Muslim Institutions

Muslim Institutions

Muslim Institutions

Muslim Institutions

Excerpt

The Muslim world is today made up of a number of communities, each striving to raise itself to the dignity of statehood, but seeking, at the same time, to preserve a measure of spiritual unity. This unity was, for centuries, confused with the idea of political unity, the caliph combining in his person temporal power and spiritual authority. During that period there existed a single Muslim community, the institutions of which were permeated with the spirit of religion. It is those institutions that we have endeavoured to describe, without omitting to point out that they have evolved, and that, at the period of their apparently most perfect unity, they were subject to the modifying influence of changing human moods and varying traditions.

The bibliography printed in the earlier editions has been omitted. The reader is referred to the work of Jean Sauvaget: introduction U+00EO l'histoire de l'Orient Musulman: Essai de Bibliographie (1943), references to which in the footnotes are preceded by the letter S, with the recommendation that he should read and ponder the first fifty-six pages. It has been here thought sufficient to refer, at the foot of each chapter, to a few easily accessible works and to certain articles in L'Encyclopédie de l'Islam -- indicated by the letters E.I.

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