Regarding the 'Khalifahs' After the Khilaafah of Prophethood that Lasted 30 Years
Monday, December 07 2009 - by Abu.Iyaad
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The Permanent Committee for Scholarly 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 (successors)".

And with Allaah lies success. May prayers and salutations be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Verdicts

  1. Abdul Azeez ibn Abdullah ibn Baz
  2. Abdul-Razzaq Afify
  3. Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan
  4. Abdullah ibn Qu'ood

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the shubhah (doubt) that may arise when coming across references made by the people of knowledge in the course of historical reference and discussion to some of the rulers who came afterwards as "khalifahs", for even if they are named "khalifahs", it does not change the reality of the mode of rule present being through kingship. Such "khalifahs" were "successors" in kingship, so calling him a "khalifah" does not change the mode of rule, 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.

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