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Forum LockedAn Islamic question

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Aster Thrax Eupator View Drop Down
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Porphyrygenitus Augustii

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: An Islamic question
    Posted: 16-Jul-2007 at 17:34
I know that I may be sounding increadibally ignorant to some Muslim members of the forum about their religion, but there's a question I'd like to ask concerning the followers of the Prophet Mohammed.
 
When recently visiting Istanbul, i was walking around some Mosques like the Aya Sofia and Rustem Pasha and I've seen several references (at least people have translated things in the mosques as references) to the "four caliphs". Who were these men, and why do they play such a large part in the Muslim faith?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2007 at 17:44
The four Caliphs by the Sunnis are called the righteous, it defines a Golden Age in early Islam, the creation of the "Umma" or community by the first four sucessor to the political realm of Muhammad (pbuh). The first four Caliphs signify the finalization of the prophet's message as they were his companions, and knew the prophet, and were looked up in high esteem. After them the capital had been moved out of Arabia, and more importantly became another dynastic empire. During their time the leadership of the political state had been in the hands of the most capable with no dynastic implications.
 
That is essentially it in a nutshell.
 
 

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Mughal e Azam View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mughal e Azam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2007 at 23:22
The four caliphs were:
 
Abu Bakr (ra) - best friend of Prophet Muhammad (saw). He oversaw the integration of the Arab Peninsula and sent cavalry to fight the hooligans on the fringes of the peninsula declaring prophethood for themselves for political luxury.
 
Umar ibn al Khattab (ra) - 2nd most close companion of Prophet Muhammad (saw). He sent an army under some Companions to fight against Sassanid Persian Empire, effectively destroying it. He also conquered Byzantine Egypt and Lybia. He was killed by a Zoroastrian.
 
Usman ibn Affan (ra) - third in line of the Khilafat; he was the Prophet's son in law. He lived during a time of expansion and immense luxury, but he also lived at a time of political corruption. He was killed because some elements of society blamed him for the corruption of their governor-generals.
 
Ali (ra) - he is the last of the four and the reason of the Sunni-Shia political split. His time marked more expansions but at the same time the political incohesiveness due to the death of Uthman ibn Affan. Certain elements of society wanted him to take justice, others wanted him to take another path. You really have to read into it to understand the political turmoil. Anywho, he was assasinated by rebellious elements. His children were murdered at the hands of the Ummayad army.
 
These four are considered to have reigned over the Muslim Ummah at its peak. In the end it steadily got worse until Ali's (ra) death.
 
Ever since then, Muslim Scholars consider the Ummah, or collective body, as in a state of impeding degeneration and decadence.
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