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The Quran => Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only => : Reader Questions May 06, 2012, 02:17:27 AM

: Meaning of 'Khalifa'
: Reader Questions May 06, 2012, 02:17:27 AM
Peace brother Joseph,

I have another question in regards to verse 2:30. Here a Human being is mentioned as a successor ( khalifa) of God or successor of previous species in the line of evolution as mentioned in the following article?


Please can you explain.

: Re: Meaning of 'Khalifa'
: Joseph Islam May 06, 2012, 02:19:26 AM
Salamun Alaikum,

With respect, I do not concur with the interpretation of 'khalifa' to only mean 'a successor'. Depending on context, I understand it to also mean a vicegerent, an emissary, a representative and someone who has authority (Depending on context).

Please note the link with God's intention to create a 'Khalifa' on Earth and the angel’s response acknowledging the ‘corruption’ and 'bloodshed' that they would cause. Their fear, albeit dependant on insufficient wisdom, nevertheless clearly acknowledged a role of 'authority' that humankind was granted. One can only wreak havoc if one has authority. Therefore, the angels knew exactly the role mankind was going to be given (khalifa).

So the verse itself negates the interpretation of 'khalifa' as a successor in this case.

Please also note how the word 'khalifa' is also used in verse 38:26. Was Prophet David a 'successor' or a vicegerent / ruler and someone with authority?

038:026 (part)
"O David! Indeed, (We) have made you a vicegerent / ruler (Arabic: khalifatan) on earth: so judge between men in truth (and justice)..."

I hope that helps, God willing.