Apostasy in the Mamluk Period: The politics of accusations of unbelief [electronic resource].

Omar, Hanaa H. Kilany.
386 p.
Middle East -- History
Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Asian and Middle Eastern studies.
Asian and Middle Eastern studies -- Penn dissertations.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
This study examines the basis of accusations of unbelief (takfir ) in the Mamluk period (648--922/1250--1517) in order to uncover the conditions promoting its emergence and discuss the groups liable to such accusations. Takfir is initiated by any Muslim on the basis of the Qur'anic principle of "Commanding good and forbidding evil." As is well known, declaring Muslims unbelievers has always been a political issue whereby a powerful minority aims to control opposing factions.
The dissertation is in two parts. The first part charts the historical framework of unbelief in Islamic history and apostasy laws in Sunni schools of legal thought. The second part deals with the groups accused of unbelief: Muslim converts (Musalima), Shi`is, and Sunnis in Egypt and the Levant under Mamluk dominion. Sources used were Sunni legal manuals, historical chronicles and biographical dictionaries.
Recantations of Islam and attacks on it and the Prophet Muh&dotbelow;ammad on the part of converts and Christians were forms of passive rebellion against the continuous conversion under duress during late Bah&dotbelow;ri and Circassian Mamluk rule, for which they were executed. Levantine Twelver Shi`is stood trials of unbelief for their alleged vilification of the early Companions; however their prosecution was a result of the social power struggle between the sectarian elites. The power struggle among political and religious dignitaries was the source of various attributions of unbelief against Sunnis including S&dotbelow;ufis, jurists, poets, and Mamluks. Among the unbelief offenses that emerged in the Circassian Mamluk period were claims of prophethood and vilification of Prophets.
The study shows that the unstable political climate of the Levant and the weak Mamluk administration took its toll on the minority groups and rivals of the established elite. Likewise, the dire political and economic conditions that characterized the Circassian Mamluk period fostered a disorderly environment in which the Mamluks and jurists implemented takfir to suppress opposing political and intellectual competitors and offenses such as claims to prophethood and vilifications of prophets arose.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2001.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-05, Section: A, page: 1923.
Supervisor: Everett K. Rowson.
Local notes:
School code: 0175.
Rowson, Everett K., advisor
University of Pennsylvania.
Contained In:
Dissertation Abstracts International 62-05A.
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.
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