Originally Posted by Flocculencio
Hmmm...could a Caliph hold spiritual power without temporal power? The office itself wasn't meant as a purely religious one.
They tried it- Abdulmecit II, the first cousin of the last Sultan, was made caliph (but not sultan) by the national assembly. He held office for 2 years despite Ataturk's wish to do away with the caliphate.
The major effect on the Islamic world would be if the Caliph was also allowed to control Mecca and Medina. This would mean a much smaller Saudi Arabia, and possibly less Wahhabism...