A basic question.

What is the difference between khulfa-e-rashideen and Sahaba? Are these two words referring the same persons.

Asking this question as I am not good at urdu, and I hear many times these words and sometimes get confused as to these are the same people or not?

Please let me know.


4 Answers 4


Khulafa ar-Raashideen refers to the four rightly-guided Caliphs i.e. Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (radiallahu anhu), Umar bin al-khattab al-Farooq (radiallahu anhu), Uthmaan bin Affaan (radiallahu anhu) and Ali bin Abee Talib (radiallahu anhu).

Sahaba refers to all the the companions of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wassalam). The four Caliphs were also among the Sahaba, in fact, the most righteous of them.

Source: Various Seerah books


I assume you know what sahaba means -- companions of rasulullah. The Khulafa Ar-Rashideen are four specific companions of rasulullah:

  • Abu Bakr As-Siddique
  • Umar ibn Al-Khattab
  • Uthman ibn 'Affan
  • Ali ibn Abi Talib
  • Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib

To start from the beginning: rasulullah told us to follow them. Abu Dawud collects a huge hadith, which ends with:

You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error. (Abu Dawud)

This hadith establishes the status of the khulafa ar-rashideen: their sunnah is the sunnah. This comes up in issues of fiqh and other places, where their statements are taken as slightly above statements of other companions.

Another hadith mentions that the number of years of the khilafah of the khulafa ar-rashideen will be 30 years. I cannot locate this hadith presently; there are several supporting ahadith in Abu Dawud's collection, including this one (emphasis mine):

The caliphate of Prophecy will last thirty years; then Allah will give the Kingdom to whom he wishes; or his kingdom to whom he wishes. (Abu Dawud)

Also of note, one of the praiseworthy names of the righteous khalifah 'Umar ibn Abdil Azeez, the grandson of 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, is "the fifth righteous khalifah." However, this was just a name some scholars gave him; he is not counted in the 30 years which is established from the ahadith of rasulullah.

And Allah knows best.

Source: History of the Khulafa class, circa 2006

  • 2
    You said four, but listed five names. Is the fifth one included in that thirty-year caliphate?
    – musa
    Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 9:54
  • @musa I'm tentative on those details. Yes, the fifth one is included -- his khilafah was six months.
    – ashes999
    Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 11:51

Al-Khulafaa Al-Rashideen is the four Khulafaa or leaders after prophet Mohamed (saw), and those are Abu Bakr (ra), Omar (ra), Othman (ra) and Ali (ra). Some scholars add the Hasan ibn Ali as a fifth one.

The "sahaba" refers to any man or woman who lived during the time of the Prophet (saw) and embraced Islam and saw and recognized the Prophet (saw) at least once in his lifetime, and then died on Islam. That is, there was no apostasy in the middle.

And Allah (sw) knows best.


shahaba is the ummah who life the time the prophet of Mohamed (saas) and testify the shah ad and also include the khulafa al rashedeen

khulafa al rashedeen is the four leader to became a leader of islam after the die of prophet of mahamed


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