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DignityA History$
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Remy Debes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199385997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199385997.001.0001

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Islamic Conceptions of Dignity

Islamic Conceptions of Dignity

Historical Trajectories and Paradigms

(p.99) Chapter 4 Islamic Conceptions of Dignity

Mustafa Shah

Oxford University Press

An interesting selection of discussions germane to the concept of dignity is to be found in the medieval Islamic literary sources. Within the traditions of learning associated with law, theology, and the literature of classical ethicists, writers frequently broached topics in which notions of honor, equality, rank, station, self-esteem, respect, integrity, inalienable worth, and gravitas featured prominently in their treatments and syntheses. The percipient gauging of such topics in the literary sources confirms not only the elaborateness and depth of the attendant discussions, but also the significance attached to conceptions of dignity within expressions of classical Islamic thought. With a view to exploring the historical background of the various deliberations and developments therein, this chapter reviews the broader contexts in which they were defined, situating their relevance within the vector of current Western academic discourses on dignity.

Keywords:   Islamic ethics, Islamic adab, Islamic law, kalam, Qur’an, hadith, karama, dignity

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