After the demise of the Holy Prophet (SAW), the Rashidun caliphate took the leadership of Muslims in Arab. Soon, the Muslim empire expanded its territory from Arab to the regions earlier that came under the Roman and Persian Empires. Muslim armies destroyed the power of these empires to help build an Islamic rule which is exemplary to modern nation-states. The Rashidun caliphate had the utmost support from the public which was due to the unmatched administration of society.
1. Condition of Minorities
When the Rashidun caliphate expanded its territories, then most of the citizens under the Islamic government were non-muslims. Conquest did not mean that conversations will happen quickly. Therefore, the Muslim caliphs paid attention to the rights of non-muslims in their region. The minorities were referred to as “Dhimmis” which meant ” Protected Ones”. They were allowed to perform their religious practices by paying the Jizya tax. Apart from this, their cases were resolved according to their own laws. Hence, the Rashidun caliphs did not focus to convert forcefully. Rather, the purpose was to spread Islam by showing acceptance and tolerance.
2. Enslaved people
Islam gave rights to enslaved people for the first time in history. Most of these slave people were non-Muslims who came under the Islamic territory after the conquests. Before this, they were treated inhumanly and women were subjected as concubines. However, in the Rashidun Caliphate, these practices were abolished. Rashidun’s caliphate according to the principles of Islam assured the rights of slaves and considered them a critical part of the society.
3. Respect of Woman
The dignity and respect of women were restored everywhere Islamic rule was expanded. In the Byzantine and Roman empire, upper-class women were secluded. Rather, women did not have any rights in the inheritance and family decisions. Women were also not allowed to appear in public freely. However, Islam provided them the rights related to inheritance, marriage, property, and family position. Hence, Islam ended the patriarch mindset with the Rashidun Caliphate at its prime. The Sahaba of Holy Prophet (SAW) spread the message all across the Islamic government to attract people to become Muslims.
Women were involved in the following activities in the Rashidun Caliphate which they were not allowed in past.
- Direct the building of mosques, monasteries, and schools using their own money
- Right for education and spreading the message.
- Trade and business practices of selling and purchasing products.
4. Law and Justice
Islam delivers the message of law and justice in the state. It has provided various rules for assuring every man gets the justified right in the state. In the Quran, Allah SWT has said that,
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.”
[Surat An-Nisā’ (4:135)]
Holy Prophet (SAW) also laid emphasis on justice and accountability in the state. Therefore, the Rashidun Caliphs assured the presence of justice in the society. Hazrat Umar (RA) establishes the system of courts and prisons. This legacy was carried by his successors.
In the end, Rashidun Caliphate took most of their decisions on the basis of guidance provided by Allah and his last Prophet (SAW). It is a role model for all the Muslim rulers in the world right now.