translation from French by Mevlana Sheikh Nazim’s Staff
Copyright 1993 Nadine Sultana d'Osman Han
understand and appreciate this spiritual and temporal office with often
intangible powers, it is necessary to turn to historiography and even, we could
say, Islamic anthropocentrism. In the
limited context of this article, it is not possible to analyze all the earthly
and divine facets that contributed to the creation of the Khalifat. Moreover, any divine essence reflects
nebulous truths, often incomprehensible to most people. So incorrect assumptions are often made. The mystery surrounding the
"apparent" absence of orders from Prophet Hz Muhammad and the
appointment of Abu Bakr (the Prophet's choice) appear to be contradictory, and
is the source of confusion about the protocol of the Khalifat, resulting in
division within Islam. Human beings tend to look for the least excuse to fuel
feelings of jealousy toward others, even if such jealousy is not
limited understanding nonetheless perceives, in our subconscious, the truth of
a universal "Spirit" or "Soul" that controls the cosmic
influences through which each being must search for his particular destiny, but
refuses to admit the importance of the unseen.
If the invisibility of the universal Soul were to become manifest within
the confines of our human mentality, it would lose its divine value through
being articulated. To explain the divine
manifestation of Allah to his Prophets (retransmitted by the Prophets to their
representatives through the Khalifat), think of the sun and the moon. The sun gives light, and the moon reflects
light. The moon has no power of its own. It is the mirror of the sun. As such, the
moon duplicates the light it receives and transmits the light in a diffuse
the Qu'ran is the word of Allah and transcends time, the law and its orders are
sketched out rather than specific, to accommodate the progression of
mankind. This progression is inevitable
and must be understood in its full value.
The Qu'ran does not dictate, or even suggest, the stagnation of mankind,
for that would assume that humanity has reached the highest degree of
civilization and purity, i.e. total perfection unable to be surpassed. The interpretation of the Qu'ran must
therefore follow the evolution of time with wisdom and justice for all, without
ulterior motive but with total impartiality, because Allah is JUSTICE itself.
is by definition total submission of mankind to Allah, so there cannot be
religious mediation between the individual human conscience and Allah. Due to
this fact, Islam theoretically does not have a clergy with a human legislative
function, as Allah alone is the Judge of consciences.
being said, the Holy Law which is perfect, cannot commit the error of
forgetting very human needs that require a wise guide (and not a dictator) to
resolve practical questions facing mankind on earth. Allah is the Lord of the universe, the
Creator of everything, the All-Knowing. Allah alone chooses the successors on
earth (and their status), a choice that transcends everything, for the word of
Allah transcends time. Given this truth,
there is no mystery concerning the succession of the
"representatives" of the Prophet!
The representatives (Khalifs) had already been determined before the
coming of Prophet Hz Muhammad, by divine law. The Prophet, as messenger of
Allah, could not have neglected such a responsibility, and he did not, for this
truth was not his mission, although the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him) gave an indication by appointing Abu Bakr as "Imam"
shortly before his death. This
"truth," which therefore already existed, has its source in the
past is the compass of time. It guides our steps in the present toward the
future. Without a past we are lost, blindly seeking our reason for being.
promulgation of the Divine Law is transmitted not only by the Prophets and the
Qu'ran (and other holy books), but also from time to time by certain
revelations that marked centuries, with very specific signs. This is particularly true with regard to the
Khalifat. Let us not forget that our
ancestors hold the key to our destiny on earth through genetic memory (of
divine origin). Thus, tribes, clans,
etc., were named after a common ancestor who had exceptional qualities, and
thus was the destiny of their descendants decided. When the balance of this order established by
divine decree becomes unstable due to human rebellion, chaos is
inevitable. This divine ancestral
genealogy is found in Prophet Hz Muhammad.
Although poor due to circumstances at the time of his marriage with
Khadija, Muhammad came from a powerful tribe (Quraysh) that had conquered Mecca in the 5th
century. The name of the tribe was
acquired through its founder "Qusay," a descendant of Abraham and
Ismael.* With the passage of the
centuries, every tribe becomes too big in number and eventually has to divide.
Inevitably, the best branch of the genealogical tree is directly attached to
the ancestral roots for its continuity in the divine plan. This was the case
for Hz Muhammad.
Quraysh tribe was divided into several groups, two of which predominated under
Hashim and Umayya. Hashim was a rich
merchant and a philanthropist. Ummaya
was a nephew of Hashim and was jealous of his uncle's superiority. After the death of Hashim, his son Abd
al-Muttabid was to succeed him as one of the chiefs of Mecca.
In 568, the son of Abd al-Muttabid, Abdallah, married Amena who was
herself a descendant of Qusay.* The
destiny of Hz Muhammad was thus already traced in the lineage of his
ancestors. The financial wealth of
Muhammad had gone (until his marriage with Khadija), but only moral qualities
form ongoing wealth. It was the latter
kind of wealth that finally determined the continuity of the historical
ancestry and his mission on earth.
view of this truth, we can better understand the eventual transmission of the
Khalifat to the Ottoman Sultans. This
was not a caprice of the moment, but the divine plan written into genealogical
Gazi was a descendant of the tribe of Oghuz, whose name came from their
ancestor Oghuz, grandson of Noah. Noah himself was the son of Lamech,
descendant of Seth, son of Adam.**
was born around 2948 before our era.
Despite the general corruption prevailing in his time, Noah remained
just and good. He was rewarded by a
revelation from Allah ordering him to build an Ark before the worldwide flood. Noah built the Ark amidst mockery from his neighbors. Once the Ark was finished, he took inside farm
animals and other provisions necessary for survival. After that, he entered the Ark with his wife and his three sons, Sem,
Cham and Japhet and their wives. When
the flood ended (after 40 days), Noah got off the Ark which came to rest on
Mount Aras (Agri DAgi, 5,165 m), and he quickly offered a sacrifice to the Lord
who blessed him and his posterity until the end of time.**
began to cultivate the earth and was the first to plant grape vines. One day, he drank wine without knowing what
the effects would be, and became drunk, causing his son Cham to laugh at him. Cham told Sem and Japhet, who were more
respectful (and especially more compassionate), and they covered their father
with a coat. When Noah awoke and learned
what had happened, he cursed Cham and his descendants, and blessed his other
two sons and their descendants. The
three sons of Noah had many children.
The descendants of Cham went to Africa. The descendants of Japhet eventually moved to
Europe, and the descendants of Sem stayed in Asia.**
son of Sem was the historical ancestor of Osman Gazi of the Ottomans. Another mark of divine will concerns the very
birth of Osman Gazi (for the Oghuz tribe became divided like the Quraysh), who
although the youngest son of Ertogrul Gazi became, due to his constant courage,
justice and compassion, the Sultan and founder of the Ottoman dynasty. Osman Gazi was born in the year of the
complete destruction of Baghdad, the Islamic centre of the Abassid dynasty, by
the mongol Hulagu, in 1258.**
Khalif Al-Musta'sim and his family were wiped out. After the destruction of Baghdad in 1258 and
the murder of the Khalif and his descendants, the Muslim world believed the
Khalifat had ended,*** since it is a hereditary position or one that can be
transferred only by the ruling Khalif.
It is a form of hereditary dynasty, while at the same time selective.
against all hope, a prince of the Abassid dynasty (Abul-Abbas Ahmad) had
survived the massacres. He went to live
in Egypt and although he had a much diminished role under the Mamluks of
Egypte, he and his descendants were able to preserve the office of the Khalifat
for two and a half centuries,*** before finally transmitting it legally to the
Ottoman Sultans, for the revival of the Khalifat in its original function of
creating total unity among Muslims and protecting them. We must not confuse
unity with individual choice of rite for communicating with Allah.
Moradgea d'Obsson in the "Tableau general de l'Empire Othman, 1787,"
the last Khalif, Mutawakkil al'Allah formally transferred the right of Khalifat
to the Osman family in the person of Sultan Selim I in 1517. The same year, Selim I received homage from
the Cherif of Mecca,
Mohammad Eb'ul Berekeath, whose son, Ebu-Noumy, presented him with the keys of
the Keabe on a silver plate. This full
and complete occasion of the rights of the Imameth, made on the one side by an
Abassid Khalif and on the other by a Cherif of Mecca, both of whom were
descendants of Quraysh, one through the Hashim branch and the other through
Aly, establishes the Ottoman Sultans, in the absence of the birth or extraction
required by the law, the Qur'anic law whose principle requires that the Imam is
from the Quraysh, to legitimately carry out the duties of the sacerdose.
we must not forget that the Ottoman Sultans were descendants of Noah and, more
importantly from Prophet Adam, thus completing the prophetic cycle which
returns to its starting point. The above
observations reinforce the concept of the Divine Plan in the distribution of
responsibilities throughout time according to a hierarchy determined since the
beginning of mankind.
planet Earth is a circular sphere,
point of departure is every point of arrival.
has a circular rhythm,
returns to its starting point.
seeds of nature grow from the Earth,
their leaves and fruits,
return to the Earth.
animal earthly envelope
of nutrients of the Earth,
to the latter, to nourish the Earth itself.
spiritual soul comes from the realm of purity of Allah,
must return pure to the realm of Allah.
Qur'an is the book of Heavens,
with the first Prophet, Adam.
end with the return of Adam's posterity.
circle of Khalifat is reaching its end.
unity of mankind
–The 21st century will be the
point of arrival of the Universal Soul,
its point of departure from the realm of Allah.
The Earth itself must return to
its cosmic origin.
A new voyage is being drafted in
the infinity of time.
(As the Qu'ran is the last Holy
Book, it contains the first Holy Books, beginning from the first Prophet).
Allah! We beg your forgiveness
for having betrayed the divine mission of our reason for being on earth.
Allah! Rahman! Rahim!
Age of Faith" by Will Durant, 1950, pp. 161 & 162.
Encyclopedie universelle du XXe siecle, under the direction of Alfred Mezieres,
Paris, Librarie Nationale - M DCCCC VII.
"A Short History of the Arab Peoples" by Sir John Glubb