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Commanding Right And Forbidding Wrong In Islamic Thought Pdf

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Review of the hardback: 'The author's erudition is mind boggling; his precision never wavers; his analyses are consistently trenchant and frequently startling. For specialists this work is a feast; for non-specialists it offers fresh insights into an entire range of central concerns about the religion of Islam and Islamic societies. It also furnishes an essential basis for understanding the roots of modern Islamic rigorism.

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If one saw a wrong being committed in public, should one intervene? This basic moral question is at the heart of a significant body of Muslim scholarship, and forms the topic of Michael Cook's eminently learned and comprehensive study.

The historian is interested in the scholastic elaboration of all issues surrounding " al-amr bi-l-ma'ruf wa-l-nahy 'an al-munkar ", as "Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong" is known in Arabic. Furthermore, he tries to reconstruct how, in different phases of Islamic history and in different doctrinal settings, this principle has been applied by Muslims. The matter seems simple enough at first sight, particularly if one takes Cook's initial example, that of rape in a public space, which evokes moral outrage in most societies regardless of their creed.

But how about the second example, a goldsmith in the Khurassanian town of Merw which became the seat of the 'Abbasid revolutionary leader Abu Muslim in the mid-8th century? In this example, some of the many underlying issues of the seemingly clear moral principle become visible, among them the question whether or not the correction of alleged wrongdoing justifies armed rebellion against a Muslim ruler?

And, perhaps more importantly, who has the authority to judge what constitutes right, what wrong? After all, Abu Muslim, in the example accused of not following proper Islamic behaviour, led a rebellion in the name of Islam against another Muslim dynasty, the Umayyads.

Cook reconstructs the scholastic edifice by first analyzing the sources of Muslim creed and law, the Koran and the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad Hadith , and then goes on to scrutinize early Muslim writing and practice. In the main part of the book, he systematically traces the development of scholarship on the topic in the different legal schools and by prominent jurists.

He not only retraces the steps of later Muslim commentators, who wrote systematic treatises on the subject, he also succeeds in giving at times, a very lively picture of the problems confronting a relatively new monotheistic community.

This allows readers, even those whose main interest might lie outside the scope of his immediate problem, to obtain a vivid image of many aspects of the processes which eventually led to the elaboration of Islamic law and theology in the 9th century. Cook succeeds in demonstrating how the relatively scattered Koranic references to the duty were supplemented by rather contradictory traditions of what the Prophet had reportedly said or done.

This development can be explained to a considerable degree by accounting for the different political and historical conditions in various places. Thus, scholars in the Iraqi city of Kufa focussed on the transmission of traditions which emphasized that individual Muslims were obliged to fulfil the duty, while Syrians quite often held that to direct one's efforts towards the reform of others in an activist fashion was only incumbent upon Muslims during periods of "good" Muslim government.

If this had lapsed, the individuals were excused - something that might be interpreted as political quietism. This view gained currency during a period when Syria was the centre of the Umayyad caliphate - by many considered to constitute a departure from the caliphate as established by the Prophet's immediate successors, while Kufa at the time was a major centre of political opposition.

The author then traces the development of the ideas on Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong through the enormous amount of material produced by Muslim scholars. He considers all major schools of law, both Sunni and Shi'i, as well as some smaller sects, paying attention to minute points of agreement and dissent, as well as to common roots of the different views.

Incidentally, his work thus contains much of interest to readers working on almost any aspect of Muslim doctrine. As quite a lot of the material and the arguments repeat themselves by their very nature, it might be useful, for the purposes of such a review, to use the probably most elaborate argument on Commanding Right, presented in Cook's chapter 16, as a vantage point from which to explore wider discussions, rather than following Cook's genealogical approach.

Only those Muslims who are legally competent and able to fulfil the duty are obliged to carry it out, excluding the infirm, under-age and lunatics, but including sinners albeit with certain limitations , slaves and women. Incidentally, the latter group is often excluded in classical Islamic thought, and only relatively few scholars, most notably the Ibadis in Oman, spilt some ink on discussing female participation in the duty controversially.

Only in modern times, women seem to be considered relatively regularly as eligible for Commanding Right, although the question of propriety, i. In al-Ghazzali's view, and contrary to views widespread among Imami Shi'ites, this contravenes early Muslim practice, although al-Ghazzali recognises that violent action might lead to objectionable general disorder. Similarly, he advises caution in cases where the person performing the duty imperils himself, as in the case of Commanding Right to an authority.

In this context, the distinction between different levels of the duty comes in handy. After all, it can be performed in many different ways. Firstly, an observant Muslim might want to inform the offender of his deed. If he failed to see the point, he could be politely counselled. Only if this failed as well, should harsh language be used or physical action such as the breaking of jars containing alcoholic drink, be considered.

Even among those jurists who in theory approved of violence, its threat or actual use ought to be considered as the final resort only.

In the case of confronting an authority, one might consider to condemn the offence silently i. If one decided to speak out, it was only prudent to avoid more drastic actions which were likely to cause disorder.

If, however, the action might endanger him but had the chance of being effective, al-Ghazzali sanctions it - in contrast to quite a few other scholars who prefer a more cautious approach. This notwithstanding, he is quite conscious of the temptations related to the duty: He explicitly warns believers not to perform the duty if they are susceptible to perform it in order to foster their own feelings of well-doing and moral superiority.

The 18th century Sufi mystic 'Abd al-Ghani al-Nablusi went even further by stating that only Sufis had sufficient self-knowledge to avoid this pitfall. As Cook shows, this position was a clear reaction to an earlier anti-Sufi movement which had attacked Sufi "innovations" under the banner of Commanding Right, and had even risked death in pursuit of the duty.

But what kind of actions are to be confronted by the pious Muslim? While most commentators limit themselves to references concerning alcoholic drink, sexual offences and the playing of music, al-Ghazzali offers a somewhat longer list. It includes wrongs committed in the mosques, such as "sloppy prayer" and "faulty recitation of the Koran" p. A Muslim might do wrong by obstructing the roads, e. He might commit offences against propriety in the public baths, not to speak of decorating such bathhouses with imagery forbidden by Islamic law.

Finally, al-Ghazzali discusses offences in relation to hospitality, which can range from a conspicuous display of wealth to offering forbidden drink or food. Cook's investigation of early biographical material shows that this list can be easily extended, for example, maltreatment of slaves and animals prompted some early Muslims to intervene. Like many other Muslim commentators, al-Ghazzali is also acutely aware of the potential violation of privacy inherent in the duty.

Many theorists actually argue that the duty only applies to offences which occur openly, and explicitly forbid, for example, to enter other peoples' houses without leave. In order to minimise the almost inevitable unpleasantness inherent in the duty, al-Ghazzali - in line with all Muslim commentators on the issue - suggests that it should be carried out as nicely as possible. Cook's thorough investigations show clearly that Commanding Right was and is very much an urban phenomenon. Quite a number of expositions reflect what must have been the view of common people: Commanding Right was easily considered as an unwarranted intrusion into privacy and downright meddling.

A major issue of contention seems to have been the question whose task the fulfilment of the duty was. Was it incumbent upon every single Muslim capable of carrying it out , such as the ritual prayers, or was it a duty - such as holy war - where a sufficient participation absolved others from its performance?

Most scholars agreed on the latter, and, in general, quite liked to regard Commanding Right as their own preserve. Some, such as the founder of the Hanbali school of law, Ahmad b. Hanbal d. Nevertheless, Muslim states have been tempted to try and institutionalise the practice. It has been mentioned earlier in the context of Iraqi interpretations that Commanding Right could be seen as a justification for rebellion. When, in the 19th century, the Wahhabi sect extended in the Arabian Peninsula, Commanding Right provided a convenient means to deepen what the Wahhabis deemed to be proper Muslim practices.

In the end, an official body charged with Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong was founded, ostensibly to check the aggressive behaviour of Ibn Saud's warriors against local inhabitants and pilgrims, but obviously also to satisfy Wahhabi demands for stricter adherence of the Hijazis to Muslim laws. This institutionalisation in the name of a variant of Hanbalism certainly was a long way from Ibn Hanbal's sceptical view of state intervention, as well as an interesting convergence with practices in modern Shi'i Iran!

It also illustrates the extent to which the interpretation of Commanding Right could depend on political and historical circumstances more than on the leading authorities of a particular legal school. In this context, some interesting modern day interpretations of Commanding Right deserve mention.

Obviously, Commanding Right still proves an attractive justification of revolt against un-Islamic rule. It is therefore quite surprising that a leading theoretician of modern Sunni Islamism, Sayyid Qutb, advised caution on this point. He argued that it was by far more important to strive for the creation of a truly Muslim society than for individuals to engage in single acts of Commanding Right. Therefore, individuals living in an un-Islamic society were not really capable of acting upon their duty.

Unsurprisingly, not all of his followers chose to adopt this particular view, which seems rather state-focussed and does not easily appeal to the activism of many modern-day Islamists.

Another remarkable interpretation of the duty can be found in conjunction with current discussions about human rights and freedom of speech. Thus, one writer argues in favour of human rights on the basis of the principle. This is based on a reinterpretation according to which Commanding Right provides a public safeguard for what is nowadays understood to be human rights, rather than the implementation of specific tenets of the Muslim doctrine.

Others have suggested that Commanding Right requires Muslims to speak out freely. They thus take it as an early guarantee for the freedom of speech. Quite obviously, it might be regarded also as the exact opposite! These are very interesting issues relevant to a host of current international discussions, and as a modern historian, the reviewer would have appreciated if the author had engaged with them even nearly as intensively as with the intricacies of earlier legal discussions.

Given the range of material that would have needed to be considered, it is quite clear, however, that it was beyond the scope of Cook's study, and his footnotes give ample material for anybody wishing to embark on a detailed investigation of these issues. Cook concludes his study with some comparative notes, which should widen its appeal to readers interested in moral philosophy in other cultures or in general. Without trying to be exhaustive, he suggests that the notion of intervention in support of moral right is probably universal, but that Islam is unique in terms of the depth and breath of attention given to this particular issue.

He convincingly shows that both pre-Islamic Arabia as well as the Jewish and Christian faith contain elements similar to those found in Muslim thought. To his credit, he is extremely circumspect when it comes to the question - very popular among Islamicists of earlier generations - whether or not Islam was influenced in particular by Judaism and Christianity. While he admits that it is difficult to prove separate developments, he suggests that the opposite assumption - of Islam influencing the other two monotheistic faiths - is equally possible, and that both types of influence are difficult to ascertain.

Possibly, Cook suggests, the special Islamic attention to the issue was the result of pre-Islamic tribal egalitarian activism coupled with monotheism. In a brief discussion of other world religions such as Buddhism and Confucianism, he argues that his survey of the literature shows that ideas similar to Commanding Right were expressed in passing, but did not receive the kind of systematic elaboration which he has shown for the Muslim authors.

In his conclusion, Cook argues that, although modern secular culture in many cases easily understands the Islamic arguments and may arrive at quite similar reasoning, it is much more concerned with the rescue of victims from unfair treatment than with the "wrong" per se. In addition, not only do the categories of right and wrong vary between Muslim and secular Western thought, what further differs is the understanding of public and private. Thus, Westerners regard human rights as a public affair which consequently deserves intervention regardless of the places, whereas individual comportment, i.

Obviously, a Muslim following Islamic prescriptions of "right" and "wrong" would come to quite different evaluations of comparable situations. This book is a prime example of meticulous scholarship that will interest a readership far beyond its immediate topic.

In times when hastily compiled volumes have become the norm and publishers loose interest both in publishing scholarly monographs and in proper editing, Cambridge University Press has to be congratulated for an outstanding example to the contrary. Without such tools as the extensive and scrupulously researched footnotes for once not banned to the end of the chapters or book!

As it stands, it is likely to become the major reference work for anybody trying to understand an important aspect of Islamic ethics in its historical development. It is a pleasure to read so clear an account of what I tried to do in my book. The one point I would like to take up is the reviewer's regret that I did not engage nearly as fully with the issues discussed in the modern Islamist literature on my topic as I did with the medieval scholastic texts.

Her observation is correct, and my object here is not to defend the imbalance but to put the point in a certain perspective. Had my book been devoted to an aspect of medieval Christian scholasticism, it would have been unlikely to include a substantial chapter on modern developments; and by the same token the book would probably not have been reviewed at length by an expert in modern European history.

One reason for this is demographic: as might be expected, the number of scholars studying the Islamic world in the West is far smaller than the number studying the West itself, with the result that the few of us who are in the field cannot afford to be nearly as specialised as our Europeanist colleagues. But there is also a more significant contrast in play here: medieval Islamic thought, or certain aspects of it, have far more direct relevance for what happens in the Islamic world today than does medieval Christian thought in the West or for that matter medieval Confucian thought in East Asia.

There were in fact two reasons why I included a chapter on the modern period in my book. One was not particularly edifying: I was afraid that if the book dealt only with medieval Islamic thought, no one would want to publish it.

Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought (eBOOK)

It was written by the following authors: Michael Cook. Other books on similar topics can be found in sections: Beliefs , Spirituality. The book was published on It has pages and is published in Hardback format and weight g. Other books you can download below. Our bisontinesbisontins.

This expression is the base of the Islamic institution of hisbah. It forms a central part of the Islamic doctrine for all Muslims. It is also explicitly referred to in two Ancillaries of the Faith in Shia Islam , commanding what is just and forbidding what is evil. If he is not able to do so, then with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest form of faith".

What duty do we have to stop others from doing wrong? The question is intelligible in almost any culture, but few seek to answer it in a rigorous fashion. The most striking exception is found in the Islamic tradition where commanding right andMoreWhat duty do we have to stop others from doing wrong? The most striking exception is found in the Islamic tradition where commanding right and forbidding wrong is a central moral tenet. Michael Cooks comprehensive and compelling analysis represents the first sustained attempt to chart the history of Islamic reflection on this obligation and to explain its relevance for politics and ideology in the contemporary Islamic world. Module 3 English Poetry in the Restoration and 18th Century. Introductory Lecture on the Practice of Medicine.

Commanding Right And Forbidding Wrong In Islamic Thought by Michael Alan Cook

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If one saw a wrong being committed in public, should one intervene? This basic moral question is at the heart of a significant body of Muslim scholarship, and forms the topic of Michael Cook's eminently learned and comprehensive study. The historian is interested in the scholastic elaboration of all issues surrounding " al-amr bi-l-ma'ruf wa-l-nahy 'an al-munkar ", as "Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong" is known in Arabic. Furthermore, he tries to reconstruct how, in different phases of Islamic history and in different doctrinal settings, this principle has been applied by Muslims.

Devoting special attention to Surah al-Muddaththir chapter 74 to underpin his analysis, Saeh thus brings the Revelation to life, to demonstrate that each surah has distinct features and characteristics that make it stand out uniquely within the design and sweep of the whole. The author draws attention to the importance of understanding various levels of maqasid, including distinguishing between primary aims al-maqasid al-asliyyah and secondary aims al-maqasid al-tabi'ah.

Commanding Right And Forbidding Wrong In Islamic Thought

What kind of duty do we have to try to stop other people doing wrong? The question is intelligible in just about any culture, but few of them seek to answer it in a rigourous fashion. The most striking exception is found in the Islamic tradition, where 'commanding right' and 'forbidding wrong' is a central moral tenet already mentioned in the Koran. As an historian of Islam whose research has ranged widely over space and time, Michael Cook is well placed to interpret this complex subject. His book represents the first sustained attempt to map the history of Islamic reflection on this obligation.

И одновременно пустит АНБ ко дну. Сьюзан внезапно подумала, что Хейл, возможно, говорит правду, но потом прогнала эту мысль. Нет, решила .

Покраснев, Сьюзан сказала, что созрела довольно поздно. Чуть ли не до двадцати лет она была худой и нескладной и носила скобки на зубах, так что тетя Клара однажды сказала, что Господь Бог наградил ее умом в утешение за невзрачные внешние данные. Господь явно поторопился с утешением, подумал Беккер. Сьюзан также сообщила, что интерес к криптографии появился у нее еще в школе, в старших классах. Президент компьютерного клуба, верзила из восьмого класса Фрэнк Гут-манн, написал ей любовные стихи и зашифровал их, подставив вместо букв цифры. Сьюзан упрашивала его сказать, о чем в них говорилось, но он, кокетничая, отказывался.

Michael Alan Cook

О Боже. Где же самолет. Мотоцикл и такси с грохотом въехали в пустой ангар. Беккер лихорадочно осмотрел его в поисках укрытия, но задняя стена ангара, громадный щит из гофрированного металла, не имела ни дверей, ни окон. Такси было уже совсем рядом, и, бросив взгляд влево, Беккер увидел, что Халохот снова поднимает револьвер. Повинуясь инстинкту, он резко нажал на тормоза, но мотоцикл не остановился на скользком от машинного масла полу. Веспу понесло .

Но всякий раз, когда перед ним открывался очередной виток спирали, Беккер оставался вне поля зрения и создавалось впечатление, что тот постоянно находится впереди на сто восемьдесят градусов. Беккер держался центра башни, срезая углы и одним прыжком преодолевая сразу несколько ступенек, Халохот неуклонно двигался за. Еще несколько секунд - и все решит один-единственный выстрел. Даже если Беккер успеет спуститься вниз, ему все равно некуда бежать: Халохот выстрелит ему в спину, когда он будет пересекать Апельсиновый сад. Халохот переместился ближе к центру, чтобы двигаться быстрее, чувствуя, что уже настигает жертву: всякий раз, пробегая мимо очередного проема, он видел ее тень. Вниз. Скорее .

Отпил глоток и чуть не поперхнулся. Ничего себе капелька. В голове у нее стучало.

Все глобальное электронное сообщество было обведено вокруг пальца… или так только. ГЛАВА 5 Куда все подевались? - думала Сьюзан, идя по пустому помещению шифровалки.  - Ничего себе чрезвычайная ситуация. Хотя большинство отделов АНБ работали в полном составе семь дней в неделю, по субботам в шифровалке было тихо. По своей природе математики-криптографы - неисправимые трудоголики, поэтому существовало неписаное правило, что по субботам они отдыхают, если только не случается нечто непредвиденное.

Вот мои условия. Ты даешь мне ключ. Если Стратмор обошел фильтры, я вызываю службу безопасности.

Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought (E-Book, PDF)

5 Comments

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