The Sequence Of Superiority Of The Four Khalifas

Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 17th letter of the third volume of his Maktubat:

   The superiority of the four Khalifas (caliphs) to one another is in accordance with the sequence of their caliphates. All the savants of the right way said, "After the prophets 'alaihim-us-salawatu wa-t-taslimat' the highest of human beings is Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq 'radiy-Allahu anh'. After him is Hadrat 'Umar Faruq 'radiy-Allahu anh'. "

   To this poor person, being higher or superior does not depend on having virtues, attributes or good habits. It depends on accepting Islam before others, giving one's property more than anybody else for one's religion, and risking one's life. That is, it depends on being a teacher to one's successors. The successors learn eveything from their predecessors.

   All of these three conditions were found in Hadrat Siddiq. He accepted Islam before anybody else and sacrificed his possessions and his life for the sake of the religion. This blessing has not been the lot of anybody else besides him in this Ummat [2]. Rasulullah declared towards his death: "To the extent that Abu Bakr did, there is nobody who sacrificed his property and life for my sake. If I were to have a friend, I would have made Abu Bakr my friend. " He declared in a hadith [3]: "Allahu ta'ala sent me to you as a prophet. You did not believe. Abu Bakr believed me. He helped me with his property and life. Do not hurt him and revere and respect him!" He declared in a hadith: "There will not come another prophet after me. If there were another, certainly 'Umar would be a prophet. " Hadrat Amir 'Ali 'radiy-Allahu anh' said, "Both Abu Bakr and 'Umar are the highest of this ummat. He who holds me superior to them is a slanderer.

[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] ummat: (pl. of umma) the community, body of believers, of a prophet.
[3] hadith (sharif): i) a saying of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam).; al-Hadith ash-sharif: all the hadiths as a whole; ii) 'ilm al-hadith; iii) Books of the hadith ash-sharif. iv) Al-hadith al-qudsi, as-sahih, al-hasan: kinds of hadiths (for which, see Endless Bliss, II).