Islam and its impact

4 April 2015
A look at the role and significance of Islam in Muslim society.

This paper focuses on the impact that the Islamic religion and the Muslim society have had on its followers. The paper uses Gellner’s works to show that in Islamic society the term law has a wider significance than it does in the modern secular West, because Islamic law includes both legal and moral imperatives. The paper also proves Islam can be considered the religion which has succeeded most in integrating the power of government with the power of religion. The paper also looks at another author, Peters, who shows that any social structures that can be perceived in Islam are based on tribal rather than state institutions and that lineal descent is of paramount importance in Muslim society. Finally, secularization in Muslim societies and countries is touched upon.
In his ethnography of a village in southern Lebanon, Peters says that there are ranked differences between people. Although he says that the difference between the dominant rich group and the others is ephemeral, he notes that it has existed for three generations. The population is divided into four categories: The learned Families, the Shopkeepers, the Peasants and the Christians.
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