It was ruled by the first four successive caliphs successors of Muhammad after his death in CE AH This term is not widely used in Shia Islam as Shia Muslims do not consider the rule of the first three caliphs as legitimate. The Rashidun Caliphate is characterized by a twenty-five year period of rapid military expansion , followed by a five-year period of internal strife. The Rashidun Army at its peak numbered more than , men. By the s, the caliphate in addition to the Arabian Peninsula had subjugated the Levant , to the Transcaucasus in the north; North Africa from Egypt to present-day Tunisia in the west; and the Iranian plateau to parts of Central Asia and South Asia in the east. The caliphate arose out of the death of Muhammad in CE and the subsequent debate over the succession to his leadership.
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The institution of Khilafat is that blessed heavenly system of guidance, granted by Allah the Exalted, to a community of believers for their spiritual progress and development.
Firmly holding onto it is a verification of their belief as well as a guarantee for their peace, security and spiritual advancement. The blessed subject of Khilafat is indeed like a life line and a source of real inspiration.
It brings with it a message of spiritual elevation which takes a believer closer and closer to Allah the Almighty and enables him to achieve the purpose of his creation. Without Khilafat there is no life, no joy and no spirituality. And, under the benign shade of Khilafat, we are able to enjoy all the blessings of this life with a sure guarantee of endless blessings in the Hereafter. Khilafat is, indeed, a bliss unspeakable. It is like a mine of bounties which can never be exhausted.
The wording is:. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious. This verse contains most exquisite subject matters. In it Allah the Exalted has made a definite promise for the establishment of Khilafat for the community of believers and has made it conditional to belief and good works.
Two grand blessings of Khilafat are cited; firm establishment of religion and the transformation of a state of fear into a state of peace.
It is also mentioned that the lofty objectives and the sweet fruits of Khilafat are also two-fold; true establishment of worship of God and the Unity of God. The literal meanings of the word Khilafat are of vicegerancy and succession. Owing to the subject of my speech, I will be concentrating on that category in which this word is used for the deputy of a prophet and his successor.
Those who come in place of prophets to dispel the darkness that spreads after their era are called Khulafa. Malfoozat Vol. Regarding the necessity and the wisdom behind the institution of Khilafat the Promised Messiah May peace be upon him says:. The successor of a prophet in the real sense can only be the one who has the excellences of a prophet on a shadowlike basis…in fact a Khalifah is the shadow of a prophet.
As no person can live forever, therefore Allah the Exalted willed to establish the beings of prophets, who are the most eminent and the best among all the beings of the world, on a shadowlike basis till the Day of Judgement. It is with this objective that Allah the Exalted chose Khilafat so that the world may never and at no time be deprived of the blessings of prophet-hood.
The well-established way of Allah, the Almighty for the guidance of mankind is that the seeds of the Divine message of guidance are sown by His chosen prophets and the stem of guidance begins to grow. The advent of these prophets is actually the first manifestation of Allah, the Almighty.
When the time of their departure from this world arrives, Allah once again demonstrates a wonder of His power for the completion of the somewhat incomplete work of the prophets; to continue to nurture and develop their works and to take it to the point of culmination.
It is worth remembering that both the institutions of prophethood and Khilafat are from God but there is a difference regarding their election.
Allah the Exalted elects a prophet directly because at that time of oppression there is no existence of a community of believers, whereas after the advent of a prophet a community of believers is formed.
A community that satisfactorily fulfils the criteria of belief and good works in the sight of Allah is given the opportunity, as a mark of honour, to express its opinion at the time of the election of a Khalifah. On the face of it, this appears to be an election but in reality it is a selection made by God. The pure hearts of the believers are, with the power and order of Allah the Exalted, inclined to choose that pure being which, in fact, is the choice of Allah, the Exalted.
It may be noted here that each Khalifah, who is the manifestation of the institution of Khilafat, is the Khalifah of the prophet who has passed away and is not the Khalifah of the Khalifah before him. It is in accordance to this principle that each Khalifah in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is called Khalifatul Masih.
God, through His complete authority, bestows the office of Khilafat to the Khalifah. God makes a Khalifah and none has the authority to dismiss him from this office. He is helped by God. God becomes his Teacher and Guide. He acquires religious knowledge and discernment from God.
Illumined by the Light of God he becomes the fountainhead of light and then he is bestowed the miracle of acceptance of prayers. Obeying him is actually obeying the Prophet whose Khalifah he is and this very obedience ultimately guarantees connecting that person with the obedience of God.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II ra has listed the special features which distinguish Khilafat-e-Rashida from all other forms of government. I summarise his points here:. Verily Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them… Ch. The Khilafat-e-Rashida is elective and Allah Almighty has left the method of election open to the believers.
Thus, although he is a constitutional head, he is not absolutely free. In all important matters, the Khalifah is bound to consult his colleagues and to follow their advice as far as possible. Finally he takes the decision under Divine guidance. A Khalifah is equal to other fellow beings in human rights as prescribed in Islam. This is not the case of other rulers in the world.
A Khalifah can secure his rights through the judicial system just as people can obtain their rights from him through the same process. A Khalifah is granted a lesser infallibility. As he is a component of the Divine mechanism, a Khalifah has been promised a limited providential infallibility from major mistakes liable to bring about disastrous consequences. He is the one who enjoys Divine assistance. This unique position is not available to any other type of leader. The Khalifah is not aligned to any political party and his position is that of a father.
It is not permissible, therefore, that he should incline towards any one party. Allah says:. That is, a person in the position of a Khalifah should exercise complete justice, leaning neither to an individual nor a party.
Al-Furqan, Khilafat Issue, July Allah the Almighty has made a very clear and emphatic promise about the establishment of a spiritual system of leadership among the community of believers. On the basis of this Divine promise, the Holy Prophets May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him further mentioned this everlasting principle:.
The Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him further outlined the jobs to be performed by his successors. He said:. These two Ahadith elucidate the fundamental principle that Khilafat in essence is a continuation of the mission of the Prophet. The objectives and the aims of Khilafat and Prophethood remain the same. These clear elucidations left absolutely no doubt that a system of Khilafat was going to be established after the demise of the Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and certain individuals would be there as the spiritual embodiment of this system.
This is exactly what happened. Their total period of Khilafat was nearly thirty years. This period of Khilafat is generally known and described as Khilafat-e-Rashida, the rightly guided Khilafat. It is interesting and inspiring to note that the first era of Khilafat-e-Rashida has several unique points of distinction.
For example, it is a period closely connected with the blessed period of the Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Moreover, its name is derived from the wording of Khulafa-e-Rashideen used by the Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him , obedience to whom was strongly stressed by him, mentioning it along with his own traditions.
Another distinction of this period is that all four Khulafa, who had this honour of being chosen as successors, were not only prominent companions of the Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him but also from among those who were given the glad tidings of paradise during their lifetime. Moreover, all four were closely related to the Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
The first two were his fathers in law while the latter two were his sons in law. At least three out of four Khulafa also have the honour of being mentioned as his successors by the Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him himself. It was an age of advancement and climax of Islam that even the colossal opponents were powerless to contend with.
Such was the state of the grandeur of Islam and the awe of the Muslims that the great empires of kings and emperors would tremble at their name and would bow down to them. The truth is that during this golden era of the Rightly Guided Khilafat, Islam attained such glory and eminence that even today, when an impartial historian casts his eyes on this era, he is amazed.
He fails to understand as to how the inhabitants of the desert of Arabia became the conquerors of the world. He does not realise that it was the fruit of Khilafat-e-Rashida; that Rightly Guided Khilafat with which the destiny of the triumph of Islam was linked. The Khilafat-e-Rashida was indeed a golden period of the history of Islam.
The teachings of Islam were faithfully followed and put into practice. The Khulafa through their unstinting loyalty to Islamic values, their personal nobility of character and exemplary adherence to the teachings and practices of the Holy Prophet May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him , served as role models for all.
The nobility of the Khulafa and their moral excellence has been acknowledged even by non-Muslim writers. I quote here just two short statements from famous historians. Like the Apostle himself, they were indifferent to money and continued when they had attained power to live simple peasant lives. Clad in patched garments made of coarse woollen material, they were not above milking their own goats as they had always done. It is of paramount importance to understand that the blessing of Khilafat-e-Rashida is a continuous blessing.
In the famous verse of Khilafat Ch. This means that Allah is definitely going to establish the Khulafa. Now the expression used here yastakhlifanna has a meaning of repetition and continuity in it. It refers to the present tense and also to the future. Therefore, it does contain a promise which is bound to continue in future as well.
As a matter of fact, this is an ongoing glorious promise of Allah, the Almighty, to all such believers in Islam who truly fulfil the requirement of faith and good deeds till the end of time. It would be a great folly to restrict the application of this promise to a limited period of time.
Except on two or three occasions, where specific exceptional reference is made, it has always been used in a manner that is applicable to all the Muslims till the day of judgement. We know that the system of succession continued for nearly years after Hazrat Moses as. How is it possible that in case of Islam it should be considered to be limited to only 30 years?
You are the best people raised for the good of mankind.
Expansion of the Muslim dominion during Khilafat-e-Rashida – Part I
Department of Islamic Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. List of Rulers of the Islamic World See works of art. Caliphs and Wazirs. Rashidun Dynasty. Umayyad Dynasty.
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah is of paramount importance in the history of Islam. It set the stage for the expansion of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula and set the precedence for the expanding boundaries of the Muslim dominion in North Africa and Asia Minor during the time of Khilafat-e-Rashida. Although many Muslims initially viewed it with bitterness, the result was a great triumph. The treaty allowed some of the greatest Arab warriors and enemies of Islam to witness its peaceful nature and embrace it. As a result of the treaty, the Meccan leadership, which had banned Muslims from entering the city, welcomed Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa sa as their head in less than two years. Shortly after the victory of Mecca, the Holy Prophet sa passed away.
List of Rulers of the Islamic World
The caliphate of Hasan ibn Ali is sometimes also considered to be Rashidun as well but since it was merely a six month period it is not mentioned categorically. The Rashidun were either elected by a council see the election of Uthman and Islamic democracy or chosen based on the wishes of their predecessor. He prevented the recently converted Muslims from dispersing, kept the community united, and consolidated Islamic grip on the region by containing the Ridda , while extending the Dar Al Islam all the way to the Red Sea. Dhu al-Hijjah 26, 23 Hijri  was a leading companion and adviser to Muhammad. His daughter Hafsa bint Umar was married to Muhammad; thus he became Muhammad's father-in-law. He became the second Muslim caliph after Muhammad's death and ruled for 10 years.
Early Islamic World
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