Democracy, Human Rights and Law in Islamic Thought by Mohammad Abed al-Jabri

Political Freedom

By Mohammad Abed al-Jabri

Mohammad Abed al-Jabri is likely one of the such a lot influential political philosophers within the modern heart East. A serious rationalist within the culture of Avincenna and Averroes, he emphasizes the unique political and cultural historical past of the Arab global whereas rejecting the philosophical discourses which were used to imprecise its democratic deficit. This quantity introduces an English-language viewers for the 1st time to writings that experience had a massive influence on Arab political concept. Wide-ranging in scope but targeted intimately, those essays interrogate techniques similar to democracy, legislations, and human rights, how they've been utilized within the historical past of the Arab international, and convey that they're decided by means of political and social context, no longer by way of Islamic doctrine. Jabri argues that during order to increase democratic societies within which human rights are revered, the Arab global can't easily depend on previous texts and traditions. Nor can it import democratic versions from the West. in its place, he says, a brand new culture must be solid through brand new Arabs themselves, all alone phrases.

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Extra resources for Democracy, Human Rights and Law in Islamic Thought (Comtemporary Arab Sclarship in the Social Sciences)

Sample text

The question of whether Islam is a religion or a state had never been asked in Islamic thought from the rise of Islam until the mid-nineteenth century. It was brought forth in the context of [the Arab revival], foreign to Islamic thought, with roots and terminology found in the European civilizational model which the Arabs were and are yet still aspiring to emulate in their own countries, especially in that which pertains to progress and revival. It is true that problems may not be transferred from one field to another, except when the other field offers something to somehow justify that transference.

Yet, all of them were or have been Islamic states. The third element is that the caliphate, according to the Sunnis, is by ‘choice’ (al-ikhtiyÆr) and not by ‘textual specification’ (al-na∆∆). This principle is contrary to the Sh∞≤ites’ opinions. The supporting argument to this principle is that since the Companions exchanged opinions after the death of the Prophet and disagreed, then they agreed to pay homage to Ab∑ Bakr, it means that the Messenger did not assign anyone to the caliphate after him.

Judging from historical analects, it seems that the theoretical and legitimate arguments of both parties were equally tenable. What settled the matter in the end was the reminder by the MuhÆjir∑n to the An∆Ær that ‘the Arabs will not follow except this quarter of Quraysh’. This meant that the only tribe qualified to lead was Quraysh, so it tipped the balance of power that decided the matter in the end. Hence, ‘From us one prince, from you another’ was an idea defeated, and all power was left in the hands of the MuhÆjir∑n as they swore the bay≥ah to Ab∑ Bakr as a caliph after the Prophet.

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