Discussions of Islamic medical ethics tend to focus on Sharī‘ah-based, or obligation-based, ethics. However, limiting Islamic medical ethics discourse to the derivation of religious duties ignores discussions about moulding an inner disposition that inclines towards adherence to the Sharī‘ah. In classical Islamic intellectual thought, such writings are the concern of adab literature. In this paper, we call for a renewal of adabi discourse as part of Islamic medical ethics. We argue that adab complements Sharī‘ah-based writings to generate a more holistic vision of Islamic medical ethics by supplementing an obligation-based approach with a virtue-based approach. While Sharī‘ah-based medical ethics focuses primarily on the moral status of actions, adab literature adds to this genre by addressing the moral formation of the agent. By complementing Sharī‘ah-based approaches with adab-focused writings, Islamic medical ethics discourse can describe the relationship between the agent and the action, within a moral universe informed by the Islamic intellectual tradition.
- Religious Ethics
- Moral Status
- International Affairs
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