If a non Muslim were to approach me, and if they asked me to explain what islam is based on, because they would like to convert to islam.And if i said to that person, “One of the fundamental beliefs is: There is no GOD besides Allah & Muhammed (SAW) is the messenger of Allah”.And I don’t mention to him anything about the Caliphs, and i tell him that Allah and his messenger are all that he needs, he doesnt need Hadrat Abu Bakr (RA),Omar (RA),Uthman (RA),Ali(RA) and he doesn’t have to accept the Caliphs as part of his belief system, or it is not a pre requisite to believe in the Caliphs in order to be a Muslim.Is that wrong in anyway? I cant see anything wrong? Because the Caliphs were in no way messengers of Allah, they were voted to be caliphs by the people of that time.The point being, it is not a essential part of Islam to believe or accept Caliphs.All one need is Allah and Muhammad (SAW).Kindly comment on the above.
In principle, a person will become a Muslim just by believing in Allah and his messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). However, together with this, many other aspects are attached which are fundamentals and without which a person’s Imaan is doubtful, e.g. Salaat.
Therefore, one definitely needs to explain to the non-Muslim the entire Deen together with its beauties. Amongst them is the rank which the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) hold in the Deen of Islam. Hadhrat Anas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said the example of my Sahaba in my Ummah is like salt in the food, the food is not complete except with the salt. (Mishkaat pg.554)
In another Hadith, Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)said, The best of my Ummah is those who were during my time, then those closest to them, then those closes to them? (Bukhari Hadith3649)
We can, therefore, understand the high rank the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) hold in our Ummah and they definitely cannot be excluded, rather should be placed on the high pedestal they deserve in Deen.
Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ?Banu Israaeel separated into 72 groups and my Ummah will be divided into seventy three groups, all of them will be in the fire except once group. They asked, which groups is this O Rasul (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)? He replied, ?That which I and my companions are upon.? (Mishkaat 169). Therefore the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) and especially the four Khalifas are our link to Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and ultimately to Deen.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai