The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Abstract on the Nasirate

There's a confab in London, The Origins of the Islamic State: Sovereignty and Power in the Middle Ages. Yeez has found its call-for-papers:

Papers of ca. 20 minutes in length are invited on the following core themes:

  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to Islamic states
  • Discourse, authority and legitimization in different media (documentary, epigraphy, architecture, art, numismatics etc.)
  • Muslim sovereignty and rulership
  • The workings of the early caliphate and Islamic states
  • The use and abuse of early Islamic history today

They want Abstracts of 200-250 words. Hmm. I wonder if they'll take this:

Several scholars have noted ‘Abd al-Malik’s role in founding an Islamic State, in the 70s AH / 690s CE from Egypt to Khurasan. He named this the Caliphate, and advertised his own status on his coins and through his court's poetry. "Caliph" meant God's vicar on Earth, in the way of Biblical David as absolute monarch. ‘Abd al-Malik before and after he took command faced opponents; among the latter, the mutineer ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn al-Ash’ath. Ibn al-Ash’ath during his own command over Iraq and Iran minted his own coins and promoted his own poets. These named him “God’s Advocate (Nasir Allah)”, in the way of Allah's Book and the Sunna. This counter-regime thereby founded its legitimacy upon an interpretation of Islamic Scriptures, which it had from an alliance with anti-Umayyad qurra’ and jurists. Where some of his men sought to overthrow the Caliph, Ibn al-Ash’ath did not: his ambition was to bind Caliphal command to an independent Islamic Law, through an official position with veto authority. The ideal Nasir would then function much like a Roman Republican Tribune. Although this attempt failed, and the Muslims never raised another Nasir; later jurists would reach a compromise with a later dynasty to limit the Caliphate's rule.

It's about fifty forty thirty ten words short. At present. I'll get back to it, if I need to - I'm weighing whether or not to apply to the conference. UPDATE 9:30 PM - 200!

As for its content: this is a summary of Throne of Glass. I have shorn it of my usual funny ideas about the canonisation-process of the Qur'an. This is to self-censor where those ideas aren't needed, as I don't think they will be needed, in this context. But as far as the base argument, that Islam can separate law and enforcement...

UPDATE 9:30 PM: Okay, I've applied.


posted by Zimri on 20:43 | link | 0 comments

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