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Longing for the Lost CaliphateA Transregional History$
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Mona Hassan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691166780

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691166780.001.0001

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Conceptualizing the Caliphate, 632–1517 CE

Conceptualizing the Caliphate, 632–1517 CE

Chapter:
(p.98) Chapter 3 Conceptualizing the Caliphate, 632–1517 CE
Source:
Longing for the Lost Caliphate
Author(s):

Mona Hassan

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691166780.003.0004

This chapter begins with a discussion of how the embodied practice of the earliest generations of Muslims was essential in consolidating a nearly universal Islamic consensus upon the obligation of appointing a leader for the Muslim community. As such, the caliphate was incorporated into Sunni Islamic law as a legal necessity and a communal obligation, and Muslim scholars attempted to address the institution's increasing divergence from ideals over time. Following the destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad in 656/1258, Muslim scholars of Mamluk Egypt and Syria drew from this rich tradition of Islamic political thought and jurisprudence to articulate creative solutions that bolstered the socio-legal foundations of the reconstituted caliphate in Cairo. As intellectual predecessors, teachers, disciples, colleagues, rivals, and adversaries, these premodern scholars were connected to each other through intricate social webs that traversed the centuries of Mamluk rule from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries.

Keywords:   Islamic caliphate, Muslim leaders, Muslims, caliphate, Sunni Islamic law, Cairo, Mamluk rule

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