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ARBNDEENIDTRUR
وَإِذْ
And when
قَالَ
said
رَبُّكَ
your Lord
لِلْمَلَٰٓئِكَةِ
to the angels,
إِنِّى
"Indeed, I (am)
جَاعِلٌ
going to place
فِى
in
ٱلْأَرْضِ
the earth
خَلِيفَةًۖ
a vicegerent,
قَالُوٓا۟
they said,
أَتَجْعَلُ
"Will You place
فِيهَا
in it
مَن
(one) who
يُفْسِدُ
will spread corruption
فِيهَا
in it
وَيَسْفِكُ
and will shed
ٱلدِّمَآءَ
[the] blood[s],
وَنَحْنُ
while we,
نُسَبِّحُ
[we] glorify (You)
بِحَمْدِكَ
with Your praises
وَنُقَدِّسُ
and we sanctify
لَكَۖ
[to] You
قَالَ
said,
إِنِّىٓ
"Indeed, I (am),
أَعْلَمُ
[I] know
مَا
what
لَا
not
تَعْلَمُونَ
you know."

Wa iz qaala rabbuka lil malaaa'ikati innee jaa'ilun fil ardi khaleefatan qaalooo ataj'alu feehaa mai yufsidu feehaa wa yasfikud dimaaa'a wa nahnu nusabbihu bihamdika wa nuqaddisu laka qaala inneee a'lamu maa laa ta'lamoon

Sahih International:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."

Ahmed Ali

Remember, when your Lord said to the angels: "I have to place a trustee on the earth," they said: "Will You place one there who would create disorder and shed blood, while we intone Your litanies and sanctify Your name?" And God said: "I know what you do not know."

Ahmed Raza Khan

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, “I am about to place My Caliph in the earth”; they said, “Will You place (as a caliph) one who will spread turmoil in it and shed blood? Whereas we glorify You with praise and proclaim Your Sanctity”; He said, “I know what you do not.”

Ali Ünal

Remember (when) your Lord said to the angels: "I am setting on the earth a vicegerent." The angels asked: "Will you set therein one who will cause disorder and corruption on it and shed blood, while we glorify You with Your praise (proclaim that You are absolutely free from any defect and that all praise belongs to You exclusively,) and declare that You alone are all-holy and to be worshipped as God and Lord." He said: "Surely I know what you do not know."

Amatul Rahman Omar

And (recall) when your Lord said to the angels, `I am (according to My usual practice) going to appoint a supreme religious head in the land (to convey My Message to human beings and to execute My will in the universe).´ They said, `Will You create (also) therein such (people) as will cause disorder in it and shed blood while we already glorify You with Your true praise and extol Your holiness.´ He (- God) answered, `I know that which you do not know.´

A. J. Arberry

And when thy Lord said to the angels, 'I am setting in the earth a viceroy.' They said, 'What, wilt Thou set therein one who will do corruption there, and shed blood, while We proclaim Thy praise and call Thee Holy?' He said, 'Assuredly I know that you know not.'

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And recall what time thine Lord said unto the angels: verily I am going to place a vicegerent On the earth. They said: wilt Thou place therein one who will act corruptly therein and shed blood While we hallow Thine praise and glorify Thee! Allah said: verily I know that which ye know not.

Faridul Haque

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, "I am about to place My Caliph in the earth"; they said, "Will You place (as a caliph) one who will spread turmoil in it and shed blood? Whereas we glorify You with praise and proclaim Your Sanctity"; He said, "I know what you do not."

Hamid S. Aziz

And when your Lord said unto the angels, "I am about to place a Vicegerent (Agent, Successor, Inheritor) in the earth," they said, "Will you place therein one who will do evil therein and shed blood? While we celebrate Thy praise and glorify Thee." Said (the Lord), "I know what you know not."

Hilali & Khan

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth." They said: "Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, - while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You." He (Allah) said: "I know that which you do not know."

Talal Itani

When your Lord said to the angels, “I am placing a successor on earth.” They said, “Will You place in it someone who will cause corruption in it and shed blood, while we declare Your praises and sanctify You?” He said, “I know what you do not know.”

English Literal

And when your Lord said to the angels: "That I am making/creating/putting in the earth a caliph/successor/leader ." They said: "Do you make/create/put in it, who corrupts in it and sheds the blood, and we praise/glorify with Your praise and we (continue to admit Your) holiness/sanctity to You." He said: "I know what you do not know."

Abul Ala Maududi

Just recall the time when your Lord said to the angels, "I am going to appoint a vicegerent on the Earth." They humbly enquired, "Are you going to appoint such a one as will cause disorder and shed blood on the Earth? We are already engaged in hymning Your praise, and hallowing Your name".

Maulana Mohammad Ali

And when they Lord said to the angels, I am going to place a ruler in the earth, they said: Wilt Thou place in it such as make mischief in it and shed blood? And we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness. He said: Surely I know what you know not.

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth." They said: "Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, ـ while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You." He (Allah) said: "I know that which you do not know."

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not.

Ali Quli Qarai

When your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed I am going to set a viceroy on the earth,’ they said, ‘Will You set in it someone who will cause corruption in it and shed blood, while we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your sanctity?’ He said, ‘Indeed I know what you do not know.’

Qaribullah & Darwish

When your Lord said to the angels: 'I am placing on the earth a caliph,' they replied: 'Will You put there who corrupts and sheds blood, when we exalt Your praises and sanctify You?' He said: 'I know what you do not know'

Muhammad Sarwar

When your Lord said to the angels, "I am appointing someone as my deputy on earth," they said (almost protesting), "Are you going to appoint one who will commit corruption and bloodshed therein, even though we (are the ones who) commemorate Your Name and glorify You?" The Lord said, "I know that which you do not know".

Mohammad Habib Shakir

And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.

Wahiduddin Khan

When your Lord said to the angels, "I am putting a successor on earth," they said, "Will You place someone there who will cause corruption on it and shed blood, while we glorify You with Your praise and extol Your holiness?" [God] answered, "Surely, I know that which you do not know."

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels; "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said; "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said; "I know what ye know not."

Tafsir jalalayn

And, mention, O Muhammad (s), when your Lord said to the angels, `I am appointing on earth a vicegerent', who shall act as My deputy, by implementing My rulings therein -- and this [vicegerent] was Adam; They said, `What, will You appoint therein one who will do corruption therein, through disobedience, and shed blood, spilling it through killing, just as the progeny of the jinn did, for they used to inhabit it, but when they became corrupted God sent down the angels against them and they were driven away to islands and into the mountains; while we glorify, continuously, You with praise, that is, "We say Glory and Praise be to You", and sanctify You?', that is, `We exalt You as transcendent above what does not befit You?; the lm [of laka, `You'] is extra, and the sentence [wa-nuqaddisu laka, `We sanctify You'] is a circumstantial qualifier, the import being, `thus, we are more entitled to be Your vicegerents'); He, exalted be He, said, `Assuredly, I know what you know not', of the benefits of making Adam a vicegerent and of the fact that among his progeny will be the obedient and the transgressor, and justice will prevail between them. They said, `God will never create anything more noble in His eyes than us nor more knowledgeable, since we have been created before it and have seen what it has not seen. God then created Adam from the surface of the earth (adm al-ard [adm literally means `skin']), taking a handful of all its colours and mixing it with different waters, then made him upright and breathed into him the Spirit and he thus became a living being with senses, after having been inanimate.

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Adam and His Children inhabited the Earth, Generation after Generation

Allah reiterated His favor on the Children of Adam when He stated that He mentioned them in the highest of heights before He created them. Allah said,

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَيِكَةِ

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels,

This Ayah means, "O Muhammad! Mention to your people what Allah said to the angels.

إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الَارْضِ خَلِيفَةً

Verily, I am going to place a Khalifah on earth.

Meaning people reproducing generation after generation, century after century, just as Allah said,

وَهُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَكُمْ خَلَـيِفَ الاٌّرْضِ

And it is He Who has made you (Khala'if) generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth. (6;165)

وَيَجْعَلُكُمْ حُلَفَأءَ الاٌّرْضِ

And makes you (Khulafa) inheritors of the earth. (27;62)

وَلَوْ نَشَأءُ لَجَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ مَّلَـيِكَةً فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَخْلُفُونَ

And if it were Our will, We would have (destroyed you (mankind all, and) made angels to replace you (Yakhlufun) on the earth. (43;60)

and,

فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ

Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation (Khalf)) (7;169).

It appears that Allah was not referring to Adam specifically as Khalifah, otherwise he would not have allowed the angels' statement,

قَالُواْ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاء

They said;"Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood!"

The angels meant that this type of creature usually commits the atrocities they mentioned. The angels knew of this fact, according to their understanding of human nature, for Allah stated that He would create man from clay. Or, the angels understood this fact from the word Khalifah, which also means the person who judges disputes that occur between people, forbidding them from injustice and sin, as Al-Qurtubi said.

The statement the angels uttered was not a form of disputing with Allah's, nor out of envy for the Children of Adam, as some mistakenly thought. Allah has described them as those who do not precede Him in speaking, meaning that they do not ask Allah anything without His permission.

When Allah informed them that He was going to create a creation on the earth, and they had knowledge that this creation would commit mischief on it, as Qatadah mentioned, they said,
أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاء
(Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood).

This is only a question for the sake of learning about the wisdom of that, as if they said, Our Lord! What is the wisdom of creating such creatures since they will cause trouble in the earth and spill blood.

"If the wisdom behind this action is that You be worshipped, we praise and glorify You (meaning we pray to You) we never indulge in mischief, so why create other creatures"

وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ

while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You."

Allah said to the angels in answer to their inquiry,

قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ



He (Allah) said;I know that which you do not know.

meaning, "I know that the benefit of creating this type of creature outweighs the harm that you mentioned, that which you have no knowledge of. I will create among them Prophets and send Messengers. I will also create among them truthful, martyrs, righteous believers, worshippers, the modest, the pious, the scholars who implement their knowledge, humble people and those who love Allah and follow His Messengers."

The Sahih recorded that;

when the angels ascend to Allah with the records of the servant's deeds, Allah asks them, while having better knowledge, "How did you leave My servants?"

They will say, "We came to them while they were praying and left them while they were praying."

This is because the angels work in shifts with mankind, and they change shifts during the Fajr and `Asr prayers.

The angels who descended will remain with us, while the angels who have remained with us ascend with our deeds. The Messenger of Allah said,

يُرْفَعُ إِلَيْهِ عَمَلُ اللَّيْلِ قَبْلَ النَّهَارِ وَعَمَلُ النَّهَارِ قَبْلَ اللَّيْل

The deeds of the night are elevated to Allah before the morning, and the deeds of the morning before the night falls.

Hence, the angels' statement, "We came to them while they were praying and left them while they were praying," explains Allah's statement,
إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
(I know that which you do not know).

It was said that the meaning of Allah's statement,
إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
(I know that which you do not know) is,

"I have a specific wisdom in creating them, which you do not have knowledge of."

It was also said that it is in answer to,
وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ
(While we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You) after which Allah said,
إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
(I know that which you do not know). Meaning,

"I know that Iblis is not as you are, although he is among you."

Others said,

أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاء وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ
"(Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, ـ while we glorify you with praises and thanks and sanctify You.) is their request that they should be allowed to inhabit the earth, instead of the Children of Adam. So Allah said to them,
إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
(I know that which you do not know) if your inhabiting the heavens is better, or worse for you."

Ar-Razi as well as others said this.

Allah knows best.
The Obligation of appointing a Khalifah and some related Issues

Al-Qurtubi, as well as other scholars, said that;

this Ayah (2;30) proves the obligation of appointing a Khalifah to pass judgments on matters of dispute between people, to aid the oppressed against the oppressor, to implement the Islamic penal code and to forbid evil. There are many other tasks that can only be fulfilled by appointing the Imam, and what is necessary in performing an obligation, is an obligation itself.

We should state here that Imamah occurs by;

either naming a successor, as a group among Ahl As-Sunnah scholars said occurred - by the Prophet - in the case of Abu Bakr, or hinting to a successor.

Or, the current Khalifah names a certain person as Khalifah after him, as Abu Bakr did with Umar.

Or, the Khalifah might leave the matter in the hands of the Muslim consultative council, or a group of righteous men, just as Umar did.

Or, the people of authority could gather around a certain person to whom they give the pledge of allegiance, or they could select one among them to choose the candidate, according to the majority of the scholars.

The Khalifah must be a responsible adult Muslim male, able to perform Ijtihad (independent legal judgments), bodily able, righteous, with knowledge of warfare, politics.

He also must be from the tribe of Quraysh, according to the correct view, but it is not necessary that he be from the tribe of Bani Hashim, or that he be immune from error, as the Rafidah (Shiites) falsely claim.

When the Khalifah becomes an immoral person (Fasiq), should he be impeached. There is disagreement over this matter, but the correct view is that he is not to be removed, because the Messenger of Allah said,

إِلاَّ أَنْ تَرَوْا كُفْرًا بَوَاحًا عِنْدَكُمْ مِنَ اللهِ فِيهِ بُرْهَان

Unless you witness a clear Kufr regarding which you have clear proof from Allah.

Does the Khalifah have the right to resign from his post?

There is a difference on this issue.

It is a fact that Al-Hasan bin Ali removed himself from the position of Khalifah and surrendered it to Muawiyah. However, this occurred because of a necessity, and Al-Hasan was praised for this action.

It is not permissible to appoint two Imams for the world or more at the same time. This is not allowed because the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ جَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْرُكُمْ جَمِيعٌ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُفَرِّقَ بَيْنَكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُ كَايِنًا مَنْ كَان

Whoever came to you while you are united and tried to divide you, then execute him, no matter who he is.

This is the view of the majority of scholars.

Imam Al-Haramayn stated that;

Abu Ishaq allowed the appointment of two or more Imams when the various provinces are far away from each other.

However, Imam Al-Haramayn himself was indecisive about this view