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Public Freedoms in the Islamic State$
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Rached Ghannouchi

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300211528

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300211528.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Basic Principles of Islamic Governance

The Basic Principles of Islamic Governance

(p.115) 4 The Basic Principles of Islamic Governance
Public Freedoms in the Islamic State

Rached Ghannouchi

, David L. Johnston
Yale University Press

This chapter concerns the basic principles of an Islamic political system. Within the context of a growing Western impact on Muslim lands, the chapter offers a blueprint based on the unity of Islam and politics. It shows that the structure of the Islamic state that developed in Medina provided all the elements necessary to any state, like a people (umma), a territory, a political authority, and a legal system. Using precise wording, Medina's constitution or charter (al-sahifa) defined the groups that constituted the state—one by one it listed the Muslims, the Jews, and the pagans—all of them forming together a political umma. The document mentions their rights and duties as citizens of the state. In effect, each person was a member of the Islamic umma in their political dimension. Together they laid the solid foundation of an Islamic civilization in which hundreds of ethnic groups and tribes from different faith traditions gathered in response to a divine call.

Keywords:   Islamic governance, Medina, political authority, umma, citizenship, Islamic civilization, faith traditions

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