The Sovereignty of God in Modern Islamic Thought

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The sovereignty of God and related ideas have had a prominent place in Islamist discourses. Key figures like Mawdudi of Pakistan and Qutb of Egypt have argued that anything less than exclusive submission to God's law, and all that it necessitates in religious and political terms, is idolatry. Yet the idea of the sovereignty of God has been invoked by many more people than the Islamists, and it has meant quite different things in different quarters. Focusing on South Asia, this paper seeks to shed some new light on the provenance of this idea, on how and to what purpose it has been deployed in religious and political argument, and what the debates on it might tell us about rival conceptions of Islam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-418
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 16 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • General Arts and Humanities


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