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Title: Islamizing the Islamic State: The Formulation and Assertion of Religious Criteria for State Employment in the First Millennium AH
Authors: Yarbrough, Luke
Advisors: Cook, Michael A
Contributors: Near Eastern Studies Department
Keywords: administration
Subjects: Near Eastern studies
Medieval history
Religious history
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation seeks to document, date, and analyze a discourse in which Sunni Muslims expressed prescriptive views about non-Muslim state officials. By reconsidering the provenance and historical context of several seminal texts, it proposes to re-read the discourse as a product of Muslim religious elites' concerns about their own social and political positions. Its geographical and chronological foci are Egypt, the Levant, and Iraq from the rise of the discourse in the 2nd/8th century to its efflorescence in the 8th/14th. The early Islamic state relied heavily upon non-Arab, frequently non-Muslim civil officials. During the 2nd/8th century, this pattern began to change, due in part to the formulation and dissemination of the view that it was religiously impermissible for the state to employ non-Muslim officials. This view received its earliest durable articulations in Kufa, in response to the pervasive employment of non-Muslims by the late Umayyad and early 'Abbasid states. Earlier views, particularly those ascribed to the caliph 'Umar II, cannot be confidently substantiated, but do provide qualitative evidence of early efforts by Muslim learned elites to leverage religious difference as they competed for social, economic, and symbolic capital. The discourse entered juristic literature from at least the early 3rd/9th century; with few exceptions the jurists opposed the employment of non-Muslim officials. Yet opposition was justified in remarkably diverse ways. The jurists' opinions played only minor roles, however, in a major formal shift within the discourse: the 6th/12th-century advent of independent works of advice literature that sought the dismissal of non-Muslim officials. More important were novel educational and institutional practices that led religious elites to expect state patronage. In concluding, the dissertation compares the pre-modern Islamicate case to others in an effort to explain why the discourse under study has few close parallels elsewhere.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Near Eastern Studies

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