Dictionary / Arabic - Turkish Terminology

KHILÂFAH - خلافة


The quality, rank, functions of one who succeeds or acts as a substitute for another. Especially of those who succeed to and represent Muhammad (ASM). The caliphate. The epoch or reign of any khalîfah. To reign or officiate as khalîfah. The Imam of both worlds to the entire ummah.


The Sphere of ma’nawî khilâfah should not intervene into political khilâfah:

If you ask: What was the reason for Imam 'Ali's lack of success relative to his predecessors in regard to the Islamic Khilâfah, despite his extraordinary capabilities, unusual intelligence, and great deservedness?

The Answer: That blessed person was worthier of important duties other than politics and sovereignty. If he had been completely successful in politics and sovereignty, he would have been unable to truly gain the meaningful title of 'Shâh1 of walâyah.' Whereas he gained a ma’nawî sovereignty far surpassing the external and political Khilâfah, and became like a Universal Ustadh; in fact, his ma’nawî sovereignty will continue even until the qiyâmah.

When it comes to Hazrat Imam 'Ali's war with Hazrat Mu'awiya at Siffin, that was a war between the Khilâfah and sovereignty. That is to say, taking the injunctions of religion, the haqiqahs of Islam, and the âkhirah as the basis, Hazrat Imam 'Ali sacrificed some of the laws of government and pitiless demands of politics to them. Whereas Hazrat Mu'awiya and his supporters left aside ‘azimah and done iltizâm to rukhsah in order to strengthen Islamic social life with their politics of government; they supposed themselves to be compelled to do so due to the demands of politics, through choosing rukhsah they fell into error.” The Letters (75)


Hazrat Bediuzzaman stated about the Khilâfah in the pamphlet which was prepared by him and read by Kâzım Karabekir Pasha2 at the gathering of the first National Assembly of the Turkish Republic after the fall of Ottoman Khilâfah:

…The foundations of this great revolution need to be robust.

The meaning of the sultanate has been entrusted to the power inherent in the ma’nawî character of this assembly. If this assembly does not undertake the role of representing the khilâfah by fulfilling the shaâ’er of Islam and encourage the people to fulfil them, it will be letting down the religious needs of this nation. Despite needing only four things to live on, the people of this nation whose fitrah has not been corrupted and who has never forgotten the needs of their rûh, depend on religion at least five times a day through the established customs. As a consequence, the people (will have no choice but to) attribute the role of the khilâfah, to the name, image and title agreed to by this assembly. They will support and give strength to it due to that role. Where such a power which is not sourced by the hands of this assembly and is not delivered by it will cause disunity. As for disunity, it is contrary to the âyah وَ اعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللّٰهِ جَمِيعًا     

This age is the age of jamâ’ah. The collective ma’nawî character, which is the rûh of the jamâ’ah, will have vested in it far greater powers to implement the injunctions of the Sharî’ah. The individual Khalîfah can only continue its role by relying on the assembly. If there is istiqâmah in the ma’nawî collective personality, which is the rûh of the jamâ’ah, that role will shine perfectly. If it is corrupt it will become detrimental. The good and evil (deeds) of an individual is restricted to that individual. With the jamâ’ah, it is shared without bounds. Do not spoil the external good you have attained, by committing an evil domestically.

You know that your eternal enemies, opposition and opponents are destroying the shaâ’er. Therefore, your essential duty lies in reviving and protecting the shaâ’er. Otherwise, you will be unconsciously helping the conscious enemy. To attach no importance to the shaâ’er will demonstrate the weakness of the nation. As for weakness, it will not seize the enemy, it will increase its courage.  حَسْبُنَا اللّٰهُ وَ نِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ Biography (150-151 ) 



In September of 13553 , I felt greatly distressed at the despair caused by the events of the age. I was searching for a nûr in this dense darkness. I could not find it in wakefulness which is dreaming in a meaning. I found a light in a ru’yâ as-sâdiqah4 which is wakefulness in haqiqah. Excluding details of it, I will only write what I have been made to tell. It is as follows:

One Friday Night, I entered al-‘âlam al-misâl through sleeping. Someone approached me and said: “You are summoned to a great assembly that has formed concerning the fate of Islam.”

I went and saw that: A luminous assembly, the like of which I had never seen on earth, made up of the Salaf as-Sâlihîn and representatives of the leading figures of Islam from each century, had been set up. I humbly waited near the entrance.

A person from among them said: “The man of the age of disaster and destruction! You too have an opinion. Express your view.”

I told them standing: “Ask me so that I may respond.”

One of them said: “What will be the outcome of this defeat5 ? And what would it have been if it was a victory?”

I replied: “Calamities are not pure sharr. And so, just as misery can be found within happiness, happiness can be born out of misery. The calamity fallen upon this Islamic state – which has advanced to champion the I’lâ Kalimatullah6 and the continuance of Islamic independence through the undertaking of jihâd as fardh al-kifâyah7 , and has sacrificed itself to the united body of the ‘âlam of Islam, and has carried the flag of the Khilâfah – will be compensated with the future bliss of the ‘âlam of Islam. For this calamity has accelerated the progress and tremors of the brotherhood of Islam, which is the essence of our spring of life. The ‘âlam of Islam cries while we suffer. If Europe goes too far with its injury, it will scream. If we are to die, we will die in twenty, but be ressurrected in three-hundred. We are in the age of wonders. You can see already those who have come back to life only after a year or two of death. In defeat, we lost a temporary worldly happiness. But what awaits us is an enduring success in the âkhirah. One who exchanges the minor, ever-changing and empty (present) state with the open fields of the future will profit.

Suddenly the assembly asked: Continue to elaborate!

I said: Wars between states and nations is leaving its place to wars between classes of society.  For just as humanity will never accept to be enslaved, so too it will never agree to be remunerated labourers. If we did achieve victory, we may have been carried away even further with the current of despotism our enemy wielded in its hand. Whereas the current is completely oppressive, and is contrary to the intrinsic nature of the Islamic world and goes against the benefit of the majority of the people of îmân. This (current of despotism) will be short-lived and is destined to be doomed. If we adhered to it, we would have dragged the ‘âlam of Islam to a path that is completely against its essence and fitrah. This wicked civilisation has brought to us nothing but harm. And since it is rejected in the view of the Sharî’ah and its evils outweigh its good, we would have undertaken in Asia the guardianship of a dissolute, obstinate, merciless and morally savage civilisation for which the wisdom of humanity has deemed invalid and, with the awakening of humanity, is destined to collapse.

Someone in the assembly said: Why does the Sharî’ah reject this civilisation? {What we aim for are the virtues of civilisation and the good that it offers humanity. It is not the sins and evils of civilisation. The foolish who have imitated its sins and dissipations, thinking they are its virtues, have destroyed our property. With the sins of civilisation weighing heavier than its good, and its evil prevailing over its virtue, humanity has received two serious slaps in the form of two devastating world wars and has demolished that sinful civilisation vomiting it out so much that it covered the face of the earth with blood. Inshaallah with the strength of Islam in the future, the good of the civilisation will weigh heavier, and will purify the face of the earth and establish general peace.}

I said: It has been established on five negative principles. Its point of support is force. And that entails aggression. Its target is self-interest. And that entails jostling. Its principle in life is conflict. And that entails strife. Its bond between the masses is racism and negative nationalism, which is nourished through devouring others. And that entails severe clashing. Its enticing service is inciting lust and passion and gratifying the desires and facilitating its wants. And what that lust entails, is to reduce humanity from an exalted level of malâikah to the lowest level of being a dog. It is to cause the ma’nawî change of humanity into a beast. If most of these so-called civilised had their insides turned out, you would imagine them to be clothed as wolves, bears, snakes, pigs and monkeys.

It is for this reason that the present civilisation has thrown eighty per cent of humanity into distress and misery, the ten per cent into an imaginary bliss and left the remaining ten in between. Happiness is that which brings joy to the majority or to most. Whereas this (happiness) is only for the smallest minority. The Qur’an, which is rahmah for all humanity, only accepts a civilisation which involves the happiness of all or at least the majority.

The tyranny arising from the freedom of fancies (of the nafs) has made non-essential needs as essential ones (dharûrah). As a Bedouin, a person would be in need of four things. Now civilisation has cast him into poverty by making him in need of a hundred things. Since the (earnings from the) work performed does not cover expenses, it has led people to the haram and has caused corruption. Despite the affluence and grandeur, it provides to the community and humanity, it has made the individual and the person poor and immoral.

This civilisation has in an instant vomited the savagery of the ancient times all at once.

It is worthy of note that the ‘âlam of Islam has turned away, acted coldly and has found it distressing to come to terms with this civilisation. The qualities of istighnâ and independence which the Ilahî hidâyah of the Sharî’ah has been distinguished with, cannot be instilled with the genius of Roman philosophy; it cannot be infused and neither can it be removed or submitted by it. The Roman and the Greek geniuses which are twins born from the same source have for centuries tried to merge civilisation and Christianity – like water and oil. Those two rûhs continue to live in other forms and have preserved their identities as though having reincarnated into other bodies. If as twins and with the conditions of union being present, they have not been able to merge (with civilisation), then, the nûr of hidâyah, which is the rûh of the Sharî’ah, will never merge with that Roman genius, which is the foundation of that dark, nasty civilisation...

They asked: How is the civilisation of the illustrious Sharî’ah?

I replied: The civilisation comprised and commanded by the Sharî’ah of Ahmad (asm) will be developed from the disintegration of this present civilisation. It will establish positive principles in place of the negative ones. Here, its point of support is haqq instead of force, which entails justice and harmony. And its target is fadhîlah in place of self-benefit, which entails love and attraction. Its means of unity are the ties of religion, country, and class, in place of racism and nationalism, and these entail sincere brotherhood (ukhuwwah), peace, and only defence against external aggression. In life is the principle of mutual assistance instead of the principle of conflict, which entails unity and solidarity. It offers hidâyah instead of lust (hawâ), which entails progress in humanity and the advancement of rûh. It limits lust (hawâ), and instead of the principle of facilitating carnal desires of nafs, it satisfies exalted feelings.

That is, with our defeat we have stumbled on the second current, which is that of the victims of misfortune and the general people. If others have (a rate of) eighty per cent in poverty and adversity, amongst Muslims is it at ninety, even ninety-five per cent. The ‘âlam of Islam should not be indifferent or hostile towards this second current. Rather than lose its support and have all its effort lost in vain, and lose its essence by being overwhelmed, it should act intelligently and convert it to an Islamic form and make it subservient. For so long as the enemy of an enemy remains as such, they are a friend. Just as a friend of my enemy will become my enemy, so long as they remain friends. Since these currents are opposing and their aims and interests conflict, if one says “die”, the other will say “revive”. While the interest of one necessitates harm, conflict, decline, weakness and laziness; the interest of the other most definitely necessitates our strength and accord.

The nurturing of hostility to the East, used to suffocate the growth of Islam. Now it has rightfully died away and it must. The nurturing of hostility to the West is the most effective means of Islamic unity and growth of brotherhood. It should always remain.

Murmurs of approval were suddenly heard from the assembly. They said: “Indeed be hopeful; in the vast changes of the future, the most powerful and most resonant voice will be the voice of Islam!”.

Someone else asked: Calamities are the result of crimes and the commencement of rewards. What action of yours has caused qadar to judge you in this way, that it has decreed this calamity? General calamities are the consequence of the mistakes of the majority. What are your present rewards?

I replied: Its introduction is our negligence in three of the important pillars of Islam. Salâh, sawm and zakat. For Khâliq Taâ’lâ requested from us only one out of twenty-four hours to perform the five daily salâh. We were lazy. With difficulty and provocation, it made us perform a type of salâh by working twenty-four hours for five years. Also, it requested from our nafs the sawm of only one month within a year. We pitied our nafs. So it made us hold sawm for five years as kaffârah. From the wealth it bestowed on us, it requested only one out of ten or one out of forty as zakat. We became stingy and did dhulm. So it took away from us accumulated zakat.

اَلْجَزَاءُ مِنْ جِنْسِ الْعَمَلِ

As for our present reward; from a fâsiq and sinful nation, it raised a fifth, which is four million people, to the level of walâyah by giving them the rank of ghazi and shahîd. This general calamity arising out of the mistake of the majority wiped away that past sin.

Someone from the assembly asked: What if people have been dragged into this disaster due to the personal mistakes of the leader?

I replied: someone who is the victim of a calamity will expect a reward. They will either receive the good deeds of the leader (which is worth nothing) who has committed the mistake, or they will be rewarded by the treasury of the ghayb. The reward given from the treasury of the ghayb for such matters is the level of shahâdah and ghazi.

I saw signs of approval from the assembly. I woke up due to my excitement and found myself sweating and sitting down with my hands grasped together in reverence. That is what happened that evening.” Biography (138-142)


1 (Great or good of its kind)

2 (Kâzım Karabekir was the commander of the Eastern Army of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War and served as Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey before his death.)

3 (1919)

4 (The true dreams of the accepted, respected and trustable people. The veracious dreams, in which the haqiqah of theirs occur in this world as they are seen.)

“Experiencing them numerous times, ru’yâ as-sâdiqah became for me like decisive proofs at the degree of haqq al-yaqîn that Ilahî Qadar encompasses all things. Yes, especially the last few years, these dreams have reached such a degree that it has become certain for me that the most insignificant events and unimportant dealings and even the most commonplace conversations I will have the following day are written and recorded before they occur, and that by dreaming of them the night before, I have read them not with my tongue but with my eyes. Not once, not a hundred times, but perhaps a thousand times, the things I have said in my dreams or the people I have dreamt of at night, although I had not thought of them at all, turned out exactly or with little interpretation the following day. It means that the most insignificant things are both recorded and written before they happen. That is to say, there is no coincidence, events do not occur arbitrarily, they are not without order.” The Letters ( 410-411 )

5 (Of the First World War)

6 (Upholding the word of Allah)

7 (A communal fardh. Fardh al-kifâyah is an obligation of the Sharî’ah that must be discharged by the Muslim community as a whole, such as jihâd and the salâh of funeral; if enough members in the Muslim community discharge the obligation, the remaining Muslims are freed from the responsibility before Allah. However, if it is not sufficiently discharged, then every individual Muslim would be responsible before Allah.) (Tr.)

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