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Rulers and Rulership
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From the aqidah of a Muslim is that he believes, in accordance with the revealed texts, that the khilaafah lasted for thirty years, that this khilaafah was upon the way of Prophethood, that Allaah raised it, and replaced it with kingship, and that prior to the approach of the hour, Allaah will send down the khilaafah upon the Prophetic methodology once more. And this contains glad tidings for the Muslim who shows concern for his aqidah and strives to purify his belief, returning to that which the Companions were upon in the time of Prophethood and the rightly-guided khilaafah.
The hadeeth narrated by Safeenah (radiallaahu anhu), that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
خلافة النبوة ثلاثون سنة ثم يؤتي الله الملك من يشاء
The Prophetic khilaafah will last for thirty years. Then Allaah will give the dominion to whomever He wills.
Reported by Abu Dawud and al-Haakim. Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (no. 3257) declared Saheeh by Imaam al-Albaani (rahimahullaah).
And in the Sunan of Abu Dawud, there occurs after this hadeeth, what is said by Sa'eed bin Jamhaan, who narrated from Safeenah:
قال سفينة: امسك، خلافة أبي بكر رضي الله عنه سنتين، وعمر رضي الله عنه عشراً، وعثمان رضي الله عنه اثنتي عشر، وعلي ستّاً
Safeenah said (to me): Hold on (meaning, listen), the khilaafah of Abu Bakr (radiallaahu anhu) was two years, and [that of] Umar (radiallaahu anhu) was ten years, and [that of] Uthmaan (radiallaahu anhu) twelve years, and [that of] Alee (radiallaahu anhu) six years.
Abu Dawud, Kitaab us-Sunnah, Chapter on the Khulafaa, (no. 4647).
Also reported by Safeenah, the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):
الخلافة بعدي في أمتي ثلاثون سنة ثم ملك بعد ذلك
The khilaafah after me in my Ummah will last for thirty years. Then there will be kingship after that.
From Hudhayfah that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
تكون النبوة فيكم ما شاء الله أن تكون ، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها ، ثم تكون خلافة على منهاج النبوة ، فتكون ما شاء الله أن تكون ، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها ، ثم تكون ملكا عاضا ، فيكون ما شاء الله أن تكون ، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها ، ثم يكون ملكا جبريا ، فتكون ما شاء الله أن تكون ، ثم يرفعها إذا شاء أن يرفعها ، ثم تكون خلافة على منهاج النبوة ، ثم سكت
The Prophethood will remain amongst you for as long as Allaah wills it to be. Then Allaah will raise it when He wills to raise it. Then there will be the khilaafah upon the Prophetic methodology. And it will last for as long as Allaah wills it to last. Then Allaah will raise it when He wills to raise it. Then there will be biting kingship, and it will remain for as long as Allaah wills it to remain. Then Allaah will raise it when He wills to raise it. Then there will be tyrannical (forceful) kingship and it will remain for as long as Allaah wills it to remain. Then He will raise it when He wills to raise it. Then there will be a khilaafah upon the Prophetic methodology.
Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. Silsilah as-Saheehah of Imaam al-Albani (1/34 no. 5) and it is Saheeh. And Shaykh al-Albaani (rahimahullaah) commented upon this hadeeth saying:
ومن البعيد عندي حمل الحديث على عمر بن العزيز ؛ لأن خلافته كانت قريبة العهد بالخلافة الراشدة ، ولم يكن بعد ملكان : ملك عاض وملك جبرية والله أعلم
And it is remote, in my view, to apply this hadeeth to (the khilaafah) of Umar bin Abdil-Azeez, because his khilaafah was close to the rightly-guided khilaafah, and the two types of kingship, the biting kingship and forced, tyrannical kingship had not occurred after (the rightly-guided khilaafah).
And Abu Umaamah relates that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
لتنقضن عرى الإسلام عروة عروة فكلما انتقضت عروة تشبث الناس بالتي تليها فأولهن نقضا الحكم و آخرهن الصلاة
The handholds of Islaam will be annulled, one by one, and every time a handhold is annulled the people will hold fast to the one that follows it. The first of them to be annulled is the rule (al-hukm), and the last of them is the prayer (as-salaat).
Reported by Ahmad in his Musnad, Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim. Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (no. 5057) of Shaykh al-Albaanee who declared it Saheeh.
And Shaykh Abdul-Azeez bin Baz (rahimahullaah) commented, upon the previous hadeeth (as occurs in Majmoo' ul-Fataawa wa Maqaalaat al-Mutanawwi'ah):
ومعنى قوله في الحديث: "وأولها نقضاً الحكم" معناه ظاهر وهو: عدم الحكم بشرع الله وهذا هو الواقع اليوم في غالب الدول المنتسبة للإسلام. ومعلوم أن الواجب على الجميع هو الحكم بشريعة الله في كل شيء والحذر من الحكم بالقوانين والأعراف المخالفة للشرع المطهر
And the meaning of his saying in the hadeeth: "The first of them to be anulled is the rule (al-hukm)", its meaning is apparent, and it is the absence of ruling by the legislation of Allaah, and this is what is present today in most of the states ascribing to Islaam. And it is known that what is obligatory upon all is to judge by the Sharee'ah of Allaah in all things and to beware of judging by the secular laws, and the customs that oppose the pure legislation.
Notes and Benefits
In these divinely revealed texts, there is a refutation of the likes of Hizb ut-Tahrir, al-Muhajiroon, and all the group-names they go under, "the Ghurubaa", "the Saved Sect" and so on which they use to deceive the Muslims and to conceal their true identity and ideology. The khilaafah lasted thirty years upon the way of Prophethood and from that time kingship entered the Ummah up until this day of ours, with an honourable mention of the rule of mercy of Mu'aawiyah (radiallaahu anhu), who was the first king, and the rule of Umar bin Abdul-Azeez (rahimahullaah). This indicates the ignorance of these people who chant "1924" thinking that the khilaafah was abolished in 1924. The Ottoman State was a hereditary kingship judging with a mixture of Hanafi law and the "Qanun" law based upon localized customs (urf), much of which were remnants of the Yasaa of Genghis Khan. Further, from 1858 to 1875 there was much provision made for secular law and its practice within the Ottoman state. This indicates the intellectual and academic fraud that underlies the ideology of the likes of Hizb ut-Tahrir, al-Muhajiroon and others who peddle the false doctrine that establishing the khilafah is the greatest obligation of our times, after what they believe, wrongly, was the removal of the khilaafah in 1924. The greatest obligation is to single out Allaah in worship and give obedience to Him and His Messenger. It is when the Muslims fulfil this obligation, that Allaah Himself grants victory and authority to them - this is the divine law in the creation. Most of these groups are not interested in calling the people to this in a specific detailed sense, rather their aims are purely political.
Affirmation through the divinely revealed text that Mu'aawiyyah was the first king in Islaam, and that from his time, hereditary kingship was the mode of rule, and that Allaah gives the rule to whomever He pleases. And that after the Prophetic khilaafah a biting type of kingship appeared, one in which Islaam was not applied completely in all areas. It was in this midst that the innovations of the Qadariyyah and the Murji'ah also appeared. Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah explains (Majmoo' 10/354):
The kingship of Mu'aawiyah was one of mercy, and when Mu'aawiyah departed - may Allaah's mercy be upon him - and the leadership of Yazeed came, and there occured therein the tribulation of the killing of Husain in Iraq, and the fitnah of the people of Harrah in Madinah, and the siege of Makkah, when Abdullah bin Zubayr made his stand. Then Yazeed passed away and the Ummah split, Ibn az-Zubayr in the Hijaaz, Banu al-Hakam in Shaam, and al-Mukhtaar bin Abee Ubayd seizing power in Iraaq. All of this took place at the end of the period of the Companions, when there only remained the likes of Abdullah ibn 'Abaas, Abdullah ibn Umar, Jaabir ibn 'Abdullah, Abu Saeed al-Khudree and others. The innovations of the Qadariyyah and the Murji'ah then occurred and it was rejected by those Companions who remained, as they had, along with others, refuted the innovations of the Khawaarij and the Raafidah (previously).
And regarding what took place of the annulment of the rule (al-hukm), and the splitting and division of power, and the forced, tyrannical kingship (mulk jabariyy) which then took place in the Ummah - then this occurred as the Muslims began to depart and leave the Straight Path of Allaah, that those earlier Muslims had held fast to. When the Muslims split in this manner, and the rulership (al-hukm) was annulled (as per the hadeeth quoted previously) and their became many different regions and areas with their own rulers and leaders, then the Scholars clarified that obedience is due to these rulers in whatever is ma'roof (good), and the fact that there was no khilaafah that united the people as a whole, but rather only regional rulers and leaders, was not an abrogation of what is found in the Book and the Sunnah of the obligation to obey the the one in authority in that which is ma'roof (good). This obligation to obey the rulers in that which is good is based upon the clear texts of the Book, the Sunnah and the ijmaa' (consensus) of the Salaf.
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajr said in al-Fath (7/13):
The Fuqaha, Jurists are in agreement concerning the obligation to give obedience to the Sultan who took over them by force and also to perform Jihaad along with him. [And that] obeying him is better than rebelling against him due to what this would contain of the shedding of blood and subduing of the common masses.
Shaikh Abdul-Lateef bin 'Abdur-Rahmaan bin Hassan Aal Shaikh said as occurs in "Majmu' Rasa'il wal-Masa'il an-Najdiyah" (3/128):
And the People of Knowledge are unanimously agreed concerning giving obedience to the one who took over them by force in whatever constitutes goodness. They see it necessary to fulfil his orders and hold the correctness of his Imaamah, leadership. No two people [amongst them] differ concerning that. They also deem it impermissible to rebel against him with the sword and to divide the Ummah, even if the leaders are sinful, so long as they do not see clear open kufr. The various texts [of these Jurists] from the four Imams and other than them and their likes in this regard are [certainly] present.
Shaikh ul-Islaam Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhaab said as occurs in "Ad-Durar as-Sunniyah fil-Ajwibat un-Najdiyyah" (7/239):
The Imaams from every Madhhab are agreed concerning the one the forcefully took over a region or regions that he has the ruling of "Imaam" in all matters. If this had not been so then the affairs of the world would never have been established. This is because for a very long time, before the era of Imaam Ahmad till this day of ours, the people have never gathered behind a single Imaam. And they do not know anyone from the Scholars who has mentioned that any of the Sharee'ah rulings cannot be correct [effected, implemented] except by the overall Imaam [the Khalifah].
As-San'aanee, in explanation of the hadeeth, "Whoever left obedience [to the Imaam] and separated from the Jamaa'ah and then died, then his is a death of Jaahiliyyah", said, as occurs in Subul us-Salaam "Sharh Bulugh ul-Marưam min Adillat il-Ahkaam" (3/499):
His saying, "...left obedience...", meaning obedience to the Khalifah concerning whom there is agreeement. And it is as if the intent here is the Khalifah of a particular region because the people have never gathered together behind a single Khalifah in all the lands of Islaam since the time of the Abbasi State. Rather, the people of every region were independent with someone presiding over their affairs. If the hadeeth was taken to mean the overall Khalifah which the people of Islam had united behind, there would have been no benefit in it.
Ash-Shawkaani said in "as-Sail al-Jaraar" (4/512):
As for when Islaam spread and its territories expanded and its regions became distant [from each other], then it is known that in all of these regions loyalty was given to an Imaam or Sultaan So there is no harm in the multiplicity of Imaams and Sultaans and it is obligatory for those people in whose land his orders and prohibitions become effective to give obedience to him after having giving bai'ah to him. It is likewise for the people of all the other regions.
As for the shubhah (doubt) of the one who said how can as-San'aanee (or anyone else for that matter) make reference to "khalifahs" after this period of thirty years alongside the hadeeth stating that the "khilaafah" will only last thirty years, then the Permanent Committee for Research and verdicts were asked the question:
السؤال الثاني من الفتوى رقم (6363) : قال صلى الله عليه وسلم : الخلافة بعدي ثلاثون سنة ثم تكون ملكا عضوضا ولهذا قال معاوية رضي الله عنه بعد انقضاء الثلاثين سنة ، أنا أول الملوك ، من رسالة أبي زيد القيرواني ج1 ص96 ، ما معنى هذا الحديث؟
The second question from fatwa no. (6363): The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "The khilaafah after me is thirty years, then there will be biting kingship" and for this reason Mu'aawiyah said, "I am the first of the kings", from the risaalah of Abi Zayd al-Qayrawaanee (1/96). What is the meaning of this hadeeth?
And their response:
هذا الحديث أخرجه الإمام أحمد في [المسند] ، والحاكم في [المستدرك] ، وأبو يعلى في [المسند] ، وابن حبان في [صحيحه] ، والترمذي في [السنن] ومعنى هذا الحديث بينه الحافظ في [الفتح] فقال : [أراد بالخلافة خلافة النبوة وأما معاوية ومن بعده فعلى طريقة الملوك ولو سموا خلفاء] . وبالله التوفيق . وصلى الله على نبينا محمد ، وآله وصحبه وسلم .
اللجنة الدائمة للبحوث العلمية والإفتاء
عضو عبد الله بن قعود, عضو عبد الله بن غديان, نائب رئيس اللجنة عبد الرزاق عفيفي, الرئيس عبد العزيز بن عبد الله بن باز
This hadeeth has been related by Imaam Ahmad in al-Musnad, al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, Abu Ya'laa in al-Musnad, Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh and at-Tirmidhee in as-Sunan. And the meaning of the hadeeth has been explained by al-Haafidh (Ibn Hajar) in al-Fath, he said: "He meant by the khilaafah, the khilaafah of prophethood (i.e. the thirty years), and as for Mu'aawiyah and whoever came after him, then they were upon the way of the kings (i.e. kingship) even if they are named "khalifahs"."
This answers the shubhah (doubt) that may arise when coming across references made by the people of knowledge in the course of historical reference and discussion to some of the rulers who came afterwards as "khalifahs", for even if they are named "khalifahs", it does not change the reality of their mode of rule being kingship. Such "khalifahs" were "successors" in kingship, so calling him a "khalifah" does not change the mode of rule present being through kingship, since the word "khalifah" simply means "successor", and whilst they were "successors" in the mode of rule of kingship, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Alee (radiallaahu anhum) were "khalifahs (successors)" in Prophetic khilaafah.
Despite the absence of the khilaafah and the annulment of the rule (al-hukm), it is still, nevertheless, obligatory upon all rulers to strive to abide and judge by the Sharee'ah in all of the affairs, in aqidah, in ibaadah, in mu'aamalah, in the sharee'ah rulings, in trade, commerce, punishments and so on. And as for rectification of the Ummah, then that only comes about fundamentally, if the people return and unite upon the pure religion as it was brought by the Prophet (alayhis salaam) and as it was practiced and transmitted by the Companions to their successors.
Those groups who believe that by changing the political structure, they could return strength to Islam then this is a gross error, since honour, victory, strength and the likes originate in the hearts, not from political structures - and this is a divine rule that is found in the Book, the Sunnah and the understanding of the Companions and those upon their way, and the Qur'an and the Sunnah are replete with elucidation of this principle. Refer to the following:
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