Rituals of Islamic Monarchy: Accession and Succession in the First Muslim Empire (BOK)
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Rituals of Islamic Monarchy is a history of the oath of allegiance by which the caliph was recognised at his accession. It begins in pre-Islamic Arabia and traces the development of a formal ceremonial of Islamic monarchy in Syria and Iraq during the 7th-9th centuries CE. It examines how the caliphs sought to proclaim their status as the representatives of God's covenant on earth through syntheses of Roman and Iranian royal ritual and customs and practices brought from pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arabia. It engages with current debates about the reliability of the Islamic tradition for early Islamic history and identifies key turning-points in the formation of classical Islamic political culture. An early chapter discusses the importance of the Qur'an as a historical source for the time of the Prophet Muhammad. For the caliphal period, close readings of the sources for specific rituals alternate with the examination of later copies of documents used at these accession rituals. This study of the invention and re-invention of a central institution of early Islamic political culture is the first such account of Islamic accession ceremonial and will appeal to both specialists in early Islamic history and non-specialists alike.