These new posts of mine, which will be posted periodically, which will be labeled “Some Brief Islamic-History” will be, what I hope to be, many educational articles about the history of Islam. And, by history of Islam, I really mean from the time from Adam, to the present-day, because, based upon Islamic-Texts, Islam didn’t begin with Muhammad (Peace be upon him)-Muhammad wasn’t the first Muslim, so in light of that fact, it is a must that I write about other persons, whom were Muslims before his time, whom have made a true difference for Muslims of today. My first post will be about the first set of Islamic-Rulers, who came to power, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
All of what is mentioned in this post is exclusively based upon the classic work, “al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun”, by the great Muslim scholar & historian, Jalal-ad-Din as-Suyuti-The era of time, in which great Muslim leaders rose to preside over the geo-political/military affairs of the Muslims, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are more relevant because of the era that they came from (the Rashidi-Khilafah era), as opposed to whom they were as individuals. And, their administrations are so intertwined with one another’s, that they have actually fed off of one another, in very important ways, religiously, bureaucratically, socially, politically, and militarily. However, since we don’t have the time to go into that much detail, I’ll just simply highlight what I personally deem as the most significant aspects of their tenures, as heads of the Islamic-State, relative to their years of service.
Let’s start with the term, al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidin:
The word “Khulafa’” is a plural of “Khalifah”, meaning a successor, inheritor, caretaker, custodian, etc., from the verb, “Khalafa”, meaning to succeed, inherit. And, the word Rashidun is from Rashid, meaning one who guides, from the verb “Rashada”, meaning to guide, direct. The actual concept of Khilafah, a caretaker, custodian, etc., actually begins with the Jinn, before the creation of the Human being. Initially, the Jinn were given the honor of the post of the Khilafah. However, they had begun to oppress & kill one another on Earth. So, Allah had decided to take the Khilafah from them, and banished them from normal life on Earth & subjected them to dwell in desolate forests, deserts, and any all other places in which it would be very difficult for Humans to live normally. Upon that, then, Allah created Adam & Eve (peace be upon them) & placed upon them, as well as their descendants, us, the post of Khilafah.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.30; Qasas-ul-Anbiya’[Stories of the Prophets], ibn-Kathir)
By far, the most distinct, most relevant & most important of all the Khilafah periods, because the Muslim rulers of this era set governmental precedents, which other Khilafah eras had adopted until the end of the Khilafah, after World War I. These individuals in this Khilafah period are also the most unique of any generation of Khulafa’, by virtue of the fact that all of the Muslim rulers of the Rashidi period were Companions of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), and, either knew one another, or knew of one another, personally.
Now, let’s start off with the Khulafa’ from this period:
1. `Abdullah ibn-`Uthman ibn-`Amir (AKA Abu-Bakr, as-Siddiq, as-Sabbaq):
-Initiated Hurub-ar-Riddah (the Wars of Apostacy), a direct result of False-Prophets leading people astray, various communities & Arab tribes refusing to pay Zakah & refusing to pledge allegiance to the Islamic-State, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
-Established the basic bureaucratic elements of the Khilafah, which piggy-backed largely off of the Islamic-State which Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had established in al-Madinah, then, in the Hijaz & the rest of the Arabian-Peninsula, after the “Conquest of Makkah”.
-Established the Islamic-State as a significant force in the Mediterranean region.
2. `Umar ibn-ul-Khattab (al-Faruq):
-Initiated the first major wave of geo-political/military expansion, beyond the Arab/Mediterranean-World.
-Established mass bureaucratic adjustments/improvements within the Khilafah, both internally & externally.
-Established mass adjustments/improvements, regarding relations between the Islamic-State & its citizenry.
3. `Uthman ibn-`Affan (Dhun-Nurayn):
-Maintained the geo-political/military stability of the Islamic-State.
-Initiated & completed mass educational projects, which included the completion of what would forever be known as the `Uthmani-Script Mushaf.
-Initiated dealing with the Khawarij, in a diplomatic manner, which costed him his life.
4. `Ali ibn Abi-Talib:
-Intensified dealing with the Khawarij & switching from the passive/diplomatic approach of `Uthman, to a more active/forceful approach.
-Initiated putting a stop to/crushing the first waves of geo-political/military rebellions, against the Khilafah.
5. al-Hasan ibn-`Ali ibn-Abi-Talib:
-Took the reigns of the Islamic-State, from `Ali, after his assassination.
-Abdicated his authority of the Khilafah to Mu`awiyah, in the same year as `Ali’s death.
6. Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan:
-Refused to resign from his post, as governor of Syria, after the assassination of `Uthman, which became a direct leading cause of the rebellion he led against `Ali.
-Accepted the abdication of al-Hasan, as the Khalifah, and, thus, becoming a Khalifah, himself, during the same year as the assassination of `Ali, known as the “Year of Unity”.
-Became the last Khalifah of the Rashidi period & the Khalifah of the Umayyi period.
Established the precedent of having a relative (preferably a son) of a former Khalifah, to be a succeeding Khalifah.
-Established the first Navy for the Islamic-State, which made the Maritime power of the Khilafah unparalleled in the Mediterranean-World.