AUTHOR-Imran Nazar Hosein
“The Arabic term ‘Khilafah’ is better known as ‘Caliphate” in English and it represents the concept of an ‘Empire’. It is the goal of all fundamentalist Muslims to establish a world-wide Caliphate in which Syari’ah Law operates. There are 3 steps to establishing the Caliphate:
i. Dawah – Islamic preaching to get people to convert to Islam
ii. Jizyah – An Islamic protection tax paid by Christians and Jews who are willing to live under Islamic rule and special laws applying only to non-Muslims.
iii. Jihad - the military option of the Islamic struggle to forcibly bring all people into submission to Islam.
Since Islam loves peace, and peace is only achieved through submission to Allah and Shari’ah Law, then jihad is the final option to achieve peace. A major difference between moderate and radical Muslims is not the vision but the pace and methodology to achieve the vision. Understanding The Khilafah will help you better understand what it is that the world is facing today. Over the next 9 weeks, we will present this Islamic document to you and for your use.” IW
The Khilafah is a common leadership for all the Muslims in the world. Its role is to establish the laws of the Islamic Shari'ah and to carry the da'wa of Islam to the world. The Khilafah is also known as the Imamah, both terms have the same meaning. Several sound ahadith mention them with the same meaning, neither of the two terms has ever differed in meaning in any Shari'ah text i.e. the Qur'an or the Sunnah of the Prophet , these being the only Shari'ah sources. It is not compulsory to hold to the term of Khilafah or Imamah, but rather it is compulsory to hold to the meaning of the term.
The establishment of a Khaleefah is an obligation upon all Muslims in the world. Performing this duty, like any of the duties prescribed by Allah (swt) upon the Muslims, is an urgent obligation in which there can be no choice or complacency. Negligence in performing this duty is one of the greatest sins, for which Allah (swt) punishes severely.The evidence that the appointment of a Khaleefah is obligatory upon all Muslims is in the Sunnah and the Ijma'a (consensus) of the Sahabah.
As for the Sunnah, Nafi'a reported saying: " 'Umar said to me that he heard the Prophet saying: Whoso takes off his hand from allegiance to Allah (swt) will meet Him (swt) on the Day of Resurrection without having any proof for him, and whoso dies whilst there was no bay'ah (allegiance or a pledge) on his neck (to a Khaleefah), he dies a death of jahilliyah." So the Prophet made it compulsory upon every Muslim to have a bay'ah on his neck, and described whoever dies without a bay'ah on his neck that he dies a death of jahilliyah. The bay'ah cannot be for anyone except the Khaleefah, and the Prophet made it obligatory upon every Muslim to have on his neck a bay'ah to a Khaleefah. Yet he did not make it an obligation upon every Muslim to give bay'ah to a Khaleefah. The duty is the existence of a bay'ah on the neck of every eligible Muslim, i.e. the existence of a Khaleefah who accordingly deserves a bay'ah upon the neck of every Muslim. So it is the presence of the Khaleefah which places a bay'ah on the neck of every Muslim, whether the Muslim gave a bay'ah to him in person or not.
Therefore, this hadith of the Prophet is an evidence that the appointment of the Khaleefah is an obligation and not a proof that giving the bay'ah is obligatory. This is so because the Prophet rebuked the Muslim who has not a bay'ah on his neck until he dies, not the one who did not give bay'ah. Hisham ibn 'Urwa reported on the authority of Abu Saleh on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: "Leaders will take charge of you after me, where the pious (one) will lead you with his piety and the impious (one) with his impiety, so listen to them and obey them in everything which conforms with the truth. If they act rightly it is for your credit, and if they acted wrongly it is counted for you and against them."
Muslim narrated on the authority of al-A'araj, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that the Prophet said: "Behold, the Imam is but a shield from behind whom the people fight and by whom they protect themselves." Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hazim, who said: "I accompanied Abu Hurairah for five years and heard him talking of the Prophet's saying: The Prophets ruled over the children of Israel, whenever a Prophet died another Prophet succeeded him, but there will be no Prophet after me. There will be Khulafa'a and they will number many. They asked: What then do you order us? He said: Fulfil the bay'ah to them one after the other and give them their due. Surely Allah will ask them about what He entrusted them with." Ibn 'Abbas narrated that the Prophet said: "If anyone sees in his amir something that displeases him let him remain patient, for behold, he who separates himself from the sultan (authority of Islam) by even so much as a hand span and dies thereupon, has died a death of the days of jahilliyah".
In these ahadith, the Prophet informs us that leaders will run the affairs of Muslims, and the ahadith include the description of the Khaleefah as a shield, i.e. a protection. So the description of the Imam as a shield is informative of the benefits of the presence of the Imam, thus it is a command for action, because if the information conveyed by Allah (swt) and the Prophet contained rebuke then it is a command of prohibition, and if it contained praise then it is a command for action. If the ordered action is necessary to implement a hukm shari'i (divine law), or by its negligence a hukm shari'i will be neglected, then this command is decisive. In these ahadith there is information also that those who run the affairs of Muslims are Khulafa'a, which indicates an order to appoint them.
They also include a prohibition for Muslims to separate from the authority, which indicates the obligation upon Muslims to appoint an authority for themselves, i.e. ruling. Moreover, the Prophet ordered the Muslims to obey the Khaleefah and to fight those who dispute his authority as Khaleefah, which indicates an order to appoint a Khaleefah and to protect his Khilafah by fighting against whosoever disputes with him. Muslim reported that the Prophet said: "He who pledged allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him you have to strike the neck of that man." So the command to obey the Imam is an order to establish him, and the command to fight those who dispute with him is an evidence that this command is decisive in maintaining the presence of one Khaleefah.
In regard with the Ijma'a of the Sahabah they all agreed upon the necessity to establish a successor or Khaleefah to the Prophet after his death, and they all agreed to appoint a successor to Abu Bakr, then to 'Umar, then to 'Uthman, after the death of each one of them. The Ijma'a of the Sahabah to establish a Khaleefah manifested itself emphatically when they delayed the burial of the Prophet after his death whilst engaged in appointing a successor to him, despite the fact that the burial of the dead person is fard, and that it is haram upon those who are supposed to prepare for his burial to engage themselves in anything else until they complete the burial.
The Sahabah were obliged to engage themselves in preparing the burial of the Prophet , instead some of them engaged themselves in appointing a Khaleefah rather than carrying out the burial, and some others kept silent on this engagement and participated in delaying the burial for two nights despite their ability to deny the delay and their ability to bury the Prophet . So this was an Ijma'a to engage themselves in appointing a Khaleefah rather than to bury the dead. This could not be legitimate unless the appointment of a Khaleefah is more obligatory than the burial of the dead. Also, all the Sahabah agreed throughout their lives upon the obligation of appointing a Khaleefah. Although they disagreed upon the person to elect as a Khaleefah, they never disagreed upon the appointment of a Khaleefah, neither when the Prophet died, nor when any of the Khulafa'a ar-Rashidun died. Therefore the Ijma'a of the Sahabah is a clear and strong evidence that the appointment of a Khaleefah is obligatory.However, the establishment of Islam and the implementation of the Shari'ah rules in all walks of life is compulsory on Muslims through definitely proven evidences. This duty cannot be achieved unless there is a ruler who has an authority. The divine principle states 'what is necessary to accomplish a wajib (duty) is itself a wajib'. So the establishment of a Khaleefah is also compulsory according to this divine principle.Moreover, Allah (swt) has ordered the Prophet to rule between Muslims by that which He (swt) revealed to him, and the order of Allah (swt) to him was in a decisive manner. Allah (swt) addressed the Prophet saying:
"And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you, and do not follow their vain desires away from the truth which came to you". [TMQ 5:48]
And He (swt) said:"And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you and do not follow their whims, and beware (be on the alert) that they may deviate you away from even some part of what Allah revealed to you". [TMQ 5:49]The speech of Allah (swt) to the Prophet is a speech to his Ummah unless there is an evidence which limits the speech to him. In this case there is no such evidence, so the aforementioned verses order all Muslims to establish the rule. The establishment of the Khaleefah does not mean other than the establishment of the rule and the authority. On the other hand, Allah (swt) made it obligatory upon Muslims to obey those in authority, i.e. the ruler, which indicates that the existence of the ruler is obligatory upon Muslims. Allah (swt) said:"O you who believe obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority amongst you". [TMQ 4:59]Allah (swt) does not order obedience to those who do not exist. This indicates that the existence of the ruler is obligatory. When Allah (swt) orders obedience to those in authority it is an order to establish them. The implementation of the Shari'ah depends upon the existence of the ruler, thus, the establishment of the ruler becomes obligatory as its absence will result in the sin of neglecting the Shari'ah.
Therefore, it is clear from these evidences that the establishment of the rule and the authority amongst Muslims is fard, and it is also clear that the appointment of a Khaleefah who takes the charge of the rule and the authority is compulsory upon Muslims in order to implement the Shari'ah laws; and not for the sake of rule and authority only. Reflect upon what the Prophet said: "The best of your Imams (leaders) are those whom you love and they love you, who pray for you and you pray for them; and the worst of your Imams are those whom you hate and they hate you and you curse them and they curse you." The Messenger of Allah was asked: "Would we not declare war on them (face them with the swords)?" He said: "No, as long as they establish salat (meaning Islam) among you." This hadith is clear in informing about the good and bad leaders, and clear in prohibiting the challengeof their authority as long as they establish the prayer, which in this context indicates upholding of Islam, and establishing its rule.
So the obligation upon Muslims to appoint the Khaleefah who establishes the laws of Islam and conveys its call is a matter which has no doubt with regard to its certainty in the sound texts of Shari'ah. Moreover, it is an obligatory duty due to the fact that Allah (swt) made it fard upon Muslims to establish the authority of Islam and to protect the honour of Muslims. However, this duty is a collective one, so if some people of the Ummah accomplished it, the fard is fulfilled and thus responsibility drops from the rest of the Ummah. And if part of the Ummah was unable to achieve the fard, though they carried out the actions which establish it, then the responsibility remains upon all the Muslims, and the fard remains upon every Muslim as long as Muslims are without a Khaleefah.
To refrain from establishing a Khaleefah for the Muslims is a great sin because it is abstaining from carrying out a very important fard of Islam, upon which the implementation of the divine laws depends, even upon which the presence of Islam in the battlefield of life depends as well. So Muslims as a whole commit a great sin by refraining from establishing a Khaleefah for all Muslims. And if they agreed to remain without a Khaleefah the sin would befall all Muslims in the entire world. If some of the Muslims embarked on working to establish a Khaleefah and the others did not, the sin will drop from the shoulders of those who started to work to establish the Khaleefah, while the fard remains on them until the Khaleefah is appointed. This is so because the involvement in establishing the fard removes the sin for the delay of its fulfilment in its time, and for its non-fulfilment despite one's engagement in the work for establishing it, and despite his hatred of that which prevents him from accomplishing it.As for those who were not engaged in the work for establishing the fard, the sin will remain on them as soon as the three days period has passed, from the departure of the Khaleefah until the appointment of a new Khaleefah, because Allah (swt) has entrusted them with a fard, which they did not carry out nor engage themselves in the work which is required for its completion. Therefore, they are sinful and deserve the punishment and shame from Allah (swt) in this life and the hereafter. They are sinful due to their refrain from establishing the Khaleefah or from the actions which (according to Shari'ah) establish the Khaleefah. It is clear and obvious that a Muslim deserves the punishment of Allah (swt) when he ignores any of the duties enjoined upon him, particularly the duty by which the other duties are implemented and the Shari'ah rules are established and the matter of Islam is brought aloft and the word of Allah (swt) is exalted in the Muslim and the rest of the world.
In regard with some of the ahadith over isolation from the people, and that confining oneself to adhere to the matters of personal worship, these ahadith do not serve as an evidence that permits abstaining from establishing a Khaleefah nor removes the sin due to this abstaining. When somebody studies these ahadith thoroughly he finds them related to the adherence to the deen rather than permitting the abandonment of establishing a Khaleefah for Muslims.
For example, al-Bukhari narrated about Bisr ibn Obaydellah al-Hadhrami that he heard Abu Idrees al-Khoolani say that he heard Huthaifah ibn al-Yaman saying: "The people used to ask the Prophet of Allah about the good and I used to ask him about the bad in fear that it might catch me. So I said: O Prophet of Allah ! We were in times of jahilliyah and mischief then Allah brought us this good, so is there any mischief after this good? He said: Yes. I said: Will there be any good after that mischief? He said: Yes, and it has smoke. I said: What is its smoke? He said: (Some) people guide without any guidance, you recognise some (from them) and deny some. I said: Will there be a mischief after that good? He said: Yes, (some) people who invite at the doors of hell, whoever accepted their invitation they throw him in it (hell). I said: O Prophet of Allah , describe them to us. He said: They are of our own skin (of our people) and talk our language. I said: What do you order me to do if that (matter) caught me? He said: Adhere to the jama'ah of Muslims and their Imam. I said: What if the Muslims have no jama'ah nor an Imam? He said: Then you abandon all those groups, even if you have to grab with your teeth the trunk of a tree till death comes to you as such." This hadith is clear in its expression that the Prophet orders Muslims to adhere to the jama'ah of Muslims and to adhere to their Imam, and to leave those who invite people to the doors of hell. When the questioner asked him that in case the Muslims have no Imam and no jama'ah what he has to do in regard with those who call at the doors of hell, the Prophet ordered him to abandon these groups, not to disassociate himself from the Muslims nor to abstain from the action for establishing an Imam. So his order is clear, disassociate yourself from all those groups, and he emphasised the dissociation of those groups even to the extent that his isolation from them would make him clench to the trunk of a tree until death comes to him. It means adhere to your deen by staying away from the misleading callers who are at the doors of hell. In this hadith there is no excuse or permission (for anybody) to abandon the work for establishing a Khaleefah, it is, rather, confined to the command of adhering to the deen and abandoning the callers at the doors of hell, and the sin will remain on him if he does not work to establish a Khaleefah. So he is ordered to abandon the misleading groups in order to save his deen from the callers of the misguidance, even if he had to clench to the trunk of a tree, but not to distance himself from the Muslim community and abandon the work for establishing the laws of the deen and establishing an Imam for Muslims.
Another example is what al-Bukhari narrated about Abu Said al-Khudri, who said: "The Messenger of Allah said: The best wealth of the Muslim is imminent to be sheep with which he follows the summits of mountains and the rain falls to save his deen from the affliction." This does not mean that one should isolate oneself from the Muslim community and abandon practising the divine laws and establishing a Khaleefah for Muslims when there is no Khilafah on earth. This hadith rather explains what is the best wealth of the Muslim at the times of temptation, it does not encourage anyone to distance himself from the Muslims and isolate the people.Accordingly, no Muslim on the face of this earth has an excuse to abandon the duty of establishing the deen which Allah (swt) has ordered, that is, the establishment of a Khaleefah for Muslims, when there is no Khilafah on the earth, and no one to implement the hudood (limits) of Allah (swt) to protect the sanctities of Allah (swt), and no one to implement the laws of the deen and unify the Muslim community under the banner of La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad ur-Rasul Allah. There is no permission in Islam to abandon the work for this duty until it is indeed completed.