Table of Contents

The Verse Of Surah Noor Discussed

“Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange: they shall serve Me, not associating ought with Me; and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the transgressors.”1

The Ahlul Sunnat say that the above verse proves the validity of the Righteous Caliphs or the Caliphate of the three Caliphs. However, no word of this verse indicates that it is in any way restricted to the Caliphs. Here, Allah has clearly promised the believers and good doers, Caliphate. That Allah will make some of them rulers in the land just as He had made rulers before them. This address of Allah is for all the believers, as clear from Tafseer Zahidi:

“And it is not restricted to the three Caliphs. Neither is it restricted to any particular time period. It is a promise that applies to all the believers from the time of the Holy Prophet (S) till the present time.”

It is a verse that followers of the three Caliphs can apply to their Caliphs, the Bani Umayyah can apply to their rulers, the Bani Abbas can pull it towards their Caliphate, the Bani Hashim can say it is a promise of their Caliphate. In these circumstances, it is obstinacy to restrict it to the Caliphate of the three Caliphs. If this verse proves the validity of the Caliphate of the three Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar would have used it to prove their stand in Saqifah. But they did not do so.

This shows that this verse was not considered a proof during the Caliphate of Umar and Abu Bakr. Leave alone that period, this verse has never been presented as proof in the subsequent period. Such illogical interpretations were invented much later to prove the validity of Caliphate.

It is a verse that followers of the three Caliphs can apply to their Caliphs, the Bani Umayyah can apply to their rulers, the Bani Abbas can pull it towards their Caliphate, the Bani Hashim can say it is a promise of their Caliphate. In these circumstances, it is obstinacy to restrict it to the Caliphate of the three Caliphs.

If this verse proves the validity of the Caliphate of the three Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar would have used it to prove their stand in Saqifah. But they did not do so.

This shows that this verse was not considered a proof during the Caliphate of Umar and Abu Bakr. Leave alone that period, this verse has never been presented as proof in the subsequent period. Such illogical interpretations were invented much later to prove the validity of Caliphate.

Though the above verse does not prove the Caliphate of three Caliphs, a tradition of the Prophet (S) indicates that this verse is applicable to the family of the Prophet (S).

Muhaddith Mir Jamaluddin Husaini quotes this tradition in Rauzatul Ahbab. Jabir Ibne Abdullah Ansari (r.a.) relates that when the verse: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you…”…was revealed, I asked the Messenger of Allah (s.a.): I have recognized Allah and the Apostle, but who are ‘those in authority’ whose obedience has been made compulsory by Allah?

The Messenger of Allah (S) said: ‘They are my Caliphs after me, the first of whom is Ali Ibne Abi Talib, then Hasan, then Husain, then Ali the son of Husain, then Muhammad the son of Ali, known in the Taurat as al-Baqir, and you will soon reach him, when you meet him, convey my salutations to him. Then Sadiq, Ja’far, the son of Muhammad, then Moosa, the son of Ja’far, then Ali, the son of Moosa, then Muhammad, the son of Ali, then Ali, the son of Muhammad, then Hasan, the son of Ali, then the proof of Allah on His earth.’”

This book, Rauzatul Ahbab is such that Shah Waliullah Dehlavi has praised it in his journal, ‘Usoole Hadith’. We should know that the twelve Imams are such that they are clearly mentioned in Taurat. The Almighty Allah says in the Book of Genesis:

“As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”2

Apart from this, the above tradition also shows that Imam Muhammad Ibn Ali is mentioned as ‘Baqir’ in the Taurat. It is not surprising that the verse “Allah promises those…” mentions Caliphate in relation to the twelve Imams, who the Prophet has said were his Caliphs in his saying to Jabir. In fact, who can be more deserving of the Caliphate of the Prophet?

Even though they could not achieve worldly kingdom, due to the lack of support from Muslims, but their religious authority had always been there and it will be till there is Islam. Obviously, what is the value of a worldly kingdom? Even Nimrod, Shaddad, Firon, Muawiyah and Yazeed had it, and of what use was it? Can the verse apply to such people? Certainly not! Indeed, what is worthy, is religious Caliphate and as per the saying of the Holy Prophet (S), it is the right of the twelve Imams (a.s.).

May Allah bless Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad.

  • 1. Surah Noor 24:55
  • 2. Genesis 17:20