Commentary of Al-Quran
Tafsir of Imam W.D. Mohammed
The Ka’bah is our orientation in Prayer, or a direction for our Pilgrimage, but it is also a central focus for preserving our unity, for keeping us all together. Why? Because when we are looking there, we are looking at a symbol of the inherent excellence G_d created in all of us. All of us have that common excellence. It is a symbol of our common excellence; the common excellence of men and women.
KHALIFAH PROPERTY IS FEMALE & MALE
How do I know that? When we go to make Pilgrimage, the woman does not wait for the man to lead her in prayer and she does not look to see if she is behind a man when she prays. She doesn’t have to stand behind the man. The women can stand where they want in whatever space they find, just like the men. The woman is equal with the men during the Hajj ritual. They are equal to us, especially at the Ka’bah site. So, I am saying this to, again, get support for my position that the khalifah property is female and male. It is our common excellence. We are orientated toward it. And G_d says we all should be orientated towards that whenever we are scattered. Now do not think that G_d means just physically scattered. He means that if other interests take us away from our unity, the interest that can bring us back to the unity He wants is that interest; the interest in the common excellence of all people.
Qur’an 2:30 I am going to place a khalifah in the earth
Qur’an 27:62 Made you mankind inheritors, khalifahs
Qur’an 42:38 command, order by mutual consultation
So, man in the role and authority or power that G_d planned for him or intended for him, is depicted or pictured, given in the concept of khalifah. G_d says in the Qur’an that He made not one but many; made us, whether we qualify for it or not, khalifahs. The plural is used, khulafaah; not just one khalifah, many. So, there was nobody called khalifah 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. Therefore, 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 imam, or leader, that won’t do it. He has to have a bigger title.” So, they went and did a little study and research and they came up with the justification for calling their leader, “The khalifah.”
KHALIFAH, A TITLE FOR ALL OF US COLLECTIVELY
But, believe me, the only khalifah we have had is Muhammad (pbuh), the Prophet (pbuh). After the passing of Muhammad (pbuh), the Prophet, khalifahs, rulers, were betrayed and assassinated, one behind the other. Their life was not long with the people, except for one and really his wasn’t very long. That is a sign. To me, it is a sign that we should study the office of khalifah. And don’t you know Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), if he had seen 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, khalifah, don’t you know he would have called them, “Khalifah Umar, Khalifah Abu Bakr”, etc.? He never called any of them khalifah. Why? Because khalifah is not to be worn by any single person. Khalifah is a title for all of us, collectively.
Khalifah is a title that belongs to all of us. 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, khalifah, unless we are doing it as I am doing it now. We are saying that G_d created us all to be khalifah and here is a person who indicates to us in his person that he has grown into the dimensions of khalifah. He has the qualities, the dimensions of khalifah. He has measured up to the dimension of khalifah. But, to then make that a title? No, because when you make it a title, it is just like calling your leader, the King, or the Prince, or the High Priest. It is the same as doing that. You are going to separate him from the people. “So, he is the khalifah, so we worship him…”
AMIR IS OUR LEADER NOT KHALIFAH
It was a mistake that they called their rulers, the khalifah. They should have continued to call their rulers, Amir, because that is a title that we have justification for from both the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet (pbuh). Where is the justification from the Qur’an? G_d says to us, “And order by what has been revealed…”, command, order, amirah. And G_d says to us, “Order upon the principle of shuraa,” mutual consultation, 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. That is what G_d says we should do. And the Prophet says, “No matter how small the task is, if it involves more than one person, choose you an amir.