By Hugh Kennedy
In exploring and explaining the good number of caliphs who've governed in the course of the a long time, Kennedy demanding situations the very slim perspectives of the caliphate propagated through extremist teams this present day. An authoritative new account of the dynasties of Arab leaders during the Islamic Golden Age, Caliphate strains the history—and misappropriations—of one of many world's such a lot powerful political ideas.
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Additional info for Caliphate: The History of an Idea
He did not make the journey alone. He was joined by a number of members of Quraysh who were committed enough to follow him into exile. They included Abū Bakr, Umar, Uthmān and Alī. Together with their fellow exiles they were known as the muhājirūn, those who had made the Hijra with the Prophet. They came to form an elite within the nascent Muslim community and the epithet muhājirūn, with its connotations of selfless devotion to the Prophet, is one frequently used by jihadi groups today. The newcomers settled in Medina alongside the existing inhabitants of the oasis, increasingly known as ansār, or helpers of the Prophet.
The term appears to have been used in the time of the Prophet Muhammad. When he left Medina on a military expedition or for any other reason, he would appoint a deputy (khalīfa) for the duration of his absence. We know the names of at least some of these and, curiously, most of them were obscure men who played no part in the later history of the institution and their powers were very limited. Only Uthmān, the third caliph, was among their number, and neither Abū Bakr nor Umar, the first two caliphs, were appointed.
What had gone wrong? The answer depended on your point of view.