Fierro, Maribel; Cressier, Patrice

The 2014 proclamation of a new caliphate headed by Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī by the so-called Islamic State1 sparked renewed interest in the history of the caliphal institution. In 2016, two books by renowned scholars appeared, offering a general overview of the subject addressed to both specialists and a larger audience.2 Previous recent studies had focused on specific historical aspects, such as the presence of messianic trends in the caliphate’s conception and the extent of the caliph’s authority.3 The abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 has also been a subject of analysis.4 That abolition—not the first one to happen in the history of Islam, as we shall see—caused special commotion among different sectors of the Islamic community, including Egyptian intellectuals who were re-thinking the place of Islam in the modern world, and Indian Muslims under British colonial rule.


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Al-ʿUsur al-Wusta

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August 17, 2022