The Caliphate State in Theory and Practice

In: Arab Law Quarterly
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  • 1 University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

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The history of Islām shows clearly how the question of the Caliphate is of central, enduring and great ongoing importance. While Christianity was split into different religious denominations, in particular during the 5th century due to theological questions about the divine and human nature of Christ, the biggest split in Islām was due to questions about the Caliphate. This article offers an introduction to the divergent approaches to government in Islām and a discussion of recent efforts to restore an Islāmic Caliphate.

  • 5

    Husamudin Alsgnafy, Al-Kāfī fī sharḥ al-Bazūdī, (الكافي في شرح البزودي: The Sufficience of al-Bazūdī’s explanation), (Riyadh: Maktabat al-Rasheed Publishers, 2001) 1604; Ali Abdel Raziq, Al-Iǧmāʿ fī al-sharīʿa al-islāmiyya (الاجماع في الشريعة الاسلامية Consensus in Islamic Sharia). Cairo: Dār al-Fikr al-ʿArabī Publishers, 1947) 34.

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  • 9

    Ibid., 107, 131; Muḥammad Salām Madkūr, Manāhiǧ al-iǧtihād fī l-islām (مناهج الاجتهاد في الاسلام: Schools for Independent Reasoning in Islām), (Kuwait: Kuwait University Press, 1974) 717; Muḥammad Abū Zahra, Tāriḫ al-maḍāhib al-islāmīya (تأريخ المذاهب الاسلامية : The History of Islamic Schools), (Cairo: Dār al-Fikr al-ʿArabī, 2009) 52.

  • 10

    See: Ali Abdelraziq, Islam and the Foundations of Political Power (London: Edinburgh University Press, 2012).

  • 11

    See: Abdullahi Ahmed an-Naʿim, Scharia und säkularer Staat im Nahen Osten und Europa (Berlin: Europa im Nahen Osten—Der Nahe Osten in Europa, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2009); Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, transl. and introd. by Abdullah Ahmed an-Naʿim, The Second Message of Islam (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1987).

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  • 12

    Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, Islamic Government (New York: Manor Books, 1979) 18 et seq.; Muḥammad ʿAmāra, Al-Islām wa falsafat al-ḥukm (الاسلام وفلسفة الحكم: Islam and the Philosophy of Government), 2nd edn. (Beirut: Al-Musasa al-ʿArabīya Press, 1979) 49; ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Sanhūrī, Al-din wa l-dawla fī l-islām (الدين والدولة في الاسلام : Religion and State in Islam) (Cairo: Maǧalat al-muḥāmāt al-šarʿīya, October 1929) 8; H. Munir, Al-Dawla l-qānūnīya wa l-niẓām al-siyāsī fī l-islām (الدولة القانونية والنظام السياسي في الاسلام : The Legal State and Political System in Islam) (Baghdad: Dār al-ʿArabīya li-ṯ-Tibāʿa, 1978) 55; Tawfīq Muḥammad al-Šāwy, Fiqh al-ḥukūma l-islāmīya baīna l-sunna wa l-šīʿa (فقه الحكومة الاسلامية بين السنة والشيعة : Jurisprudence of the Islamic State between Sunnis and Shiʿites) (Beirut: Al-ʿAṣr al-Ḥadiṯ Press, 1995) 161.

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  • 13

    A.T. Walker, The Caliphate (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924) 30; Abū Ǧaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Ǧarīr al-Ṭabarī, Tarīḫ al-Ṭabarī, Tarīḫ al-rusul wa-l-mulūk (تأريخ الرسل والملوك: The History of Messengers and Kings), Vol. 3, manuscript from 915 ad/302 ah (Damascus, Beirut: Dār bin Kaṯīr, 2000) 147.

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  • 16

    For example: Erwin I.J. Rosenthal, Political Thought in Medieval Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1958) 5.

  • 22

    Ibn Ḫaldūn, supra note 20, 246.

  • 29

    Ibid., 123.

  • 32

    Ibid., 424.

  • 34

    Bammarny, supra note 18, 15.

  • 35

    L. Bernard, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (London: Oxford University Press, 1961) 156 et seq.; S. J. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Vol. ii, Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808-1975 (Cambridge, ma: Cambridge University Press, 1977) 174 et seq.

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  • 39

    Born in Samarra in 1971, he studied in Baghdad and was a religious scholar. He was arrested in 2004 and was detained in Camp Bucca by the us Armed Forces in Iraq. After his release he joined terrorist groups in Iraq.

  • 40

    John L. Esposito, Unholy War. Terror in the Name of Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) 45.

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