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Le systéme du pouvoir en Islam d'après Ibn Khaldûn

Abdesselam Cheddadi
Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales
35e Année, No. 3/4, Recherches sur L'Islam: Histoire et Anthropologie (May - Aug., 1980), pp. 531-550
Published by: EHESS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27581068
Page Count: 20
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Le systéme du pouvoir en Islam d'après Ibn Khaldûn
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Abstract

The Muqaddima of Ibn Khaldûn, a Maghribi historian of the 14th century (1332-1406) contains a model of human society which is at the same time a theory concerning the relationship between urban and rural pastoral societies. It is appropriate to study Ibn Khaldûn's conception of the Islamic political system within the framework of this model. One of the key concepts for understanding this model is the notion of jâh, a concept which escaped the attention of modern scholars. Jâh straddles between the social and the psychological; it evokes notions of prestige, of social rank as well as the aura of power and its fascination. It is a multifunctional concept which simultaneously takes into account the political contest, the dynamics of social structuring and the mechanism for the distribution of economic surpluses. It is related to the concept of mulk (which does not designate an institution, but the reality of a supreme power over a human group of the broadest possible extent) as the other side of the same phenomenon of central power. A detailed analysis of the concepts of mulk and jâh allows the author of this article to propose a model for the system of power in Islam as it emerges from the works of Ibn Khaldûn and more particularly from the Muqaddima.

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