Ethical issues in research are unavoidable. Therefore, the American Psychological Association (APA), for example, has released ethical guidelines to avoid problems that probably rise when studies involving human or animals are done. There are even scholars with views that advocate researchers to be guided by the value-free ideal in research. The question is, can ethical issues in research be solved without looking at the root of the problem? Hence, this paper argues that Islamic teachings has explained the root of bad ethics, among them is indulging in
Keywords: Al-hawavalue-free researchphilosophyresearch ethicsIslamic research philosophy
One of the aspects in research methodology which is often discussed is research ethics (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2007; Babbie, 2013; Flick, 2009). Ethics is one of the most important standpoints in research. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), research ethics can be defined as:
The appropriateness of your behaviour in relation to the rights of those who become the subject of your work, or are affected by it... relates to questions about how we formulate and clarify our research topic, design our research and gain access, collect data, process and store our data, analyse data and write up our research findings in a moral and responsible way (p. 183-184).
Generally, the discussion involving research ethics is very close to issues that arise whether it is from the researchers themselves or the objects of research (Marican, 2005). To overcome this issue, there have been research paradigms1 that recommend researchers to conduct their value-free research. Value-free research also appears to solve problems to achieve objectivity in research (Neuman, 2011). It is based on the reference to scientific research which is said to be most objective and neutral towards any self-judgement towards the object of research (Betz, 2011).
Even so, science does not escape from ethical issues in research. According to Machlup (2000), there have been a number of cases involving deception of scientific ‘facts’ by the scientists themselves. For example, one was committed by physical anthropologists who designed the human skeleton Piltdown and spread the discovery to support Darwin’s evolution theory. Besides, science which is said to be value-free was also driven by individual agenda of some parties. According to Couvalis (1997), after the bombing of Hiroshima, many scientists were given large grants by the government to conduct research and produce weapons. Some governments funded the study of fundamental particles so that the knowledge gained can be used to produce better nuclear weapons. While the effects of the studies produced better atomic and hydrogen bombs, it was clearly harmful to humankind (Russell, 1968).
According to Greenberg (1999), the scientists funded by the United States government during the World War II believed receiving huge grants to conduct their research was an incredible experience for them. Some of the large countries in the world competed amongst themselves to produce big science as a sign of prestige for their countries. Consequently, the motive for generating the Big Science advocated by these countries suggests a non-neutrality of value in scientific research (Letherby, Scott, & Williams, 2013; Muhammad, 2011).
Even in social science, there have been fraud cases on calculation of the country’s growth rate by economists with statistical ‘facts.’ Statistical series is used differently in accordance to the ruling political party (Douglas, 2007). Besides that, Babbie (2013), Berg (2001), Neuman (2011), Marican (2005), also Rubin and Babbie (2011) agreed that there are two main controversial issues in relation to research in social science that continues until today. The first is the issue of sociology research conducted by Laud Humphreys which applied participant observation on informants with homosexual orientation. He also disguised as one of them to know the informants’ backgrounds that he was able to provide detailed information of the informants and indirectly invading their privacy. The second one was a laboratory psychology study conducted by Stanley Milgram to observe students’ obedience towards teachers. The experiment was conducted to punish disobedient students with electric shock by the researcher pretending to be a disobedient student. This experiment resulted in psychological distress on the other students.
Overall, the issues that arise in research ethics involve fraud and individual-interest. Looking at the roots, the problems will not be resolved unless we go back to basics. Therefore, to deal with ethical issues in conducting Islamic research, this article will observe the basic element that is the cause of the demise of ethics or
The problem stated previously has raised a few questions. Firstly, what is the actual concept of
Purpose of the Study
To address the above questions, this article has the purpose of achieving two objectives. The first is to identify the concept of
The data collection method used in this research was library research. Specifically, the sources for the data in this study were grouped accordingly and detailed into four sections. The group of data from the first and main source was the verses from the Qur’an. The second section was the Qur’anic exegesis or the
Since the data was collected from sources such as Divine revelations, theses, books and journals, which are archival documents, hence, the data was analysed using the content analysis method. This is in accordance with what Neuman (2011) stated about content analysis, which refers to a type of systematic analysis involving communicated documents. Content analysis also implicates the measurement of structure, content and literature sources (Masri, 2005).
In the Qur’an, the word
Philosophical Conceptualisation of Al-Hawa
The gist of the verses revolving around
(a) Ontological Aspect
Ontology can be literally defined as a theory of being. It revolves around the issue of beings, and the reality of existence, which includes the physical realm (
This was stressed in the Qur’an (5:77) that the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) should not transgress in the matters of beliefs. Even so,
According to Ibn Kathir (2000), this verse clearly explains about
(b) Epistemological Aspect
Epistemology literally means a theory of knowledge that is a branch in philosophy that discusses the nature of knowledge, justifications and limitations of knowledge attained, the interpretations of the forms of knowledge, methods and limitations of attaining knowledge (Long, 2008). According to Ridwan and Safrudin (2011), epistemology also answers issues like source of knowledge, method of knowing, and truth of knowledge. Generally, true knowledge or
If one followed
With the blockade of these knowledge faculties, the activity of searching for the signs of truth in the revelation will be restrained. This situation was illustrated by the hypocrites (
Consequently, the verse explains that people who obey the will of
Hamka (1983) in his exegesis mentioned about the effect of extremely following
(c) Axiological Aspect
Axiology literally means theory of values (Lacey, 1996; Abdullah, 2010). Generally, axiology is a branch of philosophy that studies ethics and values which covers a few important criteria like values that are good, bad, right, wrong, means and ends, and what ought to be done (Fautanu, 2012). In the context of
In the Qur’an (2:87), it is explained that
Even in the Qur’an (5:70),
This Hadith also addressed another issue studied in the field of axiology on the matters of ought and ought not be done. In verses from the Qur’an (18:28; 20:16), Ibn Kathir (2000) interprets that the path of the negligent should be avoided because it can lead to fatal error, major disappointments, and void in the Day of Judgment. With that, overall,
(d) Teleological Aspect
Teleology is derived from two Greek words that is “
Referring to the Qur’an (23:17), Qutb (2000) translated that Allah had arranged the universe orderly according to a single truth derived from Him. By referring to this, Allah give humanity Islamic rules (sharia) as part of the world orders. With respect to that, human being should not have bowed down to the urge of desire as it may induce to world havoc and destruction. A Hadith by Prophet Muhammad: “
The above Hadith opens a room for discussing eschatology as one of the subtopics under teleology. Eschatology discusses knowledge at the end of time3 and the Hereafter (Bakhtiar, 2001). The information about the Hereafter is sourced from the Qur’an and Hadith, and is also known as
Analysis of Philosophical Concept of Al-Hawa from the Perspective of Islamic Research
From the concept of
There are a few verses in the Qur’an that encourages mankind to do research, for example: “Say: Roam the earth and see how Allah initiated the creation. So, will Allah produce a later creation (in the Hereafter)? Truly, Allah has power over all things.” (Qur’an 29:20). Based on this definition and the Qur’anic verse above, the aspect which is accurate to be analysed more specifically is the epistemological and axiological aspects of al-hawa. Epistemologically, Islamic research were conducted in accordance to Allah’s urge to travel and observe the nature (natural sciences), and humankind and society (social sciences) based on the verses of the Qur’an given above.
However, research conducted based on
In the field of natural sciences, the concept of justice (
After which we should ascend in our inquiry and reasoning, gradually and orderly, criticizing premises and exercising caution in regard to conclusions – our aim in all that we make subject to inspection and review being to employ justice, not to follow prejudice and to take care in all that we judge and criticize that we seek truth and not to be swayed by opinion (p.5-6).
Based on the quote, justice is an important value to ensure any facts observed with caution, and not influenced by
In the context of Islamic research axiology, following
Besides prohibiting mankind from following
In this context, truth in Islam stands alone and is always related to guidance from Allah based on tawhid or unity of God (al-Faruqi, 1992). Tawhid is important in the search for the truth because it is related to honesty, whereas the opposite value of it is untruthfulness. Lying about the truth is as a matter of fact based solely on
This book is not a polemical one. I shall not produce the arguments of our antagonists in order to refute such of them as I believe to be in the wrong. My book is nothing but a simple historic record of facts. I shall place before the reader the theories of the Hindus exactly as they are, and I shall mention in connection with them similar theories of the Greeks in order to show the relationship existing between them (p.7).
An important matter explained by al-Biruni (1910) from the excerpt is that fact is something that is related to its reporting “as it is” and is not affected by opinions of earlier authors which have factual misunderstandings due to their hatred towards Hinduism. According to el-Kastawy (2006), reporting of facts transparently and objectively in relation to history and religion of societies that differ from one’s own beliefs, according to al-Biruni (1910) is an act of justice. This is explained by himself as follows:
Now as justice (i.e. being just) is a quality liked and coveted for its own self, for its intrinsic beauty, the same applies to truthfulness, except perhaps in the case of such people as never tasted how sweet it is, or know the truth, but deliberately shun it… (p.5).
Therefore, if a researcher is honest with himself and just to his objects of research, or in other words, does not entertain his
To conclude, this article has argued that the concept of
The author would like to thank Universiti Sains Malaysia for the Short-Term Research Grant (2018-2020) [304/PHUMANITI/6315177] entitled
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18 December 2019
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Alias*, M. S. (2019). The Philosophical Concept Of Al-Hawa From The Islamic Research Perspective. In N. S. Mat Akhir, J. Sulong, M. A. Wan Harun, S. Muhammad, A. L. Wei Lin, N. F. Low Abdullah, & M. Pourya Asl (Eds.), Role(s) and Relevance of Humanities for Sustainable Development, vol 68. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 438-447). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.49