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The tragedy of Islam is that it should have only one "Pope" instead of too many

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in response to reader comment: "Islam needs a pope" seems contradictory

Submitted by dhimmi no more, Sep 30, 2018 at 07:49

For the readers: In Islam you can find the yes, no and the may be to any question including should Muslims have a "pope" or not.

A bit of history: The title of the early Khlafa' (pl of Khlaifa) was Khalifatu-Allah or the deputy/ally/follower of Allah where the Khalifa was the leader of the Muslim community (not unlike the Pope in Christianity) He was in charge of the sacred and the profane. And this is what we still have in Shi'a Islam today.

However, the Muslim Ulama wanted part of the action so later on the title changed to Khalifat Rasul Allah or the deputy/ally/follower of the messenger of Allah. Now we have a split where the Khalifa becomes in charge of the profane (politics, army etc..) and the Ulama becomes in charge of the sacred and this is what we have now in Sunni Islam

Again nothing is ever simple in Islam. And human beings like to be in charge. So we have Sheikh al-Azhar who could be considered a Pope and some obscure Mullah (not unlike Mirza Ghulam) in India who acts as a pope. Even the terrorist Anwar el-Awlaki would be regarded as a pope by his followers.

Clearly Muhammad wanted to have a leader for his community but he was a poor theologian and the end result in chaos

However, Sunni Muslims (Shi'a Muslims have a pope eg: al-Khomeini) have popes! And this is where the tragedy lies. Too many chiefs and far too many foolish followers.

Now, back to the etymology of the word Khalifa (Islamic pope may be?) and this is from an old post:

"the word خليفة or Khalifa (Caliph) and indeed the Ulama had great difficulty in defining such word and the real difficulty is this a masculine word but it has a feminine ending which did not make grammatical sense and this feminine ending is the last letter in the word and that is the Ta Marbouta or ة . The Ulama also suspected that it might be a foreign word

Well in Arabic the word حليف or Halif is really what a Khalifa is but it is not the word used in the Qur'an and why would it be this way

http://www.almaany.com/home.php?language=arabic&lang_name=%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A&word=%D8%AD%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%81

And here is the meaning of the word Khalifa in Arabic

http://www.almaany.com/home.php?language=arabic&lang_name=%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A&word=%D8%AE%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%81%D8%A9

And notice that we are told that a khalifa is

المستحلف والجمع حلفاء or al-Mustahlef (from halif) and the plural is Hulafa' (compare this with Khulafa')

Now Luxenberg tells us that the Syriac word ܚܠܝܦܐ or Halipa is really vocalized is Khalipa and the Syriac letter P is really Arabic F et voila now we have the Arabized version of the Syriac word ܚܠܝܦܐ or Khalip(read as f)a in the Qur'an"

But again Islam is a poor and confused imitation of the older religions/civilizations of the Middle East

PS: In reader who is interested in reading about this topic, check Patricia Crone's book: "God's Caliph" Good reading


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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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