Review: Rituals of Islamic Monarchy begins with the time of the Prophet Muhammad and ends with the fragmentation of the caliphate in the late ninth and tenth centuries. The describes the ceremonial of accession to the caliphate in early Islam, addressing the place of ritual in political practice, changes and continuities in that practice, and the problem of how best to understand accounts of ritual. It also contributes to major, current debates, such as the development of Arab-Muslim identity and the formation of the “Islamic state.”
Particularly notable is a clear discussion of “royal” ritual in early Islam, situating developments in the Islamic world within a late antique and early medieval context, adding an important comparative context.
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