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Who Wants the Caliphate?

Author: Ovamir Anjum

Affiliation: University of Toledo

Organization/Publisher :Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

Date/Place: Oct. 31, 2019, Irving, TX, U.S.

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 18,500 Words

Link:https://yaqeeninstitute.org/ovamiranjum/who-wants-the-caliphate/#.Xe4k0ugzaMp

Keywords: Caliphate, Ilm-ul kalam, Fiqh, State, Leadership

Brief:

The author argues that the Caliphate is desirable, feasible and obligatory for Muslims today. Assuming that its desirability depends on its religious obligation, the author, soundly demonstrates the unanimous agreement across Muslim sects and schools that appointing a Caliph is obligatory on the community. He proves this point by introducing to the reader a survey of authoritative texts in ilm-ul kalam and fiqh that reiterate the necessity of the Caliph to the Islamic political order. The article also demonstrates that recalling the Caliphate is timely given that the modern state system weighs under pressure and seems to be bursting at the seams. The author argues that what is not feasible is the current state of affairs in the Muslim world, saturated by failed nation states. While the article presents a well presented and appropriately cited argument, it suffers from generality. It seems that in trying to establish the basic point of the obligatory nature of political leadership, the author loses very fundamental disagreements between classical writers. Disagreements and lack of consensus about the nature of political authority and the role of the community render the elementary claim regarding the appointment mute—especially since secondary issues can often become obstacles for shared interests. Regardless, the article is informative and provides a good introduction on the issue of the Caliphate.

By: Üveys Han, CIGA Senior Research Associate

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