• In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
  • Guide us to the straight path [Al-Fātiĥah 1:6]
  • And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].[Al-Baqarah 2:42]
  • And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds, and says: 'I am one of the Muslims. [Fussilat 41:33]
  • So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect[Al-Araf 7:176]
  • And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, leave it... [Al-Hashr 59:7]

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Categories: The Rightly-Guided Caliphs

Meaning of the Word 'Caliph'

The word 'Caliph' is the English form of the Arabic word 'Khalifa,' which is short for Khalifatu Rasulil-lah. The latter expression means Successor to the Messenger of God, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The title 'Khalifatu Rasulil-lah'. was first used for Abu Bakr, who was elected head of the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet.

The Significance of the Caliphate

The mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), like that of the earlier messengers of God, was to call people to the worship of and submission to the One True God. In practice, submission to God means to obey His injunctions as given in the Holy Qur'an and as exemplified by Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet). As successor to the Prophet, the Caliph was the head of the Read More »

The First Caliph, Abu Bakr (632-634 A.C.)

Categories: The Rightly-Guided Caliphs

"If I were to take a friend other than my Lord, I would take Abu Bakr as a friend." (Hadith)

Election to the Caliphate

The Prophet's closest Companion, Abu Bakr, was not present when the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) breathed his last in the apartment of his beloved wife of later years, Aisha, Abu Bakr's daughter. When he came to know of the Prophet's passing, Abu Bakr hurried to the house of sorrow.

"How blessed was your life and how beatific is your death,"

he whispered as he kissed the cheek of his beloved friend and master who now was no more.

When Abu Bakr came out of the Prophet's apartment and broke the news, disbelief and dismay gripped the community of Muslims in Medina. Muhammad (peace be on him) had been the leader, the guide and the bearer of Divi Read More »

The Second Caliph, Umar (634-644 A.C.)

Categories: The Rightly-Guided Caliphs

God has placed truth upon Umar's tongue and heart. (Hadith)"

'Umar's Life

During his last illness Abu Bakr had conferred with his people, particularly the more eminent among them. After this meeting they chose 'Umar as his successor. 'Umar was born into a respected Quraish family thirteen years after the birth of Muhammad (peace be on him). Umar's family was known for its extensive knowledge of genealogy. When he grew up, 'Umar was proficient in this branch of knowledge as well as in swordsmanship, wrestling and the art of speaking. He also learned to read and write while still a child, a very rare thing in Mecca at that time. 'Umar earned his living as a merchant. His trade took him to many foreign lands and he met all kinds of people. This experience gave him an insight into the affairs and problems of men. 'Umar's personality was dynamic, self-assertive, frank and straight forward. He always spoke wh Read More »

The Third Caliph, Uthman (644-656 A.C.)

Categories: The Rightly-Guided Caliphs

"Every Prophet has an assistant, and my assistant will be Uthman."(Hadith)

Uthman's Election

When 'Umar fell under the assassin's dagger, before he died the people asked him to nominate his successor. 'Umar appointed a committee consisting of six of the ten companions of the Prophet (peace be on him) about whom the Prophet had said, "They are the people of Heaven" - Ali, Uthman, Abdul Rahman, Sa'ad, Al-Zubayr and Talha - to select the next Caliph from among themselves. He also outlined the procedure to be followed if any differences of opinion should arise. Abdul Rahman withdrew his name. He was then authorized by the committee to nominate the Caliph. After two days of discussion among the candidates and after the opinions of the Muslims in Medina had been ascertained, the choice was finally limited Read More »

The Fourth Caliph, Ali (656-661 A.C.)

Categories: The Rightly-Guided Caliphs

"You [Ali] are my brother in this world and the next." (Hadith)

Ali's Election

After Uthman's martyrdom, the office of the caliphate remained unfilled for two or three days. Many people insisted that Ali should take up the office, but he was embarrassed by the fact that the people who pressed him hardest were the rebels, and he therefore declined at first. When the notable Companions of the Prophet (peace be on him) urged him, however, he finally agreed.

Ali's Life

Ali bin Abi Talib was the first cousin of the Prophet (peace be on him). More than that, he had grown up in the Prophet's own household, later married his youngest daughter, Fatima, and remained in closest association with him for nearly thirty years.

Ali was ten years old when the Divine Message came to Muhammad (peace be on him). One night he saw the Prophet and his wife Khadijah bowing and prostrating. He asked the Prophet about the meaning of their actions. Read More »


Categories: The Rightly-Guided Caliphs

With the death of Ali, the first and most notable phase in the history of Muslim peoples came to an end. All through this period it had been the Book of God and the practices of His Messenger - that is, thc Qur'an and the Sunnah - which had guided the leaders and the led, set the standards of their moral conduct and inspired their actions. It was the time when the ruler and the ruled, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, were uniformly subject to the Divine Law. It was an epoch of freedom and equality, of God-consciousness and humility, of social justice which recognized no privileges, and of an impartial law which accepted no pressure groups or vested interests.

After Ali, Muawiya assumed the caliphate and thereafter the caliphate became hereditary, passing from one king to another.

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Umar ibn Abdil Aziz

Categories: The Rightly-Guided Caliphs

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was the revivalist of the first century after Hijrah. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was the first person to declare him as such, and there was no disagreement among the Muslim scholars on this matter.

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