The Islamic Caliphate: Why Every Believer Needs To Understand It

What the Caliphate means for the World

By Joel Richardson, ‘Joel’s Trumpet Ministry —

Two weeks ago, our illustrious President Obama stood in the White House and made the following statement:

The truth of the matter is that for all the challenges we face, all the problems that we have, if you had to be – if you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you’d choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed then it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been.”

On Sunday afternoon, my Twitter account lit up, as the various radical Muslims I follow erupted with jubilant declarations that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) had officially declared a caliphate – an Islamic state ruled by Islamic Shariah. No longer is it merely ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), but a full scale Islamic Caliphate is underway.

After an official meeting of ISIS’ shura (religious) council, they named their shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, to be the Emir al-Mu’minin, or the commander of the faithful – the first “caliph” in roughly 90 years. The caliph is essentially a Muslim pope, president and general all rolled into one.

The potential implications for the world are absolutely profound. First, according to Islamic jurisprudence, once a caliph has been declared, it is mandatory upon all Muslims to make a pledge of allegiance to the sitting caliph, known in Arabic as the bay’ah. The bay’ah translated is as follows:

I pledge my allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful, to hear and obey, in hardship and in blessings, to establish the religion of Allah, and to enforce Allah’s Shariah, and to expand the order of Allah, to establish the global Islamic state.

According to various hadith (Muslim sacred traditions found outside of the Quran), if one does not make the pledge, he will die the death of jahiliyya, or as a non-Muslim, and should be treated as a non-Muslim:

“[W]hen he stands before Allah on the Day of Judgment, and one who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to an Amir) will die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahillyya.” (Abu Muslim 20: 4562)

Already, there have been numerous tribal leaders and jihadi groups that have pledged their allegiance to the caliph with their lives. What groups will follow? What might it look like if various groups such as:

  • Boko Haram in Nigeria
  • al-Shabab in Somalia and Kenya
  • al-Qaida in Yemen
  • al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula
  • the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, and segments of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and throughout the world begin swearing allegiance to the caliph.

The dangers of a snowballing trend is profound. Rather than having an Islamic State spanning segments of Syria and Iraq, there could be smaller segments of the Islamic State in numerous other nations.

Consider the fact that even here in the United States, Mohamed Elibiary, one of three senior fellows on President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, is an open supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, the goal of which is the re-establishment of the caliphate. Elibiary is an open supporter of the R4bia movement. According to its own website, R4bia is, among other things, the following:

  • R4BIA is the birth of a new world
  • R4BIA is the return of Muslims to world stage
  • R4BIA is the place where the so-called values of the West collapsed
  • R4BIA is the name of those who wake all the Islamic world with their death
  • R4BIA is justice for everyone against rotten Western values
  • R4BIA is unification of Islamic World
  • R4BIA is the end of oil sheikhs
  • R4BIA is the end of capitalists
  • R4BIA is the end of Zionists
  • R4BIA is the arena of martyrdom
  • R4BIA is a smiling martyrdom

How many Americans honestly feel comfortable knowing that the very man who openly supports the above statements was appointed by President Obama as a senior adviser within the Department of Homeland Security?


Another significant reality now that the caliphate has been restored is that it is actually mandatory for the caliphate to engage in perpetual jihad until there are literally no non-Muslims left throughout the world, or they submit to being subjected peoples:

Allah’s Apostle [Muhammad] said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle.” (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24)

According to the Islamic State media, one of the obligations of the caliph is stated as follows:

He must strive in jihad against those who stubbornly reject Islam after being called to it, until they become Muslim or agree to live under Muslim protection and pay jizyah, so that the rights of Allah will be fulfilled and His religion will prevail over all others.

Even beyond the official state jihad, it is also incumbent upon all Muslims everywhere to expand the rule of Islam through individual jihad. One of the significant debates that many Muslim jurists had with Osama bin Laden is that jihad is not technically legal according to Islamic Shariah unless there is a sitting caliph. Well, now there is one. As such, the potential for various lone-wolf terrorism attacks throughout the world has just absolutely ballooned.

Already there have been numerous pictures popping up on Twitter of Muslims gathering in European nations and throughout the world, donning the black flag of of the Islamic State to show their support. The danger that these groups hold for their host countries is tremendous.

Only two weeks ago, President Obama declared that the world is safer now than it ever has been, that it’s truly a wonderful time to be alive. Based on the various videos of celebrating Sunni Muslims in cities from Mosul to Raqqa, if you are a radical Muslim, then Obama may very well be right. A new day has dawned.


Understanding Egypt: Understanding the caliphate (part II)

Feb. 18, 2011 12:19pm

Editor’s note: The Blaze is featuring some guest posts to help our readers gain a deeper understanding of the situation in Egypt. Joel Richardson is the author of The Islamic Antichrist a comparison of Biblical and Islamic Eschatology and is the co-author of God’s War on Terror. His blog can be found here.

In the first portion of this article, we reviewed a basic historical overview of the Caliphate as well as the various historical and psychological reasons that so many Muslims today yearn for its return. In this article, we continue the discussion.

In order to begin understanding the collective psycological wound that the abolition of the Caliphate has had on the Muslim world, imagine if the office of Pope was forcefully abolished by anti-Catholic forces and remained unfilled for nearly a hundred years. The theological and psychological impact this would have on Catholics globally would be profound. Likewise, without a Caliph, many Muslims feel as though the universe itself has been completely out of order for the past eighty plus years. This worldview was nowhere better summarized than in a promotional video for Hizb-ut-Tahrir—an Islamic group whose goal is to restore the Caliphate:


The 3rd of March, 1924—the world was plunged into darkness. The Khilafah—His light, spread from East to West for over a thousand years—was brought to an end. The consequences were unimaginable: death, destruction, chaos, exploitation. After 80 years of the absence of the Khilafah, the Muslim world has awakened from its slumber, and the Ummah [the community of all the world’s Muslims] is ready to resume its political destiny. From the darkness will emerge a new light.


To the pro-Caliphate Muslims, the present global reality must be corrected. These Muslims are not a small minority. In fact, there is now a global worldwide revival of numerous Islamic groups whose goal it is to revive the Caliphate. In Indonesia, a Hizb Ut-Tahrir rally was able to gather together well over 100,000 Muslims. Each year in London, nearly 10,000 gather to discuss reviving the Caliphate.

Yet despite the global revival of pro-Caliphate sentiment among Muslims, Glenn Beck’s efforts to call attention to this extremely dangerous reality has brought much scoffing by media naysayers on both the left and right.

But is Beck truly a loopy conspiracy theorist?

Consider a report issued by the National Intelligence Council in 2005. The report, entitled, “Mapping the Global Future: Project 2020″ predicted that within the next several years, we may expect to see the emergence of a revived Islamic Caliphate. For those unfamiliar with the NIC, below is a self-description from its website:

The NIC is a center of strategic thinking within the U.S. Government, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence and providing the president and senior policymakers with analyses of foreign-policy issues that have been reviewed and coordinated throughout the Intelligence Community. Our work ranges from brief analyses of current issues to “over the horizon” estimates of broader trends at work in the world.

So as the mockers throw stones at Glenn Beck for his suggestion that the Muslim world is moving toward a Caliphate, this exact prediction was made over six years ago by the United States government’s most significant strategic forecasting think-tank. If anything, Beck is behind the curve.

But there is a significant element of the NIC’s “over the horizon” assessment that we should pay attention to. According to the report, the coming Caliphate would not be built on acts of terrorism, or overt violence, but instead would be established through peaceful means. By claiming to provide the Middle East with stability, peace and security, the emergence of the coming caliphate will be viewed positively by much of the world. After observing many American commentators whitewash the dark history and the ehh emmm… vitriolic rhetoric of various spokesmen for the Muslim Brotherhood, I am convinced that we are really that gullible.

Not surprisingly then, as one monitors the angle taken by some of the most popular pro-Caliphate Muslim leaders, their words are often extremely innocuous. Consider the glowing description of the Caliphate, as articulated by Turkish Muslim author Adnan Oktar (who writes under the pseudonym of Harun Yahya), the world’s most widely published Muslim author. Oktar does not use the term Caliphate, but instead refers to his Neo-Ottoman vision as “The Turkish-Islamic Union”:

The Turkish Islamic Union will be the salvation of everyone, of people of all faiths, all nations and all opinions, not just of the Islamic world. This union will bring love, brotherhood, friendship, plenty and abundance to the world. The Turkish-Islamic Union…will be instrumental in the world attaining an entirely new beauty, in a huge rise in plenty and abundance, in major progress in art and science, and in the construction of a powerful and deep-rooted civilization…

Understanding Egypt: Understanding the caliphate (part II)
Adnan Oktar’s vision of a Turkish-led Islamic Union

But despite any veneer of moderation that any Caliphate or Islamic Union might seem to possess, the conclusion of the 2020 report is entirely correct when it states that even a limited Caliphate initially consisting of several Islamic nations would present enormous problems for the United States and its global interests. The potential of any such entity becoming a reality is not something that Americans should take lightly.

How then is a Caliphate most likely to emerge? Will Hib Ut-Tahrir or al-Qaeda eventually be successful? This is highly unlikely. In part III, we will discuss the one entity that will most likely achieve the global Islamic yearning for a revived Caliphate.


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