The Nonprofit Challenge: Integrating Ethics into the Purpose and Promise of Our Nation’s Charities

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Com - licensed to ETH Zuerich - PalgraveConnect - business should provide no solace as to how we think charities are operating. That particular bar is too low to be meaningful. Perhaps due to resource scarcity in most Islamic nations, there was an emphasis on limited and some claim also sustainable use of natural capital , i. Traditions of haram site and hima , an Arabic term meaning "protected place", and early urban planning were expressions of strong social obligations to stay within carrying capacity and to preserve the natural environment as an obligation of khalifa or "stewardship".

After Muslims established themselves in Madinah , Muhammad surveyed the natural resources in the region—the wadis riverbeds ; the rich, black volcanic soil; the high rangelands—and decreed that they be preserved and set aside as a hima. Hadiths on agriculture and environmental philosophy were compiled in the "Book of Agriculture" of the Sahih Bukhari , which included the following saying: [26].

There is none amongst the believers who plants a tree, or sows a seed, and then a bird, or a person, or an animal eats thereof, but it is regarded as having given a charitable gift [for which there is great recompense]. Several such statements concerning the environment are also found in the Qur'an, such as the following: [26]. And there is no animal in the earth nor bird that flies with its two wings, but that they are communities like yourselves.

Their works covered a number of subjects related to pollution such as air pollution, water pollution , soil contamination , municipal solid waste mishandling, and environmental impact assessments of certain localities. Many medieval Muslim thinkers pursued humanistic and rational approaches in discourses regarding values.

In the early Islamic Caliphate , the head of state, the Caliph, had a position based on the notion of a successor to Muhammad's political authority, who, according to Sunnis, were ideally elected by the people or their representatives. Fred Donner , in his book The Early Islamic Conquests , argues that the standard Arabian practice during the early Caliphates was for the prominent men of a kinship group, or tribe, to gather after a leader's death and elect a leader from amongst themselves, although there was no specified procedure for this shura , or consultative assembly.

Candidates were usually from the same lineage as the deceased leader, but they were not necessarily his sons. Capable men who would lead well were preferred over an ineffectual direct heir, as there was no basis in the majority Sunni view that the head of state or governor should be chosen based on lineage alone.

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Al-Mawardi has written that the caliph should be Qurayshi. Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani has said that the leader of the Muslims simply should be from the majority. Traditional Sunni Islamic lawyers agree that shura , loosely translated as 'consultation of the people', is a function of the caliphate.

The Majlis ash-Shura advise the caliph. The importance of this is premised by the following verses of the Qur'an: [ original research? Then when you have taken a decision from them , put your trust in Allah" [ ]. The majlis is also the means to elect a new caliph. Al-Mawardi has written that members of the majlis should satisfy three conditions: they must be just, they must have enough knowledge to distinguish a good caliph from a bad one, and must have sufficient wisdom and judgment to select the best caliph.

Al-Mawardi also said in emergencies when there is no caliphate and no majlis, the people themselves should create a majlis, select a list of candidates for caliph, then the majlis should select from the list of candidates. In an analysis of the shura chapter of the Qur'an, Qutb argued Islam requires only that the ruler consult with at least some of the ruled usually the elite , within the general context of God-made laws that the ruler must execute.

Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, writes that Shura is important and part of "the ruling structure" of the Islamic caliphate, "but not one of its pillars," and may be neglected without the Caliphate's rule becoming unIslamic. Non-Muslims may serve in the majlis, though they may not vote or serve as an official. Islamic legal framework included religious pluralism. Classical Sharia , the religious laws and courts of Christians , Jews and Hindus , were usually accommodated within the Islamic legal framework, as seen in the early Caliphate, Al-Andalus , Indian subcontinent , and the Ottoman Millet system.

In a notable example, Zoroastrian practice of incestuous "self-marriage" where a man could marry his mother, sister or daughter, was to be tolerated according to Ibn Qayyim — He based his opinion on the precedent that the prophet Muhammad, who did not forbid such self-marriages among Zoroastrians despite coming in contact with them and having knowledge of their practices. Citizens of the Rashidun Caliphate were also free to criticize the Rashidun Caliphs, as the rule of law was binding on the head of state just as much as it was for the citizens.

In a notable incident, when Umar tried to investigate a disturbance, by entering a home without permission, he was criticized for his behavior; he was also later criticized for the judgement he gave in that case. Similar situations also occurred during the time of Caliph Ali. For example, there was an occasion when he was giving a sermon and a Kharijite rudely interrupted him with insulting language.

Though he was urged to punish the interrupter, Ali declined on the grounds that his "right to freedom of speech must not be imperilled. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad quotes a letter by a cousin of Caliph al-Ma'mun , in which he gives permission to a Christian he was attempting to convert to speak his mind freely, as evidence that in Islam even religious controversies were not exempt from open discussion. According to George Makdisi and Hugh Goddard, "the idea of academic freedom " in universities was "modelled on Islamic custom" as practiced in the medieval Madrasah system from the 9th century.

The Caliph advises his governor on dealings with the poor masses thus:. Out of your hours of work, fix a time for the complainants and for those who want to approach you with their grievances. During this time you should do no other work but hear them and pay attention to their complaints and grievances. For this purpose you must arrange public audience for them during this audience, for the sake of Allah, treat them with kindness, courtesy and respect. Do not let your army and police be in the audience hall at such times so that those who have grievances against your regime may speak to you freely, unreservedly and without fear.

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Nahjul Balaagha letter In the field of human rights, early Islamic jurists introduced a number of advanced legal concepts which anticipated similar modern concepts in the field. These included the notions of the charitable trust and the trusteeship of property; the notion of brotherhood and social solidarity ; the notions of human dignity and the dignity of labour ; the notion of an ideal law; the condemnation of anti-social behavior ; the presumption of innocence ; the notion of "bidding unto good" assistance to those in distress ; and the notions of sharing , caring , universalism , fair industrial relations , fair contract, commercial integrity , freedom from usury , women's rights , privacy , abuse of rights, juristic personality , individual freedom , equality before the law , legal representation , non- retroactivity , supremacy of the law, judicial independence , judicial impartiality , limited sovereignty , tolerance , and democratic participation.

Many of these concepts were adopted in medieval Europe through contacts with Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily , and through the Crusades and the Latin translations of the 12th century.

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The concept of inalienable rights was found in early Islamic law and jurisprudence, which denied a ruler "the right to take away from his subjects certain rights which inhere in his or her person as a human being. Early Islamic law recognized two sets of human rights. In addition to the category of civil and political rights covered in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , Islamic law also recognized an additional category: social , economic and cultural rights. This latter category was not recognized in the Western legal tradition until the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in As for sexism, the common law long denied married women any property rights or indeed legal personality apart from their husbands.

When the British applied their law to Muslims in place of Shariah, as they did in some colonies, the result was to strip married women of the property that Islamic law had always granted them — hardly progress toward equality of the sexes. Islamic law was secular, not canonical Thus, it was a system focused on ensuring that an individual received justice, not that one be a good person.

Those Eastern thinkers of the ninth century laid down, on the basis of their theology, the principle of the Rights of Man, in those very terms, comprehending the rights of individual liberty, and of inviolability of person and property; described the supreme power in Islam, or Califate, as based on a contract, implying conditions of capacity and performance, and subject to cancellation if the conditions under the contract were not fulfilled; elaborated a Law of War of which the humane, chivalrous prescriptions would have put to the blush certain belligerents in World War I; expounded a doctrine of toleration of non-Moslem creeds so liberal that our West had to wait a thousand years before seeing equivalent principles adopted.

Some scholars have suggested that the idea of "a charter defining the duties of a sovereign toward his subjects, as well as subjects toward the sovereign", which led to the "genesis of European legal structures" and the development of the Magna Carta , may have been "brought back by Crusaders who were influenced by what they had learned in the Levant about the governing system" established by Saladin.

Another influence of Islamic law on European law was the presumption of innocence , which was introduced to Europe by King Louis IX of France soon after he returned from Palestine during the Crusades. Prior to this, European legal procedure consisted of either trial by combat or trial by ordeal. In contrast, Islamic law was based on the presumption of innocence from its beginning, as declared by the Caliph Umar in the 7th century. Islamic jurists anticipated the concept of the rule of law , the equal subjection of all classes to the ordinary law of the land, where no person is above the law and where officials and private citizens are under a duty to obey the same law.

A Qadi Islamic judge was also not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of religion, race , colour , kinship or prejudice. There were also a number of cases where Caliphs had to appear before judges as they prepared to take their verdict. They asked, "Who will intercede for her with Allah's Apostle?

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By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad my daughter stole, I would cut off her hand. Various Islamic lawyers do however place multiple conditions, and stipulations e. It is well known during a time of drought in the Rashidun caliphate period, capital punishments were suspended until the effects of the drought passed.

According to Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University , the legal scholars and jurists who once upheld the rule of law were replaced by a law governed by the state due to the codification of Sharia by the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century: [54]. How the scholars lost their exalted status as keepers of the law is a complex story, but it can be summed up in the adage that partial reforms are sometimes worse than none at all. In the early 19th century, the Ottoman empire responded to military setbacks with an internal reform movement.

The most important reform was the attempt to codify Shariah. This Westernizing process, foreign to the Islamic legal tradition, sought to transform Shariah from a body of doctrines and principles to be discovered by the human efforts of the scholars into a set of rules that could be looked up in a book. Once the law existed in codified form, however, the law itself was able to replace the scholars as the source of authority. Codification took from the scholars their all-important claim to have the final say over the content of the law and transferred that power to the state.

Sunni Islamic lawyers have commented on when it is permissible to disobey, impeach or remove rulers in the Caliphate. This is usually when the rulers are not meeting public responsibilities obliged upon them under Islam. Al-Mawardi said that if the rulers meet their Islamic responsibilities to the public, the people must obey their laws, but if they become either unjust or severely ineffective then the Caliph or ruler must be impeached via the Majlis ash-Shura. Similarly Al-Baghdadi believed that if the rulers do not uphold justice , the ummah via the majlis should give warning to them, and if unheeded then the Caliph can be impeached.

Al-Juwayni argued that Islam is the goal of the ummah, so any ruler that deviates from this goal must be impeached.


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Al-Ghazali believed that oppression by a caliph is enough for impeachment. Rather than just relying on impeachment, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani obliged rebellion upon the people if the caliph began to act with no regard for Islamic law. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said that to ignore such a situation is haraam , and those who cannot revolt inside the caliphate should launch a struggle from outside. Al-Asqalani used two ayahs from the Qur'an to justify this:.

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And they the sinners on qiyama will say, 'Our Lord! We obeyed our leaders and our chiefs, and they misled us from the right path. Our Lord! Give them the leaders double the punishment you give us and curse them with a very great curse' Islamic lawyers commented that when the rulers refuse to step down via successful impeachment through the Majlis, becoming dictators through the support of a corrupt army, if the majority agree they have the option to launch a revolution against them.

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Many noted that this option is only exercised after factoring in the potential cost of life. According to scholar Bernard Lewis , the Qur'an and Sunnah have several points to make on governance regarding the right of revolution in Islam:. The Quran, for example, makes it clear that there is a duty of obedience: "Obey God, obey the Prophet, obey those who hold authority over you. But there are also sayings that put strict limits on the duty of obedience.

Two dicta attributed to the Prophet and universally accepted as authentic are indicative. One says, "there is no obedience in sin"; in other words, if the ruler orders something contrary to the divine law, not only is there no duty of obedience, but there is a duty of disobedience.

This is more than the right of revolution that appears in Western political thought. It is a duty of revolution, or at least of disobedience and opposition to authority. The other pronouncement, "do not obey a creature against his creator," again clearly limits the authority of the ruler, whatever form of ruler that may be. The ethical standards of Muslim physicians was first laid down in the 9th century by Ishaq ibn 'Ali al-Ruhawi , who wrote the Adab al-Tabib Conduct of a Physician , the first treatist dedicated to medical ethics.

He regarded physicians as "guardians of souls and bodies", and wrote twenty chapters on various topics related to medical ethics, including: [62]. Because Islam views itself as a total system governing all areas, Islamic medical ethics view the patient as a whole. Classical texts speak more about "health", than "illness", showing an emphasis on prevention rather than cure. The earliest known prohibition of illegal drugs occurred under Islamic law , which prohibited the use of Hashish , a preparation of cannabis , as a recreational drug.