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Politics, Law, and Community in Islamic Thought
The Taymiyyan Moment

Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107687110

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About the Authors
  • This revisionist account of the history of Islamic political thought from the early to the late medieval period focuses on Ibn Taymiyya, one of the most brilliant theologians of his day. This original study demonstrates how his influence shed new light on the entire trajectory of Islamic political thought. Although he did not reject the Caliphate ideal, as is commonly believed, he nevertheless radically redefined it by turning it into a rational political institution intended to serve the community (umma). Through creative reinterpretation, he deployed the Qur'anic concept of fitra (divinely endowed human nature) to centre the community of believers and its common-sense reading of revelation as the highest epistemic authority. In this way, he subverted the elitism that had become ensconced in classical theological, legal and spiritual doctrines, and tried to revive the ethico-political, rather than strictly legal, dimension of Islam. In reassessing Ibn Taymiyya's work, this book marks a major departure from traditional interpretations of medieval Islamic thought.

    • Original and path-breaking reassessment of the work and influence of the medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyya
    • The study has much to say about contemporary Islamic ideology since Taymiyya's ideas have influenced modern-day jihadists and political Islamists
    • A sophisticated analysis for scholars and students of medieval Islamic history, theology, religion and politics
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107687110
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. The Classical Legacy:
    1. A tale of two visions: Shari'a and Siyasa in early Islam
    2. The political thought of the classical period
    3. Reason and community in the classical period
    Part II. The Taymiyyan Intervention:
    4. Ibn Taymiyya's world
    5. Defending revelation and liberating reason
    6. Fitra, community, and Islamic politics
    7. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Ovamir Anjum, University of Toledo, Ohio
    Ovamir Anjum holds the Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toledo.

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