Home / All / Caliphate and Imamate: An Anthology of Medieval Muslim Texts on Political Theology

Caliphate and Imamate: An Anthology of Medieval Muslim Texts on Political Theology

This volume offers an engaging introduction to the diverse writings of influential scholars representing six classical Islamic schools of theology: Sunnism, Zaydism, Twelver Shiʿism, Muʿtazilism, Ibadism, and Ismaʿilism.

One of the most enduring sources of conflict among Muslims is the question of power and authority after the Prophet Muhammad. This anthology of classical Arabic texts, presented in a new English translation, offers a comprehensive overview of the early history of the caliphate and key questions that medieval Muslim scholars discussed in their works on the subject. Composed between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, these texts succinctly present competing views on the prerequisites of legitimate leadership and authority in the Islamic tradition. This volume offers an engaging introduction to the diverse writings of influential scholars representing six classical Islamic schools of theology: Sunnism, Zaydism, Twelver Shiʿism, Muʿtazilism, Ibadism, and Ismaʿilism.

This introduction briefly examines the diverse answers that key representatives of the classical Islamic tradition offered to this controversial question. A concise overview of early Islamic political history is followed by a survey of Islamic thought on the subject of authority in the formative (seventh-ninth centuries) and classical periods (ninth-thirteenth centuries). This introduction presents the views of six major theological schools of the classical period: Ashʿarism (representative of Sunnism), Muʿtazilism, Ibadism, Twelver Shiʿism, Ismaʿilism, and Zaydism. Finally, this chapter discusses the classical Arabic texts that appear in English translation in this anthology as well as their respective themes, authors, and historical contexts.

About the Author

Hassan Ansari (born 1970) is an Iranian Islamic scholar and Visiting Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is known for his works on Islamic theology, philosophy, law, and legal theory. He is a co-editor of Shii Studies Review.

Nebil Husayn is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami. His research broadly considers the development of Islamic theology, historiography and debates on the caliphate. His previous publications include Opposing the Imam (2021).

Table of Contents

·       1 – A Précis of the Doctrines of Abū ’l-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī by Ibn Fūrak

·       2 – The Succor of Nations amidst the Confusion of Darkness by al-Juwaynī

·       3 – The Theoretical Underpinning of the Imamate by Abū Ṭālib al-Hārūnī

·       4 – The Curative Book on the Imamate: A Paraphrastic Rendering by al-Shaykh al-Ṭūsī

·       5 – The Book of Excellence on the Fundamental Principles of Religion by Ibn al-Malāḥimī

·       6 – The Concise Book of Doctrines by ʿAbd al-Kāf ī al-Warjalānī

7 – The Crown of Doctrines and the Mine of Instructive Points by al-Dāʿī Ibn al-Walīd

Bibliographic Information

Title: Caliphate and Imamate: An Anthology of Medieval Muslim Texts on Political Theology

Author (s): Hassan Ansari & Nebil Husayn

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Length: 248 Pages

ISBN:‎ 9781108225267

Pub. Date: November 2, 2023

Click Here to Buy the Book.

About Ali Teymoori

Check Also

Muslims Mark Sombre Eid al-Adha in Shadow of Gaza Genocide

Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice, which commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, before God offered a sheep in his...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Google Analytics Alternative