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As Boko Haram tries to establish a new caliphate, while imposing Shari’ah law and persecuting and kidnapping young girls, it is timely to enquire into both the workings of the early caliphate and the role an Islamic state should play in the world. The aim of this paper is both to counter Boko Haram’s approach to the caliphate and examine the administration of Umar bin Abdul Aziz (715-717CE). The article is qualitative, permitting a descriptive and historical approach. This study examines Umar bin Abdul Aziz as a devoted Muslim who set new standards for what a Muslim ruler should be like. This study suggests that, despite Muslim dreams of a ‘return of the caliphate’, this concept means different things to different people. While Boko Haram violently struggles for power, Islam encourages sovereignty based on honour and gained through better actions and faith.