The Era of Four Khalifas

After the death of Holy Prophet, the era of four khalifas began. It is called as the era of four khalifas or “Khulafaa-e-Rashidun” (Rightly Guided Caliphs) because they ruled the people of that time exactly according to the Holy Quran and the commands of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (PBUH). They ruled for 29 years and during their period Islam flourished and spread far beyond the limits of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Period of Abu Bakr (632-634)

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A) was the closest companion and friend of Holy Prophet (PBUH). Prophet Muhammad gave him the title of ‘Siddiq’ – ‘The Testifier to the Truth.’ He was among the few people who accepted Islam before it was proclaimed. He participated in all the battles of Islam with Prophet. His daughter Aisha Siddiqa (R.A) was the most beloved wife of Prophet. Abu Bakr was known to be a man of upright character and amiable and compassionate nature. During a khutba, the Prophet said, “If I were to choose a best friend from the people, I would choose Abu Bakr.” After the death of Prophet he was chosen as the first Khalifa. During his khalifate he had to face many hardships. It was a very sensitive time. Many people refused to pay zakat and the Eastern Roman and Persian were threatening the new born Islamic state. Under these circumstances Hazrat Abu Baqr did not lose hope and fought the situations with valor and courage. Abu Bakr died on 21 Jamadi-al Akhir, 13 A.H. (23 August 634 A.C.), at the age of sixty-three, and was buried by the side of the Holy Prophet. His caliphate had been of mere twenty-seven months duration. In this brief span, however, Abu Bakr had managed to strengthen and consolidate his community and the state, and to secure the Muslims against the perils which had threatened their existence.

The Period of Umar (634-644)

The second Khalifa of Muslim ummah was Hazrat Umar (R.A). He belonged to a renowned Qureshi tribe. After his conversion, he took his place in the company of our Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and became a well-known leader of Islamic morality. During his Khalifate Islamic state went through a vast expansion. Islam flourished and spread to Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Iran. The greatness of Umar’s lies in his quality of leadership. He was valiant and a strong disciplinary. Umar (R.A) gave his government an administrative structure. In a short period of 10 years he had the many achievements and reforms done. A few of them were

  • Departments of treasury, army and public revenues were established.
  • Regular Salaries for the soldiers, Imams, Mu’azzins and Ustaads.
  • Construction of roads, canals, roadside hotels for travelers etc
  • Proper weights and measures introduced
  • Provision was made for the support of the poor and the needy from public funds.

Umar (R.A) died in the first week of Muharram, 24 A.H

The Period of Uthman (644-656)

 After Umar’s death Uthman bin Affan (R.A) was elected to be caliph. His twelve years of khalifate had the same characteristics as the Abu Bakr and Umar. His realm extended from in the west to Morocco, in the east to Afghanistan, and in the north to Armenia and Azerbaijan. Among his many noteworthy actions such as organization of the navy, expanding public projects etc his most notable contribution to the religion was the compilation of Quran. . A large number of copies of this text were made and distributed all over the Muslim world. Uthman breathed his last on the afternoon of Friday, 17 Dhul Hijja, 35 A.H. 

The Period of Ali (656-661)

Ali bin Abi Talib was the first cousin of the Prophet was married to his youngest daughter, Fatima. He was courageous, articulate and wise. Ali (R.A) was one of the greatest Muslim scholars. Prophet Muhammad said, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”. His martyrdom is considered as the ending point of the Four Caliph’s period.

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