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

By Hamid Dabashi

From the origins of Muhammad's prophetic move in the course of the improvement of Islam's primary branches to the institution of the Umayyad dynasty, the idea that of authority has been imperative to Islamic civilization. via reading 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 approach, he argues, that bills for the basic styles of authority in Islam that finally formed, in dialectical interplay with exterior historic elements, the process Islamic civilization.

The publication starts by means of reading the relevant features of authority in pre-Islamic Arab society. Dabashi describes the imposition of the Muhammadan charismatic flow on pre-Islamic Arab tradition, tracing the adjustments it brought within the textile of pre-Islamic Arabia. He examines the continuities and adjustments that undefined, targeting 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 used to be 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 solidarity and the range of the rising Islamic tradition. Authority in Islam explains how this got here to be.

Dabashi employs Weber's idea of charismatic authority in describing Muhammad and his mode of authority as either a version and some extent of departure. His function isn't to supply severe verification or competition to interpretation of historic occasions, yet to indicate a brand new method of the prevailing literature. The e-book is a vital contribution to political sociology in addition to the examine of Islamic tradition and civilization. Sociologists, political scientists, and heart japanese experts will locate this research of specific value.

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Thus, charismatic leaders usually launch a revolutionary movement that seeks to alter the status quo and establish a new order. A charismatic revolution initiates an essential, yet never a total, break with the authority of the past through the agency of a charismatic figure who, while deconstructing the old order, constructs a new one—always simultaneously. The construction of the new order is usually infused with powerful characterizing elements of the superseded order. Communities follow these charismatic figures because they perceive qualities in them that "are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary (Weber 1978a, 241).

During Hashim ibn cAbd Manaf ibn Qusayy's tenure as the leader of the Quraysh tribe, the exhaustion of the internal Meccan market economy necessitated its commercial expansion into the Syrian and Yemenite trade. This necessity, supported by the political and commercial crises of the Himarites, gave rise to the institutions of 'ilaf and khafarah introduced by Hashim. According to an agreement Vila/) between the Quraysh and other tribes along the trade route in Western Arabia (Najd), the Meccan trade caravans were given safe passage (khafarah) to commute between the Syrian and Yemenite trade centers.

Yet within this same harmony the notes of the coming revolution were being tuned. Before I examine the specifics of Muhammad's charismatic authority—as it was expressed against the traditional Arab culture—this Weberian conceptualization must first be stipulated within a specifically Islamic context. 3 Muhammad's Charismatic Authority: Towards an Equivalent Islamic Typology / profess that there is no god save God, And I profess that Muhammad is His Messenger. —Muslim Profession of Faith Applied to Muhammad, the Weberian typology of charismatic authority requires a careful consideration of this mode of legitimate domination within the Islamic (Qur'anic) context.

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