Sunday, September 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Successors to the prophet: Islam’s caliphates

By
From page D4 | July 06, 2014 |

CAIRO — By declaring the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, the extremist group that controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq is claiming to be the successor of the political and religious community established by the Prophet Muhammad.

The caliphate is a powerful ideal — the concept of a nation of Muslims worldwide ruled by Shariah law under a caliph who holds both spiritual and secular authority. There have been multiple caliphates over Islam’s 1,400-year history, with the greatest Muslim empires ruling from Morocco to Central Asia.

The caliphate as an institution lost its authority centuries ago, becoming just a tool of secular rulers to give themselves religious backing. It was formally abolished in 1920 by Turkey’s secular founder Mustafa Kamal Ataturk. And while many Muslims long for the unified community of the prophet’s era, only a radical fringe are likely to see the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as its heir.

Here is a look at the history of the caliphate.

THE RIGHTLY GUIDED CALIPHS: The term caliphate comes from the Arabic word meaning succession, and the caliph is the title of those who assume the mantle of Muhammad as Muslims’ spiritual and political leader. The first four leaders of the community who followed Muhammad in the 7th century are considered the purest expression of the caliphate — Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali.

Chosen by “shura” — or consultation among Muslims — they led the community in its dramatic expansion from the Arabian Peninsula to rule over North Africa and the Middle East.

But the succession also carried the seeds of dispute. Shiites believe Ali should have directly succeeded Muhammad and leadership should have stayed in his line of the family. The wars that resulted — eventually leading to Ali’s death in 661— solidified the Sunni-Shiite split that is now being violently played out in parts of the Mideast.

UMAYYADS AND ABBASIDS: After Ali’s death, the caliphate moved to the Umayyad dynasty ruling from Damascus, which turnedd the caliph into a hereditary position. The dynasty ruled for nearly 100 years until it was defeated by the Abbasids, who claimed descent from an uncle of Muhammad.

The Abbasid caliphs, ruling from Baghdad, presided over Islam’s golden age, patronizing scientists, Islamic scholars, philosophers and poets — some of whom celebrated drinking, romance and other courtly pursuits in verses that would be brutally punished by today’s ultraconservative Islamic State. But as the dynasty declined, often the caliph was reduced to a religious figurehead as other warring clans grabbed secular power.

Finally, the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258, ending the Abbasid dynasty. They are said to have killed the caliph at the time, al-Mustasim, by rolling him up in a carpet and trampling him with their horses.

It was a shattering blow to the already dwindling claim of a universal caliphate leading all Muslims. His heirs fled to Cairo, and while they kept the title of caliph, they were reduced to pawns of Egypt’s Mamluk rulers.

OTTOMANS: As the Ottoman Empire became the pre-eminent Islamic power in the 15th and 16th centuries, its sultans claimed leadership of the entire Muslim world, eventually taking on the title of caliph, which was enshrined in the constitution in 1876. However, many Sunni scholars disputed their claim, arguing that the caliph must come from Muhammad’s Arab tribe.

The Ottoman Empire was dismembered after World War I. Ataturk abolished the caliphate in 1924, removing the last caliph Abdulmecid II.

MODERN DREAMS: Nearly all Sunni political Islamist movements dream of the eventual resurrection of the caliphate, most by political means, though jihadi groups call for establishing it by violence. It has been the ultimate ambition of al-Qaida, but while its late leader Osama bin Laden could once claim leadership of the international jihadi movement, he never went so far as to declare himself caliph.

The Islamic State is hoping to rally extremists to its side. But even the militant camp is divided. Al-Qaida ejected the Islamic State from its network. Islamic militants in Syria have been battling the Islamic State since January, accusing it of hijacking the uprising against President Bashar Assad for its own transnational purposes.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

County makes recommendations for crude-by-rail

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hartley House offers look into Vacaville’s past

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

New toilet paper sizes will wipe me out!

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Coastal Cleanup helps get rid of trash in area

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Travis teachers bring creativity to Shakespeare

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

 
Olympians to participate in swim Lap-a-Thon

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Circle of Friends director to speak in Fairfield

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Be alert to stroke warning signs

By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

Recovery community works for lifelong sobriety

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Musical merry-go-round at Jazz Festival

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Deadline looms for lobster boil tickets

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Crashes blocks parts of eastbound I-80 in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Seven Artisans opens tasting room

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7 | Gallery

BABA makes big spash

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Old Kmart site sees signs of new life

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B8, 1 Comment | Gallery

Veterans with PTSD could see discharge upgrades

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
Airmen with local ties finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Potential push for Obama to expand military effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Teams assess damage as California wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

McInerney, Duka help Impact beat Earthquakes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Old pets, new chances: The case for senior adoption

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C4

Jailed, some mentally ill inmates land in lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Custer youngest winner at 16 in NASCAR series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Retro-hip barber is growing an ‘empire’ by staying on the cutting edge

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C6

 
Tense hunt in trooper ambush case hits 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tour ship runs aground by NYC’s Statue of Liberty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Astronauts getting 3-D printer at space station

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Chrysler recalling nearly 189,000 SUVs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Fire captain injured in ice bucket challenge dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

More than 1K people search for missing UVa student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Second man arrested trying to enter White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Pope chooses a moderate for Chicago archbishop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Turkish hostages freed, but questions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Sierra Leone staggers in Ebola isolation effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
El-Sissi ready to back anti-IS fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

NATO chief: Ukraine has cease-fire ‘in name only’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Kurdish fighters head to Syria to face militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Polly Bergen, versatile actress, singer dies at 84

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Stores miss bus on public transit

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Sunset Animal Hospital is the best

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Sound off for Sept. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

New car’s fuel mileage accuracy put to the test

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

 
 
Will they ever get the message?

By Rod Keck | From Page: A9, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

There is no message of hatred of violence in Christianity

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3, 5 Comments

 
St. Paul pastor’s pulpit? A food truck

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3 | Gallery

Horoscopes: Sept. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
My child’s father and I worked things out – but now I’m not so sure

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

Erdrich wins lifetime achievement literary prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Designer Donna Karan memoir expected next year

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Author says Christian novel plagiarized, sex added

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Springsteen picture book out in November

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Williams beats A’s for third time with third team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cardinals look to shake off distraction vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cashner, Padres beat Giants 3-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Prep boys soccer preview: Indians, Vikings off to fast start

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Patriots big favorites vs. Raiders despite mediocre start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Schumacher, Hagan win rain-delayed Carolina event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

College football Top 25

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 1 Florida St survives against No. 22 Clemson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Sprint car driver killed in Wisconsin

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Vacaville Christian volleyball team falls in playoffs

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Stars Recreation results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Estimated 7,000 fans trade in Ray Rice jerseys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Travis Bowl results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Mi Jung Hur, Paula Reto share lead in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sports on TV for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

Harvick dismisses wins as key to Cup title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Gaughan snatches Nationwide win at Kentucky

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

.

Business

Extended warranties a big sell. Are they worth it?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Recalls this week: fire alarm bases, swings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

US tobacco growers brace for tougher competition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Marijuana industry battling stoner stereotypes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

George Junior Rhode

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics