The Egyptian Response to the Abolition of the Caliphate: A Press Survey

Menguc H. L.

CTAD-CUMHURIYET TARIHI ARASTIRMALARI DERGISI, vol.15, no.30, pp.109-133, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 30
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.109-133
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The abolition of the Caliphate, which remained as one of the most important institutions of Islamic history for about 1300 years, had a great reaction in Egypt as well as in the whole Muslim World. Many articles penned in the newspapers of the time on the Caliphate issue. The Egyptian arm of the debates, from the opinions of both the classic and Azhari scholars, which represented the theological aspect of the issue, or from a political sense, the Egyptian palace, British rule in Egypt, and approach of various political parties in the country, have all been topics of academic research. However it is yet difficult to find an independent study that looks at the Caliphate debate in Egypt, even with its flurry of publications from the second half of the 19th Century continuing until the present time. This article tries to investigate both the short-term and long-term reactions against the abolition and to handle four essential questions: 1. What was the general reaction of the three major periodicals of the Egyptian press; al-Ahram, al-Muqattam and al-Manar and which reasons according to them were behind the desicion of abolition?, 2. How did they evaluate the question on Abdulmecid Efendi's legitimacy after the abolition, both in the religious and the juristical point of view?, 3. How did they evaluate Sharif Hussein's attempt to declare himself as caliph?, 4. How did they response to the idea of a Cairo-based caliphate with Fouad I as the caliph?