Carimo Mohomed

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Carimo Mohomed
Eixo temático - 4. República e religiões
The abolition of the Caliphate - Islam and Republicanism in Muhammad Iqbal
A abolição do Califado - Islão e Republicanismo em Muhammad Iqbal
Abstract
In 1924, a year after the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy, or Sultanate, and the establishment
of the Turkish Republic by Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish National Assembly went
farther and put an end to the Caliphate.
Since 1517, the Ottoman Sultans were also the Caliphs, i.e., the successors of the prophet
Muhammad and, theoretically, the spiritual leaders of all muslims of the world, especially the
sunnis.
Until the middle of the 19th century the title of caliph was more a symbolic one that had little
practical impact.
However, sultan Abd-ul-Hamid II (1842-1918, sultan 1876-1909), for political reasons,
decided to reinvigorate the idea of caliphate in a push to bring all the muslims under his
sovereignty.
At the same time, ideas of nationalism, constitutionalism and republicanism were shaking the
Ottoman empire, ideas that would bring the Young Turks Revolution of 1908 and movements of
independence in many provinces of the empire, particularly the Arabian ones.
The abolition of the caliphate had seismic effects and provoked a lot of debate.
In 1925, the Egyptian Ali 'Abd al-Raziq (1888-1966), from the Azhar University in Cairo,
one of the oldest and most important universities in the muslim world, wrote a book, Al-Islam
wa Usul al-Hukm (Islam and the Foundations of Government), in which he talked about the
historical institution of the caliphate, criticizing it and defending the consensus of the community
as the transformational power of juridical and political change.
The year after, at the Pan-Islamic Congress in Mecca, the delegates were not able to choose a
caliph, a title which has remained vacant since then.
The idea of caliphate had a profound impact in the Indian muslim community. Some years
before, the Indian Mutiny, or the Sepoy Mutiny, of 1857-1858, had marked the end of the
Islamic political supremacy in India.
The aftermath brought down the Mughal Dinasty and introduced the definitive rule by the
British.
Many Indian muslim political intellectuals sought to reform and revitalize Islam in India and
as a whole, and they saw and sought in the idea of caliphate a way for their hopes of political
independence from Britain.
Between 1919 and 1924, a movement was organized by some Indian muslims, the Khilafat
Movement, with the aims of political unity of all muslims, the protection of the Caliphate and of
the Holy Places of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
With the abolition of the Caliphate, the movement lost its raison d'être and the importance of
this is obvious from the fact that two important shias, Amir Ali (1849-1928) and Sultan
Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III (1877-1957), spiritual leader of the ismailis, went to Turkey to
ask Ataturk not to do such a thing.
For many Indian muslims the abolition of the Caliphate meant a sense of loss and
disorientation.
Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), one of the most important figures of Islamic political thought
in the 20th century, although a pan-islamist and one of the most vocal figures in the defense of
the Caliphate, some years later would write on its abolition saying that the decision of the
Turkish Assembly was justified and the political system of Islam was republican.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the abolition of the caliphate in the wider context of the
political changes in the Islamic world and how Muhammad Iqbal viewed the relation between
the republican ideal and Islam.
Carimo Mohomed
Instituto de História Contemporânea da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade
Nova de Lisboa - Investigador Associado
Rua Professora Virgínia Rau 13, 3D - 1600-673 Lisboa
Contacto telefónico - 919353957
E-mail - [email protected]
Doutorando, com bolsa da FCT, em Ciência Política na FCSH-UNL.
Pós-graduado em Cultura, civilização e religião islâmicas pela UNED (Espanha).
Licenciado em História pela FCSH-UNL.
Membro do I.H.C. e do N.AC.I. - C.R.I.A. (núcleo de antropologia em contextos islâmicos do Centro em
Rede de Investigação em Antropologia)
Autor de:
Os muçulmanos em suas cidades (co-autor), apresentado a 24 e 25 de Fevereiro de 2010 no 2º
workshop de investigação, As cidades, integrado no ciclo “Próximo Futuro/Next Future”, organizado pela
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, e cujo texto está disponível em
http://www.proximofuturo.gulbenkian.pt/pdf/cria_-_muculmanos_em_suas_cidades_-_definitivo-rev.pdf
Conferência Islam and Islamisms: Religion, Politics and Identity apresentada em Outubro de 2009 no
âmbito do The Second International Seminar on Islamic Thought (ISoIT2 2009), organizado pela
Universidade Nacional da Malásia e que decorreu nos dias 6 e 7 em Bangi (Selangor), e o respectivo
texto foi publicado em Actas - LONG, Ahmad Sunawari et al. (eds.), Issues and challenges of
contemporary Islam and muslims. Bangi: Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic
Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2009, pp. 107-110. - ISBN 978-967-5048-66-1.
Conferência Islam e Islamismos - religión, laicidad y política: epistemología y ontología, integrada no
Grupo de Trabalho “Religiosidad y Laicismo” do II Encuentro de Jóvenes Investigadores en Historia
Conteporánea, organizado pela Associação de História Contemporânea, e que decorreu em Granada
(Espanha) entre os dias 22 e 25 de Setembro de 2009, estando o texto integral disponível em
http://comunicacionesencuentro.googlepages.com/MOHOMED_Carimo_IslameIslamismos.pdf
Conferência Islam, Islamismos y Democracia - religión, identidad y política en el Magreb y en el Oriente
Próximo, apresentada em Setembro de 2009 e integrada no Grupo de Trabalho 7.2 - “Tensiones
democráticas y dispositivos autoritarios en el Magreb y en Oriente Próximo” do IX Congresso de Ciência
Política e da Administração, organizado pela respectiva Associação Espanhola, e que decorreu em
Málaga entre os dias 23 e 25, e cujo tema geral foi Repensar la democracia: inclusión y diversidad
Conferência Os muçulmanos indianos e a I Guerra Mundial - ensaio para a Partição, apresentada em
Junho de 2009 e integrada no Colóquio Internacional War and Memory: 1914-1919 - from the
Trenches to Versailles, realizado em Lisboa entre os dias 22 e 27 na Reitoria da Universidade Nova de
Lisboa e organizado pelo Instituto de História Contemporânea da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (I.H.C.) e
pelo CEIS 20 da Universidade de Coimbra.
Conferência Islamismo(s), Marxismo(s) e Terceiro Mundo: ideologias em conflito, ideologias em
cooperação, no âmbito do Congresso Internacional sobre Karl Marx, realizado em Novembro de 2008 disponível em
http://www.ihc.fcsh.unl.pt/resources/c1ba1489c2f396c829006a7b29bac2e5/Carimo%20Mohomed%20Isl
amismo(s),%20Marxismo(s)%20e%20Terceiro%20Mundo.pdf e publicado em Papéis do Mundo:
revista de cultura. Nº 1, Agosto de 2009, pp. 30-37.
Conferência Al-Afghani, Pan-Islamism and the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1906 in Iran, integrada
no Congresso Internacional The Second Constitutional Period/Meşrutiyet on its Centenary - International
Congress, realizado em Istambul entre 07 e 10 de Maio de 2008 e organizado pelo The Research Centre
for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA),Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
Conferência Xeque-Mate: o Assassinato do Xá da Pérsia em 1896, integrada no Colóquio O Regicídio:
1908-2008, realizado em Lisboa a 08 e 09 de Fevereiro de 2008 e organizado pelo I.H.C. e pelo CEIS
20.