Meaning of the Passage from Sirrul Khalifa
Writes Mr. Faruqi:
"According to the Promised Messiah `Khilafa
' (he seems to mean `Khalifas
') are of two kinds. One kind is that which falls under the verse of
`Succession', and the second kind falls outside this sphere. At page 20 of his book Sirrul Khalifa, he mentions the caliphate of Hazrat Ali (the fourth Khalifa after the Holy Prophet) during which there was hardly any peace in the land; and Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was put into great trouble and difficulties by the people of his time. Muslim community was split into sections and the doors of bickering and unrest were opened. Therefore, Hazrat Ali was, no doubt, a Khalifa, but it could not be according to the verse of `Succession'. Since the selection of Khalifa could not be attributed to God, therefore the question that he cannot be deposed, does not arise." (Truth Triumphs, page 43).
It should be remembered that the underlined portion of the above quotation from "Truth Triumps" does not correspond to the full context of Sirrul Khilafa.
It is merely a wrong inferrence by Mr. Faruqi. No doubt all the four Khalifas after the Holy Prophet were from Allah. So the question of deposing any of them does not arise.
The Promised Messiah wrote his Sirrul Khilafa
to remove certain misunderstandings prevailing among the Shias
; and in this study he has proved that Hazrat Abu Bakr was, in truth, the immediate Khalifa, after the demise of the Holy Prophet; and pre-eminent in comparison with the other Khalifas. It was not the aim to establish that the Khilafat of the other Khalifas was not entirely under the intention, and conditions, of the verse pertaining to the question of the making of Khalifas. On page 18 of Sirrul Khilafa, the Promised Messiah writes, by way of a statement of the proposition under dispute:
"In the entire number of the Companions, the position of grandeur of Hazrat Abu Bakr was greater and higher. Without doubt, he is the first Khalifa; and it was in regard to him that the verses in respect of Khilafat came down. If you consider that there is someone other than him, after his time, to whom these verses apply, then bring a clear prophecy to that effect, if indeed you are right in holding such a view."
Now if we take this passage to mean that, apart from him, in the subsequent days, there is no one to whom the promised Khilafat applies, then this view lies in conflict with other writings of the Promised Messiah. In Shahadatul Quran, after quoting this verse, the Promised Messiah writes:
"This verse, in fact, lies as an exposition of the other verse, namely, `Indeed, We Ourselves have sent down this Zikr
; and We Ourselves shall guard it'; and it supplies an answer to how and in what manner shall the Quran be guarded. So Allah gives the assurance that from time to time He would be sending Khalifas of this Prophet" (Page 43)
Then, after quoting two more verses, he writes:
"If anyone gives due thought to these verses, I cannot imagine how he could fail to understand that Allah, here, is giving a clear promise of an ever-abiding Khilafat to this Ummat. If the Khilafat was not ever-abiding, then what was the meaning of making a comparison with Khalifas of the Dispensation of Moses? Moreover, if the Khilafat-i-Rashida
lasted for thirty years only; and after that period if it was eliminated for ever, it becomes binding to hold that the Lord God did not at all desire that for this Ummat
He should keep the doors of goodness, virtue and blessings, open for ever." (Shahadatul Quran, page 57)
Thus we get that in Sirrul Khilafa, the Promised Messiah has stated this only against the Shia
view that, in case it is not held that Abu Bakr, alone, fell under this verse as the only Khalifa to whom it applied, fully and properly, the Khilafat of Hazrat Ali could not at all be proved, since one portion of the verse stands to the effect that by means of the Khilafat the sense of danger and insecurity would be replaced with peace and security - a circumstance, a condition which never came true in the Khilafat of Hazrat Ali, because in his time there was all along, disorder and unrest, while tranquility and peace could not be established. But apart from this, The Promised Messiah fully accepts the Khilafat of Hazrat Ali as rightful and true. In fact he has feelingly prayed: "Lord God, whosoever has love for Hazrat Ali love him Thou as well; and whosoever is an enemy of Hazrat Ali, Thou too become the enemy of such a man."
And in Sirrul Khilafa
the Promised Messiah has written in very clear words:
"The fact is that the truth was on the side of Ali al-Murtaza
; and whosoever fought against him, in his time, he was guilty of rebellion. All the same, his Khilafat did not fulfill the condition relating to peace and a sense of security, promised by Allah. In fact Murtaza
experienced a great deal of trouble at the hands of his contemporaries." (Sirrul Khilafa, page 30)
Evidently, therefore, the real intention of the Promised Messiah is that immediately after the Holy Prophet Mohammad, the verse of Istikhlaf
applied fully to Hazrat Abu Bakr; and in the first instance, too, it applied only to him. Accordingly we read:
"In the verse of Istikhlaf, Allah has promised Muslim men and Muslim women that, in any case, under His mercy and blessings, some of the believers would be made Khalifas
; and Allah would replace the sense of danger in their hearts with a sense of security and peace. So this is a circumstance, a condition, which does not properly and fully apply to any except the Khilafat
of the Siddiq." (Sirrul Khilafa, page 15)
This is an indication that the Promised Messiah does not seek to deny that the remaining Khalifas were properly under the verse of Istikhlaf, even though he held that the first and foremost Khalifa under the conditions and circumstances, the attendant specifications, was Hazrat Abu Bakr.
So we find that the question of deposing any of the Khulafa-i-Rashidin
does not arise here in any way, the point being entirely irrelevant to the angle of this study.