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By Hugh Kennedy

In Caliphate, Islamic historian Hugh Kennedy dissects the belief of the caliphate and its heritage, and explores the way it turned used and abused this day. opposite to renowned trust, there's no one enduring definition of a caliph; quite, the belief of the caliph has been the topic of continuous debate and transformation through the years. Kennedy bargains a grand background of the caliphate because the starting of Islam to its smooth incarnations. Originating within the tumultuous years following the loss of life of the Mohammad in 632, the caliphate, a politico-religious process, 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 by way of many, and revels within the flourishing arts of the golden eras of Abbasid Baghdad and Moorish Andalucía. Kennedy additionally examines the trendy 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 background of the caliphate for his or her personal malevolent political ends.

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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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.

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