The Caliph

2016 ,    »  -   6 Comments
Ratings: 7.12/10 from 68 users.
The Caliph

Al Jazeera's ambitious new three-part documentary series The Caliph pieces together a rich history that officially endured over the course of thirteen centuries. At times, this history has been perverted for savage purposes, as seen in recent years with the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and their self-aggrandizing resurrection of its own caliphate. In spite of this troubling development, the role of the caliph has long represented an essential and sacred component of Islamic culture.

The film's first segment deals with the foundation of this tradition, which began with the death of the Prophet Muhammad in the year 632. The caliphs, a title whose literal translation means successor or deputy, were chosen to carry on his efforts to build a strong and thriving Islamic State. Renowned scholars of Islamic history recount how these early leaders spread their new religion to various regions within and beyond the Arabian Peninsula, and built the world's largest empire in the process.

Great division enters the equation in the film's second segment. The origins of this conflict were first rooted in the aftermath of the Prophet Muhammad's death as disagreements erupted over his eventual successors. This led to two separate denominations of the religion known as Sunni and Shia. Throughout history, the tensions between these two sects have persisted, and they continue to inspire tremendous turmoil in the Middle East to this day.

The third segment recalls the decline and the official end of the Caliphate. The Ottoman Empire first adopted the Caliphate in the 1300s. But in 1924, as the empire fell, the victorious Turkish Republic abolished the entity and exiled its most prominent and vocal supporters. As these populations dispersed and scattered across various surrounding territories, the notion of a supreme leader for a united Islamic society became untenable.

The Caliph takes viewers on an amazing journey populated by fascinating characters, brutal wars, and a heritage of belief that is often misinterpreted in our present climate of unrest. Clocking in at nearly three hours and packed with dense historical insights, this hugely impressive film provides an exhaustive look inside a topic of great importance.

6 Comments / User Reviews

  1. LeeJai Cook

    Thanks to this marvelous documentary, I feel that I have a much better understanding of Islam and its stormy history. Many thanks.

  2. Gloria

    I appreciate knowing better the history of others especially presented in an unbiased manner such as documentaries. I spread the word that this resource is here. Thank you Top Documentary Films.

  3. Terry

    Very interesting docu. It seems that Islam is more of a political movement than a religion (without wanting to insult).

  4. Baldie

    Where are parts 2 and 3?

  5. michael

    fantastic docu

  6. Danial

    This is a suburb documentary, and an eye-opener and enlightener, If I can say that? Myself, being a Muslim, this documentary perhaps concerns me more than most of the viewers. Viewing the current state of affairs in the Islamic world and all those terrorist groups fighting in the name of Allah and his messenger, I get to know actually where the root of all this happens to exist.

    Thankfully, being gifted with a deep philosophical and reasoning mind, the tell-a-tale of Islam which is usually told by the clergies (Mullah) in those Islamic nations where the literacy rate is too low to question anything, is much fabricated and a distorted version of Islamic history.

    For my part, I now fully believe and comprehend that Islam, in its full puritanical sense, started at the birth of Prophet Muhammad and ended with his death. Whatever the events and expeditions we have after the Prophet is actually a history of greedy, bloodthirsty, barbaric, political propagandist, and mostly immoral people, using the name of a religion for their own political and financial gains. But then every great civilization on Earth has used the same means to progress their power and influence on a large scale, right? And the descendants of Prophet, contrary to the extra-glorified version, are as similar as any other ruthless barbarians of the Middle Ages or pre-Middle Ages.

    I would much like if common people of Pakistan view such enlightening critical studies so that they can come out of those lies which are being fed to them since generations about the glorification of Prophet's companions and early Muslim rulers.

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