This paper investigates the construction of Islamic ethos in the early Islamic period, highlighting what constitutes the guiding principles of its authority. As a religion that is currently subject to many ugly charges, a careful examination of its core historic values provides a counternarrative to the distorted ideology perpetuated by extremists such as The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as well as to the Islamophobic and anti-Muslim racist discourse circulating in the West. The counternarrative presented here serves scholars of ethos whose expertise lies elsewhere than in religious studies. While providing this historical narrative, I highlight how Islamic ethos is derived from multiple sources of religious and cultural/communal authority, mainly from The Qur’an (the holy book of Muslims); the Sunnah
(the Prophet Muḥammad’s example, deeds, and customs); and ijtihad
(the interpretations and deductions of Muslim religious leaders). Tracing the construction of Islamic ethos through the creation of the Muslim community (Ummah
) in 622 CE and the establishment of the Caliphate in 632 CE reveals guiding principles of conduct that are, in contrast to the discourses mentioned above, realistic, practical, and adaptable to current global needs and exigencies.
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