The Social Structure of Islam: Being the Second Edition of the Sociology of Islam

The Social Structure of Islam: Being the Second Edition of the Sociology of Islam

The Social Structure of Islam: Being the Second Edition of the Sociology of Islam

The Social Structure of Islam: Being the Second Edition of the Sociology of Islam

Excerpt

The present work was originally undertaken at the request of Mr Herbert Spencer's Trustees in continuance of his Descriptive Sociology. The Muhammadan communities of the world, possessing certain common characteristics traceable to their religion, are suited for treatment as a unity, and the purpose of this book is an endeavour to investigate the effects of the religious system of Islam on the life and organization of the societies which acknowledge it. Aspects of the social structure of the Muhammadan community in the classical period--generally under the Caliphate --have been treated in the past by such scholars of eminence as von Kremer, W. Robertson Smith and Goldziher. Here the basic principles of Islam are examined and an attempt is made to ascertain how Muhammadans of different periods and climes have adapted their way of life to them.

The first edition of the work appeared in two volumes, in 1931 and 1933 respectively, under the title of The Sociology of Islam. The materials have now been revised in the light of changed conditions and more recent work on the subject, rearranged, and collected into one volume for the sake of convenience and economy. In the original preface I acknowledged my indebtedness to my colleagues Professors A. A. Bevan and R. A. Nicholson and to Mr T. W. Hill, who was editor of the Herbert Spencer Sociology. All are now beyond the reach of my thanks, but my indebtedness to them remains. For criticisms and corrections to the first edition I am under an obligation to Professor J. Schacht, of the University of Leyden, and for new materials to Professor J. N. D. Anderson.

R. L.

CAMBRIDGE 28 April 1955 . . .

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