The Caliph – Part 2: Division – Featured Documentary


For almost 13 centuries, from the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 to the overthrow of the last Ottoman caliph in 1924, the Islamic world was ruled by a caliph.

Translated from the Arabic ‘Khalifa’, the word ‘caliph’ means successor or deputy.
The caliph was considered the successor to the Prophet Muhammad.

It is a term that has, at times, been abused.

In June 2014, a militant group calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIL or ISIS) declared the establishment of a caliphate and proclaimed its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a caliph. This proclamation was rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims.

ISIL had attempted to appropriate a title imbued with religious and political significance – and in doing so had cast a dark shadow over a rich history.

This is the story of the caliph, a title that originated 1,400 years ago and that spanned one of the greatest empires the world has ever known.

In this episode of The Caliph, Al Jazeera tells the story of the caliphate, looking at the Sunni-Shia divide, and how this split arose from a dispute over who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad.
Director: Husein Alrazzaz

Director of photography: Fadi Benni

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  1. May we establish the khilafat rashida in our own countries or atleast we should make dua's in our salah for that.It is our responsibility before going from this mortal world.

  2. yet the doctrine of shia was created by ibn saba yahoodi(jew)and predominantly the Persians are against the companions due to them conquering and invading the persians.

  3. So basically what we think of legitimate Khilafat existed for only 2 year, or at best 29. They rest was about plain old empires using one thing or another to legitimise their claim; mostly religion and kinship.

  4. how come there's so many splits and arguments in this so called religion.its a joke really.come on guys how can anybody believe that Mohammed was a prophet.I'm not religious at all and I think the only reason you believe in Mohammed is cos there was no one else for yous to cling on too.

  5. the shia should let everything go nothing can change the past. We as muslims should unite and not divide one another due to arguments which we cannot change anymore

  6. Who was at the prophets funeral? Who was present in the debate of the next leader?
    No one could have been present in both places at the same time

  7. So Mohamed forbids his image so as to prevent idolization and they go and idolize his blood line. Like the crusaders and their violence. Curious how this ideological conflicts reverberate thru out religions.  what is good is not always good.

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