Understanding “khalifah” as a concept in Islam

By Aida Zulkefly 

Today, Islam has become prominent issue in world arena. In the Muslim world, many Islamic movements are calling for the reestablishment of the Islamic States and their ideology. Iraq and Syria for instance, used Islam as an excuse to show power, which brings misinterpretation of people towards Islam itself.

In my opinion, the system of the “khalifah” needs to be used in this modern world. As the word “khalifah” itself contains huge meaning and deep understanding.

As written in Islamic dictionary, one of the major concepts in Islam is “khalifah”. Most Muslims have least understanding of this concept, while in fact it is extremely a foundation term in one’s life. In surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 30-34, clearly state the purpose of man’s creation that is to be “khalifah” on earth.

It is obvious that Allah created human beings for specific purpose as we are not any ordinary creation like other objects. Allah had His own designs and plans which are beyond the understanding that even the angels can’t understand it. In other words, freedom of action and thought given to us are in fact necessary qualifications for this office of “khalifah”.

Human beings represent consciousness, the will and power of choice, which make him responsible. For that, Muslims have had great empires from generation to generation such as the era of Rashidun Caliph and the Ummayyad. The Islamic world had been through a lot of ups and downs all over the world. Islamic empire had advanced and grown smoothly, starting in the city of Mecca stretching over to the European continent. Currently, Islam is the largest religion in Asia.

People need to go through the history of Islam and learn from Al-Quran and As-Sunnah in building a nation. As Allah mentioned, anyone could be the “khalifah” as naturally  we are responsible human beings. Islam should be the way of life.

Photo courtesy of Middle East Broadcasting Center

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