Different Approaches to Council in Contemporary Arab Political Thought

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Associate professor of political sciences faculty at Imam Sadiq University

Abstract

The political thought of the contemporary Arab thinkers can be formulated in the relation between tradition and modernity. Struggle with modernity and return to the tradition of the Salafist minds, the possibility of rejuvenation of tradition by some other intellectual thinkers, the acceptance of modernity and putting the tradition aside, and the combination and compromise between tradition and modernity, are various forms of this ratiometric that can be beneficial in understanding the political thought of many contemporary Arab thinkers among the Sunni community. Meanwhile, the Council is a key word considered by many scholars from different Sunni countries, especially in the post-Ottoman Empire era, a good starting point for achieving a desirable political system. The type of impression of these thinkers from the council and the meaning given to this key sign from different perspectives, forms the mindset of many of these thinkers: reducing the meaning of council to the level of consultation and monistic view of it, the unanimity of the council with the resolution and community, the belief in the council as a society of Muslim citizens and the Islamic Ummah, and the promotion of the council from democracy are different aspects of contemporary thinkers. The result of this new look can be found in the neglect of the capacity of tradition, including the council, to systematize politics in the modern era with a thinker such as Ali Abdul Raziq, an attempt to revive the council in the new caliph-lovers, such as young Rashid Reza, and the link between Shura(council) and democracy in the moderate school of eastern scholars such as Rashid Reza Pir, Gharzavin and Ghonoushi, and finally believing in the superiority of the council to democracy under Mohammad Tofigh al-Shavi. This paper, by a documentary method, and expressing conceptual framework and different narrations of the concept of the council, seeks to reconsider the position of the council to the aforementioned thinkers.

Keywords


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