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Historically, the form of government established in Muslim regions by the successors of Prophet Muhammad was the caliphate. The ‘Abbāsid Caliphate was overthrown by the Mongols in the mid-13th century. Long before then, however, monarchy or the Sultanate had become the actual form of government in Muslim countries, albeit mostly under the suzerainty of the caliph. After the overthrow of the caliphate, monarchy became the general form of government in the Muslim world. The legitimacy of monarchy was primarily based on justice rather than the Shari'a (Islamic law), though the ruler obviously had to observe the latter. Neither the caliphate nor the sultanate was specifically designated as Islamic, even though they were historic forms taken by Muslim states. The idea of the Islamic state emerged ...

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