Thursday, March 16, 2006

The responsibility of the Ulema in working for the Khilafah and upholding the truth

The following is the transcript of a talk delivered to Ulema on this subject.

“Verily those who fear Allah from His servants are the Ulema” [TMQ Fatir: 28].

Allah (swt) mentioned the reality of the Ulema in this verse

And the Prophet (saw) emphasised the importance of the Ulema in many ahadith:

The Prophet (saw) said: “The Ulema are the inheritors of the Prophets”

We know that they cannot be the inheritors in Prophethood as this ended with the final Messenger Muhammad (saw), rather it means they are inheritors in the sense of responsibility of spreading the Deen, working to remove munkar and upholding the truth

Abu Nu’aim narrated that He (saw) said: “Two types of people who, if they are righteous, the people are righteous and if they are bad, the people are bad: The scholars and rulers” (Abu Nu’aim narrated it in ‘Al-Hulya’).

Ad-Darimi narrated in the book ‘Al-Muqaddimah’ that he (saw) said: “‘Do not ask me about evil but ask me about good’, saying it three times. He said: ‘The worst of evil is the evil scholars, and the best of good is good scholars’”

Bi’isnillah today I want to discuss the responsibility of the Muslims in general and especially the Ulema in working to solve the vital issue facing the Muslim Ummah

The problems facing the Ummah worldwide cannot be ignored, they are burning issues that must be addressed, as the Prophet (saw) emphasised in many ahadith, for example he said:

The Prophet (saw ) said: “The Believers are like one man, if his eye becomes sore then the whole (body) feels pain, and of his head is in pain then his whole (body) feels the pain.”

How much pain and suffering has the Muslim Ummah felt over the last decades? And how much did we feel? And how much did we work to put an end to this pain? How much do we address it in our khutba’s, in our bayans and in our masaajid?

We have seen all forms of problems afflict this Ummah whether economic, social, political, military, educational or cultural

We have seen the occupation of the land of Isra and Mi’raj by the Jews since 1948, we saw the massacre of the Muslims in Sabra, Shatila, Qana and Jenin – we still witness the ruthless occupation by the Israeli’s who continue to kill our innocent men, women and children in the land of Palestine.

We saw the death of over half a million children due to the sanctions placed on Iraq in the past, we even the saw birth of deformed babies due to the Uranium tipped bombs dropped by the crusaders

We saw the problem of Bosnia where over 60 thousand women were dishonoured by the Serbian Kuffar

We have seen the brutal aggression of Russia against the Muslims of Chechnya, the aggression of China against the Muslims of Xingyang province, the oppression of the tyrant of Uzbekistan against the Da’wa carriers there, the problem of East Timor of Aceh and Ambon in Indonesia, the problem of Darfur in the south of Sudan and many more.

Since September 11th we have witnessed an intensification of the war against Islam, where Islam and the Muslims have become the focus of world attention. We saw the brutal occupation of Afghanistan where the Americans and their allies dropped thousands of bombs upon the innocent people

We saw the occupation of Iraq by the new-age Mongols who dropped more bombs in this latest war against Iraq than in the first and second world war combined. We saw how they treat the Muslims like animals in Abu Ghraib prison the pictures of which were on the front pages of the newspapers world wide, we see how they have caged our brothers in Guantanomo bay even without right to a lawyer and a fair trail.

They have slaughtered over 100 thousand (one lakh) people since this invasion of Iraq according the British medical journal, the Lancet

We were crying when Babri masjid was Shaheed, how many mosques have been destroyed by the US and Britain in Iraq?

In the city of Fallujah alone, over half the mosques in Fallujjah have been destroyed – out of approximately 120 mosques, over 60 are reported to be destroyed

We should not think for one moment that these problems are not our problems, that just because we are sitting in India that these problems are only the problems of the people of Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq or Afghanistan. As Allah (swt) has made us brothers when He (swt) said: “Verily the believers are a brotherhood”

The Prophet (saw) said: “The Muslims are one Ummah, there land is one land and there is one war”

I want all of us here to ask the question to ourselves how many times have really spoken about these issues, addressed them in our bayaans, amongst our gatherings and have we been working for a true solution to these problems

If the Ka’ba was attacked tomorrow, I’m sure all of us would feel it and would be restless, we would not be able to sleep, we would be addressing it with the people, we would strive to save it with all of our efforts. But what value has Allah (swt) placed on the blood of a Muslim?

Whilst the Prophet (saw) was doing Tawaaf around the Ka’ba he said: “Maa a’zamaki” “How great you are” “Wa ma asrhafaki” “How blessed you are” “Wa ma ajmalaki” “How beautiful you are in the sight of Allah, but the blood of the Muslim is worth more than you and all your surroundings” [Ibn Majah]

If this is the value of Muslim blood then surely we must seriously work to protect it. Muslims all over the world feel the pain of these problems and discuss these issues amongst themselves.

The Muslims every where in the world look the Ulema for answers as to how we should achieve that, as they see them as the light that should show us the correct path. Therefore it is an enormous responsibility on our shoulders that we address this issue correctly

Before I address the solution to these problems facing the Ummah from the perspective of the Islamic evidences, I want mention some key points that I want all of us to think about during this event and the rest of my talk:

1) We must have it clear in our minds that the only source of legislation, of guidance of ahkam, of solutions for us are the Islamic sources namely the Quran and the Sunnah and what they have indicated such as Ijma as-Sahaba and Qiyas. The source of legislation, guidance or solutions to our problems are not the writings of an intellectual, the legislation of a parliament, the rule of a King or President, nor own emotions, our own desires, our own interests, our own benefits, our money, or our fears. This is part of our Iman when we say Laa illaha illalah Muhamadur Rasuululah. Allah (swt) says:

"The Rule is for none but Allah: He declares the truth and He is the best of Judges." [6:57]

2)Secondly we must realise that our allegiance and sincerity must be to the Haqq (truth), the Deen of Allah, not to any group, organisation, Ameer, Aalim, government or institution. We should remember the many ahadith warning us about this time:

In the Hadith in Sahih of Bukhari, on the authority of 'Urwa b. al-Zubayr who said: 'Abd Allah b. 'Amr b. al-'As overcame us with proof. I heard him say: “Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the learned men (Ulema’a) with their knowledge. There will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and themselves go astray.” i.e. they give Fatwas according to their own opinions which are not derived from the Islamic evidences.

We must remember the order of Allah (swt):

"And do not mix the truth with the falsehood nor knowingly conceal the truth." [Al-Baqarah]

What is the solution to our problems?

In order to understand the solution to our problems, we must actually realise the nature of the problems correctly first. We cannot separate the problems from each other, as they are all interconnected to a root problem just as the symptoms of cancer are connected to the root cancer.

The root problem or cancer today is the absence of the Islamic state, the system which implements the Ahkam that Allah (swt) revealed to us. This state was called al-Khilafah by the Prophet (saw) which has also been reffered to by different names Sultanate, Imamah or Dowla Islamiyya.

The Khilafah is a general leadership of the Muslims. It is a worldly leadership to implement the Islamic Shari’a and to carry the Da’wa to the world. Therefore, it is a public leadership and not a private one. The Khalifah is the Amir (leader) of the believers who succeeds the Messenger of Allah (saw) in implementing Islam and not in conveying it, and thus, it is a worldly leadership and not a religious one. The Khalifah does not communicate a message from Allah (swt), nor has he been personally appointed by Allah (swt), rather he is appointed by the Muslims to represent them in the implementation of Islam within Dar Al-Islam (the land ruled by Islam), and in carrying the da’wa outside it.

For example the great scholar Imam al-Mawardi defined it in this way, he said: "It is to guard the affairs of the Deen, and take care of the world's affairs politics after the prophethood." [Imam Al-Mawardi, Ahkam as-Sultaniya]

Many scholars defined it in a similar manner

It was reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal that the Prophet (saw) said, "The knots of Islam will be broken one by one until everyone of them is undone. The first to be undone will be the knot of ruling and the last will be the knot of Salah"

This knot of ruling by Islam had been tied by the Prophet (saw) himself in Madina when he made the Hijra, this Islamic state had begun with the Prophet Muhammad (saws) and had lasted for over 1000 years.

After the death of the Prophet (saw) the ruling by Islam continued and the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) was given to Abu Bakr Siddique (ra), and after him Umar al Farooque (ra), Uthman ibn Affan (ra), Imam Ali (ra), Imam Hassan (ra) and continued to have ruler after ruler until the last Khalifah in 1924 Sultan Abdul-Majeed.

Many of the rulers or Khulafah’s names may be known to us as they are famous such as Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz, Sultan Muhammad al Fatih, Suleyman al Qanuni, Sultan Abdul-Hameed 2nd and Sultan Murad.

Some of the Khulafah were better than others and some of them were even oppressive, nevertheless the system of Islam remained implemented. Even though some of the rulers misapplied some rules and were oppressive, the Prophet (saw) foretold of this and instructed the Muslims to accept them as Khulafah and obey them as long as they did not implement open Kufr (Kufr bu’ah). It is unanimously accepted by all the Sunni Ulema in history that the Khilafah existed throughout the period of the Khulafah ar-Rashideen, the Ummayids, the Abbasids, the Mamluks and the Uthmanis until the Khilafah was destroyed after the first world war.

These Khulafah ruled by Islam and did not implement Kufr Bu’ah (open Kufr) that is why we find the great scholars of Islam such as Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafi, Imam Malik, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Jafar as-Sadiq and the like accepted that they were Khalif’s but accounted them. In fact the two most famous students of Abu Hanifah who recorded his Fiqh, most of us in India follow the Fiqh they recorded - Qadi Abu Yusuf and Muhammad As-Shaybani were appointed as Qadi al Quda (the chief judge) in state in the time of the Khalifah Haroon ar-Rasheed.

Some of the great scholars wrote books about the history of the Khulafah such as Imam Suyuti known as al-Jalalayn, who died in 1505 CE – he wrote the book Tarikh al Khulafah, ‘History of the Khulafah’. Imam Mawardi who died in 1058 CE who was appointed as a Qadi and later an ambassador by the Abbasid Khalid Al-Qaim bi Amr Allah wrote the famous book, ‘Al Ahkam As-Sultaniya’, about the ruling system in Islam.

Although today some of us including some of the Ulema have forgotten the meaning of Khilafah, at that time the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent including the Ulema cried out in support of the Khilafah and called against its removal. Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar said about the Khilafah:

“The ruler of Turkey was the Khalifah or successor of the Prophet and Amir -ul- Momineen or chief of the believers and the Khilafah is as essentially our religious concern as the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet." [Johar, Mohammed Ali, My Life a Fragment pg.41]

Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad wrote a book in 1920 called ‘The Issue of Khilafat’, he stated: “Without the Khilafah the existence of Islam is not possible, the Muslims of India with all their effort and power need to work for this.”

Sheikh ul Hind Maulana Mahmood ul-Hassan who was the head of Dar al-ulum Deoband in his time, who was imprisoned by the British in Malta for 3 years due to him sticking to the truth and not disowning the Uthmani (Ottoman) Khilafah said in his Fatwa published October 29, 1920:

“The Khalifat-ul-Muslimin (Muslim Caliph), who used to unite the entire community on this planet; who as vice-regent of Allah on this earth used to implement the universal law of Islam; who used to protect the rights and interests of Muslims and who used to preserve and ensure that the glory of the words of the Creator of this universe be preserved and implemented, has been surrounded by the enemies and made redundant.”

The Prophet (saw) said as narrated in Sahih Muslim: “Verily the Imam is a shield behind whom they (Muslims) fight and by whom they are protected”.

The Khilafah is the mechanism that Allah (swt) revealed for our protection and to solve our problems

The Fard of having a Khilafah to implement the Shariah of Allah and solve our problems is Qati (definitive) and it is established from evidences in the Quran, the Sunnah and Ijma as-Sahaba and all the scholars in history are unanimous on it. I will quote some of the evidences not all of them due to time constraints

Evidence from Quran

There are many ayat about ruling in the Quran such as:

"And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you, and do not follow their whims, and beware that they may deviate you away from some of which Allah revealed to you." [TMQ Al-Mai’dah:49]

The speech of Allah to the Prophet (saw) is also a speech to the Prophet's Ummah (nation), unless there is an evidence which indicates this speech is limited to him. In this case there is no such evidence limiting this address to the Prophet (saw). Thus, the verses call upon Muslims to establish the rule of Allah. The appointment of a Khalif does not mean other than the establishment of the rule of Allah and the authority of Islam.

Regarding the authority, Allah ta'ala obliges the Muslims to obey those in authority, i.e. The ruler, which is an indication that the existence of the ruler is obligatory. Allah ta'ala says:

“O you who believe, obey Allah, obey the Messenger and those in authority amongst you” [An-Nisa: 50]

Furthermore many ayat about establishing the Salah, the Hudud, etc is an address to the Ummah – we are sinful if there is no system to enforce these.

Imam Tahawi also narrates a Hadith from Muslim ibn Yasar that the Prophet (saw) said, “The (collection of the) Zakah, the (implementation of the) Hudood the (distribution of the) spoils and the (appointment of the) Jumu.ah are for the Sultan..” (A similar narration has been narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musanaf and also by Imam Narghiyani. They have been deemed acceptable.)

Hence the obligation of establishing the Khilafah is the obligation upon which many other obligations rest, such as the Hudood (penal codes), collection and distribution of the Zakah, the organising of the main Jumu.ah and it.s Khateeb and other obligations besides these. The removal of Kufr depends upon the resumption of the Khilafah. Establishing Islam in actuality means the establishment of the Khilafah as that is the only method of implementing Islam. Indeed, without the Khilafah the Deen cannot exist in our societies. Hence the whole of Islam depends upon the Khilafah as that is the method that Islam defined to bring it into existence. The current situation of the Islamic Ummah is a testament to this fact. The Islamic penal code is absent and is replaced with that of the European countries. The economic system of Islam has been replaced by that of the Capitalists and today the resources of the Muslim Ummah are the spoils that are distributed by the Kuffar. The Islamic lands are occupied despite the military capacities of the Muslim armies. The absence of the Islamic way of life in our countries is ever affecting the societal fabric with nightclubs and bars arising in the holy lands of al-Quds, as well as many other major cities and capitals in the Islamic world. These stark facts unfortunately clearly illustrate the absence of Islam and the truthfulness of the statements of the Messenger of Allah (saw).

Allah orders us to protect those who are attacked for their Deen – so when Muslims are attacked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine or anywhere – we are sinful if we are not working to establish the system to protect them.

Evidence from the Sunnah

Many evidences indicating the Fard of having a Khalifah, even specific texts establishing that it is Fard Ayn to have bay’ah on the neck:

Muslim narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (saw) said: “Whosoever dies whilst there was no bay‘ah (allegiance or a pledge) on his neck (to a Khaleefah), he dies a death of jahilliyah.”

To understand this Hadith and the meaning of no Bay’ah on the neck becomes clear when we look at the following Hadith:

The Prophet (saw) said: “The One who dies without an Imam he dies the death of Jahiliyyah”. [Reported on the authority of ‘Umar by at-Tabarani and Abu Nu’aym. The latter declared the hadith as authentic] The Imam in the text means the Khalifah.

Is an obligation more important than the life of the Prophet (Saw):

He (saw) stated to his uncle concerning the Mushrikeen, “....by Allah, if they were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, on condition that I relinquish this matter, I would not relinquish it until Allah has made it dominant or I perish therein..” (Tareekh ut-Tabari by al-Tabari Vol. 6 par. 1179).

Ijma as-Sahaba

After the death of the Prophet (saw) – they did not bury him for 2 days.

Imam al-Haythami said, "It is known that the Sahabah (r.a.h) consented that selecting the Imaam after the end of the era of Prophethood was an obligation (Wajib). Indeed they made it (more) important than the (other) obligations whilst they were busy with it over the burial of the Prophet (saw)". (al-Haythami in Sawaa'iq ul-haraqah:17.)

When Umar was on his deathbed: He said to them: "You have this group whom, when the Messenger of Allah (saw) died, he was pleased with them, and he said about them: They are the people of paradise: Ali b. Talib, Uthman b. Affan, Sa’ad b. Abi Waqqas, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf, Az- Zubayr b. Al Awwam, and Talha b. Ubaydullah. Let Abdullah ibn Umar be with them, but let him have only an opinion without having anything in the matter of Khilafah." Umar advised these six people to select a Khaleefah, and appointed to them a three day time limit. After a long talk with them he said: "When I die, consult for three days, and let Suhaib (in these days) lead the Muslims in prayer. Do not let the fourth day come without having an Ameer upon you." He also appointed Abu Talha Al-Ansari to protect the gathering and to encourage them in their task, and he said to him: "O Abu Talha, Allah (swt) has helped Islam by you (i.e. the Ansar) so select fifty men from the Ansar, and urge these (six) people to select one from amongst them." He asked Al-Muqdad ibn Al-Aswad to select the place of the meeting and said to him : "After you put me in my grave, gather these (six) people in a house till they select one man from themselves." Then he asked Suhaib to monitor the meeting and said to him: "Lead the people in prayer three days, and let Ali, Uthman, Az-Zubayr, Sa’ad, Abdul Rahman b. Awf, and Talha, if he came back (from his travel) and bring in Abdullah b. Umar, without allowing him any personal interest in the matter, and stand at their heads (i.e. supervise them). If five agreed and accepted one man, while one man rejected, then hit his head with the sword. If four consented and agreed on one man, and two disagreed, then kill the dissenters with the sword. If three agreed on one man and three disagreed then let Abdullah bin Umar arbitrate. The group which Abdullah b. Umar judged for, let them select one from them. If they did not accept the judgement of Abdullah b. Umar, then be (all of you) with the group in which is Abdul Rahman b. Awf, and kill the rest if they declined to accept what the people agreed upon." Then he asked them to leave the discussion about the Khilafah until he died.

Imam an-Nawawi (rh.a.) said, "(The scholars) had Ijma (consensus) that it is an obligation upon the Muslims to select a Khaleefah". (Sharhu Sahih Muslim page 205 vol 12)

All the Sahaba consented – even though he ordered killing = 3 days 2 nights as a clear time limit – today has been 81 years, we are all sinful until it is established

Appointing the Khalifah in origin Fard Kifaya but becomes Fard Ayn if not established, e.g. Janaza, replying to salam, etc.

Therefore it is Fard Ayn for all the Muslims to work to re-establish this obligation

The Ulema must stand for the truth like Ulema in the past

Today we as Ulema must stand for the issue of Khilafah and create a public opinion for this, utilising all our abilities and influence

We must address the vital issues facing the Ummah and work to build a comprehensive understanding of Islam as the a complete ideology with all the solutions to lifes problems

In this time when the Kuffar especially the West are continuously bombarding the Muslims with their Kufr culture, they are calling for the separation of the Deen from the Dunya, they call for a reformation of Islam, a modernisation of Islam and they use their agents, money and power to spread their corruption every where

The Ulema must respond to this and be the ones who defend Islam, who refute the Kufr concepts such as Democracy, Freedom, Secularism, Nationalism and Socialism which have become the new gods which people worship today instead of Laat, Manaat and Uzza

How can we remain silent in the face of all the Munkar around us? How come most of the Masajid do not address the real issues facing the Ummah and refute the ideas being propagated by the West?

We should be careful today not to fall into those Ulema who have sold the Deen for worldly goods, who are afraid to speak the truth or those who even spread corruption in the name of Islam. Let us take a warning from the words of the Prophet (saw) who said:

Al-Tabarani in Al-Kabeer wal-Bazaar, by the Istinad of the men of Sahih that 'Awf b. Malik al-Ashja'i narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “My Ummah will become divided into some seventy sects, the greatest will be the test of the people who make analogy to the deen with their own opinions, with it forbidding what Allah has permitted and permitting what Allah has forbidden.”

Unfortunately we see this today, people permitting Democracy, Nationalism – like some of the Ulema of Saudi Arabia who permitted the Americans to come onto Islamic land to launch war on the Muslims of Iraq, the Sheikh of al-Azhar who has justified Riba and many more.

Let us look at the example of the Ulema in the past who did not fear anyone except Allah (swt).

Let us consider the example of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (ra), master of hadith, Mujtahid of Makkah and the man to which the Hanbali Madhab is attributed. In his time, Mamoon, who became Khalifah, had adopted the Mu’tazilah belief that man created the Qur’an. Mamoon attempted to force this belief upon the masses - this created trouble with the Ulema, as they were the ones who had the leadership over the Ummah. Amongst the Ulema was Imam Ahmad, who refused to accept this corrupt doctrine. His uncle asked him to say with his tongue what he did not accept in his heart, to which he responded, “If the Alim stays silent in the face of falsehood when will the truth become manifest?” Imam Ahmad preferred prison to corrupting an aspect of the Islamic Aqeedah. He was prepared to suffer, as Yusuf (as) did, who preferred prison to the fitnah that he was faced with.

Imam Ahmad understood the Hadith that has been declared Sahih by Imam Suyuti, “The one who pleases the Sultan (authority) with that which angers Allah leaves the Deen of Allah.”

Let us remember the example of Imam Abu Hanifah (ra), Imam of Ahlur Rayee, the Mujtahid and Faqih of Kufa and founder of the Hanafi Madhab. He was known for his acute legal mind as a jurist. Imam Abu Hanifah (ra) was summoned to the court of Mansoor, who was Khalifah at the time, and was asked to take the position of Qadi ul Qadaa (or chief justice). He refused, as he did not view the Khalifah as the most just of characters. He replied, “I am not fit for this position!” Mansoor became angry, shouting, “You lie! You are fit!” Abu Hanifah responded, “If I am lying them I am not fit for the post, if I am not then I tell the truth I am not fit for the post!” As a result he was imprisoned and lashed. Abu Hanifah (ra) exemplified how we must wash our hands from tyranny regardless of benefit.

We should realise that even today they are many Ulema who stand up for the truth without fear and are working with all their efforts for the return of the Khilafah

We all know the examples of the Shaheed Syed Qutb and Hassan al-Banna, how they were martyred for standing up for the truth. We also know the example of many Ulema of the subcontinent and how they faced imprisonment by the British such as Sheikh ul-Hind whom we mentioned before and Sheikh ul-Islam Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani. They are many other examples today - look to the prisons of Uzbekistan where thousands of Da'wa carriers including Ulema have been imprisoned for working for Khilafah.

Another example is Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Badri, the author of the excellent book 'Islam baynal Ulema wal hukkam' (Islam - between the Ulema and the Rulers) which is also available in Urdu, was imprisoned in Iraq in the past for working for the Khilafah. In his book he details the lives of various Ulema ranging from Abu Hanifa, al-Izzadin Abdul-Salam, Ibn Taymiyya to Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi and how they stood up for the truth even in the face of hardship.

To conclude:

1) It is Fard Ayn upon all of us to work with all our efforts to change the Munkar and re-establish the Khilafah.
2) To oppose this work is to oppose the Shariah of Allah, we should not oppose it even if we differ in detailed issues and have some difference of opinion. Rather we should stand against those who oppose it
3) We must support this work with all of our abilities, this means each of us must think about how we can practically contribute to this work and engage in that. We need generate a Khilafat movement like the Ulema of all different backgrounds did in the past.
4) We should not loose hope or become defeated even if they are obstacles around us and even if people don’t initially support this call – because Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw) has already informed us that the Khilafah will return, the Prophet (saw) said “Then they will return the Khilafah on the path of the Prophethood” [Musnad Ahmad]

May Allah (swt) enable us all to stand up for the truth and work to re-establish his Deen upon the earth!

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