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(RNS) The last caliph reigned from the seat of the Ottoman Empire -- that’s Turkey to you -- until he was deposed in1924. Since then many Islamic groups have called for the re-establishment of the caliphate. So how big is the new caliphate, and what does it all mean?


  1. The relevant verse from the Quran regarding Khilafat (caliphate):

    “Allah had promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.” (24:56).

    The relevant Hadith (saying of Muhammad(sa)):

    “Prophethood shall remain among you as long as Allah shall will. He will bring about its end and follow it with Khilafat on the precepts of prophethood for as long as He shall will and then bring about its end. A tyrannical monarchy will then follow and will remain as long as Allah shall will and then come to an end. There will follow thereafter monarchial despotism to last as long as Allah shall will and come to an end upon His decree. There will then emerge Khilafat on precept of Prophethood.” He said no more. Source: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

    I have some questions for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. What “good works” (as mentioned in the Quran) have you done, upon which you base your claim, and for which you could expect God’s promise of security and peace? Where in the Quran does God mention the Caliph as establishing and securing anything other than the spiritual continuation of Islam? And where is the authority for the Caliph to wage war, expropriate territory and commit murder in the name of religion?

    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community celebrated 100 years of peaceful spiritual Khilafat in 2008. The Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), his holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, recently said:

    “The Khilafat of the Ahmadiyya Community can never depart from Islam’s core teachings of fulfilling the rights owed to God and to mankind. Today, the institution of Khilafat is striving for peace in every possible way and to spread love and affection throughout the world”

    “Let me make it clear that the institution of Khilafat leading the Ahmadiyya Community has no interest in power or government. Rest assured that true Khilafat has no worldly or political objectives. The sole concern of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat is that the people of the world come to recognise their Creator and bow down before the One God.” – Germany Annual Convention, 13 June 2014.

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