Towards the end of this review article I would like to sum up my impressions of the book. In my view, the book has succeeded in generating sufficient interest in Islamic political thought. Its main drawback seems to be its reliance on some books written by the Orientalists. Some of the ideas, for instance those regarding the origin of Shi'ism and the Shi'i concept of the Imamate, are uncritically borrowed from Montgomery Watt's book Islamic Political Thought.
Watt's book is biased against the Shi'ah. Not only the Shi'ah but also other sects of Muslims are maligned at many places by M. Watt. Enayet, being well versed in Arabic and Persian, had access to the original sources, and he could have avoided banking upon unreliable sources. However, his own views reveal a transparent sincerity and loyalty to Islam.
Some of the weaknesses of the book may be attributed to his not so well thought out, hasty general judgements. But the strength of the book lies in the author's full grasp of the material with which he had to cope for reconstructing a systematic and methodical political philosophy of Islam.
From the Shi`i viewpoint, however, the book falls short of being considered as an `insider's view' of the Shi'ah faith, for Hamid Enayet has more than often relied upon the views and judgements fabricated by the `outsiders' unfamiliar with or hostile towards the Shi'i political philosophy.
Though the book attracted considerable attention of the academic circles by virtue of the author's relation to Iran, the author conspicuously avoided to discuss those notions in detail which were particularly relevant to contemporary Iranian thought.
It can be said in the defence of Enayat that he was familiar with the names of such important thinkers as Mirza‑yi Muhammad Qummi, Shaykh Murtada al‑'Ansari, Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khurasani and Muhammad Husayn Na'ini, but he discussed their views on democracy and state within the framework of constitutionalism (mashrutiyyah).
Even Enayet's passing references to Ayatullah Na'ini's work the Tanbih al‑'ummah wa tanzih al‑millah, which he considers to be the only systematic work on Islamic conception of state and democracy produced during the constitutional movement, failed to throw light on Na'ini's political theory.
Enayet confines his comments to just quoting one superficial remark made by `Abd al‑Hadi al‑Ha'iri in the Shi`ism and Constitutionalism in Iran, i.e. Na'ini was unfamiliar with the Western concept of freedom, equality and separation of power.
Enayet's reference to Imam Khumayni's conception of the wilayat al- faqih is still more inadequate, and falls short of the expectations of a reader who wishes to gain insight into this conception, which has evolved in the course of time on the basis of the ideas inherent in the teachings of‑the Quran and the tradition of the Infallibles (A). Most probably Enayet had some reservations due to which he evaded the issue.
He referred to Mulla Muhammad al‑Naraqi's notion of salvation through grief, but did not say anything about his interpretation of the wilayat al-faqih, of which he might be unaware. These conspicuous omissions did not make his book, in any way, more acceptable to the so‑called westernized liberals, but diminished its authenticity and comprehensiveness by impairing its status as an up‑to date document of recent Shi’i political thinking.