On Sovereignties in Islamic Legal History

Anver M. Emon

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law


Middle East Law and Governance 4, Numbers 2-3 (2012)

The concept of sovereignty has posed important challenges in the ongoing debates and discourses on Islam and international law. This essay illustrates how sovereignty reflects competing ideas about legitimate authority by examining and exploring distinct debates in Islamic thought, all of which share a concern about the nature, scope, and contours of legitimacy and authority. This article does not offer a prescriptive argument for a robust notion of sovereignty in Islam, nor does it attempt to judge the Islamic past pursuant to contemporary strands of political theory. Rather, it explores various strands of historical Islamic intellectual debate that traverse the realms of theology, law and politics in order to reflect on the conditions of different sovereignties and their relationship to one another

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Islam, Islamic law, sovereignty, authority, treaties, theology, imāma, natural law

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Date posted: September 15, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Emon, Anver M., On Sovereignties in Islamic Legal History (2012). Middle East Law and Governance 4, Numbers 2-3 (2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2146627

Contact Information

Anver M. Emon (Contact Author)
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
416-946-0832 (Phone)

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