Assil Salem


In the early centuries of Islam, the term caliph was referred to the highest leader of the Muslim community. He had two roles; firstly as a ruler practicing the roles of the Prophet and secondly as a religious leader leading the communal prayers. The Caliphate has appeared for fourteen centuries and was abolished by Mustafa Kemal Atātūrk in 1924. Although Muslims have been without caliph for ninety years, heated controversy on the restoration of the Caliphate has been debated among Egyptians since 1920s until 2015. This thesis aims to answer the caliphate question,” is the Caliphate obligatory in Shari’a?” by conducting a historical analysis of the views of six sunni scholars and the group of Islam State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on the caliphate from 1920s to 2014. Two of the six sunni scholars, ‘Alī ‘Abdal Rāziq and Nasr Hāmyd Abū Zayd argued that the Caliphate had no foundations neither in the Qur’an nor Sunna. The other sunni scholars, ‘Abdal -Rāziq al-Sanhūrī, Muhammad ‘Imāra, Hasan al-Banā, Ibn Taymiyya and ISIS believed in the obligation of the Caliphate in Shari’a.


Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

July 2015

First Advisor

Shalakany, Amr

Committee Member 1

Badawi, Nesrine


53 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item