By the middle of the tenth century, judges were solemnly confirming that the onset of blindness had disqualified a caliph, without mentioning that they had just been assembled to witness the gouging of his eyes. According to Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University , the legal scholars and jurists lost their control over Islamic law due to the codification of Sharia by the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century: . How the scholars lost their exalted status as keepers of the law is a complex story, but it can be summed up in the adage that partial reforms are sometimes worse than none at all.
In the early 19th century, the Ottoman empire responded to military setbacks with an internal reform movement. The most important reform was the attempt to codify Shariah. This Westernizing process, foreign to the Islamic legal tradition, sought to transform Shariah from a body of doctrines and principles to be discovered by the human efforts of the scholars into a set of rules that could be looked up in a book.
Codification took from the scholars their all-important claim to have the final say over the content of the law and transferred that power to the state. According to scholar Moojan Momen, "One of the key statements in the Qur'an around which much of the exegesis" on the issue of what Islamic doctrine says about who is in charge is based on the verse.
Obey God and obey the Apostle and those who have been given authority [ uulaa al-amr ] among you" Qur'an For Sunnis, uulaa al-amr are the rulers Caliphs and kings but for Shi'is this expression refers to the Imams. But there are also sayings that put strict limits on the duty of obedience.
Two dicta attributed to the Prophet and universally accepted as authentic are indicative. One says, "there is no obedience in sin"; in other words, if the ruler orders something contrary to the divine law, not only is there no duty of obedience, but there is a duty of disobedience. This is more than the right of revolution that appears in Western political thought. It is a duty of revolution, or at least of disobedience and opposition to authority. The other pronouncement, "do not obey a creature against his creator," again clearly limits the authority of the ruler, whatever form of ruler that may be.
However, Ibn Taymiyyah — an important 14th century scholar of the Hanbali school — says in Tafseer for this verse "there is no obedience in sin"; that people should ignore the order of the ruler if it would disobey the divine law and shouldn't use this as excuse for revolution because it will spell Muslims bloods. Starting from the late medieval period, Sunni fiqh elaborated the doctrine of siyasa shar'iyya , which literally means governance according to sharia , and is sometimes called the political dimension of Islamic law.
Its goal was to harmonize Islamic law with the practical demands of statecraft. It first emerged in response to the difficulties raised by the strict procedural requirements of Islamic law. The law rejected circumstantial evidence and insisted on witness testimony, making criminal convictions difficult to obtain in courts presided over by qadis sharia judges. In response, Islamic jurists permitted greater procedural latitude in limited circumstances, such as adjudicating grievances against state officials in the mazalim courts administered by the ruler's council and application of "corrective" discretionary punishments for petty offenses.
However, under the Mamluk sultanate , non-qadi courts expanded their jurisdiction to commercial and family law, running in parallel with sharia courts and dispensing with some formalities prescribed by fiqh. Further developments of the doctrine attempted to resolve this tension between statecraft and jurisprudence. In later times the doctrine has been employed to justify legal changes made by the state in consideration of public interest , as long as they were deemed not to be contrary to sharia.
It was, for example, invoked by the Ottoman rulers who promulgated a body of administrative, criminal, and economic laws known as qanun.
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In Shia Islam, three attitudes towards rulers predominated — political cooperation with the ruler, political activism challenging the ruler, and aloofness from politics — with "writings of Shi'i ulama through the ages" showing "elements of all three of these attitudes. According to some Muslim authors, extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century to the Kharijites.
The Kharijites were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir , whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death. In the 19th century, European colonization of the Muslim world coincided with the retreat of the Ottoman Empire , the French conquest of Algeria , the disappearance of the Moghul Empire in India , the Russian incursions into the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The first Muslim reaction to European colonization was of "peasant and religious", not urban origin. Sharia in defiance of local common law was imposed to unify tribes. All these movements eventually failed "despite spectacular victories such as the destruction of the British army in Afghanistan in and the taking of Kharoum in The second Muslim reaction to European encroachment later in the century and early 20th century was not violent resistance but the adoption of some Western political, social, cultural and technological ways.
Members of the urban elite, particularly in Egypt , Iran , and Turkey advocated and practiced "Westernization".
Holy Wars (Routledge Revivals): The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism
The failure of the attempts at political westernization, according to some, was exemplified by the Tanzimat reorganization of the Ottoman rulers. Sharia was codified into law which was called the Mecelle and an elected legislature was established to make law. These steps took away the Ulama 's role of "discovering" the law and the formerly powerful scholar class weakened and withered into religious functionaries, while the legislature was suspended less than a year after its inauguration and never recovered to replace the Ulama as a separate "branch" of government providing Separation of powers.
In addition to the legitimacy given by medieval scholarly opinion, nostalgia for the days of successful Islamic empire simmered under later Western colonialism. This nostalgia played a major role in the Islamist political ideal of Islamic state, a state in which Islamic law is preeminent.
Holy Wars (Routledge Revivals): The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism - CRC Press Book
Many democratic Islamist movements, such as the Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim Brotherhood have used the democratic process and focus on votes and coalition-building with other political parties. Radical movements such as Taliban and al-Qaeda embrace militant Islamic ideology. Al-Quada was prominent for being part of the anti-Soviet resistance in Afghanistan in the s. Esposito and DeLong-Bas distinguish four attitudes toward sharia and democracy prominent among Muslims today: . Polls conducted by Gallup and PEW in Muslim-majority countries indicate that most Muslims see no contradiction between democratic values and religious principles, desiring neither a theocracy, nor a secular democracy, but rather a political model where democratic institutions and values can coexist with the values and principles of sharia.
Muslih and Browers identify three major perspectives on democracy among prominent Muslims thinkers who have sought to develop modern, distinctly Islamic theories of socio-political organization conforming to Islamic values and law: . There was also concern that Western ideas and influence were spreading throughout Muslim societies. This led to considerable resentment of the influence of the European powers. The Muslim Brotherhood was created in Egypt as a movement to resist and harry the British.
During the s, the predominant ideology within the Arab world was pan-Arabism which deemphasized religion and emphasized the creation of socialist, secular states based on Arab nationalism rather than Islam. However, governments based on Arab nationalism have found themselves facing economic stagnation and disorder. Increasingly, the borders of these states were seen as artificial colonial creations - which they were, having literally been drawn on a map by European colonial powers. According to scholar Vali Nasr , political tendencies of Sunni and Shia Islamic ideology differ, with Sunni Islamic revivalism "in Pakistan and much of the Arab world" being "far from politically revolutionary", while Shia political Islam is strongly influenced by Ruhollah Khomeini and his talk of the oppression of the poor and class war.
Sunni revivalism "is rooted in conservative religious impulses and the bazaars, mixing mercantile interests with religious values. Khomeini's version of Islamism engaged the poor and spoke of class war. Graham Fuller has also noted that he found "no mainstream Islamist organization with the exception of [shia] Iran with radical social views or a revolutionary approach to the social order apart from the imposition of legal justice.
The following sources generally prescribe to the theory that there is a distinct 20th-century movement called Islamism:. These authors in general locate the issues of Islamic political intolerance and fanaticism not in Islam, but in the generally low level of awareness of Islam's own mechanisms for dealing with these, among modern believers, in part a result of Islam being suppressed prior to modern times. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the issue of politics in the religion of Islam. For the movement of "Political Islam", see Islamism. Profession of faith Prayer Fasting Alms-giving Pilgrimage. Texts and sciences. Culture and society. Related topics. Key texts.
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Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam Iqbal s. Principles of State and Government Asad Ma'alim fi al-Tariq "Milestones" Qutb Heads of state. Key ideologues. Criticism of Islamism. See also: Caliphate and Islamic ethics. See also: Islamic democracy. See also: Ulema , Islamic ethics , and Islam and secularism.
Main article: Siyasa. Main article: Khawarij. See also: Islamism and Islamic state. Serjeant argues that the constitution is in fact eight different treaties which can be dated according to events as they transpired in Medina with the first treaty being written shortly after Muhammad's arrival. Muhammad at Medina. Uri Rubin. Brookfield: Ashgate, , p.
See also Caetani. Milano: Hoepli, , p. Justice Without Frontiers. Brill Publishers. The New York Times. Retrieved Journal of the American Oriental Society. New York Times.
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State and Government in Medieval Islam. Retrieved 19 September Translated by Henri Laoust. Islam in Modern Times 4. The Muslim Brotherhoods in Egypt and Syria 5. Saudi Arabia: the Oldest Fundamentalist State 6. Iran Revolutionary Fundamentalism in Power 7.
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Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly. Extra Content. A well-researched chronicle of its subject and a valuable insight into the movement''s impact" - Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times "Highly readable Hiro criss-crosses first history,and then Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran for the origins of modern [Islamic] fundamentalism" - Douglas Graham, The Guardian "Does an excellent job of mapping out the territory of the subject Hiro is a masterat description" - Joseph A.