic ethics by considering the urgencies (and the certainties) of the Muslim peripheries (even as these - both Muslims and the peripheries - may themselves be ever-changing).
Farid Esack is a South African scholar of Islam who completed the Darsi Nizami, the traditional Islamic Studies program, in Madrasahs in Karachi, Pakistan. He did his PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK) and subsequently did some post-doctoral work on Biblical Hermeneutics at the Philosophisch Theologische Hochschule, Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt-am-Main.
He is the author of several publications including Qur’an, Liberation & Pluralism: An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity Against Oppression, On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today and An Introduction to the Qur’an (all by Oxford: Oneworld). His current major field of interest and commitment is Islam and AIDS. He is the author of a series of publications dealing with this area including Islam, HIV & AIDS – Reflections Based on Compassion, Responsibility and Justice. He also co-edited “Islam and AIDS – Between Scorn, Pity and Justice", with Sarah Chiddy. He has also published widely on Islam, Gender, Liberation Theology, Inter-faith Relations, Religion & Identity and Qur'anic Hermeneutics.
Part of the Spring Lecture Series on Islamic Ethics
Recorded on April 25, 2013
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