(for parents and teachers)
Teach all children to fully understand their role as Khalifah of Allah.
From birth onwards every child should be taught to know that Allah created him/her to be His Khalifah. Every child needs to come to understand their role as Khalifah of Allah in the most full and detailed manner possible. In English the Arabic word 'khalifah' is often translated as 'vicegerent'. Vicegerent means one who acts in the place of the leader or king. Included in the meaning of vicegerent is the assumption that the person in that role will act in every instance as the leader or king would want them to act. This also is the meaning of the Arabic term khalifah. What a glorious and exciting role to be given, to act as a representative of Allah – even if only within the limited scope of human ability. It is the highest honour that can be given. Most blessed are we that Allah, through His Divine and Unlimited Mercy, has chosen mankind to receive this greatest of all honours.
Until He Breathed His Spirit into Adam, Allah took full responsibility for the progressive development of His Physical Creation. Allah apparently did not create His physical world in one instant to be as it is now. Through His Divine Love, Allah's Light first brought the world of space, time and matter into existence. This light brought into being tiny bits of matter that in science are called sub-atomic particles, the electrons, protons and neutrons that are the basic building blocks of all material things. These sub-atomic particles form all the different kinds of atoms, and these atoms form everything else. Following Allah's Will, these tiny particles of physical matter were directed into more complex and larger groupings – until they became stars and planets and water and rocks and grass and trees and tiny one celled living things and fish and reptiles and birds and all the many different kinds of mammals until He created animals so complex that some of them bear many similarities to human beings. At every level of physical existence, from the simplest basic particles to the highest of the animals, these forms of material creation did as they were directed to do by Allah. They all acted in accord with the Will of Allah not because they chose to, but because Allah caused them to. They did not have the free will to decide for themselves what to do.
Next Allah created Adam. Allah created Adam with a specific purpose. Allah created Adam (and all human beings after Adam) to be His Khalifah on Earth. One of the many unique abilities Allah gave Adam when he breathed His Spirit into him was the ability to choose. When Allah created human beings He gave us free will. In our role as Khalifah of Allah we have the responsibility to use the free will given to us by Allah to continue His plan for Creation. Allah gave us the responsibility to ensure that His Creation continues to progress so that His Attributes will be more and more perfectly expressed in physical world. Our responsibility as the Khalifah of Allah has three parts. These are to perfect ourselves according to the Will of Allah, to perfect all of human society according to the Will of Allah, and to perfect the physical world of space and time (our planet Earth and the whole universe) according to the Will of Allah. So after perhaps billions of years when Allah took full responsibility to ensure that His Creation progressed according to His Will, Allah has now blessed us as His Khalifah and delegated to us some of that awesome responsibility. The continued progression of Allah's Creation, at the human level and beyond, has now been placed in our hands. Allah will not continue to cause His Creation to continue to progress beyond the creation of Adam. For Allah’s Creation to fulfill its final destiny it must be done through the right exercise of human free will. Allah has promised us that we can have a virtually perfect Islamic world, and He has told us that ideal Islamic world will be ours as soon as we do what is necessary to make ourselves and our world perfect according to His Will.
What a glorious and exciting future has Allah provided for us. What a lot of work there is to be done for Allah. And, what a magnificent reward awaits us.
So, in somewhat simplified but still sophisticated adult language that is a brief overview of the true meaning of our role as Khalifah of Allah. It is your job as Islamic parents and teachers to first learn and understand all of this yourselves; and, then to teach it to your children or the children in your care in a way that allows them to fully comprehend the meaning of their role as Khalifah of Allah, that allows them to feel great excitement about their role as Khalifah, and which allows them to be thankful for the wondrous future that awaits them.
For young children I would suggest they be told such things as:
* Before Allah made us He made everything else.
* Allah made the sun and the moon and the stars and our planet, Earth.
* Allah made the air we breathe and the water we drink.
* Allah made all of the plants and all of the animals.
* Allah made all of this so that when He made Adam (and all the other people) we would have a nice place to live.
* Allah took a real long time to make all this for us.
* Allah made us different from everything else.
* Allah made us special because He loves us so much.
* Allah made us special because He has a very important job he wants us to do.
* Allah made us His Khalifah, which means we are supposed to do some work for Him.
* Allah knows better than anyone what is good and what is bad.
* Allah wants us to learn from Him what is good and bad.
* Allah wants us to love the good things and not like the bad things.
* Allah wants each one of us to only do good things and never do bad things.
* Allah wants each one of us to help other people to know what is good and bad.
* Allah wants us to make our world beautiful.
* Allah wants parents to help their children learn what is good and bad.
* Allah wants kids to help other kids learn what is good and bad.
* We should be very happy Allah has blessed us with such an important job to do.
* Even if it might sometimes be hard work, it is going to be lots fun to be the Khalifah of Allah.
* If we work hard and do a good job as Allah’s Khalifah the world will keep getting to be a nicer place until it becomes like a paradise.