Financial Authority When the Muslim state was founded, Islam created a new and autonomous form of authority which the world as a whole has only come to recognize during this century. I refer to authority over finance. The Imam, in his quality as delegate of the Umma in its entirety, must supervise those who have authority over financial matters . . . even though, once appointed, the latter, like the qadis, are to be seen as delegates ofthe Umma rather than of the fmam. Authority to Control and Rectify The Umma as a whole has this authority to control and rectify the course chosen by governments. The wise, the ulemas, and those learned in juris- prudence represent the Umma in such matters. This authority is the prerogative of Ihe Umma in two respects: ( I ) The Umma must control a government and rectify its course in the light of God's command to the Umma to do what is good and shun what is evil. (2) The Umma is the source of the rulers' authority, since they are delegates of the Umma. SADEQ JALAL AL-AZ]0/[ (1934, Syria) A Syrian philosopher, born in Damascus, Al-Azm attended secondary school in Lebanon, then the American University of Beirut, finally 50 Po litical Is lam: Fundamentalis rn and Integis rn taking his doctorate at Yale (1961). He held various academic posts: University of Damascus (1962-63), American University of Beirut (1963-68, 1975-), University of Jordan (1968-69). Since 1969, he has been director of the Arab Studies Review. Interesting philosophical works precede the author's post-1967 phase during which he began his critical examination of contemporary Arab thought, especially its religious ideology, in an attempt to discover the origins of the collapse. His Critique of Religious Thought led to a major political trial in 1969-70, which contributed to a process of radicalization of the political and intellectual movement in Lebanon, despite the fact that until 1967 the country had been very much on the sidelines of the great Arab struggles and heavily influenced by the West. The extracts quoted here are from the preface of the author's Criti- que.The tone is typical of the kind of fundamental reappraisal which is under way amongst all Arab organic intellectuals today. Mainworks: Studies in Modern Western Philosophy; Kant's Theory of Time; The Origins of Kant's Arguments in the Antinomies; Dirasat frl-falsafah al-gharbiyyah al muasiraft (Studies in Modern Western Philosophy); Fil-hubb wal-hubb al-udhri (Of Love and Arab Courtly Inve); Al-naqd al-dhati baad al-hazimah (Autocritique After the Defeat); Naqd al-fikr al-dini (Critique of Religious Thought); Dirasah yasariyyah hawl al-qadiyyah affilistiniyyah (Left Studies on the Pales- tine Problem); Dirasah naqdiyyah lifikr al-muqawamah affilistiniyyah (Critical Study of the Thought of the Palestinian Resistance). Critique of Religious Thought' It should be obvious that when I say'religious thought'I am referring to the higher and more conscious echelons of that integrated and multifaceted block of ideas, representations, aims and attitudes which we call variously 'the religious mentality', 'the backward looking ideology' or the 'historically rooted spiritual mentality'. In this
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- Fall '09
- Islam, religious thought