All posts filed under: History

A History of Islam in 10 Objects

Historical objects such as artefacts, manuscripts and buildings are one of the primary sources in the study of history. Their presence or absence in a society can offer a unique insight in to the past, especially when combined with other sources such as oral narrations. They can offer a more holistic view towards society, and easily dispel the sweeping generalisations we see among those who attempt to distort Islamic history for their own nefarious purposes.

How Muslims in the 19th century viewed the Caliphate

Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani says, “Prior to World War One, Muslims knew that they had the Islamic State. Despite its weakness, decline and the diverse views towards it, the State remained the focus of their thought and vision. Although the Arabs viewed it as being imposed upon them, and that it suppressed their rights, they still looked at the Islamic State as their State, and attempted to reform it with their hearts and minds.”[1] What follows are some extracts from the highly recommended book, ‘Islam in Victorian Liverpool: An Ottoman Account of Britain’s First Mosque Community by Yusuf Samih Asmay. This book gives an insight in to the Muslims of the 19th century and how they viewed the Ottoman State. One common thread that appears throughout the book is that Muslims, whether in the west or Muslim world, viewed the Ottomans as the official representatives of Islam, since they held the seat of the Caliphate. Any complaints or requests Muslims in the UK or America had, were directed through the Ottoman Consulate in their respective countries. …

How to write to the Caliph in 1895 from the UK

On 3rd August 1895, Nafeesa Keep based in Liverpool, England wrote a letter to Sultan Abdulhamid II. The contents of the letter can be read in the book ‘Islam in Victorian Liverpool: An Ottoman Account of Britain’s First Mosque Community’ by Yusuf Samih Asmay. What is interesting about this letter is the official path it took, and the various state institutions (ajhizat) it passed through before reaching the Caliph. The letter took approximately three weeks to reach Abdulhamid.

Tipu Sultan seeks legitimacy from the Ottoman Caliph

Tipu Sultan, was ruler of Mysore based in South India from 1782 to 1799. In 1784 Tipu Sultan sent Osman Khan to Constantinople to find out whether an embassy to the Ottoman Government would be fruitful. Tipu decided to send an embassy to Constantinople in order to secure confirmation of his title to the throne of Mysore from the Ottoman Caliph. The idea of securing an investiture from the Caliph was no innovation on the part of Tipu. With the exception of the Mughal Emperors who regarded themselves as Caliphs [sic] in their kingdom in their own right, a number of Muslim rulers of India had secured confirmation of their title to the throne from the then ruling Caliph. Thus Iltutmush and Mahmud of Ghazna had obtained their investiture from the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad, while Muhammad b. Tughlaq, Firoz Shah Tughlaq and Mahmud of Malwa had secured it from the Abbasid Caliphs of Egypt. Now that the Caliphate had become vested in the Ottoman dynasty, Tipu wanted to obtain his investiture from the Ottoman …

Umar bin Abdul-Aziz: Reviver of the Rightly Guided Caliphate

1. Who is Umar bin Abdul-Aziz? Umar bin Abdul-Aziz (May have mercy on him) was a Caliph during the first century of Islam, in the Umayyad period of the Caliphate. He is counted as the sixth rightly guided Caliph after Al-Hasan. When Umar bin Abdul-Aziz was a young man, he went to his father’s stables to see one of the horses when a horse suddenly struck him in the face causing him a head wound. As his father was wiping away the blood, he said to Umar, “If you were to be the one with the scar (ashajj), then you would be the happiest of all the Umayyads.” This is because Umar bin al-Khattab used to say, “There will be among my offspring a man with a scar (ashajj) on his face who will fill the earth with justice, just as it was filled with injustice and oppression.”[1] Term of office start Hijri[2] Friday 15 Safar 99AH Term of office end Hijri[3] Friday 20 Rajab 101AH Term of office start Gregorian Friday 28 September 717CE …

​”The Ottoman Empire lay at our feet dismembered and impotent, its capital and Caliph at the mercy of our guns.” [Harold Nicolson]

​”The Ottoman Empire lay at our feet dismembered and impotent, its capital and Caliph at the mercy of our guns.” [Harold Nicolson][1] The 28th Rajab 1442AH (Friday 12th March 2021) marks the centenary anniversary of the Caliphate’s (Ottoman Empire) formal abolition in Turkey in 1342H/1924 CE. The magnitude of this event and its effect on the problems facing the Muslim world today cannot be underestimated. After 100 years without a central Islamic authority to implement, protect and propagate Islam it’s important to reflect back on the result of the Caliphate’s destruction.

Leaders around the Messenger: Ubaadah ibn As-Saamit

From the first pledge of Al-Aqaba to the first naval expedition, a lifelong leader who Umar said, “is equivalent to 1000 men” وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ “And those in front–ahead indeed!”[1] The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: أَصْحَابِي كَالنُّجُومِ بِأَيِّهِمْ اقْتَدَيْتُمْ اهْتَدَيْتُمْ “My companions are like stars, whichever of them you use as a guide, you will be rightly guided.”[2] The sahaba were the best generation and their diverse lives need to be studied so we can take lessons from them. Whichever characteristic we want to emulate we will find it exemplified in the sahaba. They hold qualities of bravery, chivalry, knowledge, sacrifice and leadership because they were trained by the best human being and master of the Prophets, Muhammad ﷺ. Biography of Ubaadah ibn As-Saamit Profile Married to Umm Haram, the Prophet’s ﷺ maternal aunt. A senior sahaba and one of the Naqibs of the Ansar so is included in the words of the Messenger ﷺ, “If the Ansar took their way through a valley or a mountain pass, I would take Ansar’s valley. And but …

How Ramadan times were calculated in the Ottoman era

BY ERHAN AFYONCU This has been reproduced from Daily Sabah During the tenure of Şeyhülislam Musa Kazım Efendi in the Second Constitutional Period (II Meşrutiyet), the Qadi of Istanbul and a fatwa consultant (fetva emini) came on the 28th day of the month of Ramadan to inform that a witness sighted the new crescent moon, marking the end of Ramadan.

Umar ibn Al-Khattab reinforces the army of Egypt with four men

Amr ibn Al-Aas was the Amir of Jihad in Egypt during the Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab. Umar wrote a letter to Amr: “I am very surprised at how long it is taking to conquer Egypt, as you have been fighting for the last two years, unless it is because of some sins that you have committed, or you have started to love this world as your enemy does. Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, only grants victory to people who are sincere. I am sending to you four individuals, and I have told you that each one of them is equivalent to one thousand men as far as I know, unless something has changed them…”[1]