Timeline of Rightly Guided Khalifahs (Brief)

Written by Aslam Abuismaeel
Published on 31 January 2023

Brief Timeline of Khulafa Rashidun

مُخْتَصَرُ تَارِيخِ عَهْدِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيِّينَ

Written in 1443H ie 2022 CE | Last updated on 11 Feb 2023 at 6:30am AEST (GMT +10)

11 AH (June 632CE): On 12th Rabi ul Awwal, our beloved Prophet Muhammed the Messenger of Allah, dies at the age of 63 lunar years, after having conveyed the guidance of Allah clearly for all times to come till the Day of Judgement. |

But during his lifetime, the Prophet Muhammed (ص) had advised the Muslims that leadership in the way of the Prophet will continue for 30 years after him and whoever lives long will see much differences (as a trial from Allah) and he (ص) advised Muslims earnestly to keenly follow the way of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs (Leaders who Follow After the Prophet). Allah decreed circumstances during their lives that teach is how they implemented therein the guidance of Allah and His Messenger for those times that will serve as a role model for trials of pleasure and confusing hardship to come throughout the centuries to come. Here is a very brief timeline of the period of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs to serve as a framework for detailed study of this period of the Seerah of the Khulafa Rashidun Mahdiyun (الخلفاء الراشدون المهديون).

11AH (June 632 CE): Abu Bakr Siddeeq, the greatest and closest Companion of the Prophet Muhammed, is unanimously selected as the first Khalifah (successor) to the Prophet in terms of leadership.

11AH (mid 632 CE): Abu Bakr has the Army of Usamah to go ahead on the Prophet's mission from before | With few remaining in Medinah to defend it, enemy comes to attack Medinah but Abu Bakr fearlessly reliant on Allah, aged 60 to 61 years old himself leads the Army and defeats the enemy outside Medinah |

11 AH: Riddah Rebellion Wars against (A) tribal leaders who refused to pass over Zakat collected to the Central Authority, and (B) some apostates among some tribes who rebelled against Medinah, and some of them (C) followed false prophethood claimants. These battles last about a year into the next year.

11 to 12 AH (Dec 632CE): Battle of Yamamah (also called Aqrabaa' عقـرباء), one of the fiercest, most challenging and famous battles is fought against Musailimah the False Prophet from the tribe of Banu Hanifah, a tribe with rivalry to the Prophet Muhammad's tribe of Quraysh.

Collection of Qur'an: Then the Qur'an is collected in one authentic written volume whereas before it was written in various smaller authentic volumes in front of the Prophet Muhammed (ص) during his lifetime.

Abu Bakr Siddeeq Stabalises the Muslim World Once Again After the Calamity of Passing Away of the Beloved Prophet (ص): Arabian peninsula regains stability, peace and unity with immense piety, led by the closest, greatest and most pious of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammed, ie. Abu Bakr Siddeeq.

12H (~ 633CE): After securing the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Bakr next sent Armies to the Byzantine Roman held areas to the North West in Palestine and Syria and to the Sassanid Persian held areas to the North East towards Iraq.

Muslim forces defeat the Byzantine forces in numerous battles and conquer numerous Arab cities liberating them from the Byzantine forces.

13H, 6 or 27 Jumada Ula (~ 30 July 634 CE): Battle of Ajnadayn (Place outside Ramla, Palestine). Muslims, led by Khalid ibn Walid, gain a remarkable victory crushing a three or four times larger Byzantine force, alhamdulillah.

13H (634H): Abu Bakr sets in motion the preparation for the Battle of Yarmuk prior to his death which then occurs during time of Umar.

13 AH (634 CE): Abu Bakr Siddeeq, the greatest of Companions of the Prophet Muhammed (ص) and the first Rightly Guided Khalifah of the Prophet, dies at the age of 63 lunar years on Monday 22 Jumada Aakhirah of 13H after a rule of about 2 years, 3 months, and 12 days.

13 AH (634 CE): Umar ibn Khattab is chosen to be the Second Rightly Guided Khalifah | He replaces Khalid ibn Walid with Abu Ubaidah as the Supreme Commander of forces at the Battle of Yarmuk though Khalid remains a Commander | Battle of Yarmuk later on ends with a phenomenal heroic victory for Muslims over the Byzantine Roman Empire.

15H (636 CE): Battle of Qadisiyyah led by Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas. This became another phenomenal battle with victory for Muslims against the Sassanid Persian Empire. The Sassanid Emperor ends soon after.

- Later on the conquest of Jerusalem against the Byzantine Roman Empire

- Later on the Battle of Nahawand against the Sassinid Persion Empire.

- Muslim world experiences a period of 10 years of continued amazing justice, peace, prosperity, piety and learning during the rule of the 2nd Rightly Guided Khalifah Umar ibn Khattab, a very learned, pious, ascetic, courageous and just man and ruler, one of the greatest leaders and statesman in human history.

23H (DhulHijjah): Khalifah Umar is assassinated, stabbed by a Magian in Medinah during Prayer | Abu Hafs Umar ibn al-Khattab al'Adawiyy al-Qurashiyy, the second greatest Companion of the Prophet Muhammed (ص) and the 2nd of the 4 Rightly Guided Khalifah of the Prophet (ie. Successors in Leadership) died in Medinah at the age of 63 lunar years.

24H (Muharram): Uthman ibn Affan is chosen as the third Rightly Guided Khalifah.

- Later Quran copies are made and spread around the Muslim world.

- Later Egypt is conquered.

- Muslim world thrives and prospers in all fields till 6 years.

- Fitnah occurs in the second half, ie last six years of rule of Uthman ibn Affan | Recent converts of ill or dubious character travel and spread unrest among some citizens in various cities by making baseless accusations against the pious Khalifah Uthman. These accusations were deliberately made by distorting truths, such as Uthman did not participate with Prophet in Battle of Badr, though the truth was that the Prophet had asked him to stay behind to nurse his dying wife who was also the daughter of the Prophet! | A few ignorant people fell for the propaganda and came to Medinah after Hajj to harm the 83 year old Uthman.

35 AH (DhulHijjah): Uthman ibn Affan is assassinated in his home in Medinah during Hajj season on Friday 18th Dhul-Hijjah 35H | Dhun-Nurayn Abu Abdullah Uthman ibn Affan al-Umawiyy al-Qurashiyy, the third greatest of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammed (ص) and the 3rd of the 4 Rightly Guided Khalifah / Khulafa Rashidun, died in Medinah at the age of 82 lunar years old on Friday 18th Dhul-Hijjah in the 35th Year of Hijri.

36 AH (Muharram): Ali ibn Abi Talib is chosen as the Fourth of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs | Muawiah ibn Abi Sufyan the Governor of Shaam, ie. the Greater Syria area, wants his right against killers of Uthman but Ali believes this is not the time. Muawiah gathers army demanding justice for Uthman by surrendering to him the killers, though all the killers' identities are not even known yet.

36 AH: Battle of Jamal (Camel) | Talha & Zubair lead Army to demand surrender of killers of Uthman from Basrah. Aishah joins their procession for psychological support | Peace was achieved through dialogue between Talha & Zubair camp and the Khalifah Ali's camp | Then fighting was sparked by the murderers causing confusion during the sleeping hours close to dawn on some said 10th and others said Wednesday 15 Jumada Akhirah of 36 AH, ie. 7th December 656 CE | Talha & Zubair were martyred by ignorant people, their side lost the battle | Ali shows Islamic directions and does not punish the opposition Army defeated amidst confusing Fitnah | Aishah is returned honorably and some earlier prophecies from the Prophet made her realise her error of participation in that cause.

37 AH (657 CE): Battle of Siffin | From Wednesday 1 Safar 37H for 9 days till Thursday 9th Safar 37H | Battle between Muslims - forces of Muawiah versus forces of the rightly guided Khalifah Ali | Ended to do arbitration tribunal | Death of Ammar ibn Yasir on side of Ali brings true an earlier Prophecy from the Prophet and shows that Ali was fighting for the right cause.

37 AH: Arbitration occurred at Dawmat Jandal between Kufa and Syria | There it was decided that the senior Sahabah will gather in one year to choose Khalifah from among them, including Ali ibn Abi Talib.

37 AH (657 CE): Khawarij (Rebels without a just cause) emerge after Siffin condemning the concept of Arbitration in such matters | Khawarij ideology began during return from Battle of Siffin from Rabi Awwal 37 AH 657 CE.

38 AH (658 CE): Battle of Nahrawan between Amirul Muminin Ali ibn Abi Talib versus the Khawarij | On 9th Safar 38 AH ~ 16th July 658 CE.

40 AH in Ramadan: Ali ibn Abi Talib is stabbed and assassinated by Khawarij inside Masjid on way to Fajr prayer. Muawiah is injured elsewhere by their assassin also but did not die. Amr ibn al-Aas escapes the assassins unharmed | Abul-Hasan Ali ibn Abu Talib al-Hashimiyy al-Qurashiyy, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammed (ص) and his son in law (husband of Fatimah bint Muhammed), the fourth greatest of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammed (ص) and the 4th of the 4 Rightly Guided Khalifah, died in Ramadan of the 40th Year of Hijri at the age of 63 lunar years. Ali was the last of the Khulafa Rashidun who lived and ruled as a Rightly Guided Khalifah till the end of his life.

40 AH: Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib is chosen the next Khalifah of the Muslims and his short rule becomes the culmination of the model period of the Rightly Guided Khalifah | The murderers of Uthman are still dispersed among those in the camp of Hasan. They continue to instigate trouble and divisions to prevent Muslims from attaining peace to ensure that the murderers are never brought to justice!

41 AH (Rabi Awwal): Year of Unification (Aam-ul-Jama'ah) | The massive Muslim Armies of Hasan and of Muawiah, each in tens of thousands in number, march to come face to face against one another | Hasan and Muawiah do talks to resolve the bloodshed and fitnah | Hasan, the greater of the two men and leaders, steps down to make peace and prevents largescale bloodshed of Muslims | Earlier the Prophet Muhammed had prophecised that the then toddler Hasan will one day make reconciliation between two great factions of the Muslims | The Prophet had also prophecised that the Khilafah Nubuwwah (ie rule following the moral manner of the rule of the Prophet) would last for 30 years after him | Both these prophecies came true via Hasan ibn Ali exactly 30 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammed (ص)!

41AH: Muawiah ibn Abu Sufyan becomes the sole leader of a once again peacefully reunited Ummah, albeit under an inferior leader than Hasan, but the Muslim world then experienced a long stretch of strong and peacefully united pious rule under the Prophet's companion, Muawiah ibn Abu Sufyan. Muawiah was a pious just ruler though not of the calibre of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs.

The period of the four rightly guided khulafah (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali) followed by a brief reign of the next rightly guided khalifah, Hasan, ended after exactly 30 years as the Prophet Muhammed (ص) had earlier prophecised during his lifetime! Allah decreed unique challenges to appear during the period of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs and showed to us via their decisions, which they learnt earlier from the noble Prophet, how to behave in such times in future ranging from times of immense piety and prosperity to times of severe Fitnah and divisions and how to once again restore the glorious period! Hence learning the life and timeline of the period of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs is a priceless treasure for us!

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