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CONSTITUTION. Governance in the Islamic Middle East may best be understood as a development from the classical theory of the caliphate (khildfah) and the concept of rule by the "pious sultan," more or less integrated with modern constitutional government. The ideal model for the Islamic state was the Charter of Medina, a contract between Muhammad, the prophet and statesman, and his Muslim/Jewish community (ummah). It permitted the coexistence of Muslims and "peoples of the book," (ahl al-kitd ...more


CONSENSUS. In the context of Islamic legal theory, the Arabic term ijma` denotes the agreement of a generation of mujtahids (those who are qualified to form opinions on religious matters) concerning a particular issue that has arisen since the death of the Prophet. Theoretically, this consensus obtains when such mujtahids explicitly state their agreement on a given matter, or when they act uniformly on it, or when such a matter receives their tacit approval. Practically, however, consensus is de ...more


CONSEIL NATIONAL DES FRANCAIS MUSULMANS. Founded inFrancein 1989 and governed by the Law on Associations of I July 1901, the Conseil National des Francais Musulmans (CNFM) was reformed in 1992 and now consists of 190 associations with 14,000 members. Its council includes 40 members, either coopted or presidents of the most important affiliated associations. Its registered office is in Dole in the Jura, its president is Hamaloui Mekachera, and its secretary-general is Soraya Djebbour. There ar ...more


CONGRESSES. Although the sentiment of international Muslim solidarity is intrinsic to the faith of Islam, it took no organized form until modern times. In the course of the twentieth century, modernized communications made it possible to translate vague principles of solidarity into periodic congresses of Muslims from different lands. Some of these congresses have evolved into international Islamic organizations that promote political, economic, and cultural interaction among Muslim peoples and ...more


COMMUNISM AND ISLAM. Interaction between communism and Islam can be found in three areas: theories of human society, competing social structures, and political organizations, which claim the theories and structures as their operational goals. In addition to such immediate concerns, there is a more complex, historical narrative encompassing many institutions and social structures called communist or Muslim. In this article, I shall examine the above-mentioned terms and the historical narrative an ...more


COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA. Communication has been an instrumental and integral part of Islam since its inception as a religio-political movement. Over the centuries Islamic culture and civilization have been influential in the development of three major pillars of human communication: first, a high level of oral communication and culture in which information was produced and transmitted from person to person; second, an unprecedented degree of reproduced books and manuscripts marking an intellectual ...more


COMMERCIAL LAW. Traditionally the Islamic legal system did not recognize commercial law as a separate body of rules regulating trading activities in a manner distinct from civil law, which governs all other private law relationships. In this regard Islamic law differs from most of the legal systems belonging to the Romano-Germanic family, which recognize commercial law as an autonomous branch of private law. English common law later took the same position as Islamic law in denying the duality of ...more


CLOTHING. See Dress. ...more


CLITORIDECTOMY, commonly known as female circumcision, has historically been practiced in some areas of the Islamic world. The practice is pre-Islamic in origin and its distribution should be attributed to indigenous cultural norms rather than specifically religious requirements. It is known primarily in a number of African societies, Islamic and non-Islamic, in the area extending eastward fromSenegalto the Horn of Africa. The operations referred to collectively as clitoridectomy range from exci ...more


CLASS. [This entry comprises two articles. The first explores Islamic concepts of social class; the second considers the application of class analysis to the study of the political and economic structure of modern Islamic societies.] Concepts of Class The notion of class in Islamic civilization differs from the notion of class in modern Western social science. Originally, the word was used to refer to a category of people. In classical Arabic it did not have the connotatio ...more

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