The Concept of “Caliphate:” A Dialectic Model between the Past and the Present

The Concept of “Caliphate:” A Dialectic Model between the Past and the Present

  • 14 June 2016

The Caliphate is a political system in which the general leadership of the process of preserving religious and worldly affairs is left to the Caliph—a system based on the stature of prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his actions, the holy Quranic verses revealed to him and the sayings and traditions narrated for him on the subject.

The Sunni nation derived the concept of the Caliphate to be obligatory based on the consensus of the companions of the holy prophet (pbuh), and on choosing his successor following his death. They, however, considered the Caliphate as among the furou’ [branches] of the Islamic religion, rather than the ussoul [the roots or fundamentals]—a method that proves contrary to the Shiites, who have placed the Imamate as the fundamental basis of Islam.

The inauguration of the Caliph in the Rashidun period took many forms, confirming the fact that the structure of the Caliphate system is associated with interests not stemming from the Holy Quran or the gracious Sunnah texts. A shift, however, had occurred within the Umayyad and Abbasid states where the state takeover and the bequeathing of the rule became prevalent. Moreover, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1924, and the subsequent influence of colonizers within the Muslim world where modern nation-state and associated problems emerged, Muslims rushed to reference the model of the Rashidun Caliphate. Finding Quranic directives and pieces of general moral advice in all affairs [outside of the discourse of the Caliphate], state discourse converged on ideal-theoretical discourse.

Within the ongoing debate about the relationship between religion and state, Hassan Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood and gave the establishment of the state an overall priority, like the Shiites. Moreover, this has established the basis for the concept of Hakimiyya (sovereignty) entrenched by Sayyid Qutb in his writings—he also gave it psychological and intellectual dimensions, which were developed by the jihadi movements into violence; while Da’esh has transformed it into horror and destruction.

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Tuesday 14 June 2016

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Tuesday 14 June 2016

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