The Venture of Islam

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Summary: The Venture of Islam, Volume 2: The Expansion of Islam in the Middle Periods (Page 12 to 50)

The formation of the international political order

The construction of political life in Islamdom was informed by some problems but nonetheless, the unity of the society was enhanced. Regardless of the particular states, the Islamdom world was tied together by the formulation of the local levels political patterns which were both social and military. It is the new resultant political outfit that bought about a number of changes in terms of power, resiliency as well as toughness.


It is important to note that based on previous happenings, the 20th century political happenings were largely a calipheral empire disintegration. It was not long before the caliph lost grip amidst a number of happenings informed by internal wrangles as well as usurping. It can be noted that in regions where the authority and control of the shi’i movement was not apparent, hereditary dynasties would be found by provincial governors and the only the normal allegiance was given t the caliph especially when herds-men soldiers took power at the local level. It is such events that rendered the once apparent authority impotent and it was not long before the caliph lost control of provinces which were former strongholds.


According to Momen (1987), the caliph state had been held together even at times of dissent by the perceived benefits which were apparent if Muslims stuck together and embraced unity. It was however Sawad’s concentrated resources that went a long way to enhance peace throughout the regions and quell inequities at the local level through embracing central bureaucracy. Those who were active at the political level were in agreement that unity would bring about a number of benefits which included but were not limited to material advantages as well as moral prestige. All were hence in agreement that those who could garner the greatest support would gain acceptance.


It was however during al-Mutawakkil’s time that individuals across the political divide started o question the central civil authority. It is important to note that though almost everybody still recognized the importance of the unity of Muslims, the idea did not have much pull as it had previously. Matters were made wore by amongst other things the financial mismanagement of the court which leant that it could no longer execute its mandate effectively and this is what informed the dwindling respect for the court. This effectively disabled the central power at the localities. Hence at the local level, the governors ceased to send revenues to Baghdad and hence the fate of the court seemed to be sealed as at then.


After a while, there were efforts to restore Muslim unity but these were apparently spoilt by the apparent entry into the equation by the entry of the tribes. The efforts to bring all Muslims unite a single umbrella of unity with a new caliphate was mooted but it failed as it was still in its infancy. What went through however was the establishment of Egypt as a new economic hub hat went ahead to rival Baghdad. It is important o note that over time, the Baghdad government went ahead to consolidate the royalty level that had largely been forfeited by Baghdad. The fortunes of Egypt at around this time were largely enhanced by strengthened trade between Egypt and the Mediterranean lands as well as India.


References

Momen, M. (1987). An introduction to Shiʻi Islam: the history and doctrines of twelve

Shiʻism. Yale University Press

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