Disability in Islamic Law
International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine, Band 32
The book analyzes attitudes to people with various disabilities based on Muslim jurists’ works in the Middle Ages and the modern era. Very little has been written so far on people with disabilities in a general Islamic context, much less in reference to Islamic law. The main contribution of the book is that it focuses on people with disabilities and depicts the place and status that Islamic law has assigned to them.
1 When I completed my book Islamic Medical Ethics in the Twentieth Century , I was aware that I had omitted certain topics that I would have to return to. One of these was the ethical treatment of disabilities and the disabled, and of handicaps and the handicapped. Since responses to burning medical dilemmas within the wide field of medical ethics was the main focus of that book, it addressed ethical aspects of the doct- patient relationship, and contemporary Islamic debates on issues such as birth control and abortion, artificial insemination, organ transplants, postmortem exa- nations and euthanasia. The main source material was 20th-century fatwas (legal responses) issued by various Middle Eastern muftis. In this book I now wish to survey attitudes to the disabled and their disabilities as evinced by selected Sunni and Shi‘i legal compilations throughout 1400 years of scholarly Islamic activity, but also through contemporary fatwas. The sources used for this book are a selection of medieval as well as modern legal writings, medical books and articles in Arabic, books and articles on medicine from an Islamic religious point of view, Prophetic medicine, and the Qur’an and medicine. I have scrutinized all these for their consideration of people with disabilities, and for the behavioral or social adjustments these people were offered, mainly through legal rulings.
Foreword. Introduction. 1. People with disabilities and the performance of religious duties. 2. People with disabilities and jihad. 3. People with disabilities and marriage. 4. The Khuntha. 5. Disabilities caused by humans: Intentional and unintentional injuries. Summary. Bibliography. Appendix. Index of terminology. Index of names. Index of disabilities.
The book analyzes attitudes to people with various disabilities based on Muslim jurists’ works (fiqh) in the Middle Ages and the modern era. In the Islamic legal literature people with disabilities are mentioned sporadically, and often within broad topics such as religious duties, jihad, marriage, etc., but seldom as a subject by its own right. Very little has been written so far on people with disabilities in a general Islamic context, much less in reference to Islamic law. This is the innovation of the book. The main contribution of Disabilities in Islamic Law is that it focuses on people with disabilities and depicts the place and status that Islamic law has assigned to them, as well as how the law envisions their participation in religious, social, and communal life. All in all, the laws concerning people with disabilities demonstrate a very advanced social outlook, to judge from the considerations and arguments of the Muslim jurists. Scholars of Islamic law, medicine and ethics, Islamic studies, sociology, social work, and law, and anyone interested in comparative research of people with disabilities in various cultures and religions, will find an abundance of helpful information in the book.
A comprehensive book on disabilities and how they are dealt with in Islamic law From purity to punishment: being part of human experience, disability is part of Islamic law as well An overview of Islamic law and religion and the construction of disability
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