Caliphate  

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"On 29 June 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced the establishment of a new caliphate. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed its caliph, and the group formally changed its name to the "Islamic State"." --Sholem Stein


"Under the last of the Ommiades, the Arabian empire extended two hundred days’ journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. And if we retrench the sleeve of the robe, as it is styled by their writers, the long and narrow province of march of a caravan. We should vainly seek the indissoluble union and easy obedience that pervaded the government of Augustus and the Antonines; but the progress of Islam diffused over this ample space a general resemblance of manners and opinions. The language and laws of the Qur'an were studied with equal devotion at Samarcand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca; and the Arabian language was adopted as the popular idiom in all the provinces to the westward of the Tigris." --Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A caliphate (from the Arabic خلافة or khilāfa) is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious as well as political leader known as a caliph (meaning literally a successor, i.e., a successor to Islamic prophet Muhammad) and all the Prophets of Islam. The term caliphate is often applied to successions of Muslim empires that have existed in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Conceptually the caliphate represents the political unity of the entire community of Muslim faithful (the ummah) ruled by a single caliph. In theory, the organization of a caliphate should be a constitutional aristocracy-theocracy (under the Constitution of Medina), which means that the head of state, the Caliph, and other officials are representatives of the people and of Islam and must govern according to constitutional and religious law (Sharia). In its early days, the first caliphate resembled elements of direct democracy (see shura) and an elective monarchy.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Caliphate" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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