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khalifa (pl. khulafa)  Term Image (khalīfa (pl. khulafā’)) Script Image
(Language:  Arabic)
Alternate Spellings:
Short Description: Vicegerent or representative of God.
Long Description: (1) Vicegerent or representative of God. The Qur’ān teaches that human beings were created to be God’s vicegerents on earth. For many this refers to the proper role of the human being in relation to creation. In Islamic political thought, the khalīfas or Caliphs are the vicegerents or the successors of the Prophet. (2) Literally, "successor"; a representative or vicar, often used in reference to the successors of the Prophet Muhammad; in Sufism, every man is in principle a khalīfah of God.
Source(s): (1) Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition, edited by Dr. Joseph Lumbard (2) The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity, by Frithjof Schuon, edited by Dr. James S. Cutsinger.
Notes & References:
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Provided By: Dictionary of Spiritual Terms