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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Uthman's Concept of the Caliphate

Concept of the caliphate
Most of the difficulties in the time of Uthman arose because of differences about the concept of the Caliphs. Most of the people regarded the Caliph as an Arab Sheikh on a higher scale amenable to the will of the people and even their idiocynracies. Uthman was of the view that the analogy of a tribal Sheikh did not apply to the Caliph.- He held that there was a divinity about the office of the Caliph, which had to be understood with reference to the Quran and the traditions and not in accordance with any man made concepts.

The Holy Quran and the caliphate In the Holy Quran, the term "caliphate" has been used in general terms with reference to communities or people in their collectivity. The word "Caliph" with reference to an individual has been used only once in the Holy Quran with reference to David. Here the word "Caliph" has been used with reference to a ruler or a vicegerent.


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