Talk:Caliphate

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Former good article nominee Caliphate was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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February 13, 2007 WikiProject peer review Reviewed
March 2, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
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arabic spelling correct?[edit]

So the KH letter has a Kassra (Harakat - Arabic Diacretics, specifically Vowel Marks) attached to it. Pronunciation is definitely a Fathah (Arabic Diacretic). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_diacritics for discussion on these diacritics. I am not aware if the actual spelling is indeed with a Kassra, and colloquial pronunciation is incorrect, but can someone else double check this? 207.38.43.28 (talk) 23:38, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Undue weight for the Ahmadi caliphate in the body of the article[edit]

Reading through this article it seems Ahmadis who represent a tiny minority of Muslims, have a concept of "caliph" different from the Sunni Muslim concept. Ahmadis are perhaps less than 0.5% of all Muslims (if I remember correctly) hence a tiny minority, as per WP:UNDUE can't we remove them from this article about Muslims? We can't mention all tiny minorities and their concepts so mentioning one makes this article imbalanced. Khestwol (talk) 18:40, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

@Khestwol (talk) We cannot remove the Ahmadi Muslim Caliphate from the article because they do not fall under the WP:UNDUE category. I think you misunderstood the reference to minority and confused yourself. The Ahmadiyyah Muslim community is one of the fastest growing and the most prolific Muslim communities of the world. Their being small in number is not an issue because their work makes them highly notable. Secondly this article is not about "views" of Caliphate, this article mentions all the Caliphates that have been established during the course of history in Islam. Also the basic Ahmadiyyah view of Caliphate does not differ from mainstream Islam 90% of the time. They believe in the Rashidun Caliphate as all Sunni muslims. Therefore we cannot remove thier mention from this article. I hope your confusion has been removed. FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 05:46, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
The Ahmadi "caliphate" does not have a government, ruler, or areas under political rule. Hence no similarity with historical caliphates. I can see that FreelastChitchat and Peaceworld are pushing for the inclusion of this tiny minority view of caliphate while a few users have said that an undue weight has been given to Ahmadis in the discussion above, but let us see what other editors have to say. Perhaps we can reach some consensus. Khestwol (talk) 12:03, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Did you read the article itself? let me copy paste some text here so that this confusion about "government, ruler and land" is also laid to rest as your notability confusion. The article clearly mentions that "Though non-political, many spiritual movements such as some Sufi orders and the Ahmadiyya define themselves as Caliphates (khilafah ruhaniyyah). Their spiritual leaders are thus commonly referred to as Khalifas". So even if the Ahmadiyyah Caliphate one day has the entire world population as its adherents they still may not have "government, ruler, or areas under political rule" because they do not consider it a prerequisite for being a Caliphate. Secondly the similarity between the Ahmadi Muslim Caliphate and historical Caliphates: You can pick up any book on any Sufi Saint and you will see that they nominated their Khalifa. This is a spiritual Caliphate dating back more than 1000 years. As Islam is itself 1400 years old then a similarity with Caliphates which have existed for 1000 years should be considered "similarity with historical caliphates". I hope This confusion is now also laid to rest.FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 14:10, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I have already heard your views and now only interested in what other editors think. With regards to the Sokoto Caliphate in the article that you seem to be pointing to as spiritual, please note that they also had a state and government and rulers, which is why it was a caliphate in historical sense. No historical caliphate in this article was similar to the modern Ahmadi (tiny minority) concept of a non-political caliphate that has been given an undue weight in this article. Khestwol (talk) 14:35, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Again I would like to refer to the article where it is written , Before the mention of Sokoto Caliphate, that "In Sufism, tariqas (orders) are led by spiritual leaders, the main Khalifas (Caliphs), who nominate local Khalifas to organize zaouias. Sufi Caliphates are not necessarily hereditary. Khalifas are aimed to serve the silsilah in relation to spiritual responsibilities and to propagate the teachings of the tariqa." I have still to see any Sufi Caliphate which had political power. FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 18:50, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Khestwol I agree that entire mention of Ahmadiya caliphate should be deleted from this article page as the term "Ahmadiyya Caliphate" is a contradiction in itself. It wields no political office, land or an official state. It is given undue weight here and its "caliph" does not merit mention in the article as he holds no official position as part of a state. Mbcap (talk) 13:18, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

If it is a question of numbers, bear in mind that there are smaller Caliphates that will too have to be removed such as Almohad Caliphate, Emirate of Córdoba, Caliphate of Córdoba, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Sokoto Caliphate among others. If it is a question of whether the Ahmadiyya Caliphate is a caliphate, then per external sources, it is, albeit solely spiritual.--Peaceworld 13:56, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I have said before that including the Ahmadiyya caliphate in the lede may be undue weight. However, I strongly feel that deleting it from the article would be a mistake. Yes, it is followed by a very small minority of Muslims (but possibly a majority of Muslims who follow any caliphate!) But whether or not it meets any of the various proposed definitions of "caliphate", it is part of the universe of things referred to using the term, and as such should be part of this article. Khestwol, you said "we can't mention all tiny minorities and their concepts so mentioning one makes this article imbalanced." Could you give some examples of other such minority concepts you see as being on the same level as the Ahmadiyya view?—Neil P. Quinn (talk) 17:04, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Hello,
I agree with Neil P. Quinn, Ahmadiyya should be kept, the only mention that should be added (we didn't get enough opinions on the discussion ebove) imho is that it is widely rejected by mainstream/orthodox Islam (it was there but was removed)... but this is another subjet that should be discussed separately.
Also, the section should be renamed "Ahmadiyya Caliphate" instead of "Ahmadiyya Muslim Caliphate" for two reasons:
  • First, the fact that Ahmadiyya is an Islamic sect is controversial, and describing it as "Muslim Caliphate" is POV ;
  • Second, even if we don't consider it POV, all caliphates are, per definition, "Muslim", then there is no need to add it to the title, otherwise we should rename all these caliphates (Umayyad Muslim Caliphate, Abbasid Muslim Caliphate, an so on).
Regards.
- User:Omar-toons(talk) 02:20, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
User:Omar-toons(talk) you have already made that point and it has been answered in the discussion above. What "new" information do you have for the insertion of this POV into this article? In my opinion I think you should not be part of this debate until the sock puppet investigation that you are under is over and unless you bring any new information to the table. Wikipedia never runs on the "number" of opinions, it always runs per its policies, and as the discussion above has shown that your POV insertion into the article is not required, it will not be added until you bring new information supporting it. FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 04:48, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
First, I'm not under any SPI, and even if it was the case that is not a reason to reject a user's opinion. For information: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Omar-toons
Second, even if I already gave my opinion regarding that issue above, I am free to repeat it as long as it is closely linked to the current discussion.
Then, even if you don't like my opinion, here it is : I think that Ahmadiyya should be kept in this article only if it says that it is not recognized by the majoritiy of Muslims and/or by mainstream/orthodox Islam, otherwise I am in favor of WP:UNDUE.
--Omar-toons (talk) 17:59, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Presenting an opinion that has been rejected again and again seems irrelevant at best and kinda trollish at worst. I will let you pick whatever you want to label it. FreeatlastChitchat (talk) 15:16, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Dates[edit]

The removal of dates by Omar-toons was for neutrality of this article. I agreed with him. If anyone wants to add the dates back, we can add it in a way so that they are NPOV. For example, regarding the disagreement on the end of the Abbasids and the start of the Ottomans, the following may be a solution:

  • Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258/1517)
  • Ottoman Caliphate (1362/1517–1924)

What do you think about this method? If only we can have a consensus then we can add the dates back, preferably using the above method. Otherwise, we can also do fine without the dates in the section headings. Khestwol (talk) 15:32, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I hope all editors can agree on this, because this method gives both the earliest and the latest possible dates for the end of the Abbasid caliphate and the start of the Ottoman caliphate. Since no one objected to it yet, I am adding it to the article. Khestwol (talk) 06:07, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Periods[edit]

Hi everybody. I found the chronological separation into periods to be a bit unusual. A first edit was promptly (partially) reverted. Here my arguments for leaving it now as it is. I've put a lot of thought & research into this, will unfortunately not be able to continue the discussion (real life calling), but I do hope there will be some consensus once you read through what I've summed up here.

The "Early Islamic period" ends with the Abbasid caliph being forced to cede almost all of his worldly power around 920. Unless we make a distinction between "Early Caliphate" and "Early Islamic period", there is no reason to revert my edit. Does anybody have a reason for such a distinction? I looked for one and couldn't find any. It's also quite logical, with that event the caliphate as the united empire ruled not just in name by the companions of the Prophet and their descendants, comes to an end. Later attempts at recreating the unity are exactly that - later attempts. The material culture also changed in a substantial way once the Muslims became the majority within the realm around C12, among other factors.

But I looked it up again, and in Iraq the "early" imperial phase, call it however you like, ends without doubt with the Seljuk conquest (1055). In Iran some may go up to the Mongol conquest (c. 1221). In Jordan it's Early C7-11, Middle C12-14, Late(r) C15-20. Many call C10-14 the "Middle Islamic period", others place it (for Jordan for instance) between 1100-1650.

For those who start with other periodisations of the Ottoman Empire as such in mind: the early Ottomans appear in Anatolia in C13; globally, that's Middle Islamic period already, even if it's "early" for the Ottoman Turks. Doesn't contradict a scale designed for the Ottomans only, where "late" maybe only starts with the decline after Vienna II (1683).

I suggest we go broadly with [1] with some adaptations:

  • Early Islamic Period, C7-10
  • Middle Islamic Period, C11-15
  • Late Islamic Period, C16-20

And since the page is about caliphates, not Islam per se, I see a good reason to apply following chronology:

  • Early Islamic Period, C7-10 -- largely united caliphate.
  • Parallel caliphates: Fatimids, Iberian caliphates (Umayyads and Almohads).
  • Cairo Abbasids -- actual power rests with the Mamluk sultan, but at least the core lands are again united and there is a "caliph" in place.
  • Ottomans -- leaving out further chronological distinctions, since the Porte created institutional continuity.

I changed the headings to reflect all this. I hope you can agree with me.

To save you from repeating my own search, see for

- the Levant: The Early Islamic Period in the Levant. 622 Mohammad... until: 1071–1098: Seljuk Turks briefly controlled the Levant before the arrival of the Crusaders. [2]

- Jerusalem: "Early Islamic Art in Jerusalem" mentions C7 until Fatimids (C10-11) [3]

- Jordan [4], and: The Fortress of Raven – Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1650), Leiden/Boston. (part two: The Middle Islamic Ceramics from Karak) [5]

- Syria & Iraq: "The transformation from the Early Islamic period to the Middle Islamic era during the 12th to 13th centuries...", "the blossoming in Islamic Syria and Northern Mesopotamia in the middle decades of the 11th century that characterized the Middle Islamic period." [6]

- Egypt and Syria: FRANK TROMBLEY, Cardiff University. Towns and their Territories in Egypt and Syria: An Interregional Comparison -- ... The paper will concentrate on two regions in Late Antiquity and the early Islamic period (ca . 501-900 C.E.), and DONALD WHITCOMB, The University of Chicago, Archaeology in “The Places where Men Pray Together” -- The study of the historical geography of the early Islamic city was the subject of a comprehensive monograph published in 2001, entitled The Places where Men Pray Together: Cities in Islamic Lands, Seventh through the Tenth Centuries. [7]

- Asia Minor (I guess): Asa Eger, The Islamic-Byzantine Frontier, p. 264 -- ... Middle Islamic/Middle Byz. period (tenth to fourteents centuries) [8]

Arminden (talk) 20:56, 10 May 2015 (UTC)Arminden

Arminden thank you appreciate your efforts. I however am going to remove the "Early" categorization now. Because firstly, it is redundant and gives no new information. And secondly, we don't need the "Early" categorization when we already have the natural categorization i.e. Umayyad era, Abbasid era, and Ottoman era, etc. Also, "Abbasid Caliphate under the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo" is more suitable as a subsection of the "Abbasid caliphate". They did not claim a separate line of caliphs from the Abbasids. Also, I am going to change the heading "Parallel caliphates" back to "Parallel caliphates to the Abbasids", and place them under the Abbasid era section. The phrase "Parallel caliphates" on its own without looking at it in the context of the Abbasids is nonsensical. The very reason they had been called "parallel" in the article was because they were parallel to the Abbasids and didn't recognize the Abbasid caliphal authority but instead claimed their own. The Fatimid caliphate, the Umayyad caliphate of Cordoba, and the Almohad caliphate are examples of such caliphates parallel to the Abbasids. Khestwol (talk) 05:38, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Khestwol, that's a very nice solution for WP. I hope now it stays unchanged. I've learned the hard way that the common denominator for WP needs to be as formally neat as possible. Whoever first created the "early" vs. "later" classification knew Muslim history better than WP realities, and I tried to follow his thought and make it palatable. Nobody connects the Baghdad Abbasids with the Cairo ones (see for instance Britannica [9]), as little as they see the Vallachian Cantakuzenes as "Byzantine Emperors" just because they were descendant of the latter and some kind of rulers. The Caliphate lost virtually all its political power by C10 and the Abbasids disappeared from their capital Baghdad by 1258 altogether; the fact that some family descendants were used as puppets after that is utterly irrelevant and historically similar to the still-Umayyad "caliphate" of Cordoba: no significance to the much wider Muslim world, just a dynastic ambition. Same as the "emperor" of Byzantium at the time of the fall of Constantinople: kept the title while his "empire" was little larger than a single city. But putting more than strictly FORMAL information into the structure/classification of an article on WP will not stay unchallenged and seems to be an ultimately useless effort, it's an attempt at adding elements of analysis (quality of the Caliphate) to a plain enumeration of chronological facts (quantitative list). This is of course unacceptable for a real encyclopaedia like, say, the printed Britannica, but we're talking WP where consensus is the ultimate criterion. Democracy and academic knowledge don't mix, and WP has chosen the former.

I wouldn't though apply the "stay strictly formal" criterion to the "spiritual caliphates": that is a standard term quoted in Arabic, khilafah ruhaniyyah, so interpretations like "all caliphates claim to be spiritual", is not holding water. Existing terminology should be respected, or we're in trouble - more exactly, in Babylon, where everybody is making his own language according to logic - their own. Most Britons are in no way Britons (Celtic people), and the French are not Germanic Franks, Roman Catholics are not recognised as such (kata holos, universal) by any other Christian denomination, same as the Orthodox (ortho-doxos, having the right faith) etc., but nobody challenges the validity of the terms. That's why humanities and exact sciences don't mix well: "pure" logic doesn't apply.

Got carried away. Cheers, Arminden (talk) 08:50, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Arminden

I oppose the "(1362/1517–1924)" for Ottomans ; there's still no consensus for the 1362 (see Neil's comments : they claimed the Caliphate, that doesn't make their claim accepted by any population except Ottoman Turcs). --Omar-toons (talk) 16:27, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Why are u anti Ottoman? Khestwol (talk) 16:37, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry... what? Can you please keep your accusations for smbd else... somewhere else?
The fact is that no one recognized Ottomans as Caliphs before 1517 [10], the same way Mughals, Marinids, Hafsids and Saadians aren't listed as Caliphs because people didn't recognize them outside of their borders when they claimed the title. --Omar-toons (talk) 23:23, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Folks, history isn't a matter of WP editors' consensus. Read some articles from real encyclopaedias, history books, whatever, but smth. with a real base of knowledge behind it. The family name of a puppet installed by an all-powerful sultan doesn't make a caliphate. It's not up to a group of nice people agreeing with each other to declare caliphates retroactively. WP declared it's not about "truth" because that's a subjective term, not because it's about rediscussing historic realities/hist. truth. This is NOT an exercise in democracy.Arminden (talk) 00:57, 12 May 2015 (UTC)Arminden

Spiritual caliphates[edit]

The article has a section "Spiritual caliphates". This however is not a clear title for the section, because each of the caliphates mentioned in the article has claimed to be spiritual. Hence "spirituality" is not only exclusive to the 3 caliphates mentioned in that section. Perhaps that title can be changed to something like "Non-political caliphates", because such a title will be accurate and give more information about the section. Khestwol (talk) 06:14, 11 May 2015 (UTC)


see above. Not a good idea :) Arminden (talk) 08:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Arminden