The Rashidun Caliphate was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was ruled by the first four successive caliphs of Muhammad after his death in 632 CE; these caliphs are collectively known in Sunni Islam as the Rashidun. This term is not used in Shia Islam as Shia Muslims do not consider the rule of the first three caliphs as legitimate; the Rashidun Caliphate is characterized by a twenty-five year period of rapid military expansion, followed by a five-year period of internal strife. The Rashidun Army at its peak numbered more than 100,000 men. By the 650s, the caliphate in addition to the Arabian Peninsula had subjugated the Levant, to the Transcaucasus in the north; the caliphate arose out of the death of Muhammad in 632 CE and the subsequent debate over the succession to his leadership. Abu Bakr, a close companion of Muhammad from the Banu Taym clan, was elected the first Rashidun leader and began the conquest of the Arabian Peninsula.
He ruled from 632 to his death in 634. Abu Bakr was succeeded by Umar, his appointed successor from the Banu Adi clan, who began the conquest of Persia from 642 to 651, leading to the defeat of the Sassanid Empire. Umar was assassinated in 644 and was succeeded by Uthman, elected by a six-person committee arranged by Umar. Under Uthman began the conquest of Armenia and Khorasan. Uthman was assassinated in 656 and succeeded by Ali, who presided over the civil war known as the First Fitna; the war was between those who supported Uthman's cousin and governor of the Levant and those who supported the caliph Ali. The civil war permanently consolidated the divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims, with Shia Muslims believing Ali to be the first rightful caliph and Imam after Muhammad. A third faction in the war supported the governor of Egypt; the war was decided in favour of the faction of Muawiyah, who established the Umayyad Caliphate in 661. After Muhammad's death in 632 CE, his Medinan companions debated which of them should succeed him in running the affairs of the Muslims while Muhammad's household was busy with his burial.
Umar and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah pledged their loyalty to Abu Bakr, with the Ansar and the Quraysh soon following suit. Abu Bakr thus became the first Khalīfaṫu Rasūli l-Lāh, or Caliph, embarked on campaigns to propagate Islam. First he would have to subdue the Arabian tribes which had claimed that although they pledged allegiance to Muhammad and accepted Islam, they owed nothing to Abu Bakr; as a caliph, Abu Bakr never claimed such a title. Rather, their election and leadership were based upon merit. Notably, according to Sunnis, all four Rashidun Caliphs were connected to Muhammad through marriage, were early converts to Islam, were among ten who were explicitly promised paradise, were his closest companions by association and support and were highly praised by Muhammad and delegated roles of leadership within the nascent Muslim community. According to Sunni Muslims, the term Rashidun Caliphate is derived from a famous hadith of Muhammad, where he foretold that the caliphate after him would last for 30 years and would be followed by kingship.
Furthermore, according to other hadiths in Sunan Abu Dawood and Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, towards the end times, the Rightly Guided Caliphate will be restored once again by God. Shortly before his death, Muhammad called all the Muslims who had accompanied him on the final Hajj to gather around at a place known as Ghadir Khumm. Muhammad gave a long sermon; the Muslims responded, "Allah and His messenger." Muhammad said: Behold! Whosoever I am his master, this Ali is his master. O Allah! Stay firm in supporting those who stay firm in following him, be hostile to those who are hostile to him, help those who help him, forsake those who forsake him. O people! This Ali is my brother, the executor of my, the container of my knowledge, my successor over my nation, over the interpretation the Book of Allah, the mighty and the majestic, the true inviter to its, he is the one who acts according to what pleases Him, fights His enemies, causes to adhere to His obedience, advises against His disobedience. He is the successor of the Messenger of Allah, the commander of the believers, the guiding Imam, the killer of the oath breakers, the transgressors, the apostates.
I speak by the authority of Allah. The word with me shall not be changed; this event has been narrated by both Shia and Sunni sources. Further, after the sermon, Abu Bakr and Uthman are all said to have given their allegiance to Ali, a fact, reported by both Shia and Sunni sources. In Medina, after the Farewell Pilgrimage and the event of Ghadir Khumm, Muhammad ordered an army to be mustered under the command of Usama bin Zayd, he commanded all the companions, except for his family, to go with Usama to Syria to avenge the Muslims’ defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah. Muhammad gave Usama the banner of Islam on the 18th day of the Islamic month of Safar in the year 11 A. H. Abu Bakr and Umar were among those. However, Abu Bakr and Umar resisted going under the command of Usama because they thought that he
Muawiyah I was the founder and first caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate. He was the first who established the Umayyad dynasty in Islam of the caliphate, was the second caliph from the Umayyad clan, the first being Uthman ibn Affan. Muawiyah was appointed as the Governor of Syria. In 657, Muawiya's army attacked the army of Ali ibn Abi Talib at the Battle of Siffin. After the death of Ali in 661, Muawiya's army approached that of Ali's son and successor, Hasan ibn Ali. In order to avoid further bloodshed, Hasan signed a peace treaty with Muawiyah. Muawiyah assumed power. In power, Muawiyah developed a navy in the Levant and used it to confront the Byzantine Empire in the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara; the caliphate conquered several territories including Cyzicus which were subsequently used as naval bases. Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan was born in Mecca to Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and Hind bint Utbah into the Banu Umayya sub-clan of the Banu Abd-Shams clan of the Quraysh tribe; the Quraysh controlled the city of Mecca and the Banu Abd-Shams were among the most influential of its citizens.
In his youth, a stranger said. Upon hearing him, Hind his mother replied, his father Abu Sufyan ibn Harb struggled against Islam until Muhammad's army entered Mecca in 630. Muawiyah and Ali shared the same great-great grandfather,'Abd Manaf bin Qusay, who had four sons: Hashim, Muttalib and Abdu Shams. Hashim was the great grandfather of Muhammad. Umayyah bin Abdu Shams was the great grandfather of Muawiyah. Muawiyah and remaining members of his family were open opponents of the Muslims before the ascendancy of Muhammad. Along with his two older brothers, Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and Utbah, Muawiyah was one of the members of the hunting party of his maternal uncle Walid bin Utbah that pursued Muhammad during the hijra, when Muhammad was hiding in Ghar al-Thawr. In 630, Muhammad and his followers entered Mecca, most of the Meccans, including the Abd-Shams clan, formally submitted to Muhammad and accepted Islam. Ibn Kathir wrote in his book Al-Bidāya wa-n-nihāya: "In terms of his appearance, he was fair and tall, bald with a white head and he had a beard that he used to colour with henna".
During the time of Abu Bakr, Muawiyah used to serve under his brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan. Muawiyah was one of the first to be sent into Syria. In May 636, Emperor Heraclius launched a major expedition against the Muslims, but his army was defeated decisively at the Battle of Yarmouk in August 636. In the battle, Muawiyah's brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan served under Khalid ibn al-Walid and Abu Ubaydah and was in command of one of the wings and Muawiyah was his second in command. Muawiyah's mother Hind took part in the battle. In 639, Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria by the second caliph Umar after his brother the previous governor Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and the governor before him Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people.'Amr ibn al-'As was sent to take on the Byzantine army in Egypt. With limited resources Muawiyah's marriage to Maysum was politically motivated, as she was the daughter of the chief of the Kalb tribe, a large Jacobite Christian Arab tribe in Syria.
The Kalb tribe had remained neutral when the Muslims first went into Syria. After the plague that killed much of the Muslim army in Syria, by marrying Maysum, Muawiyah started to use the Jacobite Christians, against the Romans. Muawiya's wife Maysum was a Jacobite Christian. With limited resources and the Byzantine just over the border, Muawiyah worked in cooperation with the local Christian population. According to some books the town of Caesarea was taken by Muawiyah in 640, when the last Byzantine Roman garrison in Syria and Palestine surrendered, but according to Al-Imam Al-Waqidi, the author of the oldest history books on Islam it was Muawiyah's friend'Amr ibn al-'As who expelled the Roman army from Caesarea.'Amr ibn al-'As who along with Muawiyah's brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who became the governor of Syria, expelled the Roman armies from many Syrian cities and later'Amr ibn al-'As moved into Egypt. Under Muawiyah's governance the Syrian army became a major military force, he picked out the best leaders from various tribes whereas elsewhere in the state the military units were still based along tribal lines.
He saw to the comfort and the equipment of the troops, increased their pay and paid them on a regular basis when they were on duty. He kept the troops in training by an annual expedition against the Byzantines and therefore kept the Byzantines in a constant state of unease and therefore kept his northern border safe, he encouraged innovations in military technology. Muawiyah's armies used "Minjenique" machines to propel large stones onto enemy ramparts, he modernized the army, introducing specialized units for desert snowy terrains. New forts were built. Muawiya left the Byzantine and Persian administrative structures intact, being sure not to give his non-Muslim subjects any incentive to revolt; the postal system, created by Omar ibn al Khattab for military use, was now opened to the public by Muawiya. Uthman dismissed'Amr ibn al-'As from governorship of Egypt so Muawiyah asked him to join him in
The Fatimid Caliphate was a Shia Islamic caliphate that spanned a large area of North Africa, from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The dynasty of Arab origin ruled across the Mediterranean coast of Africa and made Egypt the centre of the caliphate. At its height the caliphate included in addition to Egypt varying areas of the Maghreb, Sicily, the Levant, Hijaz; the Fatimids claimed descent from the daughter of Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Fatimid state took shape among the Kutama Berbers, in the West of the North African littoral, in Algeria, in 909 conquering Raqqada, the Aghlabid capital. In 921 the Fatimids established the Tunisian city of Mahdia as their new capital. In 948 they shifted their capital near Kairouan in Tunisia. In 969 they established Cairo as the capital of their caliphate; the ruling class belonged to the Ismaili branch of Shi'ism. The existence of the caliphate marked the only time the descendants of Ali and Fatimah were united to any degree and the name "Fatimid" refers to Fatimah.
The different term Fatimite is sometimes used to refer to the caliphate's subjects. After the initial conquests, the caliphate allowed a degree of religious tolerance towards non-Ismaili sects of Islam, as well as to Jews, Maltese Christians, Egyptian Coptic Christians. However, its leaders made little headway in persuading the Egyptian population to adopt its religious beliefs. During the late eleventh and twelfth centuries the Fatimid caliphate declined and in 1171 Saladin invaded its territory, he incorporated the Fatimid state into the Abbasid Caliphate. The Fatimid Caliphate's religious ideology originated in an Ismaili Shia movement launched in the 9th century in Salamiyah, Syria by the eighth Ismaili Imam, Abd Allah al-Akbar, he claimed descent through Ismail, the seventh Ismaili Imam, from Fatimah and her husband ‘Alī ibn-Abī-Tālib, the first Shī‘a Imām, whence his name al-Fātimī "the Fatimid". The eighth to tenth Ismaili Imams, (Abadullah and Husain, remained hidden and worked for the movement against the rulers of the period.
Together with his son, the 11th Imam Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah, in the guise of a merchant, made his way to Sijilmasa, in present-day Morocco, fleeing persecution by the Abbasids, who found their Isma'ili Shi'ite beliefs not only unorthodox, but threatening to the status quo of their caliphate. According to legend,'Abdullah and his son were fulfilling a prophecy that the mahdi would come from Mesopotamia to Sijilmasa, they hid among the population of Sijilmasa an independent emirate, ruled by Prince Yasa' ibn Midrar. The dedicated Shi'ite Abu Abdallah al-Shi'i supported Al-Mahdi. Al-Shi ` i started his preaching; these men bragged about the country of the Kutama in western Ifriqiya, the hostility of the Kutama towards, their complete independence from, the Aghlabid rulers. This triggered al-Shi ` i to travel to the region; the Berber peasants, oppressed for decades under the corrupt Aghlabid rule, would prove themselves to be a perfect basis for sedition. Al-Shi'i began conquering cities in the region: first Mila Sétif and Raqqada, the Aghlabid capital.
In 909 Al-Shi'i sent a large expedition force to rescue the Mahdi, conquering the Khariji state of Tahert on its way there. After gaining his freedom, Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah became the leader of the growing state and assumed the position of imam and caliph. Abdullāh al-Mahdi's control soon extended over all of the Maghreb, an area consisting of the modern countries of Morocco, Algeria and Libya, which he ruled from Mahdia; the newly built city of Al-Mansuriya, or Mansuriyya, near Kairouan, served as the capital of the Fatimid Caliphate during the rule of the Imams Al-Mansur Billah and Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah. In 969 the Fatimid general Jawhar the Sicilian conquered Egypt, where he built near Fusṭāt a new palace city which he called al-Manṣūriyya. Under Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah the Fatimids conquered the Ikhshidid Wilayah, founding a new capital at al-Qāhira in 969; the name al-Qāhirah, meaning "the Vanquisher" or "the Conqueror", referenced the planet Mars, "The Subduer", rising in the sky at the time when the construction of the city started.
Cairo was intended as a royal enclosure for the Fatimid caliph and his army - the actual administrative and economic capitals of Egypt were cities such as Fustat until 1169. After Egypt, the Fatimids continued to conquer the surrounding areas until they ruled from Tunisia to Syria, as well as Sicily. Under the Fatimids, Egypt became the centre of an empire that included at its peak parts of North Africa, Palestine, Lebanon, the Red Sea coast of Africa, Tihamah and Yemen. Egypt flourished, the Fatimids developed an extensive trade network both in the Mediterranean and in the Indian Ocean, their trade and diplomatic ties, extending all the way to China under the Song Dynasty determined the economic course of Egypt during the High Middle Ages. The Fatimid focus on long-distance trade was accompanied by a lack of interest in agriculture and a neglect of the Nile irrigation system. Al-Mahdiyya, the fir
Abū al-Faḍl ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Abī Bakr ibn Muḥammad Jalāl al-Dīn al-Khuḍayrī al-Suyūṭī was an Egyptian religious scholar, juristic expert and teacher, one of the most prolific writers of the Middle Ages whose works deal with Islamic theology. From a family of Persian origin, he was appointed to a chair in the mosque of Baybars in Cairo in 1486, he adhered to the Shafii madhhab and is one of the latter-day authorities of the Hambali School, considered to be one of the Ashabun-Nazzar whose degree of ijtihad is agreed upon. An alternative spelling of his name is Jalaluddin. Al-Suyuti was born on 3 October 1445 AD in Egypt, his mother was Circassian and his father was of Persian origin, while Al-Suyuti says that his ancestors came from Al-Khudayriyya in Baghdad. His family moved to Asyut in Mamluk Egypt, hence the nisba "Al-Suyuti". Al-Suyuti's father taught Shafi'i law at the Mosque and Khanqah of Shaykhu in Cairo, but died when Al-Suyuti was 5 or 6 years old. Al-Suyuti studied various subjects, including: Shafi'i and Hanafi jurisprudence, exegesis, history, philosophy, arithmetic and medicine.
He started teaching Shafi'i jurisprudence at the age of 18, at the same mosque. In 1486, Sultan Qaitbay appointed Al-Suyuti shaykh at the Khanqah of a Sufi lodge. Al-Suyuti himself was a Sufi of the Shadhili order. At one point, Al-Suyuti was named the mujaddid of the 9th century AH, he claimed to have become a mujtahid in jurisprudence, hadith studies, Arabic language. This caused friction with scholars and ruling officials, after a quarrel over the finances of the Sufi lodge, he retreated to the island of Rawda in 1501. Al-Suyuti died on 18 October 1505. Al-Suyuti wrote many works on diverse subjects - on over 700 according to the Dalil makhtutat al-Suyuti, although numbers vary from over 500 to 981 according to a study from 1995. However, these include short pamphlets, legal opinions, he wrote Sharh Al-Isti ` aadha wal-Basmalah in 866H, at the age of seventeen. Ibn Ímād writes: "Most of his works become world famous in his lifetime." Renowned as a prolific writer, his student Dawudi said: "I was with the Shaykh Suyuti once, he wrote three volumes on that day.
He could dictate annotations on ĥadīth, answer my objections at the same time. In his time he was the foremost scholar of the ĥadīth and associated sciences, of the narrators including the uncommon ones, the hadith matn, the derivation of hadith rulings, he has himself told me, that he had memorized One Hundred Thousand hadith."In Ḥusn al-muḥaḍarah al-Suyuti lists 283 of his works. His subjects include medicine; as with Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi in his medicinal works, al-Suyuti writes exclusively on prophetic medicine, rather than the Islamic-Greek synthesis of medicinal tradition found in the works of Al-Dhahabi. Al-Suyuti focuses on diet and natural remedies for serious ailments such as rabies and smallpox, for simple conditions such as headaches and nosebleeds, he touches on the cosmology behind the principles of medical ethics. Tafsir al-Jalalayn. Suyūṭī, Bughyat al-wuʻāh fī ṭabaqāt al-lughawīyīn wa-al-nuḥāh, Cairo: Maṭbaʻat al-Saʻādah Suyūṭī, Husn Al-Muhadarah Fi Akhbar Misr Wa Al-Qahirah, Cairo: Al-Sharafiyah Press Suyūṭī, Philip K, ed. Naẓm al-ʻiqyān fī aʻyān al-aʻyān, New York: Syrian American Press Suyūṭī, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, Cairo Suyūṭī, Mufḥimāt al-aqrān fī mubhimāt al-Qurʾān, Miṣr: Maṭbaʻat al-Saʻādah Suyūṭī, Kitāb hamʻ al-hawāmiʻ sharḥ jamʻ al-jawāmiʻ fī ʻilm al-ʻarabīyah, Miṣr: Maṭbaʻat al-Saʻādah Suyūṭī, Sharḥ shawāhid al-Mughnī, Miṣr: al-Maṭbaʻah al-Bahīyah Suyūṭī, Sharḥ al-ṣudūr bi-sharḥ ḥāl al-mawtī wa-al-qubūr, Cairo: Maṭbaʻat Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Kutub al-ʻArabīyah Suyūṭī, Tadrīb al-rāwī fī sharḥ Taqrīb al-Nawāwī, Cairo: Dār al-Kutub al-Ḥadīthah Suyūṭī, al-Shamārīkh fī ʻilm al-tārīkh, Baghdād: Maṭbaʻat Asʻad Suyūṭī, Kitāb al-iqtirāḥ fī ʻilm uṣūl al-naḥw, Ḥalab: Dār al-Maʻārif Suyūṭī, Ahmed Subhi, ed. al-Iqtirāḥ fī ʻilm uṣūl al-naḥw, Istānbūl: Maṭbaʻat Kullīyat al-ādābSuyūṭī, Lubāb al-nuqūl fī asbāb al-nuzūl, Bayrūt: Dār Iḥyā' al-ʻUlūm Suyūṭī (
Hasan ibn Ali
Al-Ḥasan ibn Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib known as Hasan or Hassan, was the eldest son of Ali and Muhammad's daughter Fatimah, was the older brother of Husayn. Muslims respect him as a grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Among Shia Muslims, Hasan is revered as the second Imam. Hasan was elected for the caliphate after his father's death, but abdicated after six or seven months to Muawiyah I, the founder of the Umayyad dynasty to end the First Fitna. Al-Hasan was known for donating to the poor, his kindness to the poor and bondmen, for his knowledge and bravery. For the rest of his life, Hasan lived in Medina, until he died at the age of 45 and was buried in the Jannat al-Baqi cemetery in Medina, his wife, Ja'da bint al-Ash'at, is accused of having poisoned him. When Al-Hasan was born in the year 624 CE, Muhammad slaughtered a ram for the poor on the occasion of his birth, chose the name "Al-Ḥasan" for him. Fatimah shaved his head and gave the weight of his hair in silver as alms. According to Shi'ite belief, theirs was the only house that archangel Gabriel allowed to have a door to the courtyard of al-Masjid an-Nabawi.
Both Shi‘ite and Sunni Muslims consider Al-Hasan to belong to the Bayt of Muhammad, Ahl al-Kisa’, participants of the Event of Mubahalah. There are many narrations showing the respect of Muhammad toward his grandsons, including the statements that his two grandsons would be "sayyedā šabāb of Paradise", that they were Imams "whether they stand up or sit down", he reportedly predicted that Hasan would make peace between two factions of Muslims. In the year AH 10 a Christian envoy from Najran came to Muhammad to argue which of the two parties erred in its doctrine concerning ‘Isa. After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's creation,—who was born to neither a mother nor a father — and when the Christians did not accept the Islamic doctrine about Jesus, Muhammad was instructed to call them to Mubahalah where each party should ask God to destroy the false party and their families. "If anyone dispute with you in this matter after the knowledge which has come to you, say: Come let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women and yourselves let us swear an oath and place the curse of God on those who lie."
Except for al-Tabari, who did not name the participants, Sunni historians mention Muhammad, Fatimah, Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn as having participated in the Mubahalah, some agree with the Shi'ite tradition that ‘Ali was among them. Accordingly, in the Shi'ite perspective, in the verse of Mubahalah, the phrase "our sons" would refer to Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, "our women" refers to Fatimah, "ourselves" refers to ‘Ali, it is said that one day, the ‘Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid questioned the seventh Twelver Shi‘ite Imam, Musa al-Kadhim, saying why he had permitted people to call him "Son of the Apostle of Allah", while he and his forefathers were Muhammad's daughter's children, that "the progeny belongs to the male and not to the female". In response al-Kadhim recited the verses Quran, 6:84 and Quran, 6:85 and asked "Who is Jesus' father, O Commander of the faithful?". "Jesus had no father", said Harun. Al-Kadhim argued that God, in these verses, had ascribed Jesus to descendants of Prophets, through Mary, saying "similarly, we have been ascribed to the descendants of the Prophet through our mother Fatimah".
It is related that Harun asked Musa to give him more evidence and proof. Al-Kadhim thus recited the verse of Mubahalah, argued "None claims that the Prophet made someone enter under the cloak when he challenged the Christians to a contest of prayer to God, except ‘Ali, Fatimah, Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn. So in the verse,'Our sons' refers to Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn." Al-Hasan was one of the guards defending ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan when the attackers went round the latter and killed him. During the reign of ‘Ali, he was a participant in the Battles of Siffin and Jamal. According to Donaldson there was not a significant difference between the idea of Imamate, or divine right, expressed by each Imam designating his successor and other ideas of succession at first. ‘Ali had failed to nominate a successor before he died, however, on several occasions expressed his idea that "only the Prophet's Bayt were entitled to rule the Community", Hasan, whom he had appointed his inheritor, must have been the obvious choice, as he would be chosen by people to be the next caliph.
Sunnis, on the other hand, reject Imamate on the basis of their interpretation of verse 33:40 of the Qur'an which says that Muhammad, as the Khatam an-Nabiyyin, "is not the father of any of your men". This is why Muhammad did not nominate a successor, as he wanted to leave the succession to be resolved "by the Muslim Community on the basis of the Qur’anic principle of consultation"; the question Madelung proposes here is why the family members of Muhammad should not inherit other aspects of Muhammad's character such as Hukm and Imamah. Since the Sunni concept of the "true caliphate" itself defines it as a "succession of the Prophet in every respect except his prophethood", Madelung further asks "If God wanted to indicate that he should not be succeeded by any of his family, why did He not let his grandsons and other kin die like his sons?" A
Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by nearly 90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word sunnah; the differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions. According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad did not designate a successor and the Muslim community acted according to his sunnah in electing his father-in-law Abu Bakr as the first caliph; this contrasts with the Shia view, which holds that Muhammad announced at the event of Ghadir Khumm his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor. Political tensions between Sunnis and Shias continued with varying intensity throughout Islamic history and they have been exacerbated in recent times by ethnic conflicts and the rise of Wahhabism; as of 2009, Sunni Muslims constituted 87–90% of the world's Muslim population. Sunni Islam is the world's largest religious denomination, followed by Catholicism.
Its adherents are referred to in Arabic as ahl as-sunnah wa ahl as-sunnah for short. In English, its doctrines and practices are sometimes called Sunnism, while adherents are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis and Ahlus Sunnah. Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as "orthodox Islam". However, other scholars of Islam, such as John Burton believe that there is no such thing as "orthodox Islam"; the Quran, together with hadith and binding juristic consensus form the basis of all traditional jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. Sharia rulings are derived from these basic sources, in conjunction with analogical reasoning, consideration of public welfare and juristic discretion, using the principles of jurisprudence developed by the traditional legal schools. In matters of creed, the Sunni tradition upholds the six pillars of iman and comprises the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools of rationalistic theology as well as the textualist school known as traditionalist theology. Sunnī commonly referred to as Sunnīism, is a term derived from sunnah meaning "habit", "usual practice", "custom", "tradition".
The Muslim use of this term refers to living habits of the prophet Muhammad. In Arabic, this branch of Islam is referred to as ahl as-sunnah wa l-jamāʻah, "the people of the sunnah and the community", shortened to ahl as-sunnah. One common mistake is to assume that Sunni Islam represents a normative Islam that emerged during the period after Muhammad's death, that Sufism and Shi'ism developed out of Sunni Islam; this perception is due to the reliance on ideological sources that have been accepted as reliable historical works, because the vast majority of the population is Sunni. Both Sunnism and Shiaism are the end products of several centuries of competition between ideologies. Both sects used each other to further cement their own doctrines; the first four caliphs are known among Sunnis as the Rashidun or "Rightly-Guided Ones". Sunni recognition includes the aforementioned Abu Bakr as the first, Umar as the second, Uthman as the third, Ali as the fourth. Sunnis recognised different rulers as the caliph, though they did not include anyone in the list of the rightly guided ones or Rashidun after the murder of Ali, until the caliphate was constitutionally abolished in Turkey on 3 March 1924.
The seeds of metamorphosis of caliphate into kingship were sown, as the second caliph Umar had feared, as early as the regime of the third caliph Uthman, who appointed many of his kinsmen from his clan Banu Umayya, including Marwan and Walid bin Uqba on important government positions, becoming the main cause of turmoil resulting in his murder and the ensuing infighting during Ali's time and rebellion by Muawiya, another of Uthman's kinsman. This resulted in the establishment of firm dynastic rule of Banu Umayya after Husain, the younger son of Ali from Fatima, was killed at the Battle of Karbala; the rise to power of Banu Umayya, the Meccan tribe of elites who had vehemently opposed Muhammad under the leadership of Abu Sufyan, Muawiya's father, right up to the conquest of Mecca by Muhammad, as his successors with the accession of Uthman to caliphate, replaced the egalitarian society formed as a result of Muhammad's revolution to a society stratified between haves and have-nots as a result of nepotism, in the words of El-Hibri through "the use of religious charity revenues to subsidise family interests, which Uthman justified as "al-sila"."
Ali, during his rather brief regime after Uthman maintained austere life style and tried hard to bring back the egalitarian system and supremacy of law over the ruler idealised in Muhammad's message, but faced continued opposition, wars one after another by Aisha-Talhah-Zubair, by Muawiya and by the Kharjites. After he was murdered his followers elected Hasan ibn Ali his elder son from Fatima to succeed him. Hasan, shortly afterwards signed a treaty with Muawiaya relinquishing power in favour of the latter, with a condition inter alia, that one of the two who will outlive the other will be the caliph, that this caliph will not appoint a successor but will leave the matter of selection of the caliph to the public. Subsequently, Hasan was poisoned to death and Muawiya enjoyed unchallenged power. Not honouring his treaty with Hasan he however nominated his son Yazid to succeed him. Upon Muawiya's death, Yazid asked Husain the younger brother of Hasan, Ali's son and Muh
Islamic studies refers to the study of Islam. Islamic studies can be seen under at least two perspectives: From a secular perspective, Islamic studies is a field of academic research whose subject is Islam as religion and civilization. From a traditional Islamic perspective, Islamic studies is an umbrella term for religious sciences pursued by the ulama. In a Muslim context, Islamic studies is the umbrella term for the Islamic sciences, it includes all the traditional forms of religious thought, such as kalam and fiqh, but incorporates fields considered secular in the West, such as Islamic science and Islamic economics. In a non-Muslim context, Islamic studies refers to the historical study of Islam: Islamic civilization, Islamic history and historiography, Islamic law, Islamic theology and Islamic philosophy. Academics from diverse disciplines participate and exchange ideas about Islamic societies and present, although Western, academic Islamic studies itself is in many respects a self-conscious and self-contained field.
Specialists in the discipline apply methods adapted from several ancillary fields, ranging from Biblical studies and classical philology to modern history, legal history and sociology. A recent trend since 9/11, has been the study of contemporary Islamist groups and movements by academics from the social sciences or in many cases by journalists, although since such works tend to be written by non-Arabists they belong outside the field of Islamic studies proper. Scholars in the field of academic Islamic studies are referred to as "Islamicists" and the discipline traditionally made up the bulk of what used to be called Oriental studies. In fact, some of the more traditional Western universities still confer degrees in Arabic and Islamic studies under the primary title of "Oriental studies"; this is the case, for example, at the University of Oxford, where Classical Arabic and Islamic studies have been taught since as early as the 16th century as a sub-division of Divinity. This latter context gave early academic Islamic studies its Biblical studies character and was a consequence of the fact that throughout early-Modern Western Europe the discipline was developed by churchmen whose primary aim had been to refute the tenets of Islam.
Despite their now secular, academic approach, many non-Muslim Islamic studies scholars have written works which are read by Muslims, while in recent decades an increasing number of Muslim-born scholars have trained and taught as academic Islamicists in Western universities. Many leading universities in Europe and the US offer academic degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in Islamic studies, in which students can study Arabic and therefore begin to read Islamic texts in the original language; because Arabic and Islamic studies are seen as inseparable in academia, named undergraduate degrees that combine the two are still categorized as single-subject degrees rather than as'joint' or'combined' degrees like, for example, those in Arabic and Politics. This rationale explains why, because of their heavy emphasis on the detailed study of Islamic texts in Classical Arabic, some institutions – such as the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and Georgetown University in Washington DC – only accept graduates who have degree-level Arabic and a strong background in the academic study of Islam onto their Masters programmes in Islamic studies.
Such institutions will direct students new to the field and with little or no Arabic to broader master's degrees in Middle Eastern studies or Middle East politics, in which Arabic can be studied ab initio. A recent HEFCE report emphasises the increasing, strategic importance for Western governments since 9/11 of Islamic studies in higher education and provides an international overview of the state of the field. Islamic studies is argued by Muslims, to begin with, the founding of the Islamic religion by Abraham, continue throughout the history of Judaism with Islamic Prophets such as David and Solomon early Christianity with Jesus in particular, up to modern times with the final revelation of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad; the first attempt to understand Islam as a topic of modern scholarship was within the context of 19th-century Christian European Oriental studies. In the years 1821 to 1850, the Royal Asiatic Society in England, the Société Asiatique in France, the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft in Germany, the American Oriental Society in the United States were founded.
In the 2nd half of the 19th century and historical approaches were predominant. Leading in the field were German researchers like Theodore Nöldeke 's study on the history of the Quran, or Ignaz Goldziher 's work on the prophetic tradition. Western orientalists and Muslim scholars alike preferred to interpret the history of Islam in a conservative way, they did not question the traditional account of the early time of Islam, of Muhammad and how the Quran was written. In the 1970s, the Revisionist School of Islamic Studies questioned the uncritical adherence to traditional Islamic sources and started to develop a new picture of the earliest times of Islam by applying the historical-critical method. To understand the history of Islam provides the indispensable basis to understand all aspects of Islam and its culture. Themes of special interest are: Historiography of early Islam History of the Quran Historicity of Muhammad Early Muslim conquests Kalam is one of the "religious sciences" of Islam.
In Arabic, the word means "discussion" and refers to the Islamic tradition of seeking theological principles