There are common misconceptions about history in general and Muslim history in particular.
History is written about momentous events, typically negative ones, rather than about mundane events. We won't find history books full of "this day was fine day and everything went just fabulous, the next day was also a fine day and everything went just fabulous again, and so on". Often negative events are highlighted more than notable good events.
For Muslims, we have a high standard for Justice - Islam. Anyone less than the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah (ra) is not considered just.
So we criticise all rulers and compare them to the Prophet (saw) and the Khulafah Rashidah, and they come up short, perhaps except khulafah Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Mutassim Billah, Muhtadi Billah, Suleiman al-Qanooni, Abdul Hamid II (ra).
So of course almost all of Muslim history would appear to be unjust, but from the perspective of high Islamic standards. Only the systems from the Creator can best serve the interests of all and only Islam can be just. Any shortcoming, misunderstanding, or misapplication of Allah's rules is injustice. For sure then, any non-Islamic rule would be extreme zulm.
Our history is much better than the Western one. Nobody claims all the past Islamic rulers were infallible, rather we just believe many of them, a large proportion, were men of better Faith and Courage who served Islam in the best way possible.
Many Umayyad rulers were oppressive in some of their policies especially against the Noble Imams of Ahle Bayt (ra) but there were good rulers as well. It is mostly a Shia narrative to paint all Umayyds as antagonists just out of their extreme hatred of Muawiyyah (ra).
The Umayyad dynasty also included men like Umar bin Abdul Aziz (ra) who was a Pious and Just ruler and even considered by some Sunni Ullama to be the fifth Rightly Guided Caliph.
It was under the Umayyads and many great governors and generals including Muawiya, Yusuf bin Tashfin, Tariq bin Ziyad and Musa bin Nusayr that Islam spread to Norther Spain in the West and China in the East.
Abbasids were very visionary and able rulers who took Islamic civilization to new heights by starting a whole new translation movement to translate all scholarly material and texts to Arabic to take benefit and created the Bayt al-Hikmah (the House of Wisdom) where great intellectuals and scholars from every corner of the world were invited to debate and teach. This was the "Islamic Golden Age".
It is this era we see the Murabitoon, Muwahidoon, Sultan Baybars and the likes of Salahudeen, with the zeal of Islam, defended and unified the Muslim lands from division and removed oppression.
Sadly we know little about it because nationalist historians darken our history painting it as if was full of war and injustice with nothing good at all.
The Ottoman Caliphate was probably the best of all these three as Pious and Just rulers who were masters of Sunni Islam creed, tassawuf, and politics. These rulers had the utmost Respect and Love for Allah and The Master of all Creation Muhammad (saw).
Most don't know because you read about them by Wikipedia, Brittanica, and other Western Orientalist sources which spread prejudices about the Ottomans. But if you read original Ottoman historians or unbiased Western historians like Caroline Finkel, Suraiya Faroqhi, Donald Quaetert and Professor Kenneth Harl et al then you would understand the legacy of Ottomans who ruled by Shari'a for 600 years in a just and tolerant manner such that Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived harmoniously in Ottoman lands for centuries, famously Ottomans giving them sanctuary across their domains when they were expelled by the Spanish in 1492. Something which is unfathomable today.
Many of the Ottoman Caliphs were high level Saints with certain karamahs of them recorded in history.
It is the most absurd notion to believe heroes and righteous figures of Muslims have only been Ullama and Awliya. The reason is that Ullama and Awliya cannot just thrive without a proper Islamic environment given to them which allows them to work and teach. They were always protected by some great Caliph, Governor, Ameer, and Mujahid who was there to organise and protect the Islamic community and such Ullama/Scholars from vicious enemies which seemed to destroy the Islamic ummah for good. Islam never spread only by the Sufis alone, rather many Sufis were Mujahids and Caliphs themselves which dedicated their lives to protect the frontiers of Islamic States. This created the proper environment for such Ullama and Awliyah Allah to carry out their work.
So it was a symbiotic system and surely it would be absurd to discredit the Caliphs, Mujahideen, and Ameers. Ottomans Caliphs/Sultans from first to last one were great Sufiyya themselves who were joined to some Tariqa and held Awliyah Allah close to them. The sword girding ceremony of the Ottoman rulers in fact was done by the Custodian of the Shrine of Hazrat Mevlana Jelal ud Din Rumi (ra).
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