The transformational reform, as envisioned by CILE, requires in-depth renewal at three levels:

  1. Renewal at the level of philosophy and worldview (weltanschauung): The ultimate objective here is to establish a worldview that overrides the three conventional views (fascination, hostility and integration) in order to found a vision based on mutual participation and partnership.
  2. Renewal at the level of methodological tools: Methodological tools here mean the concepts through which intellectual reform can be reconstructed bearing in mind that concepts constitute the framework through which juristic rulings (ahkam) are drafted. This demands finding the suitable approaches which have already been developed within the science of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence and also sometimes demands developing novel approaches.
  3. Renewal at level of the process of independent legal reasoning (ijtihad): This can be done by being critical towards the process itself and trying to reconstruct it every now and then; its components, sources, tools, the inclusion of Scholars of Context, expanding the scope of reasoning beyond theology and rituals.
  4. Through these three levels, we will be able to construct an ethical theory that can efficiently work in both directions; on one hand being critical towards current reality and on the other hand coming up with alternatives. This will be a multi-phase work during which ethical readings will be conducted for the Quran, Islamic tradition in general especially pre-modern and contemporary Islamic law.

For accomplishing this methodological vision, the CILE research unit “Methodology and Ethics” will embark upon working four epistemological fields:

  • Ethical history
  • Ethical critical hermeneutics
  • Improving the research methodology on a regular basis so that it will be able to satisfy our research ambitions and fulfill the final targets of the project.
  • Building up the Islamic ethical theory.