Message of the Director – CILE - Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics

Message of the Director

Professor Tariq Ramadan Message

Welcome to CILE

We are very happy to welcome you to the website of the research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics.

Established in September 2011, the Center was officially launched on the 15th January 2012 in Doha, Qatar. The very essence of this Center is to promote research and consider the relationship between Islamic scriptural sources and Islamic ethics relating to contemporary issues.

The primary objective of the Center is to take the Islamic scriptural sources very seriously and, return to the principles of Islam and the texts themselves, while trying to promote research of the different understandings of some of these texts and the different interpretations. The Center aims to distinguish between the immutable principles that are found within these scriptural references and to identify the principles that are subject to rethinking and may be implemented in another way as Muslims face the new challenges of today. Here, there is the important field of study of methodology (manhajiyya) – interpreting the texts, promoting a typology between clear-cut texts and the conditions of implementation relying on the prophetic traditions.

The Center also aims to address specific contemporary issues, and in particular, issues relating to Islamic Applied Ethics (al akhlaqiyyat). Here, the Centre will consider the relationship, from an Islamic viewpoint, between the legal framework and the ethical teachings of Islam. It is often the case with some interpretations of the texts by scholars within the legal field that whilst the norms (akham) are defined, the ethical understanding is not always highlighted. It is as if Islamic Ethics has to do with “good behavior” and not with “questioning the meanings and the goals”. The Centre’s objective is to reconcile the legal framework with the ethical horizon and to try to understand the necessary relationship between the two fields of study. To achieve this, the Centre will focus upon specific fields of research – arts, economics, education, environment, finance, food, gender, media, medicine/bioethics, politics, psychology, etc. Within each of these fields, the Center will address contemporary issues by inviting both scholars of the text (ulamâ’ an-nusûs) and scholars of the context (ulamâ’ al-wâqi) to work together in very specialized, closed seminars, where they will focus upon precise and sensitive questions.

The Center aims to promote the research of specialized students working within these fields – publishing papers and books which will contribute towards gaining a better sense of how a contemporary applied Islamic ethics can be considered and promoted in our world.

Also, it aims to reach out and to make all of this information accessible to both Muslims and people of other faiths and philosophies. Hence, the Center will contribute towards bringing, to the fore, the dynamic process of thought within the Islamic tradition. This website is a critical means for the Centre, to provide both an arena through which its outputs and the thoughts among scholars and the specialists can be published, and also to promote research, dialogue and papers written by scholars, students and lecturers. The website will be interactive – so that the Center can be in contact with people from all different fields from around the world: we expect them to help the Center to identify the critical questions, help us to explore these issues at, a more in-depth level, and to interact with us.

Through this website, you are very welcome to let us know your thoughts, your questions, and the priorities as you see them. The Centre will work at different levels: in a very scholarly way in relation to sensitive issues, in an academic way by promoting research and, with a public presence to inform people of the contemporary questions, answers and challenges that still need to be addressed in relation to Islamic Ethics.

The Center recognizes that it is essential for Muslims to have internal debates and discussions; however we are also keen to interact with people of other faiths, spiritualties and philosophies who have ethical concerns and are interested in contributing towards our work. We invite you too, to share your views as to what the state of affairs is within your profession, or specific area of research or study, relating to any of the fields that the Center is exploring.

This website is a means for you to keep in touch with the Centre. We would like the website to give people access to information and also facilitate interaction between people.

Interaction is an essential element of the Center, since its work can only be useful if we are able to reach out to scholars, students, and ordinary people from around the world. We hope that you too will play a part in this project; that you too will contribute towards this new and exciting venture.

Thank you for visiting the Center’s website and for any kind of contribution towards the achievement of our objectives.

Tariq Ramadan