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Introduction 1. Abu Bakr: the successor of the Messenger of God and the caliphate of Quraysh 2. 'Umar: Commander of the Faithful, Islamic meritocracy, consultation and Arab empire 3. 'Uthman: the Viceregent of God and the reign of 'Abd Shams 4. 'Ali: the counter-caliphate of Hashim Conclusion: Restoration of the community and despotic kingship.