He Highest Of All Human Beings After Prophets

Among the Awliya' [1] of the umma [2] of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), the one who deserved to be his khalifa (caliph) was Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radiy-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), who was loved most by the Awliya' and by the imams and was more suited for the caliphate than others. After prophets, he is the highest and the most auspicious of all human beings that have come and that will come. He was the first to attain the status and honour of caliphate. As a favour and blessing from Allahu ta'ala, he had not worshipped idols before Islam commenced. He had been protected against the defects of disbelief and heresy.

After him, the highest of human beings is the second khalifa 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiy-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), whom Allahu ta'ala chose as a friend to His Beloved Prophet.

After him the highest of human beings is the third khalifa of Rasulullah ('alaihi's-salam), Dhu'n-Nurain 'Uthman ibn 'Affan (radiy-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), the treasure of favours and blessings and the source of modesty, faith and spiritual knowledge.

After him, the most auspicious of human beings is the fourth khalifa of Rasulullah ('alaihi's-salam), 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), the possessor of astonishing superiorities and the Lion of Allahu ta'ala.

Hadrat [3] Hasan ibn 'Ali (radiy-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum) became the khalifa after him. The thirty years of caliphate mentioned in the hadith ash-sharif [4] was completed with him.

After him, the highest human being is Hadrat Husain ibn 'Ali (radiy-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum), the light of Rasulullah's ('alaihi's-salam) eyes.

The next highest ones of the Sahabat al-kiram (Companions of the Prophet) were al-'Asharat al-Mubashshara, the ten people blessed with the good news of [going to] Paradise. After them, the highest Muslims were the 313 Muslims who took part in the Holy Battle of Badr. The next were the 700 brave Muslims who took part in the Holy Battle of Uhud. Next to them were the Bi'at ar-Ridwan, the 1400 Muslims who took the oath of allegiance to Rasulullah under the tree.

[1] awliya: (pl. of Wali) a person loved by Allahu ta'ala.
[2] umma(t) followers of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam); the community, body of believers, of a prophet.
[3] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[4] 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).