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6 - The Concise Book of Doctrines by ʿAbd al-Kāf ī al-Warjalānī

from Selected Theological Writings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2023

Hassan Ansari
Affiliation:
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
Nebil Husayn
Affiliation:
University of Miami
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Summary

Chapter six presents the views of the Ibāḍī scholar Abū ʿAmmār ʿAbd al-Kāfī b. Yūsuf al-Warjalānī (d. ca. 570/1174) in his Concise Book (al-Mūjaz). In this work, al-Warjalānī defends those doctrines that he considers to be correct and refutes the views of rival religious traditions, both Muslim and non-Muslim. His chapter on the imamate provides a broad overview of Khārijī and Ibāḍī views on the qualities of a legitimate imam. The function of the imam is to aid the community in commanding right, forbidding wrong, establishing justice, and administering ḥudūd (fixed, nondiscretionary penalties). The Khārijī-Ibāḍī tradition is unique in outlining a procedure for the removal of an imam. If an imam violates a divine commandment, he should be compelled to seek repentance. Repeat offenses or a refusal to repent are grounds for disqualification and removal from office. If an imam refuses to give up his authority, he is to be fought until he is dislodged from power or killed. For the Ibāḍīs, cancelling the authority of an imam to restart the selection process and appoint another is considered a legitimate procedure. When the Ibāḍīs do not have the ability to appoint imams, their doctrine permits them to dissimulate and live peacefully among non-Ibāḍī Muslims.

Type
Chapter
Information
Caliphate and Imamate
An Anthology of Medieval Muslim Texts on Political Theology
, pp. 140 - 147
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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