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Quranic Terminology: Successor


Quranic Terminology: Successor


Published in February 7, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy






 We have received this email message; we quote part of it followed by our reply to the questions raised in it: (... Dear Sir, ... I'd like you to write about the Quranic term (successor) and if it has (nothing) to do with the terms (caliph) and (caliphate) regarding the notion of theocratic rule propagated by Sunnites, Sufis, and Shiites in their myths ......... Many gullible persons believe in the mythical prophecy that caliphate (abolished in 1924) would return one day (as if it were God's kingdom of heaven on earth!) and some assume that its capital must be a newly built city, while others assume it will be an old Arab city. In the last Friday sermon I heard in Gaza, the imam mentioned that the Palestinian leader Ismail Haniyeh is the successor/caliph of God on earth! This puzzled and astonished me exceedingly! ........ What do you think of that? ... Thank You ...).




Firstly: we assert the following brief points:

1- The political meaning of the term caliph/successor began with Abou Bakr becoming the ruler of Yathreb once Muhammad died; people deemed him as the successor of Muhammad as a ruler; the Arabic term for (successor) is "caliph"; another title assumed by the tyrannical rulers/sultans was "The Emir of Believers". The political, theocratic term caliph/successor has been used from the era of Abou Bakr to the era of the last Ottoman caliph when the caliphate system ended in 1924. 

2- The tyrant known as Ismail Haniyeh assumes he resembles the caliph Omar; he is said to have the ambition to be the 'successor' of God on earth, or rather on the Gaza Strip, though he cannot move out of Palestine (and so is Mahmoud Abbas) except with the prior written permission of the Israeli interior minister; thus, those Palestinian leaders/traitors are very much like the Arab dwarfish, weak rulers of Iberia/Andalusia who ruled small areas/cantons and cities while assuming the grand titles of the Abbasid sultans; they are like arrogant fat cats assuming themselves to be as big and strong as lions.     

3- The Shiite Fatimid sultans who ruled Egypt (and built Cairo as their capital) used the term (caliph) because it became very common and dominant within the political and religious culture at the time.

4- Of course, all rulers or the so-called caliphs cared only for one thing: to reach or to keep their thrones and authority within the umbrella of an earthly/terrestrial religion (the Shiite, Sufi, or Sunnite ones), and this is known as theocracy. The theocratic rule enabled caliphs to rule over lands and people within sharia legislations invented specially for them by corrupt clergymen; the caliphs were like shepherds and the subjects were like herds of cattle which can be kept, fed, or slaughtered any time, and those who dared to rebel were warned against Hell in the Hereafter if they disobeyed the self-deified tyrants who killed them anyway!

5- Of course, all Wahabi power-seekers (e.g., ISIS terrorists, Salafists, and the terrorist MB group) dream of establishing such Wahabi-Sunnite theocracy. It is rumored that an ISIS terrorist who guarded the treasury somewhere robbed millions of US$ from this treasury and left a message to ridicule his fellow ISIS terrorists: (what caliphate of which you dream, you f**king morons!).  

6- As for the so-called coming caliphate (or rather dystopia) and its capital, it can be anywhere as per their wild imagination but the theocrats will never be safe in the modern world; Syrian cities have been destroyed now by modern weapons and most ISIS terrorists left Syria and Iraq. We never know if the ISIS leader Abou Bakr Al-Baghdadi is alive or dead by now. The new, self-proclaimed 'caliph' Ismail Haniyeh never feels safe within the sieged Gaza strip. 

7- It is a blasphemy that Ismail Haniyeh (or any other person) would claim that he is the 'successor' of God on earth.


Secondly: it is utter blasphemy to say that a mortal is the 'successor' of God on earth:

1- In the Arabic tongue, a caliph/successor succeeds someone who is not present or who is dead; in contrast, Allah is the Living, Omnipresent, Omniscient Lord God: "And put your trust in the Living, the One who never dies; and celebrate His praise..." (25:58); "...God is Witness over all things." (4:33); "...He knows what penetrates into the earth, and what comes out of it, and what descends from the sky, and what ascends to it. And He is with you wherever you may be. God is Seeing of everything you do." (57:4); "...Not even the weight of an atom, on earth or in the sky, escapes your Lord, nor is there anything smaller or larger, but is in a clear record." (10:61); "We will narrate to them with knowledge, for We were never absent." (7:7).

2- A person succeeds another or fills his place during his temporary absence or takes his place/position after he dies.

2/1: Aaron was a temporary successor of Moses (in ruling the Israelites, as a judge, during the exodus) when Moses went to Mount Al-Tur, in Sinai, Egypt, to receive the Tablets: "And We appointed to Moses thirty nights, and completed them with ten; and thus the time appointed by his Lord was forty nights. And Moses said to his brother Aaron: "Take my place among my people, and be upright, and do not follow the way of the corrupters."" (7:142).

2/2: After the death (i.e., permanent absence) of Moses' Pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea, his body remained behind as a sign for those who succeeded him in Egypt, whereas his soul is being tormented within a Barsakh level until the Last Day: "Today We will preserve your body, so that you become a sign for those succeeding you..." (10:92).

3- Of course, generations of human beings succeed one another, because all human beings are mortals.


Thirdly: human beings as successors on earth within many generations:

1- After the destruction of the disbelievers among the people of Noah, the progeny of Noah and the believers with him who survived in the Ark received, within a later era, the prophet Hud who told them the following: "...Remember how He made you successors after the people of Noah..." (7:69). After the destruction of the people/tribe of Aad, the surviving believers' progeny included the tribe/people of Thamood; their prophet Saleh told them the following: "And remember how He made you successors after Aad..." (7:74).

2- This means that generations of human beings succeed one another, past and present. The Lord God has said the following to the Arabs who hastened their own destruction during Muhammad's lifetime: "Your Lord...If He wills, He can do away with you, and substitute whomever He wills in your place as successors, just as He produced you from the descendants of another people." (6:133).

3- In some cases, corrupt, immoral, disobedient generations came after pious, righteous, obedient generations: "They were succeeded by generations who inherited the Scripture and chose the materials of this world, saying, "We will be forgiven." And should similar materials come their way, they would again seize them. Did they not make a covenant to uphold the Scripture, and to not say about God except the truth? Did they not study its contents? But the Home of the Hereafter is better for the cautious; will you not understand?" (7:169); "But they were succeeded by generations who lost the prayers and followed their appetites. They will meet perdition." (19:59). 


Fourthly: the Lord God the Creator makes generations of human beings succeed one another on earth:

1- In general, generations of human beings succeed one another on earth: "It is He who made you successors on earth..." (35:39 + 6:165); "Or, Who answers the one in need when he prays to Him, and relieves adversity, and makes you successors on earth? Is there another god with Allah? How hardly you pay attention." (27:62).

2- The succession of generations means that a generation died and another generation of living human beings has replaced/succeeded it.

2/1: The survivors in Noah's Ark became, along with their progeny, successors on earth: "But they denounced him, so We saved him and those with him in the Ark, and We made them successors..." (10:73).

2/2: Hud warned beforehand the people/tribe of Aad by saying the following: "If you turn away, I have conveyed to you what I was sent to you with; and my Lord will replace you with another people as successors, and you will not cause Him any harm..." (11:57).

3- Of course, dead generations are never revived or returned to life in this transient world; they will be resurrected only on the Last Day: "There is a ban on the town that We had destroyed - that they will not return." (21:95); "Have they not considered how many generations We destroyed before them; and that unto them they will not return? All of them, every single one of them, will be arraigned before Us." (36:31-32).


Fifthly: the Lord God makes human beings successors on earth as a test:

1- The Lord God warns all human beings in all eras here about this test by saying the following to Arabs during the lifetime of Muhammad: "We destroyed generations before you when they did wrong. Their messengers came to them with clear signs, but they would not believe. Thus We requite the sinful people. Then We made you successors on earth after them, to see how you would behave." (10:13-14).

2- This meaning is repeated within the Quranic story of David who was made a successor after he killed Jalut (or Goliath) within a self-defense battle: ""O David, We made you a successor on earth, so judge between the people with justice, and do not follow desire, lest it diverts you from God's Path. Those who stray from God's Path will have a painful torment, for having ignored the Day of Judgment."" (38:26); "And they defeated them by God's leave, and David killed Goliath, and God gave him sovereignty and wisdom, and taught him as He willed...." (2:251).


Sixthly: succession on earth between the test and the freedom of choice:

 Allah is the Omniscient Lord God Who knows the future of all human beings within their being tested as successors on earth; some will fail the test and some will pass it. Yet, the Lord God does NOT interfere in the free choices and the free will of human beings; He only warns them and offers guidance for them; those who choose misguidance until their death will face eternal perdition on the Last Day; those who choose guidance will enter into the bliss of Paradise forever. Of course, human beings choose their deeds freely while they never know the future; they never know about the Lord God's Omniscience which includes knowing all about the metaphysical realm of the future. Let us illustrate this within the Quranic story of Moses and Pharaoh.      

1- From the very start, the Lord God's Will includes making the weakened, persecuted Israelites as successors who will inherit the kingdom of Pharaoh and his wicked, unjust people temporarily before their exodus to the Promised Land: "Pharaoh exalted himself on earth, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter. But We desired to favor those who were oppressed on earth, and to make them leaders/imams, and to make them the inheritors." (28:4-5).  

2- The self-deified Moses' Pharaoh went on with his injustices, tyranny, and corruption as he increased the severe persecution he inflicted on the Israelites despite the plagues sent by the Lord God which struck him and his wicked people and the miracles of Moses done by the permission of the Lord God. The Lord God has commanded Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh and to speak leniently to him so that he may remember the Lord and repent: "But Speak to him Mildly. Perhaps he Will Remember, or Have Some Fear." (20:44). Moses' Pharaoh chose disobedience and tyranny; he thus fulfilled what God has predicted; i.e., the weakened, oppressed Israelites ruled the kingdom of Egypt and the tormented soul of Pharaoh and his wicked soldiers, viziers, retinue members, etc. saw this while they are in a Barsakh level.   

3- The promise of the Omniscient Lord God made with the Israelites, who complained to Moses about the severe persecution they suffered, included their being made as successors; this was a test for them: "They said, "We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors on earth; then He will see how you behave."" (7:129).

4- Thus, the promise of the Omniscient Lord God was fulfilled: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the earth, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested. " (7:137); "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59).

5- A similar promise was made by the Lord God with the weakened, persecuted believers in Mecca after their immigrating to Yathreb, where they were raided and terrorized by the Qorayish troops: "God has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deeds, that He will make them successors on earth, as He made those before them successors, and He will establish for them their religion - which He has approved for them - and He will substitute security in place of their fear. They worship Me, never associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that-these are the sinners." (24:55); this promise was fulfilled as most people in Arabia embraced the religion of peace (i.e., Islam in terms of peace behavior): "And you see the people entering God's religion in multitudes." (110:2). Of course, once Muhammad died, the Qorayish tribesmen disbelieved in the Quran by committing the grave sins within the unjust Arab conquests.

6- In light of the idea of testing successors on earth who are free agents enjoying free will, we can understand this verse: "Say, "O God, Owner of Sovereignty. You grant sovereignty to whom You will, and You strip sovereignty from whom you will. You honor whom you will, and You humiliate whom you will. In Your hand is all goodness. You are Capable of all things."" (3:26).


Lastly: Adam and his progeny are made by the Lord God as the successors on earth after the absence of Gog and Magog:

1-Gog and Magog are mentioned directly here in these verses: "Until, when he reached the point separating the two barriers, he found beside them a people who could barely understand what is said. They said, "O Zu Al-Qarnayn, Gog and Magog are spreading corruption on earth. Can we pay you, to build between us and them a wall?" He said, "What my Lord has empowered me with is better. But assist me with strength, and I will build between you and them a dam." "Bring me Zubur of iron" So that, when he had leveled up between the two mounds, he said, "Blow." And having turned it into a fire, he said, "Bring me copper to pour over it." So they were unable to climb it, and they could not penetrate it. He said, "This is a mercy from my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord comes true, He will turn it into rubble, and the promise of my Lord is always true." On that Day, We will leave them surging upon one another. And the Trumpet will be blown, and We will gather them together." (18:93-99); "There is a ban on the town that We had destroyed - that they will not return. Until, when Gog and Magog are let loose, and they swarm down from every mound. The promise of truth has drawn near..." (21:95-97). Gog and Magog are mentioned implicitly or indirectly within the context of making Adam their successor on earth: "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."" (2:30). We conclude that Gog and Magog spread corruption and bloodshed on earth (they controlled the earth) before Adam was created; so as to prevent Gog and Magog from destroying the progeny of Adam and to give the human beings the chance, as successors on the surface of Planet Earth to live and accumulate knowledge (as part of the test of successors on earth), the Lord God has enabled a man named as Zu Al-Qarnayn to imprison Gog and Magog beneath the crust of the earth.

2-Shortly before the Hour, Gog and Magog will manage to get out of the crust of the earth and mingle with human beings and will experience with them the fright of the Hour; their emergence is the last sign if the advent of the Hour witnessed by the last generation of human beings on earth. Thus, before the creation of Adam, Gog and Magog lived on the surface of the earth; they remained as such for a while after the progeny of Adam filled the earth and the two races could not live together; Gog and Magog were corrupters on earth; they have been imprisoned for centuries until now beneath the crust of the earth and will be allowed, as per the Lord God's Will, to re-emerge on the surface of the earth shortly before the Hour.

3- Thus, as per the Quranic verse 2:30, the successor is Adam (and his progeny); i.e., human beings are successors of Gog and Magog on earth and NOT the successors of God, a blasphemous assumption mentioned in Sunnite books. Gog and Magog are beneath the crust of the earth now within a temporary absence.We infer that before the creation of Adam and his wife, Gog and Magog controlled the earth and committed the sins of corruption and bloodshed; the angels who witnessed such crimes/sins feared that Adam and his progeny may commit the same sins/crimes perpetrated by Gog and Magog. This means that Adam and his progeny are the successors of Gog and Magog on earth.

4- Thus, Adam, the father of human beings, was NOT the successor of the Lord God on earth; this is a blasphemous Sunnite myth, and the truth is that Adam and his progeny are the successors, on earth, of Gog and Magog who controlled the earth but they were corrupt and committed bloodshed; the Lord God's Will has dictated that Gog and Magog are forced to be hidden beneath the crust of the earth to make room for human beings on the surface of the earth; shortly before the occurrence of the Hour, Gog and Magog will resurface and mingle with human beings; this is the last sign of the advent of the Hour.   

5-The spread of the progeny of human beings on earth was limited, impeded, and hindered for an unknown period of time because of the existence of the corrupt, tyrannical, powerful Gog and Magog who controlled and dominated earth. To allow the progeny of Adam the chance to live on the surface of the earth as successors tested by the Lord God, the Lord God intervened to imprison Gog and Magog beneath the crust of the earth, as per what we infer from the story of Zu Al-Qarnayn in the Quranic Chapter 18. For more details, we refer readers to the annexes of our book, in English, titled "The West and the Miraculous Scientific Indications in the Holy Quran", found on this link: (

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