Caruso, Lauren Ann
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Bayʿa: Succession, Allegiance, and Rituals of Legitimization in the Islamic World presents a comprehensive overview of the origins and evolution of the ritual of bayʿa, or the Islamic oath of allegiance, from its foundations during the lifetime of the Prophet Muḥammad to its current use by modern governments and political organizations. The intent of this work is to present a cohesive picture of its transformation from a reciprocal and contractual relationship between a prophetic leader and his community, to a highly stylized ritual of power employed for the purpose of legitimizing various rulers and systems of governance. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on both the changes to the physical presentation and ritual performance of the bayʿa though time, as well as the inherent transformation of the meaning and function of the ritual.