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The Islamic Pursuit of Human Dignity: Revisiting Fundamental Rights Theories in Islamic Law and Legal Philosophy

Author:

Jeroen Vlug

Alliance of Civilizations Institute of Ibn Haldun University, TR
About Jeroen

Ph.D. Candidate and Teaching Fellow. I would like to express my gratitude to Arnold Yasin Mol and Tareq Sharawi for reading and commenting on an early draft of this article.

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Abstract

The emergence of the modern human rights regime in the twentieth century instigated a reconfiguration of cosmopolitan ideals. It is hard to imagine any contemporary discourse on global ethics and justice without reference to human rights language. Notwithstanding its great success in the landscape of international law and politics, human rights discourse has also been criticized for being overly ethnocentric. This article aims to contribute to a diversification of this discourse by exploring the conceptualizations of fundamental rights that are indigenous to the classical Islamic legal tradition. It revisits the idea of fundamental rights in Islam by analyzing core texts from the classical Islamic legal canon, focusing particularly on discussions regarding the rights to life, freedom and property in legal treatises of law (fiqh) and legal philosophy (uṣūl al-fiqh). In doing so, this article hopes to contribute to the diversification of the historical and contemporary human rights discourse and move beyond the dominant “legal Orientalism” which straightjackets Islamic law into Western legal concepts.
How to Cite: Vlug J, ‘The Islamic Pursuit of Human Dignity: Revisiting Fundamental Rights Theories in Islamic Law and Legal Philosophy’ (2020) 2 Cross-cultural Human Rights Review 23 DOI: http://doi.org/10.52854/cchrr.38
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Published on 30 Sep 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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