here are a number of people – Muslim and non-Muslim – who attempt to read into the Qur’an a distinctive mandate for the creation of a particular political culture and even a specific form of government. Most notable among them are modern Islamists who claim to derive a wholesale political system based on scripture and who regard its establishment as the most urgent priority of Muslims in the modern period. Interestingly, a number of Orientalist scholars would support their assumption that there is a distinctive political theology within Islam and that the Qur’an itself imposes upon Muslims a religious, charismatic mode of leadership. Sunni histories that project a different, more mundane image and role for the ruler of the Muslim polity are assumed by such scholars to deliberately obfuscate early political trends and subvert the Qur’anic ideal of legitimate leadership.
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