Heirs of the Prophet, The: Charisma and Religious Authority in Shi'ite Islam

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SUNY Press, 2012 - Religion - 252 pages
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After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, different religious factions within the Muslim community laid claim to the Prophet’s legacy. Drawing on research from Sunni and Shi>ite literature, Liyakat N. Takim explores how these various groups, including the caliphs, scholars, Sufi holy men, and the Shi>ite imams and their disciples, competed to be the Prophetic heirs. The book also illustrates how the tradition of the “heirs of the Prophet” was often a polemical tool used by its bearers to demand obedience and loyalty from the Muslim community by imposing an authoritative rendition of texts, beliefs, and religious practices. Those who did not obey were marginalized and demonized. While examining the competition for Muhammad’s charismatic authority, Takim investigates the Shi>ite self-understanding of authority and argues that this was an important factor in the formation of a distinct Shi>ite leadership. The Heirs of the Prophet also provides a new understanding of textual authority in Islam by examining authority construction and the struggle for legitimacy evidenced in Islamic biographical dictionaries.

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1 The Scholars Are Heirs of the Prophets
2 The Holy Man in Islam
The Shii Case
The Functions of the Rijal
5 Textual Authority and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Biographical Texts

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Page 2 - charisma" will be applied to a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.
Page 2 - ... and only within the scope of authority of the office. In the case of traditional authority, obedience is owed to the person of the chief who occupies the traditionally sanctioned position of authority and who is (within its sphere) bound by tradition. But here the obligation of obedience is not based on the impersonal order, but is a matter of personal loyalty within the area of accustomed obligations.
Page 2 - Today the most common form of legitimacy is the belief in legality, the compliance with enactments which are formally correct and which have been made in the accustomed manner.
Page ix - I would particularly like to thank my colleagues in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland. for taking on my administrative and teaching responsibilities during this time. especially captain at the helm Keith Whitelam for 'making it so'.

About the author (2012)

Liyakat N. Takim is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Denver.

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