Special Issue "Animals in Islam"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).
Interests: Qur’an studies, Animals in Islam, Arabic literature and civilization; Sustainability
Although the last few decades have witnessed the publication of many works on animal ethics in Islam, the field still has much to cover. The emerging set of problems characterizing the treatment of nonhuman animals in modern cultures raises new challenges with which modern societies, including Muslim ones, need to grapple. The current state of scholarship (Richard Foltz, Kristen Stilt, Basheer Masri) has already pointed out many issues in Muslims’ treatment and perception of nonhuman animals, especially in areas such as factory farming, animal sacrifice, and animal transportation; however, very few discussions have delved deep enough in these issues to illustrate the particularities of the Muslim experience or situate these problems in wider contexts.
Furthermore, premodern Islamic tradition has thought deeply about animal ethics and has accordingly produced a wealth of material on the topic. Although some of the tradition’s positions may be controversial by animal rights standards, study of this material still promises to contribute important insights to current debates on animal ethics. This is particularly the case because of the current juncture in the broader field of animal studies. Whereas earlier theories (Tom Regan, Gary Francione) focused mostly on animals’ negative rights (the right not to be harmed), thus exhibiting more affinity with Indian philosophies, with the so-called political turn the focus is switching to animals’ positive rights. A growing number of works (Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, Alasdair Cochrane, Robert Garner, Tzachi Zamir) have challenged the proposition that humans’ use of other animals is inherently problematic and have proposed theories that seek to regulate, rather than abolish, human-nonhuman animal interaction. This position is more consonant with Islam’s approach.
This volume seeks to fill part of the gap in the field of animal studies in Islam by focusing on specific questions, such as the ethics of killing for food, captivity (petkeeping, domestication, animals in zoos) animal sacrifice, factory farming, animal transportation, and animals in the entertainment industry. It welcomes Empirical research addressing animal ethics in specific Muslim countries and explorations of animal themes in the thought of Muslim intellectuals (for example: Said Nursi, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Mūḥyī al-Dīn ibn al-‘Arabī, the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ) and disciplines (for example: kalām, Sufism, jurisprudence).
Prof. Dr. Sarra Tlili
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Killing for food
- Ethics of captivity (Petkeeping, domestication, zoos)
- Animals in Sufism/Kalam/Jurisprudence
- Animals in modern Islamic religious discourse
- Factory farming
- Biomedical research
- Animal transportation
- Animal activism in the Muslim world