Al-Azhar: Caliphate rule is not an Islamic fundamental

Caliphate rule is not a pillar of Islam, but rather an organizational option, the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb said.
“The people of Sunnah had concurred that the issue of the Caliphate is not a religious fundamental, but rather a sheerly organizational process,” Tayyeb said during an interview with Egypt’s state TV.
“The people of Sunnah believe that Prophet Mohamed had not named a specific person to succeed him as a Caliph, but rather let it up to his companions,” said al-Tayyeb, who leads the most prestigious religious institution in the Sunni Muslim world.
Tayyeb said that, unlike Shias, the issue of “imamate” is not core to belief or disbelief in Islam for Sunnis, adding that faith is based on one’s beliefs.
Tayyeb’s comments come as the Islamic State militant group escalates its battles in several parts of the Middle East with the declared goal of establishing what it calls an Islamic Caliphate, claiming to copy the system of government succession that followed the death of Prophet Mohamed in 632 AD.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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