Ibn Khaldūn and Kınalızāde’s Concept of Dāʾirat al-Siyāsah: A Rethinking of Modern Politics from A Civilisational Perspective

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Recep Senturk


This paper demonstrates that Islamic civilisation is characterised by a unique circular model of political and administrative system as articulated by Ibn Khaldūn and his Ottoman successor, Kınalızāde, in the concept of the circle of politics (dāʾirat al-siyāsah). It offers a new perspective to the current quest for good governance from a Khaldunian perspective by presenting an alternative way of restructuring contemporary politics and society in a circular order for a more effective and egalitarian system open to citizen participation. The pyramidal governance structure, having no roots in Islamic political theory and practice, positions the subjects at the bottom of the political hierarchy and the ruler at its pinnacle, which leads to significant disparities. Conversely, the circular system espouses an egalitarian and participatory political order rooted in the sunnah of Prophet Muḥammad. This model, embraced by Muslims for centuries until the era of colonisation, engenders a more inclusive and engaging approach to governance. Furthermore, this study contends that the circular model of governance is applicable beyond political institutions to a larger range of social entities as a method of reforming and improving them.

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Recep Senturk. (2024). Ibn Khaldūn and Kınalızāde’s Concept of Dāʾirat al-Siyāsah:: A Rethinking of Modern Politics from A Civilisational Perspective. TAFHIM: IKIM Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World, 17(1 (June), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.56389/tafhim.vol17no1.1


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