Abdou Filali-Ansary and Sikeena Karmali Ahmed

in Islam

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639670
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653188 | DOI:

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The core beliefs and initial messages of all religions tend to undergo a process of organisation and institutionalism, and Islam was no exception in this respect. Institutionalism involves passing from theory to application, from what is potentially present to that which exists in reality. This inevitably means that the first principles will lose a greater or lesser degree of their initial doctrine and acquire characteristics that mirror a specific historical situation with all its ramifications and contradictions. This chapter discusses the institutionalism of Islam. The main orientations of this process are considered: first, the differentiation from other groups, stressing what separated Muslims from other communities. This differentiation from other groups was a result of the anxiety of being absorbed into the other religious and racial mix, hence the creation of identifiers that would set the Muslims apart from it. Second is the formation of a series of binding dogmas. These dogmas are often concerned with the rules associated with what was considered to be correct conduct rather than the content of faith itself.

Keywords: institutionalism; dogmas; differentiation; Islam; Muslims

Chapter.  7818 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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