Area of Research
Call for Papers: Maqāṣid and Ethics: Foundations, Approaches, and Applied Fields

The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) is pleased to invite scholars, academics and researchers to submit their research papers to its seminar on

Maqāṣid and Ethics: Foundations, Approaches, and Applied Fields

on December 6-8, 2021 in Doha, Qatar.

The attached Background Paper gives detailed information about the scope of the seminar, main themes, the suggested questions to be addressed, and how to engage various scholarly disciplines. The expectation is that interested researchers will carefully read this Background Paper before writing their abstracts and full papers later.

Download BackGround Paper

Themes and key questions

There are four themes for this seminar:

  • 1/ Maqāṣid and ethics: concepts and the theoretical framework
    • The concepts of maqāṣid, maslaḥa, and ethics
    • A comparative analysis between Ṭāha ʿAbdurraḥmān’s proposal and the fiqhī tradition
    • Maqāṣid and teleology
    • Exploring the relationship of maqāṣid and ethics in foundational and contemporary scholarly works
    • Classifying virtues under the embellishments (taḥsīniyyāt): do ethics fall under the essentials or the embellishments?
    • Maqāṣid: actions, intents, and ends


  • 2/ Maqāṣid al-sharīʿa: ethical issues and principles
    • Benefit and the philosophy of values
    • Maqāṣid between the fiqhī reasoning (taʿlīl) and moral reasoning
    • Maslaḥa and utilitarianism
    • The hierarchy of maṣlaḥa and the relevance to the five rulings
    • The uṣūlī debate over maṣlaḥa
    • The hierarchy of maṣlaḥa and the criteria for balancing benefits
    • The essentials: a historical account, the criteria for determining essentials, the potential for restricting what counts as essential, and the relevance to common morality and universal values
    • Essentials and the values of modernity: capitalizing on the concept of essentials in modern times
    • Maṣlaḥa and desires (ḥuẓūẓ al-nafs): good deeds between the objectives of the lawgiver and the objectives of the mukallaf
    • Commands/forbids and divine command theory: a comparative study
    • Religious restrainer and natural restrainer: ethics between the inner and outer
    • Philosophy of permissibility: the permissible between divine objectives and the agent’s objectives
    • Maqāṣid and sources for judgement: can maqāṣid be a source for conducting rulings?
    • Compliance (al-imtithāl) and virtue: can compliance with commands and prohibitions produce virtuous person?
    • Maqāṣid between Ashʿarite epistemology and Muʿtazilite epistemology
    • Ethics and custom (ʿurf): virtues (makārim al-akhlāq) and good habits (maḥāsin al-ʿādāt) between stability and change


  • 3/ Ethical approaches to maqāṣid
    • Contemporary ethical approaches (Muḥammad ʿAbdullāh Drāz, Ṭāha ʿAbdurraḥmān, and others).
    • Moral cultivation: analytical reading of one of the foundational works on maqāṣid from an ethical perspective (e.g al-Ghazālī, al-ʿIzz bin ʿAbd al-Salām, al-Shāṭibī,…)


  • 4/ Applied cases

Choose a specific case from one of the following fields:

  • Gender issues
  • Economics and financial transactions
  • Politics
  • Bioethics
  • Human rights
  • Capitalizing on maqāṣid in political Islam
  • Environmental ethics

Or any other topic provided it fits under "maqāṣid and ethics".


Guidelines for papers

Abstracts and research papers are to fulfill the following:

  1. Avoid fiqhī or uṣūlī treatment that does not address modern ethical concerns
  2. Should address a specific and clear research question
  3. Should adopt an analytical approach
  4. Papers addressing the ethical theory of a specific scholar should avoid delving into biography and restrict analysis to the ethical theory itself
  5. Applied papers should include a theoretical foundation on which the applied analysis is built, bringing together the theoretical and the applied. Papers that provide general explorations or simply present Quran and Hadith quotations without engaging analytically and critically with Quran and Hadith commentaries will be excluded


CILE calls on scholars and academicians with interest in the topic of the seminar, especially from the fields of maqāṣid, fiqh and uṣūl al-fiqh, philosophy, and applied fields (including medicine, business, economics, politics, environment, and others) to send their submissions including:

  1. An abstract (300 to 500 words) that details the idea/argument, key research question, and the proposed methodology to address the question
  2. A short biography (not exceeding 500 words) that details the academic background of the researcher, their research interests, and key publications

Scholars with successful submission will be contacted and invited to submit their full papers (7000 to 10,000 words) according to the timeline listed below.


About the seminar

Abstracts and papers will be evaluated by a scientific committee building on scientific criteria and taking into consideration the relevance of the submission to the topic of the seminar. A limited number of successful submissions will be selected to invite their authors to participate in the seminar to be held in Doha. CILE will cover travel and accommodation expenses


Publishing accepted papers

After concluding the seminar, the accepted papers will undergo blind peer review, after which they will be published in a special volume of the Journal of Islamic Ethics (JIE) or in an edited volume under the Studies in Islamic Ethics Series, both of which published by Brill in Leiden. All publications will be open access.


Language for papers and the seminar

Abstracts and papers may be submitted in Arabic or in English. The seminar will use both languages with simultaneous interpretation made available.

Download BackGround Paper

Timeline for submissions and the seminar

  • Deadline for sending submissions (abstracts and biographies): July 25, 2021
  • Informing scholars with decision on abstracts: August 1, 2021
  • Deadline for sending first draft of full paper: October 25, 2021
  • Informing scholars of decision on submitted papers: November 10, 2021
  • Date for the seminar to be held at CILE in Doha: December 6-8, 2021
  • Deadline for submission of the final papers after implementing the necessary revisions: January 30, 2022


Contact details


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