Authority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the by Hamid Dabashi

By Hamid Dabashi

From the origins of Muhammad's prophetic circulate during the improvement of Islam's valuable branches to the institution of the Umayyad dynasty, the concept that of authority has been relevant to Islamic civilization. by way of interpreting the character, association, and transformation of authority through the years, Dabashi conveys either continuities and disruptions inherent within the improvement of a brand new political tradition. it really is this method, he argues, that bills for the elemental styles of authority in Islam that eventually formed, in dialectical interplay with exterior ancient elements, the process Islamic civilization.

The booklet starts off by way of reading the critical features of authority in pre-Islamic Arab society. Dabashi describes the imposition of the Muhammadan charismatic move on pre-Islamic Arab tradition, tracing the alterations it brought within the textile of pre-Islamic Arabia. He examines the continuities and alterations that undefined, concentrating on the concept 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 final result of the conflict among pre-Islamic styles of authority and people of the Muhammadan charismatic circulate. In flip, they molded either the solidarity 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 extent of departure. His function isn't really to provide severe verification or competition to interpretation of historic occasions, yet to signify a brand new method of the prevailing literature. The publication is a vital contribution to political sociology in addition to the research of Islamic tradition and civilization. Sociologists, political scientists, and heart japanese experts will locate this research of specific value.

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Extra resources for Authority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the Establishment of the Umayyads

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It is important to note later that Muhammad's attacks on the Meccan caravans were a direct charismatic negation expressed against a normative pattern of Arab culture just recently institutionalized. Consequently, the nature and organization of a charismatic movement must always be assessed in terms of its expressed patterns of authority against an established modality. There is neither a complete break with nor a mere repetition of the established paradigms that constitute a charismatic revolution.

It is, in fact, due to this forceful imposition as well as juxtaposition that charismatic figures have a fundamentally revolutionary character. In more than only social and economic terms, a charismatic movement rev- 16 Authority in Islam olutionizes the very fabric of a traditional society: It seeks to transform and charge afresh the very ethical foundations of that society, forming a new hierarchical structure of interdictory, remissive, and transgressive motifs. The charismatic authority of Muhammad was asserted and established against the traditional order of Arab society.

These marvels most usually consist of miraculous happenings in the corporeal world, or else of predictions of the future or else of interpretation of the secrets of hearts, etc. " Macdonald developed this apparent similarity further: The coincidence in sound, in derivation, and in meaning between these karamat and the xaptaixaTa of the early Christian church (I Cor. XII) is most striking and can hardly be accidental. The religious phenomena behind both are the same; but the verbal link is not clear; the Syriac church called the xaptaixaTa simply "gifts," mauhebhatha, in Arabic mawahib, which indeed occurs in this sense; it is possible that the Greek word taken over into Syriac may have suggested to users of Arabic their own karamat.

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