“O you who believe, Obey God, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority.”


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“O you who believe, Obey God, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority.” (Qur’an 4:59)

  • “O you who believe, Obey God, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority.” (Qur’an 4:59)

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  • “Hear and obey, even if your governor is an Ethiopian slave with a head like a raisin, as long as he follows the Book of God.” (Hadith, Bukhari)

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  • “You will be ruled after me by rulers who are righteous and rulers who are depraved. Listen to them and obey them in all that is right. If they do good, it will tell for you and for them. If they do evil, it will tell for you and against them.” (Hadith, quoted by al-Mawardi)



Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Khārijī answer: The best (i.e. most just and capable) person.

  • Chosen by believers

  • Guilty of no major sin; to be deposed if he commits one.

  • Khārijī means “those who go out”, initially, from ‘Ali’s army; thus:

  • Seceders

  • Rebels

  • Some had been among those who had opposed ‘Uthman. 



Slogan:

  • Slogan:

  • “Lā ḥukm illā li-llāh”

  • “Judgment (between ‘Ali and Mu‘awiya) belongs only to God (who will determine the outcome of the battle).

  • Action

  • Hijra: separate themselves from non-Khārijīs (or) live among them in taqiya (concealment)

    • Khārijīs are the only true believers.
    • Non-Khārijīs are kāfirs (Azraqīs) or hypocrites (Najdīs)
  • Armed rebellion against unjust ruler (early Kharijis)

  • Shurāt (name used by many) = Those who sell [themselves for God]



Today:

  • Today:

  • ‘Ibadis continue the movement, primarily in Oman, also in Tanzania, Tunisia, Algeria.

  • A negative label applied to radical Sunni groups by opponents.



Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Shi‘i answer: ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib or a designated descendant of his.

  • Shi‘is = Party of Ali (Shī‘at ‘Alī)



Shi‘is: Main groups

  • Shi‘is: Main groups

  • Zaydīs (Fivers)

  • Ismā‘īlīs (Seveners)

  • Imāmīs (Twelvers)





  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Shi‘i answer: ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib or a designated descendant of his.

  • Which designated descendant of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib?

  • Zaydi response:

  • Any descendent of Ali who demonstrates knowledge in matters of religion

  • leads a successful movement against unjust (non-Shi‘i) rulers

  • Zaydi state in Yemen c 897 - 1962



Isma‘ilis (Seveners)

  • Isma‘ilis (Seveners)

  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Shi‘i answer: ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib or a designated descendant of his.

  • Which designated descendant of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib?

  • Isma‘ili response:

  • Descendant of Isma‘il ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq

  • Designated (naṣṣ) by previous Imām.

  • May be visible or in concealment (satr)

  • If in concealment, represented by Ḥujja.

  • Imam is source of esoteric knowledge

  • Taqiya:

    • conceal identity under severe persecution
    • conceal esoteric knowledge from those not qualified


Fatimids:

  • Fatimids:

  • Established by ‘Ubaydallah al-Mahdi (claiming descent from Isma‘il) in the Maghrib (North Africa) in 909

  • Conquered and ruled Egypt from 969 to 1171.

  • Nizaris

  • Line diverges with Nizar son of al-Mustansir (d. 1094)

  • Several concealed Imams (so claimed) then Hasan –i Sabbah (Ḥujja, d. 1124)

  • Revolutionary movement in Syria and Iraq – so called Assassins (Ḥashshāshīn)

  • Mongols destroy political/military power 1256

  • Continue as (claimed) Sufi ṭariqa

  • Reemerge in 19 century under Agha Khans.



Imāmīs (Twelvers)

  • Imāmīs (Twelvers)

  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Shi‘i answer: ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib or a designated descendant of his.

  • Which designated descendant of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib?

  • Imāmī response:

  •  

  • Before the Occultation (minor, 872; major, 939):

  • Eleven descendants through Mūsā al-Kāẓim to Muhummad al-Muntaẓar (awaited)

  • Legitimate rulers but prevented from ruling

  • Infallible teachers of doctrine (ma‘ṣūm)

  • Esoteric cosmic functions (also Fāṭima bint ‘Alī)



Imamis ctd

  • Imamis ctd

  • After the Occultation

  • Muhummad al-Muntazar, the Hidden Imam, the “Imam of the Age”

    • Still in the world, though hidden
    • Still the legitimate ruler of the umma
  • Deputy of the Imam

    • Shi‘i shah or other ruler (some question about legitimacy)
    • ‘Ulamā’ – vilayat-i faqih (Iran today)
  • Most rulers (Sunnis) are illegitimate



Imamis ctd

  • Imamis ctd

  • Generally Pessimistic View of Human affairs

  • True Spiritual and temporal leaders were rejected and persecuted

  • Their followers have for the most part been disempowered and persecuted

    • Taqiya (Not emphasized by present Iranian government)
  • No unquestionably legitimate governance in the absence of the Hidden Imam.

    • Not emphasized by present Iranian government
  • Look for return of Hidden Imam (eschatological)

    • Islamic republic of Iran as preparation for return of Hidden Imam.


Imamis ctd

  • Imamis ctd

  • Husayn, the Chief of the Martyrs.

  • Attitudes

  • Actions

    • Ritual: Ta‘ziya: rawḍa, dasta, shabīh
    • Political: revolutionary action or support of ruler/government


Sunnīs (Ahl al-sunna wa-l-jamā‘a)

  • Sunnīs (Ahl al-sunna wa-l-jamā‘a)

  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Sunni answer: Caliph (khalīfa)/Imām or other ruler properly qualified

  • Qualifications (to c. 1258):

  • Qurayshi by birth.

  • Designated by predecessor and/or by representatives of the umma

  • Able to take and hold power; or supported by one who can (e.g. military or tribal-based amīr or sulṭān)

  • Rules according to sharī‘a

    • Supports and takes advice of ‘ulamā’
    • Considerable latitude in areas of siyāsa
  • Delegates effective power when necessary to others who recognize his authority



Sunnis

  • Sunnis

  • Qualifications (after c. 1258):

  • Able to take and hold power; or supported by one who can

  • Maintains order and defends/extends the realm

  • Respects the sharī‘a

    • Maximally: rules according to the shari‘a on the advice of ‘ulamā’
    • Minimally: supports the basic religious and communal institutions (mosques, madrasas, etc.)
  • Considerable latitude in areas of siyāsa

  • Designated by precessor and/or by representatives of the umma (less important)



Sunnis

  • Sunnis

  • Caliphate (Khilāfa) – in later perspective

  • Rightly guided caliphs (al-khulafā’ al-rāshidūn)

    • represent the ideal
    • some say the only true caliphs
  • Umayyad – seen as mostly arbitrary and unjust

  • Abbasids – claimed to take the Shari‘a more seriously

    • Caliphate ends with them (1258) according to many
  • Abbasids under Mamlukes, recognized by a few at the time

  • Ottoman caliphate

    • Claim to have received from the Abbasids under Mamlukes
    • Claim made significantly only from the 18-19th century
    • Accepted quite widely
    • Terminated in 1924 by Turkish Republic.
  • Moves to re-establish the caliphate



Persian contributions

  • Persian contributions

  •  

  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Persian answer: One whom God has chosen and made fit for this purpose

  • Has farr (divine effulgence, blessing, fortune)

  • Is “Shadow of God on earth”

  • Ceremonial manifests these.

  • Justice is central

  • Right rule leads to well being of society and nature

  • "Religion and government are twins" – cooperation of rulers and ‘ulamā’

  • Muslim rule is successor to Sasanians; some pre-Islamic shahs were models of justice



Persian contributions ctd

  • Persian contributions ctd

  • In every age and time God (be He exalted) chooses one member of the human race and, having endowed him with goodly and kingly virtues, entrusts him with the interests of the world and the well-being of His servants; He charges that person to close the doors of corruption, confusion and discord, and He imparts to him such dignity and majesty in the eyes and hearts of men, that under his just rule they may live their lives in constant security and ever wish for his reign to continue. (Nizam al-Mulk, The Book of Government, 9)



Persian contributions ctd

  • Persian contributions ctd

  • Nor can religion be stable without royalty

  • Nor can royalty be permanent without religion:

  • They are two foundations interlaced with one another,

  • Which intelligence hath combined in one.

  • (Firdowsi in Martin, V., Islam and Modernism, 33)



Contributions of Greek Philosophy

  • Contributions of Greek Philosophy

  • Basic question: What kind of ruler (imām) should govern the umma ?

  • Philosophers’ answer: A Philosopher King

  • Ruler should be prophet or philosopher with fully developed intellect.

  • Or a lesser philosopher who follows the laws established the prophet or fully developed philosopher




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