Islamic Civilization


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  In Islamicate civilization, there are three movements that can be identified. That is the militarizing of agrarian based political authority and the assertion of shariI legal and social relations. Another movement is the rise of Sufi experience and teaching”. The movements play different roles. Most people do not understand what Islam is. People have different views about Islam. Some think Islam is a religion and others think Islam is a form of civilization

Others consider Islam to be a type of life and social disorder. The differences in views have forced historians to carry out research to differentiate the concept. For instance Hodgson has tried to analyze Islam so as to enable the audience understand it. This paper analyzes the concepts of Shariah-mindedness. It identifies how the concept is different and how it is related to the three movements listed above. It also analyzes how the concept has helped Hodgson understand Muhammad.



Most people argue that Islam is a group of spiritual attitudes that are connected by a universal reference to Muhammad and the quran. Almost all Muslims in the world recognize Islam as stated above. Many historians like Hodgson have carried out a series of research to explain what Islam is. Hodgson in his book tries to address the concept of Islam and calls it a venture. Shariah- mindedness refers to the inability of Muslim to think beyond the sharia law. Hodgson in his book has addressed the concept of sharia mindedness (Hodgson1984).

He argues that there are various people that have influenced Islam. First, the western scholastics have affected Islam in different ways. For instance, they have influenced how Muslims think. This has forced the author to rescue Islam from western writers. In addition, the Muslim religious leaders have affected Islam in different ways. The Muslim religious leaders influence how Muslims think about their religion.

The Muslim leaders are bound by the teaching of the Muslim religion and encourage the Muslim believers to comply with the teachings. Another group that has influenced Islam is the Arabist bias. Arabist bias started in the 19 century in Europe. The Arabist bias view Mecca and medina important as they define the true faith among the Muslims. The Arabist Islam culture is treated as a culture that appears in the Arabic language.

The Arabist treats culture from other parts as foreign though they were established by the founders of the Muslim communities. Though the Muslim culture is expressed differently by various languages, the practices and beliefs are common among all the Muslims. Some of the religious concepts are derived from Arabic. This is evidenced by the following quotation Though Islamicate culture is expressed in many languages¦customary practices has been common”… technical terms in religion an also some of the fields have commonly been derived from Arabic(Hodgson1984, p3).

Most scholars have found it difficulty to prove that Islam is an expression of the minds of the Arabs. Apart from the scholars, the public has also found it hard to prove if Islam is an expression of the minds of the Arabs. Islam is a religion that was developed in Arabia by Arabs. The religion was formed from the visions of the Arabs. The Sharia mindedness incorporates the Ulama bias which most people associate with Arabs.

The sharia mindedness is developed from the Islamic religious rules. The Islamic religion consists of the Mecca and medina. Most of the laws, customs and political authority have been connected with the prophet and the declaration of the Quâran. In most Muslim countries, Islam has tried to ensure the activities are inline with the prophet and the Quâran (Hodgson1984).

Hodgson argues that the Ulama has contributed a lot in making the sharia mindedness different. The Ulama defines what Islam should be. For instance, it does not encourage division in the community. It also encourages the community to observe the commands given by God. In order to understand the concept of sharia mindedness, Hodgson tries to differentiate Islam in terms of religion and culture.

He defines Islam as a religion and also as a culture which he refers to Islamicate. This is to help him separate the Muslim features that are related to man and those which are related to God. Hodgson considers Arabic to be a form of cultural strain. There are different types of cultural strains apart from Arabic like Turkish, Persian etc (Hodgson1984).


Sharia mindedness is also part of other orientations in the Muslim community like Sufism and modernism. The Sharia mindedness orientation is different from others as it is aimed at showing the relationship between Islamic and the Islamicate culture in the world. The other movements do not show the difference between culture and religion.

The sharia mindedness is related to Sufism experience and teaching. Sufism is considered as the dherent of the inner, mystical dimensions of Islam (Hodgson 1984). Most scholars have defined Sufism as the science that is aimed at turning the heart away from God. Hobson argues that defining Sufism would affect the historical reality and make it difficulty to understand Islamic faith and Islamicate civilization. If Sufism is defined strictly, it would affect Islamic diversity. There are various teachings that are associated with Sufism.

For instance, Sufis believed to be near before God and adopt the divine presence after death and final judgment. The Sufis are aimed at pleasing God by restoring within them the ancient state of Fitra that is stated in the Quran. This is evidenced by the following quotation such an experience anticipate some aspect of what the Sufis meant by reliance on God. ((Hodgson1984, p398).

In this case, Sufism is supposed to avoid all activities that affect their relationship with God. This makes it easy for the Sufism to realize the benefits of divine unity. To join Sufism, the believers must find a teacher as the teacher is important in helping one grow. The teacher should be allowed to teach from the authority. In this case, the teacher is supposed to transmit light from his heat to the heart of the learner.

In addition, the teacher is supposed to teach the students according to the law. In Sufism believers believe in Muhammad. The Shariah mindedness is related to the Sufis as it is aimed at separating the religious beliefs among Muslim communities and their culture. This helps them understand Islam better. In sharia mindedness, people are guided by the law in their daily activities. They should ensure their activities are inline with the law and the prophet teachings. On the other hand, in Sufism teaching and experience, believers are guided by the law and the prophet, Muhammad. They should ensure their actions are inline with the law (Hodgson 1984).

Further, the sharia- mindedness is related to the assertion of Shari’i legal and social relations. Most of the activities political, economic and legal in the Muslim community are based on the sharia law. The Muslim communities have a wide range of sharia laws that guide their activities. The legal processes in the court and outside the court are supposed to be based on the sharia law. This is to ensure the community respects the laws established by the founders of the Muslim community (Hodgson 1984).

They are also supposed to ensure the legal activities are inline with the teachings of the Muhammad. Though civilization has contributed a lot in the Muslim community both economically, politically and socially, most Muslims ensure they respect the sharia law. In Shariah mindedness, the community strongly believes in the sharia law.

Most leaders in the community argue that the civilization should be based on the Muslim faith. This implies that the civilization should not affect the Muslim faith and the teachings. The laws also affect socialization in the community. They affect how the community interacts with other people. The interaction in the community should be based on the teaching of Muhammad and the sharia law (Hodgson 1984).

The militarizing of the agrarian-based political authority movement is also related to sharia minded. The militarizing of the agrarian- based political authority affects how the Muslim community views civilization. Some of the people accept civilization while others do not accept civilization.

The political authority in the country should be based on the sharia law and the teachings provided the leader Muhammad. Any political authority that does not carry its activities according to the sharia law is considered unethical. This is because it affects faith of the believers and their life. The sharia mindedness is aimed at differentiating the Muslim religion and culture so as to avoid such issues (Hodgson 1984).

Further, Shariah mindedness is related to Muhammads challenges. Before one can understand Shariah mindedness one should comprehend the challenges faced by Muhammad. Muhammad is the one who established the Islam religion. Most Muslims refer to Muhammad as a messenger. They also consider him, to be a prophet.

He is also considered as the last prophet according to the Quran and among Muslims. Most Muslims argue that Muhammad helped restore the faith after it was corrupted by other prophets like Abraham and Moses. Muhammad faced a series of challenges during his reign and the author should understand them so as to be able to understand sharia mindedness.

For instance, Muhammad faced opposition from other people. He also faced social challenge as he was an orphan. Moreover, Muhammad faced idol worship and cultural differences. The challenges impacted his life in different ways. Understanding the challenges helps one understand the origin of sharia mindedness and how it has grown.

For instance, Muhammad believed in the Quran and the sharia law and this helped him overcome the challenges he faced. In addition, one should understand the role of Muhammad in the Quran and how he managed to challenge the traditional values of the Arab community.

Sharia mindedness is an extension of the challenges faced by Muhammad. During that time, Muhammad had different views about other cultures, people and this influenced his behavior and teaching (Hodgson 1984). For instance, he saw other prophets unethical as they influenced the faith. He did not also encourage influence from other cultures.

This forced the prophet to develop laws that were aimed at restoring the faith and ensuring all activities were inline with the laws. Sharia mindedness is an extension of the problems Muhammad faced as the Muslims value the sharia law and the Quran. They do not accept influence from other cultures and ensure all their actions are inline with the sharia law and the qu’ran. Hence, the Muslim decisions are influenced by Muhammad’s challenges.

Though the three movements are important among the Muslim community or Islamic civilization, The Sufi experience and teaching is more faithful to the challenges faced by Muhammad unlike the other two movements. The Sufi experience and teachings   are inline with the sharia law and the teaching of the Quran as provided by Muhammad. The Sufism movement encourages the believers to ensure all the activities social, political or economic are inline with the sharia law (Hodgson 1984).



In conclusion the Sufi experience and teaching movement and the assertion of ShariI legal and social relations have contributed a lot to sharia mindedness. For instance, the beliefs held by the Sufi and teachings have influenced how Muslims behave and think. The Muslims are supposed to ensure all the activities in the community are done according to the sharia law. Also, the social interactions should be based on the sharia law and the teaching of Muhammad.

The militarizing of agrarian based political authority has also influenced how Muslims think and behave. The political organizations in the community are supposed to be inline with the teachings of the Muslim community. The Sufi teaching and experience is more important to the Muslim community than the other two movements as it is more faithful to the problems presented by Prophet Mohammad.


 Hodgson,M.G.The Venture of Islam: conscience and history in a World civilization, Volume 1.rUniversity of Chicago Press,1984

Nancy Morgan is the Author of this paper. She is a senior academic writer and an editor and she offers Dissertation Writing Service. Thus, people that doubt their own writing abilities can use the best custom paper writing service and forget about their fears and lack of confidence by visiting EssayWritingBay.Com

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