Prophet ﷺ said, «كانت بنو إسرائيل تسوسهم الأنبياء، كلما هلك نبي خلفه نبي، وإنه لا نبي بعدي، وستكون خلفاء فتكثر» ، قالوا: فما تأمرنا؟ قال: «فوا ببيعة الأول، فالأول، وأعطوهم حقهم، فإن الله سائلهم عما استرعاهم» “The prophets ruled over the children of Israel. Whenever a prophet died another succeeded him, but there will be no prophet after me. There will be khulafaa’ and they will number many. They (companions) asked: What then do you order us? He said: Fulfil the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to them one after the other and give them their due right. Indeed Allah will ask them about what He entrusted them with.” (Muslim, 1842)
Here the Prophet ﷺ refers explicitly to those who would succeed him in ruling over the Muslims as Khulafaa (sing. khalifah). This is not a reference simply to “successors” but to successors who come to power in a specific way, bay’ah, and who rule in a specific way, with a legal contract for the comprehensive implementation of Islam.
Monday, 22 Ramadan 1440 AH – 27 May 2019 CE