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The Creation Of An Islamic State

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores, within the context of the growth of the Mahdist state, how the ruling elites of the Mahdiyya ordered and organized society as authoritative and God-given. It analyzes how ceremonies informed the establishment of the state and how the elite manipulated ceremonies to bolster the legitimacy of state policy by creating a mythic concordance between the Mahdist state and the nascent Muslim community in Medina. The concept of jihad was of the utmost importance to the Mahdist state. From the Mahdī's perspective, this concept primarily encompassed, but was not solely limited to, militant struggle. The financial system of the Mahdist state was purportedly organized according to the system that was extant in Medina during the time of the Prophet. Perhaps the most important characteristic that illuminated the legitimacy of the state was the establishment of the sharīʿa as the overriding rule of law in the land.

Keywords: jihad; Mahdī; Mahdist state; Mahdiyya; Muslim; sharīʿa



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