Assalamo Alaikom. I hope that readers would be reading this in good state of Iman and health.
The real Islamic Caliphate only survived for 30 years after the Holy Prophet ﷺ as it was told by him in a Prophetic Tradition “My Caliphate will last for only 30 years”. Then, the Caliphate was changed into Kingdom. Holy Prophet ﷺ also told that a time will come when some boys will rule the Muslims and they will create a lot of destruction. And the world saw the event of Karbala and the rule of Yazid. From Umayyad dynasty to the Ottoman Empire, the Caliphate roamed in wrong hands. Still, there were a few persons or few services towards Islam that are remembered in good words even today. Suddenly, a time came that the Caliphate was abolished in Turkey and after that we have not seen any Caliph till this day. I believe that Caliphate system is a democratic system and a person who is raising his voice for democracy can amend the Ottoman Caliphate but cannot abolish it. The Saudi government is a Wahabi government and is not a democratic government like the Caliphate from Umayyads to Ottomans. The only thing I like about the Abbasids and Ottomans is their few good services towards Islam like the Holy buildings in the Holy lands of Arabia were build by Ottomans.
Yesterday, I found a new Turkish friend and I was pleased to meet him. First, we started introduction. Later, the discussion was started that there ARE Muslims in Turkey. We both had same ideas. He expressed the hatred of Arab towards Turks and the love of Pakistanis towards Turks. He further said that Turkey is a multinational community, “In Turkey there are many nations like Arabs,Kurds,Jews,Greeks,Gypsies.” He said about the Islam in Turkey, “And real Turkish people never hate Islam. Some people integrates that Turkish people are not Muslim. They are secular…”
This whole scenario leads me to write about the Caliphate, what I have summarized in the first paragraph, above. I wrote him back a long response, attached below, with the title of Islam in Turkey. If you have free time and want to go in details of the summary written above, please continue reading. Otherwise, either leave it or come back in some free time.
“If you study the history, there have been all sort of people in a nation. The reason from where I started reading Turkey is that when I visited Saudi Arabia for Umra in 2006 (after 2005), I heard that the Ottoman Empire (Turks) had a great part in the Holy building. Later, I came to know about the shrines of BAQE that were built by the Ottomans and were later destroyed by Saudis. And so, this resulted in discovery of a lot of places in Saudi Arabia. I used the word discover because I am not a Saudi resident.
In 1919, we launched Khilafat movement to protect the KHILAFAT system in the World War I. I always have two different view for any thing. I see the thing from both sides. Firstly, I want to talk about Khilafat. I actually didn’t liked the Ottomans because although they were the descendants of Hazrat Uthman but I can not forget that they were also the descendants of Umayyah. Umayyah was the ancestors of the Kings of Umayyad dynasty.
I don’t like those kings for two reasons. Firstly, for they killed our ancestors where ever they found them. Secondly, they changed Khilafat into Kingdom. But at least its name remained Khailafat and the King was called Khalifa. Then came the Abbasid dynasty, they also killed our ancestors although they were our relatives. Now, let me tell you that I don’t like Umayyad kings except Muawiya II and Umar bin Abdul Aziz. On the other hand, I don’t like Abbasid Caliphate but I like the works of Muslims in that era. That was the period when Muslims found the basis of every science. Then came the last dynasty of Caliphate, the Ottomans Caliphate. I also don’t like the Caliphs of Ottomans. In Umayyad lineage, I only like Hazrat Uthman, the second Muawiyya and Umar bin Abdul Aziz.
Now, you’ll be wondering that if I don’t like any of the Caliph, I might be against the Caliphate system. This is the difference, I think, between me and your leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. I don’t like the Caliphs of Ottomans, your leader also didn’t liked the Caliphs of Ottomans but I say that the Caliphate system should not be abolished. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliphate system because he thought it was not democratic. He was right to some extent. The Caliphate system of that time was not democratic. But the Caliphate system of the first 30 years after Holy Prophet ﷺ, which I call the real Caliphate, was totally based on democracy. I think that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk should have tried to amend the Caliphate system of that time instead of abolishing it. Our great poet, also called The Poet of East, Allama Iqbal said,
چاک کر دی ترکِ ناداں نے خلافت کی قبا
سادگی اپنوں کی دیکھ، اوروں کی عیاری بھی دیکھ
My faulty translation: Innocent Turks have torn the gown of of Caliphate
See our simplicity and also see the deception of others.
Here, there are two things mentioned about Turks. Firstly, they were innocent enough that they didn’t understood the meaning of Caliphate and destroyed it. Firstly, it tells the weakness of the Caliphs that they were not real Caliphs and secondly, it tells the weakness of thinking that Turks abolished the Caliphate instead of doing amendments in it.
The second thing, he count Turks in the word “us” and called them simple and innocent that they couldn’t guess the deception of non-Muslims.
Now, in every era, every person have different thinking and the public is different from the kingdom and government. I never support the past Caliphs but I always support the Caliphate of the first 30 years. I believe that if the Ottoman Caliphs were wrong, the people shouldn’t be tagged as wrong. That’s why Allama Iqbal also counted you in “us”. Turkey and Pakistan have almost same history and we are especially related to each other from Khilafat Movement. We never stopped the Khilafat Movement and continued our full support to Turkey until the Turkey itself abolished the Khilafat.
If America is not an Islamic country, it doesn’t mean that the Muslims abiding there are not Muslims or they don’t have any support of other Muslims. I don’t know much about the government of Turkey, but that doesn’t have any impact on Muslims’ Faith. I don’t have much knowledge about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, so, I can’t pen about him on any thing except what I’ve said above. Now, I invite you (the Turkish) to tell me about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk because I think there must me something good in him that he is regarded too much in Turkey.
Lastly, the summary of all this is that, firstly, I am very impressed from the Turkish services to the Holy Lands. Secondly, I believe that every individual have different thought and different faith. Thirdly, we should not talk on the what bad happened in the past. We should only talk on what good happened in the past. We should, at least, Thank Allah, the Almighty, that we still call each other Muslims and Islam is the only one religion between us. Allama Iqbal said in SAYYID KI LAUH-E-TURBAT
مدعا تیرا اگر دنیا میں ہے تعلیمِ دیں
ترکِ دنیا قوم کو اپنی نہ سکھلانا کہیں
وا نہ کرنا فرقہ بندی کے لیے اپنی زباں
چُھپ کے ہے بیٹھا ہوا ہنگامہء محشر یہاں
وصل کے اسباب پیدا ہوں تری تحریر سے
دیکھ کوئی دل نہ دکھ جائے تری تقریر سے
محفلِ نو میں پرانی داستانوں کو نہ چھیڑ
رنگ پر جو اب نہ آئیں ان فسانوں کو نہ چھیڑ
I am not translating because It’s too much for me and I am not good in English. I am just summarizing. He said that if your aim is to get the religious knowledge, don’t teach your nation to cut off from the world. Don’t open your mouth for sectarian differences because a huge assault is hiding here. May the causes of union be produced from your writing. Look! Be careful! Any heart shouldn’t be hurt by your speech. Don’t open the old stories in congregation. Don’t open those stories that can’t be justified now.
If there was something that hurt you, please forgive me. If you think that I was wrong at any place, just make the correction”.
After receiving his nice response, I started searching on Ataturk and I posted on Ataturk – the alleged destroyer of the Caliphate
I haven’t read about Ataturk but there must be something good in him that most of the Turkish people likes him. About Turkey and Islam, I just want to state that the Caliphs after the 30 years of Holy Prophet ﷺ were actually Kings instead of Caliphs and so, their acts were also not good. I am with Ataturk in the matter that the Caliphs were not good of that time. I am just against the abolishment of Caliphate system, whether by Ataturk or by Saudis. Caliphate of that time just needed amendment because the Turkish Caliphs were unable to handle the Caliphate.
Now, we all also know the fact that Saudi government is a Wahabi government while Ottoman Caliphs and Turkish people were Sunni. But what has happened has became a past.
I am very pleased to hear that Turkish people are not against Caliphate system but are against the system of Caliphate at the time of Ottomans. Democracy lies in Caliphate. The best example of Caliphate is the first 30 years after the Holy Prophet ﷺ. It was a democratic Caliphate. There was no kingdom-ship in it. But still, in Saudi government, there is no democracy and its a kingdom; the son will succeed the father and the younger brother will succeed the older brother. This thing needs a change.
Let’s pray us all for the coming of Imam Mehdi to establish the Caliphate system again. May Allah Bless all Muslims.
Lastly, I just want to object on S M Zaidi’s comment. He said “and if it was not for him Turkey would have gone the Pakistan way”.
First of all, Caliphate was never ever applied in Pakistan and Pakistan also had the same kind of government as does the Turkey had.
Secondly, Pakistan was made by the Will of Allah, the Almighty, by the decision of Holy Prophet ﷺ and Auliya Allah. If it is not true, then Pakistan wouldn’t have survived the first year of its birth. Pakistan has ever since faced the critical conditions yet it always managed to survive because Pakistan is not surviving due to leaders, Pakistan is surviving due to Auliya Allah residing in this land and its people. And Muhammad bin Qasim said that a Muslim never fight for leaders but fight for Allah, the Almighty. Caliphate was the system given by Allah and His Prophet ﷺ. If you read about Pakistan, you’ll come to know that its birth was not a coincident but it was only the Will of Allah, the Almighty. Pakistan was made to remain on the face of the world, not be destroyed.
May Allah Bless all the Muslims and Protect our Nations. May Allah lead us to spread love and may He save us from spreading hatred.”