The development of Islam after the death of Muhammad under the leadership of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs and the emergence of the Sunni and the Shiite
• The First Caliph, Abu Bakr (632-634 A.C.)
• The Second Caliph, 'Umar (634-644 A.C.)
• The Third Caliph, Uthman (644-656 A.C.)
• The Fourth Caliph, Ali (656-661 A.C.)
Caliph- is the English form of the Arabic word 'Khalifa,' which is short for Khalifatu Rasulil-lah; meaning Successor to the Messenger of God, the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The mission of Prophet Muhammad, like that of the earlier messengers of God, was to call people to the worship of and submission to the One True God.
As successor to the Prophet, the Caliph was the head of the Muslim community and his primary responsibility was to continue in the path of the Prophet i.e. the caliph became the one who had two functions, Commander of the Faithful and the Imam (prayer leader) of the Muslims.
The first four caliphs are known as the “rightly guided” to distinguish them from the unelected monarchs who later established dynasties. During the 30 years of the ‘rightly guided caliphs’, Islam spread across the known world. During Ali’s time half the known world was under Muslim rule. The murders of Uthman and Ali sowed the seeds for dissension.
The first of the rightly guided caliph was Abu Bakr was the father of Aisha (one of Muhammad’s wives) Abu Bakr was a long time friend and associate of Muhammad's. He was the only person allowed to accompany Muhammad during the Hijra. He was a compassionate and honest leader. During the two years of his caliphate, Abu Bakr established Muslim domination in Arabia.
On his deathbed Abu Bakr nominated Umar Al Khattab as his successor. Umar was a good administrator and, astute political leader and military general. Umar’s caliphate was spent in warfare, with Jerusalem falling in 638. Umar and the Muslim army conquered Syria and part of Egypt and Mesopotamia. No one was forced to convert to Islam,...