Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 September 2020
This chapter deals with Sunni Islamic political thought with regard to the state, political participation and societal rights and freedoms (religious minority rights, women’s rights and civil liberties) from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the twentieth century. It does so for three reasons: firstly, classical Islamic political thought forms an important source of the Brotherhood’s ideas; secondly, dealing with the classical tradition also shows the continuity and change of Sunni Islamic political thought from the advent of Islam to modern-day Jordan; and thirdly, this chapter introduces many of the basic concepts that will be dealt with in greater detail later on. This chapter concentrates on Islamic political thought until the twentieth century, showing that sharīʿa-centred, umma-centred and balanced approaches to Islamic political thought could already be discerned in classical times with regard to the three themes mentioned above. These serve as the basis for the analysis of the problems that the modern-day Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has to deal with. Based mostly on secondary sources, this chapter is divided into three main sections: the first concentrates on the state; the second focusses on political participation; and the third deals with societal rights and freedoms.