Charismatic Community, The
Shi'ite Identity in Early Islam
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: State University of New York Press
The Charismatic Community
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The present work grew out of my Ph.D. dissertation on the early development of the ShiËite community, completed at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. The work has been completely revised and significantly expanded, with new chapters or sections on the relationship...
List of Abbreviations
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The emergence and existence of the ShiËite community within thelarger body of the Islamic ummah is a rather unique phenomenonin the history of Islamic civilization. ShiËism cannot adequately bedescribed as either a âsectâ or a âschoolâ of Islam or Islamic thought. ShiËites have always considered themselves to be an integral part of the fabric of the Islamic religious communityâand in fact,...
PART I. The Principle of Walayah and the Origins of the Community
1. Walayah in the Islamic Tradition
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In the search for an understanding of ShiËite identity in the earliest period of ShiËite history, few concepts are more important or more elusive than that of walÃ¥yahâa term that may designate, at one and the same time, the nature of the authority of the ShiËite ImÃ¥m, theprinciple underlying the relationship of the disciple to the...
2. The Ghadir Khumm Tradition
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If the more well-developed ShiËite and Sufi notions of walÃ¥yah as a kind of spiritual distinction based upon proximity to the divine, or else to the intermediate figure of the spiritual master or ImÃ¥m, have a basis in QurËanic terminology, the two...
3. Walayah, Authority, and Religious Community in the First Civil War
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The Prophetâs designation of ËAli as the mawlÃ¥ of the believers in his reported statement at Ghadir Khumm indicated some kind of authority for ËAli, but it is significant that this authority was expressed in terms of âwalÃ¥yahâ rather than âimÃ¥mahââa term that more precisely denotes the absolute...
4. The Shite Community in the Aftermath of the First Civil War
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If the historical sources indicate that the ShiËite camp united fiercely behind ËAli toward the end of his life, expressing their absolute devotion, or walÃ¥yah, toward him and ËadÃ¥wah or barÃ¥Ëah toward all of his many enemies, they also detail the gradual disintegration of this unity in the ideological...
Part II. Walayah, Faith, and the Charismatic Nature of Shiite Identity
5. Walayah as the Essence of Religion
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In the early decades of the second centuryâa period that encompasses the imÃ¥mate of Muhammad al-BÃ¥qir and the early part of the imÃ¥mate of JaËfar al-SEÃ¥diqâthe concept of walÃ¥yah seems to become important once again, not only as an expression of ËAlid authority but also as a principle of membership...
6.Membership in the Shiite Community and Salvation
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Given the importance of walÃ¥yah to the ShiËite definition of faith, and its status as one of the five pillars of Islam in early ShiËite traditionsâoften in place of the shahÃ¥dahâit is only natural that it would become a central issue in ShiËite views regarding the requirements for membership in the believing community and other worldly salvation...
7. Predestination and the Mythological Origins of Shiite Identity
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If a certain analogy can be made between the MurjiËite position onthe shahÃ¥dah and the ShiËite position regarding walÃ¥yah, that is, that they are understood in their respective contexts as sufficient criteria for membership in the believing community and for eventual salvation, we can also see a similarity...
8. The Charismatic Nature and Spiritual Distinction of the Shiites
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In the analysis of the early ShiËite hadith tradition as presented in the previous two chapters, we saw the somewhat amorphous beginnings of a more profound and elaborate construction of ShiËite identity...
Part III. Creating a Community within a Community
9. Shiites and Non-Shiites
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The notion of walÃ¥yah that was so prevalent in the thought of early second-century ShiËites was both a polemical conceptâbeing juxtaposed with ËadÃ¥wah or barÃ¥Ëahâand a somewhat generalized one, signifying a basic belief in the righteousness...
10. Degrees of Faith
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Sometime during or shortly after the imÃ¥mate of JaËfar al-SÃ¥diq, the term muËminun or âbelievers,â without qualification, came to be widely used in ImÃ¥mi ShiËite discourse to refer to fellow ImÃ¥mi ShiËites. The word imÃ¥n (faith or belief) is used in many traditions attributed...
11. âRarer than Red Sulfurâ
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As we have seen, ShiËism as a recognizable religious affiliation first emerged in the context of ËAliâs military and political camp during the First Civil War. The movement existed throughout the Umayyad period as a persecuted religio-political group, membership in which was voluntarist...
12. Perforated Boundaries
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Once spiritual categories and hierarchies had been established, both within the ShiËite community, and between ShiËites and non-ShiËites, the theoretical framework had been laid for a distinct and theologically definable identity for the ShiËite community within the Islamic ummah..
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Page Count: 335
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: SUNY series in Islam
Series Editor Byline: Seyyed Hossein Nasr