The classical scholars considered the Caliphate and ruling of such vital importance that they included this topic within their ‘aqīdah (creed) works. The Lebanese academic, Yusuf Ibish, states “there is hardly a book on uṣūl [beliefs] that does not contain, a long or short, discussion of it [the Imamate]”
Allah has commanded us to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and this duty cannot be rendered without power and authority. Likewise, all other social duties such as jihād, maintaining peace and order, justice, organizing ḥajj and ‘īd festivals, redressing abuses, helping the oppressed, enforcing the ḥudūd, and so on, cannot be carried out without political power and authority.
[Al-Būshanjī:] Al-Muʿtaṣim returned to Baghdad from the Byzantine front in Ramadan of ’18. It was then that he tried Aḥmad and had him flogged before him. A trustworthy associate of mine reported to me what he was told by Ibrāhīm ibn Muṣ‘ab, who at that time was standing in for Isḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm as al-Mu‘taṣim’s chief of police: “I’ve never seen anyone brought face to face with kings and princes show as little fear as Aḥmad did that day. To him we were nothing but a cloud of flies.”
"Let it be noted of the first generation, as to how the Companions (رضي الله عنهم) hastened after the death of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to appoint the Imam and contract the pledge of allegiance, and how they believed that it was a conclusive obligation (farḍ), a right and mandated (wājib) with immediacy and urgency, as well as how they left the preparation of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ (for burial) through being busy with it (appointing the Imam)."
In the final part of this series, we will continue our review of the classical works of uṣūl (beliefs). As a recap, notwithstanding that the institution of the Caliphate/Imamate relates to jurisprudence (law as opposed to belief), its sheer importance led to its inclusion within the uṣūl discussions of the classical scholars. This historical phenomenon … Continue reading Classical Works on Creed and the Caliphate Imperative – Part 4: Al-Tahawi, Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Baqillani
In the third part of this series of blog posts, we examine the ‘aqīda works of Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni (d. 478 H/1085 CE), Imam Najm al-Din al-Nasafi (537/1142), Imam Sa‘d al-Din al-Taftazani (793/1390) and Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari (1014/1605). Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni (Shafi‘i school of jurisprudence) He was the teacher of Imam al-Ghazali, the mujaddid of … Continue reading Classical Works on Creed and the Caliphate Imperative – Part 3: al-Juwayni, al-Nasafi, al-Taftazani and al-Qari
The cover of a recently published commentary on Jawharat al-Tawḥīd In the second part of this series of blog posts, we will examine works on creed by Ibrahim al-Laqqani al-Maliki (d. 1041H/1631CE) and Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Karim al-Shahrastani al-Shafi‘i (d. 548H/1153CE). Part 1, examining the creedal thought of Imam Ghazali and Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi, … Continue reading Classical Works on Creed and the Caliphate Imperative – Part 2: Al-Laqqani and Al-Shahrastani
The Grand Mufti of Damascus, Imam ‘Ala’ al-Dīn al-Haskafi, like other Islamic luminaries states in his famous Hanafi work Durr al-Mukhtār [The Chosen Pearl] written in the year 1070H: “...The major (type) (i.e. the Caliphate) is the right of general administration over the people. Its study is in the science of credal doctrine and establishing … Continue reading Classical Works on Creed and the Caliphate Imperative – Part 1: Imam Ghazali and Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi
The following is related by Al-Wahidi in his Asbab al-Nuzul [The Circumstances of Revelation] regarding Surah 38 verses 5 to 12 “When ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab embraced Islam, the Muslims were overjoyed while the Quraysh was devastated. Al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah said to the nobles and chiefs of Quraysh: ‘Go to Abu Talib and say to him: … Continue reading The Political Significance of the Kalimah