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You Are Here: Knowledge Base Quran and its Sciences Tafseer of Selected Verses

Meaning of "You are the successors of Allah on earth"

Q1: What is the ruling of the following phrase that is written in some books: "You (i.e. Muslims) are the successors of Allah on earth"?

A: This phrase does not depict the correct meaning, as Allah (Exalted be He) is the Creator and Owner of everything. He has never been absent from His creation or dominion and He has never assigned a successor on earth. He only allows people to succeed each other on earth so that when a person, group or a nation perishes, Allah brings about another successor to replace them in populating the earth, for He (Exalted be He) says:
"And it is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that He may try you in that which He has bestowed on you."

He (Exalted be He) also says: "They said: "We (Children of Israel) had suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have come to us." He said: "It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act?""

Moreover, He (Exalted be He) says: "And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ’Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth.“"

This means that they are part of His creation which succeeds those who have come before them.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'

Member     Member     Deputy Chairman     Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud     `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan     `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify     `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Permanent Committee Fatwas>Group 1>Volume 1 (`Aqidah 1)>Creeds>Tawhid-ul-Rububiyyah>Man's vicegerency on earth>You are the successors of Allah on earth>The first question from Fatwa no. ( 3014 )
Reference: qsep.com