Alparslan Episode 24 English Subtitles kayifamilytv

Alparslan Episode 24 English Subtitles

Alparslan Episode 24 English Subtitles kayifamilytv

The caliphate was a special tool of Ottoman diplomacy

The Ottomans possessed an unusual tool – the caliphate – in conducting diplomacy. The position of caliph originated in the seventh century CE, when the title was bestowed on political leaders – at first elective and
then hereditary – of the new Islamic states after the death of the Prophet Muhammad.

By 1000 CE, the caliphs had lost their political power but the position continued. During the 1000–1258 period, the caliphs served in a highly prestigious but mainly symbolic role that bound the Muslim community together, regardless of who actually held real political power in the various areas of the Islamic world. In the eyes of most Muslim jurists, the caliphate had ended in 1258 when the Mongols sacked Baghdad and murdered the last caliph.

In the Ottoman era, sultans occasionally used the title of caliph but the title had ceased to carry any real significance. In the eighteenth century, however, a different kind of caliphal position came to occupy a minor place in the Ottoman diplomatic arsenal.

The latter-day caliphate began to emerge during the negotiations over the Ku¸cuk Kaynarca treaty of 1774. At that time, Russia recognized the Ottoman sultan as caliph of the Crimean Tatars. This token gesture, implying a vague kind of Ottoman religious suzerainty, was meant to camouflage the actual severing of the centuries-old tie between the sultans and the Crimean khans. That is, the Ottoman–Crimean connection was broken but not totally since the caliphal title remained, however ambiguous it may have been.

The Russians in return received recognition of their own form of religious claim, the right to build and protect an
Orthodox church in Istanbul, a bridgehead they later used to massively interfere in Ottoman domestic affairs (see chapter 3). Other forces were working that promoted Ottoman usage of the new caliphal tool. On a general level, the Ottomans’ military and political power abruptly and visibly collapsed in the 1768–1774 war, one of the worst defeats in their history.

Equally dangerously, the growing Wahhabi state in Arabia offered a spiritual as well as military threat that jeopardized Ottoman administration of these distant provinces. Both the spiritual claims of the Wahhabi reformers as the heirs of true Islam and their early nineteenth-century seizure of Mecca and Medina seemed to undermine Ottoman legitimacy.

Thus, the treaty of 1774, the continuing decline of Ottoman military power, and the Wahhabi threat all worked to fashion the caliphal position into a negotiating tool and means of bolstering the sultans’ prestige. Essentially,
the Ottoman rulers were able to make this claim to the caliphate because of their military prowess in past centuries, their longevity as a dynasty, their possession of the Muslim Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, and
because they remained the most powerful Islamic state to survive in the age of European imperialism.

By the nineteenth century, large numbers of Muslims had fallen under British, Russian, and French domination
in India, central Asia, and North Africa. The sultan began appealing to them and to his own subjects as caliph, as a rallying point for resistance and for loyalty. The caliphal idea – with all of its historic prestige and honor and evocation of earlier, better, Islamic times – indeed was most popular among central Asian and Indian Muslims, communities under attack by both Britain and Russia.

Sultan Abdulaziz (1861–1876) already had adopted a pan-Islamic approach in his relations with other Muslim countries, appealing to a shared Islam as the basis for concerted action under his own caliphal leadership. But it was Sultan Abd ¨ulhamit II, ruling an empire that had become more Muslim than Christian in population
since 1878, who most emphasized the caliphate.

Abdulhamit II first used the caliphal instrument during the Ottoman– Russian war of 1877–1878. The Russians earlier had crushed the central Asian Muslim states of Bukhara, Khiva, and Khokand, leaving the Afghans as a buffer between them and the British. After the Ottoman– Russian war began, the sultan sent a high level mission to Afghanistan to obtain help against their common Russian enemy.

The emissary also visited British India where, in Bombay, Muslims gave him an enthusiastic welcome. For the rest of his reign, Sultan Abdulhamit II sent agents to work within these communities and strengthen his own position in this arena of Great Power politics. Many Muslim heads of state, including the Uzbek khans, the Crimean khans, and the sultans of Sumatra in the East Indies acknowledged the Ottoman ruler as caliph.

And they sometimes also recognized the Ottomans as their temporal leaders. For example, the ruler of Kashgar
in central Asia is said to have issued coins bearing the Ottoman sultan’s name during the nineteenth century, while the Afghan emirs, acknowledging the sultan as successor of the true caliphs, agreed to read his name
at the Friday prayer.

Although we cannot know how effectively the caliphate cemented the sultan’s hold on his own subjects, it is clear that the caliphal appeal ultimately did not have a major impact on the loyalties of Muslims under the domination of Britain, France, and Russia. In 1914, the Ottoman caliph/sultan issued a call for a holy war (jihad) against his French, British, and Russian enemies, appealing to their Muslim subjects to revolt. In the end they did not, despite three decades of propaganda. Indeed many served, if sometimes unwillingly, in the armies of the caliph’s enemies.

Alparslan Episode 24 English Subtitles kayifamilytv

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