Understanding Social Order in the Religion of Islam: A Comparative Analysis

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Abstract: Despite the fact that many of us live in secular societies, religions are also a factor in our daily lives. New information technologies and highly efficient modes of transportation have made it possible for people from various continents to encounter each other. People of different religions and ethnicities have become neighbors in our cities.

Religious dialogue is more necessary in our contemporary world than it has ever been in history. This essay analyzes how the Islamic faith shapes the believers worldview and the way of life. A good understanding of religions is viewed as making dialogue and respect possible, especially between Muslims and Christians in our contemporary societies.

Focusing on areas of shared beliefs and practices further promotes collaboration on issues of human flourishing. This essay explores the social-political dimensions of the strict monotheism in the religion of Islam and also argues for its relation to the Christian beliefs and practices. The Islamic understanding of human persons as created by God first before all other creatures is viewed as the foundation of human responsibility. A human being is believed as endowed by God with an inherent responsibility to promote economic and social equality.

Key Words: Islam, God, monotheism, public order, politics, economy, society, equality, justice

Wilson Muoha Maina

University of West Florida, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Pensacola, Florida, USA.

Email: [email protected]


Considering the large number of people who profess the Islamic faith, and also the large number that is Christian, it is practically necessary for the adherents of each of these two religions to understand the beliefs of each other as well as other religions. A proper understanding of religions makes it possible to focus on areas of shared beliefs and practices, and further promote collaboration on issues of human flourishing in society and world peace. This essay focuses on the social-political implications of the strict monotheism in the religion of Islam which is also argued as comparative to the Christian social-political beliefs. In Islam, the human persons are the first creatures of God’s creation. This puts human beings in an elevated position above all other creatures and it is taken as a strong foundation for human responsibility in maintaining social-political and economic order. Humanity is presented as endowed with inherent responsibility to promote economic and social equality.

A cursory look at a majority of world religions reveals that they trace their origins to a chaotic time in history when their founders suggested ways to bring about change or order in people’s lives. Ironically, politicians also claim the same. Confucius, Jesus Christ, Buddha, the Prophet Muhammad: all offered alternative ways of life to their respective societies. Each religion claims to provide the best way of life in a society.

For example, Klaus K. Klostermaier notes on the Hindu religion, “The ultima ratio, and the basis of the entire “ethic” of the Bhagavadgītā is the preservation of varņāśramadharma, which is understood as sanātana dharma, eternal law, ordained by the Creator, and indispensable for maintaining world-order.”1

History bears evidence to the fact that world religions provide their adherents with what they consider to be the acceptable ways of human living in society. The preceding is true of the Islamic (and the Christian) religion which has teachings dealing with socio-political and economic issues. On Islam, Michael Hudson notes, “In political affairs the Word is clear: build, develop the community to carry out its divine role in the world.”2 It is, therefore, necessary to analyze the socio-political and economic issues in the Islamic religion and assess their relevance to human living in societies today. This has to include an analysis of the change or order brought about in Saudi Arabia and in other parts of the world by the Prophet Muhammad and the teachings of the religion of Islam in the Koran and the Hadith.

Islam and Christianity have been in the Middle East, Europe and the African continents for a very long time. Each religion has a concern for the material and spiritual destination of the human person. However, in the practice of religion, it is possible to emphasize the doctrinal injunctions and unfortunately forget the practical import for human flourishing in society. For example, Christianity in some of its expressions can succumb to a dualism where issues of doctrine are separated from issues of social practice. No wonder liberation theology has occasionally been viewed


with suspicion. Orthodoxy has been highlighted so much that orthopraxis is almost a forgotten aspect. Christian teachings, in its origins in the New Testament and in the history of the Christian churches, invite the believers to faith and to live out their faith in their socio-historical contexts. There are some similarities in the social teachings of Islam and those of the Christian religion. Islam also, in its various manifestations, has always advocated the inseparable nature of the belief in God (tawhid) and the socio-political practice. It is this relation of faith and practice that I suggest is shared by the Islam and the Christian religions today.

The main focus of this essay, however, is the religion of Islam. I analyze the social and political order advocated in the religion of Islam. It is notable that some Islamic views of life in society are comparable to the Protestant Christians’ social gospel and also the social teaching in the Roman Catholic Church.3 On these social issues, all religions can dialogue, and most importantly work together to promote human flourishing in society.

A Brief Background

The Prophet Muhammad is said to have brought social-political organization in Medina and Mecca through the institution of the faith in the One and Only God, Allah. Islamic religion understands itself to have started in a chaotic setting in the 7th century Arabia. The Prophet is credited to have brought peace and order into a rather disorganized society. From a historical perspective, the concern for public order is as old as the religion of Islam itself. In Islam, there is no separation between religion, economic, social, and political life. The preceding is also true of Christian socio-political aspirations. For example, St. Augustine of Hippo developed his teaching on the two cities (one heavenly and the other earthly) and suggested the order of grace should illuminate the earthly kingdom to conform to God’s will.4 In Islam, the Qur’an promotes a specific ethos covering all areas of human living: religious, social, economic, and political. Islam from its beginning in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad connected religious belief to socio-political structures. The Prophet is said to have set precedents. Grunebaum notes that “…towards the end of his life ‘the prophet’ was regarded as the political leader ‘par excellence’ in East and South Arabia, and would have remained so for a long period, had not the victory of Islam rendered the spontaneous continuation of this type of personality impossible.”5

The Prophet Muhammad in Medina is cited as the example of Islamic understanding of the connection between the religious and the civil governments. He is acclaimed to have been the best leader the people of Medina had experienced. There is no separation of religion and state in Islamic teachings. Grunebaum observes, “The young state was a theocracy to the extent that its aims, its structure, its conditions of admission and


the elements of its technique of authority were all based on divine revelation or on precedent set by the Apostle of God.”6

In addition, Sayyid Qutb, who was allegedly executed by the Egyptian government in 1966, summarizes the relationship between the Islamic teachings and general human living. According to Qutb, the “…religion of Islam came to create a people with unique and distinctive character, a community that was to lead humanity, achieve the purposes of God on earth, and rescue humanity from the suffering it had endured at the hands of misguided leaders, methodologies and concepts.7 This religion came to shape a people whose “…creedal concept…is the major guiding force in their life, together with the actual system derived from it and established on its basis. It deals with all individual and collective activity in the various fields of human activity.8 A Muslim is a person who submits all aspects of life to God. Islam means submission.

The Muslim person, then, views herself or himself as given work by God to carry out on earth. This is also true of Christians, whom like Jesus Christ, are to proclaim the coming of God’s kingdom by words and deeds.

Islam emphasizes human responsibility in the ummah (community).

Belief in One God (Tawhid) and the Social Order

The political and social order, brought about by the Prophet Muhammad in Medina and Mecca, is construed as resulting from the introduction of the belief in the One God, Allah. To be a Muslim, one has to profess “There is no god but God!” (La ilaha illa ’llah!).9 This relates to the creed professed by Christians which begins with the invocation, ‘I believe in one God.’ Polytheism and the worship of spirits in Arabia before the coming of the Prophet Muhammad are viewed to have created a disordered and warring state. From the Prophet, the religion of Islam grew to view public order as based on belief in One God. Islamic religion therefore views all sectors of human society as serving one end: God.

Inshallah (God willing) is one of the most repeated Islamic statement which refers to the believers wish to fulfill God’s will in their lives. Hence, belief in Allah is the organizing principle of an Islamic society.

An Islamic worldview of a good society is one where there is belief in God, equality, and the common good. Islamic societies are concerned with order or harmony. Social order is viewed as based upon the belief that Allah created an orderly universe. The created order is willed by God.

Therefore, a good society is one where all aspects of life are guided by faith. Furthermore, issues of justice, equity, and general human wellbeing are understood from the faith perspective. To understand Islamic perspective of public order, one has also to understand the tenets of the Islamic faith.

For Muslims, God is the creator of all. Everything in creation has its inherent nature coming from God. It is the responsibility of all human


beings to maintain the original order created by God: “We will opt for a human world order that fosters balance and harmony, rather than bloodshed and conflict. This world order, according to the Qur’an, is one of al-adl (balance, justice).”10 Al-Adl implies balance, proportionality, equality in the created order and especially among human beings.

For instance, Michael Hudson describes a politically developed Islamic society as a lawful one, where,

The Rulers and ruled alike are governed by the sharia, as interpreted and applied by the learned scholars of Islam, the ulama, and the legists, the fuqaha. As a religion of worldly as well as divine concerns, Islam is preoccupied with the regulation of man’s conduct in accordance with the principles of justice and equality transmitted by the Prophet.

Ideally, the political leader of the community is also the spiritual leader, the khalifa (caliph) or imam; and his legitimacy is conferred by the baya (confirmation oath) of the leading members of the community.11

The Islamic belief in one God is the basis of understanding everything else in the universe. Belief in one God, Allah, is the organizing principle of both personal and socio-economic life. Muslims believe in the All-Merciful and the All-Compassionate God who forgave Adam after he ate from the forbidden tree of immortality and eternal power (Qur’an 2:35-37).

Islam as a religion shapes the lives of its believers. Azizah Y. al-Hibri argues for the importance of understanding the Qur’anic worldview as seamless. She holds that by ignoring the systematic worldview of the Qur’an, one risks impoverishing and distorting the various concepts that govern the Qur’anic approach to specific areas of human existence.12 Hence, the presence of order in the created universe is paramount. God created everything in accordance with al-mizan or due balance. Humanity is called upon to understand creation and this is the purpose of all humanities, arts, natural and social sciences in an Islamic context. From an Islamic perspective, there is unity between physics and metaphysics.

There is no division between the spiritual and the material, between science and religion. “This Qur’anic worldview gave rise to the golden age of Islamic science and philosophy in medieval times, and led to the invention of algebra and algorithm, significant advances in medicine, physics, and astronomy, and ultimately to the development of alchemy, the predecessor of chemistry.”13 This seamless worldview includes all life forms and nature as a whole.


Human Responsibility

An Islamic understanding of the nature of the one God leads to an appreciation of the nature of the human person as God’s creature. Human beings have ethical and social responsibilities given by God. Unlike the Judeo-Christian tradition, Islam does not claim humanity is created in the image and likeness of God. Comparing Allah with any created organism or even making an image of God is thought of as blasphemy. This is what is referred to as strict monotheism. However, Islam also holds humanity in high regard than the rest of the created or natural order. To be God’s representative, humanity is created with an innate nature (fitra) capable of realizing good and avoiding evil.14 In the Muslim tradition, Adam is the father of humankind who is created with a higher nature than the angels.

But Adam disobeyed God by approaching the tree and eating its fruit. The elevated position of humanity in this religion is an expression of God’s special relations with humanity.

Further, Islam views human beings as possessing God-given responsibility to maintain order in creation. This includes maintaining public order in their respective communities. Humanity is created by God for a purpose. God is believed to be the designer of humanity and all of creation. For this reason, the place of humanity, higher than the rest of creation, is embedded with earthly responsibility. For example, referring to the Qur’an, Abdulaziz Sachedina writes, “‘Behold, I am about to place a vicegerent in the earth!’ By God’s fiat humanity is going to be endowed with a destiny to lead the creation as its caretaker. This is the beginning of the challenge to represent God’s will and purposes on earth.”15 The human person is understood as God’s representative on earth and this is where human ethical responsibility lies.

The human place in the order of creation is viewed in Islam as a responsibility. Humanity is given a task on earth by God. “It is indeed through the acceptance of this Trust of God’s rule on earth that human beings acquire both the responsibility for their actions as well as superiority over all other creatures in the world.”16 A human person is viewed as possessing an ability to judge actions and choose what will lead to prosperity. Humanity in Islam is understood to have an obligation to bring about public order. God has given power and authority to human beings for the purpose of building the earth and inhabiting it.17 Humanity as created by God is understood as one in Islam. “God created the first human couple from a single soul—the very foundation of human relations to one another, so that people would be aware of their duties to one another and realize the greatest good of establishing interpersonal justice in their relations (4: 1-2).”18

In Islam, human responsibility consists of working for the good of all people. “The strategy employed by the Qur’an to connect humanity as a


single community, even when it recognizes the plurality of scriptural guidance given through various prophets, is to relate them through the

“innate nature” that is capable of recognizing a moral good (al-khayr, al- ma’ruf). This “innate nature” is the source of the very first qualities in virtue of which someone becomes human.”19 The preceding is comparable to St. Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy of the natural law where human reason is viewed as participating in the eternal reason and is capable of practical moral judgment.20

Since humanity is one, then, the only reasonable thing is to work for the common good. “Working for the common good without insisting on imposing the beliefs and desires each holds most dear can result in a legitimate public space for diverse human religious experience.”21 An Islamic community has the duty to promote the common good. It is because of this concern for the common good that Islam does not separate religion from government. The religious community has a duty to maintain law and order.22 Ultimately, the Islamic social and political worldview is supposed to be in accord with the will of God.

Socio-Political Organization

Following the example of the spiritual and social/judicial leadership by the Prophet Muhammad at Medina, Islam believes in government by consent or consultation. Al-Hibri presents the Madinah charter as perhaps the earliest document in history that establishes a constitutionally-based multi-faith society, where the various faiths are protected in the exercise of their beliefs.23 However, Islam like any other religion has experienced change in its socio-political contexts. Al-Hibri notes that “…until the later days of the Ottoman Empire, Muslims were free to choose the religious school of thought they wanted to follow without interference from the state, and other religious minorities were subject to their own courts of law.”24

As a matter of fact, political Islam has risen to unprecedented levels in the twenty-first century. There are strong states which are governed through Islamic principles. Unfortunately, terrorists have given bad publicity to Islamic fundamentalism. Contemporary Islamic political concerns are as Esposito states:

For almost two decades, Islam has been reasserted as a source of political development and mobilization. The pervasive belief that nation building required a clear secular orientation has been challenged in diverse ways across the Middle East, as well as in South, Southeast, and Central Asia. The role of Islam as a symbol of political legitimacy and a source of political and social activism and popular mobilization has become


global in scope, as governments have appealed to Islam to enhance their legitimacy and authority, buttress nationalism, legitimate policies and programs, and increase popular support.25

Nevertheless, the Islamic nations also experience internal political opposition which advocates secular forms of government with an emphasis on democracy and human rights.26 This has led to internal protests and resistance against the rule by one royal family or rule by a group of religious leaders. The opponents argue that democracy is justifiable from the early history of Islam and also through the Quran.

“Muhammad had decreed that there was to be no hilf in Islam, no federation of genealogico-political structures among believers. Even so the tribes and clans remained the real units of social life…”27 Recently, the so- called Arab Spring, which was a series of protests which happened in several Middle East nations including but not limited to Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, raised issues of freedom and democracy curtailed by oppressive rulers. These revolutionary protests, occurring from 2010 to 2012, highlighted the need for change in some Islamic countries. An excavation into the history of Islam can benefit contemporary Islamic states and also contribute to ending extremism which is a distortion of the religion.

Islam and Economy

Besides the Islamic teachings on social and political organization, the religion also has principles guiding economic life. The Islamic religion, in an explicit way, teaches about the acceptable conduct of economic endeavors by the believer. The Quran presents “the Islamic position on the relationship between religion and belief in Allah and the Day of Judgment on the one hand and the economic behavior and the economic system on the other.”28 Islamic faith, therefore, considers “the economic activities of man as an aspect of the fulfillment of his responsibility on this earth.”29 To work for a just and equitable economic order is part of the practice of religion.

Rodney Wilson refers to the Islamic view of wealth as a means of realizing human well-being and facilitating spirituality. Wilson refers to the First International Conference on Islamic Economics held in Mecca in 1976 under the auspices of King Abdulaziz University of Jeddah. He views this conference as an important milestone in the emergence of Islamic economics as a discipline.30 Since religion is inseparable from political, social, and economic life, the functions of an Islamic government then includes ensuring the economic system is governed through religious principles. From an Islamic perspective, a government is responsible for economic development so as to provide basic living standards, contribute to the global propagation of the faith, and further maintain its standing as


a powerful nation with an international recognition.31

In the contemporary global context, Islam, like any other world religion, faces complex situations that were not foreseen from its beginning in the Seventh Century. The place of a religion like Islam in the always changing economic and social environments is one of providing alternate guiding principles which informs responsible practices and which curbs contemporary avarice and greed. Grunebaum holds that history has confronted Islam with new contexts:

In the early days the Community was maintained by the spoils of war, of which a fifth was due to the Prophet, which is to say the state, or in the language of the time, to Allah; to this were added sadaqat, sometimes also called zakat. These at first were voluntary contributions and later when Bedouins joined the Community they were settled by contract. During the lifetime of the Prophet zakat probably meant tribute in the form of the basic means of subsistence, but after his death it signified

‘statutory’ or ‘poor tax,’ and was levied annually on the basis of about 2½ per cent of property (not of income). In a conquered country of course it was the subject population that paid.32

Further, Islam teaches people how to use the natural resources which are conceived as God’s work of creation. The human person was created as first among creatures and has great responsibility in everyday life. This includes responsible use of the things God has given. For example, Ammar refers to the Islamic call for “dignified reserve” or hay’a in Arabic in the use of natural resources. This she argues would get rid of maldistribution of resources and avert ecological crises and other problems such as authoritarian leadership, overconsumption, wars, disrespect of human diversity, and dehumanized women.33 She presents Islam as a religion concerned with equity in society. Taxation is a way of distributing material wealth in an Islamic community and it is aimed at promoting equity. The concern for justice in Islam as a religion is the reason why profit or interest is not allowed where one has not taken a central role in the embedded investment risk. Ammar notes that “usury, riba, is forbidden in Islam. The rule governing riba in Islam states that any profit or interest accrued without working for it, or without being a full partner in the risks of gain and loss makes the transaction unjust.”34

In addition, the right of the community over the individual in Islam is exercised through taxation (zakat), community leadership, and its vision of the “other” in the community. Ammar is of the view that “All taxes aim to redistribute the wealth and power of the rich to the poor.”35 The community leader in Islam has the task of securing a just community.


According to Ammar, “The legitimacy of the Muslim leader is based on the will of the community (ummah) according to Islamic jurisprudence. An Islamic leader has no divine powers. The leader ought to treat subjects equitably, and consult the community on the affairs of the state.”36 Abdelwahab El-Affendi also observes, “In the Islamic context, where the idea of justice is central, duties have priority over rights, and the main reference of morality is the total social order, and not the individual.”37

Islam as a religion advocates ways to promote harmony and well- being of all in society. For example, through taxes the public order is promoted. Donations such as through Zakat or tithing and sadaqa or alms- giving are viewed as paying back a loan owed to God and thereby sharing financial blessing with others. Usury, or taking unjustified interest on loans and investments, is also viewed as oppression and exploitation of the poor.38 All these economic principles in the Islamic religion present an ideal society but the reality on the ground is different, especially in our contemporary world.

Equality in an Islamic Society

It is therefore necessary to emphasize the centrality of equality as envisioned in the Islamic religious tradition. Equality of all human beings in society is of paramount importance. In an Islamic political structure, a government is to ensure equality of all its citizens. An ideal Islamic society works to minimize the gap in the distribution of resources. Equality

…is a major goal of the economic policy of the Islamic state. It is not only derived from the injunctions of the Qur’an and Sunnah concerning consumer behavior such as the prohibition of extravagance; but also from two major Islamic principles, namely, the principle of equal dignity and brotherhood, and the principle of the undesirability of the concentration of wealth and incomes.39

Al-Hibri also argues that the equality of all human beings is advocated in the Qur’an and that any hierarchy among human beings is viewed as coming from Satan (Iblis) who tests humanity. “All actions that reflect a commitment to a hierarchy of humans based on various worldly factors reflect the same kind of logic used by Iblis. This is why humility becomes such an important virtue in Islam (31:18). It recognizes the fundamental equality of all humans, and eschews vain hierarchies.”40 The Iblis logic is a feeling of superiority. In Islam, human beings are created from the same nafs (soul). Al-Hibri refers to the original equality at creation (Equality Principle) as basic in Islamic worldview.

However, questions abound on whether Islamic societies are as


egalitarian as presumed in the proclamations of the Qur’an. In Pakistan and some other Islamic societies, Nasim Jawed notes that traditional Islamic attitudes toward equality and freedom have been uneven. For example, there are inequalities especially on issues concerning the status of women. Another form of inequality concerns non-Muslims in Islamic societies who are required to pay a poll tax, give way to Muslims on the streets, are exempted from executive appointments, and are not allowed to build houses higher than those of the Muslims.41 Muslims have also faced undue restrictions where they are a minority especially in Europe.

For example, France recently made a law that requires Muslim school girls not to wear headscarves (hijab and niqab) covering their heads and faces.42

In a realistic way, all religions struggle with how to relate with others who profess a different faith. This is no exemption to the Islamic religion.

Ammar makes reference to the problematic nature of three verses of Surah 9, Al Tawbah in the Quran: “The three verses enjoin Muslims to fight those who do not believe in Allah.”43 However, Ammar argues, “Islam not only prescribes respect of the “other,” but urges cooperation with all peoples and nations. Muslims are very clearly ordered to befriend the “other.” The Quran states: “If one amongst the pagans sought asylum or refuge grant it to him.”44 The Prophet Muhammad is even said to have shown great respect to the Jewish people who lived in Mecca and Medina. He stood up in respect for a Jewish funeral procession and invited Jews to offer their religious service in the mosque.45


The basic Islamic belief in God and its socio-political and economic implications are related to beliefs and practices in other world religions, and especially Christianity. For example, the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant social gospel are viewed in this essay as similar to Islamic religion in their concern for the common good.

Christianity and Islam shares common concerns on issues of human development. These concerns are economic, social, political, and spiritual by nature. The human person in these religions is viewed as purposely in the world through divine will, and therefore has God-given work to bring order and human flourishing in society. It is therefore necessary that these religions understand their common values and foundations. This can lead to followers of Islam and Christianity working together especially in areas where their believers predominantly live.

In our cosmopolitan contemporary world, it is especially necessary to understand the ‘other’ whom we encounter in our daily lives. People differ philosophically, ideologically, and religiously. However, understanding the shared human concerns can help people relate and collaborate on social issues. Interreligious dialogue is necessary and beneficial to members of all world religions. To understand the religious ‘other’ in their


beliefs leads to the possibility of peaceful co-existence. This is especially necessary in our world today where fear and distrust has ruined relations not only between citizens in various countries but also between states. To understand the ‘other’ considered different from oneself leads to an appreciation of differences and also an understanding of how the other conceives themselves as human beings and approaches life issues. Finally, it is the view of this author that our educational systems, especially in the social sciences and the humanities, can make a positive contribution to world peace and free societies, if they were structured in a way that caters to diverse and inclusive academic programs.


1 Klaus K. Klostermaier, “The Life-Ethics of the Bhagavadgītā as Interpreted by Rāmānuja,” in Life Ethics in World Religions, University of Manitoba Studies in Religion 3, ed. by Dawne C. McCance (Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1998): 53-66 at p. 56.

2 Michael C. Hudson, “Islam and Political Development,” in Islam and Development:

Religion and Sociopolitical Change, ed. by John L. Esposito (Syracuse, New York:

Syracuse University Press, 1980), 1-47 at p. 4.

3 Catholic social teachings are especially presented in the papal social encyclicals.

For an anthology of the social encyclicals see David J. O’Brien & Thomas A.

Shannon (eds.), Catholic Social Thought Documentary Heritage (Maryknoll, New York:

Orbis Books, 1992). Also see the paper by this author, “The Common Good and/or the Human Rights: Analysis of Some Papal Social Encyclicals and their Contemporary Relevance,” Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, Vol. 10, no. 29 (Summer 2011): 3-25. See also Carl W. Ernst, Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2003), 107-124.

4 Cf. Augustine, Political Writings, trans. by Michael W. Tkacz & Douglas Kries, ed.

by Ernest L. Fortin, et al. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994): Book XXII.

5 G.E. Von Grunebaum, Classical Islam: A History, 600 A.D. to 1258, trans. Katherine Watson (New Brunswick, USA: AldineTransaction, 2005), 49-50. For more on Islamic history, see Akbar S. Ahmed, Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society (New York: Routledge, 2002).

6 Von Grunebaum, 55.

7 Sayyid Qutb, Basic Principles of the Islamic Worldview, trans. by Rami David (North Haledon, New Jersey: Islamic Publications International, 2006), 2.

8 Sayyid Qutb, Basic Principles of the Islamic Worldview, 2.

9 Huston Smith, The World’s Religions (SanFrancisco: Harper, 1991), 225.

10 Azizah Y. al-Hibri, “Divine Justice and the Human Order: An Islamic Perspective,” in Humanity before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Ethics, eds. William Schweiker, et al. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006), 238-255 at p. 245.

11 Hudson, “Islam and Political Development,” 3.

12 Al-Hibri, “Divine Justice and the Human Order,” 238.

13 Al-Hibri, 243-4.


14 Abdulaziz Sachedina, “Human Vicegerency: A Blessing or a Curse? The Challenge to be God’s Caliph in the Qur’an,” in Humanity before God, 31-54 at p. 32.

15 Abdulaziz Sachedina, 31.

16 Abdulaziz Sachedina, 37.

17 Abdulaziz Sachedina, 39.

18 Abdulaziz Sachedina, 44-45.

19 Abdulaziz Sachedina, 42.

20 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, Q. 90 – 105.

21 Sachedina, “Human Vicegerency,” 45.

22 Sachedina, 47.

23 Al-Hibri, “Divine Justice and the Human Order,” 250-1.

24 Al-Hibri, 251.

25 John L. Esposito,” Introduction,” in Political Islam: Revolution, Radicalism, or Reform? ed. by John L. Esposito (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1997), 1-14 at p. 3. Cf. Ralph M. Coury, “Nationalism and Culture in the Arab and Islamic Worlds,” in Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Suha Taji-Farouki and Basheer M. Nafi (London: I.B. Tauris, 2004): 128-171 at p.132-133.

26 Cf. Abdullahi An-Na’im, “Islamic Foundations of Religious Human Rights,” in Religious Human Rights in Global Perspectives, ed. by John Witte Jr. and Johan D. van Vyver (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1996), 337-59.

27 Grunebaum, Classical Islam, 55.

28 Monzer Kahf, The Islamic Economy: Analytical Study of the Functioning of the Islamic System (Plainfield, Indiana: The Muslim Students’ Association of the United States and Canada, 1978), 4.

29 Monzer Kahf, 5.

30 Rodney Wilson, “The Development of Islamic Economics,” in Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Suha Taji-Farouki and Basheer M. Nafi (London: I.B.

Tauris, 2004), 195-222 at p. 200.

31 Kahf, The Islamic Economy, 98.

32 Grunebaum, Classical Islam, 56.

33 Nawal H. Ammar, “An Islamic Response to the Manifest Ecological Crisis: Issues of Justice,” in Visions of a New Earth: Religious Perspectives on Population, Consumption, and Ecology, ed. by Harold Coward & Daniel C. Maguire (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2000), 131-146 at p. 134.

34 Nawal H. Ammar, 136.

35 Nawal H. Ammar, 137.

36 Nawal H. Ammar, 138.

37 Abdelwahab El-Affendi, “On the State, Democracy and Pluralism,” in Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Suha Taji-Farouki and Basheer M. Nafi (London: I.B. Tauris, 2004), 172-194 at p. 183.

38 Al-Hibri, “Divine Justice and the Human Order,” 249.

39 Kahf, The Islamic Economy, 98.

40 Al-Hibri, “Divine Justice and the Human Order,” 238-255 at p. 240-241. Cf. M.

Nasir, A., “The Ulama, Fatawa and Challenges to Democracy in Contemporary Indonesia,” in Islam & Christian Muslim Relations, 25.4 (2014): 489. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.lib.uwf.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1610 129443?accountid=14787. This article deals with issues of equality and human rights in Indonesia.

41 Nasim Ahmad Jawed, Islam’s Political Culture: Religion and Politics in Predivided


Pakistan (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999), 72-73.

42 John Richard Bowen, Can Islam Be French?: Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State, Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). See also the essays in Zulfikar A. Hirji (ed.), Diversity and Pluralism in Islam:

Historical and Contemporary Discourses among Muslims (LB. Tauris, 2010).

43 Ammar, “An Islamic Response to the Manifest Ecological Crisis: Issues of Justice,” 139.

44 John Richard Bowen, 140. Cf. D. Pratt, “The Vatican in dialogue with Islam:

Inclusion and Engagement,” in Islam & Christian Muslim Relations, 21.3 (2010): 245.

Retrieved from http://ezproxy.lib.uwf.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.


45 Smith, The World’s Religions, 256.


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