Cookies Policy
X
Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

An Earlier Sunnī Version of Khomeini’s Rule of the Jurist: Mustafā l-Sibāī on Ulamā and Politics

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

Price:
$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

The notion of “the rule of the jurist” is identified exclusively with Ayatollah Khomeini, and was implemented politically following the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. What was perceived as a revolutionary innovation in Šia Islam, however, was seen as alien in Sunnī Islam. Traditionally, Sunnī Ulamā were identified as “men of the pen”, whose task was to preserve religious knowledge but not to assume state authority. Sunnī Islamic movements of the twentieth century did not alter this traditional viewpoint. Most of their leaders actually criticized the Ulamās submission to secular rulers. Indeed, Sunnī circles—as Khomeini himself—spoke of the urgent need to establish an Islamic government to combat imperialism and Westernization, but did not assign any political function to the religious scholars.

The paper focuses on a different view, that of Šayh Mustafā l-Sibāī (d. 1964), of Syrian origin, who asserted in the late 1930s that Ulamā are the best guardians of the nation’s rights. Their entry into politics is neither improper nor deviant, he held, but rather a confirmation of the historic reality in the formative period of Islam. Al-Sibāī’s perception was put into practice with the establishment of the Muslim Brethren in Syria in 1946, but this perception failed to gain momentum.

The paper illuminates an interesting episode in modern Sunnī political thought: an early Sunnī version of Khomeini’s “the rule of the jurist”. While the Sunnī version remained a textual idea, the Šīite version turned into living political reality, exposing the asymmetry between the status of Sunnī and Šīite Ulamā in modern times.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies The Hebrew University (Jerusalem)

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Create email alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Name:*
    Email:*
    Your details
    Name:*
    Email:*
    Department:*
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
     
     
     
    Other:
     
    Arabica — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation