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PoliticalaspectsofIslam
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

PoliticalaspectsofIslamarederivedfromtheQur'an,theSunna(thesayingsandlivinghabitsof
Muhammad),Muslimhistory,andelementsofpoliticalmovementsoutsideIslam.
TraditionalpoliticalconceptsinIslamincludeleadershipbyelectedorselectedsuccessorstotheProphet
knownasCaliphs,(ImamateforShia)theimportanceoffollowingIslamiclaworShariathedutyofrulers
toseekShuraorconsultationfromtheirsubjectsandtheimportanceofrebukingunjustrulers.[1]
AsignificantchangeintheIslamicworldwastheabolitionoftheOttomancaliphatein1924.[2]Inthe19th
and20thcentury,commonIslamicpoliticalthemehasbeenresistancetoWesternimperialismand
enforcementofShariathroughdemocraticormilitantstruggle.ThedefeatofArabarmiesintheSixDay
War,theendofColdWarandcollapseoftheSovietUnionwiththeendofcommunismasaviable
alternativehasincreasedtheappealofIslamicmovementssuchasIslamism,Islamicfundamentalismand
Islamicdemocracy,especiallyinthecontextofpopulardissatisfactionwithsecularistrulingregimesinthe
Muslimworld.

Contents
1Introduction
1.1IslamicStateofMedina
1.2EarlyCaliphateandpoliticalideals
1.2.1Electionorappointment
1.2.2MajlisashShura
1.2.3Separationofpowers
1.2.4Accountability
1.2.5Ruleoflaw
1.3Shi'atradition
1.4Qur'an
2Modernera
2.1ReactiontoEuropeancolonialism
2.2ModernpoliticalidealoftheIslamicstate
2.320thand21stcentury
2.3.1Contemporarymovements
2.3.2SunniandShiadifferences
3Seealso
4References
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5Sources
5.1Furtherreading
6Externallinks

Introduction
OriginsofIslamasapoliticalmovementaretobefoundinthelifeandtimesofIslam'sprophetMuhammad
andhissuccessors.In622CE,inrecognitionofhisclaimstoprophethood,Muhammadwasinvitedtorule
thecityofMedina.AtthetimethelocalArabtribesofAusandKhazrajdominatedthecity,andwerein
constantconflict.MedinanssawinMuhammadanimpartialoutsiderwhocouldresolvetheconflict.
MuhammadandhisfollowersthusmovedtoMedina,whereMuhammaddraftedtheMedinaCharter.This
documentmadeMuhammadtheruler,andrecognizedhimastheProphetofAllah.ThelawsMuhammad
establishedduringhisrule,basedontherevelationsoftheQurananddoingofMuhammad,areconsidered
byMuslimstobeShariaorIslamiclaw,whichIslamicmovementsseektoestablishinthepresentday.
Muhammadgainedawidespreadfollowingandanarmy,andhisruleexpandedfirsttothecityofMecca
andthenspreadthroughtheArabianpeninsulathroughacombinationofdiplomacyandmilitaryconquest.
TodaymanyIslamistorIslamicdemocraticpartiesexistinalmosteverydemocracywithaMuslim
majority.ManymilitantIslamicgroupsarealsoworkingindifferentpartsofworld.Thecontroversialterm
IslamicfundamentalismhasalsobeencoinedbysomenonMuslimstodescribethepoliticalandreligious
philosophiesofsomemilitantIslamicgroups.Bothoftheseterms(IslamicdemocracyandIslamic
fundamentalism)lumptogetheralargevarietyofgroupswithvaryinghistories,ideologiesandcontexts.

IslamicStateofMedina
TheConstitutionofMedinawasdraftedbytheIslamicprophetMuhammad.Itconstitutedaformal
agreementbetweenMuhammadandallofthesignificanttribesandfamiliesofYathrib(laterknownas
Medina),includingMuslims,Jews,Christians[3]andPagans.[4][5]Thisconstitutionformedthebasisofthe
firstIslamicstate.Thedocumentwasdrawnupwiththeexplicitconcernofbringingtoanendthebitter
intertribalfightingbetweentheclansoftheAws(Aus)andKhazrajwithinMedina.Tothiseffectit
institutedanumberofrightsandresponsibilitiesfortheMuslim,Jewish,ChristianandPagancommunities
ofMedinabringingthemwithinthefoldofonecommunitytheUmmah.[6]
TheprecisedatingoftheConstitutionofMedinaremainsdebatedbutgenerallyscholarsagreeitwas
writtenshortlyaftertheHijra(622).[7]IteffectivelyestablishedthefirstIslamicstate.TheConstitution
established:thesecurityofthecommunity,religiousfreedoms,theroleofMedinaasaharamorsacred
place(barringallviolenceandweapons),thesecurityofwomen,stabletribalrelationswithinMedina,atax
systemforsupportingthecommunityintimeofconflict,parametersforexogenouspoliticalalliances,a
systemforgrantingprotectionofindividuals,ajudicialsystemforresolvingdisputes,andalsoregulatedthe
payingofbloodmoney(thepaymentbetweenfamiliesortribesfortheslayingofanindividualinlieuof
lextalionis).

EarlyCaliphateandpoliticalideals

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AfterdeathofMuhammad,hiscommunityneededtoappointanewleader,givingrisetothetitleCaliph,
meaning"successor".ThusthesubsequentIslamicempireswereknownasCaliphates.Alongsidethe
growthoftheUmayyadempire,themajorpoliticaldevelopmentwithinIslaminthisperiodwasthe
sectariansplitbetweenSunniandShi'iteMuslimsthishaditsrootsinadisputeoverthesuccessionof
theCaliphate.SunniMuslimsbelievedthecaliphatewaselective,andanyMuslimmightserveasone.
Shi'ites,ontheotherhand,believedthecaliphateshouldbehereditaryinthelineoftheProphet,andthusall
thecaliphs,withtheexceptionofAli,wereusurpers.[8]However,theSunnisectemergedastriumphantin
mostoftheMuslimworld,andthusmostmodernIslamicpoliticalmovements(withtheexceptionofIran)
arefoundedinSunnithought.
Muhammad'sclosestcompanions,thefour"rightlyguided"Caliphswhosucceededhim,continuedto
expandthestatetoencompassJerusalem,Ctesiphon,andDamascus,andsendingarmiesasfarasthe
Sindh.[9]TheIslamicempirestretchedfromAlAndalus(MuslimSpain)toPunjabunderthereignofthe
Umayyaddynasty.TheconqueringArabarmiestookthesystemofSharialawsandcourtstotheirnew
militarycampsandcities,andbuiltmosquesforFridayjam'at(communityprayers)aswellasMadrasahsto
educatelocalMuslimyouth.Theseinstitutionsresultedinthedevelopmentofaclassofulema(classical
Islamicscholars)whocouldserveasqadis(Shariacourtjudges),imamsofmosquesandmadrasah
teachers.TheseclassicalscholarswholivedandearnedtheirlivelihoodsintheexpansionistIslamic
empiregavelegalandreligioussanctiontomilitaristinterpretationsofjihad.Thepoliticalterminologyof
theIslamicstatewasalltheproductofthisperiod.Thus,medievallegaltermssuchaskhalifa,sharia,fiqh,
maddhab,jizya,anddhimmiallremainpartofmodernIslamicvocabulary.
SincethescholarlyandlegaltraditionsoftheulemawerewellestablishedbythetimeoftheAbbasids,the
laterMiddleEasternempiresandkingdoms(includingtheAyyubid,Seljuk,Fatimid,MamlukandMongol)
hadlittleimpactonmodernIslamistpoliticalideals.
AnimportantIslamicconceptconcerningthestructureofrulingisshura,orconsultationwithpeople
regardingtheiraffairs,whichisthedutyofrulersmentionedintwoversesintheQuran,3:153,and
42:36.[10]
OnetypeofrulernotpartoftheIslamicidealwastheking,whichwasdisparagedinQuran'smentionsof
thePharaoh,"theprototypeoftheunjustandtyrannicalruler"(18:70,79)andelsewhere.(28:34)[11]
Electionorappointment
TheconceptsofliberalismanddemocraticparticipationwerealreadypresentinthemedievalIslamic
world.[12][13][14]RashidunCaliphatewasanearlyexampleofademocraticstatebutthedevelopmentof
democracyintheIslamicworldeventuallycametoahaltfollowingtotheSunniShiasplit.[15]
AlMawardi,aMuslimjuristoftheShafiischool,haswrittenthatthecaliphshouldbeQurayshi.AbuBakr
AlBaqillani,anAshariIslamicscholarandMalikilawyer,wrotethattheleaderoftheMuslimssimply
shouldbefromthemajority.AbuHanifaanNuman,thefounderoftheSunniHanafischooloffiqh,also
wrotethattheleadermustcomefromthemajority.[16]WesternscholarofIslam,FredDonner,[17]argues
thatthestandardArabianpracticeduringtheearlyCaliphateswasfortheprominentmenofakinship
group,ortribe,togatherafteraleader'sdeathandelectaleaderfromamongstthemselves,althoughthere
wasnospecifiedprocedureforthisshura,orconsultativeassembly.Candidateswereusuallyfromthesame
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lineageasthedeceasedleaderbuttheywerenotnecessarilyhissons.Capablemenwhowouldleadwell
werepreferredoveranineffectualdirectheir,astherewasnobasisinthemajoritySunniviewthatthehead
ofstateorgovernorshouldbechosenbasedonlineagealone.
MajlisashShura
DeliberationsoftheCaliphates,mostnotablyRashidunCaliphatewerenotdemocraticinthemodernsense
rather,decisionmakingpowerlaywithacouncilofnotableandtrustedcompanionsofMohammadand
representativesofdifferenttribes(mostofthemselectedorelectedwithintheirtribes).[18](seealso:Shura).
TraditionalSunniIslamiclawyersagreethatshura,looselytranslatedas'consultationofthepeople',isa
functionofthecaliphate.TheMajlisashShuraadvisethecaliph.Theimportanceofthisispremisedbythe
followingversesoftheQuran:
...thosewhoanswerthecalloftheirLordandestablishtheprayer,andwhoconducttheir
affairsbyShura.[arelovedbyGod][42:38(http://quran.com/42/38)]

...consultthem(thepeople)intheiraffairs.Thenwhenyouhavetakenadecision(fromthem),
putyourtrustinAllah[3:159(http://quran.com/3/159)]
Themajlisisalsothemeanstoelectanewcaliph.AlMawardihaswrittenthatmembersofthemajlis
shouldsatisfythreeconditions:theymustbejust,theymusthaveenoughknowledgetodistinguishagood
caliphfromabadone,andmusthavesufficientwisdomandjudgmenttoselectthebestcaliph.AlMawardi
alsosaidinemergencieswhenthereisnocaliphateandnomajlis,thepeoplethemselvesshouldcreatea
majlis,selectalistofcandidatesforcaliph,thenthemajlisshouldselectfromthelistofcandidates.[16]
SomemoderninterpretationsoftheroleoftheMajlisashShuraincludethosebyIslamistauthorSayyid
QutbandbyTaqiuddinalNabhani,thefounderofatransnationalpoliticalmovementdevotedtotherevival
oftheCaliphate.InananalysisoftheshurachapteroftheQuran,QutbarguedIslamrequiresonlythatthe
rulerconsultwithatleastsomeoftheruled(usuallytheelite),withinthegeneralcontextofGodmadelaws
thattherulermustexecute.TaqiuddinalNabhani,writesthatShuraisimportantandpartof"theruling
structure"oftheIslamiccaliphate,"butnotoneofitspillars,"andmaybeneglectedwithouttheCaliphate's
rulebecomingunIslamic.However,TheseinterpretationsofShura(byQutbandalNabhani)arenot
universallyacceptedandIslamicdemocratsconsiderShuratobeanintegralpartandimportantpillarof
Islamicpoliticalsystem.
NonMuslimsmayserveasmembersofmajlis(council)ofShura,buttheycannotbecomecandidatesfor
positionofheadofIslamicstate.
Separationofpowers
UnlikeChristianity,Islamdoesnotseparatereligionfromstate,andmanyMuslimsargueitisapolitical
IslamnotpoliticalIslamthatrequiresexplanationandthatisanhistoricalflukeofthe"shortlivedheydayof
secularArabnationalismbetween1945and1970."[19]
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IntheearlyIslamicCaliphate,theheadofstate,theCaliph,hadapositionbasedonthenotionofa
successortoMuhammad'spoliticalauthority,who,accordingtoSunnis,wereideallyelectedbythepeople
ortheirrepresentatives,[20]aswasthecasefortheelectionofAbuBakar,UthmanandAliasCaliph.After
theRashidunCaliphs,laterCaliphatesduringtheIslamicGoldenAgehadamuchlesserdegreeof
democraticparticipation,butsince"noonewassuperiortoanyoneelseexceptonthebasisofpietyand
virtue"inIslam,andfollowingtheexampleofMuhammad,laterIslamicrulersoftenheldpublic
consultationswiththepeopleintheiraffairs.[21]
ThelegislativepoweroftheCaliph(orlater,theSultan)wasalwaysrestrictedbythescholarlyclass,the
Ulema,agroupregardedastheguardiansofthelaw.Sincethelawcamefromthelegalscholars,this
preventedtheCaliphfromdictatinglegalresults.LawsweredecidedbasedontheIjma(consensus)ofthe
Ummah(community),whichwasmostoftenrepresentedbythelegalscholars.[22]Inordertoqualifyasa
legalscholar,itwasrequiredthattheyobtainadoctorateknownastheijazatattadriswa'lifttd("licenseto
teachandissuelegalopinions")fromaMadrasah.[23]Inmanyways,classicalIslamiclawfunctionedlikea
constitutionallaw.[22]
Practically,forhundredsofyearsafterRashidunCaliphateanduntilthetwentiethcentury,Islamicstates
followedasystemofgovernmentbasedonthecoexistenceofsultanandulamafollowingtherulesofthe
sharia.ThissystemresembledtosomeextentsomeWesterngovernmentsinpossessinganunwritten
constitution(liketheUnitedKingdom),andpossessingseparate,countervailingbranchesofgovernment
(liketheUnitedStates)whichprovidedSeparationofpowersingovernance.WhiletheUnitedStates
(andsomeothersystemsofgovernment)hasthreebranchesofgovernmentexecutive,legislativeand
judicialIslamicmonarchieshadtwothesultanandulama.[24]
AccordingtoOlivierRoythis"defactoseparationbetweenpoliticalpower"ofsultansandemirsand
religiouspowerofthecaliphwas"createdandinstitutionalized...asearlyastheendofthefirstcenturyof
thehegira."Thesovereign'sreligiousfunctionwastodefendtheMuslimcommunityagainstitsenemies,
institutethesharia,ensurethepublicgood(maslaha).ThestatewasinstrumenttoenableMuslimstoliveas
goodMuslimsandMuslimsweretoobeythesultanifhedidso.Thelegitimacyoftherulerwas
"symbolizedbytherighttocoinmoneyandtohavetheFridayprayer(Jumu'ahkhutba)saidinhis
name."[25]
Accountability
SunniIslamiclawyershavecommentedonwhenitispermissibletodisobey,impeachorremoverulersin
theCaliphate.Thisisusuallywhentherulersarenotmeetingpublicresponsibilitiesobligeduponthem
underIslam.AlMawardisaidthatiftherulersmeettheirIslamicresponsibilitiestothepublic,thepeople
mustobeytheirlaws,butiftheybecomeeitherunjustorseverelyineffectivethentheCaliphorrulermust
beimpeachedviatheMajlisashShura.SimilarlyAlBaghdadibelievedthatiftherulersdonotuphold
justice,theummahviathemajlisshouldgivewarningtothem,andifunheededthentheCaliphcanbe
impeached.AlJuwayniarguedthatIslamisthegoaloftheummah,soanyrulerthatdeviatesfromthisgoal
mustbeimpeached.AlGhazalibelievedthatoppressionbyacaliphisenoughforimpeachment.Rather
thanjustrelyingonimpeachment,IbnHajaralAsqalaniobligedrebellionuponthepeopleifthecaliph
begantoactwithnoregardforIslamiclaw.IbnHajaralAsqalanisaidthattoignoresuchasituationis
haraam,andthosewhocannotrevoltinsidethecaliphateshouldlaunchastrugglefromoutside.Al
AsqalaniusedtwoayahsfromtheQur'antojustifythis:
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...Andthey(thesinnersonqiyama)willsay,'OurLord!Weobeyedourleadersandourchiefs,
andtheymisledusfromtherightpath.OurLord!Givethem(theleaders)doublethe
punishmentyougiveusandcursethemwithaverygreatcurse'...[33:6768(http://quran.com/33/67
68)]

Islamiclawyerscommentedthatwhentherulersrefusetostepdownviasuccessfulimpeachmentthrough
theMajlis,becomingdictatorsthroughthesupportofacorruptarmy,ifthemajorityagreetheyhavethe
optiontolauncharevolutionagainstthem.Manynotedthatthisoptionisonlyexercisedafterfactoringin
thepotentialcostoflife.[16]
Ruleoflaw
Thefollowinghadithestablishestheprincipleofruleoflawinrelationtonepotismandaccountability[26]
NarratedAisha:ThepeopleofQuraishworriedabouttheladyfromBaniMakhzumwhohad
committedtheft.Theyasked,"WhowillintercedeforherwithAllah'sApostle?"Somesaid,
"NoonedaretodosoexceptUsamabinZaidthebelovedonetoAllah'sApostle."When
UsamaspokeaboutthattoAllah'sApostleAllah'sApostlesaid:"Doyoutrytointercedefor
somebodyinacaseconnectedwithAllahsPrescribedPunishments?"Thenhegotupand
deliveredasermonsaying,"Whatdestroyedthenationsprecedingyou,wasthatifanoble
amongstthemstole,theywouldforgivehim,andifapoorpersonamongstthemstole,they
wouldinflictAllah'sLegalpunishmentonhim.ByAllah,ifFatima,thedaughterof
Muhammad(mydaughter)stole,Iwouldcutoffherhand."
VariousIslamiclawyersdohoweverplacemultipleconditions,andstipulationse.g.thepoorcannotbe
penalisedforstealingoutofpoverty,beforeexecutingsuchalaw,makingitverydifficulttoreachsucha
stage.ItiswellknownduringatimeofdroughtintheRashiduncaliphateperiod,capitalpunishmentswere
suspendeduntiltheeffectsofthedroughtpassed.
Islamicjuristslaterformulatedtheconceptoftheruleoflaw,theequalsubjectionofallclassestothe
ordinarylawoftheland,wherenopersonisabovethelawandwhereofficialsandprivatecitizensare
underadutytoobeythesamelaw.AQadi(Islamicjudge)wasalsonotallowedtodiscriminateonthe
groundsofreligion,race,colour,kinshiporprejudice.TherewerealsoanumberofcaseswhereCaliphs
hadtoappearbeforejudgesastheypreparedtotaketheirverdict.[27]
AccordingtoNoahFeldman,alawprofessoratHarvardUniversity,thelegalscholarsandjuristswhoonce
upheldtheruleoflawwerereplacedbyalawgovernedbythestateduetothecodificationofShariabythe
OttomanEmpireintheearly19thcentury:[22]
Howthescholarslosttheirexaltedstatusaskeepersofthelawisacomplexstory,butitcanbe
summedupintheadagethatpartialreformsaresometimesworsethannoneatall.Intheearly
19thcentury,theOttomanempirerespondedtomilitarysetbackswithaninternalreform
movement.ThemostimportantreformwastheattempttocodifyShariah.ThisWesternizing
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process,foreigntotheIslamiclegaltradition,soughttotransformShariahfromabodyof
doctrinesandprinciplestobediscoveredbythehumaneffortsofthescholarsintoasetofrules
thatcouldbelookedupinabook.

Oncethelawexistedincodifiedform,however,thelawitselfwasabletoreplacethescholars
asthesourceofauthority.Codificationtookfromthescholarstheirallimportantclaimtohave
thefinalsayoverthecontentofthelawandtransferredthatpowertothestate.

Shi'atradition
InShiaIslam,threeattitudestowardsrulerspredominatedpoliticalcooperationwiththeruler,political
activismchallengingtheruler,andaloofnessfrompoliticswith"writingsofShi'iulamathroughthe
ages"showing"elementsofallthreeoftheseattitudes."[28])

Qur'an
AccordingtoscholarMoojanMomen,"OneofthekeystatementsintheQur'anaroundwhichmuchofthe
exegesis"ontheissueofwhatIslamicdoctrinesaysaboutwhoisinchargeisbasedontheverse
`Obelievers!ObeyGodandobeytheApostleandthosewhohavebeengivenauthority
[uulaaalamr]amongyou`(Qur'an4:59).
ForSunnis,uulaaalamraretherulers(Caliphsandkings)butforShi'isthisexpressionrefers
totheImams."[29]
AccordingtoscholarBernardLewis,thisQur'anicversehasbeen
elaboratedinanumberofsayingsattributedtoMuhammad.Buttherearealsosayingsthatput
strictlimitsonthedutyofobedience.TwodictaattributedtotheProphetanduniversally
acceptedasauthenticareindicative.Onesays,"thereisnoobedienceinsin"inotherwords,if
therulerorderssomethingcontrarytothedivinelaw,notonlyistherenodutyofobedience,
butthereisadutyofdisobedience.Thisismorethantherightofrevolutionthatappearsin
Westernpoliticalthought.Itisadutyofrevolution,oratleastofdisobedienceandopposition
toauthority.Theotherpronouncement,"donotobeyacreatureagainsthiscreator,"again
clearlylimitstheauthorityoftheruler,whateverformofrulerthatmaybe.[30]
However,IbnTaymiyyahanimportantscholaroftheHanbalischoolsaysinTafseerforthisverse
"thereisnoobedienceinsin"thatpeopleshouldignoretheorderoftherulerifitwoulddisobeythedivine
lawandshouldn'tusethisasexcuseforrevolutionbecauseitwillspellMuslimsbloods.

Modernera
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ReactiontoEuropeancolonialism
Inthe19thcentury,EuropeanencroachmentontheMuslimworldcamewiththeretreatoftheOttoman
Empire,theFrenchconquestofAlgeria(1830),thedisappearanceoftheMoghulEmpireinIndia(1857),
theRussianincursionsintotheCaucasus(1828)andCentralAsia.
ThefirstMuslimreactiontoEuropeanencroachmentwasof"peasantandreligious",noturbanorigin.
"Charismaticleaders",generallymembersoftheulamaorleadersofreligiousorders,launchedthecallfor
jihadandformedtribalcoalitions.Shariaindefianceoflocalcommonlawwasimposedtounifytribes.
ExamplesincludeAbdalQadirinAlgeria,theMahdiinSudan,ShamilintheCaucasus,theSenussiin
LibyaandinChad,MullahiLanginAfghanistan,theAkhundofSwatinIndia,andlater,AbdalKarimin
Morocco.Allthesemovementseventuallyfailed"despitespectacularvictoriessuchasthedestructionofthe
BritisharmyinAfghanistanin1842andthetakingofKharoumin1885."[31]
ThesecondMuslimreactiontoEuropeanencroachmentlaterinthecenturyandearly20thcenturywasnot
violentresistancebuttheadoptionofsomeWesternpolitical,social,culturalandtechnologicalways.
Membersoftheurbanelite,particularlyinEgypt,Iran,andTurkeyadvocatedandpracticed
"Westernization".[22]
Thefailureoftheattemptsatpoliticalwesternization,accordingtosome,wasexemplifiedbytheTanzimat
reorganizationoftheOttomanrulers.Shariawascodifiedintolaw(whichwascalledtheMecelle)andan
electedlegislaturewasestablishedtomakelaw.ThesestepstookawaytheUlama'sroleof"discovering"
thelawandtheformerlypowerfulscholarclassweakenedandwitheredintoreligiousfunctionaries,while
thelegislaturewassuspendedlessthanayearafteritsinaugurationandneverrecoveredtoreplacedthe
Ulamaasaseparate"branch"ofgovernmentprovidingSeparationofpowers.[22]The"paradigmofthe
executiveasaforceuncheckedbyeithertheshariaofthescholarsorthepopularauthorityofanelected
legislaturebecamethedominantparadigminmostoftheSunniMuslimworldinthetwentiethcentury."[32]

ModernpoliticalidealoftheIslamicstate
Inadditiontothelegitimacygivenbymedievalscholarlyopinion,nostalgiaforthedaysofsuccessful
IslamicempiresimmeredunderlaterWesterncolonialism.ThisnostalgiaplayedamajorroleintheIslamist
politicalidealofIslamicstate,astateinwhichIslamiclawispreeminent.[33]TheIslamistpoliticalprogram
isgenerallytobeaccomplishedbyreshapingthegovernmentsofexistingMuslimnationstatesbutthe
meansofdoingthisvariesgreatlyacrossmovementsandcircumstances.ManydemocraticIslamist
movements,suchastheJamaateIslamiandMuslimBrotherhoodhavefoundthattheycanusethe
democraticprocesstotheiradvantage,andsofocusonvotesandcoalitionbuildingwithotherpolitical
parties.RadicalmovementssuchasTalibanandalQaedaembracemilitantIslamicideology.

20thand21stcentury
FollowingWorldWarIandthedissolutionoftheOttomanEmpire,andthesubsequentdissolutionofthe
CaliphatebyMustafaKemalAtatrk(founderofTurkey),manyMuslimsperceivedthatthepoliticalpower
oftheirreligionwasinretreat.TherewasalsoconcernthatWesternideasandinfluencewerespreading
throughoutMuslimsocieties.ThisledtoconsiderableresentmentoftheinfluenceoftheEuropeanpowers.
TheMuslimBrotherhoodwascreatedinEgyptasamovementtoresistandharrytheBritish.
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Duringthe1960s,thepredominantideologywithintheArabworldwaspanArabismwhichdeemphasized
religionandemphasizedthecreationofsocialist,secularstatesbasedonArabnationalismratherthan
Islam.However,governmentsbasedonArabnationalismhavefoundthemselvesfacingeconomic
stagnationanddisorder.Increasingly,thebordersofthesestateswereseenasartificialcolonialcreations
whichtheywere,havingliterallybeendrawnonamapbyEuropeancolonialpowers.
Contemporarymovements
SomecommonpoliticalcurrentsinIslaminclude
Traditionalism,whichacceptstraditionalcommentariesontheQuranandSunnaand"takesasits
basicprincipleimitation(taqlid),thatis,refusaltoinnovate",andfollowsoneofthefourlegal
schoolsorMadh'hab(Shaf'i,Maliki,Hanafi,Hanbali)and,mayincludeSufism.AnexampleofSufi
traditionalismistheBarelvischoolinPakistan.[34]
Fundamentalistreformism,which"criticizesthetradition,thecommentaries,popularreligious
practices(maraboutism,thecultofsaints)",deviations,andsuperstitionsitaimstoreturntothe
foundingtexts.Thisreformismgenerallydevelopedinresponsetoanexternalthreat(theinfluenceof
HinduismonIslam,forexample).18thcenturyexamplesareShahWaliAllahinIndiaand
MuhammadibnAbdalWahhab(whofoundedWahhabism)intheArabianPeninsula.[35]Salafismis
amodernexample.
IslamismorpoliticalIslam,embracingareturntotheshariaorIslamicprinciples,butadopting
Westernterminologysuchasrevolution,ideology,politicsanddemocracyandtakingamoreliberal
attitudetowardsissueslikeJihadandwomen'srights.[36]ContemporaryexamplesincludetheJamaat
eIslami,MuslimBrotherhood,IranianIslamicRevolution,Masyumiparty,UnitedMalaysNational
Organisation,PanMalaysianIslamicPartyandJusticeandDevelopmentParty(Turkey).
LiberalmovementswithinIslamgenerallydefinethemselvesinoppositiontoIslamicpolitical
movements,butoftenembracemanyofitsantiimperialistandIslaminspiredliberalreformist
elements.
SunniandShiadifferences
AccordingtoscholarValiNasr,politicaltendenciesofSunniandShiaIslamicideologydiffer,withSunni
Islamicrevivalism"inPakistanandmuchoftheArabworld"being"farfrompoliticallyrevolutionary",
whileShiapoliticalIslamisstronglyinfluencedbyRuhollahKhomeiniandhistalkoftheoppressionofthe
poorandclasswar.Sunnirevivalism"isrootedinconservativereligiousimpulsesandthebazaars,mixing
mercantileinterestswithreligiousvalues."...Khomeini'sversionofIslamismengagedthepoorandspoke
ofclasswar.
ThisCleavagebetweenfundamentalismasrevivalismandfundamentalismasrevolutionwas
deepandforalongwhilecoincidedcloselywiththesectariandividebetweentheSunnisthe
Muslimworld'straditional`haves`,concernedmorewithconservativereligiosityandtheShia
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thelongtimeoutsiders,`moredrawntoradicaldreamingandscheming."[37]
GrahamFullerhasalsonotedthathefound"nomainstreamIslamistorganization(withtheexceptionof
[shia]Iran)withradicalsocialviewsorarevolutionaryapproachtothesocialorderapartfromthe
impositionoflegaljustice."[38]

Seealso
Islamism
Jihadism
Islamicdemocracy
Islamicrevival
IslamicPeace
Islamandwar
ListofIslamicdemocraticpoliticalparties
ModernIslamicphilosophy

References
1. AbuHamidalGhazaliquotedinMortimer,Edward,FaithandPower:ThePoliticsofIslam,VintageBooks,
1982,p.37
2. Feldman,Noah,FallandRiseoftheIslamicState,PrincetonUniversityPress,2008,p.2
3. R.B.Serjeant,"SunnahJmi'ah,pactswiththeYathribJews,andtheTahrmofYathrib:analysisandtranslation
ofthedocumentscomprisedinthesocalled'ConstitutionofMedina'",BulletinoftheSchoolofOrientaland
AfricanStudies(1978),41:142,CambridgeUniversityPress.
4. See:
ReuvenFirestone,Jihd:theoriginofholywarinIslam(1999)p.118
"Muhammad",EncyclopediaofIslamOnline
5. Watt.MuhammadatMedinaandR.B.Serjeant"TheConstitutionofMedina."IslamicQuarterly8(1964)p.4.
6. Serjeant(1978),page4.
7. Watt.MuhammadatMedina.pp.227228Wattarguesthattheinitialagreementwasshortlyafterthehijraand
thedocumentwasamendedatalaterdatespecificallyafterthebattleofBadr(AH[annohijra]2,=AD624).
Serjeantarguesthattheconstitutionisinfact8differenttreatieswhichcanbedatedaccordingtoeventsasthey
transpiredinMedinawiththefirsttreatybeingwrittenshortlyafterMuhammad'sarrival.R.B.Serjeant."The
SunnahJmi'ah,PactswiththeYathribJews,andtheTahrmofYathrib:AnalysisandTranslationofthe
DocumentsComprisedinthesocalled'ConstitutionofMedina'."inTheLifeofMuhammad:TheFormationof
theClassicalIslamicWorld:Volumeiv.Ed.UriRubin.Brookfield:Ashgate,1998,p.151andseesamearticle
inBSOAS41(1978):18ff.SeealsoCaetani.AnnalidellIslam,VolumeI.Milano:Hoepli,1905,p.393.Julius
Wellhausen.SkizzenundVorabeiten,IV,Berlin:Reimer,1889,p82fwhoarguethatthedocumentisasingle
treatyagreeduponshortlyafterthehijra.WellhausenarguesthatitbelongstothefirstyearofMuhammads
residenceinMedina,beforethebattleofBadrin2/624.Wellhausenbasesthisjudgementonthreeconsiderations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_aspects_of_Islam
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residenceinMedina,beforethebattleofBadrin2/624.Wellhausenbasesthisjudgementonthreeconsiderations
firstMuhammadisverydiffidentabouthisownposition,heacceptsthePagantribeswithintheUmma,and
maintainstheJewishclansasclientsoftheAnsarsseeWellhausen,Excursus,p.158.EvenMosheGilaskeptic
ofIslamichistoryarguesthatitwaswrittenwithin5monthsofMuhammad'sarrivalinMedina.MosheGil."The
ConstitutionofMedina:AReconsideration."IsraelOrientalStudies4(1974):p.45.
8. Lewis,Bernard,TheMiddleEast:aBriefHistoryofthelast2000Years,Touchstone,(1995),p.139
9. [1](http://alcor.concordia.ca/~shannon/201Lec02images_files/image004.jpg)
10. Lewis,TheMiddleEast,(1995),p.143
11. Lewis,TheMiddleEast,(1995),p.141
12. JudgeWeeramantry,ChristopherG.(1997),JusticeWithoutFrontiers,BrillPublishers,pp.1345,ISBN90
41102418
13. Sullivan,AntonyT.(JanuaryFebruary1997),"IstanbulConferenceTracesIslamicRootsofWesternLaw,
Society"(http://www.washingtonreport.org/backissues/0197/9701036.htm),WashingtonReportonMiddleEast
Affairs:36,retrieved20080229
14. LennEvanGoodman(2003),IslamicHumanism,p.155,OxfordUniversityPress,ISBN0195135806.
15. alHibri,AzizahY.(19981999),"IslamicandAmericanConstitutionalLaw:BorrowingPossibilitiesora
HistoryofBorrowing",UniversityofPennsylvaniaJournalofConstitutionalLaw1(3):492527[50725]
16. ProcessofChoosingtheLeader(Caliph)oftheMuslims:TheMuslimKhilafa:byGharmAllahAlGhamdy
(http://www.2muslims.com/directory/Detailed/225505.shtml)
17. TheEarlyIslamicConquests(1981)
18. SohaibN.Sultan,ForminganIslamicDemocracy
(http://www.islamonline.net/English/introducingislam/politics/Politics/article04.shtml)
19. UnderstandingIslamism(http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3301)MiddleEast/NorthAfricaReport
N372March2005
20. EncyclopediaofIslamandtheMuslimWorld(2004),vol.1,p.116123.
21. JudgeWeeramantry,ChristopherG.(1997),JusticeWithoutFrontiers,BrillPublishers,p.135,ISBN90411
02418
22. NoahFeldman(March16,2008)."WhyShariah?"(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/magazine/16Shariah
t.html?ei=5070&em=&en=5c1b8de536ce606f&ex=1205812800&pagewanted=all).NewYorkTimes.Retrieved
20081005.
23. Makdisi,George(AprilJune1989),"ScholasticismandHumanisminClassicalIslamandtheChristianWest",
JournaloftheAmericanOrientalSociety109(2):175182[17577],doi:10.2307/604423
(https://dx.doi.org/10.2307%2F604423)
24. Feldman,Noah,FallandRiseoftheIslamicState,PrincetonUniversityPress,2008,p.6
25. Roy,Olivier,TheFailureofPoliticalIslambyOlivierRoy,translatedbyCarolVolk,HarvardUniversityPress,
1994,p.1415
26. SahihBukhari,Volume4,Book56,Number681
27. Weeramantry(1997),pp.132&135
28. Momen,Moojan,IntroductiontoShi'iIslam,YaleUniversityPress,1985p.194
29. Momen,Moojan,IntroductiontoShi'iIslam,YaleUniversityPress,1985p.192
30. FreedomandJusticeintheMiddleEast(http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050501faessay84305/bernard
lewis/freedomandjusticeinthemodernmiddleeast.html?mode=print)
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31. Roy,Olivier,TheFailureofPoliticalIslambyOlivierRoy,translatedbyCarolVolk,HarvardUniversityPress,
1994,p.32
32. Feldman,Noah,FallandRiseoftheIslamicState,PrincetonUniversityPress,2008,p.79
33. Benhenda,M.,LiberalDemocracyandPoliticalIslam:theSearchforCommonGround,SSRN1475928
(https://ssrn.com/abstract=1475928)
34. Roy,FailureofPoliticalIslam,(1994)p.3031
35. Roy,FailureofPoliticalIslam,(1994)p.31
36. Roy,FailureofPoliticalIslam.(1994)p.357
37. ShiaRevival:HowconflictswithinIslamwillshapethefuturebyValiNasr,Norton,2006,p.1489
38. Fuller,GrahamE.,TheFutureofPoliticalIslam,PalgraveMacMillan,(2003),p.26

Sources
Thefollowingsourcesgenerallyprescribetothetheorythatthereisadistinct20thcenturymovement
calledIslamism:
"ChildrenofAbraham:AnIntroductiontoIslamforJews"KhalidDuranwithAbdelwahabHechiche,
TheAmericanJewishCommitteeandKtav,2001
"TheIslamismDebate"MartinKramer,1997,whichincludesthechapterTheMismeasureof
PoliticalIslam(http://www.webcitation.org/query?
url=http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/Mismeasure.htm&date=20091026+02:19:40)
"LiberalIslam:ASourcebook"CharlesKurzman,OxfordUniversityPress,1998
"TheChallengeofFundamentalism:PoliticalIslamandtheNewWorldDisorder"BassamTibi,
Univ.ofCaliforniaPress,1998
Thefollowingsourceschallengethenotionofan"Islamistmovement":
EdwardSaid,Orientalism
MerrylWynDavies,BeyondFrontiers:IslamandContemporaryNeeds
G.H.Jansen,MilitantIslam,1980
HamidEnyat,ModernIslamicPoliticalThought
TheseauthorsingenerallocatetheissuesofIslamicpoliticalintoleranceandfanaticismnotinIslam,butin
thegenerallylowlevelofawarenessofIslam'sownmechanismsfordealingwiththese,amongmodern
believers,inpartaresultofIslambeingsuppressedpriortomoderntimes.

Furtherreading
OndemocracyintheMiddleEast,theroleofIslamistpoliticalpartiesandtheWaronTerrorism:
Ayoob,Mohammed.TheManyFacesofPoliticalIslam:ReligionandPoliticsintheMuslimWorld
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(http://www.press.umich.edu/titleDetailDesc.do?id=189346).UniversityofMichiganPress,2007.
MarinaOttoway,etal.,DemocraticMirageintheMiddleEast
(http://www.ceip.org/files/publications/HTMLBriefs
WP/20_October_2002_Policy_Brief/20009536v01.html),CarnegieEndowmentforEthicsand
InternationalPeace,PolicyBrief20,(October20,2002).
MarinaOttowayandThomasCarothers,ThinkAgain:MiddleEastDemocracy
(http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2705&print=1),ForeignPolicy(Nov./Dec.
2004).
StevenWright,TheUnitedStatesandPersianGulfSecurity:TheFoundationsoftheWaronTerror,
IthacaPress,2007ISBN9780863723216
AdnanM.Hayajneh,TheU.S.Strategy:DemocracyandInternalStabilityintheArabWorld
(http://www.alternativesjournal.net/volume3/number2/adnan.htm),Alternatives(Volume3,No.2&
3,Summer/Fall2004).
GaryGambill,JumpstartingArabReform:TheBushAdministration'sGreaterMiddleEastInitiative
(http://www.meib.org/articles/0407_me2.htm),MiddleEastIntelligenceBulletin(Vol.6,No.67,
June/July2004).
RemarksbythePresidentatthe20thAnniversaryoftheNationalEndowmentforDemocracy,United
StatesChamberofCommerce,Washington,D.C.,PresidentBushDiscussesFreedominIraqand
MiddleEast(http://georgewbushwhitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/11/200311062.html),
6November2003.
RobertBlecher,FreePeopleWillSettheCourseofHistory:Intellectuals,DemocracyandAmerican
Empire(http://www.merip.org/mero/interventions/blecher_interv.html),MiddleEastReport(March
2003).
RobertFisk,WhatDoesDemocracyReallyMeanInTheMiddleEast?WhateverTheWestDecides
(http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9888.htm),TheIndependent,8August2005.
FawazGergez,IsDemocracyintheMiddleEastaPipedream?
(http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=5622),YaleGlobalOnline,April25,2005.
MasoodAshrafRaja."MuslimModernity:Poetics,Politics,andMetaphysics.MuslimSocietiesand
theChallengeofSecularization:AnInterdisciplinaryApproach.GabrieleMarranci.Ed.Aberdeen:
Springer,2010:99112.

Externallinks
IslamandPolitics(http://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/552601)fromtheDean
PeterKroghForeignAffairsDigitalArchives
(https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/552494/browse?type=title)
LiberalDemocracyandPoliticalIslam:TheSearchforCommonGround
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(http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1475928)
TheIdeologyofTerrorismandViolenceinSaudiArabia:Origins,ReasonsandSolution
(http://www.salafimanhaj.com/pdf/SalafiManhaj_Terrorism_In_KSA.pdf)
EvaluatingtheIslamistmovement(http://www.washingtonreport.org/backissues/0994/9409021.htm)
byGregNoakes,anAmericanMuslimwhoworksattheWashingtonReport.
Muslimscholarsfacedownfanaticism(http://www.washington
report.org/backissues/0695/9506017.htm)byAichaLemsine,anAlgerianjournalistandauthor.
PeterKroghdiscusesIslamandpoliticswithJohnL.EspositoandMaryJaneDeeb
(http://cdm164001.cdmhost.com/krogh/item_viewer.php?
CISOROOT=/p164001coll21&CISOPTR=195&CISOBOX=1&REC=2)onGreatDecisions(1994).
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