In Islam, a caliph is elected

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Caliph [chalifa] means "representative or governor". The designation is used in the Holy Qur'an as the governor of God on earth (cf. 2:30), whereby according to Sunnis all people are meant, whereas Shiites refer this term first of all to the Ahl-ul-Bait (a.).

Later the term initially referred to the successor of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) In the leadership of the Islamic world community [ummah]. After the death of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) There were disputes among the Companions about the succession. While the followers of Imam Ali (a.) Waited in front of the house of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) For Imam Ali (a.), Because he was washing the Prophet Muhammad (s.) And preparing for the burial, emigrants and helpers quarreled Sakifa asked from which of the two groups the successor was to be determined. There they agreed on Abu Bakr, while Imam Ali (a.), Fatima (a.) And a few followers such as Ammar ibn Jassir, Bilal, Miqdad and Salman al-Farsi did not recognize this choice. They were of the opinion that the decision made by Prophet Muhammad (s) at Ghadir Chum in this regard should not be changed.

While Abu Bakr claimed that Prophet Muhammad (s.) Had not chosen his successor himself, he appointed Umar ibn Khattab as second caliph and his successor before his death (in violation of this alleged manipulation of the Prophet). Umar ibn Chattab appointed a committee headed by Abdurrahman ibn Auf, which should choose the successor among themselves, whereby Uthman ibn Affan became the third caliph through a clever questioning. After his assassination, the fourth caliph Imam Ali (a.), Whom Shiites see as the rightful successor of the Prophet Muhammad (s.), Was elected caliph by the people.

In the succession, the Umayyads with Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan and armed conflicts tore the caliphate to themselves, which among other things led to the tragedy of Ashura, where the caliph of the Islamic world community [ummah] Yazid ibn Muawiya, the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) Imam Husain (a.) And his followers massacred in the name of Islam. Abbasids and Ottomans followed later, with some parallel caliphs from other dynasties. The so-called caliphate became a pure tyranny in the misused name of Islam. Since these connections, which cannot be reconciled with Islam, are known among scholars, the term "rightly guided caliphs" was coined to justify at least the first caliphs, which only refers to the first four caliphs. Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan is no longer one of them.

Shiites, on the other hand, after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (s.), Only accept the twelve imams as caliphs, who were predetermined according to the traditions of Muhammad (s.) like another ten) and wait for the reigning Caliph Imam Mahdi (a.) to return from secrecy.