Hussam Muhammad Balbool Alganahi

Hussam Alganahi

‘The Relationship between Law Enforcement and Power in Islam’ (PhD in History, 2019)

The rationale behind this study is the turmoil that has taken place in the Middle East and North Africa as a result of the terrorist acts that have occurred in the region since the late 1990s. The practices of contemporary extremist groups, such as the Islamic State have made this issue more urgent because they have sought to legitimise themselves by proposing a return to the primary sources of Islam. This thesis aims to investigate the relationship between law enforcement and the establishment of political legitimacy that underpinned the early Islamic state. It also aims to understand how contemporary Islamist groups are bound by the terms of that earlier relationship. The thesis argues that after Prophet Muhammad’s death, Islamic law was imposed by the armed military upon people to achieve political aims and to legitimise rulers. In the contemporary world, Islamist movements use the same forms of political repression to extend their sovereignty, and, as such, their conception of authority has not broken away from autocratic forms of government. As the thesis demonstrates, some Islamist theorists use the term sovereignty as a systematic tool in the exercise of their power and the implementation of Islamic law. In practice, most Islamists see the implementation of the government established by Prophet Muhammad and the first four caliphs as necessary.

Supervisors: Richard Pennell, Aubdullah Saeed