By Erwin I. J. Rosenthal
Muhammad based a World-State in addition to a religion; as Islam unfold from its first centres, Muslim political thinkers needed to practice the divinely published legislation of the Prophet to new conditions. that they had to narrate new realities of strength and authority to the suitable structure which he had laid down and which his fast successors had elaborated. by contrast heritage Dr Rosenthal discusses the later Muslim philosophers who have been motivated by way of the political considered Plato and Aristotle. He indicates how Greek proposal changed the Islamic and but was once continuously subordinated to Muslim different types of suggestion and political wishes. Dr Rosenthal hence surveys the manager traditions of Islamic political inspiration from the 8th to the tip of the 15th centuries. He emphasises the elemental team spirit given through the shared religion of the writers, with out diminishing the uniqueness of every. Orientalists will welcome the publication; so will historians of the medieval West, for it indicates them the non secular, political and highbrow positions underlying the growth of Islam.
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Additional resources for Political Thought in Medieval Islam: An Introductory Outline
There can be little doubt that the contemporary situation is largely responsible for this detailed and precise exposition. Reverting to the problem of the accession to power, we note in conclusion that it is unanimously held that the office-holder possesses authority only if he is confirmed in office by the ijmd' of the community. The community acts under divine guidance and its agreed choice and recognition are therefore infallible. " On this all schools are agreed, and parallels between Shafi'I and Hanball expositions of constitutional law are numerous, as can be seen from the treatise of Ibn Abi Ya'la b.
Philo of Alexandria had already spoken of philosophy as "the bondwoman of wisdom", that is, of scripture. The figurative interpretation of scripture might sometimes do violence to the plain meaning of the text so as to harmonize the Bible, or the Qur'an, with Aristotle, but their divine origin and obligatory character were accepted by all Jews and Muslims, heretics notwithstanding. The divinely revealed prophetic law was the ideal constitution of the ideal state; only this law could guarantee the highest good of all believers, be they philosophers or ordinary citizens of the Jewish community or of the Islamic state.
Both genres have been cultivated in abundance by Muslim men of letters. Al-Ghazali is no exception. That the imdma based on justice gadoid) is the highest form of Hbdda, of service of God, follows from what he has said about din wa-dunya. Knowledge and application of the Sharta are the caliph's sure guides in his august office. 50 The caliph is confined to "religious" duties in the strict sense of the word. He is enjoined to concentrate on the study of the law (SharVd) and to practise the religious virtues of piety, humility, charity and compassion as the khalifat Allah.
Political Thought in Medieval Islam: An Introductory Outline by Erwin I. J. Rosenthal