This chapter analyzes the concept of government in Islamic political thought. The question of who rules, or the qualities of the head of the Islamic government, has been critical in Islamic history. The first political conflict between the members of the early Muslim community took place immediately after the death of the Prophet (632) over the issue of ṭukm, or rule. The disagreement was not over the necessity of the establishment and continuation of political authority after the death of the Prophet but instead over who should succeed the Prophet as ruler of the Muslim community. Early Muslims also believed in the necessity of establishing one government under a single leader. The remainder of the chapter discusses the constitutional theory of government, principles of government, necessity of government, institutions and structures of government, legislative and judicial functions of government, and modern formulations of government.
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