By Hamid Dabashi
From the origins of Muhammad's prophetic move during the improvement of Islam's significant branches to the institution of the Umayyad dynasty, the concept that of authority has been imperative to Islamic civilization. through studying the character, association, and transformation of authority over the years, Dabashi conveys either continuities and disruptions inherent within the improvement of a brand new political tradition. it really is this technique, he argues, that bills for the elemental styles of authority in Islam that eventually formed, in dialectical interplay with exterior historic elements, the process Islamic civilization.
The ebook starts off by way of interpreting the primary features of authority in pre-Islamic Arab society. Dabashi describes the imposition of the Muhammadan charismatic circulate on pre-Islamic Arab tradition, tracing the adjustments it brought within the cloth of pre-Islamic Arabia. He examines the continuities and alterations that undefined, concentrating on the idea that of authority, and the formation of the Sunnite, Shiite, and Karajite branches of Islam as political expressions of deep cultural cleavages. For Dabashi, the formation of those branches was once the inevitable end result of the conflict among pre-Islamic styles of authority and people of the Muhammadan charismatic circulate. In flip, they molded either the team spirit and the range of the rising Islamic tradition. Authority in Islam explains how this got here to be.
Dabashi employs Weber's suggestion of charismatic authority in describing Muhammad and his mode of authority as either a version and some degree of departure. His function isn't to provide serious verification or competition to interpretation of ancient occasions, yet to signify a brand new method of the prevailing literature. The booklet is a vital contribution to political sociology in addition to the research of Islamic tradition and civilization. Sociologists, political scientists, and center jap experts will locate this research of specific value.
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Additional resources for Authority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the Establishment of the Umayyads
By the authority they manifested, Dar al-Nadwah and its ancillary institutions rendered the Arab culture and character expressions of each other. The dynamism of the preIslamic Arab culture, so prevalent in such institutions and yet so totally concealed under the post-Islamic accusation of Jahiliyyah, is of utmost significance in understanding the nature and organization of the Islamic Political culture. The vitality of the pre-Islamic culture was also manifested in its ability to expand and accommodate new situations.
Max Weber, Economy and Society In an ex post facto explanation of the emergence of Islam, many Islamicists have argued explicitly or implicitly that the "corruption" of Arab society gave rise to a religious movement that offered a more "just" alternative (Hodgson 1974; Petroshevsky 1976, Watt 1961)—a particularly untenable argument because of the continuity of such practices as slavery from the pre- to postIslamic periods. Considering the Muhammadan movement as a social rebellion against an "unjust" system is an anachronistic reading of the phenomenon.
Weber's original sentence, more forcefully connecting "authority" and the use of "legitimate violence," reads, Der Staat ist, ebenso wie die ihm geschichtlich vorausgehenden politischen Verbande, ein auf das Mittel der legitimen (das heisst: als legitim angesehenen) Gewaltsamkeit gestiitztes Herrschaftsverhaltms von Menschen iiber Menschen. Damit er bestehe, miissen sich also die beherrschten Menschen der beanspruchten Autoritat der jeweils herrschenden/wgew. " Muhammad's establishment of Islam as a "universal," or metahistorical, religion was implemented through physical force and was simultaneous with the foundation of the Islamic state.