Rashidun

Rashidun

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Rashidun'
Start a new discussion about 'Rashidun'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs ( ) is a term used in Sunni Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 to refer to the first four Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

s who established the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Empire
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty. It is a reference to the Sunni tradition, "Hold firmly to my example (sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

) and that of the Rightly Guided Caliphs" (Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood).

History


The first four Caliphs who ruled after the death of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 are often quoted as the Khulafah Rashidun.

The Rashidun were either elected
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

 by a council (see The election of Uthman
The election of Uthman
Uthman ibn Affan, the third caliph, was chosen by a council meeting in Medina, in northwestern Arabia, in .The second caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, was stabbed by an angry Persian slave named Feroz...

 and Islamic democracy
Islamic democracy
Islamic democracy refers to two kinds of democratic states that can be recognized in the Islamic countries. The basis of this distinction has to do with how comprehensively Islam is incorporated into the affairs of the state....

) or chosen based on the wishes of their predecessor. In the order of succession, the rashidun were:
  • Abu Bakr
    Abu Bakr
    Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

     (632-634 A.D.)
  • Umar ibn al-Khattab, (Umar І) (634-644 A.D.)
  • Uthman ibn Affan (644-656 A.D.)
  • Ali ibn Abi Talib (656-661 A.D.)


Hasan ibn Ali
Hasan ibn Ali
Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib ‎ is an important figure in Islam, the son of Fatimah the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and of the fourth Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib. Hasan is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt and Ahl al-Kisa...

 was appointed as Caliph in 661 following the death of Ali and is also regarded as a righteous ruler by Sunni Muslims, although he was recognized by only half of the Islamic state and his rule was challenged and eventually ended by the Governor of Syria, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan.

In addition to this, there are several views regarding additional rashidun. Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (Umar ІІ), who was one of the Ummayyad caliphs, is sometimes regarded as one of the Rashidun and is quoted by Taftazani
Taftazani
Sa'ad al-Din Masud ibn Umar ibn Abd Allah al-Taftazani also known as Al-Taftazani and Taftazani was a Muslim Persian polymath...

. In the Ibadhi tradition, only Abu Bakr and Umar are considered to be the Two Rightly Guided Caliphs. Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

 and Abdul Hamid I of the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 period are regarded by some to be amongst the rightly guided Caliphs.

Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani includes the Khulafah of the Bani Abbas (i.e., the Abbassids) in his enumeration.

Abu Bakr


Abu Bakr (Abdullah ibn Abi Qahafa) was a senior companion (Sahabah
Sahabah
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

) and the father-in-law of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

 from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death. As Caliph, Abu Bakr succeeded to the political and administrative functions previously exercised by the Prophet, since the religious function and authority of prophethood ended with Muhammad's death according to Islam. Abu Bakr was called Al-Siddiq (The Truthful) and was known by that title among later generations of Muslims.

Umar ibn al-Khattab


Umar c. 2 Nov. (Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Ḥijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.This is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year. It is in this month in which the Hajj takes place....

 26, 23 Hijri
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

) , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, and became the second Muslim Khalifa after Muhammad's death and ruled for 10 years. He succeeded Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 on 23 August 634 as the second Caliph, and played a significant role in Islam. Under Umar the Islamic empire
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 expanded at an unprecedented rate ruling the whole Sassanid Persian Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 and more than two thirds of the Eastern Roman Empire. His legislative abilities, his firm political and administrative control over a rapidly expanding empire and his brilliantly coordinated multi-prong attacks against the Sassanid Persian Empire that resulted in the conquest of the Persian empire in less than two years, marked his reputation as a great political and military leader. He was killed by a Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 captive.

Uthman ibn Affan



`Uthman ibn `Affan (c. 579 – 17 July 656) was one of the companions
Sahabah
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

 of Islamic prophet, Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. Uthman was born into the Umayyad clan of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, a powerful family of the Quraish tribe. He was a companion of Muhammad who became caliph at the age of 70. Under his leadership, the empire expanded into Fars in 650 (present-day Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

), some areas of Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

 (present-day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

)in 651 and the conquest of Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 was begun in the 640s. His rule ended when he was assassinated.

Uthman is perhaps best known for forming the committee which compiled the basic text of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 as it exists today, based on text that had been gathered separately on parchment, bones and rocks during the life time of Muhammad and also on a copy of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 that had been collated by Abu Bakr and left with Muhammad's widow after Abu Bakr's death. The committee members were also reciters of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 and had memorised the entire text during the lifetime of Muhammad. This work was undertaken due to the vast expansion of Islam under Uthman's rule, which encountered many different dialects and languages. This had led to variant readings of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 for those converts who were not familiar with the language. After clarifying any possible errors in pronunciation or dialects, Uthman sent copies of the sacred text to each of the Muslim cities and garrison towns, and destroyed variant texts. It is also important to mention that this text was not questioned by any of the followers of Islam, even those who were alive during the time of Muhammad.

Ali ibn Abi Talib



After the death of Uthman, Medina was in political chaos for a number of days. Many of the companions approached Ali to take the role of Caliph, which he refused to do initially.

After his appointment as caliph, Ali dismissed several provincial governors, some of whom were relatives of Uthman, and replaced them with trusted aides such as Malik ibn Ashter
Malik ibn Ashter
Malik Al-Ashtar was one of the most loyal companions of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of Muhammad. Al-Ashtar became a Muslim during Muhammad's time and rose to prominence during the caliphates of Uthman and Ali. During the caliphate of Ali he fought in the Battle of Jamal and Siffin during the...

 . Ali then transferred his capital from Medina to Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

, the Muslim garrison city in what is now Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. The capital of the province of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, was held by Mu'awiyah
Muawiyah I
Muawiyah I was the first Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. After the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims, Muawiyah's family converted to Islam. Muawiyah is brother-in-law to Muhammad who married his sister Ramlah bint Abi-Sufyan in 1AH...

, the governor of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and a kinsman of Uthman
Uthman
Uthman ibn Affan was one of the companions of Islamic prophet, Muhammad. He played a major role in early Islamic history as the third Sunni Rashidun or Rightly Guided Caliph....

, Ali's slain predecessor.

His caliphate coincided with the First Fitna
First Fitna
The First Islamic Civil War , also called the First Fitna , was the first major civil war within the Islamic Caliphate. It arose as a struggle over who had the legitimate right to become the ruling Caliph...

 or civil war when Muslims were divided over who had the legitimate right to occupy the caliphate. and which was ended, on the whole, by Muawiyah
Muawiyah I
Muawiyah I was the first Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. After the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims, Muawiyah's family converted to Islam. Muawiyah is brother-in-law to Muhammad who married his sister Ramlah bint Abi-Sufyan in 1AH...

's assumption of the caliphate.

He was assassinated, and died on the 21st of Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 in the city of Kufa (Iraq) in 661
661
Year 661 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 661 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Perctarit and Godepert become co-rulers of...

 CE.

Military expansion


The Rashidun caliphate greatly expanded the sway of Islam beyond Arabia, conquering all of Persia, besides Syria
Muslim conquest of Syria
The Muslim conquest of Syria occurred in the first half of the 7th century, and refers to the region known as the Bilad al-Sham, the Levant, or Greater Syria...

 (637), Armenia
Arab conquest of Armenia
The Arab conquest of Armenia was a part of the Muslim conquests after the death of Muhammad in AD 632.Persian Armenia had fallen to the Byzantine Empire shortly before, in AD 629, and was conquered in the Rashidun Caliphate by AD 645.-Islamic expansion:...

 (639) Egypt
Muslim conquest of Egypt
At the commencement of the Muslims conquest of Egypt, Egypt was part of the Byzantine Empire with its capital in Constantinople. However, it had been occupied just a decade before by the Persian Empire under Khosrau II...

 (639) and Cyprus (654).
In this, the Rashiduns profited from the devastating Byzantine–Sassanid War of 602–628 which left both the Roman and the Persian empires weaker than ever before.

Social policies


During his reign, Abu Bakr established the Bayt al-Mal(state treasury). Umar expanded the treasury and established government building to administer the state finances.

Upon conquest, in almost all cases, the caliphs were burdened with the maintenance and construction of roads and bridges in return for the conquered nation's political loyalty.

Civil activities


Civil welfare in Islam started in the form of the construction and purchase of wells. During the Caliphate, the Muslims repaired many of the aging wells in the lands they conquered.

In addition to wells, the Muslims built many tanks and canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s. Many canals were purchased, and new ones constructed. While some canals were excluded for the use of monks (such as a spring purchased by Talha), and the needy, most canals were open to general public use. Some canals were constructed between settlements, such as the Saad canal that provided water to Anbar, and the Abi Musa Canal to providing water to Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

.

During a famine, Umar ibn al-Khattab ordered the construction of a canal in Egypt connecting the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 with the sea. The purpose of the canal was to facilitate the transport of grain to Arabia through a sea-route, hitherto transported only by land. The canal was constructed within a year by Amr bin al Aas, and Abdus Salam Nadiv writes, Arabia was rid of famine for all the times to come."

After four floods hit Mecca after Muhammad's death, Umar ordered the construction of two dams to protect the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

. He also constructed a dam near Medina to protect its fountains from flooding.

Settlements


The area of Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

 was very sparsely populated when it was conquered by the Muslims. During the reign of Umar, the Muslim army found it a suitable place to construct a base. Later the area was settled and a mosque was erected.

Upon the conquest of Madyan
Midian
Midian , Madyan , or Madiam is a geographical place and a people mentioned in the Bible and in the Qur'an. It is believed to be in northwest Saudi Arabia on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and the northern Red Sea...

, it was settled by Muslims. However, soon the environment was considered harsh and Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

 ordered the resettlement of the 40,000 settlers to Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

. The new buildings were constructed from mud bricks, instead of reeds, a material that was popular in the region, but caught fire easily.

During the conquest of Egypt the area of Fustat was used by the Muslim army as a base. Upon the conquest of Alexandria, the Muslims returned and settled in the same area. Initially the land was primarily used for pasture, but later buildings were constructed.

Other already populated areas were greatly expanded. At Mosul
Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

, Harthama Arfaja, at the command of Umar, constructed a fort, few churches, a mosque and a locality for the Jewish population.

Muslim views


The first four caliphs are particularly significant to modern intra-Islamic debates: for Sunni Muslims, they are models of righteous rule; for Shia Muslims, the first three of the four were usurpers. It is prudent to note here that accepted traditions of both Sunni and Shi'a muslims detail disagreements and tensions between the four rightly guided caliphs.

Sunni perspectives


They are called so because they have been seen as model Muslim leaders by Sunni Muslims. This terminology came into a general use around the world, since Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 has been the dominant Islamic tradition, and for a long time it has been considered the most authoritative source of information about Islam in the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

.

They were all close companions
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

 of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, and his relatives: the daughters of Abu Bakr and Umar were married to Muhammad, and three of Muhammad's daughters were married to Uthman and Ali. Likewise, their succession
Order of succession
An order of succession is a formula or algorithm that determines who inherits an office upon the death, resignation, or removal of its current occupant.-Monarchies and nobility:...

 was not hereditary
Inheritance
Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights and obligations upon the death of an individual. It has long played an important role in human societies...

, something that would become the custom after them, beginning with the subsequent Umayyad Caliphate. Council decision or caliph's choice determines the successor originally.

Shi'a tradition


According to Shi'a Islam
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

, the first caliph should have been Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 followed by the Shi'a Imams. Shi'a Muslims support this claim with the Hadith of the pond of Khumm
Hadith of the pond of Khumm
The Hadith of the pond of Khumm refers to the saying about a historical event crucial to Islamic history. This event took place on 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah of 10 AH in the Islamic calendar at a place called Ghadir Khumm, which is located near the city of al-Juhfah, Saudi Arabia and was a place...

. Another reason for this support for Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 as the first caliph is because he had the same relationship to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 as Aaron
Aaron
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

 had to Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

. Starting with Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 to Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 to the grandsons of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, Hasan ibn Ali
Hasan ibn Ali
Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib ‎ is an important figure in Islam, the son of Fatimah the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and of the fourth Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib. Hasan is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt and Ahl al-Kisa...

 and Husayn ibn Ali
Husayn ibn Ali
Hussein ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib ‎ was the son of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib and Fātimah Zahrā...

 (Muhammad had no surviving sons of his own) and so on.

The Shi'ites also argue that if all of these four caliphs were rightly guided, then there should not have been disagreements and differences between them with anything regarding religious jurisprudence and meanings.

Timeline


Please note that the years of Caliphs succession do not necessarily fall on the first day of the new year.

See also

  • The Four Companions
    The Four Companions
    The Four Companions, also called the Four Pillars of the Sahaba is a Shi'a term that refers to the four Sahaba Shi'a believe stayed most loyal to ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib after the death of Muḥammad:*Miqdadu bni Aswādi l-Kindiyy*Abū Dharri l-Ghifāriyy...

  • The Ten Promised Paradise
  • Sunni view of the Sahaba