The world has been without a unified empire where Almighty God’s Law reigns supreme and the believers in the Oneness of Almighty God (the Muslims) could flee to in times of persecution, specifically since March 3, 1924. That’s 96 years ago today. This empire was known as the Caliphate, an Islamic empire that was last ruled by the Ottoman dynasty until the Sykes-Picot Agreement divided it into separate countries.
March 3, 1924 was the day that the new country of Turkey officially abolished the Caliphate and exiled the last of the its rulers. It marked the end of Muslim unity that had been in place for 1300 years. Though the Ottoman Caliphate has been in a period of decline for centuries beforehand, that infamous day marked the official end of the Caliphate.
So why did this happen and why is it significant?
This development changed the world in a very negative way. It emboldened numerous other countries to oppress those who worship God without partners. If the Muslims had no state to protect them, then everything they had would be up for grabs. Their lands could be conquered. Their people could be conquered. Their resources could be taken.
The Caliphate was the Muslims’ shield. Their symbol of being united as one community. Once the Muslims were to lose that shield, they would be helpless. This is why countless governments and individuals throughout the history of Islam have sought to divide the Muslims. They couldn’t conquer the Caliphate militarily without dividing it first on an internal level.
So how did they do it? By introducing newly invented practices into the religion of Islam and slowly making these things be considered acceptable. This is how the hypocrites in Islamic history operated: pretend to accept Islam so they could divide it from within. They’d say one thing but they’d do something else.
Ibn Sabah Al-Yehudi was one prominent example of the hypocrites. The founder of the Shia sect, Ibn Sabah was raised as a Jew but he accepted Islam falsely so he could divide Islam. He introduced many new religious practices that were not from the example of the Messenger of Almighty God. As time went on, these newly-invented matters became the source of the Shia sect.
This became a familiar pattern throughout the 1300 years of the Caliphate’s reign. As religious innovations became more widespread, people slowly became more involved in these practices that were contrary to the purely prophetic example. It took centuries but as these practices divided the Muslims throughout the years, new ideologies were introduced in Muslim lands such as nationalism, materialism, etc.
But in reality, these practices only became prevalent because the Muslims allowed them to. They became negligent in practicing their religion and became susceptible to outside influences. So as Muslims, we only have ourselves to blame for what has happened to the Muslim world. God said this point blank in the Noble Qur’an in chapter 30, verse 41.
Well, Almighty God does not change a community’s condition until the people in that community change themselves. When we neglected following the original religion sent by Almighty God, He in turn sent humiliation upon us. But don’t lose hope because the opposite is true as well.
If we want Almighty God to remove that humiliation and make the Muslims victorious again, then we have to return to the original religion sent to us from Almighty God. This is talked about in the Noble Qur’an in chapter 9, verse 100 as well as in an authentic narration from the Messenger Muhammad, peace and God’s blessings be upon him.
So there is still hope. However, just how long we as believers remain without a caliphate depends on when we will come to our senses and return to practicing the original understanding of Islam.