Obligations to Future Generations: A Shari‘ah Perspective

Actions of an earlier generation affect whether later generations will exist at all as well as the quality and type of life they will have. Discussions concerning the obligations earlier generations owe later generations have proven to be useful when thinking about the environment, economics, sustainability, and other issues.

Western thinking about obligations to future generations has become very sophisticated since the 1970s. Western ethicists consider it a litmus test for evaluating ethical theories, and expect it to be a main recurring theme in the new century.

The Shari’ah already provides the fundamentals for thinking about obligations to future generations. These basic fundamentals are not developed enough to shed light on these issues within the Muslim Community, let alone compete in the open market of ideas. Shari‘ah experts will need to develop these fundamentals before a Shari‘ah-informed conception of obligations to future generations can be offered.

Living Islam with Purpose

This paper offers an operational framework for establishing an authentic expression of indigenous Muslim culture. This framework consists of five operational principles, which are discussed at length and illustrated with examples: trusting reason, respecting dissent, stressing societal obligations, setting priorities, and embracing maxims.

These five principles are central to the Islamic tradition and embody the practical wisdom and consummate sensibility of the Prophetic teaching. The paper emphasizes the need for Muslim communities as a whole to become directly involved in their self-definition and the construction of their future as individuals and communities. This task cannot be left to others or to chance; the five operational principles provide an invaluable resource for determining the way forward. While the paper focuses on the American Muslim community, the framework is relevant to Muslims everywhere, especially those in the West.

America’s Priorities in the Future of US-Muslim Relations

A summary and analysis of Changing Course: A New Direction for US Relations with the Muslim World, a report of a 34-member bipartisan leadership group recommending best strategies for improving America’s relationships with Muslim countries and communities.

A Comparative Analysis of the Common Word Dialogues

A concise review and analysis of the Common Word initiative, its history, and the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Reverend Rowan Williams.

A Common Word between Us and You is the letter that began an interfaith initiative led by key Muslim institutions and endorsed by prominent Muslim scholars. The focus of the initiative is to identify common ground between Muslims and People of the Book (specifically Christians), and using this common ground to achieve peace and work towards their shared interests and future. The proposal has been welcomed by the Christian community and it has already triggered tangible results. Key among them is the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury in a letter entitled A Common Word for the Common Good. The initiative’s website address is



SH Musa Furber Cited in “The National”

Sh. Musa Furber, Senior Fellow Researcher in Tabah Foundation and scholar in Islamic Sciences,  was sourced for two important articles published in the famous ‘The National’ newspaper of UAE.The first article, published on 8th of Aug 2011,  was discussing the issue of scientists suggesting using maths to mark start and end of Ramadan, and how islamic scholars would agree or disagree with them.

“Their entire argumentation is based on engineering and mathematics, and if you want to make an argument to change a policy concerning the Muslim community, it had better be based on religious methodology. Otherwise, the learned scholars will never accept it.”  said Sh Musa.  [Read Full article here]

The second article, published on 9th of Aug 2011,  was on bioethics. The article discussed a controversial issue, where an in-vitro fertilisation centre in Abu Dhabi is to offer genetic screenings of embryos – a service that geneticists say is needed to prevent disorders related to interfamily marriage-, and what is the religious leaders situation from it.  [Read Full article here]