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By Hugh Kennedy

In Caliphate, Islamic historian Hugh Kennedy dissects the assumption of the caliphate and its heritage, and explores the way it grew to become used and abused this present day. opposite to renowned trust, there is not any one enduring definition of a caliph; particularly, the belief of the caliph has been the topic of continuous debate and transformation through the years. Kennedy deals a grand heritage of the caliphate because the starting of Islam to its glossy incarnations. Originating within the tumultuous years following the dying of the Mohammad in 632, the caliphate, a politico-religious procedure, flourished within the nice days of the Umayyads of Damascus and the Abbasids of Baghdad. From the seventh-century Orthodox caliphs to the nineteenth-century Ottomans, Kennedy explores the tolerant rule of Umar, recounts the aggravating homicide of the caliph Uthman, dubbed a tyrant through many, and revels within the flourishing arts of the golden eras of Abbasid Baghdad and Moorish Andalucía. Kennedy additionally examines the fashionable destiny of the caliphate, unraveling the British political schemes to spur dissent opposed to the Ottomans and the ominous efforts of Islamists, together with ISIS, to reinvent the heritage of the caliphate for his or her personal malevolent political ends.

In exploring and explaining the nice number of caliphs who've governed in the course of the a while, Kennedy demanding situations the very slender perspectives of the caliphate propagated by way of extremist teams this present day. An authoritative new account of the dynasties of Arab leaders in the course of the Islamic Golden Age, Caliphate lines the history—and misappropriations—of one of many world's such a lot powerful political ideas.

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Extra resources for Caliphate: The History of an Idea

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The second option was that the caliphate should be hereditary within one Holy Family, that of Alī and Fātima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. But this led to further questions and possibilities. Should all of the family be considered eligible or just one branch? Within that branch, should the office be decided by primogeniture, the succession of the eldest son, even if that son was apparently incapable or failed to obey the established laws and customs of the Muslims? Should he still be chosen or passed over in favour of a more suitable candidate?

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Edward Gibbon, in eighteenth-century Britain, writes of him: The abstinence and humility of Omar were not inferior to the virtues of Abubeker [Abū Bakr]: his food consisted of barley-bread or dates; his drink was water; he preached in a gown that was torn or tattered in twelve places; and a Persian satrap, who paid his homage as to the conqueror, found him asleep among the beggars on the steps of the mosch of Medina. Oeconomy is the source of liberality, and the increase of the revenue enabled Omar to establish a just and perpetual reward for the past and present services of the faithful.

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