The Four Righteous Caliphs - Essay Example

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The paper "The Four Righteous Caliphs" states that last of the Four Righteous Caliphs Ali b. Abi Talib faced some of the most difficult challenges. Because he failed to punish Uthman's assassins in a timely manner, many of his former followers deserted him, and he was faced with civil war. …
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After the death of Muhammad, the Islamic world was plunged into political confusion as he had left no instructions on choosing his successor as a political and religious leader. The next four Muslim leaders collectively called “the Four Righteous Caliphs,” lead the empire through many shifts in power.
Abu Bakr, the immediate successor of Muhammad, met with a lot of opposition. Civil war broke out shortly after he became caliph, and the “Wars of Apostasy” caused by Muhammad's death were not calmed for almost an entire year. Abu Bakr sent forces into what is now Iraq and Syria in order to bring them into the empire.
The second caliph, Umar, continued the expansion of the Muslim state. He not only defeated the Persians but also secured Egypt from the Byzantines. Umar's reign is one of the reasons the Muslim empire was so successful: he allowed people to retain their own religious beliefs. This greatly strengthened Islamic control as the increased freedom prompted not only happy citizens but also converts.
The caliphates position in religious affairs was strengthened when the third caliph, Uthman b. Affan was selected to lead the Ottoman empire. He created a governmentally-sanctioned copy of the Quran. This action was incredibly beneficial to both political and religious organization, as it not only united the Islamic empire under one, clear version of the holy scripture, but it also showed the caliphate as capable and spiritually viable. Read More
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