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A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة‎ khilāfah) is a state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (/ˈkælɪf, ˈkeɪ-/, Arabic: خَليفة‎ khalīfah,  pronunciation (help·info)), a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
and a leader of the entire Muslim
Muslim
community.[1] Historically, the caliphates were polities based in Islam
Islam
which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires.[2] During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
(632–661), the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
(661–750) and the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258). In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire
Empire
claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim
Muslim
states, almost all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.[1] Prior to the rise of Muhammad
Muhammad
and the unification of the Arab
Arab
tribes of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
under Islam, the tribes of Arabia followed a pre-Islamic Arab
Arab
polytheism, lived as self-governing sedentary and nomadic communities and often raided their neighbouring tribes.[3][4] Following the conquests under Muhammad
Muhammad
of the Arabian Peninsula, the region became unified and most of the tribes adopted Islam.[4] The first caliphate, the Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate, was established immediately after Muhammad's death in 632.[5] The four Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad
Muhammad
as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation that some consider to be an early form of Islamic democracy.[6] The fourth caliph, Ali, who, unlike the prior three, was from the same clan as Muhammad
Muhammad
(Banu Hashim), is considered by Shia Muslims
Muslims
to be the first rightful caliph and Imam
Imam
after Muhammad.[7] Ali
Ali
reigned during the First Fitna
First Fitna
(656–661), a civil war between supporters of Ali
Ali
and supporters of the assassinated previous caliph, Uthman, from Banu Umayya, as well as rebels in Egypt; the war led to the establishment of the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
under Muawiyah I in 661. The second caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
was ruled by Banu Umayya, a Meccan clan with descent from Muhammad's great-great-grandfather. The caliphate continued the Arab
Arab
conquests, incorporating the Caucasus, Transoxiana, Sindh, the Maghreb
Maghreb
and the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus) into the Muslim
Muslim
world. The caliphate had considerable acceptance of the Christians within its territory, necessitated by their large numbers, especially in the region of Syria.[8][9][10] Following the Abbasid Revolution
Abbasid Revolution
from 746–750, which primarily arose from non- Arab
Arab
Muslim
Muslim
disenfranchisement, the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
was established in 750. The third caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
was ruled by the Abbasids, a dynasty of Meccan origin which descended from Hashim, a great-grandfather of Muhammad, making them part of Banu Hashim, via Abbas, an uncle of Muhammad, hence the name. Caliph
Caliph
al-Mansur founded its second capital of Baghdad
Baghdad
in 762 which became a major scientific, cultural and art centre, as did the territory as a whole during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. From the 10th century, Abbasid rule became confined to an area around Baghdad. From 945 to 1157, the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
came under Buyid
Buyid
and then Seljuq military control. In 1250, a non- Arab
Arab
army created by the Abbasids called the Mamluks came to power in Egypt. In 1258, the Mongol Empire
Empire
sacked Baghdad, ending the Abbasid Caliphate, and in 1261 the Mamluks
Mamluks
in Egypt re-established the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
in Cairo. Though lacking in political power, the Abbasid dynasty
Abbasid dynasty
continued to claim authority in religious matters until the Ottoman conquest of Mamluk Egypt
Egypt
in 1517.[11] The fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, was established after their conquest of Mamluk Egypt
Egypt
in 1517. The conquest gave the Ottomans control over the holy cities of Mecca
Mecca
and Medina, previously controlled by the Mamluks. The Ottomans gradually came to be viewed as the de facto leaders and representatives of the Islamic world.[12] Following their defeat in World War I, their empire was partitioned by Britain and France, and on 3 March 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as part of his reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the caliphate.[13] A few other states that existed through history have called themselves caliphates, including the Ismaili Shia
Ismaili Shia
Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
in Northeast Africa
Africa
(909–1171), the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
of Córdoba in Iberia (929–1031), the Berber Almohad Caliphate
Almohad Caliphate
in Morocco
Morocco
(1121–1269) and the Fula Sokoto Caliphate
Sokoto Caliphate
in present-day northern Nigeria (1804–1903). The Sunni branch of Islam
Islam
stipulates that, as a head of state, a caliph should be elected by Muslims
Muslims
or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a caliph should be an Imam chosen by God
God
from the Ahl al-Bayt
Ahl al-Bayt
(the "Family of the House", Muhammad's direct descendants). In simpler terms, the Sunni favour election while the Shia favour bloodline.[7] In the early 21st century, following the failure of the Arab
Arab
Spring and defeat of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State", there has seen "a broad mainstream embrace of a collective Muslim
Muslim
identity" by young Muslims
Muslims
and the appeal of a caliphate as a "idealized future Muslim state" has grown ever stronger.[14]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
(632–661)

2.1 Succession to Muhammad 2.2 Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphs 2.3 Ali's caliphate and the rise of the Umayyad dynasty

3 Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
(661–750) 4 Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
(750–1258, 1261–1517)

4.1 Abbasid Caliphs
Abbasid Caliphs
at Baghdad 4.2 Under the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo
Cairo
(1261–1517)

5 Parallel caliphates to the Abbasids

5.1 Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
(909–1171) 5.2 Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
of Córdoba (929–1031) 5.3 Almohad Caliphate
Almohad Caliphate
(1147–1269)

6 Ottoman Caliphate
Ottoman Caliphate
(1517–1924)

6.1 Abolition of the Caliphate
Caliphate
(1924)

7 Sokoto Caliphate
Sokoto Caliphate
(1804–1903) 8 Khilafat Movement
Khilafat Movement
(1919–24) 9 Sharifian Caliphate
Sharifian Caliphate
(1924–25) 10 Non-political caliphates

10.1 Sufi caliphates 10.2 Ahmadiyya Caliphate
Ahmadiyya Caliphate
(1908–present)

11 Religious
Religious
basis

11.1 Qur'an 11.2 Hadith 11.3 Prophesied Caliphate
Caliphate
of the Mahdî 11.4 The Sahaba of Muhammad 11.5 Sayings of Islamic theologians

12 Period of dormancy

12.1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(2014–present) 12.2 Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
view 12.3 Islamic call 12.4 Al-Qaeda's Caliphate
Caliphate
goals 12.5 Opposition

13 Government

13.1 Electing or appointing a Caliph 13.2 Sunni belief 13.3 Shi'a belief 13.4 Majlis al-Shura 13.5 Accountability of rulers 13.6 Rule of law 13.7 Economy

14 Notable caliphs 15 See also 16 References

16.1 Citations 16.2 Sources

17 Further reading 18 External links

Etymology[edit] Before the advent of Islam, Arabian monarchs traditionally used the title malik (King, ruler), or another from the same root.[1] The term caliph (/ˈkeɪlɪf, ˈkælɪf/),[15] derives from the Arabic word khalīfah (خَليفة,  pronunciation (help·info)), which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of Khalifat Rasul Allah ("successor of the messenger of God"). However, studies of pre-Islamic texts suggest that the original meaning of the phrase was "successor selected by God".[1] Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
(632–661)[edit] Succession to Muhammad[edit] Main articles: Succession to Muhammad
Succession to Muhammad
and Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate In his book The Early Islamic Conquests (1981), Fred Donner argues that the standard Arabian practice at the time was for the prominent men of a kinship group, or tribe, to gather after a leader's death and elect a leader from amongst themselves.[citation needed] There was no specified procedure for this shura or consultation. Candidates were usually, but not necessarily, from the same lineage as the deceased leader. Capable men who would lead well were preferred over an ineffectual heir. Sunni Muslims
Muslims
believe that Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
was chosen by the community and that this was the proper procedure. Sunnis further argue that a caliph should ideally be chosen by election or community consensus.[citation needed] The Shia believe that Ali, the son-in-law and cousin of Muhammad, was chosen by Muhammad
Muhammad
as his spiritual and temporal successor as the Mawla (the Imam
Imam
and the Caliph) of all Muslims
Muslims
in the event of Ghadir Khumm. Here Mohammad called upon the around 100,000 gathered returning pilgrims to give their bay'ah (oath of allegiance) to Ali
Ali
in his very presence and thenceforth to proclaim the good news of Ali's succession to his (Muhammad's) leadership to all Muslims
Muslims
they should come across.[citation needed] The caliph was often known as Amir al-Mu'minin (Arabic: أمير المؤمنين‎ "Commander of the Believers"). Muhammad established his capital in Medina; after he died, it remained the capital during the Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate, before Kufa
Kufa
was reportedly made the capital by Caliph
Caliph
Ali. At times there have been rival claimant caliphs in different parts of the Islamic world
Islamic world
and divisions between the Shi'i and Sunni communities. According to Sunni Muslims, the first caliph to be called Amir al-Mu'minin was Abu Bakr, followed by Umar, the second of the Rashidun. Uthman
Uthman
and Ali
Ali
also were called by the same title, while the Shi'a consider Ali
Ali
to have been the only truly legitimate caliph, of these four men.[16] After the first four caliphs, the Caliphate
Caliphate
was claimed by the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
and the Ottoman Empire
Empire
and for relatively short periods by other, competing dynasties in al-Andalus, North Africa
North Africa
and Egypt. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
officially abolished the system of Caliphate
Caliphate
in Islam
Islam
(the Ottoman Empire) as part of his secular reforms and founded the Republic of Turkey
Turkey
in 1923. The Kings of Morocco
Morocco
still label themselves with the title Amir al-Mu'minin for the Moroccans, but lay no claim to the Caliphate. Some Muslim
Muslim
countries, including Somalia, Indonesia
Indonesia
and Malaysia, were never subject to the authority of a Caliphate[citation needed], with the exception of Aceh, which briefly acknowledged Ottoman suzerainty.[17] Consequently, these countries had their own, local sultans or rulers who did not fully accept the authority of the Caliph. Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphs[edit] Main articles: Rashidun
Rashidun
and Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate See also: early Muslim
Muslim
conquests and Succession to Muhammad

Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
at its greatest extent, under Caliph
Caliph
Uthman's rule

Abu Bakr, the first successor of Muhammad, nominated Umar
Umar
as his successor on his deathbed. Umar, the second caliph, was killed by a Persian named Piruz Nahavandi. His successor, Uthman, was elected by a council of electors (majlis). Uthman
Uthman
was killed by members of a disaffected group. Ali
Ali
then took control but was not universally accepted as caliph by the governors of Egypt
Egypt
and later by some of his own guard. He faced two major rebellions and was assassinated by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Khawarij. Ali's tumultuous rule lasted only five years. This period is known as the Fitna, or the first Islamic civil war. The followers of Ali
Ali
later became the Shi'a ("shiaat Ali", partisans of Ali.[18]) minority sect of Islam
Islam
and reject the legitimacy of the first 3 caliphs. The followers of all four Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman
Uthman
and Ali) became the majority Sunni sect. Under the Rashidun
Rashidun
each region (Sultanate, Wilayah, or Emirate) of the Caliphate
Caliphate
had its own governor (Sultan, Wāli or Emir). Muawiyah, a relative of Uthman
Uthman
and governor (Wali) of Syria, succeeded Ali
Ali
as Caliph. Muawiyah transformed the caliphate into a hereditary office, thus founding the Umayyad dynasty. In areas which were previously under Sasanian Empire
Empire
or Byzantine rule, the Caliphs lowered taxes, provided greater local autonomy (to their delegated governors), greater religious freedom for Jews, and some indigenous Christians, and brought peace to peoples demoralised and disaffected by the casualties and heavy taxation that resulted from the decades of Byzantine-Persian warfare.[19] Ali's caliphate and the rise of the Umayyad dynasty[edit] Ali's reign was plagued by turmoil and internal strife. The Persians, taking advantage of this, infiltrated the two armies and attacked the other army causing chaos and internal hatred between the companions at the Battle of Siffin. The battle lasted several months, resulting in a stalemate. In order to avoid further bloodshed, Ali
Ali
agreed to negotiate with Mu'awiyah. This caused a faction of approximately 4,000 people, who would come to be known as the Kharijites, to abandon the fight. After defeating the Kharijites
Kharijites
at the Battle of Nahrawan, Ali was later assassinated by the Kharijite Ibn Muljam. Ali's son Hasan was elected as the next caliph, but handed his title to Mu'awiyah a few months later. Mu'awiyah became the fifth (or second by Shia reckoning) caliph, establishing the Umayyad Dynasty,[20] named after the great-grandfather of Uthman
Uthman
and Mu'awiyah, Umayya ibn Abd Shams.[21] Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
(661–750)[edit] Main article: Umayyad Caliphate

The Caliphate, 622–750   Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632   Expansion during the Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphs, 632–661   Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750

Beginning with the Umayyads, the title of the caliph became hereditary.[22] Under the Umayyads, the Caliphate
Caliphate
grew rapidly in territory, incorporating the Caucasus, Transoxiana, Sindh, the Maghreb and most of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
(Al-Andalus) into the Muslim
Muslim
world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
covered 5.17 million square miles (13,400,000 km2), making it the largest empire the world had yet seen and the sixth-largest ever to exist in history.[23] Geographically, the empire was divided into several provinces, the borders of which changed numerous times during the Umayyad reign.[citation needed] Each province had a governor appointed by the caliph. However, for a variety of reasons, including that they were not elected by Shura
Shura
and suggestions of impious behaviour, the Umayyad dynasty was not universally supported within the Muslim community.[citation needed] Some supported prominent early Muslims like Al-Zubayr; others felt that only members of Muhammad's clan, the Banu Hashim, or his own lineage, the descendants of Ali, should rule.[citation needed] There were numerous rebellions against the Umayyads, as well as splits within the Umayyad ranks (notably, the rivalry between Yaman and Qays).[citation needed] Allegedly, Shimr Ibn Thil-Jawshan killed Ali's son Hussein and his family at the Battle of Karbala
Battle of Karbala
in 680, solidifying the Shia-Sunni split.[18] Eventually, supporters of the Banu Hashim
Banu Hashim
and the supporters of the lineage of Ali
Ali
united to bring down the Umayyads in 750. However, the Shi‘at ‘Alī, "the Party of Ali", were again disappointed when the Abbasid dynasty
Abbasid dynasty
took power, as the Abbasids were descended from Muhammad's uncle, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and not from Ali.[citation needed] Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
(750–1258, 1261–1517)[edit] Main article: Abbasid Caliphate Abbasid Caliphs
Abbasid Caliphs
at Baghdad[edit]

Al-Mustansiriya University
Al-Mustansiriya University
in Baghdad

In 750, the Umayyad dynasty
Umayyad dynasty
was overthrown by another family of Meccan origin, the Abbasids. Their time represented a scientific, cultural and religious flowering.[citation needed] Islamic art
Islamic art
and music also flourished significantly during their reign. Their major city and capital Baghdad
Baghdad
began to flourish as a center of knowledge, culture and trade. This period of cultural fruition ended in 1258 with the sack of Baghdad
Baghdad
by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan. The Abbasid Caliphate
Caliphate
had however lost its effective power outside Iraq
Iraq
already by c. 920.[24] By 945, the loss of power became official when the Buyids conquered Baghdad
Baghdad
and all of Iraq. The empire fell apart and its parts were ruled for the next century by local dynasties.[25] In the 9th century, the Abbasids created an army loyal only to their caliphate, composed predominantly of Turkic Cuman, Circassian and Georgian slave origin known as Mamluks.[citation needed] By 1250 the Mamluks
Mamluks
came to power in Egypt. The Mamluk army, though often viewed negatively, both helped and hurt the caliphate. Early on, it provided the government with a stable force to address domestic and foreign problems. However, creation of this foreign army and al-Mu'tasim's transfer of the capital from Baghdad
Baghdad
to Samarra created a division between the caliphate and the peoples they claimed to rule. In addition, the power of the Mamluks
Mamluks
steadily grew until Ar-Radi (934–41) was constrained to hand over most of the royal functions to Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Ra'iq. Under the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo
Cairo
(1261–1517)[edit] Main article: Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo) In 1261, following the Mongol conquest of Baghdad, the Mamluk rulers of Egypt
Egypt
tried to gain legitimacy for their rule by declaring the re-establishment of the Abbasid caliphate in Cairo.[citation needed] The Abbasid caliphs in Egypt
Egypt
had little political power; they continued to maintain the symbols of authority, but their sway was confined to religious matters.[citation needed] The first Abbasid caliph of Cairo
Cairo
was Al-Mustansir (r. June–November 1261). The Abbasid caliphate of Cairo
Cairo
lasted until the time of Al-Mutawakkil
Al-Mutawakkil
III, who ruled as caliph from 1508 to 1516, then he was deposed briefly in 1516 by his predecessor Al-Mustamsik, but was restored again to the caliphate in 1517.[citation needed] The Ottoman Great Sultan
Sultan
Selim I
Selim I
defeated the Mamluk Sultanate and made Egypt
Egypt
part of the Ottoman Empire
Empire
in 1517. Al-Mutawakkil III was captured together with his family and transported to Constantinople
Constantinople
as a prisoner where he had a ceremonial role. He died in 1543, following his return to Cairo.[26] Parallel caliphates to the Abbasids[edit] The Abbasid dynasty
Abbasid dynasty
lost effective power over much of the Muslim
Muslim
realm by the first half of the tenth century[citation needed] The Shiʻa Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah
Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah
of the Fatimid dynasty, who claimed descent from Muhammad
Muhammad
through his daughter, claimed the title of Caliph
Caliph
in 909, creating a separate line of caliphs in North Africa.[citation needed] Initially controlling Algeria, Tunisia
Tunisia
and Libya, the Fatimid caliphs extended their rule for the next 150 years, taking Egypt
Egypt
and Palestine, before the Abbasid dynasty
Abbasid dynasty
was able to turn the tide, limiting Fatimid rule to Egypt. The Fatimid dynasty finally ended in 1171.[citation needed] The Umayyad dynasty, which had survived and come to rule over Al-Andalus, reclaimed the title of Caliph
Caliph
in 929, lasting until it was overthrown in 1031.[citation needed] Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
(909–1171)[edit] Main article: Fatimid Caliphate

Map of the Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
at its largest extent in the early 11th century

The Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
was an Isma'ili Shi'i caliphate, originally based in Tunisia, that extended its rule across the Mediterranean coast of Africa
Africa
and ultimately made Egypt
Egypt
the centre of its caliphate.[citation needed] At its height, in addition to Egypt, the caliphate included varying areas of the Maghreb, Sicily, the Levant and the Hejaz.[citation needed] The Fatimids established the Tunisian city of Mahdia and made it their capital city, before conquering Egypt
Egypt
and building the city of Cairo there in 969. Thereafter, Cairo
Cairo
became the capital of the caliphate, with Egypt
Egypt
becoming the political, cultural and religious centre of the state. Islam
Islam
scholar Louis Massignon
Louis Massignon
dubbed the 4th century AH /10th century CE as the "Ismaili century in the history of Islam".[27] The term Fatimite is sometimes used to refer to the citizens of this caliphate.[citation needed] The ruling elite of the state belonged to the Ismaili branch of Shi'ism. The leaders of the dynasty were Ismaili Imams and had a religious significance to Ismaili Muslims.[citation needed] They are also part of the chain of holders of the office of the Caliphate, as recognised by some Muslims. Therefore, this constitutes a rare period in history in which the descendants of Ali (hence the name Fatimid, referring to Ali's wife Fatima) and the Caliphate
Caliphate
were united to any degree, excepting the final period of the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
under Ali
Ali
himself.[citation needed] The caliphate was reputed to exercise a degree of religious tolerance towards non-Ismaili sects of Islam
Islam
as well as towards Jews, Maltese Christians and Copts.[28] Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
of Córdoba (929–1031)[edit]

Map of the Caliphate
Caliphate
of Cordoba c. 1000

Main articles: Emirate
Emirate
of Córdoba, Caliphate
Caliphate
of Córdoba, and Al-Andalus During the Umayyad dynasty, the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
was an integral province of the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
ruling from Damascus. The Umayyads lost the position of Caliph
Caliph
in Damascus
Damascus
in 750, and Abd al-Rahman I became Emir
Emir
of Córdoba in 756 after six years in exile. Intent on regaining power, he defeated the existing Islamic rulers of the area who defied Umayyad rule and united various local fiefdoms into an emirate.[citation needed] Rulers of the emirate used the title "emir" or "sultan" until the 10th century, when Abd al-Rahman III was faced with the threat of invasion by the Fatimid Caliphate.[citation needed] To aid his fight against the invading Fatimids, who claimed the caliphate in opposition to the generally recognised Abbasid Caliph
Caliph
of Baghdad, Al-Mu'tadid, Abd al-Rahman III claimed the title of caliph himself. This helped Abd al-Rahman III gain prestige with his subjects, and the title was retained after the Fatimids were repulsed. The rule of the Caliphate is considered as the heyday of Muslim
Muslim
presence in the Iberian peninsula, before it fragmented into various taifas in the 11th century. This period was characterised by a flourishing in technology, trade and culture; many of the buildings of al-Andalus were constructed in this period.[citation needed] Almohad Caliphate
Almohad Caliphate
(1147–1269)[edit]

The Almohad empire at its greatest extent, c. 1180–1212

Main article: Almohad Caliphate The Almohad Caliphate
Almohad Caliphate
(Berber languages: Imweḥḥden, from Arabic الموحدون al-Muwaḥḥidun, "the Monotheists" or "the Unifiers") was a Moroccan[29][30] Berber Muslim
Muslim
movement founded in the 12th century.[31] The Almohad movement was started by Ibn Tumart
Ibn Tumart
among the Masmuda tribes of southern Morocco. The Almohads first established a Berber state in Tinmel
Tinmel
in the Atlas Mountains
Atlas Mountains
in roughly 1120.[31] The Almohads succeeded in overthrowing the Almoravid dynasty
Almoravid dynasty
in governing Morocco
Morocco
by 1147, when Abd al-Mu'min (r. 1130–1163) conquered Marrakech and declared himself Caliph. They then extended their power over all of the Maghreb
Maghreb
by 1159. Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
followed the fate of Africa
Africa
and all Islamic Iberia was under Almohad rule by 1172.[32] The Almohad dominance of Iberia continued until 1212, when Muhammad al-Nasir (1199–1214) was defeated at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena
Sierra Morena
by an alliance of the Christian
Christian
princes of Castile, Aragon, Navarre and Portugal.[citation needed] Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon after, with the great Moorish cities of Córdoba and Seville
Seville
falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248, respectively.[citation needed] The Almohads continued to rule in northern Africa
Africa
until the piecemeal loss of territory through the revolt of tribes and districts enabled the rise of their most effective enemies, the Marinid dynasty, in 1215.[citation needed] The last representative of the line, Idris al-Wathiq, was reduced to the possession of Marrakesh, where he was murdered by a slave in 1269; the Marinids seized Marrakesh, ending the Almohad domination of the Western Maghreb.[citation needed] Ottoman Caliphate
Ottoman Caliphate
(1517–1924)[edit] Main articles: Ottoman Empire
Empire
and Ottoman Caliphate

The Ottoman Empire
Empire
at its greatest extent in 1683, under Sultan
Sultan
Mehmed IV

The caliphate was claimed by the sultans of the Ottoman Empire beginning with Murad I
Murad I
(reigned 1362 to 1389),[33] while recognising no authority on the part of the Abbasid caliphs of the Mamluk-ruled Cairo. Hence the seat of the caliphate moved to the Ottoman capital of Edirne. In 1453, after Mehmed the Conqueror's conquest of Constantinople, the seat of the Ottomans moved to Constantinople, present-day Istanbul. In 1517, the Ottoman sultan Selim I
Selim I
defeated and annexed the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo
Cairo
into his empire.[13][12] Through conquering and unifying Muslim
Muslim
lands, Selim I
Selim I
became the defender of the Holy Cities of Mecca
Mecca
and Medina, which further strengthened the Ottoman claim to the caliphate in the Muslim
Muslim
world. Ottomans gradually came to be viewed as the de facto leaders and representatives of the Islamic world. However, the earlier Ottoman caliphs did not officially bear the title of caliph in their documents of state, inscriptions, or coinage.[12] It was only in the late eighteenth century that the claim to the caliphate was discovered by the sultans to have a practical use, since it allowed them to counter Russian claims to protect Ottoman Christians with their own claim to protect Muslims
Muslims
under Russian rule.[34][35] According to Barthold, the first time the title of "caliph" was used as a political instead of symbolic religious title by the Ottomans was the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca
Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca
with the Russian Empire
Empire
in 1774, when the Empire
Empire
retained moral authority on territory whose sovereignty was ceded to the Russian Empire.[citation needed] The British supported and propagated the view that the Ottomans were Caliphs of Islam
Islam
among Muslims
Muslims
in British India
India
and the Ottoman Sultans helped the British by issuing pronouncements to the Muslims
Muslims
of India
India
telling them to support British rule from Sultan
Sultan
Ali
Ali
III and Sultan
Sultan
Abdülmecid I.[36] The outcome of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74 was disastrous for the Ottomans. Large territories, including those with large Muslim populations, such as Crimea, were lost to the Russian Empire.[citation needed] However, the Ottomans under Abdul Hamid I
Abdul Hamid I
claimed a diplomatic victory by being allowed to remain the religious leaders of Muslims
Muslims
in the now-independent Crimea
Crimea
as part of the peace treaty; in return Russia became the official protector of Christians in Ottoman territory.[citation needed] Around 1880 Sultan
Sultan
Abdul Hamid II reasserted the title as a way of countering Russian expansion into Muslim
Muslim
lands. His claim was most fervently accepted by the Muslims
Muslims
of British India.[citation needed] By the eve of World War I, the Ottoman state, despite its weakness relative to Europe, represented the largest and most powerful independent Islamic political entity. The sultan also enjoyed some authority beyond the borders of his shrinking empire as caliph of Muslims
Muslims
in Egypt, India
India
and Central Asia.[citation needed] In 1899 John Hay, U.S. Secretary of State, asked the American ambassador to Ottoman Turkey, Oscar Straus, to approach Sultan
Sultan
Abdul Hamid II to use his position as caliph to order the Tausūg people
Tausūg people
of the Sultanate of Sulu
Sultanate of Sulu
in the Philippines
Philippines
to submit to American suzerainty and American military rule; the Sultan
Sultan
obliged them and wrote the letter which was sent to Sulu via Mecca. As a result, the "Sulu Mohammedans ... refused to join the insurrectionists and had placed themselves under the control of our army, thereby recognizing American sovereignty."[37][37][38] Abolition of the Caliphate
Caliphate
(1924)[edit] Further information: Atatürk's Reforms

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Abdülmecid II
Abdülmecid II
was the last Caliph
Caliph
of Islam
Islam
from the Ottoman dynasty.

After the Armistice of Mudros
Armistice of Mudros
of October 1918 with the military occupation of Constantinople
Constantinople
and Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
(1919), the position of the Ottomans was uncertain. The movement to protect or restore the Ottomans gained force after the Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Sèvres
(August 1920) which imposed the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
Empire
and gave Greece a powerful position in Anatolia, to the distress of the Turks. They called for help and the movement was the result. The movement had collapsed by late 1922.

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On 3 March 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as part of Atatürk's Reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the caliphate.[13] Its powers within Turkey
Turkey
were transferred to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the parliament of the newly formed Turkish Republic. The title was then claimed by Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
Mecca
of Hejaz, leader of the Arab
Arab
Revolt, but his kingdom was defeated and annexed by ibn Saud in 1925. A summit was convened at Cairo
Cairo
in 1926 to discuss the revival of the Caliphate, but most Muslim
Muslim
countries did not participate and no action was taken to implement the summit's resolutions. Though the title Ameer al-Mumineen was adopted by the King of Morocco and by Mohammed Omar, former head of the Taliban
Taliban
of Afghanistan, neither claimed any legal standing or authority over Muslims
Muslims
outside the borders of their respective countries. Since the end of the Ottoman Empire, occasional demonstrations have been held calling for the reestablishment of the Caliphate. Organisations which call for the re-establishment of the Caliphate include Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir
and the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood.[39] Sokoto Caliphate
Sokoto Caliphate
(1804–1903)[edit] Main article: Sokoto Caliphate The Sokoto Caliphate
Sokoto Caliphate
was an Islamic state
Islamic state
in what is now Nigeria
Nigeria
led by Usman dan Fodio. Founded during the Fulani War
Fulani War
in the early 19th century, it controlled one of the most powerful empires in sub-Saharan Africa
Africa
prior to European conquest and colonisation. The caliphate remained extant through the colonial period and afterwards, though with reduced power.[citation needed] The current head of the Sokoto Caliphate
Caliphate
is Sa'adu Abubakar. Khilafat Movement
Khilafat Movement
(1919–24)[edit] Main article: Khilafat Movement See also: Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire The Khilafat Movement
Khilafat Movement
was launched by Muslims
Muslims
in British India
India
in 1920 to defend the Ottoman Caliphate
Ottoman Caliphate
at the end of the First World War and it spread throughout the British colonial territories. It was strong in British India
India
where it formed a rallying point for some Indian Muslims
Muslims
as one of many anti-British Indian political movements. Its leaders included Mohammad Ali
Ali
Jouhar, his brother Shawkat Ali
Ali
and Maulana Abul Kalam
Kalam
Azad, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Barrister Muhammad
Muhammad
Jan Abbasi. For a time it was supported by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was a member of the Central Khilafat Committee.[40][41] However, the movement lost its momentum after the arrest or flight of its leaders, and a series of offshoots splintered off from the main organisation. Sharifian Caliphate
Sharifian Caliphate
(1924–25)[edit] Main article: Sharifian Caliphate The Sharifian Caliphate
Sharifian Caliphate
(Arabic: خلافة شريفية‎) was an Arab
Arab
caliphate proclaimed by the Sharifian rulers of Hejaz
Hejaz
in 1924, in lieu of the Ottoman Caliphate. The idea of the Sharifian Caliphate
Sharifian Caliphate
had been floating around since at least the 15th century.[42] Toward the end of the 19th century, it started to gain importance due to the decline of the Ottoman Empire, which was heavily defeated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. There is little evidence, however, that the idea of a Sharifian Caliphate
Sharifian Caliphate
ever gained wide grassroots support in the Middle East
Middle East
or anywhere else for that matter.[43] Non-political caliphates[edit] Though non-political, some Sufi orders and the Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
movement[44] define themselves as caliphates. Their leaders are thus commonly referred to as khalifas (caliphs). Sufi caliphates[edit] In Sufism, tariqas (orders) are led by spiritual leaders (khilafah ruhaniyyah), the main khalifas, who nominate local khalifas to organize zaouias.[45] Sufi caliphates are not necessarily hereditary. Khalifas are aimed to serve the silsilah in relation to spiritual responsibilities and to propagate the teachings of the tariqa. Ahmadiyya Caliphate
Ahmadiyya Caliphate
(1908–present)[edit]

The Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
flag, first designed in 1939, during the leadership of the Second Caliph

Main article: Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
Caliphate The Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
Muslim
Muslim
Community is an Islamic revivalist movement founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
of Qadian, India, who claimed to be the promised Messiah and Mahdi, awaited by Muslims. He also claimed to be a follower-prophet subordinate to Muhammad
Muhammad
the prophet of Islam. After his death in 1908, his first successor, Hakeem Noor-ud-Din became the caliph of the community and assumed the title of Khalifatul Masih (Successor or Caliph
Caliph
of the Messiah).[citation needed] Ahmadi Muslims
Muslims
believe that the Ahmadiyya Caliphate
Ahmadiyya Caliphate
established after the passing of the community's founder is the re-establishment of the Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate.[46] The Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
caliphate has spanned over a century, seen five caliphs and continues to operate under this structure, with the caliph having overall authority for all religious and organisational matters. According to Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
thought, it is not essential for a caliph to be the head of a state, rather the religious and organisational significance of the caliphate is emphasised. It is above all a religious office, with the purpose to uphold, strengthen and spread Islam
Islam
and maintain the high moral standards within the Muslim
Muslim
community established by Muhammad, who was not merely a political leader but primarily a religious leader. The caliphate is understood as a system dealing with the organisation of believers and relating to the administration (nizām) of the Muslim
Muslim
community whether or not it involves a governmental role.[47] Being based on the 'precepts of Prophethood', the institution of caliphate can therefore, like prophethood, exist and flourish without a state.[48] If a caliph does happen to bear governmental authority as a head of state, it is incidental and subsidiary in relation to his overall function as caliph which is applicable to believers transnationally and not limited to one particular state or political entity. The system of caliphate in Islam, thus understood, transcends national sovereignty and ethnic divide, forming a universal supra-national entity.[47][48] According to Ahmadi Muslims, the caliphate seeks to establish God's authority on earth and the caliph strives to uphold that authority within the community of followers. It is required that the caliph carry out his duties through consultation and taking into consideration the views of the members of the Majlis-ash-Shura (consultative body). However, it is not incumbent upon him to always accept the views and recommendations of the members. The caliph has overall authority for all religious and organisational matters and is bound to decide and act in accordance with the Qur'an
Qur'an
and sunnah.[citation needed] After Hakeem Noor-ud-Din, the first caliph, the title of the Ahmadiyya caliph continued under Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, who led the community for over 50 years. Following him were Mirza Nasir Ahmad
Mirza Nasir Ahmad
and then Mirza Tahir Ahmad who were the third and fourth caliphs respectively.[citation needed] The current caliph is Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who lives in London[49] with a following of 10 to 20 million in over 200 countries and territories of the world.[50] Religious
Religious
basis[edit] Further information: Political aspects of Islam
Islam
and Divisions of the world in Islam Qur'an[edit] The Quran
Quran
uses the term khalifa twice. First, in al-Baqara, 30, it refers to God
God
creating humanity as his khalifa on Earth. Second, in Sad, 26, it addresses King David as God's khalifa and reminds him of his obligation to rule with justice.[51]

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In addition, the following excerpt from the Quran, known as the 'Istikhlaf Verse', is used by some to argue for a Quranic basis for Caliphate:

God
God
has promised those of you who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds that, of a certainty, He will make them Khulifa on earth, even as He caused [some of] those who lived before them to become Khulifa; and that, of a certainty, He will firmly establish for them the religion which He has been pleased to bestow on them; and that, of a certainty, He will cause their erstwhile state of fear to be replaced by a sense of security [seeing that] they worship Me [alone], not ascribing divine powers to aught beside Me. But all who, after [having understood] this, choose to deny the truth – it is they, they who are truly iniquitous!" (An-Nur, 55)

In the above verse, the word Khulifa (the plural of Khalifa) has been variously translated as "successors" and "ones who accede to power". Several schools of jurisprudence and thought within Sunni Islam
Islam
argue that to govern a state by Sharia
Sharia
is, by definition, to rule via the Caliphate
Caliphate
and use the following verses to sustain their claim.

So govern between the people by that which God
God
has revealed (Islam), and follow not their vain desires, beware of them in case they seduce you from just some part of that which God
God
has revealed to you — [Quran 005:049]

O you who believe! Obey God, and obey the messenger and then those among you who are in authority; and if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to God
God
and the messenger's rulings, if you are (in truth) believers in God
God
and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end. — [Quran 004:059]

Hadith[edit] The following hadith from Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal
can be understood to prophesy two eras of Caliphate
Caliphate
(both on the lines/precepts of prophethood).

Hadhrat Huzaifa narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: Prophethood will remain among you as long as Allah wills. Then Caliphate (Khilafah) on the lines of Prophethood
Prophethood
shall commence, and remain as long as Allah wills. Then corrupt/erosive monarchy would take place, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. After that, despotic kingship would emerge, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. Then, the Caliphate
Caliphate
(Khilafah) shall come once again based on the precept of Prophethood.[52][page needed]

In the above, the first era of Caliphate
Caliphate
is commonly accepted by Muslims
Muslims
to be that of the Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate. Nafi'a reported saying:

It has been reported on the authority of Nafi, that 'Abdullah b. Umar paid a visit to Abdullah b. Muti' in the days (when atrocities were perpetrated on the People Of Medina) at Harra in the time of Yazid b. Mu'awiya. Ibn Muti' said: Place a pillow for Abu 'Abd al-Rahman (family name of 'Abdullah b. 'Umar). But the latter said: I have not come to sit with you. I have come to you to tell you a tradition I heard from the Messenger of Allah. I heard him say: One who withdraws his band from obedience (to the Amir) will find no argument (in his defence) when he stands before Allah on the Day of Judgment, and one who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to an Amir) will die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyyah. – Sahih Muslim, Book
Book
020, Hadith
Hadith
4562.

Hisham ibn Urwah reported on the authority of Abu Saleh on the authority of Abu Hurairah
Abu Hurairah
that Muhammad
Muhammad
said:

Leaders will take charge of you after me, where the pious (one) will lead you with his piety and the impious (one) with his impiety, so only listen to them and obey them in everything which conforms with the truth (Islam). If they act rightly it is for your credit, and if they acted wrongly it is counted for you and against them.

Muslim
Muslim
narrated on the authority of al-A'araj, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Muhammad
Muhammad
said:

Behold, the Imam
Imam
(Caliph) is but a shield from behind whom the people fight and by whom they defend themselves.

Muslim
Muslim
reported on the authority of Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin, who said:

I accompanied Abu Hurairah
Abu Hurairah
for five years and heard him talking of Muhammd's saying: The Prophets ruled over the children of Israel, whenever a Prophet
Prophet
died another Prophet
Prophet
succeeded him, but there will be no Prophet
Prophet
after me. There will be Khalifahs and they will number many. They asked: What then do you order us? He said: Fulfil the bay'ah(transaction/sale) to them one after the other and give them their due. Surely God
God
will ask them about what He entrusted them with.

Prophesied Caliphate
Caliphate
of the Mahdî[edit] For information about Caliph
Caliph
the Mahdî, see "Mahdi", "Islamic eschatology" (Section Islamic eschatology#Major figures) and "Second Coming" (Section Second Coming#Islam). The Sahaba of Muhammad[edit] Al-Habbab Ibn ul-Munthir said, when the Sahaba met in the wake of the death of Muhammad, (at the thaqifa hall) of Bani Sa’ida:

Let there be one Amir from us and one Amir from you (meaning one from the Ansar and one from the Mohajireen).

Upon this Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
replied:

It is forbidden for Muslims
Muslims
to have two Amirs (rulers)...

Then he got up and addressed the Muslims.[53][54][55][56][57][58][page needed] It has additionally been reported[59] that Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
went on to say on the day of Al-Saqifa:

It is forbidden for Muslims
Muslims
to have two Amirs for this would cause differences in their affairs and concepts, their unity would be divided and disputes would break out amongst them. The Sunnah
Sunnah
would then be abandoned, the bida’a (innovations) would spread and Fitna would grow, and that is in no one’s interests.

The Sahaba agreed to this and selected Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as their first Khaleef. Habbab ibn Mundhir who suggested the idea of two Ameers corrected himself and was the first to give Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
the Bay'ah. This indicates an Ijma
Ijma
as-Sahaba of all of the Sahaba. Ali
Ali
ibni abi Talib, who was attending the body of Muhammad
Muhammad
at the time, also consented to this. Imam
Imam
Ali
Ali
whom the Shia revere said:[60]

People must have an Amir...where the believer works under his Imara (rule) and under which the unbeliever would also benefit, until his rule ended by the end of his life (ajal), the booty (fay’i) would be gathered, the enemy would be fought, the routes would be made safe, the strong one will return what he took from the weak till the tyrant would be contained, and not bother anyone.

Sayings of Islamic theologians[edit] Al-Mawardi says:[61]

It is forbidden for the Ummah
Ummah
( Muslim
Muslim
world) to have two leaders at the same time.

Al-Nawawi
Al-Nawawi
says:[62]

It is forbidden to give an oath to two leaders or more, even in different parts of the world and even if they are far apart.

Ahmad al-Qalqashandi says:[63]

It is forbidden to appoint two leaders at the same time.

Ibn Hazm
Ibn Hazm
says:[64]

It is permitted to have only one leader (of the Muslims) in the whole of the world.

Al-sha’rani says:[65]

It is forbidden for Muslims
Muslims
to have in the whole world and at the same time two leaders whether in agreement or discord.

Abd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad (a Mu’tazela scholar), says:[66]

It is forbidden to give the oath to more than one.

Al-Joziri says:[67]

The Imams (scholars of the four schools of thought)- may Allah have mercy on them- agree that the Caliphate
Caliphate
is an obligation, and that the Muslims
Muslims
must appoint a leader who would implement the injunctions of the religion, and give the oppressed justice against the oppressors. It is forbidden for Muslims
Muslims
to have two leaders in the world whether in agreement or discord.

The Shia schools of thought and others expressed the same opinion about this.[68][69][70][71] However, the Shia school of thought believe that the leader (Imam) must not be appointed by the Islamic ummah, but must be appointed by God. Al-Qurtubi
Al-Qurtubi
said in his Tafsir[72] of the verse, "Indeed, man is made upon this earth a Caliph"[73] that:

This Ayah
Ayah
is a source in the selection of an Imaam, and a Khaleef, he is listened to and he is obeyed, for the word is united through him, and the Ahkam (laws) of the Caliph
Caliph
are implemented through him, and there is no difference regarding the obligation of that between the Ummah, nor between the Imams except what is narrated about al-Asam, the Mu'tazzili ...

Al-Qurtubi
Al-Qurtubi
also said:

The Khilafah is the pillar upon which other pillars rest

An-Nawawi said:[74]

(The scholars) consented that it is an obligation upon the Muslims
Muslims
to select a Khalif

Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
when writing of the potential consequences of losing the Caliphate
Caliphate
said:[75]

The judges will be suspended, the Wilayaat (provinces) will be nullified, ... the decrees of those in authority will not be executed and all the people will be on the verge of Haraam

Ibn Taymiyyah
Ibn Taymiyyah
said[76][page needed]:

It is obligatory to know that the office in charge of commanding over the people (ie: the post of the Khaleefah) is one of the greatest obligations of the Deen. In fact, there is no establishment of the Deen except by it....this is the opinion of the salaf, such as Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ, Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Ahmad ibn Hanbal
and others

Period of dormancy[edit] Main article: Pan-Islamism Further information: Islamism
Islamism
and Islamic revival Once the subject of intense conflict and rivalry amongst Muslim rulers, the caliphate laid dormant and largely unclaimed since the 1920s. For the vast majority of Muslims
Muslims
the caliph as leader of the ummah, "is cherished both as memory and ideal"[77] as a time when Muslims
Muslims
"enjoyed scientific and military superiority globally".[78] The Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
is reported to have prophesied:

Prophethood
Prophethood
will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain, then Allah will raise it up whenever he wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a Caliphate
Caliphate
that follows the guidance of Prophethood
Prophethood
remaining with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, He will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a reign of violently oppressive rule and it will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, there will be a reign of tyrannical rule and it will remain for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, Allah will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Then, there will be a Caliphate
Caliphate
that follows the guidance of Prophethood. — As-Silsilah As-Sahihah, vol. 1, no. 5

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(2014–present)[edit] Main article: Islamic State of Iraq
Iraq
and the Levant

ISIL's controlled areas at its extent in May 2015 (left), and current[when?] situation, with ISIL's area of control in grey (right)

The group Tanzim Qaidat al- Jihad
Jihad
fi Bilad al-Rafidayn formed as an affiliate of Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
network of Islamist militants during the Iraq War. The group eventually expanded into Syria
Syria
and rose to prominence as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) during the Syrian Civil War. In the summer of 2014, the group launched the Northern Iraq offensive, seizing the city of Mosul.[79][80] The group declared itself a caliphate under Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi on 29 June 2014 and renamed itself as the "Islamic State".[81][82][83] ISIL's claim to be the highest authority of Muslims
Muslims
has been widely rejected.[84] No prominent Muslim
Muslim
scholar has supported its declaration of caliphate; even Salafi-jihadist preachers accused the group of engaging in political showmanship and bringing disrepute to the notion of Islamic state.[85] ISIL has been at war with armed forces including the Iraqi Army, the Syrian Army, the Free Syrian Army, Al-Nusra Front, Syrian Democratic Forces, and Iraqi Kurdistan's Peshmerga
Peshmerga
and People's Protection Units (YPG) along with a 60 nation coalition in its efforts to establish a de facto state on Iraqi and Syrian territory.[86] Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
view[edit] Further information: Khalifatul Masih The members of the Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
community believe that the Ahmadiyya Caliphate
Caliphate
(Arabic: Khilāfah) is the continuation of the Islamic Caliphate, first being the Rāshidūn (rightly guided) Caliphate
Caliphate
(of Righteous Caliphs). This is believed to have been suspended with Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad
Muhammad
and re-established with the appearance of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
(1835–1908, the founder of the movement) whom Ahmadis identify as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. Ahmadis maintain that in accordance with Quranic verses (such as [Quran 24:55]) and numerous ahadith on the issue, Khilāfah can only be established by God
God
Himself and is a divine blessing given to those who believe and work righteousness and uphold the unity of God, therefore any movement to establish the Khilāfah centered on human endeavours alone is bound to fail, particularly when the condition of the people diverges from the ‘precepts of prophethood’ and they are as a result disunited, their inability to establish a Khilāfah caused fundamentally by the lack of righteousness in them. Although the khalifa is elected it is believed that God
God
himself directs the hearts of believers towards an individual. Thus the khalifa is designated neither necessarily by right (i.e. the rightful or competent one in the eyes of the people at that time) nor merely by election but primarily by God.[87] According to Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
thought, a khalifa need not be the head of a state; rather the Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
community emphasises the spiritual and organisational significance of the Khilāfah. It is primarily a religious/spiritual office, with the purpose of upholding, strengthening and spreading Islam
Islam
and of maintaining the high spiritual and moral standards within the global community established by Muhammad
Muhammad
– who was not merely a political leader but primarily a religious leader. If a khalifa does happen to bear governmental authority as a head of state, it is incidental and subsidiary in relation to his overall function as khalifa which is applicable to believers transnationally and not limited to one particular state.[88][89] Ahmadi Muslims
Muslims
believe that God
God
has assured them that this Caliphate will endure to the end of time, depending on their righteousness and faith in God. The Khalifa provides unity, security, moral direction and progress for the community. It is required that the Khalifa carry out his duties through consultation and taking into consideration the views of the members of the Shura
Shura
(consultative body). However, it is not incumbent upon him to always accept the views and recommendations of the members. The Khalifatul Masih
Khalifatul Masih
has overall authority for all religious and organisational matters and is bound to decide and act in accordance with the Qur'an
Qur'an
and sunnah. Islamic call[edit] A number of Islamist political parties and mujahideen called for the restoration of the caliphate by uniting Muslim
Muslim
nations, either through political action (e.g., Hizb ut-Tahrir), or through force (e.g., al-Qaeda).[90] Various Islamist movements gained momentum in recent years with the ultimate aim of establishing a Caliphate. In 2014, ISIL/ISIS made a claim to re-establishing the Caliphate. Those advocating the re-establishment of a Caliphate
Caliphate
differed in their methodology and approach. Some[who?] were locally oriented, mainstream political parties that had no apparent transnational objectives.[citation needed] Abul A'la Maududi
Abul A'la Maududi
believed the caliph was not just an individual ruler who had to be restored, but was man's representation of God's authority on Earth:

Khilafa means representative. Man, according to Islam
Islam
is the representative of "people", His (God's) viceregent; that is to say, by virtue of the powers delegated to him, and within the limits prescribed by the Qu'ran and the teaching of the prophet, the caliph is required to exercise Divine authority.[91]

The Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood advocates pan-Islamic unity and the implementation of Islamic law. Founder Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna
wrote about the restoration of the Caliphate.[92] One transnational group whose ideology was based specifically on restoring the caliphate as a pan- Islamic state
Islamic state
is Hizb ut-Tahrir (literally, "Party of Liberation"). It is particularly strong in Central Asia
Central Asia
and Europe and is growing in strength in the Arab
Arab
world. It is based on the claim that Muslims
Muslims
can prove that God
God
exists[93] and that the Qur'an
Qur'an
is the word of God.[94][95] Hizb ut-Tahrir's stated strategy is a non-violent political and intellectual struggle. In Southeast Asia, groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiyah
aimed to establish a Caliphate
Caliphate
across Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei
Brunei
and parts of Thailand, the Philippines
Philippines
and Cambodia. Al-Qaeda's Caliphate
Caliphate
goals[edit] Main article: al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
has as one of its clearly stated goals the re-establishment of a caliphate.[96] Its former leader, Osama bin Laden, called for Muslims
Muslims
to "establish the righteous caliphate of our umma".[97] Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
chiefs released a statement in 2005, under which, in what they call "phase five" there will be "an Islamic state, or caliphate".[98] Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
has named its Internet
Internet
newscast from Iraq "The Voice of the Caliphate".[99] According to author and Egyptian native Lawrence Wright, Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's mentor and al-Qaeda's second-in-command until 2011, once "sought to restore the caliphate... which had formally ended in 1924 following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire
Empire
but which had not exercised real power since the thirteenth century." Zawahiri believes that once the caliphate is re-established, Egypt
Egypt
would become a rallying point for the rest of the Islamic world, leading the jihad against the West. "Then history would make a new turn, God
God
willing", Zawahiri later wrote, "in the opposite direction against the empire of the United States and the world's Jewish government".[100] Opposition[edit] Scholar Olivier Roy writes that "early on, Islamists replace the concept of the caliphate ... with that of the emir." There were a number of reasons including "that according to the classical authors, a caliph must be a member of the tribe of the Prophet
Prophet
(the Quraysh) ... moreover, caliphs ruled societies that the Islamists do not consider to have been Islamic (the Ottoman Empire)."[101] This is not the view of the majority of Islamist groups, as both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir
view the Ottoman state as a caliphate.[102][103] Government[edit] Electing or appointing a Caliph[edit] In his book The Early Islamic Conquests (1981), Fred Donner argues that the standard Arabian practice during the early Caliphates was for the prominent men of a kinship group, or tribe, to gather after a leader's death and elect a leader from amongst themselves, although there was no specified procedure for this shura, or consultative assembly. Candidates were usually from the same lineage as the deceased leader, but they were not necessarily his sons. Capable men who would lead well were preferred over an ineffectual direct heir, as there was no basis in the majority Sunni view that the head of state or governor should be chosen based on lineage alone. Traditionally, Sunni Muslim
Muslim
madhhabs all agreed that a Caliph
Caliph
must be a descendant of the Quraysh.[104] Al-Baqillani
Al-Baqillani
has said that the leader of the Muslims
Muslims
simply should be from the majority. Sunni belief[edit] Following the death of Muhammad, a meeting took place at Saqifah. At that meeting, Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
was elected caliph by the Muslim
Muslim
community. Sunni Muslims
Muslims
developed the belief that the caliph is a temporal political ruler, appointed to rule within the bounds of Islamic law (Sharia). The job of adjudicating orthodoxy and Islamic law was left to mujtahids, legal specialists collectively called the Ulama. Many Muslims
Muslims
call the first four caliphs the Rashidun, meaning the Rightly-Guided, because they are believed to have followed the Qur'an and the sunnah (example) of Muhammad.[citation needed] Shi'a belief[edit] Main articles: Succession to Muhammad, Shia Islam, and Imamah (Shia doctrine) The Shia believe in the Imamate, a principle by which rulers are Imams who are divinely chosen, infallible and sinless and must come from the Ahl al-Bayt
Ahl al-Bayt
regardless of majority opinion, shura or election. They claim that before his death, Muhammad
Muhammad
had given many indications, in the hadith of the pond of Khumm in particular, that he considered Ali, his cousin and son-in-law, as his successor. For the Twelvers, Ali
Ali
and his eleven descendants, the twelve Imams, are believed to have been considered, even before their birth, as the only valid Islamic rulers appointed and decreed by God. Shia Muslims
Shia Muslims
believe that all the Muslim caliphs following Muhammad's death to be illegitimate due to their unjust rule and that Muslims
Muslims
have no obligation to follow them, as the only guidance that was left behind, as ordained in the hadith of the two weighty things, was the Islamic holy book, the Quran
Quran
and Muhammad's family and offspring, who are believed to be infallible, therefore able to lead society and the Muslim
Muslim
community with complete justice and equity.[105][106][107][108] The Prophet's own grandson, and third Shia Imam, Hussain ibn Ali
Ali
led an uprising against injustice and the oppressive rule of the Muslim
Muslim
caliph at the time at the Battle of Karbala. Shia Muslims
Shia Muslims
emphasise that values of social justice, and speaking out against oppression and tyranny are not merely moral values, but values essential to a persons religiosity.[109][110][111][106][112] Main article: Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist After these Twelve Imams, the potential Caliphs, had passed, and in the absence of the possibility of a government headed by their Imams, some Twelvers believe it was necessary that a system of Shi'i Islamic government based on the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist
Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist
be developed, due to the need for some form of government, where an Islamic jurist or faqih rules Muslims, suffices. However this idea, developed by the marja' Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
and established in Iran, is not universally accepted among the Shia. Ismailis believe in the Imamate principle mentioned above, but they need not be secular rulers as well.

The Nizari
Nizari
continue to have a living Imam; the current Imam
Imam
is the Aga Khan. The Taiyabi Ismaili
Taiyabi Ismaili
have, since the year 1130, followed the Imam's chief officer, the Dai al-Mutlaq, as they believe the Imams are in a state of hiding.

Majlis al-Shura[edit] See also: Majlis-ash-Shura, Shura, and Majlis The Majlis al- Shura
Shura
(literally "consultative assembly") was a representation of the idea of consultative governance. The importance of this is premised by the following verses of the Qur'an:

"...those who answer the call of their Lord and establish the prayer; and who conduct their affairs by Shura
Shura
[are loved by God]."[42:38] "...consult them (the people) in their affairs. Then when you have taken a decision (from them), put your trust in Allah"[3:159]

The majlis is also the means to elect a new caliph.[113] Al-Mawardi has written that members of the majlis should satisfy three conditions: they must be just, have enough knowledge to distinguish a good caliph from a bad one and have sufficient wisdom and judgement to select the best caliph. Al-Mawardi also said that in emergencies when there is no caliphate and no majlis, the people themselves should create a majlis and select a list of candidates for caliph; then the majlis should select a caliph from the list of candidates.[113] Some Islamist interpretations of the role of the Majlis al- Shura
Shura
are the following: In an analysis of the shura chapter of the Qur'an, Islamist author Sayyid
Sayyid
Qutb argues that Islam
Islam
only requires the ruler to consult with some of the representatives of the ruled and govern within the context of the Sharia. Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, the founder of a transnational political movement devoted to the revival of the Caliphate, writes that although the Shura
Shura
is an important part of "the ruling structure" of the Islamic caliphate, "(it is) not one of its pillars", meaning that its neglect would not make a Caliph's rule un-Islamic such as to justify a rebellion. However, the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Islamic movement in Egypt, has toned down these Islamist views by accepting in principle that in the modern age the Majlis al- Shura
Shura
is democracy but during its governance of Egypt
Egypt
in 2013, the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood did not put that principle into practice. Accountability of rulers[edit] Al-Mawardi said that if the rulers meet their Islamic responsibilities to the public the people must obey their laws, but a Caliph
Caliph
or ruler who becomes either unjust or severely ineffective must be impeached via the Majlis al-Shura. Al-Juwayni argued that Islam
Islam
is the goal of the ummah, so any ruler who deviates from this goal must be impeached. Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
believed that oppression by a caliph is sufficient grounds for impeachment. Rather than just relying on impeachment, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani stated that the people have an obligation to rebel if the caliph begins to act with no regard for Islamic law. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said that to ignore such a situation is haraam and those who cannot revolt from inside the caliphate should launch a struggle from outside. Al-Asqalani used two ayahs from the Qur'an
Qur'an
to justify this:

"...And they (the sinners on qiyama) will say, 'Our Lord! We obeyed our leaders and our chiefs, and they misled us from the right path. Our Lord! Give them (the leaders) double the punishment you give us and curse them with a very great curse'..."[33:67–68][non-primary source needed]

Islamic lawyers commented that when the rulers refuse to step down after being impeached through the Majlis, becoming dictators through the support of a corrupt army, if the majority is in agreement they have the option to launch a revolution. Many noted that this option is to be exercised only after factoring in the potential cost of life.[113] Rule of law[edit] See also: Sharia
Sharia
and Islamic ethics The following hadith establishes the principle of rule of law in relation to nepotism and accountability[114][non-primary source needed]

Narrated ‘Aisha: The people of Quraish worried about the lady from Bani Makhzum who had committed theft. They asked, "Who will intercede for her with Allah's Apostle?" Some said, "No one dare to do so except Usama bin Zaid the beloved one to Allah's Apostle." When Usama spoke about that to Allah's Apostle; Allah's Apostle said: "Do you try to intercede for somebody in a case connected with Allah’s Prescribed Punishments?" Then he got up and delivered a sermon saying, "What destroyed the nations preceding you, was that if a noble amongst them stole, they would forgive him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would inflict Allah's Legal punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad
Muhammad
(my daughter) stole, I would cut off her hand."

Various Islamic lawyers, however, place multiple conditions and stipulations on the execution of such a law, making it difficult to implement. For example, the poor cannot be penalised for stealing out of poverty, and during a time of drought in the Rashidun
Rashidun
caliphate, capital punishment was suspended until the effects of the drought passed.[115] Islamic jurists later formulated the concept that all classes were subject to the law of the land, and no person is above the law; officials and private citizens alike have a duty to obey the same law. Furthermore, a Qadi
Qadi
(Islamic judge) was not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of religion, race, colour, kinship or prejudice. In a number of cases, Caliphs had to appear before judges as they prepared to render their verdict.[116] According to Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University, the system of legal scholars and jurists responsible for the rule of law was replaced by the codification of Sharia
Sharia
by the Ottoman Empire
Empire
in the early 19th century:[117] Economy[edit] Main article: Islamic economics
Islamic economics
in the world See also: Islamic capitalism and Bayt al-mal During the Muslim
Muslim
Agricultural Revolution, the Caliphate
Caliphate
understood that real incentives were needed to increase productivity and wealth and thus enhance tax revenues. A social transformation took place as a result of changing land ownership[118] giving individuals of any gender,[119] ethnic or religious background the right to buy, sell, mortgage and inherit land for farming or any other purpose. Signatures were required on contracts for every major financial transaction concerning agriculture, industry, commerce and employment. Copies of the contract were usually kept by both parties involved.[118] There are similarities between Islamic economics
Islamic economics
and leftist or socialist economic policies. Islamic jurists have argued that privatisation of the origin of oil, gas and other fire-producing fuels, agricultural land and water is forbidden. The principle of public or joint ownership has been drawn by Muslim
Muslim
jurists from the following hadith of Muhammad: Ibn Abbas
Ibn Abbas
reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "All Muslims
Muslims
are partners in three things- in water, herbage and fire." (Narrated in Abu Daud, & Ibn Majah)[120] Anas added to the above hadith, "Its price is Haram (forbidden)."[citation needed] Aside from similarities to socialism, early forms of proto-capitalism and free markets were present in the Caliphate,[121] since an early market economy and early form of merchant capitalism developed between the 8th and 12th centuries, which some refer to as "Islamic capitalism".[122] A vigorous monetary economy developed based on the circulation of a stable high-value currency (the dinar) and the integration of previously independent monetary areas. Business techniques and forms of business organisation employed during this time included early contracts, bills of exchange, long-distance international trade, early forms of partnership (mufawada) such as limited partnerships (mudaraba) and early forms of credit, debt, profit, loss, capital (al-mal), capital accumulation (nama al-mal),[123] circulating capital, capital expenditure, revenue, cheques, promissory notes,[124] trusts (waqf), startup companies,[125] savings accounts, transactional accounts, pawning, loaning, exchange rates, bankers, money changers, ledgers, deposits, assignments, the double-entry bookkeeping system,[126] and lawsuits.[127] Organisational enterprises similar to corporations independent from the state also existed in the medieval Islamic world.[128][129] Many of these concepts were adopted and further advanced in medieval Europe from the 13th century onwards.[123] Early Islamic law included Zakat
Zakat
(charity), one of the Five Pillars of Islam, since the time of the Rashidun
Rashidun
caliph Umar
Umar
in the 7th century. The taxes (including Zakat
Zakat
and Jizya) collected in the treasury (Bayt al-mal) of an Islamic government were used to provide income for the needy, including the poor, elderly, orphans, widows and the disabled. The demographics of medieval Islamic society varied in some significant aspects from other agricultural societies, including a decline in birth rates as well as a change in life expectancy. Other traditional agrarian societies are estimated to have had an average life expectancy of 20 to 25 years,[130] while ancient Rome and medieval Europe are estimated at 20 to 30 years.[131] The life expectancy of Islamic society diverged from that of other traditional agrarian societies, with several studies on the lifespans of Islamic scholars concluding that members of this occupational group enjoyed a life expectancy between 69 and 75 years.[132] Such studies have given the following estimates for the average lifespans of religious scholars at various times and places: 72.8 years in the Middle East, 69–75 years in 11th century Islamic Spain,[133] 75 years in 12th century Persia,[134] and 59–72 years in 13th century Persia.[135] However, Maya Shatzmiller considers these religious scholars to be a misleading sample who are not representative of the general population.[136] Conrad I. Lawrence estimates the average lifespan in the early Islamic Caliphate
Caliphate
to be above 35 years for the general population.[137] The early Islamic Empire
Empire
also had the highest literacy rates among pre-modern societies, alongside the city of classical Athens in the 4th century BC,[138] and later, China
China
after the introduction of printing from the 10th century.[139] One factor for the relatively high literacy rates in the early Islamic Empire
Empire
was its parent-driven educational marketplace, as the state did not systematically subsidize educational services until the introduction of state funding under Nizam al-Mulk
Nizam al-Mulk
in the 11th century.[140] Another factor was the diffusion of paper from China,[141] which led to an efflorescence of books and written culture in Islamic society; thus papermaking technology transformed Islamic society (and later, the rest of Afro-Eurasia) from an oral to scribal culture, comparable to the later shifts from scribal to typographic culture, and from typographic culture to the Internet.[142] Other factors include the widespread use of paper books in Islamic society (more so than any other previously existing society), the study and memorisation of the Qur'an, flourishing commercial activity and the emergence of the Maktab
Maktab
and Madrasah
Madrasah
educational institutions.[143] Notable caliphs[edit] For a more comprehensive list, see List of Caliphs.

Rashidun
Rashidun
("Righteously Guided")

Abu Bakr, first Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliph. Subdued rebel tribes in the Ridda wars. Umar
Umar
( Umar
Umar
ibn al-Khattab), second Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliph. During his reign, the Islamic empire expanded to include Egypt, Jerusalem and Persia. Uthman
Uthman
Ibn Affan, third Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliph. The various written copies of the Qur'an
Qur'an
were standardised under his direction. Killed by rebels. Ali
Ali
( Ali
Ali
ibn Abu Talib), fourth Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliph. Considered by Shi'a Muslims
Muslims
however to be the first Imam. His reign was fraught with internal conflict, with Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan (Muawiyah I) and Amr ibn al-As controlling the Levant
Levant
and Egypt
Egypt
regions independently of Ali.

Hasan ibn Ali, fifth Caliph. Considered as "rightly guided" by several historians. He abdicated his right to the caliphate in favour of Muawiyah I in order to end the potential for ruinous civil war. Muawiyah I, first caliph of the Umayyad dynasty. Muawiyah instituted dynastic rule by appointing his son Yazid I
Yazid I
as his successor, a trend that would continue through subsequent caliphates. Umar
Umar
ibn Abd al-Aziz ( Umar
Umar
II), Umayyad caliph who is considered one of the finest rulers in Muslim
Muslim
history. He is also considered by some (mainly Sunnis) to be among the "rightly guided" caliphs. Harun al-Rashid, Abbasid caliph during whose reign Baghdad
Baghdad
became the world's prominent centre of trade, learning and culture. Harun is the subject of many stories in the famous One Thousand and One Nights. Al-Ma'mun, a great Abbasid patron of Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy
and science Mehmed II, an Ottoman caliph who brought an end to the Byzantine Empire Suleiman the Magnificent, an Ottoman caliph during whose reign the Ottoman Empire
Empire
reached its zenith Abdul Hamid II, last Ottoman caliph to rule with independent, absolute power Abdülmecid II, last caliph of the Ottoman dynasty. Nominally the 37th Head of the Ottoman dynasty.

See also[edit]

Al-Muhajiroun Emirate Islamic State of Iraq
Iraq
and the Levant Khanate List of transcontinental countries Shah Shaykh al-Islām Worldwide caliphate

References[edit] Citations[edit]

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Nation: Some Conclusions and Problems". MERIP Reports. 68: 3–14. JSTOR 3011226.  ^ Shatzmiller, Maya (1994), Labour in the Medieval
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Islamic World, Brill Publishers, pp. 63–4 & 66, ISBN 90-04-09896-8, At the same time, the “demographic behaviour” of the Islamic society as an agricultural society varied in some significant aspects from other agricultural societies, particularly in ways which could explain a decline in birth rate. It is agreed that all agricultural societies conform to a given demographic pattern of behaviour, which includes a high birth-rate and a slightly lower death-rate, significant enough to allow a slow population increase of 0.5 to 1.0 per cent per year. Other demographic characteristics of this society are high infant mortality, with 200–500 deaths per 1000 within the first year of birth, a lower average life expectancy, of twenty to twenty-five years, and a broadly based population pyramid, where the number of young people at the bottom of the pyramid is very high in relationship to the rest of the population, and that children are set to work at an early stage. Islamic society diverged from this demographic profile in some significant points, although not always consistently. Studies have shown that during certain periods, such factors as attitudes to marriage and sex, birth control, birth and death rates, age of marriage and patterns of marriage, family size and migration pattems, varied from the traditional agricultural model. [...] Life expectancy
Life expectancy
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Life expectancy
(sociology)", Encyclopædia Britannica, retrieved 2010-04-17, In ancient Rome and medieval Europe the average life span is estimated to have been between 20 and 30 years.  ^ Shatzmiller, Maya (1994), Labour in the Medieval
Medieval
Islamic World, Brill Publishers, p. 66, ISBN 90-04-09896-8, Life expectancy was another area where Islamic society diverged from the suggested model for agricultural society. No less than three separate studies about the life expectancy of religious scholars, two from 11th century Muslim
Muslim
Spain, and one from the Middle East, concluded that members of this occupational group enjoyed a life expectancy of 69, 75, and 72.8 years respectively!  ^ Shatzmiller, Maya (1994), Labour in the Medieval
Medieval
Islamic World, Brill Publishers, p. 66, ISBN 90-04-09896-8  ^ Bulliet, Richard W. (April 1970), "A Quantitative Approach to Medieval
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Muslim
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Biographical Dictionaries", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Brill Publishers, 13 (2): 195–211 [200]  ^ Ahmad, Ahmad Atif (2007), "Authority, Conflict, and the Transmission of Diversity in Medieval
Medieval
Islamic Law by R. Kevin Jaques", Journal of Islamic Studies, 18 (2): 246–248 [246], doi:10.1093/jis/etm005  ^ Shatzmiller, Maya (1994), Labour in the Medieval
Medieval
Islamic World, Brill Publishers, p. 66, ISBN 90-04-09896-8, This rate is uncommonly high, not only under the conditions in medieval cities, where these ‘ulama’ lived, but also in terms of the average life expectancy for contemporary males. [...] In other words, the social group studied through the biographies is, a priori, a misleading sample, since it was composed exclusively of individuals who enjoyed exceptional longevity.  ^ Conrad, Lawrence I. (2006), The Western Medical Tradition, Cambridge University Press, p. 137, ISBN 0-521-47564-3  ^ Andrew J. Coulson, Delivering Education (PDF), Hoover Institution, p. 117, retrieved 2008-11-22, Reaching further back through the centuries, the civilizations regarded as having the highest literacy rates of their ages were parent-driven educational marketplaces. The ability to read and write was far more widely enjoyed in the early medieval Islamic empire and in fourth-century-B.C.E. Athens than in any other cultures of their times.  ^ Edmund Burke (June 2009), " Islam
Islam
at the Center: Technological Complexes and the Roots of Modernity", Journal of World History, University of Hawaii Press, 20 (2): 165–186 [177–8], doi:10.1353/jwh.0.0045, The spread of written knowledge was at least the equal of what it was in China
China
after printing became common there in the tenth century. (We should note that Chinese books were printed in small editions of a hundred or so copies.)  ^ Andrew J. Coulson, Delivering Education (PDF), Hoover Institution, p. 117, retrieved 2008-11-22, In neither case did the state supply or even systematically subsidize educational services. The Muslim
Muslim
world’s eventual introduction of state funding under Nizam al-Mulk in the eleventh century was quickly followed by partisan religious squabbling over education and the gradual fall of Islam
Islam
from its place of cultural and scientific preeminence.  ^ Edmund Burke (June 2009), " Islam
Islam
at the Center: Technological Complexes and the Roots of Modernity", Journal of World History, University of Hawaii Press, 20 (2): 165–186 [177], doi:10.1353/jwh.0.0045, According to legend, paper came to the Islamic world as a result of the capture of Chinese paper makers at the 751 C.E. battle of Talas River.  ^ Edmund Burke (June 2009), " Islam
Islam
at the Center: Technological Complexes and the Roots of Modernity", Journal of World History, University of Hawaii Press, 20 (2): 165–186 [177], doi:10.1353/jwh.0.0045, Whatever the source, the diffusion of paper-making technology via the lands of Islam
Islam
produced a shift from oral to scribal culture across the rest of Afroeurasia that was rivaled only by the move from scribal to typographic culture. (Perhaps it will prove to have been even more important than the recent move from typographic culture to the Internet.) The result was remarkable. As historian Jonathan Bloom informs us, paper encouraged "an efflorescence of books and written culture incomparably more brilliant than was known anywhere in Europe until the invention of printing with movable type in the fifteenth century.  ^ Edmund Burke (June 2009), " Islam
Islam
at the Center: Technological Complexes and the Roots of Modernity", Journal of World History, University of Hawaii Press, 20 (2): 165–186 [178], doi:10.1353/jwh.0.0045, More so than any previously existing society, Islamic society of the period 1000–1500 was profoundly a culture of books. [...] The emergence of a culture of books is closely tied to cultural dispositions toward literacy in Islamic societies. Muslim young men were encouraged to memorize the Qur'an
Qur'an
as part of their transition to adulthood, and while most presumably did not (though little is known about literacy levels in pre-Mongol Muslim
Muslim
societies), others did. Types of literacy in any event varied, as Nelly Hanna has recently suggested, and are best studied as part of the complex social dynamics and contexts of individual Muslim
Muslim
societies. The need to conform commercial contracts and business arrangements to Islamic law provided a further impetus for literacy, especially likely in commercial centers. Scholars often engaged in commercial activity and craftsmen or tradesmen often spent time studying in madrasas. The connection between what Brian Street has called "maktab literacy" and commercial literacy was real and exerted a steady pressure on individuals to upgrade their reading skills. 

Sources[edit]

Arnold, T. W. (1993). "Khalīfa". In Houtsma, M. Th. E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936. Volume IV. Leiden: BRILL. pp. 881–885. ISBN 978-90-04-09790-2. Retrieved 2010-07-23.  Crone, Patricia; Hinds, Martin (1986), God's Caliph: Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-32185-3  Donner, Fred McGraw (1981), The Early Islamic Conquests, Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-05327-1   Goeje, Michael Jan de (1911). "Caliphate". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  Wright, Lawrence (2007) [2006], The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, London: Vintage, ISBN 978-1-4000-3084-2  Holt, Peter M. (1984). "Some Observations on the 'Abbāsid Caliphate of Cairo". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London. 47 (3): 501–507. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00113710. 

Further reading[edit]

The theory of government in Islam, by The Internet
Internet
Islamic University The History of Al-Khilafah Ar-Rashidah (The Rightly Guided Caliphates) School Textbook, By Dr. 'Abdullah al-Ahsan, `Abdullah Ahsan The Crisis of the Early Caliphate
Caliphate
By Richard Stephen Humphreys, Stephen (EDT) Humphreys from The History of al-Tabari The Reunification of the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
By Clifford Edmund (TRN) Bosworth, from The History of al-Tabari Return of the Caliphate
Caliphate
to Baghdad
Baghdad
By Franz Rosenthal from The History of al-Tabari Pan-Islamism: Indian Muslims, the Ottomans and Britain (1877–1924) By Azmi Özcan Baghdad
Baghdad
during the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
from Contemporary Arabic
Arabic
and Persian Sources By Guy Le Strange The Fall of the Caliphate
Caliphate
of Cordoba: Berbers
Berbers
and Andalusis in conflict By Peter C. Scales Khilafat and Caliphate, By Mubasher Ahmad The abolition of the Caliphate, From The Economist Mar 8th 1924 The Clash of the Caliphates: Understanding the real war of ideas, By Tony Corn, Small Wars Journal, March 2011

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caliphates.

The Caliph
Caliph
– a three-part documentary by Al Jazeera English The return of the caliphate, The Guardian. Islamists urge caliphate revival, BBC News.

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