خلافت در معنای عام اطلاق به جانشینی دارد و جانشین (خلیفه) بعد از یک فرد، برای اداره امورجامعه یک امت باید کلیهٔ خواص مربوط به اصول حکومت راداشته باشد.
خلافت در اسلام میان اهل سنت و شیعه مورد اختلاف است.شیعیان خلافت را یک امر الهی وازجانب خدا وبرگزیده از طریق وحی می دانند ولی سنیان خلیفه را فقط فردی از میان افراد جامعه می دانندکه اکثریت افراد متفقالقولند.
در فرهنگ تشیع[ویرایش]
شیعیان که معتقد به امامت هستند براین باورند جانشینی بعد از پیامبر از جانب خداوندتعیین و معرفی میشود که همان علی بن ابی طالب است و پیامبر وی را به صورت خاص در غدیر خم معرفی کرد و از آنها برای علی بیعت گرفت وفرزندان علی نیز جانشین بعدی پیامبر ند و تمامی آنان معصومند خلافت انتسابی نیست بلکه جانشینی صلبی وارثی از پدر به پسر است.. از میان امامان دوازده گانه و امامان زیدیه فقط علی و پسرش حسن حکومت واقعی تشکیل دادند ولی بعدها اسماعلیان خلفای فاطمی در مصر را تشکیل دادند که درحال حاضرشاهزاده کریم حسین معروف به آقاخان چهار، چهل و نهمین رهبر اسماعیلیان است در ایران نیز صفویان داعیه مرشدی می کردند ودر سودان نیز فردی بنام مهدی خودرا خلیفه خواند.
در فرهنگ تسنن[ویرایش]
اهل تسنن اعتقادی به تعیین خلیفه از جانب خداوند ندارند لذا قائل به عصمت کامل(از نوع نبوی)برخلیفه هستند ومعتقدند بعد از وفات پیامبر اسلام با مراجعه به قران خدا و عنایت به آیه شوری می توانند خود امت از طریق رأی گیری یا بیعت همگانی برای خودشان خلیفه تعیین کنند.لذا خلیفه تنها رهبرسیاسی ومسئول امورمسلمین است. چهار خلیفه اوایل دوره اسلام را خلفای راشدین گویند به ترتیب ابوبکر، عمر، عثمان،، علی، است که در نزد اهل سنت حرمت خاصی دارند. حکومتهای اسلامی مثل اموی و عباسی نیز رهبر سیاسی خودرا خلیفه می نامیدند خلافت حکومت عربهابا حمله مغولان به اتمام رسیدو بعداً حکومت ترکان عثمانی نیز معروف به خلافت عثمانی شد که سلطان عبدالحمیددوم، سی و چهارمین خلیفهٔ عثمانی و آخرین آنهابود تا سال ۱۹۰۹م باقدرت کامل حکومت کرد بعدازاو سلسله عثمانی ضعیف گشت و تبدیل به ترکیه کنونی شد.
"Caliph" redirects here. For the ship, see USS Caliph (SP-272).
A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة khilāfa) is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph (Arabic: خَليفة khalīfah pronunciation (help·info))—a person considered a political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire Muslim community. The Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation that some consider an early form of Islamic democracy. During the history of Islam after the Rashidun period, many Muslim states, almost all of them hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.
The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a Caliph should be elected by Muslims or their representatives (in practice, however, this devolved into a hereditary monarchic system soon after the beginning of Islam). Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a Caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (the "Family of the House", Muhammad's direct descendants).
The Islamist terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant declared its governmental structure a 'caliphate' on June 29, 2014 after taking control of large swathes of territory in Syria (which for a prolonged period of time comprised over 50% of that country) and Iraq.
The term caliph (/, /), derives from the Arabic word khalīfah (خَليفة, pronunciation (help·info)), which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of either the term khalifat Allah ("successor to God") or 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."
Rashidun Caliphate (632–661)
Succession to Muhammad
Main article: Succession to Muhammad
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. 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 believe and confirm that 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.
Shi'a Muslims believe that Ali, the son-in-law and cousin of Muhammad, was chosen by Muhammad as his spiritual and temporal successor as the Mawla (the Imam and the Caliph) of all Muslims at a place called al-Gadhir Khumm. Here Mohammad called upon the around 100,000 gathered returning pilgrims to give their Bay'ah (oath of allegiance) to Ali in his very presence and thenceforth to proclaim the good news of Ali's succession to his (Muhammad's) leadership to all Muslims they should come across.
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 period, before Al-Kufa was reportedly made the capital by Caliph `Ali ibn Abi Talib. At times in Muslim history there have been rival claimant caliphs in different parts of the Islamic world, and divisions between the Shi'a and Sunni communities.
According to Sunni Muslims, the first caliph to be called Amir al-Mu'minin was Abu Bakr, followed by `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, the second of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs. `Uthman ibn Affan and `Ali ibn Abi Talib also were called by the same title, while the Shi'a consider Ali to have been the only truly legitimate caliph, of these four men.
After the first four caliphs, the Caliphate was claimed by dynasties such as the Umayyads, the Abbasids, and the Ottomans, and for relatively short periods by other, competing dynasties in al-Andalus, North Africa, and Egypt. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal officially abolished the system of Caliphate in Islam (the Ottoman Empire) as part of his secular reforms and founded the Republic of Turkey, in 1923. The Kings of Morocco still label themselves with the title Amir al-Mu'minin for the Moroccans, but lay no claim to the Caliphate.
Some Muslim countries, including Somalia, Indonesia and Malaysia, were never subject to the authority of a Caliphate, with the exception of Aceh, which briefly acknowledged Ottoman suzerainty. Consequently these countries had their own, local, sultans or rulers who did not fully accept the authority of the Caliph.
Abu Bakr Siddique, the first successor of Muhammad, nominated Umar as his successor on his deathbed. Umar ibn Khattab, the second caliph, was killed by a Persian named Piruz Nahavandi. His successor, Uthman Ibn Affan, was elected by a council of electors (Majlis). Uthman was killed by members of a disaffected group. Ali then took control but was not universally accepted as caliph by the governors of Egypt, and later by some of his own guard. He faced two major rebellions and was assassinated by Abdl-alRahman, a Kharijite. 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 later became the Shi'a ("shiaat Ali", partisans of Ali. ) minority sect of Islam and reject the legitimacy of the first 3 caliphs. The followers of all four Rashidun Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali) became the majority Sunni sect.
Under the Rashidun each region (Sultanate, Wilayah, or Emirate) of the Caliphate had its own governor (Sultan, Wāli or Emir). Muawiyah, a relative of Uthman and governor (Wali) of Syria, succeeded Ali as Caliph. Muawiyah transformed the caliphate into a hereditary office, thus founding the Umayyad dynasty.
In areas which were previously under Sassanid Persian 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 demoralized and disaffected by the casualties and heavy taxation that resulted from the decades of Byzantine-Persian warfare.
The Rashidun Caliphate at its greatest extent was the largest empire in history up until that point.
Ali's caliphate and the rise of the Umayyad dynasty
Ali's reign as Caliph was plagued by great turmoil and internal strife. Ali was faced with multiple rebellions and insurrections. The primary one came from a misunderstanding on the part of Mu'awiyah, the governor of Damascus, marking the beginning of the end of the Caliphs. 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 agreed to negotiate with Mu'awiyah. This caused a faction of approximately 4,000 people that would be known as the Kharijites, to abandon the fight. After defeating the Kharijites at the Battle of Nahrawan, Ali would later be 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 Caliph, establishing the Umayyad Dynasty, named after the great-grandfather of Uthman and Mu'awiyah, Umayya ibn Abd Shams.
Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)
Main article: Umayyad Caliphate
Under the Umayyads, the Caliphate grew rapidly in territory, incorporating the Caucasus, Transoxiana, Sindh, the Maghreb and most of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus) into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 5.17 million square miles (13,400,000 km2), making it the largest empire the world had yet seen, and the fifth-largest ever to exist in history.
Geographically, the empire was divided into several provinces, the borders of which changed numerous times during the Umayyad reign. Each province had a governor appointed by the caliph. However for a variety of reasons, including that they were not elected by Shura and suggestions of impious behaviour, the Umayyad dynasty was not universally supported within the Muslim community. 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.
There were numerous rebellions against the Umayyads, as well as splits within the Umayyad ranks (notably, the rivalry between Yaman and Qays). Allegedly, Shimr Ibn Thil-Jawshan killed Ali's son Hussein and his family at the Battle of Karbala in 680, solidfying the Shia-Sunni split. Eventually, supporters of the Banu Hashim and the supporters of the lineage of Ali united to bring down the Umayyads in 750. However, the Shiʻat ʻAlī, "the Party of Ali", were again disappointed when the Abbasid dynasty took power, as the Abbasids were descended from Muhammad's uncle, `Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib and not from Ali.
Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258, 1261–1517)
Main article: Abbasid Caliphate
In 750, the Umayyad dynasty was overthrown by another family of Meccan origin, the Abbasids. Their time was marked by scientific, cultural, and religious prosperity. Islamic art and music also flourished significantly during their reign. Their major city 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 by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan. The Abbasid Caliphate had however lost its effective power outside Iraq already by ca. 920. By 945, the loss of power became official when the Buyids conquered Baghdad and all of Iraq. The empire fell apart and its parts were ruled for the next century by local dynasties.
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. By 1250 the 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 to Samarra created a division between the caliphate and the peoples they claimed to rule. In addition, the power of the Mamluks steadily grew until Ar-Radi (934–41) was constrained to hand over most of the royal functions to Muhammad ibn Ra'iq.
Under the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo (1261–1517)
Main article: Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo)
In 1261, following the devastation of Baghdad at the hands of the Mongols, the Mamluk rulers of Egypt tried to gain legitimacy for their rule by declaring the re-establishment of the Abbasid caliphate in Cairo. The Abbasid caliphs in Egypt had little to no political power; they continued to maintain the symbols of authority, but their sway was confined to religious matters. The first Abbasid caliph of Cairo was Al-Mustansir (r. June–November 1261). The Abbasid caliphate of Cairo lasted until the time of 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. The Ottoman sultan Selim I defeated the Mamluk Sultanate, and made Egypt part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Al-Mutawakkil III was captured together with his family and transported to Constantinople as a prisoner where he had a ceremonial role. He died in 1543, following his return to Cairo.
Parallel caliphates to the Abbasids
The Abbasid dynasty lost effective power over much of the Muslim realm by the first half of the tenth century.
The Shiʻa Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah of the Fatimid dynasty, which claimed descent from Muhammad through his daughter, claimed the title of Caliph in 909, creating a separate line of caliphs in North Africa. Initially controlling Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, the Fatimid caliphs extended their rule for the next 150 years, taking Egypt and Palestine, before the Abbasid dynasty was able to turn the tide, limiting Fatimid rule to Egypt. The Fatimid dynasty finally ended in 1171.
The Umayyad dynasty, which had survived and come to rule over Al-Andalus, reclaimed the title of Caliph in 929, lasting until it was overthrown in 1031.
Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171)
Main article: Fatimid Caliphate
The Fatimid Caliphate was an Isma'ili Shi'i caliphate that spanned a vast area of the Arab world. Originally based in Tunisia, the Fatimid dynasty extended their rule across the Mediterranean coast of Africa, and ultimately made Egypt the centre of their caliphate. At its height, in addition to Egypt, the caliphate included varying areas of the Maghreb, Sicily, the Levant and Hijaz.
The Fatimids established the Tunisian city of Mahdia and made it their capital city, before conquering Egypt, and building the city of Cairo in 969. Thereafter, Cairo became the capital of the caliphate, with Egypt becoming the political, cultural, and religious centre of the state. Islam scholar Louis Massignon dubbed the 4th century AH /10th century CE as the "Ismaili century in the history of Islam".
The term Fatimite is sometimes used to refer to the citizens of this caliphate. The ruling elite of the state belonged to the Ismaili branch of Shi'ism. The leaders of the dynasty were also Shia Ismaili Imams, hence, they had a religious significance to Ismaili Muslims. They are also part of the chain of holders of the office of Caliph, as recognized 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 were united to any degree, excepting the final period of the Rashidun Caliphate under Ali himself.
Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031)
During the Umayyad dynasty, the Iberian peninsula was an integral province of the Umayyad Caliphate ruling from Damascus. The Umayyads lost the position of Caliph in Damascus in 750, and Abd-ar-Rahman I became 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.
Rulers of the emirate used the title "emir" or "sultan" until the 10th century, when Abd-ar-Rahman III was faced with the threat of invasion by the Fatimids (a rival Islamic empire based in Cairo). To aid his fight against the invading Fatimids, who claimed the caliphate in opposition to the generally recognized Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad, Abd-ar-Rahman III claimed the title of caliph himself. This helped Abd-ar-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 presence in the Iberian peninsula, before it fragmented into various taifas in the 11th century. This period was characterized by a remarkable flourishing in technology, trade and culture; many of the masterpieces of al-Andalus were constructed in this period.
Almohad Caliphate (1147–1269)
Main article: Almohad Caliphate
The Almohad movement was started by Ibn Tumart among the Masmuda tribes of southern Morocco. The Almohads first established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains in roughly 1120. The Almohads succeeded in overthrowing the ruling Almoravids in governing Morocco by 1147, when Abd al-Mu'min al-Gumi (r. 1130-1163) conquered Marrakech and declared himself Caliph. They then extended their power over all of the Maghreb by 1159. Al-Andalus followed the fate of Africa and all Islamic Iberia was under Almohad rule by 1172.
The Almohad dominance of Iberia continued until 1212, when Muhammad III, "al-Nasir" (1199–1214) was defeated at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in the Sierra Morena by an alliance of the Christian princes of Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and Portugal. Nearly all of the Moorish dominions in Iberia were lost soon after, with the great Moorish cities of Cordova and Seville falling to the Christians in 1236 and 1248 respectively.
The Almohads continued to rule in Africa until the piecemeal loss of territory through the revolt of tribes and districts enabled the rise of their most effective enemies, the Marinids in 1215. 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.
Ottoman Caliphate (1517–1924)
The caliphate was claimed by the sultans of the Ottoman Empire beginning with Murad I (reigned 1362 to 1389), while recognizing 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 II's conquest of Constantinople, the seat of the Ottomans moved to Constantinople, present-day Istanbul. In 1517, the Ottoman sultan Selim I defeated and annexed the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo into his empire. Through conquering and unifying Muslim lands, Selim I became the defender of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, which further strengthened the Ottoman claim to the caliphate in the Muslim world. Ottomans gradually came to be viewed as the de facto leaders and representatives of the Islamic world. However, the earlier Ottoman caliphs didn't officially bear the title of caliph in their documents of state, inscriptions, or coinage. It was only when the Ottoman Empire fell into a decline that the claim to caliphate was discovered by the sultans to have a practical use, since it gave them prestige among Sunni Muslims.
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 peace treaty with Russia in 1774, when the Empire retained moral authority on territory whose sovereignty was ceded to the Russian Empire.
The outcome of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was disastrous for the Ottomans. Large territories, including those with large Muslim populations, such as Crimea, were lost to the Russian Empire. However, the Ottomans under Abdul Hamid I claimed a diplomatic victory by being allowed to remain the religious leaders of Muslims in the now-independent Crimea as part of the peace treaty: in return Russia became the official protector of Christians in Ottoman territory.
Around 1880 Sultan Abdul Hamid II reasserted the title as a way of countering Russian expansion into Muslim lands. His claim was most fervently accepted by the Muslims of British India. 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 in Egypt, India, and Central Asia.
Abolition of the Caliphate (1924)
Further information: Atatürk's Reforms
After the Armistice of Mudros of October 1918 with the military occupation of Istanbul and 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 (August 1920) which imposed the partitioning of the Ottoman 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.
On March 3, 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal, as part of his secular reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the Caliphate. Its powers within Turkey were transferred to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the parliament of the newly formed Turkish Republic. The title was then claimed by King Hussein bin Ali of Hejaz, leader of the Arab Revolt, but his kingdom was defeated and annexed by Ibn Saud in 1925.
A summit was convened at Cairo in 1926 to discuss the revival of the Caliphate, but most 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 Mullah Mohammed Omar, former head of the Taliban regime of Afghanistan, neither claimed any legal standing or authority over 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 and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Sokoto Caliphate (1804–1903)
Main article: Sokoto Caliphate
The Sokoto Caliphate was an Islamic state in Nigeria, led by Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio. Founded during the Fulani Jihad in the early 19th century, it controlled one of the most powerful empires in sub-Saharan Africa prior to European conquest and colonization. The caliphate remained extant through the colonial period and afterwards, though with reduced power.
The current head of the Sokoto Caliphate is Sa'adu Abubakar.
Khilafat Movement (1919–1924)
Main article: Khilafat Movement
See also: Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
The Khilafat Movement was launched by Muslims in British India to defend the Ottoman Caliphate at the end of the First World War and it spread throughout the British colonial territories. It was strong in British India where it formed a rallying point for some Indian Muslims as one of many anti-British Indian political movements. Its leaders included Maulana Mohammad Ali, his brother Shawkat Ali, and Abul Kalam Azad, Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, and Barrister Muhammad Jan Abbasi. For a time it was supported by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was a member of the Central Khilafat Committee. However, the movement lost its momentum after the arrest or flight of its leaders, and a series of offshoots splintered off from the main organization.
Sharifian Caliphate (1924–1925)
Main article: Sharifian Caliphate
The Sharifian Caliphate (Arabic: خلافة شريفية) was an Arab caliphate proclaimed by the Sharifian rulers of Hejaz in 1924, in lieu of the Ottoman Caliphate. The idea of the Sharifian Caliphate had been floating around since at least the 15th century. 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 1877–1878. There is little evidence, however, that the idea of a Sharifian Caliphate ever gained wide grassroots support in the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2014–present)
Main article: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
The group Al Qaeda in Iraq formed as an affiliate of the al Qaeda network of Islamist militants during the Iraq War. The group eventually expanded into Syria and rose to prominence as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during the Syrian Civil War, becoming the most powerful group opposing President Bashar al-Assad. In the summer of 2014, the group launched an offensive in northern Iraq, seizing the city of Mosul. The group declared itself a caliphate under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who took the name and title of Caliph Ibrahim, and renamed itself as the "Islamic State". ISIL's claim to be the highest authority of Muslims has not been widely recognized beyond the territory it controls with 10 million people, and the group has been at war with armed forces including the Iraqi Army, the Syrian Army, the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Kurdish 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.
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 Muslim Caliphate (1908-present)
Main article: Ahmadiyya Caliphate
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is an Islamic revivalist movement founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, who claimed to be the promised Messiah and Mahdi, awaited by Muslims. He also claimed to be a prophet, subordinate to Islamic prophet Muhammad. After his demise in 1908, his first successor, Maulvi Hakeem Noor-ud-Din became the caliph of the community and assumed the title of Khalifatul Masih (Successor or Caliph of the Messiah).
Ahmadi Muslims believe that the Ahmadiyya Caliphate established after the passing of the community's founder is the re-establishment of the Rashidun Caliphate. The community continues to operate under this structure, with the caliph having overall authority for all religious and organizational matters. According to Ahmadis, it is not essential for a caliph to be the head of a state rather the religious and organizational importance of the caliph is emphasized. It is above all a spiritual office, with the purpose to uphold, strengthen, spread the teachings of Islam and maintain the high spiritual and moral standards within the global community established by Muhammad. 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 a caliph which is applicable to believers transnationally and not limited to one particular state.
After Hakeem Noor-ud-Din, the first caliph, the title of the Ahmadiyya caliph continued under Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, who reigned as the second caliph for over 50 years. Following him were Mirza Nasir Ahmad and then Mirza Tahir Ahmad who were third and fourth caliphs respectively. The current caliph is Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who resides in London with a following of 10 to 20 million in over 200 countries and territories of the world, making the Ahmadiyya Caliphate the largest caliphate in modern history.
The Qur'an uses the term khalifa twice. First, in al-Baqara 30, it refers to 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.
In addition, the following excerpt from the Qur'an, known as the 'Istikhlaf Verse', is used by some to argue for a Quranic basis for Caliphate:
In the above verse, the word Khulifa (the plural of Khalifa) has been variously translated as "successors" and "ones who accede to power".
Small subsections of Sunni Islamism argue that to govern a state by Islamic law (Shariah) is, by definition, to rule via the Caliphate, and use the following verses to sustain their claim.
In the above, the first era of Caliphate is commonly accepted by Muslims to be that of the Rashidun Caliphate.
Nafi'a reported saying:
Muslim narrated on the authority of al-A'araj, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Muhammad said:
Muslim reported on the authority of Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin, who said:
Prophesied Caliphate of the Mahdî
For information about Caliph the Mahdî, and his prophesied Deputy `Îsâ (Jesus), see "Mahdi", "Jesus in Islam", "Islamic eschatology" (Section Islamic eschatology#Major figures), and "Second Coming" (Section Second Coming#Islam).
The Sahaba of Muhammad
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:
Upon this Abu Bakr replied:
It has additionally been reported that Abu Bakr went on to say on the day of Al-Saqifa:
The Sahaba agreed to this and selected 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 the Bay'ah. This indicates an Ijma as-Sahaba of all of the Sahaba. Ali ibni abi Talib, who was attending the body of Muhammad at the time, also consented to this.
Imam Ali whom the Shia revere said:
Sayings of Islamic theologians
The Shia schools of thought and others expressed the same opinion about this 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 also said:
Period of dormancy
Main article: Pan-Islamism
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 the caliph as leader of the ummah, "is cherished both as memory and ideal" as a time when Muslims "enjoyed scientific and military superiority globally". The Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have prophesied:
Further information: Khalifatul Masih
The members of the Ahmadiyya community believe that the Ahmadiyya Caliphate (Arabic: Khilāfah) is the continuation of the Islamic Caliphate, first being the Rāshidūn (rightly guided) Caliphate (of Righteous Caliphs). This is believed to have been suspended with Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad and re-established with the appearance of 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 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 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.
According to Ahmadiyya thought, a khalifa need not be the head of a state; rather the 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 and of maintaining the high spiritual and moral standards within the global community established by 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.
Ahmadi Muslims believe that 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 (consultative body). However, it is not incumbent upon him to always accept the views and recommendations of the members. The Khalifatul Masih has overall authority for all religious and organisational matters and is bound to decide and act in accordance with the Qur'an and sunnah.
A number of Islamist political parties and mujahideen called for the restoration of the caliphate by uniting Muslim nations, either through political action (e.g., Hizb ut-Tahrir), or through force (e.g., al-Qaeda). 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 differed in their methodology and approach. Some[who?] were locally oriented, mainstream political parties that had no apparent transnational objectives.
One transnational group whose ideology was based specifically on restoring the caliphate as a pan-Islamic state is Hizb ut-Tahrir (literally, "Party of Liberation"). It is particularly strong in Central Asia and Europe and is growing in strength in the Arab world. It is based on the claim that Muslims can prove that God exists and that the Qur'an is the word of God. Hizb-Ut-Tahrir's stated strategy is a non-violent political and intellectual struggle.
al-Qaeda's Caliphate goals
Main article: al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda has as one of its clearly stated goals the re-establishment of a caliphate. Its former leader, Osama bin Laden, called for Muslims to "establish the righteous caliphate of our umma". Al-Qaeda chiefs released a statement in 2005, under which, in what they call "phase five" there will be "an Islamic state, or caliphate". Al-Qaeda has named its Internet newscast from Iraq "The Voice of the Caliphate". 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 but which had not exercised real power since the thirteenth century." Zawahiri believes that once the caliphate is re-established, 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 willing", Zawahiri later wrote, "in the opposite direction against the empire of the United States and the world's Jewish government".
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 (the Quraysh) ... moreover, caliphs ruled societies that the Islamists do not consider to have been Islamic (the Ottoman Empire)." This is not the view of the majority of Islamist groups, as both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahrir view the Ottoman state as a caliphate.
Electing or appointing a Caliph
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.
This argument is advanced by Sunni Muslims, who believe that Muhammad's companion Abu Bakr was elected by the community and that this was the proper procedure. They further argue that a caliph is ideally chosen by election or community consensus.
Traditionally, Sunni Muslim schools of law all agreed that a caliph must be a descendant of the Quraysh tribe. Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani has said that the leader of the Muslims simply should be from the majority. The founder of the biggest Sunni legal school, Abu Hanifa, also wrote that the Caliph must be chosen by the majority.
Following the death of Muhammad, a meeting took place at Saqifah. At that meeting, Abu Bakr was elected caliph by the Muslim community. Sunni 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 Islamic lawyers, judiciary, or specialists individually termed as Mujtahids and collectively named the Ulema. Many Muslims call the first four caliphs the Rashidun meaning the Rightly Guided Caliphs, because they are believed to have followed the Qur'an and the sunnah (example) of Muhammad.
Shia Muslims believe in the Imamate, in which the rulers are Imams divinely chosen, infallible, and sinless from Muhammad's family – Ahl al-Bayt literally "People of the House (of Muhammad)" regardless of majority opinion, shura or election. They claim that before his death, Muhammad had given many indications, in Ghadir Khumm particularly, that he considered Ali, his cousin and son-in-law, as his successor. As per Twelver/Ithna Ashery Shia, 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.
Main article: Hokumat-e Islami : Velayat-e faqih (book by Khomeini)
After these twelve Imams, the potential Caliphs, had passed, and in the absence of the possibility of a government headed by their Imams, some Shi'a believe it was necessary that a system of Shia Islamic government based on Vilayat-e Faqih 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) Ruhollah Khomeini and established in Iran, is not universally accepted among Shi'as.
Ismailis, Fatimids and Dawoodi Bohra believe in the Imamate principle mentioned above, but they need not be ruler. To safeguard divine authority of Allah the "Din", from politics of World "Duniya" the 'external World', they have instituted office of Dai al-Mutlaq even from the era of their 21st Imam Tayyab (1130 AD), under jurisdiction of Suleyhid Queen, as Imam was under seclusion. In the twelver shia also many Imams were not ruler, and they sacrificed much to upheld "Din".
Majlis al-Shura (parliament)
Traditional Sunni Islamic lawyers agree that shura, loosely translated as "consultation of the people", is a function of the caliphate. The Majlis al Shura (literally "consultative assembly") or parliament was a representation of this idea of consultative governance. The importance of this is premised by the following verses of the Qur'an:
The majlis is also the means to elect a new caliph. 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 judgment 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.
Some Islamist interpretations of the role of the Majlis al-Shura are the following: In an analysis of the shura chapter of the Qur'an, Islamist author Sayyid Qutb argues that Islam only requires the ruler to consult with some of the representatives of the ruled and govern within the context of the Shariah. Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, the founder of a transnational political movement devoted to the revival of the Caliphate, writes that although the 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 is democracy but during its governance of Egypt in 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood did not put that principle into practice.
Accountability of rulers
Sunni Islamic lawyers have commented on when it is permissible to disobey, impeach or remove rulers in the Caliphate. This is usually when the rulers are not meeting their obligations to the public under Islam.
Al-Mawardi said that if the rulers meet their Islamic responsibilities to the public the people must obey their laws, but a Caliph or ruler who becomes either unjust or severely ineffective must be impeached via the Majlis al-Shura. Similarly, Al-Baghdadi[clarification needed] believed that if the rulers do not uphold justice, the ummah via the majlis should warn them, and a Caliph who does not heed the warning can be impeached. Al-Juwayni argued that Islam is the goal of the ummah, so any ruler who deviates from this goal must be impeached. 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 to justify this:
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.
Rule of law
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 penalized for stealing out of poverty, and during a time of drought in the Rashidun caliphate, capital punishment was suspended until the effects of the drought passed.
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 (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.
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 by the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century:
Main article: Islamic economics in the world
During the Muslim Agricultural Revolution, the 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 giving individuals of any gender, ethnic or religious background the right to buy, sell, mortgage, and inherit land for farming or any other purpose. Based on the Quran, 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.
There are similarities between Islamic economics and leftist or socialist economic policies. Islamic jurists have argued that privatization 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 jurists from the following hadith of Muhammad:
Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "All Muslims are partners in three things- in water, herbage and fire." (Narrated in Abu Daud, & Ibn Majah) Anas added to the above hadith, "Its price is Haram (forbidden)."
Aside from similarities to socialism, early forms of proto-capitalism and free markets were present in the Caliphate, 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". 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 organization 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), circulating capital, capital expenditure, revenue, cheques, promissory notes, trusts (waqf), startup companies, savings accounts, transactional accounts, pawning, loaning, exchange rates, bankers, money changers, ledgers, deposits, assignments, the double-entry bookkeeping system, and lawsuits. Organizational enterprises similar to corporations independent from the state also existed in the medieval Islamic world. Many of these concepts were adopted and further advanced in medieval Europe from the 13th century onwards.
The concepts of welfare and pension were introduced in early Islamic law as forms of Zakat (charity), one of the Five Pillars of Islam, since the time of the Rashidun caliph Umar in the 7th century. The taxes (including 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. According to the Islamic jurist Al-Ghazali (Algazel, 1058–1111), the government was also expected to stockpile food supplies in every region in case a disaster or famine occurred.
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, while ancient Rome and medieval Europe are estimated at 20 to 30 years. 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. 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, 75 years in 12th century Persia, and 59–72 years in 13th century Persia. However, Maya Shatzmiller considers these religious scholars to be a misleading sample who are not representative of the general population. Conrad I. Lawrence estimates the average lifespan in the early Islamic Caliphate to be above 35 years for the general population.
The early Islamic Empire also had the highest literacy rates among pre-modern societies, alongside the city of classical Athens in the 4th century BC, and later, China after the introduction of printing from the 10th century. One factor for the relatively high literacy rates in the early Islamic 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 in the 11th century. Another factor was the diffusion of paper from China, 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. Other factors include the widespread use of paper books in Islamic society (more so than any other previously existing society), the study and memorization of the Qur'an, flourishing commercial activity, and the emergence of the Maktab and Madrasah educational institutions.
Difference between caliphate and democracy
Source of legislation
In a democracy, laws are made by an assembly elected by the people; in a caliphate, the sources of legislation are supposed to be the Qur'an and the Sunnah۔ Concerning the supremacy of God in making laws rather than people, the Qur'an states:
Concerning the dangers of following the will of the people (rather than the will of God as expressed in the Qur'an and the sunnah), the Qur'an states:
While in a democracy, people vote for members of their representative assembly (and may impact legislation through direct votes in referenda), in a caliphate popular feedback is provided through a consultative group (shura), although this happened rarely in the historical caliphates. The Qur'an mentions this:
Selection of the leader
In a democracy, the head of government is elected (directly or indirectly) by the people and must meet requirements established in legislation. A democratic leader is answerable to the people.
A candidate for caliph must meet the conditions described in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, which are as follows:
The right to choose a leader belongs to the Muslim public, generally known as the Muslim Ummah (أمة مسلمة) referring to all Muslims as a single group. The non-Muslim residents of the caliphate do not have any voice in this matter. The Muslim Ummah may choose a leader through any of the following means.
The above are the only valid ways by which a caliph may accede to the caliphate. The determining factor of the enactment of a person's caliphate is the Bay'ah, of which there are two versions: Bay'atul In'iqaad (بيعة الإنعقاد), the pledge of enactment is the Bay'ah that enacts that Caliphate of a Caliph, and it is not required to be given by all Muslims, as detailed in the above four points. Bay'atul Itaa'ah (بيعة الإطاعة), the pledge of obedience is the pledge given by the general (Muslim) public. It may not always be given explicitly by every Muslim, but it is an individual obligation (Fard فرض) for every Muslim.
The Caliph, once enacted, serves for life, unless a change in his situation causes him to no longer fulfill the seven aforementioned conditions, or if he begins to defy the Quran and Sunnah in his rule, or fails to implement the Shari'ah. In this case, the Chief Justice, known as Qadi al Qudat (قاضي القضاة) is authorized to depose him. If he insists on remaining in power, he must be deposed forcefully, which becomes a duty upon Muslims.
There may be only one Caliph at a time (in the world). Anyone who declares himself Caliph while there is an existing Caliph is subject to execution by Shari'ah Law. Obedience to the Caliph is a duty upon every Muslim, as long as the Caliph does not issue any commands such that obedience would entail disobedience to Allah or His Messenger. Moreover, if the Caliph becomes subject to deposition, the Bay'ah contract is considered voided, and obedience is no longer required of Muslims.
For a more comprehensive list, see List of Caliphs.