Conversation in Boston
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed (raa)
A good, clear view on the khalifa. Now, if we can understand the concept of khalifa - we have a good perception now of that concept, of what the khalifa is. I can now begin with that in bringing out what I want to bring out. Man in the role of authority or power that G_d planned for him or intended for him is depicted, or pictured, given in concept, as khalifa. G_d says in the Qur'an that He made not one, but many. He made us, whether we qualify for it or not, He made us khalifas. The plural is used, 'khulafaa'; not just one khalifa, but many. All of us have, or are created with, are born with, a capacity within us to be khalifa of G_d. That's what the whole story is to tell us, saying that Adam is the father of all people, of every human being. The story is to tell us that we all have the capacity to be whatever that first man was created to be. He was created to be khalifa. We don't hear of the term used in Al Islam until after the Prophet (pbuh). Then they named their leaders, their rulers, khalifas. The Prophet was not there to say that was correct or incorrect.
Prophet Muhammed Didn't Appoint a Khalifa
There was nobody called khalifa in the time of the Prophet. After him the believers got together and they decided to do a psychological thing. They said, "Look, a big officer, we have lost him. So our ruler has to be big, or the people will not pay attention to him. We need a big officer that will at least be so magnified in the eyes of the people that they will give him respect, because the Prophet was magnified so much in our eyes. Just a preacher, or an Imam, or leader, that won't do it. He has to have a bigger title." So they did a little study and research, and they came up with the justification for calling their leader, the Khalifa. But, believe me, the only khalifa we have had was Muhammed, the Prophet (pbuh).
Whoever occupied that position, or claimed that position after Muhammed the Prophet (pbuh), he was nothing but a shadow of the Khalifa. He was not the real khalifa. Thank G_d for blessing him with the personality and the character to at least be a shadow of Muhammed (pbuh), the Khalifa.
A Sign in the Short Life of the Khalifas
Now I'm going to say something that I haven't said before but that I wanted to say a million times. There is a sign in the short life of the khalifas. I think only one of them had what you might call a normal, long life. There is a sign there for us. And we would be fools not to take it as a sign. After the passing of the Prophet (pbuh), khalifas, rulers, were betrayed, assassinated, one behind the other. Their lives were not long with the people, except for one, and really his wasn't too long. That is a sign. To me it is a sign that we should study this office of Khalifa.
What happened to them should make us want to study the office of Khalifa. Why did this happen? Why did the people treat them this way, if they were such unquestionable authority, if they qualified for that? Not to say that they didn't qualify as khalifa, but don't you know that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), if he had seen any one, any single one of his companions, reminding him, or bringing to his mind the idea that this person is in his behavior or in his ability, qualified as khalifa, he would have called them Khalifa Umar, or Khalifa Abu Bakr.
He never called any of them khalifa. Why? Because khalifa is not to be worn by any one single person, Khalifa is all of our title. And if you get a person who qualifies to lead us in that role, to be that kind of person, we should never call that person himself, singularly, by himself, khalifa, unless we are doing it as I am doing it now. We are saying that G_d created us all to be khalifa, and here is a person here who indicates to us in his person that he has grown into the dimensions of khalifa, that he has the qualities, the dimensions of khalifa, that he has measured up to the dimensions of khalifa. But to then make that a title-no. When you make it a title, it is just like calling your leader the King, or the Prince, or the High Priest. It's the same as doing that. You're going to separate him from the people. "So he's the Khalifa, we worship him...." There's a lot to be said about that; a lot to be said about that.
Amir is the title Not Khalifa
I think I have already told some of these brothers in private that it is a mistake. It is a mistake that they called their rulers the khalifa. They should have continued to call their rulers, Amir, because that is a title for which we have justification from Qur'an and from the life of the Prophet. Where is the justification in the Qur'an for the title 'Amir?' G_d says to us, "And order by what has been revealed...." Command, order, Amir. And G_d says to us, "Order upon the principle of Shuraa, of mutual consultation..."
This is a meeting of the minds, the mutual meeting of the best minds, discussing the matter and coming up with a consensus, a judgment they all support. Right? That's what G_d says to do. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "No matter how small the task is, if it involves more than one person, choose you, an Amir."
So from that we can conclude that we can call ourselves 'Amir.' The biggest Amir, he is over all of us. The President of the United States is far from being the only president. There are a million presidents, more than that in this country. There are presidents of corporations and other things, right? They are presidents, too. But we have one president, who is president of the United States, voted in by all the people. He is the president of the United States.
So we can have Amirs here, and Amirs there; Amir over sweeping the floor...when the bakery closes down. "Who's the Amir for the sweeping the crumbs up, brother? Al-Hamdulillah, you're the Amir? Take charge, brother, you're the Amir!" I believe if that had been done, we wouldn't have had so much intrigue, so much undermining, so much trouble for Islam.
The Prophet, The Perfect Man
Allah (swt) is the Foreseer, the All Knowing and the Foreseer. And He has a plan to override all plans that may develop. His plan as I understand it, as I perceive it, His plan was to bring more attention to this term "khalifa," because the people were not educated enough back then to understand the term "khalifa." They were just introduced to it, but the full meaning of it had not been given to them. It took them years of study, studying the life of the Prophet, and only a few of them, a select few among the top scientists, or the top scholars of Islamic scientists, came to the conclusion that the Prophet is "Rajilun Ta'amun," meaning that he is the Perfect Man. And he is also "Rajilun Kamilun," the Complete Man. He is the Complete Man, and the Complete Man is the Perfect Man.
Once G_d has completed the man as He intended for him to be made on this earth, then he becomes the perfect man. Perfect means, meeting and satisfying the purpose, or the desire, or whatever, that is perfect. So when the man has met the qualifications that were expected from him by G_d, then he is not only complete, but he is also perfect.
"...This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion..."
And the indication that Muhammed was perfect, was with the proclaiming the Qur'an to be complete and perfect. "On this day I have revealed for you your religion, completed my favor on you ...Have perfected for you your religion, and completed my favor on you." So this is both, He completed His favor on us and perfected. So completion and perfection goes together. The completion is the perfection. When it is complete as G_d intended, it is the perfection.
So Muhammed, according to Lady Aisha, was the reflection of the Qur'an, more so than that, was the Living Qur'an walking among us. That's how she described him. That's how the wife described the husband. So if he is, if he has been the vessel for the last revelation of the Qur'an and G_d has deposited the whole revelation into that vessel to cause a scholarly lady, Aisha, May G_d be pleased with her, to identify him as the embodiment of the Qur'an. That's what she said. See, they didn't speak English, they spoke Arabic. As the embodiment...he is the embodiment of the Qur'an.
Then if his identity, when she was asked to describe him, if his identity then is really the embodiment of the Qur'an, the Qur'an walking, living among us, expressing itself among us, in marvelous words and also with deeds, then if he was that, and the Qur'an was completed and perfect, then he himself is also completed and perfect.
So the scholars reason that Muhammed is the answer to an age long expectation that was on the wise of the world, that man was being moved by his Creator, by his Shaper, to better and more complete form; that He is not finished. That's why it says, "I will be what I am." I shall be what I am. What I am, I'm not yet. But I shall be what I am."
So who could say that with any more confidence, comfort, than Adam, himself, if he knew his creation. Adam is the one who should say that. Adam should say that somebody may say, "Who are you, Adam?" if Adam knew that he was created to be the Khalifa, and that he really was incomplete, but it was coming. Adam, represents the line of life that continues.
Muhammed Is Adam in Completion, Perfection
So, if someone says, "Muhammed was Adam." Am I incorrect? No, I am perfectly correct. Muhammed was Adam in completion, in perfection. He is Adam. So Adam starts with the first creation, the first act of G_d to create His man. And mind you, Allah did not say to the angels, "I have created a man." G_d never said to the angels, "I have created a man, I want you to respect him." G_d said, "I am going to create a man. I am going to create a Khalifa." If you look at the expression in the Qur'an and you, as a person who has studied that word, its grammatical rules for it in grammar, how it is to be explained grammatically, you will know that G_d was saying not that I created or that I am going to create. By reason, yes, I am going to create. But actually what G_d said is, "I am creating". I am in the act right now of creating a Khalifa. "Anna Jaailun". I am making a creation. Where am I making him, in heaven? "Fil Ard", in the earth.
I am making in the earth a Khalifa. That is what G_d says to the angels. But it's okay to translate it, "I am going to make in the earth a Khalifa." I'm not saying that we should do away with that translation. But for teaching, you should make it clear that the verb says, "I am making, at this time I'm doing this. I am making now, I am making, a ruler or a khalifa in the earth."
G_d spoke to Adam. Adam was the first step in that work, in that plan. Adam had in himself at that time, the concept G_d created. And the concept at that time had all future possibilities in it, although Adam at that time had not awaken to all of those possibilities, all the future possibilities in him. Adam, when he was made, he became father of all the generations, the father of even our leader, our Prophet, the last Prophet, Muhammed (pbuh).
Muhammed, the eighth, led seven Prophets in Prayer
We know according to the teachings of the Prophet, Adam was the first concept, and out of him it was possible to have all the other concepts. According to the teachings of the Prophet, it was possible to have Jesus, the Christ, peace be upon him; and it was possible to have after him, Joseph, Yusuf, peace be upon them; and Idris, the fourth, peace be upon him; and Harun, Aaron, the fifth, peace be upon him; and Musa, Moses, the sixth, peace be upon him; and Ibrahim, Abraham, the seventh, peace be upon him; and Muhammed, the completion of all of them, who led them all in prayer, peace be upon him, he was the eighth and he led the seven in prayer.
This is Islamic teachings. He led the seven in prayer, even his father, Adam. He led his father, Adam, in prayer. He led his father Ibrahim, Abraham, in prayer. What is this telling us? That here is the son, the last son, in the Prophetic progression, the last son, he leads even his two fathers in prayer. Did he lead them in anything else other than prayer? No, only in prayer. What is the prayer? The Word. What is the Word? The Qur'an, the completion and the perfection that they all were aspiring to reach. Now here is the answer coming in the last one.
"And Without Doubt He Saw Him in the Clear Horizon"
So he leads them in prayer to demonstrate to us by way of metaphor, to demonstrate to us that here is the line of growth, completed. Here is what Adam wanted. Here is what Christ Jesus wanted. Here is what Joseph wanted, Yusef wanted. Here is what Idris wanted. Here is what Aaron wanted. Here is what Moses wanted. Here is what father Abraham wanted. This is what they all wanted. They wanted the arrow to reach its target. And here it is fired out of a bow, two traveling along to the destination as though they are one, reconciled perfectly, hitting the target perfectly.
Qur'an said, he met him on the far horizon. It was a long ways from Adam's day, a far horizon, but that spirit finally got there and the job was complete, and perfect. Yes. So this is the way we should understand it.
Christianity No Threat
What is their justification for withholding this knowledge from their masses? They are slave masters. Intentionally, or unintentionally, they are slave masters. This is the common knowledge that will protect us and allow us to grow in strength and in quality, numbers and quality. This is the knowledge we need. If they would give their following (I'm speaking of the Muslim world), what I give you, they wouldn't have to worry about Christians coming among them converting Muslims. There would be no threat from Christianity. How can there be a threat from a lower plane, to a higher plane? G_d has been raising this up from lower planes to higher planes. And we claim that Abraham and us sit on the highest plane. Then how can there be any threat from our zone, from these zones beneath us. This is not to speak, show disrespect or to speak in a disrespectful way of Christianity and Judaism. No, it is not at all. But it is simply to say that if that's all they have, is what was written for them, we don't have anything to worry about.
Now G_d has progressed their thinking, and enabled them to extract from what has been revealed to their prophets of old, and see the light as it should be seen, in its completion and perfection. We still don't have anything threatening from them. We should make them our allies. We should become allies, because we have been blessed by G_d, all of us, to come to the Promised Land.
Now, the purpose in me dwelling on the concept or the idea of Khalifa like this, all this long time, is because I believe that is our strongest starting point. When we want to understand, what is my existence? What is this thing here I call me, my flesh, my body? Little babies, they can teach us something. We say, "I'm going to take a bath." But listen to the little baby, sometimes. Sometimes there is a little alert baby in the house, or young child in the house, and you say bath, and the baby will say, "body." "Do I have to wash my body?" Body, that's what you are. You are a body and conscience. Conscience is in the body, consciousness.
Talking about Khalifa. We have dwelled on this term all of this time to establish that the starting point for us in understanding what we are, and where we should be going is Khalifa. It gives us the complete picture that should be the motivation in our life for every interest that we have. For every area or field of interest, Khalifa should be the thing that generates confidence, hope in us. What can we not accomplish if we believe ourselves to be the Khalifa, if we are believers in G_d, as Muslims?
G-d Has Made Everything to Give Its Service to His Khalifa
Allah says that He has made everything in the sky. That means the universe, or the external world. He has made everything in the sky...the skies, he said skies, plural, "Sammawa", everything in the skies (and the world). The Qur'an says He made it to give its service to His khalifa. And He puts Khalifa into the plural, meaning there will be Khalifas, many all over the world, and they will be generation after generation. They will continue just like the generation of man. In fact, the Khalifa is the real line of the generation of man. It is the real line of the generation of man.
He said that He has made us Khulafa, or khalifas in the earth, and then we, if we understand that and we see that our starting point is khalifa, something that is not finished. The finish line for the Khalifa is Muhammed (pbuh) and with him, all of us, if we follow his revelation, his pattern, his sewa, his uswa, his pattern.
Who Can Motivate Us Better Than G-d?
The starting point is that point and as long as we perceive or see ourselves in our ability, in our creative ability, our inherent, or creative ability...as long as we see ourselves...native ability, all referring to the same, as Khalifa, then we don't need anybody to motivate us. Who can motivate us better than G d? Allah is the best to motivate us. And Allah has said to us that all of us in our essence, all of us in our pristine nature, in our original capacity, all of us have the potential to be His Khalifa on this earth. There are learned Muslims that I have met from different parts of the world, particularly from Pakistan, India, and Palestine, Palestinian, hinted very strongly to me, by or from a Saudis, and Egyptians, that maybe Allah is making a Khalifa in America. I have had some Asians come up to me and even told me.
And I told them the same thing that I told you all. The Khalifa is not meant to be one man. We all are Khalifa. And if we have someone who qualifies to be the leader for us all, then, that person should simply be called a leader for that group, or the Imam, but not Khalifa. That term is reserved because it is the property of the common person. It is the inheritance of the common person. And if you make it the title for your leader, you take the common peoples' mind off it as their inheritance. They told me that, and I witnessed inside they were telling the truth: The Khalifa is being made in America.