God's Caliph: Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 18, 2003 - History - 157 pages
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This study examines how religious authority was distributed in early Islam. It argues the case that, as in Shi'ism, it was concentrated in the head of state, rather than dispersed among learned laymen as in Sunnism. Originally the caliph was both head of state and ultimate source of religious law; the Sunni pattern represents the outcome of a conflict between the caliph and early scholars who, as spokesmen of the community, assumed religious leadership for themselves. Many Islamicists have assumed the Shi'ite concept of the imamate to be a deviant development. In contrast, this book argues that it is an archaism preserving the concept of religious authority with which all Muslims began.
 

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53-54

Contents

Introduction
1
The title khalífat Allāh
4
The Umayyad conception of the caliphate
24
Caliphal law
43
From caliphal to Prophetic sunna
58
The Umayyads
59
The Abbāsids
80
Epilogue
97
On the date and origin of the caliphate
111
The letters of alWalīd II and Yazīd III
116
Abū Ḥamzas comments on the caliphs
129
alMamūns letter of designation of Alī alRiḍā as his successor
133
WORKS CITED
140
INDEX
153
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About the author (2003)

Patricia Crone was born on March 28, 1945 in Kyndelose, Denmark. She received undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She taught at Oxford University and Cambridge University before joining the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent research center, where she was a professor from 1997 until retiring in 2014. She explored archaeological records and contemporary Greek and Aramaic sources to challenge views on the roots and evolution of Islam. She wrote numerous books during her lifetime including Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World written with Michael Cook, God's Rule: Government and Islam: Six Centuries of Medieval Islamic Political Thought, and The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran. She died from cancer on July 11, 2015 at the age of 70.

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