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Understanding the Australian Shi'ite Muslim Perspective on Ethics


Despite the strong emphasis on ethics within the Islamic tradition, Islamic ethics itself is scarcely represented as a discipline within academic scholarship (Ansari 1989). Even within this area, Islamic ethics have predominantly been studied from Sunni perspectives, with little attention being paid to Shi’ite or other minority understandings. This paper will, therefore, use qualitative data collection methods of semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus groups, to sociologically study the perceptions, understandings, and applications of Islamic ethics in Australian Shi’ite Muslim everyday living. It will investigate the overarching understanding of Islamic ethics and its specific application in Australian Shi’ite Muslim context. The papers objective, therefore, is twofold: one to strengthen Islamic ethics as an independent discipline; and two to address the scant attention Shi’ite Islamic ethics has received in Islamic ethics scholarship generally. Conceptually, this project will contribute to the understanding of Islamic ethics through a particular analysis of Shi’ite Islamic ethics in an Australian Shi’ite context. This is significant as specific understandings of Islamic ethics in certain contexts help to explain how minority groups such as Shi’ite Muslims develop their own ethical standards to shape social relations in society.


Islamic ethics, shi'ite Islamic ethics, Shi'ite Muslim perspective