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The West and IslamReligion and Political Thought in World History$
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Antony Black

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533206

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533206.001.0001

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Legitimacy: The Caliphate and the State

Legitimacy: The Caliphate and the State

Chapter:
(p.43) 2 Legitimacy: The Caliphate and the State
Source:
The West and Islam
Author(s):

Antony Black (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533206.003.0003

In Europe, separate states acquired legitimacy; in Islam the universal caliphate and 'umma retained the fullest respect. Muslim philosophers, not unlike Augustine and Hobbes, derived the need for the Shari'a and caliph from the strife-prone nature of humans. Some Western thinkers adopted the view of Cicero (and later of Locke) that human society and the state develop by consensus. Marsilius of Padua's theory of the state in some ways resembled the Muslim theory of the caliphate; he was probably influenced by Ibn Rushd, but Marsilius was without influence. Muslims, drawing on Iranian monarchical theory, saw the ruler's responsibilities as extending to the social and economic infrastructure. Europeans saw the state, Muslims the caliphate, as impersonal offices.

Keywords:   the state, human nature, Hobbes, Locke, Marsilius of Padua, Ibn Rushd, Averroes, ruler's responsibilites, Impersonal office

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