Jihad According to the Classical Scholars

From Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, to Jaifar and 'Abd, sons of al-Julanda, and may peace be upon those who follow Allah's guidance. To proceed, I invite you both to Islam; accept Islam and you will attain salvation, for I am Allah's Messenger to all mankind so that I may warn those who are alive and establish (Allah's) word over the unbelievers. If you declare your Islam I will appoint you both as governors [of your lands], but if you refuse then (know that) your dominion is only fleeting, and my horsemen will dismount in your courtyard, and my Prophethood will prevail over your dominion.

Imam Ghazali’s Views on the Importance of the Caliphate/Imamate

"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)."

Classical Works on Creed and the Caliphate Imperative – Part 4: Al-Tahawi, Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Baqillani

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

Classical Works on Creed and the Caliphate Imperative – Part 1: Imam Ghazali and Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi

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 ‘ilm al-kalām and establishing it is the … Continue reading Classical Works on Creed and the Caliphate Imperative – Part 1: Imam Ghazali and Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi

Imam Ghazali’s ‘Definite Proof’ that Appointing a Caliph is Obligatory

Despite the fact that Imam Ghazali’s al-Iqtiṣād fi al-I‘tiqād is a book on beliefs (‘aqīda), he includes a whole chapter on the imamate (caliphate) in this work. At the beginning of this chapter, he includes a discussion of what he describes as ‘definite legal proof’ (al-burhān al-qaṭ‘ī al-shar‘ī) that appointing an imam is an obligation. … Continue reading Imam Ghazali’s ‘Definite Proof’ that Appointing a Caliph is Obligatory

Ibn Hajar on the Sin of Living without a Caliph (Imam)

The following is a hadith related by Bukhārī: Abu Rajā’ related from Ibn ‘Abbās that the Prophet ﷺ said: “If someone dislikes what his Amir does, he should be patient. Anyone who separates himself from the Sultan even a hand's breadth will die the death of al-jāhilīyyah.”* (Kitāb al-Fitan, Chapter 2) Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī … Continue reading Ibn Hajar on the Sin of Living without a Caliph (Imam)

The Role of the Sultan in Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong in Tafsir al-Qurtubi

“Not everyone is capable of carrying out the actions necessary to enjoin right conduct. However, this can be performed effectively by the ruler [Sultan] because he holds the authority to frame laws that will be in accord with the Shari‘ah. As ruler, he has the final word in matters of consequence, such as the legislation … Continue reading The Role of the Sultan in Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong in Tafsir al-Qurtubi

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

Shāh Walī Allāh on Obedience to the Caliph

The Prophet ﷺ has said: “Hearing and obeying is an obligation of every Muslim, whether he likes the command or dislikes it, as long as he is not commanded to commit a sin. If he is commanded to commit a sin, then he absolved of the obligation to hear and obey.” [Sahih Muslim]. (I say): … Continue reading Shāh Walī Allāh on Obedience to the Caliph