Religion and Politics under the Early ‘Abbasids
The main concern of this book is the religious policies of the early ‘Abbasid caliphs. It focuses on the religious trends which went into the making of Sunni Islam, and traces the emergence of the nascent Sunni elite in relation to the ‘Abbasids.
Various aspects of the caliphs' evolving relationship with the religious scholars are studied and the nature of caliphal patronage and its impact on the scholars, and ultimately on the evolution of early Sunnism, is explored. What emerges is a picture of close collaboration between the caliphs and the ‘ulama’, with the caliphs playing an active and multifaceted role in religious life. This book challenges the prevailing interpretations of the separation of religion and politics in early Islam, and offers new insights into the social and religious history of Islam's formative centuries.