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(Arabic: "consultation"), in early Islamic history, the board of electors that was constituted by the second caliph (head of the Muslim community), 'Umar I (634-644), to elect his successor. Thereafter, in Muslim states, shura variously designated a council of state, or advisers to the sovereign, a parliament (in modern times), and-in certain Arab states-a court of law with jurisdiction over claims made by citizens and public officials against the government. The word shura provides the title of the 42nd chapter of the Qur'an, in which believers are exhorted to conduct their affairs "by mutual consultation."