The Caliph is who? The history of the caliphate
The meaning of the word "caliph" can be translated as "successor" or "deputy". This title was given only to selected Muslims, whose faith and devotion to Allah knew no bounds.
The Caliph is the leader of the Muslims,to guide the worldly and spiritual life of the country. But his rule was not unlimited, since he had to obey the laws written in the Sharia. For a deviation from the truth of the ruler, not only contempt on the part of Muslims awaited, but in some cases it could be death. But first things first.
The appearance of the first caliph
In order to understand what is the caliph, one should turn his eyes to the sources of the Muslim world.
It all started with the Prophet Muhammad, who managedunite the warring tribes under the single banner of faith. For this he began to be revered, as if a saint, whose strength and knowledge were bestowed by Allah himself. But, like any mortal, Mohammed expected death. After the death of the prophet, it was necessary to find a new leader, so that his works would not be wasted.
So, in 632, the path of Muhammad was continued by his faithful disciple - Abu Bakr. But his power lasted only two years, since in 634 he died suddenly due to an incurable disease.
But still the seed was planted.And since then, the caliph is a title given to a person who is considered the vicar of the prophet on earth. His words and deeds should serve for the benefit of all Muslim nations and thereby glorify Allah.
History of the development of the caliphate
Immediately after Abu's death, the title of Muslim leaderwent to Umar ibn al-Khattab. First of all, he began military campaigns, the purpose of which was the conquest of the lands of the infidels. And he did it very well, because he managed to break up the Byzantine and Persian armies, whose forces in those days were unshakable. Umar also managed to take Jerusalem. But still death is cruel and not afraid to take such a strong warrior. His life ended in 644.
What is the Caliph, poorly understood by the third leaderMuslims, at least so many historians think. Uthman ibn-Affan did not have a strong spirit, unlike his predecessors. In the ranks of his associates, he recruited relatives and friends, which raised doubts about his wisdom and righteousness among other Muslims. And although he captured such a great country as Sogdian, dissatisfied Muslims still staged a coup and stabbed him.
The fourth caliph became Ali ibn Abu Talib.He was a relative of the Prophet Muhammad, or rather his cousin. It was he who became the "apple of discord" that finally divided the Muslim world into Sunnis and Shiites. During his reign, the country was constantly harassed by civil wars and battles for the throne, so it is not surprising that he died of a poisoned blade. After this, the feud for the throne of the Caliph continued all the time.
In the history of the first four caliphs calledrighteous, because they stood at the origins of Islam. It was thanks to their deeds that the Muslim faith was able to disperse so widely throughout the world, bringing together millions of believers.
The difference between Sunnis and Shiites
In all the currents of the Muslim faith, the Caliph is the witness of the prophet Muhammad on Earth. But the problem is that the Sunnis and Shiites have different views on who can become it.
So, according to Sunni traditions, the leader of the communitycan become any Muslim, whose candidacy suits the requirements of the Sharia (the code of laws in Islam). Most caliphs in history were Sunnis, because this particular branch of Islam has the largest number of adherents.
The Shiites have their own opinion on this matter, or rather,the power of the Caliph can be bestowed only on the direct relatives of Muhammad. That is why of all the righteous caliphs they recognize only Ali ibn Abu Talib. In the history of the caliphate, few rulers from the side of the Shiites were seated on the throne.
Caliph: Determination of Candidates for the Title
In order to become a ruler, it was necessary to correspondstrict rules of Sharia. According to him, the Caliph is a person who is under the obligation to protect the borders of the Muslim world, monitor the quality of life of his subjects, suppress crimes and glorify Islam before other faiths.
So, according to the Sunni laws, the Caliph must meet the following criteria.
- It can only be a man.
- The candidate must be a righteous Muslim and know all the laws of the Sharia.
- Have a sound mind and not have congenital diseases.
- Have a sense of justice and not be afraid of dangers.
As for the race, the advantage wasQuraysh, but also representatives of other Arab tribes could become caliphs. Moreover, if there were no Arabs among the candidates, the title could be awarded to a white man, if only he sincerely believed in Allah.