al-K̲h̲ulafāʾ al-Rās̲h̲idūn
(960 words)

(a.), literally, “the Rightly-Guided Caliphs”, the four heads of the nascent Islamic community who succeeded each other in the thirty years or so after the death of the Prophet Muḥammad in Rabīʿ I 11/June 632. The qualifying term in the phrase has often been rendered as “Orthodox” (an anachronism, since there was no generally accepted corpus of Islamic belief and practice at this early time from which deviation could occur) or “Patriarchal”, reflecting a view of this period as a heroic age for Islam.

The four caliphs in question comprised:

All four were from the Prophet’s own Meccan …

Cite this page
Bosworth, C.E., “al-K̲h̲ulafāʾ al-Rās̲h̲idūn”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 16 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1416>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



▲   Back to top   ▲