What Is Caliphate In Islam? (TOP 5 Tips)

Caliphate, the political-religious state comprising the Muslim community and the lands and peoples under its dominion in the centuries following the death (632 ce) of the Prophet Muhammad.

Who are caliphs in Islam?

  • The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs (الخلفاء الراشدون al-Khulafā’u r-Rāshidūn) is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four caliphs after the Islamic prophet Muhammad who established the Rashidun Caliphate : Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman ibn Affan and Ali.

What is the role of caliph in Islam?

A caliph was the Islamic state’s supreme religious and political leader. He was considered the spiritual leader of the entire Muslim population in the world. The caliph was often referred to as the Amir al-Mu’minin, or “Commander of the Believers.”

Who are the 4 caliphs in Islam?

Rashidun, (Arabic: “Rightly Guided,” or “Perfect”), the first four caliphs of the Islamic community, known in Muslim history as the orthodox or patriarchal caliphs: Abū Bakr (reigned 632–634), ʿUmar (reigned 634–644), ʿUthmān (reigned 644–656), and ʿAlī (reigned 656–661).

What are caliphs and caliphates?

The term “caliph” (khalifah in Arabic) is generally regarded to mean “ successor of the prophet Muhammad,” while “caliphate” (khilafah in Arabic) denotes the office of the political leader of the Muslim community (ummah) or state, particularly during the period from 632 to 1258.

What happened to the caliphate?

The Ottoman Caliphate, the world’s last widely recognized caliphate, was abolished on 3 March 1924 (27 Rajab 1342 AH) by decree of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The process was one of Atatürk’s Reforms following the replacement of the Ottoman Empire with the Republic of Turkey.

When did the caliphate begin?

When did it begin? The Caliphate began after the death of Muhammad in 632 CE. The first successor to Muhammad was Caliph Abu Bakr. Today, historians call the first Caliphate the Rashidun Caliphate.

Is caliphate mentioned in Quran?

He maintained that when the Prophet died, he did not mention anything about caliphate to his Companions, nor is it in the Qur’an. Contemporary scholar Ali Abd al-Raziq holds that there is no basis for the caliphate in either the Qur’an or in prophetic traditions.

When was the last caliphate?

The last caliph was in 1924, when the office was abolished by then-Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a secular nationalist who wanted to reduce the role of religion in the state.

Who was the richest Khalifa in Islam?

In his early life, Uthman learnt how to write and is listed as one of the 22 Meccans “at the dawn of Islam” who knew how to write. He became wealthy merchant like his father. His business flourished, making him one of the richest men among the Quraysh.

What is an example of caliphate?

The definition of a caliphate is the rule of, or land ruled by, an Islamic political leader. An example of a caliphate is an Islamic leader believed to be directly descended from Muhummad. A unified federal Islamic government for the Muslim world, ruled by an elected head of state or caliph.

Why did the caliphate end?

The demise of the Ottoman Caliphate took place because of a slow erosion of power in relation to Western Europe, and because of the end of the Ottoman state in consequence of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the League of Nations mandate.

How many seasons were there of caliphate?

Caliphate, the political-religious state comprising the Muslim community and the lands and peoples under its dominion in the centuries following the death (632 ce) of the Prophet Muhammad.

Who is the current Khalifa?

Mirza Masroor Ahmad (Urdu: مرزا مسرور احمد; born 15 September 1950) is the current and fifth leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. His official title within the movement is Fifth Caliph of the Messiah (Arabic: خليفة المسيح الخامس, khalīfatul masīh al-khāmis).

What’s the difference between an emirate and a caliphate?

Emirate is usually comparitively smaller and the leader of that region is called Emir. Examples are filled with all emirates of UAE. But a Caliphate is where the head is the spiritual and politically the supreme head of all muslims on the globe.


It was in May 1967 that the Black Panther Party, led by its chair, Bobby Seale, gained national attention when a small number of its members marched into the Californiastate assembly in Sacramento with their weapons drawn. The Black Panther Party marched on the body in protest of the proposed Mulford Act, bolstered by the belief that African Americans had a constitutional right to possess guns (based on the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution). Known as the “gun control bill,” the Black Panther Party interpreted it as a political tactic to sabotage the organization’s efforts to resist police violence in the Oakland neighborhood.

Due to the increased visibility, the Black Panther Party expanded from its origins in Oakland to become an international organization with chapters in 48 states across North America and support groups in countries such as Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Uruguay.

The Free Breakfast for Children Program (which began in January 1969 and extended to every major American city with a Black Panther Party branch) was particularly noteworthy since it provided free breakfast to children in need.

Despite the fact that the Black Panther Party offered social services, the FBI proclaimed the organization to be a communist organization and an adversary of the United States government in 1971.

  1. When it came to the Black Panther Party, COINTELPRO utilized a variety of methods to dismantle the party’s national organization.
  2. After a five-hour police shootout at the Black Panther Party’s headquarters in Southern California and an Illinois state police raid in which Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was assassinated, the FBI’s campaign came to a close in December 1969.
  3. In addition to having strong ties to the Republican Party, Davis also served as a political education instructor for the organization.
  4. Davis was then the governor of California at the time.
  5. George Jackson, one of the detainees, became a close friend of hers after her younger brother’s effort to secure Jackson’s release by holding hostages at the Marin County courtroom on August 7, 1970, failed horribly.
  6. In the end, she was found not guilty of all counts against her by a jury comprised entirely of white men.
  7. However, while COINTELPRO had a role in the organization’s destruction, the dissolution of the party’s top leadership was also a factor in the organization’s failure.
  8. Newton was assassinated in a cocaine fight in August 1989, shortly after returning from exile in Cuba.

A former fashion designer in the 1970s and 1980s, Eldridge Cleaver went on to become a born-again Christian and registered Republican Party member after joining the anticommunistUnification Church.

caliph reign
“Perfect” caliphs
*When Muhammad died, Abū Bakr, his father-in-law, succeeded to his political and administrative functions. He and his three immediate successors are known as the “perfect” or “rightly guided” caliphs. After them the title was borne by the 14 Umayyad caliphs of Damascus and subsequently by the 38 ʿAbbāsid caliphs of Baghdad. ʿAbbāsid power ended in 945, when the Būyids took Baghdad under their rule. The Fāṭimids, however, proclaimed a new caliphate in 920 in Tunisia, and it lasted until 1171. ʿAbbāsid authority was partially restored in the 12th century, but the caliphate ceased with the Mongol destruction of Baghdad in 1258.
Abū Bakr 632–634
ʿUmar I 634–644
ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān 644–656
ʿAlī 656–661
Umayyad caliphs (Damascus)
Muʿāwiyah I 661–680
ʿAbd al-Malik 685–705
al-Walīd 705–715
Hishām 724–743
Marwān II 744–750
ʿAbbāsid caliphs (Baghdad)
al-Saffāh 749–754
Hārūn al-Rashīd 786–809
al-Maʾmūn 813–833
Fāṭimid caliphs (Al-Mahdiyyah)
al-Mahdī 909–934
al-Qāʾim 934–946
al-Manṣūr 946–953
al-Muʿizz 953–975
al-Ḥākim 996–1021
al-Mustanṣir 1036–94
al-Mustaʿlī 1094–1101
ʿAbbāsid caliph (Baghdad)
al-Nāṣir 1180–1225

Asma Afsaruddin is a Pakistani actress.

9 questions about the caliphate in Iraq and Syria

Asma Afsaruddin is a model and actress.

1) What is a caliphate?

A caliphate is an Islamic polity that goes above and beyond. Caliphate is defined as more than simply a country that happens to be legally Muslim; in principle, a caliphate should include every Muslim living everywhere on the planet. It has been many centuries since a caliphate of this nature existed in the world. However, the title caliphate continues to conjure up images of a beautiful and united Islamic civilisation, which was precisely what the earliest caliphates represented. Understanding what caliphate truly means and where the term originated requires a journey back to the 620s A.D., in what is now Saudi Arabia’s Western Province, when the Prophet Mohammed established Islam and led its first adherents.

  • As a result, Mohammed and his followers established a self-governing governmental structure that encompassed all Muslims, which at the time was a relatively small number of people.
  • The final 10 years of his life were devoted to organizing different Arabian tribes into a kingdom that was also a religion.
  • Just to give you a feeling of scale, here’s a map of Mohammed’s early Islamic society as of 624 AD, which has been shaded in green for your convenience.
  • In addition, you’ll observe that it existed at a period when Europe and Asia were ruled by massive land empires: The Mediterranean Historical Atlas However, it wasn’t until Mohammed’s death in 632 AD that his Islamic society was elevated to the status of caliphate.
  • His title within the community was khalifah, which is Arabic for “successor,” as in “the one who succeeds Muhammad.” It is also possible to translate Khalifah as “representative,” as in this example, of both Mohammed and God.
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2) So how did that first caliphate become a big important empire?

In the course of one of the most effective and quick military expansions in the history of the world The initial caliphate lasted from 632 AD, when Mohammed died and the first caliph Abu Bakr took command, until 661 AD, when it was torn apart by civil conflict and eventually collapsed (that civil war also led to the permanentdividebetween Sunni and Shia Islam). During its brief existence, it was governed by four successive caliphs and developed to become one of the world’s greatest empires in a relatively short period of time.

While this was going on, the two great empires nearby, the Byzantine Empire (which was what was left of the eastern Roman Empire) and the Persian Empire, were both deteriorating and becoming militarily tired as a result of their constant battles with one another.

Under the leadership of the caliphs, it attacked and conquered large tracts of land from the Byzantines and Persians.

Mohammad Adil was born in the city of Mohammad Adil in the city of Mohammad Adil in the city of Mohammad Adil in the city of Mohammad Adil in the city of Mohammad Adil in the city of Mohammad Adil in the city of Mohammad Adil in the city of Mohammad Adil Those early caliphate states were more than simply a large military empire; they represented a society that included all Muslims and was almost synonymous with the Islamic faith.

Due to the fact that the caliphate propagated Islam wherever it went, you can witness the expansion of Islam from a small corner of the Arabian peninsula to embrace almost all of what we today consider the Middle East, as well as sections of Central Asia and even the southern point of Spain.

As a result of these conquests, Arabic is now spoken nearly exclusively throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and the region is sometimes referred to as “ethnically Arab.”

3) But there were more caliphates, right? Even bigger ones?

Yes, you are correct. Over the course of several centuries, that first caliphate, which was founded on Mohammed’s initial community, grew into second and third caliphates. In 661 AD, following the end of the first Muslim civil war, the second caliphate was established and lasted until 750 AD. It was the most populous and prosperous caliphate in history, and it was considered the pinnacle of Islamic civilization. As a result, the caliphate’s capital was in Damascus, which is today’s capital of Syria, which is one of the reasons why caliphate-nostalgists today are so enthusiastic about the concept of a revived caliphate centered in Syria.

That was the last true caliphate, in the sense that it could legitimately claim to be comprised of a cohesive community of Muslim believers.

Furthermore, he is sort of implying that he wants to continue ISIS’s expansion until he has completely captured all Muslim-majority countries, which is an aim that has been indicated at several times in jihadist maps depicting a united Islamic empire: ISIS

4) Why did the caliphates end?

The Ottoman Empire claimed to be the final caliphate, and it lasted until 1914, when it was defeated by the Russian Empire. So, technically, there was a caliphate in existence until about a century or so ago. While some refer to “the caliphates,” most people refer to the large imperial powers that carried on Mohammed’s original concept of an united political community for all Muslims, based upon the ethnic Arabs who first built it, as the caliphates. There were two main causes for this to come to an end, roughly about the year 1000.

  • In modern-day Spain and Portugal, the area of the Caliphate of Cordoba was divided, and it is impossible to have many caliphates at the same time.
  • Nathan Wong is an American actor and director who was born in Hong Kong and raised in the United States.
  • Up until World War One, the Ottoman Empire claimed to be a caliphate and did govern sacred sites in Mecca and Jerusalem, but in reality it was only an empire that happened to be Islamic in nature.
  • However, Islam has spread far too widely and rapidly for that dream to be sustainable today.

It was the Abbasids, the last “true” caliphate, who ultimately crumbled under the weight of their own empire, with various regions of the empire falling apart, before succumbing to increasing Persian and Turkish forces.

5) What does a caliph do, exactly?

According to Islamic tradition, the caliph was the person who assumed two of Mohammed’s earthly responsibilities: (1) control over the unified Islamic state and (2) responsibility for all Muslims worldwide. The memory of Mohammed gradually faded over the following seven hundred years, but the two defining obligations of the Islamic state and the duty for the whole Muslim community, known as the ummah, did not change. Over the course of the caliphate’s expansion and centuries of history, the role of caliph became increasingly about empire-building and less on religion.

When the Abbasid Caliphate was torn apart and destroyed in the 1100s and 1200s, that position was no longer necessary.

Turkish authorities possessed it for a long period of time and made use of it to claim responsibility for the worldwide Muslim community.

Until the position of caliph was abolished by then-Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a secular nationalist who sought to minimize the importance of religion in the state, there had been a caliph in place since 1924.

6) Can we take a caliphate-themed music break?

Given the great legacy of poetry in the early caliphates, it would definitely be more fitting to take a poetry break, but let’s do some music instead. Among the classic forms of Islamic music is Anasheed, which is normally performed without instrumental accompaniment (similar to medieval Christian chant), but which can also contain light drumming. Because of strict interpretations of Islam, musical instruments are not permitted in mosques. It is an ancient form that may be highly lovely; here is an example: There are also a number of lighter variations of the shape.

While browsing through Anasheed music videos on YouTube (what can I say, I have a strange job), you’ll find a lot of Arabic chants matched to pictures of bearded jihadists brandishing assault weapons and black flags; the lyrics are usually about God and righteousness or something along those lines; Take, for example, this ISIS video, which was released just last week and is dedicated to re-establishing the caliphate: To be clear, not all Anasheed are members of the jihadist movement.

And the majority of ancient, caliphate-era poetry was about the same topics that everyone writes poetry about today: love, family, nature, and so on and so forth.

However, the issue is that current jihadists have appropriated the Anasheed form in order to push their own agenda and ideology, just as they have sought to lay claim to the mantle of the original caliphates did in the past.

7) Why are jihadists so obsessed with this stuff?

Islamists regard the caliphates as the pinnacle of Islamic splendor, serving as a form of Islamic nationalism under their flag. Many modern-day jihadists and Islamists, on the other hand, consider the caliphates as a solution to the two centuries of enslavement and humiliation they have endured at the hands of Western forces. It is possible to assert the ideas that all Muslims should be united in one state, that they should be ruled by Islam rather than by a secular system, and perhaps most importantly, that the Islamic world by religious right should be much stronger than the Western powers that have long invaded it by framing your jihadist movement as the rebirth or continuation of the caliphates.

8) The caliphate was in fact a place of ultra-conservative Islam and anti-modern intolerance, right?

Wrong! Because jihadists, such as today’s ISIS leaders, themselves aspire to rule an authoritarian, bigoted, anti-modern, ultra-conservative state, this is what they want the world to be like for them. However, this is a myth that they have concocted in order to explain their much more current notions about ultra-conservatism and their romanticization of an age that was far different from the one they envision. According to Khaled Diab, a writer with the New York Times, who recently refuted this myth, the following is true: The Abbasid caliphate was millennia ahead of Mr.

  1. ISIS’ ruthless puritanism stands in stark contrast to Abbasid society’s flourishing on pluralism, science, creativity, learning, and culture, which flourished during its heyday.
  2. The Abbasid caliphate, which was centered on the Bayt al-Hikma, Baghdad’s “House of Wisdom,” was responsible for significant advancements in the sciences and mathematics.
  3. And so forth.
  4. However, this is not what jihadists want to hear at all.

9) Why are jihadists basing their ‘new’ caliphate on this fictional conception of the original?

There is a type of ideological dilemma that Arab Middle Eastern politics has been grappling with for almost a century: how to reconcile their region’s lengthy history of grandeur, notably during the period of the caliphates, with their region’s more recent history of oppression by Western forces. What is the best way to respond to this oppression, and how can we restore our prior greatness? A variety of ideological strains and reactions have sprung up in response to this, but one of the most significant has been Arab secular nationalism, which holds that ethnic Arabs should band together, either politically or metaphorically, and challenge Western imperialists by drawing inspiration from their secularism and technological progress.

Second, Islamism, which holds that Muslims should unify, reject Western ideas, and organize society around conservative interpretations of Islam and an Islamic identity as a means of recreating and recovering the historic caliphates, has gained popularity in recent years, particularly in the Middle East.

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In part, it is because of their animosity and fighting against Arab secular nationalists, which is equal to or greater than their animosity and fighting against the United States and its allies.

They’re battling for the preservation of a mythological memory that they’ve created. Unfortunately for the Iraqis and Syrians who live under ISIS’s leadership, there are enough individuals who believe in that concept to fight and die in support of the organization.

What is a caliph? The Islamic State tries to boost its legitimacy by hijacking a historic institution

The Islamic State appointed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new “caliph” on October 27, just a few days after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on October 27. Following its conquest of large areas of Iraq and Syria in 2014, the Islamic State (IS) announced itself to be the “caliphate.” The essential notion of the caliphate, which has been defined and implemented in many ways throughout the centuries, is the right ordering of society according to the will of God, which has been defined and applied in various ways over the years.

The Islamic State, on the other hand, continues to utilize the history of the caliphate to support its claims.

Caliph conundrums

The head of a caliphate is referred to as the caliph, which is Arabic for “deputy” or “representative.” All caliphs are considered to be the spiritual heirs of Prophet Muhammad and his family. Although Muhammad was not a caliph, he was considered to be the last and greatest of the prophets, according to the Quran. That indicates that no one else can take Muhammad’s place as God’s messenger. For example, the caliph is not necessarily seen as possessing distinct spiritual power in his or her own right.

  • The controversy regarding who was the prophet’s legitimate representative began almost immediately after his death, and has continued to this day.
  • Muslims who think that Muhammad did not give specific instructions on his successor would come to be known as Sunni Muslims after Abu Bakr’s followers.
  • Ali was the fourth caliph, after Abu Bakr, who was the first.
  • Under Umar’s leadership, the caliphate extended to encompass various portions of the world, including the former territories of the Byzantine and Sassanian empires in Asia Minor, Persia, and Central Asia.
  • It was no coincidence that al-Baghdadi chose the name of the first caliph for himself.

They are also thought to be exceedingly religious, according to popular belief. This time period lasted around 30 years.

The complex history of the caliphate

Ali was elected caliph in A.D. 656 following the assassination of Uthman by rebels. However, a civil war soon erupted between Ali and Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, who was Ali’s rival. The civil war culminated with Sufyan’s triumph and the establishment of the Umayyad caliphate in A.D. 661, marking the end of the Islamic period. The Umayyad dynasty reigned for a total of 89 years. The Abbasid dynasty was derived from Muhammad’s uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, and replaced the Umayyads as the ruling family of Islam throughout the world.

  1. Architecture, the arts, and science all prospered throughout their reign.
  2. The Abbasids provided financing for the construction of the Grand Library of Baghdad, commonly known as the “House of Wisdom.” The “House of Wisdom” is noted as being a center for translation, scientific research, and intellectual interaction, as well as a repository of knowledge.
  3. In Jerusalem, there is a structure known as the Dome of the Rock.
  4. These included the Mamluks of Cairo and the Umayyads of Cordoba, Spain, to name a few of examples.
  5. The Ottoman sultans, on the other hand, were not widely acknowledged as caliphs.
  6. Nonetheless, the Ottomans effectively hung on to that title until 1924, when the Turkish nationalist and secularist Kemal Ataturk overthrew the caliphate and established the modern state of Turkey.

Resurrecting the caliphate?

While the Islamic State has aggressively marketed the concept of caliphate, the concept evokes a time and place when Islamic governments were prosperous in terms of politics, economics, and social well-being. It also conjures up a spiritual idea of a Muslim community that was apparently more devout and dedicated than the one that exists now. The re-establishment of the caliphate, or at least its ideas, has been advocated by several contemporary Islamists as a means of re-establishing the vitality of the past.

The death of al-Baghdadi has not brought the Islamic State’s notion of the caliphate to an end.

It is worth noting that the name of their new caliph is derived from an honorary title given to a member of Prophet Muhammad’s family – “al-Qurashi” – which means “son of the Prophet.” IS is attempting to resuscitate the history of the caliphate in order to further its destructive objectives through the use of this prophetic lineage.

What a caliphate really is—and how the Islamic State is not one

Despite the fact that the caliphate—or at least a caliphate—has not only been a palpable reality for the first time in over a century, it has also become cruel and scary. Islamic State has successfully appropriated an ideology that has been animating the Muslim world for almost 14 centuries and made it its own. This is a superb example of ideological appropriation. Additionally, it succeeded to tarnish an ideology that hundreds of millions of Muslims continue to hold in high regard despite the current political climate.

  • For the second time, the Muslims were on their way.
  • He succeeds admirably, infusing his work with a welcome dose of knowledge, precision, and, when necessary, humanity.
  • As we get to know the “righteously directed” caliphs, we develop a sense of familiarity that belies their long reigns as rulers.
  • The Prophet’s closest friends, Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, and Ali, came together and established an empire.

Meanwhile, as Kennedy explains on the book’s quite appealing opening page, the notion of the caliphate “offers a conception of leadership that is about the right ordering of Muslim society according to the will of God.” The caliphate, like the equally misunderstood sharia—which contains but goes beyond Islamic law—was a varied and multifaceted entity that evolved in response to the demands of the times and places in which it existed.

  • Although it was far from being a cruel and intimidating Islamic dystopia, the caliphate, at least during the Abbasid period (around the year 750 to 945), was the location of scientific breakthroughs and a vibrant intellectual culture.
  • Caliphal courts were awash in it, and poets extolled its virtues.
  • A caliphate in which even the caliphs drank and in which young boys were revered for their attractiveness is likely to be difficult to comprehend for today’s spectators, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, given the current state of affairs.
  • Islamic law, at least from the perspective of monarchs and clerics (if not God), was not only or even primarily concerned with the punishment of individual sin.
  • An Islam that was already dominant had less of a drive to become even more powerful.
  • Most significantly, this was a period of Muslim self-assurance, which Kennedy vividly depicts in page after page of vivid detail.
  • In addition, human agency was probably a more realistic concept 1,000 years ago, according to historians.
  • This may come as a surprise to anybody who has spent time in the Middle East, where God is frequently invoked in a casual manner to elicit feelings of despondency, pessimism, and the inability to make appointments on time.
  • The unimposing historian that he is, Kennedy takes care not to exaggerate the importance of his argument.

Kennedy argues in his introduction that “history possesses an authority over this tradition that we do not find anywhere else.” The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.is not consulted by anyone in the United Kingdom today in order to validate contemporary political action.” Additionally, the evolution of the Sunni-Shiite schism is shown with great clarity and understanding.

  1. Of course it is, to a certain extent.
  2. What ultimately contributes to the strength of the sectarian split is the fact that the religious becomes political and the political becomes religious.
  3. The caliphate, in its Abbasid, Andalusian, and Shiite Fatamid manifestations, was, without a doubt, a wonderful institution.
  4. Islam’s first civil war began even during the reign of the righteous caliphs, when the prophet’s associates turned against one another in what amounted to a civil war inside Islam.

Islamists, at least in their historical memory, have wished the caliphate to be something it was never and may never be—and possibly cannot ever be—and this speaks something about their religious beliefs.

Isis and a new caliphate

Earlier this year, the ultra-radical Islamist group Isis (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) proclaimed that the region they control will be governed as a caliphate. By adopting this move, they have returned to a paradigm that has been the reality in some regions of the Islamic world throughout the majority of the civilization’s existence. For approximately 1,400 years, the caliph served as the supreme leader of the Islamic state as a whole. He frequently held inconceivable power, and he always had a significant amount of influence.

In the last ten years of his life, when he lived in Medina after leaving his native Mecca in 622, he gradually developed a new form of society based on the Qur’an (which, for Muslims, is God’s direct utterance and therefore beyond question or criticism) and his own Sunna (which means “way”), according to Islamic tradition (his customary practice).

The kings that came after him followed in his footsteps, sticking faithfully to his teachings and upholding his model.

Later on, this title was frequently expanded to include the phraseKhalifat Rasul Allah, which means ‘Representative of the Messenger of God.’ Caliph (the Anglicised version ofkhalifa) is a title given to four rulers who followed Muhammad as caliph shortly after his death.

They are known as the Rightly-Guided Caliphs because of this, and their reign in Medina during the seventh century, together with Muhammad’s reign before them, is often recognized as the “Golden Age of Islamic civilization.” Isis is aiming to establish power in accordance with the precedents that have been established at this time by establishing a caliphate.

For while the Islamic state was established under their leadership, these four caliphs faced significant opposition from both the outside, in the form of Arab tribes that refused to recognize them, and from within, in the form of disagreement with the policies they pursued and even with their personal characteristics (only one of them died in his bed).

  • He was elected as the fourth caliph, despite the fact that his supporters believed he should have taken over immediately from Muhammad.
  • Whereas Sunnis place their faith in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s teachings, Shi’as place their faith in the Qur’an and the interpretations provided by Ali and his heirs.
  • In response to threats from Isis, thousands of Iraqi Shias have rallied to defend the shrines of many of these Imams, which are located in Baghdad and southern Iraq, among other places of pilgrimage.
  • While the caliph was occasionally an authoritarian ruler, he was more typically seen as a figurehead who represented the unity of the Islamic state.
  • A persistent debate among political theorists involved the prerequisites for holding a position of authority in government.
  • However, there was always dissatisfaction, and rivals sprung up on a regular basis to challenge the present monarch.

Far from serving as a symbol of unification in the Islamic world, he has the potential to exacerbate dissent and elicit even more intense warfare.

Caliph and Caliphate

For the purposes of this article, the term “caliph” (khalifahin Arabic) is generally understood to mean “successor of the prophet Muhammad,” whereas the term “caliphate” (khilafahin Arabic) refers to the office of political leader of the Muslim community (ummah) or state, particularly during the period from 632 to 1258. Despite the fact that the caliph was not thought to have spiritual authority in the same way that Muhammad was, the caliph ruled over a kingdom controlled by Islamic law (Sharia), the lands of which were known as the “abode of Islam” (dar al-Islam).

  1. Islam’s Sunni branch believes that Muhammad did not leave any instructions about his successor, who was to be chosen by the people and whose decision was to be deemed infallible.
  2. Those who follow the Shia Islamic tradition, on the other hand, think that the society made a grave mistake by electing Abu Bakr as king rather than Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib, who they believe was selected by the Prophet.
  3. As a result, Shiite Islam rejected the Sunni concept of correctly guided (Rashidun) caliphs, a phrase used to refer to the first four caliphs, and recognized instead the legitimate succession of Ali and his progeny.
  4. Until a rival clan of the Qurash tribe, the Abbasids, successfully resisted Muawiya’s establishment of a hereditary succession, the Qurash tribe continued to exist.
  5. Ultimately, the Ottoman conquest of the Mamluk empire led to the foundation of the Ottoman Caliphate (which lasted from 1517 until 1924) in Turkey.
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General Overviews

The caliphate has a long and distinguished history of scholarship, which is particularly outstanding when it comes to addressing concerns of Islamic historiography, philosophy, and histories of this institution. The majority of the literary material (mostly biographies and chronicles) dates to the Abbasid period rather than to the time of Muhammad, the Rashidun, or even the Umayyads, despite the fact that a vast body of evidence exists. This has resulted in a great deal of debate over the credibility of historical sources as well as the right interpretation of the early years of the Islamic state and its conquests, among other things.

A important tool for evaluating this early historiography is Humphreys 1991, while Gibb 1982and Arnold 1965provide excellent overviews of the theory of the caliphate, respectively.

Kennedy 2004provides thorough histories of the caliphate throughout the medieval period, whereas Bearman et al. 1960–2005provide detailed histories of the caliphate throughout the medieval era. andHodgson 1974examine this history all the way up to the present day.

  • “The Caliphate,” by Thomas W. Arnold. Routledge and Kegan Paul published this book in 1965. Sylvia Haim contributes a final chapter to the new version. The caliphate’s doctrine and history are the primary focus of this book. Originally published in 1924
  • Bearman, P. J., Th. Bianquis, Clifford E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W. P. Heinrichs, editors. Bearman, P. J., Th. Bianquis, Clifford E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W. P. Heinrichs, eds. encyclopedia of Islam (twelve volumes, second edition). E. J. Brill Publishing Company, Leiden, the Netherlands, 1960–2005. With thorough essays written by leading academics from throughout the Islamic world, this massive volume is the most complete reference work on Islam available today
  • Gibb, Hamilton A. R.Studies on the Civilization of Islam (Studies on the Civilization of Islam). Stanford J. Shaw and William R. Polk collaborated on the editing of this volume. The Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, published this book in 1982. Many of the pieces in this book on Islamic culture, which was initially published in 1962, deal with the evolution of Islamic historiography as well as political thought in relation to the caliphate. The development of Sunni political theory is examined in one chapter, which argues that it was never properly reflected by the political institutions of the caliphate, while another provides an insightful analysis of al-views Mawardi’s on the caliphate at a critical juncture when its temporal power was seized by the Buyids
  • Hodgson, Marshall G. The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization. The University of Chicago Press published this book in 1974. Humphreys, R. Stephen. A classic review of Islamic history in three volumes, which includes discussion of all elements of the caliphate
  • R. Stephen Humphreys. Inquiry into Islamic History: A Framework for Investigation. The Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, published this book in 1991. In this book, Hugh Kennedy presents a critical examination of sources, techniques, and research pertaining to the political and social history of medieval Europe and North Africa
  • Kennedy, Hugh. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State is a book on the armies of the caliphs in the early Islamic state. Routledge Publishing Company, London, 2001. Hugh Kennedy’s book is a well-balanced analysis of the sociological and political concerns linked with the compositions of the caliphs’ armies and their corresponding influence on the caliphate throughout its first three hundred years. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates are two of the most important figures in Islamic history. 2nd ed., with a new preface. Pearson Education, Harlow, United Kingdom, 2004. Provides a good introduction to Islamic history up to and including the 11th century, as well as a superb bibliographical study and a list of general and more specialized books in Western languages, including accessible translations of original sources
  • Al-Tabari The Life and Times of al-Tabari. There are 40 volumes. The State University of New York Press published a book in 2007 titled This is a major translation series of the most generally regarded Arabic chronicle of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and the Umayyad Caliphate as well as the Abbassid Caliphate, which spans the period from 915 to 915. It was published in thirty-nine volumes, each published independently between 1985 and 1999, with the whole forty-volume collection (with index) being published in 2007.

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