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Khalifas Of Muslims


Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 67th letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

After the last Prophet Muhammad Mustafa, the Khalifa (caliph) of Muslims, that is, our Prophet's representative and the Muslims' leader is Hadrat Abu Bakr-i Siddiq (radiy Allahu anhu). After him comes Hadrat 'Umar ul Faruq. Next comes Hadrat 'Uthman-i Zinnurein, and then Ali bin Abi Talib. The order of superiority among these four is analogous to the order of their caliphates.

All the Sahaba [2] and the Tabi'un [3] said that of these the Shaikhayn [the first two] were higher than the other two. This unanimity has been communicated by our imams (leaders) of religion. For example, Imam-i Shafi'i's saying is well known. Abul-Hasan-i Ash'ari, one of the leaders of the Ahl as-sunnat [4], said, "It is certain that the Shaikhayn are higher than all the Ummat [5]. He who disbelieves this fact is either ignorant or stubborn. " Imam-i Ali said, "He who holds me superior to Abu Bakr and 'Umar is a slanderer. As slanderers are to be beaten, I will beat him. " Hadrat Abdulqadir-i Gailani reported in his book Gunya-tut-talibin: Our Prophet said, "I asked of Allahu ta'ala that Ali become the Khalifa after me. Angels said: ''O Muhammad! It will happen as Allahu ta'ala wills. Abu Bakr-i Siddiq is the Khalifa after you. " Abdulqadir-i Geilani reported again: Hadrat Ali said that the Prophet said to him, "After me Abu Bakr will become the Khalifa. Then 'Umar, then 'Uthman and then you will become the Khalifa. "

Imam-i Hasan 'radiy-Allahu anh' is higher than Imam-i Husayn. (These two people are Hadrat Ali's sons. ) The savants of Ahl as-sunnat have declared that in knowledge and ijtihad [6] Hadrat Aisha (the Prophet's blessed wife, our mother) is superior to Hadrat Fatima (the Prophet's blessed daughter, and Hadrat Ali's blessed wife). Hadrat Abdulqadir-i Geilani wrote in his book Gunya, "Hadrat Aisha is higher. " To this faqir (Imam-i Rabbani means himself), in knowledge and ijtihad Hadrat Aisha is higher, but in zuhd and in withdrawing from the world Hadrat Fatima is higher. It is for this reason that Hadrat Fatima was called Betul (very pure). As for Hadrat Aisha, she used to teach the Shari'at to the Sahaba. The Sahaba used to learn the Shari'at [7] by asking her.

[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] Sahaba: if a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabi. Plural form of Sahabi is Sahaba or As'hab. The word Sahaba-i kiram includes all those great people each of whom has seen the Prophet at least once. The lowest of the Sahaba is much higher than the highest of other Muslims. If a person has not seen the Prophet but has seen or talked to one of the Sahaba at least once, he is called Tabi'. Its plural form is Tabi'in. In other words, the Tabi'in are the successors of the Sahaba. If a person has not seen any of the Sahaba but has seen at least one of the Tabi'in, he is called Taba'i Tabi'in. The Sahaba, the Tabi'in and the Taba'i tabi'in altogether are called the Salaf-i salihin (the early savants).
[3] Tabi'un (al-i'zam): most of those Muslims who had not seen the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) but saw (one of) as-Sahabat al-kiram; so their successors. Successors of as-Sahabat al-kiram.
[4] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[5] ummat: (pl. of umma) the community, body of believers, of a prophet.
[6] ijtihad: (meaning or conclusion drawn by a mujtahid by) endeavouring to understand the hidden meaning in an ayat or a hadith.
[7] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.