Caliphs is the English word of the Arabic word “Khalifah”, which means successor. In Islamic Law a Caliph or Khalifah is the person who holds the delegated authority to enforce the Islamic Shari’a in an Islamic States on the one hand and who is the sole executive authority on the other. Under the sovereignty of Allah Almighty and the authority of His Law [send down to Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wasallam)] – the Khalifah is the temporal ruler of an Islamic State and defender of the Faith. Being charged with implementing “Shari’a” for its application in the everyday life of the individual and society, he secures well being in this world and bliss in the Hereafter. As far as delegated authority of the Law is concerned he is a “Khalifah”, a successor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wasallam) who is the “Right and Best Khalifah” of Allah Almighty on thisearth’ and as far as the execution of the law is concerned he is the “Amir” or “Imam”
i.e. Ruler or Leader of the Muslims in his time and for the reason the Khalifah of Islam were commonly known as “Amirul Mumineen” (i.e. The Ruler of the Believers).
The Truthful Khalifah's
After the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wasallam) the first four Khalifah‘s are Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique, Hadrat Umar Farooq, Hadrat Usmaan Ghani, Hadrat Ali Yul Murtaza and Hazrat Hassan bin Ali (Ridwanullah Alaihim Ajmain) strictly followed His (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wasallam) ways. Their time is the “Golden Age” of Islamic when Islamic Shari’a fully flourished and was perfectly implemented. They were the ideal rulers who guided the Muslim Ummah / Nation on the Right Path and discharged their duties faithfully. For this treason they are known as “Khulafa- e-Rashideen” (The Rightly guided Caliphs).