Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar Dergisi Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

Resignation, Dethronement, and Coup: Some Determinations on the Transformation of Power in the Islamic States

The change of the rulers in Islamic states points to a phenomenon in which the important issues of political thought, such as legitimacy, obedience-opposition balance, rebellion to power, the possibility to dethrone the head of the state and its legal position in the sharia, are intertwined. This paper, which aims to analyze the power changes witnessed during the period described as “the history of Caliphs” which is from Umayyad period to the end of the Ottoman area, in terms of the reasons reflected in classical history books, will focus on whether this issue, which is framed in texts with political-jurisprudential provisions, is corresponding in concrete cases or not. At the same time, in the article, which
includes the criticism of the academic approaches dealing with the political attitudes of Islamic societies within the framework of absolute obedience and despotism, the ways of changing power are examined under three main headings: Khal‘ (Violation of the principle of obeying Shari‘a, health problems and incapability), resignation and revolution (to be evaluated as a baghi and political conflicts/riots). The main claim of the article is that the binding principle of Sharia in texts with political-fiqhi provisions is in a central position in the changes of power as reflected in the classical history books and that the concrete reflections of the concepts such as bay‘ah, khal‘, fısq and fitnah in historical events cannot be denied. This reveals that, in some cases, the Sharia process of political change has been obeyed, the sharia-political ta‘akkul process, which was initiated by the ulama and the other government people, played an important role in this matter.

Keywords: Islamic political thought, obedience, khal‘, resignation, revolution.

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