Syrian historian: All pious well-read Muslims believe in the need to establish the Caliphate

All pious Muslims well-read in the Hadith (the compiled sayings of the Prophet*) firmly believe in the need to establish an Islamic State headed by a Muslim Caliph. This is mentioned twice in the Holy Quran and it’s central to the Islamic faith. No Muslim scholar would debate an Islamic state and the caliphate.

[Sami Moubayed, Syrian historian and former Carnegie scholar writing in the Daily Telegraph, 23rd September, 2015]

*ﷺ Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him

UK Muslim Scholars: “Israel” is an illegitimate state and Jerusalem will be the capital of the future Islamic Caliphate

We the undersigned do not recognise “Israel” as a legitimate state.

“Israel” must return the entirety of Palestinian land. Palestinians have no link to the holocaust and the crimes of the Second World War against the Jewish people.

We condemn the continued fascist Zionist oppression which has cost the Palestinian people their freedom, homeland and lives for over seventy years.

Islam does not promote anti-Semitism and Arabs are also a Semitic people. On the contrary, the second Caliph of Islam, Hadrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) took charge of the Church of the Sepulchre and commanded Muslims to take care of it and give Christians their full rights to worship which were curtailed prior by sectarianism.

The caretakers of this Church have been a Muslim family since the arrival of Islam in the seventh century. Jews, Christians and Muslims coexisted in peace and security in Palestine, until the Zionist occupation ended the mutual tolerance that had existed for over a millennium.

Jerusalem will be the capital* of the Islamic Caliphate when it returns, Allah willing.

Signatories:

  1. Shaykh Asrar Rashid, Birmingham
  2. Maulana Muhammad Din Sialwi, Accrington
  3. Maulana Kamran Khan, Birmingham
  4. Imam Khalid Hussain, Leicester
  5. Hafiz Kasad Ali, Birmingham
  6. Maulana Shahid Barelwi, Burnley
  7. Maulana Haroon Raza, Birmingham
  8. Hafiz Ehsan Qadri, Sri Lanka
  9. Maulana Masud Qadri, Bolton
  10. Imam Adil Shahzad, Bradford
  11. Imam Zahoor Chishti, Oldham
  12. Maulana Naveed Ashrafi, Blackburn
  13. Imam Shahid Ali, Bradford
  14. Imam Sudagar Husain, Bradford
  15. Maulana Nizam Ashraf, Bolton
  16. Maulana Yasir Ayyub, Oldham
  17. Shaykh Danyal, Birmingham
  18. Maulana Aqeel Khan, Bolton
  19. Maulana Omar Shabier Naqshbandi, Netherlands
  20. Maulana Saad bin Sadiq, Birmingham
  21. Maulana Anis Ahmed, Birmingham
  22. Maulana Ibrar Shafi, Derby
  23. Maulana Sayyid Samdani, Bolton
  24. Maulana Haider Ali, Preston
  25. Maulana Nabeel Afzal, Coventry
  26. Shaykh Noorud-Deen Rashid, Luton

[Source: 5 Pillars website, 1st July 2019]

*Yunus Ibn Maysarah relates that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said,

هَذَا الأَمْرُ كَائِنٌ بَعْدِي بِالْمَدِينَةِ ، ثُمَّ بِالشَّامِ ، ثُمَّ بِالْجَزِيرَةِ ، ثُمَّ بِالْعِرَاقِ ، ثُمَّ بِالْمَدِينَةِ ، ثُمَّ بِبَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ ، فَإِذَا كَانَ بِبَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَثَمَّ عُقْرُ دَارِهَا ، وَلَنْ يُخْرِجَهَا قَوْمٌ فَتَعُودَ إِلَيْهِمْ أَبَدًا

“This matter (the Caliphate) will be after me in Madinah, then in Al-Sham, then in the peninsula, then in Iraq, then in the City (Constantinople), then in Bait ul-Maqdis (Jerusalem). If it is in Bait ul-Maqdis, its home country is there, and no people will be able to remove it, so it will return to them forever.” [Ibn Asakir, 368]

 

Imam Dhahabi* on Tyrants and Oppressors

The Sixteenth Major Sin
The Leader who Misleads his Following, The Tyrant and Oppressor

Allah Most High says:

“The dispute [lit. ‘way against’] is only with those who oppress people and wrongfully commit aggression in the land: these will have a painful torment” (42:42)

“Do not suppose that Allah is unmindful of what the unjust do. He only gives them respite until a Day when the eyes will stare (in terror) as they come hurrying on in fear, their heads upraised, their gaze not returning to them, and their hearts blank” (14:42-43)

“And those who do wrong will come to know by what a (great) reversal they will be overturned” (26:227)

“They did not forbid each other the evil that they did, and how wicked was what they would do” (5:79)

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever deceives is not from us” (Sahih Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him))

“Oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection” (Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)))

“All of you are trustees, and each is responsible for those entrusted to his care” (Bukhari & Muslim on the authority of  Ibn ‘Umar (raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)))

“Any superior who misrules his followers shall go to hell” (Tabarani)

“If Allah makes someone responsible over a people and he does not deal with them with sincerity, Allah will prohibit him the Garden” [related with slightly different wording in Bukhari]

“On the day of Resurrection, every Judge who gives Judgements among the people will be held, an angel seizing him by the back of his head. If it is said, ‘Throw him!’ he will be thrown into Hell, and he will sink into it for forty years” (Musnad Ahmad)

“Woe to the princes, woe to the officials, woe to the guardians! On the Day of Resurrection, people will wish that their forelocks were tied to the (constellation) Pleiades, that they were swinging between Heaven and earth, and that they had never exercised any rule” (Musnad Ahmad)

“On the Day of Resurrection, a time will come for the Judge of a court when he will wish that he had not Judged between two people, even concerning (so much as) a piece of fruit”

“There is not a leader of ten people who will not be brought forth, on the Day of Resurrection, without his hands being bound to his neck, and either his justice will free him or his injustice destroy him”

In one of his supplications [du‘as], the Messenger of  Allah (ﷺ) said: “O Allah, if anyone who is in charge of anything in this Ummah (community of Muslims) is kind to them, may You be kind to him, if anyone is compassionate to them, may You be compassionate to him!” (Muslim and al-Nisa’i on the authority of ‘A’isha (raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)))

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

“If Allah appoints someone as a manager of Muslims’ affairs and he removes their needs, their miseries, and their poverty, Allah will remove his need, his misery, and his poverty” (Abu Daud and Tirmidhi)

“There will come corrupt, tyrannous rulers: whoever confirms their lies and assists them in their oppression is not  of me, nor I of him, and shall not meet me at my watering place in paradise” (Al-Hakim)

“On the Day of Resurrection, the most severely punished among the people will be a tyrannical ruler.”

“O people, command what is honourable (ma‘ruf) and forbid what is dishonourable (munkar), before a time comes when you will call upon Allah and He will not respond, and when you ask Allah’s forgiveness and He will not forgive you. When the Jewish rabbis and the Christian priests stopped commanding what is honourable and forbidding what is dishonourable, Allah cursed them by the tongues of their prophets and unleashed troubles among them”

“One who introduces something new into this affair of ours which is not from it, is rejected [that is to say, the sin of it is upon him]”

“He who shows no mercy will not be shown any” (Bukhari)

“Allah will shade a just ruler under His own shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His” (Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayra (raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)))

“The just will be on platforms of light – those who set things aright by their judgement among their people and do not deviate from justice”

When the Prophet (ﷺ) sent Mu‘adh (raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)) to Yemen, He said: “Be careful of their most valuable possessions (when collecting Zakat), and beware of the cry of the oppressed. Truly, there is no veil between him and Allah” (Bukhari)

And He (ﷺ) said:

“There are three (kinds of) people to whom Allah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection” and he mentioned among them a king who is a liar.

“You’ll be anxious to lead, and this will be a source of remorse to you on the Day of Judgement” (Bukhari)

“By Allah, I will not appoint to a post anne who asks for it or who is eager to get it” (Bukhari)

“O Ka‘b bin ‘Ajrah, may Allah protect you from the rule of the foolish – such rulers as will come after my time, those who are not guided by my guidance and do not follow my Sunnah”

“Whoever has sought authority among the Muslims and attained it, if his justice dominated his oppression, the Garden is for him. But if his oppression dominated his justice, the Fire is for him” (Abu Daud)

‘Umar said to Abu Dharr (رضي الله عنهما): “Tell us a tradition  which you hear from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).” Abu Dharr then said: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say: ‘On the Day of Resurrection, the ruler will be brought and left on a bridge across Hell. The bridge will shake so violently with him that nothing on it will remain on its place. If he was obedient to Allah, in his actions, he will cross over it, while if he was disobedient to Allah, in his actions, the bridge will break and he will be thrown into Hell, sinking in it for fifty years.’ ”

‘Umar then said: “Therefore, who would desire such a position, Abu Dharr?” Abu Dharr replied: “The one who would have his nose chopped off for Allah’s sake, being dragged to it by force” [that is to say, forced by the people to accept the position].

‘Amar bin Muhajir (raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)) said: “ ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)) told me: ‘If you see me deviating from justice, put your hand on my collar and say, “ ‘Umar what are you doing?’ ”.

[Imam Dhahabi’s Kitab al-Kaba’ir, English translation The Major Sins by Mohammed Moinuddin  Siddiqui, Dar el Fiker, Beirut, 1993, pp. 77-80]

*Imam Dhahabi (673 H/1274 CE to 748 H/1348 CE)  is Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthman ibn Qaymaz, Abu ‘Abdullah Shams al-Din al-Dhahabi, the great Shafi‘i hadith master (hafiz) and historian of Islam. Of Turcoman origin, he first studied in Damascus and then travelled to Cairo and other cities in pursuit of Sacred Knowledge. He authored nearly a hundred works, some of them of considerable size. In addition to his mastery of hadith, he was also an Imam in canonical Koranic readings (qira’at) and textual criticism. [excerpted from Reliance of the Traveller by Shaykh Nuh Keller, p. 1045].

The Caliphate in Durr al-Mukhtār*

Book of Prayer, Section on Imāmah

It (the Imāmah) is either minor or major. The major (type) (i.e. the caliphate) is the right of general administration over the people. Its realization is in kalām (scholastic theology) and establishing it is the most important of obligations, hence they (the Sahabah) gave it priority over the burial [1] of the Possessor of Miracles (ﷺ).

*The Durr al-Mukhtār [‘The Chosen Pearl’] is one of the central late texts of the Hanafi school. Its author, ‘Ala’ al-Dīn al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him), was the Grand Mufti of Damascus during the 11th Islamic century, and his works, particularly the Durr, profoundly influenced all texts that came after it, and became the central reference for legal details and rulings (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani).

Al-Durr al-Mukhtār, the commentary on Tanwīr al-Absār, has flown through the lands, and circled the cities, and become more manifest than the sun at midday, until people have busied themselves with it, and it has become their recourse. It is most deserving of being sought, and of the school (madhhab) being on it… for it contains more well-verified rulings, and sound details than many a longer work…” [Ibn ‘Abidīn, Radd al-Muhtār, 1: 2] (ibid)

[1] Ibn Kathīr said, “What is famously related from the majority of scholars is that the Prophet (ﷺ) died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday night.” (al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah (5/237) and Ṣaḥīḥ al-Sīrah al-Nabawīyyah, p.728)

Ibn Khaldun on the Defeated Mentality

“The vanquished always want to imitate the victor in his distinctive characteristics, his dress, his occupation, and all his other conditions and customs. The reason for this is that the soul always sees perfection in the person who is superior to it and to whom it is subservient. It considers him perfect, either because it is impressed by the respect it has for him, or because it erroneously assumes that its own subservience to him is not due to the nature of defeat but to the perfection of the victor.”

[Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah, quoted in S. Sayyid, Recalling the Caliphate: Decolonization and World Order, Hurst & Company, London, 2014, p. 1]

Maulana Islahi* on the Caliphate: A Duty upon every Muslim

The Duty of Muslims as Muslims

It is due to this duty of prophethood that his Ummah has been given the title of the best Ummah. If the Muslims forget this bounden duty of theirs, they are but a nation among the nations of the world. They have neither any good in them nor any reason for superiority over others. And then God is not at all concerned whether they are doing an honourable existence in the world or passing their days in abject misery and disgrace abounding. Nay – thus consigning this duty of theirs to oblivion they will bring themselves to the position of a nation incurring God’s wrath, the same as some other nations of the world exalted to this position, earlier, had brought themselves to this disgraceful and uncoveted position. The Quranic verse mentioning the honour of the best Ummah being conferred on the Muslims, details their duty also:

“You are the best of people evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God.” [3:110]

It was in compliance with this Commandment that the first act of the Muslims, after the passing away of the Prophet [ﷺ], was to institute the Caliphate, strictly on the lines of the Prophet’s [ﷺ] mission. This institution was the faith’s organ calling people to good, ordering Ma‘roof [1] and prohibiting Munkar [2], established by the Muslims for the discharge of the collective duty of the Ummah that had come to their shoulders, namely, to keep the Ummah staunch on the  path of the Truth and to convey the message of the Truth to the world. So long as this institution was run soundly and kept discharging its duties among the Muslims and also in the world outside, every Muslim was relieved of that duty imposed on him by God and His Prophet [ﷺ]. During that period the duty of preaching the Truth was Farz-e-Kafayah, the Khilafat-i-Rashidah discharging this duty relieved the rest of the Muslims from this duty in the sight of God. But after the abolishment of the Caliphate, the duty of evidence of the Truth fell on each and every individual in the same way as the duty of protection of life and property devolves on the individuals of a society in a state of total anarchy. So long as the Muslims do not re-institute this righteous and wholesome Islamic order which has been enjoined on them by God as a duty, every Muslim is earning the sin of neglecting this duty and will be called to account for it on the Day of Reckoning.

The Subject of the Preaching

  1. The duty of preaching the truth to the end of days, imposed on the Prophet [ﷺ], was assigned by him to the Ummah under orders from God and under his own guidance, so that the Ummah might go on preaching the truth in every country, every nation and in every language for ever.
  2. For taking this message to the people, the conditions from God are that it should be done with one’s heart and soul in it, by word and deed, of the truth as a whole, unaltered and unadulterated, without fear or favour, and, if need be, with one’s life.
  3. The regular institution for the discharge of this duty imposed on the Muslims as a whole was that of the Caliphate, and so long as it was functioning soundly, every Muslim was relieved of the responsibilities of the discharge of this duty.
  4. After this institution became defunct, the responsibility of this duty fell divided on every individual of the Ummah according to his status and capabilities.
  5. There are only two ways of relief for the Muslims from the accountability and responsibility of this duty. They should either re-institute the Caliphate or at least stake their all in their attempt for its re-establishment.
  6. If the Muslims did neither of these two things, they would be incriminated for neglecting the duty of prophethood imposed on them by God, and will suffer not only for their own misdeeds but for them misguidance of humanity at large.

This shows that the real motive for preaching is the realization of this onerous duty imposed by God on the Muslims. And what is to be kept in view as the goal in this connection if the re-institution of the order delivering the message of God to humanity and guiding them to the faith revealed by God, thus leaving them no excuse that they can put up before God for their misguidance on the Day of Reckoning. So long as this institution is non-existent, the prime object of every Muslim is to do what he can to bring it into existence. He should keep it in mind, sleeping, waking, eating and drinking and he should live and die for this goal. In its absence, the life of the Muslims contrary to what God approved for them, and they would not be able to put up any excuse for this shortcoming before God. This duty is the purpose of their existence and in losing it, they will lose the purpose of their existence and become fit for the dung-heap the same way as all other things are consigned to the dust-bin once their utility has come to an end. The present-day Muslims as such have no more importance than the rubbish of the earth. And it does not become them to regard themselves worthy of the title of the best or moderate Ummah or expect help or support from God.

[Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi, Call to Islam and How the Holy Prophets Preached, Islamic Book Publishers, Safat, 1978, pp. 30-32]

*Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi (r) was born in 1904 CE in the village of Bamhur, Azamgarh, India. After a primary education in his village maktab, he completed his education in the prestigious Madrasatul Islah, founded by Maulana Shibli Numani, in the town of Seraj Mir. After graduating from the Madrasah in 1922, he entered the field of journalism. For a while, he edited a newspaper Madinah at Bijnawr and also remained associated with Sach, a newspaper edited by Maulana ‘Abdul-Majid Daryabadi.
In 1925, the great Hamid Uddin Farahi offered Maulana Islahi the opportunity to study the Quran with him. The latter abandoned his journalistic career with no hesitation, and for the next 5 years continued to study under Farahi. After Farahi’s death in 1935, Islahi studied Hadith from a celebrated scholar of this discipline, ‘Abdur Rahman Muhaddith Mubarakpuri. In 1936, Maulana Islahi founded the Da’irah-i-Hamidiyyah, a small institute to disseminate the Qur’anic thought of Farahi. Under the auspices of this institute, he brought out a monthly journal, Al-Islah, in which he translated many portions of Farahi’s treatises written in Arabic. The journal was published till 1939, after which it was discontinued.
Perhaps the Maulana’s greatest achievement was his groundbreaking tafsir Tadabbur-i-Quran, which emphasises the coherence of the Holy Book and which took him 22 years to complete. He passed away in 1997 CE.

[1] Ma‘roof: literally, well known (to human nature), having an affinity for it. As a technical term of the Islamic Shariah, it comprises the acts, attitudes and behaviours that the normal person with unsullied natures have approved in every age. Truth, keeping of one’s word, justice, equity and kindness, to name a few, have always been regarded as desirable and laudable.

[2] Munkar: literally means alien to human nature. Acts, attributes and behaviours for which men of wholesome nature, in every age ans under any order, true or corrupt, have had abhorrence. Barring the few perverts, nobody ever approved and acclaimed falsehood, breach of trust, tyranny and injustice and other evils.

 

Imam al-Shatibi* and Imam al-Tabari on Adherence to the Jama‘ah and the Imam (Caliph)

The sixteenth issue [1] is that the narration of those who narrated, “and that is the Jama‘ah (main body of Muslims),”  [see previous footnote] as the meaning of the saved sect, is in need of commentary, because although its interpretation is clear by means of the elucidation of another narration – and that is his statement, “what I and my companions are upon,” – the meaning of the word, “Jama‘ah,” in terms of its intent in the unqualified usage of the Shar‘iah is in need of commentary; as it has appeared in many hadiths:

  1. from them is the hadith which we are commenting on;
  2. from them is what is authentic from Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) from the Prophet (ﷺ), he said: “Whoever sees from his commander anything he dislikes, let him endure it, for indeed the one who departs from the Jama‘ah one hand span, then dies, he dies the death of Jahiliyyah [2].” [Bukhari and Muslim]
  3. And it is authentic from the hadith of Hudhayfah (رضي الله عنه), he said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah! Verily we were in [a period of] Jahiliyyah and evil, and Allah brought this goodness to us. Then, is there any evil after this goodness?” He said: “Yes.” I said: “And is there any goodness after that evil?” He said: “Yes, and there is dinginess therein.” I said: “And what is its dinginess?” He said: “A people following other than [my] guidance, you recognise [some things] from them [as correct], and you do not recognise [other things].” And in another narration: “A people following other than my guidance and adopting other than my Sunnah, you recognise [some things] in them and do not recognise [other things].” I said: “Then, is there any evil after the goodness?” He said: “Yes, callers on the gates of Jahannam. Whoever answers them in that [call], they will throw them therein.” I said: “O Messenger of Allah! Describe them for us.” He said: “They will be of our complexion, and they will speak with our tongues.” I said: “What do you advise me, if that [time] reaches me?” He said: “[That] you stick to the Jama‘ah of the Muslims and their Imam.” I said: “And if they do not have a Jama‘ah, or an Imam [3] ?” He said: “Withdraw from the sects, all of them, even if it were that you bite on the root of a tree, until death reaches you, and you are in that [state].” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Al-Tirmidhi and al-Tabari transmitted from Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه), he said: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) delivered a sermon to us at al-Jabiyah, and he said: “I stand amongst you in the standing-place of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) amongst us, when he said: ‘I bequeath to you my companions, and then those who follow them and then those who follow them, and then lying will spread, until a man will take oath and will not be asked to take oath, and will bear testimony and will not be asked to bear testimony. [Incumbent] on you is the Jama‘ah! And beware of division! A man must not be in seclusion with a woman, for indeed a man is not secluded with a woman except the third of them is Satan. Satan is with the individual, and he is farther from two [people]. Whoever desires the centre of Jannah, let him adhere to the Jama‘ah. And whoever’s good pleases him and evil displease him, that is a believer.” [Al-Tirmidhi transmitted in his Jami‘ (2165) and he said: “This is a hasan sahih hadith.”]

  1. And [it is reported] in al-Tirmidhi from Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه), he said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The hand of Allah is with the Jama‘ah.” [It is] an uncommon hadith.
    And [he narrated] the like of it from Ibn ‘Umar, he said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Verily Allah will not unite my Ummah” – or he said “the Ummah of Muhammad” – “on misguidance, and the hand of Allah is with the Jama‘ah, and whoever is isolated, is isolated in the Fire.” [Al-Tirmidhi transmitted it in his Jami‘ (2167), and he said: “This is an uncommon hadith through this route.”]
    And Abu Dawud transmitted from Abu Dharr (رضي الله عنه), he said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever parts from the Jama‘ah one hand span, he has removed the noose of Islam from his neck.”
  2. And [it is narrated] from ‘Arfajah (رضي الله عنه), he said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: “Verily there will be tribulations after tribulations in my Ummah, so whoever wishes to split the affair of the Muslims while they are united, strike him with the sword whoever he may be.” [Sahih Muslim]

…al-Tabari, the Imam, [said] that the Jama‘ah is the group of Muslims when they unite on a commander, then he (upon him be peace) commanded adherence to him, and he forbade parting from the Ummah in that which they united upon in terms of their appointing him over them, because their parting [from them] will not go beyond one of two characteristics: either [it is] due to condemnation of them for obedience to their leader and attacking him in his conduct that was approved [by them] for no reason but for an interpretation of innovating an innovation in religion, like the Haruriyyah (Khawarij) who the Ummah were ordered to fight, and the Prophet (ﷺ) called, “deviated from the religion”; or to seek leadership after the conclusion of the pledge to the commander of the Jama‘ah, since it is breaking an agreement and revoking a contract after its conclusion. And he (ﷺ) said: “Whoever comes towards my Ummah to split their group, strike his neck, whoever he may be.”

Al-Tabari said: Thus, this is the meaning of the command to stick to the Jama‘ah.

He said: As for the Jama‘ah which when it agrees on consenting to appoint a commander, the one who disassociates from them, his death is Jahilli, it is the group which Abu Mas‘ud al-Ansari and others described, and that is the bulk of people and the majority of them from the people of knowledge and religion and other than them, and that is the greatest mass [of believers].

He said: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) explained that. Thus, it is narrated from ‘Amr ibn Maymun al-Awdi, he said: ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) said to Suhayb (رضي الله عنه) when he was stabbed: “Lead the people in prayer for three [days], and ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Talhah, al-Zubayr, Sa‘d and ‘Abd al-Rahman should enter upon me, and Ibn ‘Umar should enter to the side of the house – and he has nothing of authority. Then, stand, O Suhayb, over their heads with the sword! If five [of them] pledge allegiance [to one of them] and one man turns [on his heel], strike his head with the sword, and if four pledge allegiance and two men turn [on their heels], strike their heads; until they give their assurance on [the caliphate of] one man.”

He said: Thus, the Jama‘ah which the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded adherence to, and he called the one isolated from them “one who has parted from them,” is equivalent to the group which ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) obligated caliphate for the one they agree on, and he commanded Suhayb to strike the head of the one isolated from them with the sword, because of the abundance of the number of those who agreed to pledge to him and the fewness of the number that is isolated from them.

He said: As for the report in which it is mentioned that the Ummah will not assemble on misguidance, its meaning is that He will not unite them on causing deviation from the truth in that which afflicts them in the matter of their religion, such that the entirety of them would have deviated from [true] knowledge and missed it, and that will not occur in the Ummah.

This is the entirety of his [i.e. al-Tabari’s] speech, and it has been transmitted with the meaning [of his statement], and [in] seeking out most of [its] wording.

Its upshot is that the Jama‘ah goes back to the agreement on an Imam that is in accordance with the Book and Sunnah, and that is manifest in [showing] that uniting on other than the Sunnah is outside of the meaning of the Jama‘ah mentioned in the hadiths, like the Khawarij and those who tread their path.

[Translated by Zameelur Rahman with some corrections]

[Excerpted from Imam Shatibi’s Kitab al-I‘tisam (Book of Holding Fast [to the Qur’an and Sunnah]), Chapter 9 Section 3]

*Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Musa b. Muhammad al-Lakhmi al-Shatibi (d. 790H/1388 CE) was among the greatest scholars of al-Andalus. He studied with the renowned scholars of Granada and gained expertise in Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), Hadith, jurisprudence (fiqh), the principles of Islamic law (usul al-fiqh) as well as Arabic language and grammar. He also wrote treatises on medicine and history.

[1] On the discussion of the hadith, “My Ummah will divide into seventy three sects.”
Abu Hurayrah narrated it, as transmitted by al-Tirmidhi in his Jami‘ (2640) – who said the hadith is “hasan sahih” –, and Ibn Majah in his Sunan (3991) and Abu Dawud in his Sunan (4586).

It is also transmitted authentically from the Sahabah, Anas ibn Malik, Mu‘awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and ‘Awf ibn Malik al-Ashja‘i, with the addition, “All of them are in the Fire, except one, and that is the Jama‘ah.” (Musnad Ahmad, 12208, 12479, 16937; Sunan Abi Dawud, 4587; Sunan Ibn Majah, 3992)

[2] Commenting on the following hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه): “Whoever disapproves of something done by his Amīr (ruler) then he should be patient, for whoever disobeys (disunites and goes away from) his Sultan even for a span will die as those who died in the pre-Islamic period of Ignorance” Imām Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī explains the meaning of the phrase مات ميتة جاهلية:
“To die as those who died in the pre-Islamic period of Ignorance (al-jāhilīyyah) means the state of death: to die in a state of misguidance with no Imam [Caliph] to obey, as the inhabitants of that era had no such kind of ruling. The hadith doesn’t mean that the Muslim will die as a kāfir but as a disobeying Muslim. This Hadith has possible definitions: To resemble between the state of death between the disobeying Muslim and the Jāhil, even if the Muslim was not in reality a Jāhil; or, to frighten and reprimand, and this meaning is not the apparent one… Ibn Baṭṭāl said: this hadith is an argument to not disobey the Sultan even if he is wronged. The scholars agreed unanimously on the obligation of obeying the empowered Sultan and (engaging in) jihad under his commandment. As well the scholars consider that obeying the Sultan is better than disobeying him as this act prevents bloodshed and mitigates the masses.” (Fatḥ al-Bārī Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī #7053)

[3] In the absence of a Caliph (Imam) who rules over the main body of Muslims (the Jama‘ah) the duty of ordering mar‘uf and forbidding munkar (see the Qur’an 3:104, 110; 7:157; 9:71,112; 22:41 and 31:17) necessitates that we work collectively for a situation in which an Imam exists so that the Shari‘ah rules are implemented. For further details on the duty of ordering mar‘uf and forbidding munkar refer to the book Maroof and Munkar by Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari which has many references to classical sources. Also available in the Urdu language. See also other posts on this blog in which several classical scholars mention the obligation of establishing a Caliph.