ABSTRACT

In the previous chapter we first aimed to show, in the context of reading different scholars of Ghazālī and the law, how religious and theological explanations remain important for reading history, and for discerning the intricacies of Ghazālī’s political and legal ideas. According to some, considering theological arguments is an outdated affair. Theological argument is overlooked due to the complex modern inability to read texts unselfconsciously, as our discussion of Orientalism suggests. At the same time, the questions among scholars about political and legal authority in medieval Islam have arisen in different ways, and were given different answers. There is the Weberian tendency to speak of the legal type of authority as the ‘rational’ type; there is the attention to the medieval Muslim context and the way the law functions in relationship to the political realm (Rosen, Jackson, and Johansen). But there is also the question of the need for law at all, its definition and the justification of political authority based on that law (Weiss). In this discussion, politics and law are not inseparable. The discussion on the development of the Law in Islam meant being exposed to the political reality of the time as well; 1 the law presupposes a political community, whose focal basis and template is the law.