Class roots of original Islam. The qu'ran and Uthmans counter-revolution.

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jaycee
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Joined: 3-08-05
Nov 15 2019 21:47

I think that underestimates the contradictory tendencies within early islam. The merchant class was certainly key but the relationship to the aristocracy/landowners is very different. There is a contradiction between the egalitarian and anti-state ethos of the majority of early muslims (most pre-Islamic arabs as well) and the 'real-politic' shown in the adaptation of islam to the power structures of the time. Muhammad himself was not the most radical of the early muslims but there is a clear difference between his ideas and policies and those of Uthman and those after Uthman.

One of the first laws enacted by muhamned after he returned to mecca was to abolish all family/aristocratic privilege (apart from with regards to the kaaba apparently). This isnt the action of someone representing the aristocracy in any literal/straight forward sense.

God in early monotheism isnt a prop of the state but an alternative to the state. It can be argued that it is just a cover FOR the state but that seems to be a very one sided approach which denies and runs counter to a central aspect of the history of monotheism; In particular its revolutionary and popular basis.

The fact that from Uthman onwards (and in embryo before Uthman) islam accommodated itself to the world and worldly power shows that there was another side to the story. I think it also reflects the fact that at that point there wasnt really an alternative to the power of the aristocracy/state (other than a return to tribalism which was more and more difficult in itself).

Islam was in the end a way to get the Arab peoples accommodated to the state/kings etc but this was not all it was and I think Uthman and the codification of the Quran represent an end (not definitive but qualitative) of the anti- state and egalitarian forces within islam. Although Uthman was killed because of his tole in this process so the end was clearly not definitive.

Mark.
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Joined: 11-02-07
Nov 18 2019 18:10

Twitter threads from Ian D Morris on farmers in Arabia at the dawn of Islam.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Tweetistorian/status/1195429806168514560

https://mobile.twitter.com/Tweetistorian/status/1195784833647226885

https://mobile.twitter.com/Tweetistorian/status/1196161079581302784

Mark.
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Nov 18 2019 18:13

Threads on slavery in the medieval Islamic world.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Tweetistorian/status/1193852876071849987

https://mobile.twitter.com/Tweetistorian/status/1194369147867684864

https://mobile.twitter.com/Tweetistorian/status/1194700315444023297

https://mobile.twitter.com/Tweetistorian/status/1194981737752862720

jaycee
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Joined: 3-08-05
Nov 20 2019 17:14

Cheers. That's interesting.