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The Calligraphic StateTextual Domination and History in a Muslim Society$
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Brinkley Messick

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520076051

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520076051.001.0001

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The Pen and the Sword

The Pen and the Sword

(p.37) Chapter 2 The Pen and the Sword
The Calligraphic State

Brinkley Messick

University of California Press

This chapter extends the discussion of manuals to a second major highland school of shari'a thought, that of the former ruling imams. The late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century highland history is the back-drop for a discussion of differing shari'a conceptions of the state. However, the Yemeni nation-state required and eventually adopted an entirely new form of law with the 1962 Revolution. The distinctiveness of the Zaidi school in connection with shari'a interpretation went beyond the credentials of the imam. Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Shawkani was the towering intellectual figure of early-nineteenth-century Yemen. By the Revolution of 1962, madhhab distinctions had come to represent the divisive subversions of national fulfillment and the true shari'a under the old regime.

Keywords:   shari'a, imams, Yemeni nation-state, 1962 Revolution, law, Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Shawkani, Yemen

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