Islamic state


Islamic state

An Islamic state (Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية, al-dawla al-islamiyya) is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law. From the early years of Islam, numerous governments have been founded as "Islamic", beginning most notably with the Caliphate established by Mohammad himself and including subsequent governments ruled under the direction of a caliph (meaning, "successor" to the prophet Mohammad).

However, the term "Islamic state" has taken on a more specific modern connotation since the 20th century. The concept of the modern Islamic state has been articulated and promoted by ideologues such as Abul Ala Maududi, Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini, and Sayyid Qutb. Like the earlier notion of the caliphate, the modern Islamic state is rooted in Islamic law. It is modeled after the rule of Mohammad. However, unlike caliph-led governments which were imperial despotisms or monarchies (Arabic: "mulk"), a modern Islamic state can incorporate modern political institutions such as elections, parliamentary rule, judicial review, and popular sovereignty.

Contents

The Historical Islamic state

Early Islamic Governments

The term caliphate refers to the first system of government established by Mohammad in 622 CE, under the Constitution of Medina. It represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah (nation), although it did not always incorporate the full religious community of Muslims (for example, Kharijites and Shia). It was subsequently led by Muhammad's disciples who were known as the Rightly Guided (Rashidun) Caliphs (632-661 CE). The Arabian Empire significantly expanded under the Umayyad Caliphate (622-750) and the Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258).

The Revival and Abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate

The Ottoman Sultan Selim I (1876–1909) reclaimed the title of Caliph, which had been in dispute and asserted by a diversity of rulers and "shadow caliphs" in the centuries of the Abbasid-Mamluk Caliphate since the Mongols' sacking of Baghdad and the killing of the last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad in Iraq 1258

The abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate as an office of the Ottoman Empire occurred under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924 as part of Ataturk's reforms. This move was most vigorously protested in India, as Gandhi and Indian Muslims united behind the symbolism of the Ottoman Caliph in the Khilafat (or "Caliphate") Movement, which sought to reinstate the Caliph deposed by Ataturk. This Khilafat Movement leveraged the Ottoman political resistance to the British Empire, and this international anti-imperial connection proved to be a galvanizing force during India's nascent nationalism movement of the early 1900s, for Hindus and Muslims alike, even though India was far from the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate in Istanbul.

The Modern "Islamic State"

Origins in 20th century nationalist and anti-imperialist movements

"The very term, 'Islamic State', was never used in the theory or practice of Muslim political science, before the twentieth century," a Pakistani scholar wrote,[1] and western scholars of Islam agree.[2]

The modern conceptualization of the "Islamic state" is attributed to Abul Ala Maududi (1903–1979), an Indian Muslim theologian who founded the political party Jamaat-e-Islami and inspired other Islamic revolutionaries such as Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini.[3] Abul Ala Maududi's early political career was influenced greatly by anti-colonial agitation in India, especially after the tumultuous abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924 stoked anti-British sentiment (see Khilafat Movement).[4] In Maududi's 1941 book The Islamic law and constitution[5] and in subsequent writings, he coined and popularized the term "Islamic state" (Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية, al-dawla al-islamiyya) itself. He also coined and popularized the term "Islamic revolution" during this time, even though this phrase is commonly associated with the 1979 Iranian Revolution that occurred 40 years later.[3]

The Islamic state was perceived as a "third way" between the rival political systems of democracy and socialism (see also Islamic Modernism).[6] Maududi's seminal writings on Islamic economics argued as early as 1941 against free-market capitalism and socialist state intervention in the economy, similar to Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr's later Our Economics written in 1961. Maududi envisioned the ideal Islamic state as combining the democratic principles of electoral politics with the socialist principles of concern for the poor.[7]

Islamic States Today

Islamic republic is the official name given to several Islamic modeled contemporary states[8] in the Muslim world, including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran[9] and Afghanistan.[10] Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty. In Iran, the form of government is known as "Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists". Afghanistan was run as an Islamic state in areas controlled by the Taliban from 1992–2001, and after the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban the country is still known as the "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan". Despite the similar name, the countries differ greatly in their governments and laws.

Saudi Arabia can be considered an Islamic state, but it is an absolute monarchy ruled by a king and therefore not known as an "Islamic Republic".

Pan-Islamism is a form of religious nationalism within political Islam which advocates the unification of the Muslim world under a single Islamic state, often described as a caliphate.

The Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration of 3 August 2011 declares Islam to be official religion of Libya.

Muslim criticism of Islamic states

Prominent Muslim intellectuals have argued that Islamic states destroy the purity of Islam.

Indonesia

Indonesian scholar Nurcholish Madjid (1939–2005) believed that the instrumental use of Islam for political ends violates the central principle of Islamic theology, monotheism (or "tawhid"), by mixing divine oneness with worldly politics. (Information questionable, no link provided)

Iran

Leading up to the Iranian Revolution of 1979, many of the highest-ranking clergy in Shi'a Islam held to the standard doctrine of the Imamate, which allows political rule only by the prophet Mohammad or one of his true successors. They were opposed to creating an Islamic state (see Ayatollah Ha'eri Yazdi (Khomeini's own teacher), Ayatollah Borujerdi, Grand Ayatollah Shariatmadari, and Grand Ayatollah Khui).[11] Today, contemporary theologians who were once part of the Iranian Revolution have also become disenchanted and critical of the unity of religion and state in Islamic Republic of Iran, and are advocating secularization of the state to preserve the purity of the Islamic faith (see Abdolkarim Soroush and Mohsen Kadivar).[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Khan, Qamaruddin. 1982. Political Concepts in the Quran. Lahore: Islamic Book Foundation, p. 74
  2. ^ Eickelman, D. F., & Piscatori, J. (1996). Muslim politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 53.
  3. ^ a b Nasr, S.V.R. 1996. Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism, Ch. 4. New York: Oxford University Press
  4. ^ Minault, G. The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.
  5. ^ Maududi, Abul Ala. The Islamic law and constitution, ed. and tr. Khurshid Ahmad, Lahore 1955
  6. ^ Kurzman, Charles. “Introduction,” in Modernist Islam 1840-1940: A Sourcebook. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  7. ^ Khir, B.M. “The Islamic Quest for Sociopolitical Justice.” In Blackwell Companion to Political Theology, edited by W.T. Cavanaugh & P. Scott, 503-518. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2004
  8. ^ Elliesie, Hatem. Rule of Law in Islamic Modeled States. In: Matthias Koetter / Gunnar Folke Schuppert (Eds.), Understanding of the Rule of Law in various Legal Orders of the World: Working Paper Series Nr. 13 of SFB 700: Governance in Limited Areas of Statehood, Berlin 2010.
  9. ^ Moschtaghi, Ramin. Rule of Law in Iran. In: Matthias Koetter / Gunnar Folke Schuppert (Eds.), Understanding of the Rule of Law in various Legal Orders of the World: Working Paper Series Nr. 11 of SFB 700: Governance in Limited Areas of Statehood, Berlin 2010.
  10. ^ Elliesie, Hatem. Rule of Law in Afghanistan. In: Matthias Koetter / Gunnar Folke Schuppert (Eds.), Understanding of the Rule of Law in various Legal Orders of the World: Working Paper Series Nr. 4 of SFB 700: Governance in Limited Areas of Statehood, Berlin 2010.
  11. ^ Chehabi, H. E. 1991. Religion and Politics In Iran: How Theocratic is the Islamic Republic?. Daedalus, Vol 120, No. 3, Summer 1991, pp. 69-91.
  12. ^ Kurzman, Charles. 2001. Critics Within: Islamic Scholars' Protest Against the Islamic State in Iran. International Journal of Politics,Culture and Society, Vol. 15, No. 2, Winter 2001..

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