This year on the 4th of March was the 86th Anniversary of an event so momentous that we are still feeling the after-shocks of it today. It marked a turning point in history, but one that many people are blissfully unaware of. To fully appreciate it the significance of this anniversary, we must take ourselves back to Istanbul. The year is 1924.

It is sometime after midnight. A single light, coming from the library, is on in the Dolmabache palace. There, an old man sits and reads the Qur'an pondering over the state of his Ummah. Even though he is surrounded by such opulence as the eye can barely contain, he cuts a lonely figure. His name is Abdul Mejeed and he is the 101st Caliph of Islam.

Two years ago, his cousin Muhammad VI had been exiled to Italy (where he later starved to death) and the Ottoman Sultanate had been abolished. The secular forces of the Young Turks had finally brought about the end of the Ottoman Empire, yet they didn't feel they could abolish the Caliphate straight away. They began a campaign of violence and intimidation making sure that all those who would support the Caliph were removed from the picture.

Finally, on the night of March 4th, they made their move. A young army messenger opened the door to the library. The Caliph continued to read the Qur'an. The messenger initially was taken aback by the sight, but steeled himself and read out the proclamation from the Grand National Assembly. The Caliph refused to leave Istanbul, but his staff were worried that they would all be killed by the army that had now surrounded the palace. After weighing his few options, he reluctantly packed some of his clothes and went into exile.

Before Fajr prayer, the Caliph was taken to the main train station at gunpoint where he and his family were put on the Orient Express bound for Switzerland. An envelope containing £2000 was given to the man who left behind entire palaces full of diamonds, emeralds and gold. The station master quickly took the Caliph and his family into his small house adjoining the train station to shelter them from the cold on the platform whilst they awaited the train to start on its sad journey. As they drank tea, the Caliph thanked him for his hospitality. The station master, a Jew, began to cry. “How can you thank me?” he asked especially knowing that it was the Caliphs of Islam who had preserved the life and dignity of the Jewish people whenever they were persecuted elsewhere in the world. Instead, he thanked the Caliph for the honour of being able to serve him even if for the briefest moment.

In the morning, the Muslims awoke to the news that they had scarcely believed would ever happen – the Caliphate had been abolished. There were isolated riots and uprisings in various places, but the army put them down ruthlessly. The last Caliph spent his days walking along the promenade in Paris, France. There he lived a humble life until he died of a heart attack in 1944 during the Nazi occupation of France. Now, on the 86th anniversary of this Earth shattering event, the United States of America still have their President, England still has its Queen, the Catholics still have their Pope – but the Muslims are condemned to roam the wilderness leaderless. As no Caliph had ever been buried in non-Muslim lands, the Caliph remained unburied with no Muslim country willing to take his body. Caliph Abdul Majeed II was eventually buried in Jannat Al Baqi in Madinah. Amidst the greatest heroes of Islams past was laid to rest our most potent symbol of a fractured present. There to this day, the first Caliph and the last Caliph of Islam lie within a few yards of each other- a reminder of a once great Muslim nation that has no one to lead it.

42 Responses

  1. nomadone

    This is something painful to read and contemplate on. We ask Allah to forgive us for our weakness and headlessness and to make us worthy of honour and dignity again.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  2. ibrahim

    If you have ever visisted Dolmabace palace you will have been struck by its opulence and the luxury these caliphs sarrounded themselves with; numerous wives, gold and diamonds, gifts from queen victoria, the best food etc etc . The collapse of this caliphate, like all other corrupt dynasties, was inevitable.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Hassan Adnan

      Assalam O Alikum,
      It is heartening to see that the last castle of Islam calls itself “Secular” now. However the same political party that took part in bringing down in Caliphate is somehow defending Islam in Turkey. May Allah have mercy on us, and May Allah rehabilitates the institution of Caliphate to us. Ameen.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      • tariq

        Actually, not the same political party. Their are divisions within Turkey, secular and Islamic. Currently, the latter is in power.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • FG

      And why not .. may I ask other dynasties also capitulate … ???

      The Popedome has not had a very untainted past … why did the Popedome not get abolished …???

      Caliphate was an institution and Caliphs were mere individuals … some excellent some corrupt … and you my friend will have to start distinguishing between individuals and institutions …

      Caliphat bound the Muslims together in some form and that is the point … that glue is now missing …

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  3. Hassan

    What?? I thought caliphate ended with death of Ali (RA). And that was fulfillment of prophecy of Prophet Muhammad PBUH as well.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
      • Mehdi Sheikh

        Well According to Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihiwa sallam) the Khilaafah would only last for I think it was 40 something years (.. then would come, kingship, then tyrannical kingship). which would imply that Muawiyah (radiallahu anhu) was the last real Khalif of Islaam.

        Khilaafah has to be earned, its not brought about by politics or activism. Muslims have lost it because of their lack of adherence to the Sunnah, and they will only regain it when they begin practicing Islaam according to th Sunnah again.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      • Muhammad

        So Muslims during the time of Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi’i, and Ahmed were not adhering to the Sunnah?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Mehdi Sheikh

        Abu Hanifa died in jail. Malik was lashed by the ruler until his arms became paralyzed. i don’t know any specific about Imam Shaafi, and Imaam Ahmad’s persecution by the Khaalif is famous.

        I gave you a (paraphrased) Hadeeth and you are giving me conjecture?

        The biggest fitnah that the Ummah ever faced was the death of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). The degradation of the Muslims began almost immediately thereafter. Abu Bakr had to suppress two fronts of Apostasy and by the time of Uthmaan, the Khawaarij became quite powerful and in response to them arose the Sheeah. After expansion in to lands beyond Arabia, Muslims came into contact with varied other philosophies and started to interweave these corrupt ideologies into Islaam, giving rise to the Ashaaris and other Ahlul Kalaam.

        So if you read your history correctly, yes even at the time of the four Imaams Muslims had already begun to delve and indulge in bidah and other things that are against the sunnah.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. hayat

    Ya allah i never heard of this what a shame for me , now days we muslim are busy withou aruging one another with all the division and the wars and every story that consern muslim and we are going to forget our heros but Allha is the one who give them what they deserv.

    so lets is be all one.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  5. isit1990again

    What’s next a hizb-ut-tahrir/muslim matters conference? and to the commenter who said turkey is responsible for bringing down caliphate, don’t forget the betrayal of the arab wahabbis which led to dissolution of the ottoman empire. not letting women driveand destroying graveyards is more important than helping muslims of gaza.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Sayf

      Thinking in black-and-white is counterproductive.
      See: King Faisal.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    • Mehdi Sheikh

      Arabs and (sic) Wahhabis had nothing to do with the abolishment of the Khilaafah. The area of Najd in which Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab spread his dawah was never under Ottoman control, and the country of Saudi Arabia formed under King Al-Saud formed in 1930 by the time which the “khilaafah” had already been abolished. Don’t know where you learn your history, but the entire Muslim World was not united under one Khilaafah at the time. The Muslim’s of Persia, India, Indonesia and much of the eastern world beyond north Arabia had no Ottoman influence.

      As for destroying graveyards I think you mean shrines and places of shirk. Yes, destroying these is more important than helping the Muslims of gaza(not that the Saudi’s don’t) because destroying Shirk is the primary goal of Islaam.

      Also the Palestine issue is not as black and white as you like to think. Even Hamas (the people who control Gaza) are not letting aid and food go to its residents because of some twisted sense of ideology. There’s a lot of ego and corruption in Palestine that helps contribute to the suffering of the people.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      • Ibn Adam

        Hasan, you should read your own wikipedia posts:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Saudi_State

        “This was seen as a major challenge to the authority of the Ottoman Empire, which had exercised its rule over the holy cities since 1517.”

        While I was incorret to say that Ibn Saud was allied with the British (it was Abdul Aziz), you also proved that the Ottomans ruled over Makkah and Madinah since 1517. This predates Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab’s time.

        All that you have proven is that from the very beginning, the House of Saud has been fighting the Ottoman Khilafah. When the opportunity came to receive help from the British to support their goals (a relationship of mutual benefit), they jumped on the bandwagon, as has already been proven, many times over.

        The House of Saud has repeatedly fought the Ottoman Khilafah, and later fought Sherrif Hussein of Makkah, when he declared himself the new Caliph.

        Here is some more food for thought:

        http://www.imranhosein.org/books/126-the-caliphate-the-hijaz-and-the-saudi-wahabi-nation-state.html

        Scholars of the past like Imam Ahmad, Imam Malik, Ibn Taymiyyah and others had the courage to speak the truth against the Khulafah of their time. It’s pretty sad that in our time, we lack the integrity, and the knowledge to speak out the truth against rulers WHO AREN’T EVEN KHULAFAH. This is pretty sad.

        Moreover, just because the House of Saud throws a few dollars in the direction of the Muslims does not negate their history, nor the evil of their partnership with the British from before, nor with the US today.

        Allah in the Qur-an says:

        “Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) as equal to the worth of those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah? They are not equal before Allah. And Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).” Surah 9:19

        Was-Salamu’alaikum

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Abu Azhar

        tsk, tsk … the Aceh province in Indonesia pride themselves as part of Uthmaniyah khilafah. It was promised to them to have their own judicial system by the then first Indonesian president. So they helped Indonesia to gain independence from Dutch…. But promises weren’t kept

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Mehdi Sheikh

        Lets assume you are right. Lets give the Ottoman’s Aceh (a very small part of Indonesia). Even still they probably ruled over about 40% of the Muslim lands.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Ibn Adam

        As-Salamu’alaikum:

        Mehdi Sheikh, and Hasan, your defense of the Saudi regime is not based on historical fact, and what is most amusing, is that this is coming from the Saudi Royal family itself:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxqnQTxm6sA

        King Abdul-Aziz’s own grandson is openly saying that his father received money from the British to work on their behalf, and that they fought the Ottoman Turks not once. It is correct that at the time of Sheikh Abdul Wahhab, the Najd, and Hijaz were not under Ottoman rule (yet), but afterwards, IT WAS. The Ottomans even made extensions to the Haram in Makkah, and it was their governor, Sherrif Hussein (the ancestor of the current King Abdullah of Jordan), who upon learning that the Ottomans were going to be removing him from power, decided to join the British in fighting the Ottomans. After the defeat of the Ottomans, Sherrif Hussein of Makkah declared himself the new Caliph, and it was after this, did AbdulAziz attack the Hijaz, and sent Sherrif Hussein into exile, where he fled to Jordan. T.E. Lawrence (i.e. Lawrence of Arabia), supported Sherrif Hussein of Makkah, while St.Jean Philby supported AbdulAziz, all in an effort to create divisions in the Khilafah, as the Ottomans became the enemy of the British. Prior to this, Ibn Saud himself was fighting on behalf of the British, against the Rashidi clan, who were allied with the Ottoman Turks. Read ANY legitimate history book on this subject, and you will learn the truth. Sheikh Abdul Wahhab was not responsible for revolting against the Ottoman Khilafah, as he openly taught that one should obey the ruler, even if they were disobedient, but the same CANNOT be said about King Abdul Aziz. Unfortunately, this is something very few people either know about, nor want others to know about. Why? Because it exposes the Saudi regime for working on behalf of the British.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._John_Philby#Arab_Revolt

        So, yes, the Ottomans did in fact rule the Najd, and the Hijaz (they were even building a railway from Istanbul to Madina prior to WWI which unfortunately was never complete), and in fact recently, the Saudi’s have even started to destroy remnants of Ottoman castles.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajyad_Fortress

        King Abdul Aziz fought two Muslim rulers:

        1. He fought the Ottoman Khilafah
        2. He fought Sherrif Hussein of Makkah after he declared himself the new Caliph

        For the record Hasan, no one is blaming the ENTIRE COLLAPSE of the Ottoman Khilafah on the Saudi’s. However, YES, THE SAUDI’S DID PLAY A ROLE IN IT. They were working to support the British agenda at that time (kind of how they work for the US agenda today). If that meant giving the Muslims of the Hijaz some perks, then so be it. The point was, the british had NO INTEREST in the Arabian Peninsula, because there was nothing of value there. Oil was discovered MUCH LATER. Up until then, the Arabian Peninsula was a desert wasteland that was of no value to anyone.

        The fact that even the Saudi Royal family is quite clear and open about its fighting of the Turks, and receiving money from the Briitsh to support the Colonial agenda without any shame, or guilt, just shows how you (and many, many others), are so deluded to think that the Saudi’s are some benevolent, heroes of Islam. The Saudi’s used Islam to simply further there own political agenda, and in turn, puppets of the Saudi regime, in an effort not to bite the hand that feeds them, defend the Saudi regime. A relationship of convenience. The House of Saud, and other rulers in the Middle East are no different than Hamid Karzai (i.e. a puppet ruler put in place to ensure that colonial interests are achieved by fighting the establishment of the Khilfah). The only difference, is that these other rulers are older, and some of them have oil.

        If you disagree with anything I have said, please show proofs that King Abdul Aziz was NOT working with the British, did not fight the Ottomans, the Hijaz, and the Najd areas were simply barren with no one ruling over them, and that Abdul Aziz simply came and took over a region without fighting anyone for it.

        I hope this clarifies any confusions.

        Was-Salamu’alaikum

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. someone

    its interesting that he was exiled to europe, instead of a pre dominantly muslim land…i feel like it has a sense of foresight…especially as western muslims who can, alhamdulilah, freely practice their deen, unlike in other muslim nations

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Dawud Israel

      Well said.

      But nonetheless, Caliphs like kings and queens, are a symbol of majesty, inspiration and hope to people.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  7. KHALIL

    May be If the Arabs wouldn’t betray Caliph during the World War 1 may be secularist couldn’t be that strong and dare to abolish caliphate. We are paying for our sins that we committed at that time.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  8. Kashif H

    salaam aleikum,

    some of the comments here clearly demonstrate that Muslims have a blind spot when it comes to knowledge of this institution, its historical importance, and its Islamic imperative.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  9. Kashif H

    One other comment I forgot to mention, it was after the collapse of the caliphate that the state of Israel was actively promoted and proclaimed by the British. It was Theodore Herzl after all who went to the caliph Sultan Abdul Hameed II in 1901 and offered him wealth beyond his means, payment of all debts of the caliphate, and funds to build a railway in exchange for the establishment of the state of Israel. This was the response Sultan Abdul Hameed II told his Head of the Ministers Council:

    “Advise Dr. Herzl not to take any further steps in his project. I can not give away a handful of the soil of this land for it is not my own, it is for all the Islamic Nation. The Islamic Nation that fought Jihad for the sake of this land and they have watered it with their blood. The Jews may keep their money and millions. If the Islamic Khilafah State is one day destroyed then they will be able to take Palestine without a price! But while I am alive, I would rather push a sword into my body than see the land of Palestine cut and given away from the Islamic State. This is something that will not be, I will not start cutting our bodies while we are alive.”

    source: http://www.futureislam.com/20070101/leaders/arhilmi/Filasteen.asp

    We must realize that he must have understood that the situation was bleak. Even as he losing territory to the Europeans, internally the caliphate was in a state of disarray, and agents had successfully infiltrated the institutions (via the Young Turks). Despite the reality being bleak, He still held fast to the hukm of Allah (swt) and did not give in.

    salaam aleikum

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  10. bintarshad

    beautiful read!!

    Request to the author to please list any recommended books

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Ibn Adam

      “A Peace to End All Peace – The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East” By: David Fromkin

      “Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East”
      By: Karl E. Meyer & Shareen Blair Brysac

      These books are a good start. I hope this helps.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  11. Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

    Odd timing for this article, since March was months ago, and the 86th anniversary has no special significance. And I agree with what has been mentioned, that the very opulence of the Khalifa’s palaces, and the fact that they were full of jewels and gold, speaks volumes about the decadence of that institution and its inevitable downfall.

    Nevertheless, I understand the broader significance of the occasion. The writer seems to bemoan the fact that the Khalifa was not kept at least as a figurehead like the monarchy of England. That would be meaningless. The greater tragedy is that for the first time in history, the Muslim world does not have a leader who at least nominally represents the Ummah at large, and looks after the well being of the Muslim people. We may not be rudderless, since we will always have the Quran and Sunnah as a guide, but we have no one to captain the boat. Instead every Muslim must pilot his own tiny little craft, almost helpless beneath the massive waves and storms of the sea.

    Who speaks up for the Muslims of Chechnya? Who comes to the aid of the Muslims of Xinjiang? Who stands up for the Palestinians? Who steps in to solve the tragedy in Somalia? Who prevented the massacres in Bosnia? Who calls on Muslim nations to stand together? No one, no one. There is no one now. That is the great tragedy.

    Still, we are a quarter of the world’s population, and I don’t believe we can remain leaderless forever. One day, someone must step up to fill the void. I hope that we will be ready Insha’Allah.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    • Yusuf

      3rd March 1924 corresponds with 28 Rajab 1342 in the hijri calendar, therefore this article is very timely.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  12. Abu Umar

    Ibn Adam,
    you are right when you accuse King Abdul-Aziz of being a British stooge, which he most certainly was, yet you fail to criticise Sharif Hussein, who also was a stooge for the British. Also, not all “Wahabis” were stooges fo the British as there were “Wahabis” at the time who condemned King Abdul-Aziz for his colloboration with the British including Sultan al-Bajjaad and Faysal ad-Duwaysh, leaders of the Ikhwan, and the Rashidis(who were “Wahabis”, though political opponents of the Saudis). Also the Qawasim tribe(also “Wahabi”) fought the British in what is now the UAE and area. I find it very hypocritical of the anti-”Wahabi” Sufis who use this issue insincerely for sectarian reasons when they are silent on the treachery of Sharif Hussein and his descendants including

    King Abdullah I of Jordan who was backed by the British and whose colloboration with the Zionists in the 1940′s played a large part in the loss of Palestine

    King Faysal of Iraq who was also a stooge for the British

    King Hussein of Jordan who was on the CIA payroll and continued the treachery of his grandfather by colloborating with the Zionists

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    • Ibn Adam

      As-Salamu’alaikum:

      Abu Umar, you are right for pointing out that Sherrif Hussein of Makkah was a British stooge as well. I did point it out (albeit briefly), when mentioning how he switched sides against the Ottomans by allying himself with the british, and working with T.E. Lawrence. I didn’t direct criticism against him because:

      1. His story of collaborating with the British is quite well known, thanks in part to the movie, “Lawrence of Arabia”. His treachery definitely cannot be ignored, nor can it be trivialized. The disgusting thing about this family, is that in the 1973 war, King Hussein (another big traitor), knew of the planned attack against Israel by Egypt, and Syria, and tried to warn Golda Meir (the Prime Minister of Israel at that time) of the planned attack. The funny (and ironic) thing was that the Israeli Prime Minister didn’t believe him! Truly amazing.

      2. I target my criticism against the House of Saud family because there unfortunately is a myth that they are the “defenders of Tawheed”, that they never colluded with the british (nor work with the US at all), and that they are (somehow), “legitimate” Islamic rulers, who do no wrong, and must be obeyed. What these people are essentially doing is trying to ensure that the Khilafah does NOT get re-established, by protecting the legitimacy, and occupation of the hijaz by the House of Saud. They also divert the argument by playing a game of bait and switch, by proving that Sheikh Abdul Wahhab was innocent from revolting against the Ottomans (this is true). What they always fail to accept, and acknowledge, is that while Sheikh AbdulWahhab was not guilty of revolting against the Khilafah, Ibn Saud was, and history bears witness to this.

      Having said that, any of the present rulers has the ability at any time to say, “our predecessors were wrong in what they did, and now we will rectify this”, and they can do this by declaring themselves as being the new Khalifah, and officially declare their respective country, an Islamic state. Unfortunately, all of these rulers are being watched by their colonial masters (i.e. the US, British, and the French), who will quickly depose them should they make any such attempt. Look what happened to Saddam Hussein! (He at no point tried to declare khilafah in Iraq, and was a brutal tyrant towards Muslims, but once he no longer was a puppet for the US, they got rid of him).

      JazakALLAH Khair for pointing this out. We Muslims need to be aware of our history to put today’s events in context, and recognize who the friends, and enemies of Islam and Muslims really are.

      Was-Salamu’alaikum

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  13. kitteh!

    :( this is very thoughtful as well as pain full!
    May Allah bless Muslim Ummah with sabar and success!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  14. Mesut

    BismillahirRahmanirRahim

    This is perhaps the best post that i have read on MuslimMatters. We, as Muslims, must have a love for our Khulafa’ in our hearts. As such, we must love the Ottoman Khulafa’ who ruled correctly and represented our faith and our Holy Prophet (AS) with honor for centuries.

    To those who are speaking against these noble men who spent their lives and blood in the way of Islam. Who are you and what have you done for our religion? You are like dogs howling at the moon; you may lose your voices, but you will still not bring it down.

    May Allah (SWT) bless our Ottoman Sultans and may He bring those who will once again raise the Flag of RasulAllah (S) over all of humanity, Ameen.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  15. Muhammad ibn Muhammad

    Asalaam Alaikum,

    JazakAllah khairun to everyone for your comments whether negative, positive or neutral. We may disagree or agree but as long as we understand that we are Muslim brothers and share the same vision of raising Allahs name above all others and to establish Islam in the world then what binds us is more than what divides us.

    I will inshaAllah be discussing many of the points and controversies raised here in future posts. If there are any suggestions I would be grateful to hear from you all.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  16. levanten

    I have difficulty in understanding this article and comments.

    First, the Arabs made a deal with British and revolted not only against the Ottomans but primarily against the caliph -the ottoman sultan- in 1916. The ottoman soldiers who were killed were the army of the caliph. The great war was a war between religions, and the arab leaders aligned with the wrong side. (as long as the British bribed them well)

    In the end of the war, it became clear that the clever Arab leadership was tricked by the British with the false promise of an independent state. Rest of the story is well-known, colonization, Balfour declaration, and so on…and Saudi Arabia left as the only independent state under British “informal empire” .

    I think this article remembering the last caliph is simply odd. It is really absurd to hear that people are mourning for the last (ottoman) caliph, the one they betrayed in a holy war.

    Let me tell you the real story abolishing of caliphate: The leader of the Arab revolt “Sheriff Hussein” declared himself as caliph in 1924, after Turkish parliament abolished the caliphate. King Ibn Saud of Arabia, driven by power-seeking, kicked Sheriff Hussein out with the support of British once again. Yes, this is the real end of the caliphate. The greediness of “revolutionary” leaders of the Arab world, their quest for dominance served european imperialism, and left the “great Muslim nation that has no one to lead it.”

    I think it will be better to face the mistakes of the past instead of creating illogical reasonings to hide them.

    Check history:
    “When Hussein declared himself King of the Hejaz, he also declared himself King of all Arabs (malik bilad-al-Arab). This aggravated his conflict with Ibn Saud, with whom he had fought before WWI on the side of the Ottomans in 1910. Two days after the Turkish Caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on March 3, 1924, Hussein declared himself Caliph at his son Abdullah’s winter camp in Shunah, Transjordan.[2] The claim to the title had a mixed reception, and he was soon ousted and driven out of Arabia by the Saudis, a rival clan that had no interest in the Caliphate. Saud defeated Hussein in 1924. Hussein continued to use the title of Caliph when living in Transjordan.”

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  17. Hamad bin Suleiman

    Assalamu Alaykoum,

    Firstly, we should consider Ottoman Sultanate and Khilafah separately. All the Muslim lands were not under the control of the Ottoman Empire but the majority of the Sunni Muslims were bound to the Caliph, religiously and this was an “Islamic Unity.” This is why Indians and Pakistanis collected money to help the continuation of the Caliphate after the end of the Ottoman Empire. They were quite aware of the fact if the caliphate declines, it will be hard to restore it again. You can discuss the legitimacy of the position of Caliphate, you can claim that Ottomans were corrupted and they did not have right to seize Arabian Peninsula, you can claim that Arabs were right to cooperate with British against the Ottomans; however, you cannot claim that the unity of the Muslims at that time was a bad idea…. As a Muslim, I accept the faults of the Ottoman Empire but I’m proud of their power once upon a time… Muslims were unified, Muslims were strong at that time… I have an African friend who really suffered under the Western regimes in Africa… We, Arabs, especially the Gulf people who enjoy the richness of the gas and oil in the region, cannot easily understand what they suffer. He told me that “When the Ottomans were in power, we had our honour, now our honour is under the feet of the Westerners.” Despite a corrupted image of the Ottomans, this answer is quite enough for me…. and we Muslims, as Allah commands in Qur’an, have to give up our Qawmi and Watani aims and concantrate on the “Ummah” consciousness and the actualization of it in this life… It doesn’t matter under whom, Ottomans played their role and it ended and this doesn’t mean that our responsibility ceased to exist…

    Salam Alaykoum
    Hayyakoum Allah….

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  18. Islam indeed

    perhaps in your next article you can also mourn the ending of another wonderful Ottoman pastime, the kidnapping and forced conversion of Christian children.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply

Leave a Reply