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Islamic State

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Islamic State

    Modern ideological position associated with political Islam. In classical theory, the Islamic concept of state is based on the principles of group/community, justice, and leadership. The legitimacy of the ruler is derived from principles of shura (consultation), aqd (ruled-ruler contract), and bayah (oath of allegiance). The caliph acts as the guardian of the community and faith, religious scholars give religio-legal advice, and judges settle disputes according to religious laws. Obedience to ruler and the necessity of avoiding civil strife are emphasized. The modern concept of the Islamic state emerged as a reaction to the 1924 abolition of the caliphate in Turkey. In Pakistan, Abu al-Ala Mawdudi sought an Islamic, rather than Muslim, state, recognizing God, rather than people or law, as sovereign; he emphasized that Muslims are defined by active involvement in enforcing an Islamic moral order on the legislative, political, and economic affairs of society. Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood also claimed that religion and government are inherently part of Islam. Sayyid Qutb taught that an Islamic order must be established prior to worrying about detailed laws and systems of government, inspiring militant Islamic movements in the Arab world. Shiis, as exemplified by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, emphasize the special quality of leadership in establishing a pious government, requiring that the leadership come under vilayat-i faqih (rule of the jurist). Other important signs of the Islamic nature of the state in the modern era include implementation of Islamic law, including hudud punishments, and a prohibition against charging or paying interest. Islamists claim that the concept of an Islamic state is unambiguously enshrined in religious texts, but forms of Islamic governments vary widely.

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