Caliphal Deputization

July 13, 2009  |  Thoughts

Sharia Law or One Law for All

D Rosser-Owen 2009



These relate to the legitimacy of the British Crown in appointing qadis and imams, and an Office to oversee these people and their professions. Although such legalistic niceties are commonly derided in fashionable circles and their newspapers, for this to be acceptable to Muslims in the UK, let alone world-wide, under their Shariah such a competence would have to derive directly from the Caliphate.

And, as a matter of fact, this is actually the case.

Towards the end of the 19th Century, two significant events took place.

One was, in 1889, when the Caliph, Sultan Abdul Hamid II jannat makan, appointed Abdullah Quilliam to be the “Sheykhu-l Islam of the British Isles”, and this was endorsed by the Emir of Morocco, the King of Afghanistan, and the Qajar Shah of Persia. The Office of Sheykhu-l Islam was the adminstrator of the system of qadis, imams, and muftis in the Ottoman Empire, and the implications of using this title for the bestowal on Quilliam cannot have been missed. It is legitimate to speculate that it was, in fact, intentional.

At about the same time, the Caliph, conscious of the vast Muslim population of the British Empire, appointed the Queen-Empress a beylerbeyi: in essence a tributary ruler over Muslims under the Caliphate.

The authority to make Islamic religious appointments, and to regulate the administrations of mosques and tribunals, including the appointment of the Office of the Sheykhu-l Islam, in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies rests with Queen Elizabeth II as the great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. And, by residuary sovereignty, in the Republic of Ireland with the President.

Yahya Birt on Abdullah Quilliam



  1. Wow, that is unheard of! Does anyone think its little bit far-fetched? The Ottomans were against British both before and during WWI… right?

  2. BismillahirRahmanirRahim

    No, that is not right, relationships between the monarchs of the countries were fine and only strained and led to the WWI result only after Churchill seized British-made warships the Ottomans payed for. One can imagine the tensions with America and Pakistan with the F16s. These and other issues were carried by the atheistic Young Turk party which encouraged war.

  3. During the “Great Game” era, the British and Ottoman Empires were allied against Tsarist Russia (in the case of the British due to concern about Russian ambitions directed at India). Remember the Crimean War?

  4. As-salamu alaykum,

    Please see this later article that I wrote in some detail about this issue:

    An Enquiry into the status of the Sheikh-ul-Islam of the British Isles

    I was previously in contact with Sheikh Dawud Rosser-Owen about what documentary evidence there was for Queen Victoria having assented to this arrangement. To my knowledge no-one researching this subject has been able to find or produce any. The evidence, such as it is, was that the Sheikh-ul-Islam of the British Isles was an honorary position and not an official one. The details are in the article.

    Wa s-salam, Yahya

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