Official petition:

The title of caliph, once it is bestowed upon the rulers in the ottoman political system, was subjected to the monarch’s own desire in addition to determining the actual need for it. This title serves as a means of delusion for the poor, the public, the hypocrites and those who are afraid of being confined or murdered. It is implemented by the monarch and his royal court when he desires to delusively relate himself to Islam in the times when he needs more support from the Muslim subjects. This situation regarding the title of caliph has been taken seriously into consideration in addition to being given an official dimension after the first ottoman constitution that was approved and officially signed by the Sultan Abdul-Hamid II in the beginning of his era (1909 /1327 – 1879 / 1293). He stresses that the title of caliph is very important and sacred one. Article No.4 in the first time written constitution in the history of the Ottoman Empire sets forth that:” the Sultan is the only one who is entitled to be given the title of the caliph and he is the protector of Islam and the king of all ottoman subjects to whom they look up to as their monarch”. Article No.5 continues that: “the same Sultan is sacred and he cannot be questioned for whatever he does or say”. This official focus on the importance of the title of the caliph appears after a long-era of feign sadness over the concept of “caliphate” by many politicized and non-biased historians. This caliphate was not either existed or even traced in the actual and real Islamic political system from the fall of Abbasid caliphate at the hands of Mongol Empire (1258 -656). It is noteworthy that this constitutional attention to this Islamic title is given in a counter- response to the expansion of the European colonization of the Arab world.

Abdul-Hamid II seeks to legally get the concept of caliphate, but he fails to do so.

This counter-response is seen as Istanbul’s sole attempt to benefit from the results of the religious enthusiasm that emotionally triggered the region’s peoples to upheaval against the European colonization of the Arab countries in addition to making use of the politicallytriggered emotions to not let the ottoman empire’s era come to an end. The ottoman dynasty is the only dynasty that can convince the Islamic world with its right to rule as there is no similar political alternative. This standpoint is totally opposed by the authority in Egypt, Morocco and Iran and it is heartily welcomed by the Muslims in India and some others in Africa who were mainly colonized.

Sacredness Acquisition:

Let’s go back in time a little bit, it is commonly said that Selim I is the first Sultan who was given the title of the “caliph” while Abdul-Hamid II is the first Sultan who has paid legally-based attention to the title. Abdul- Hamid I is the first Sultan who implicitly refers to it at the international apparatus when he negotiates with the Russians in the treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca (1774 -1188) as he stresses that the Muslim Asian tribes, who live at the borders of the Russian’s Crimean peninsula, are his subjects as he holds responsibility for all the Muslims around the world and he was granted this right in exchange for accepting the Russian Caesar’s custody of the Ottoman empire orthodox. Abdul-Hamid II’s actual attempt to politically apply the merits of the caliph title, while running his state’s affairs, was severely opposed by the Arabs and they refused to either stand by him or give him the pledge of allegiance. The Arabs’ refusal stems from their conviction that his caliphate is not similar to what the Islamic caliphate is all about religiously and historically. In other words, the history of the Ottoman Empire was full of corruption and obliquity and these characteristics contradict and violate the personal features to be a righteous caliph. The Arab society was divided into two conflicting sections: the first section was led by clergymen who represent the authority in Istanbul who find a political and religious way for Abdul-Hamid II to get out of this dilemma by abiding to a standpoint which says that he is the only one who is entitled to be a caliph to protect the Islamic society from the European colonization. Abdul-Hamid finds this idea a suitable way out of the caliphate problem, that’s why he likes this idea and goes in accordance with it by imposing the sacredness on the title of the caliph as seen in the constitution’s Article No.5 which sets forth that:” he is the sacred caliph who cannot be questioned for whatever he says or does”. It is also important to say that orthodox caliphs- May Allah be pleased with them- can be judged and questioned in addition that they were not above the law; however they were equal to their Muslims or non-Muslims subjects in abiding to the terms of Islamic jurisdiction.

Getting rid of Quraysh dynasty

The Ottomans’ obsession and their biased historians never cease to either say or do whatever it takes to protect the wooden chair in Turkey from the European attack on the Arab world and the various liberal Arab upheavals which seeks to totally get rid of Europeans and Ottomans as two similar enemies. In the year of (1891/1309) an oddly-strange book was written whose writer adopts an extremist methodology to hide the truth by deforming the image of Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates while beautifying the image of Ottomans as he says: ” It is not a secret that the Ottoman Empire didn’t do just like the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates in confining the freedom of religion or torturing those who opposed its interests with regard to the issue of caliphate. Its scientists didn’t even exert an effort to neither manifest nor prove its own rights as these false rumors are kept to be passed down from a generation to another in addition to being transferred from one group to another. These rumors and lies always spread out anytime and anywhere in accordance with the status quo. If they are playing fair, that would be good for them and it would be also good for the public interest lest the tribulations are spread out and troubles evolve, but many scientists’ minds were deluded and manipulated and that is, of course, a non-curable disease”. This sweet flattery is considered as a historical fallacy of the realists and it neglects- according to the non-biased historical resources- the Ottoman’s weak and miserable status quo and the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates’ real contributions to serve Islam and the Muslims. It is noteworthy that Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs were descendents of Quraysh dynasty and that is the most important characteristic of the legitimacy of the Islamic caliph. This term is the one which many contemporary historians of the Ottoman Empire or those who come after the fall of the Empire and they have no proof but to believe in the right of the Ottoman dynasty to put this term aside while relying on Khadija opinions and ill-proven thoughts that, simply, tries to change the religious characteristics and requirements of caliphate. This aim is done either by avoiding all historical resources or neglecting them altogether lest the historian feels ambivalent about his own options. The opposing historians who didn’t believe in the Ottomans’ caliphate and reject it at all are inflicted with this historical disease. Take, for example, what Muhammad EL-Ashmaway did in his book that is entitled “Islamic caliphate” when he depicts the incident of Selim I who Takes over the caliphate from the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil Ala Allah by saying: ” the one who wasn’t a caliph steps down to who never ever can be a caliph”. Although his sentence refers to a real dimension about the character of Al-Mutawakkil Ala Allah, it provides a wrong piece of information as it describes the incident of taking over the caliphate as a true one and this go in contradiction with the contemporary historical resources of Al-Mutawakkil and Selim. The author of the book stresses that the Ottoman Empire begins as a monarchy and it lasts as such and it is not a caliphate at all. The concept of Ottoman caliphate is nothing but a pretense to impose the control over its subjects in the name of religion in addition to nullify any attempt of opposition from the Islamic jurisdiction, that’s why Abdul-Hamid II realize that- according to the book entitled” Islamic caliphate”- there should be a consensus of the legitimacy of his Empire’s caliphate or he will not be able to rule as a caliph.

The solutions of Khadija Asfia lets others fall into political hypocrisy

An idiot sharing

There is another proof that Abdul-Hamid II wasn’t able to apply the terms of caliphate while running the state’s affairs is that his son Mahmoud II (1839-1255) didn’t pay much attention to the caliphate because he inherits the crown without being fully convinced although he only apply its terms legally. The son deals with the caliphate as either a plate of fruits when anyone can eat with him or a piece of clothing when anyone can dress with him interchangeably. He offers a weird initiative to the Padishah of Iran; Fattah Ali Shah EL-Kakagari (1834 /1250) to share the title of caliph with him at the first treaty of Erzurum (1823/1238) in an unprecedented incident that never occurred in the Islamic history which urges the caliphs to abide to this title. This incident shows that the title of the caliph wasn’t paid much attention from the Ottoman Sultans and that’s not because of their neglect but the reason for the less-paid attention is that the title of the caliph wasn’t designed for them in form and substance. They kept the title hoping for a change in the Arab and international political situation in addition to using it just as a means of propaganda.

Mahmoud II ( the idiot) offers the padishah of Iran to share the title of caliph with him

When we approach a little bit closer to another group of historians of those historical and emotional writing school-belonging researchers who come after the fall of the Ottoman Empire , so we will find quite different but desperate attempts to find a way out of the dilemma of ” Quaraysh dynasty”. These researchers were overwhelmed by the religious emotions which compels them that there should be a religious caliphate without knowing its requirements. They may know the requirements of the caliphate, but they prefer to adhere to the public interest and protect the region from either the wars or seeking to break free from the Ottoman oppressive Rule. These different attempts include what Amany EL-Ghazy wrote in her book about the Ottoman Empire. This book is derived from the viewpoints of the orientlists who deviate from the main requirements of the caliphate by changing its original concept. She says that the concept of the caliphate is somehow different from what it was in Abbasid era and it is concerned, in the Ottoman era, with pilgrimage roads, protecting the sacred places, defending Islam and Muslims and imposing the control of the Empire over them, therefore the Ottoman Sultan deserves to be bestowed the title of the caliph.

In the name of the false "Caliphate" "Salim" allowed his soldiers to marry the widow before her 'Iddah (waiting period) ende

This story, documented by the Egyptian historian Ibn Iyas (died: 930 AH / 1510 CE), can be appended to a terrifying and bloody documentary film about barbarism that occurred on the other side of the Nile, humiliating and violating human dignity, like the one recently produced by the current global film industry, which is about the Ottoman army more than 500 years ago, who was led by the Turanian Sultan Salim I and entered Cairo as an invader and occupier. Ibn Iyas narrates this setting that has nothing to do with the Islamic caliphate claimed by the Turkish Sultanate, after it had usurped it and insulted its value in Islamic legislation. He says: “One of the judges did not give permission for an Ottoman man to marry a woman who did not break her ‘Iddah (waiting period), so this man made a complaint against that judge. So Salim summoned the judge and beat him severely. Then they removed his headscarf and put in its place the stomach of cow with its inside filth, and they placed him above a donkey backwards to wander the streets of Cairo. Hence, Salim I issued a decree stating that “No Egyptian judge has the authority to make a marriage contract for an Ottoman man.” This support for racism and the devaluation of the judiciary by Salim I, who repudiated this decree himself from the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, whose most important condition for whoever is in charge of it is achieving justice and equality among people. Moreover, Ibn Iyas proceeded in narrating, recounting shameful facts about the Ottoman army in dealing with the Egyptian people, including that women were raped even in mosques, and that mercenary soldiers would kill the husband and marry his wife without completing or even starting her waiting period (‘Iddah). Salim I was not satisfied with that meanness in his dealings with Arab nationals during his miserable rule that is described by its low level leadership, let alone that he claimed to be “the Caliph of the Muslims.”

Unjustified Bloodshed

This type of writing is an obvious underestimation and a manifested neglect to defend the Ottoman caliphate by ignoring the holy Quran, Hadith, the definition and the concept of true Islamic caliphate. These writings goes in contradiction with the facts that the pilgrimage roads weren’t safe, the poor attention paid by the Turks to the two holy mosques throughout four decades and there is a very important thing about these ill-reasoned and not historically- supported documents neglect one necessary issue; namely having endorsed that the Ottoman Empire is an Islamic one- while undoubtedly believing in this fact- doesn’t mean that we believe that everything said about it is felony, deceit and plaint. The history witnesses the crimes committed by Selim I, Suleiman the magnificent and the other Sultans who committed diverse crimes in the era of Union and progress Association that cannot be forgotten from the historical memory. Many Turkish researchers based in Istanbul try to hide all these crimes and heap praise on them, just like what many researchers has done with Selim I, the sultan that all the resources directly or indirectly agree that he is an ill-minded and sadistic Sultan who finds his pleasure in torturing others or murdering anyone either a Muslim or non-Muslim and that is more simpler than exerting an effort to ask anyone if he is doing the right thing or not. Ibn Iyas gives us the manifested proof about him as he says: “During the stay of Ottoman’s son in Egypt, he didn’t sit at Salah Al-Din Al-Ayoubi Castle just like other kings, no one sees him at all, and he didn’t help an oppressed one from an oppressor at the court. He was indulged in his pleasures, such as intoxication and having sexual intercourses with the young boys. He also trusts his ministers to rule and take whatever decisions they like. Ottoman’s son was only seen by the public when Burji Dynasty is going to be murdered. No one is safe from his deceit in addition that his speech wasn’t understandable at all and he didn’t keep his word”. Ibn Iyas also added as a witness of this era the following:” His troops were starved on purpose and they were very mean and dirty as they ate their food while ridding their horses in the marketplaces. They were rubbish and debauched because they drunk wine in the streets in front of the public. In the holy month of Ramadan, they didn’t fast or pray in the mosques and they didn’t pray on Fridays except a few of them. They were also immoral and indecent as the troops, their generals and their ministers know nothing about discipline just like the animals”. There are many other bad descriptions and hideous documentations that can compel us to have faith and conviction in what the real Islamic caliphate has contributed to the prosperity of the mankind to refuse to call Selim I a caliph in honor of the prophet’s companions- May Allah be pleased with all of them. This also didn’t mean that Ottoman Empire Sultans were so bad, but there are many Sultans who do their best to serve their nations and subjects well. This essay is a defense of a genuine political methodology which says that the caliphate has religious, social, epistemological and economic results with which the Ottoman Sultans weren’t occupied and they didn’t make use of them except for some secular and personal reasons. The essay also tackles this genuine political methodology of the concept of caliphate to preserve the historical right and the precedence to apply the responsibilities of the caliphate while running the state’s affairs; that was something Abdul-Hamid II, his predecessors and his successors officially fail to do due to the darkness inside them that didn’t cope with the Islam’s great light.

1. Abu El- Aalaa El- Mawdody. The caliphate and the kingdom. Translated by Ahmed Idris (Kuwait: ElQalum Publishing house. 1978)

2. Amany El-Ghazy. The Ottoman Empire from the perspective of the orientlists writings in the Islamic
Encyclopedia (Jeddah: the cultural works. 1433)

3. Bruce Masters. The Ottoman Empire’s Arabs. Translated by Abd El- Hakim ( Beirut: Dar ElRafedeen.2018)

4. Hassan bey Hosni. An essay about the summary of issue of caliphate among the Muslims (Cairo. ElMahroosa printing house. 1891)

5. Omar Yalmaz. Sultan Abd El- Hamid Khan II in the documents. Translated by Tarek El-Sayed (Istanbul.

Osmanly publishing house.1999)
6. Muhammad El- Ashmaway. Islamic caliphate. Second edition (Cairo. Sinai publishing house.1992)

7. Muhammad Ibn Iyas. Bada3a El-Zohor Fi Waka3aa El-Dohoor. Revised: Muhammad Mustafa. Third
Edition (Cairo. Books and national documents publishing house.2008)

8. Waleed Fekry. A history in shadow. The sixth edition (Cairo. El- Rewaq publishing house.2018)