"Whoever dies without having known the imam [caliph] of their time, their death is the death of the jahiliyya..."He then cites numerous authorities, including the historian Tabari, to the effect that the title of sultan belongs to a ruler who holds the power, while the imam is 'the one who maintains the Faith and governs the kingdoms of Islam with equity'. The caliph is 'he who commands the good and prohibits the evil [that is, maintains the shari'a]'. If the conditions mentioned above, that is conquest, power of compulsion, maintenance of the faith with justice, commanding the good and forbidding the evil, are combined in one person, then he is a sultan who can justly claim the titles of imam, caliph, wali and emir without contradiction. He points out:
'Our ullama have said that a man becomes sultan by two things: the first by the swearing of allegiance to him and the second is that he can effectively execute his decisions'and then adds that not one of the legal authorities he has consulted has ruled or asserted that the caliph
'should be of Quraysh, nor of Hashimi descent, nor appointed by the Abbasid or any other person.'For him, the requirement the imam should be Qurayshi was relevant to the beginnings of the caliphate, when the Quraysh asserted their rights over the ansar of Medina and Arabia privileged Quraysh over others, and was no longer relevant.
"God has appointed me Amir al-Muminin and a Caliph" exhorting Muslims to perform the five daily prayers and calling on state officials that "if they see men in the streets who did not go to the mosque, they should ask them about the reason..."Moreover, he went on to write:
"The Caliphate has passed on to us by inheritance and by right… Because of that and because God had entrusted to our care the lands and the people, we have to depend upon divine support and upon the spiritual aid of the Prophet. Consequently it is our wish to see that the exalted Shari'a is applied in all matters and that all the inhabitants should enjoy tranquillity and peace." (Abu-Manneh, 1994:189)Given the distance, the Caliphate has played a subordinated role in Indo-Muslim history. It would appear more often when a new political power began to establish itself and was craving legitimacy. This would suggest all were aware of the significance and importance of the caliph, with all legitimate authority flowing from him, whether they took notice or not. A number of rulers, mainly Turkic and Afghan, of the so-called Delhi sultanate between 1206 and 1526 sought investiture from the Abbasid caliph, even after he faded into the shadows of Mamluk-ruled Cairo. (Otto Spies, 'Ein Investiturschreiben des abbasidischen Kalifen in Kairo an einen indischen Koenig', Professor Muhammad Shaf Presentation Volume, Lahore: Punjab University Press, 1955, pp.241-53)
"Let us reach out from our narrow little sphere for a moment, and examine what goes on in the rest of the globe. The Turkish prince, for example, rules peacefully over twenty races of different religious conviction; two hundred thousand Greeks live in Constantinople in perfect safety, and the Mufti himself nominates and presents the Greek patriarch to his emperor; there is even a Roman Catholic patriarch living there. The Sultan nominates Catholic bishops to some of the Greek islands, with the following words: "I commend him to go and reside as bishop on the isle of Chios in accordance with its ancient customs and vain ceremonies". This empire is stuffed with Jacobites, Nestorians, Monothelites, Coptics, Christians of St John, Jews, Gebers, and Banians. The annals of Turkey bear no record of a revolt raised by any of these religious communities." (Voltaire, Treatise on Tolerance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 20-21)
Great answers start with great insights. Content becomes intriguing when it is voted up or down - ensuring the best answers are always at the top.
Questions are answered by people with a deep interest in the subject. People from around the world review questions, post answers and add comments.
Be part of and influence the most important global discussion that is defining our generation and generations to come