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94 years after its abolishment, are the Turkish people reviving the Ottoman caliphate?

Yesterday marked 94 years since the abolishment of the Ottoman Caliphate on 3rd March 1924 CE. [1] The caliphate has played a significant role throughout the history of Islam and its destruction is arguably one of the darkest eras in Islamic history following the death of Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). [2]

Its history comprises of hundreds of years of enormous territorial expansion, economic growth and academic development. The caliphate, or better known as the Khilāfah in Arabic is the position of authority and representation which is given to a selected individual over the Muslim Nation following the final prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).

#3rdMarch1924 – 94 years without the Caliphate

Narrated by Abu Huraira the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“The Children of Israel used to be ruled and guided by prophets; whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam)! What do you order us (to do)?” He said, “Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfil their rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship.” [3]

The responsibility of the Caliph was to act as the representative of Muslims, acting according to and ruling by Divine law (Shariah) in totality, establishing prayer, collecting obligatory alms (zakāt), and conveying the message of Islām to the entire world. [4]

Turkey today has witnessed drastic changes ever since the abolishment of the caliphate and the rise of the Zionist-sponsored, secularist Mustafa Kemal “Atatürk”. [5] “Atatürk” came to power imposing decades of secularism on the Turkish people. Turkey endured a staunchly secularised political climate for a number of years but is currently undergoing a remarkable transitional period, in which it is removing itself of the tyranny that suffocated it.

In recent years under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Turkey has reversed the Hijāb ban, built more than 17,000 new mosques, reinforced familial values, clamped down on alcoholism and formed many other policies in line with Islamic principles. [6]

In February, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commented that Turkey should reconsider criminalising adultery and bringing back the ‘adultery law’. During a weekly parliamentary group meeting in Ankara, Erdoğan stated,

“This society holds a different status in terms of its moral values…This is self-criticism. I must say that in the EU process we made a mistake … We should now evaluate making regulations about adultery and perhaps consider it together with the issue of harassment and others…This is an issue where Turkey is different from most western countries.” [7]

Earlier in February, Erdoğan also said that the Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire. During a memorial ceremony to mark the anniversary of the death of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, Erdoğan stated,

“The Republic of Turkey, just like our previous states that are a continuation of one another, is also a continuation of the Ottomans. Of course, the borders have changed. Forms of government have changed… But the essence is the same, the soul is the same, even many institutions are the same.” [8]

Turkey has demonstrated its concern for the vulnerable and oppressed in accordance to humanitarian acts and principles which Islam has emphasised. It has also shown to be extremely charitable and in 2016 was ranked second in the world for the amount of humanitarian assistance it provided ($6 billion), whilst providing the most humanitarian assistance as percentage of gross national income (GNI). [9]

Turkey Ranked Second in the World for Most Humanitarian Aid

Abdullāh b. Salām (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “O people, promote the greetings of peace (Salāms), feed (the poor and needy) and pray when others are asleep so that you will enter Jannah safely.” [10]

Charity is one of the most essential manifestations of any Islamic country. The above is the founding statement of the Prophetic Islamic state, which presents the great emphasis and direct command the Prophet of Allah made to the Muslims with regards to humanitarianism and charity.

The Turkish people have come a very long way since the abolishment of the caliphate, an event which certainly marked a turning point in history that was so momentous that mankind can feel the aftershocks of it until present day. However, even with the vicious decades of secularism that was enforced following the fall of the Ottoman caliphate, the Turkish people have used every means to preserve and uphold their Islamic identity against the toxic secular “Atatürk”-driven assault against the deeply-rooted values of the Turkish people.

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] Ozoglu, H. (2011). From Caliphate to Secular State: Power Struggle in the Early Turkish Republic.

[2] https://www.islam21c.com/current-affairs/3rd-march-1924/

[3] Sahih al-Bukhari

[4] Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya w’al Wilayat al-Diniyya – Imam Al-Mawardi [Translated by Professor Wafaa H. Wahba, Feb 2000] [5] https://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/history/the-remarkable-story-of-islamic-turkey/

[6] https://www.islam21c.com/politics/victory-for-turkey-victory-for-islam/

[7] https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/2/21/turkey-should-bring-back-adultery-law-erdogan

[8] https://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkish-republic-continuation-of-ottoman-empire/1059924

[9] https://www.islam21c.com/politics/turkey-ranked-second-in-the-world-for-most-humanitarian-aid/

[10] At-Tirmidhi


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