"The thwarted efforts of the early twentieth century to restore a caliphate have primarily dissolved into warm associations and memories of an institution that once represented Muslim piety, cosmopolitanism and prestige."
—From Longing for the Lost Caliphate, by Mona Hassan
Dr. Mona Hassan channels her background as a professor of Islamic history in her deep dive of the cultural and historical implications of caliphates. From the sacking of
by the Mongol army in the 13th century to the rise of fringe movements like Daesh in the modern era, the rise and fall of caliphates throughout history are presented comprehensively for the reader. A recurring theme is a sense of loss. The book doesn’t romanticize caliphates or gloss over problematic moments from history. The book instead argues that memories and stories about them influence Muslims to pursue them. Inspired Muslims fervently try to create a caliphate to harken back to the glorious days of the past but then realize the dream is much harder to achieve than previously thought. This book provides a concise but thorough explanation of why caliphates are so important to Muslim communities and Islamic culture.