Sunday, July 22, 2007

The obligation of having one Khalifah

They are some who argue that having more than one Khalifah at one time and the multiplicity of Muslim states like we have today is an area of legitimate difference of opinion. They say that the ahadith about this issue are not definitive, not clear in meaning and that there is no Ijma (consensus) upon this issue. They also misconstrue the statements of classical scholars to justify this. Despite the fact that the states today don’t even rule by Islam we should look at this issue from the Islamic evidences.

It is important to appreciate that there are ahkam which are from authentic texts which are definitive in meaning and if rejected makes someone a fasiq and not a Kafir. Just because something is not Qat'i thuboot (definitive by transmission) and Qat'i dalalah (definitive by meaning) – this doesn't mean that issue automatically becomes ikhtilafi (subject to legitimate difference of opinion).

There are many ahadith which are clear in meaning regarding this subject such as:

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: "When the oath of allegiance has been taken for two Khalifs, kill the latter of them". [Muslim]

Abdullah b. ‘Amru b. al-‘A'as said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say: "Whoever pledged allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart, he should obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him, you must strike the neck of the latter". [Muslim]

Afrajah said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say: "Whosoever comes to you while your affairs has been united under one man, intending to break your strength or dissolve your unity, kill him." [Muslim]

Muslim reported that Abu Hazim said: I accompanied Abu Hurayra for five years and heard him talking about the Messenger of Allah (saw), he said: "The children of Israel have been governed by Prophets; whenever a Prophet died another Prophet succeeded him; but there will be no prophet after me. There will soon be Khulafa’a and they will number many (in one time); they asked: What then do you order us? He (saw) said: Fulfil allegiance to them, the first of them, the first of them, and give them their dues; for verily Allah will ask them about what he entrusted them with". [Muslim]

Some use a strange argument to legitimise ignoring the Ijma of the Sahabah, they claim that as one of the Sahabah initially proposed having two rulers after the death of the Prophet (saw) this means that it is allowed.

It is true that it is narrated that Al-Habbab Ibn ul-Munthir (ra) said when the Sahaba met in the wake of the death of the Prophet (saw) (at the thaqifa hall) of Bani Sa'ida:

"Let there be one Amir from us and one Amir from you (meaning one from the Ansar and one from the Muhajireen)".

Have they forgotten what Abu Bakr replied: "It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs (rulers)..." Then he got up and addressed the Muslims. [‘As-Sira’ of Ibnu Kathir, ‘Tarikh ut-Tabari’ by at-Tabari, ‘Siratu Ibn Hisham’ by Ibn Hisham, ‘As-Sunan ul-Kubra’ of Bayhaqi, ‘Al-fasil-fil Milal’ by Ibnu Hazim and "Al-A'kd Al-Farid" of Al-Waqidi]

It has additionally been reported in "as-Sirah" of Ibnu Ishaq that Abu Bakr went on to say on the day of Thaqifa: "It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs for this would cause differences in their affairs and concepts, their unity would be divided and disputes would break out amongst them. The Sunnah would then be abandoned, the bida'a (innovations) would spread and Fitna would grow, and that is in no one's interests".

Just because Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) after the Prophet (saw) passed away initially was adamant that the Prophet (saw) was not dead, this doesn’t mean that it makes it a legitimate opinion. He was clearly mistaken and accepted this when Abu Bakr (ra) corrected him just as Habbab Ibn ul-Munthir realised this and was the first to give the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr (ra)

In fact if we read another narration of the incident it is clear that Habbab was emotional when he made the suggestion and it is clear that he wasn’t arguing on the basis of evidence.

When Al-Habbab b. Al-Munthir b. Aljamouh, one from the Ansar, noticed that everybody was at ease with Abu Bakr's proposal, he was afraid that the meeting might be adjourned without pledging allegiance to a Khaleefah from the Ansar. So he stood up and said: “O people of Al-Ansar, have control of your own matters, for the people are in your shadow, and nobody would dare to disagree with you. People will not express except according to your opinion. You are the people of power and wealth. You are the majority and people of strength, experience, fortitude and help of others. People are ever watchful of your actions. So do not differ, otherwise this will weaken your opinion, and your affair will crumple. These people will only take what you just heard. An Ameer from amongst us and an Ameer from amongst them.”

The moment Al-Habbab finished his speech, Umar b. Al-Khattab stood up and said: “There is no way for two (leaders) together at any one time. By Allah the Arabs will not accept to make you leaders and their Prophet is from other than you. The Arabs have no objection to surrendering their affairs to those in whom the Prophethood came, and the man in authority of their affairs is whoever is from amongst them. Thus we have with this the clear proof and evident evidence against whoever from the Arabs who might refuse. Who disputes with us regarding the authority of Muhammad and his leadership, when we are his close friends and his tribe, except someone dispensing falsehood, or indulging in sin, or involved in a catastrophe.”

When Al-Habbab heard this, he stood up and replied: “O people of Al-Ansar control yourselves, and do not listen to the words of this man and his companions, otherwise they take your share of this matter (authority). If they refused your demands then oust them from these lands, and hold this matter over them. For by Allah, you are more deserving in this matter than them, since it was by your swords that those who did not submit to this Deen were forced to submit. I am the one who is most fit, and most experienced for it. However, by Allah, if you wish, we will go back to where we started.'”

When Umar heard him he became angry and said: "If so, may Allah kill you". Al-Hubab answered "But you whom He will kill", reaching for his sword as he spoke, but Umar hit his hand, making his sword fall, and Umar seized it.

At this crucial moment Abu Ubaydah b. Al-Jarrah, having kept silent until then, interfered in the matter. He stood up and spoke to the Ansar: "O people of Al-Ansar, you were the first of who helped and supported, so do not be the first of those who changed and reverted."

Besides this, what about the Ijma as-Sahabah that took place when Umar bin al-Khattab was stabbed. He said:

"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."

If having more than one Khalifah was allowed why did Ali (ra) fight against Mu’awiya for not giving him the Bay’ah as the Khalifah, why did Abdullah ibn Zubair (ra) fight against Yazid – they could have easily avoided bloodshed and the death of many of the Sahabah by permitting more than one Khalifah, but they didn’t as they knew it was prohibited to do so. If the issue was about Maslaha (interests) of the Muslims, then surely stopping the Fitna and spilling of Muslim blood is a great Maslaha, yet they the Sahabah didn’t see that as an excuse to legitimise having more than one Khalifah.

It is true that some of the classical scholars discussed scenarios such as:

- If there were two Khulafah in different parts of the world and they did not know of each other then both would be legitimate until they found out then one would have to step down.
- If there was a rebellious part of the Islamic state like at the time of Mu’awiya’s rebellion against Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) it would still be considered as Dar al-Islam.
- If the Imam’s were so far apart (which was a possibility then) that it was impossible for one of them to supervise the other region.

Ibn Khaldun says:

“It is not possible to appoint two men to the position (of imam) at the same time. Religious scholars generally are of this opinion, on the basis of certain traditions. Those traditions are found in the book, "On Leadership (imarah)," in the Sahih by Muslim. They expressly indicate that this is so.

Others hold that (the prohibition against two imams) applies only to two imams in one locality, or where they would be close to each other. When there are great distances and the imam is unable to control the farther region, it is permissible to set up another imam there to take care of public interests.

Among the famous authorities who are reported to have held this opinion is Professor Abu Ishaq al-Isfariyini, the leading speculative theologian. The Imam al-Haramayn also showed himself inclined toward it in his Kitab al-Irshad. The opinions of the Spaniards and Maghribis often make it evident that they, too, were inclined toward it.” [Al-Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun]

Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni wrote:

“On Election, It's Characteristics, and How the Imamate is to Be Invested
On investing the imamate in two individuals

Our associates agree on precluding the investing of two different individuals with the imamate at either end of the world. But, they add: If it should happen that two different persons were invested with the imamate, that would be analogous to the situation of two guardians contracting a marriage for the same woman to two different suitors without either being aware of the other's contract. The decision in the matter rests on the application of jurisprudence. My opinion on this issue is that investiture of two individuals with the imamate in a single locality within relatively restricted boundaries and limited provinces is not permitted and the investiture should be in accord with a consensus. But, when the distances are great and the two Imams quite remote from each other, there is room to allow it, although this cannot be established conclusively.” [A Guide o the Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief" (Kitab al-irshad ila qawati' al-adilla fi usul al-i'tiqad) p 234]

Imam Mawardi wrote:

“The investment of two sovereigns in two different cities is invalid in both cases, for the Community may not have two rulers simultaneously, even though there are some dissenting voices who would make that permissible. Jurists are disagreed regarding which one of the two should be sovereign. One party take him to be the one elected in the city where the previous leader died, because its residents are more entitled to make the choice, the rest of the Community in other districts delegating the task to them and investing the one they elect, so that no disunity is caused by differences of opinion and multiplicity of private interests. Others have suggested that each one of the two must give up the office in favour of his opponent, thus allowing the electors to opt for one or the other, in order to secure peace and ward off civil strife. Still another group have argued that lost must be drawn to prevent discord and end the dispute, the stronger claim to leadership being determined by the winner. Now, the truth of the matter is that the greater claim really belongs to the one who receives the vote of allegiance before the other, as in the case of a woman married off by her guardians to two men, for the marriage is effective only with the first of the two to conclude. Thus once the earlier appointee has been determined, the office is his, and the runner-up must concede him the leadership and vow allegiance to him. If the two, however, are invested simultaneously, their investment is invalid and the process is resumed either to choose one of them or a different candidate not known to whom, the issue is settled by evidence of priority in time. Thus, if the two adversaries claim each to have been invested earlier than the other, the claim is not considered and neither is sworn in support of it because the matter does not concern them alone but all Muslims. Neither the taking of the oath nor declining to take it is relevant to the question; indeed, were one to give up the fight and hand the office over to his opponent, the latter's right to it is still only established on the basis of evidence of his earlier investment. Even the admission by one that the other has preceded him merely excludes the testifier from office, albeit without confirming the other's right to it, for the testimony given applies to a right that pertains to the Muslim Community in its entirety. A concession of temporal precedence rendered by the adversary, on the other hand, is admitted provided it is corroborated by the testimony of an independent witness and he asserts that he had not been sure of the facts at the time when the quarrel started, but it is rejected if he does not mention his uncertainty, on account of the contradiction between the two statements.” ["The Ordinances of Government” (Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya w'al-Wilayat al-Diniyyya) pg. 7-8]

They discussed scenarios which were possible in their time when the means of communication was the pen and the means of transportation was via animals and ships. They did not discuss the reality of what exists today. Today it is clearly possible for one Khalifah to supervise the affairs in a geographically large state spanning the globe, therefore what these scholars said does not apply.

Ash-Shawkani wrote: "It is known from Islam by necessity (bi-dharoorah) that Islam has forbidden division amongst Muslims and the segregation of their land". [Tafseer al-Qur'an al-Atheem, Shawkani, volume 2, p. 215]

Imam Al-Juzairi, an expert on the Fiqh of the four Sunni schools of thought said regarding the opinion of the four Imams, “...It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Imams in the world whether in agreement or discord." [‘Fiqh ul-Mathahib ul- Arba'a’ (the fiqh of the four schools of thought), al-Juzairi, volume 5, p. 416]

Ibn Taymiyyah says: "It is essential that we know that leadership is one of the most greatest obligations of Deen. As a matter of fact, there is no Deen without it. The children of Adam will not fulfil their needs unless they get together for their needs. And when they get together, they must have a leader. For this reason, the prophet (saw) says: "If three are travelling, there must be a leader amongst them." So, the prophet (saw) mandated that one is to be appointed as the leader in a simple situation where three people are travelling. This is to make us aware of other important types of get-togethers." [Book As-Siyasah As-Shar'iyah, p.138 & 139]

Al-Imam Al-Mawardi in his book Al-Ahkam Al-Sultaniyah page 9 says: "It is forbidden for the Ummah to have two Imams at the same time."

Al-Imam Al-Nawawi in his book Mughni Al-Muhtaj, volume 4, page 132 says: "It is forbidden to give an oath to two Imams or more, even in different parts of the world and even if they are far apart".

Al-Imam Al Qalqashandi in his book Subul Al-Asha, volume 9, page 277 says, "It is forbidden to appoint two Imams at the same time".

Al-Imam Ibnu Hazm in his book Al-Muhalla, volume 9, page 360 says, "It is permitted to have only one Imam in the whole of the world."

Al-Imam Al-Sha'rani in his book Al-Mizan, volume 2, page 157 says: “It is forbidden for Muslims to have in the whole world and at the same time two Imams whether in agreement or discord."

Al-Imam Al-Qadi Abdul-Jabbar in his book Al-Mughni fi abwab Al-Tawheed, volume 20, page 243, says: "It is forbidden to give the oath to more than one."

The Shia schools of thought and others expressed the same opinion about this, whoever wishes to explore this in detail can refer to the book of Al-Fasl Fil-Milal, volume 4, page 62, and the book of Matalib Ulil-Amr and the book of Maqalat Al-Islamyin, volume 2,page 134, or the Book of Al-Moghni Fi Abuab Al-Tawhid, volume 20, pages 58-145.


Anonymous said...

We know that this opinion that the multiplicity of Imams is upheld by government backed scholars like the sheikh of Al Ahzar (from what I heard, but I may be wrong). We also know about the hadith of the Prophet (saw) who said ‘The worst of evil is the evil scholars, and the best of good is good scholars'. Now, on what basis are we allowed to describe a scholar as being corrupt and untrustworthy?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I am having trouble convincing my friends of this, I need help. It seems that to demonstrate more than the mere prohibition of having multiple leaders you will have to do more than this...If it is Kufr Buwaha to have more than one leader then I wil need Qati adilla (Thuboot and Dalalah) not ahad ahadeeth that are thanni thuboot or quotes from scholars which only proves that they are on a legitimate opinion. But to declare the status quo more than misapplication I am told I need some Qati proofs, otherwise it becomes neglecting a Fard in ruling, which is not Kufr but is this Kufr Buwaha? Please help.
If it isn't Kufr then it shouldn't be a basis for rebellion should it, otherwise aren't we doing what Abdul Wahhab did when the Ottomons ruled by non Qati 'Kufr' according to Shaykh Abdul Qadeem in How the Khilafah was destroyed?

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

It is irrelevant whether the issue of multiplicity of rulers is Qat'i or Thanni. As this is not the only point that the rulers of the Muslim world have violated from Islam. They are clearly ruling by Kufr and contradict matters which are well known to be definitive by Thuboot and Dalalah and therefore are Qat'i (definitive). For example:

- Accepting the law of man (international law) above the Shariah of Allah. Governments like Saudi Arabia who claim to rule by Islam are members of the United nations and accept its man made charter and laws above the Shariah. This is a definitive prohibition. See:

- Allying with the Kuffar against the Muslims as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others have.

- Accepting a Riba based banking system

- Totally abondoning Jihad by considering themselves as non-expansionist nation states.

Furthermore the fard of having one Khalifah was not only established in the article by khabar ahad ahadith and the quotes of scholars. It is also established by Ijma as-Sahaba which also a source of Shariah and can be a definitive proof.

Also what we are calling for is not physical rebellion in the form of armed struglle which is what Ibn Wahab agitated against the Ottomans. We are calling for re-establishment of the Khilafah by intellectual and political struggle.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

Regarding the question about the Sheikh of al-Azhar. The Sheikh of Azhar has been known contradict definitive matters in the Deen and justify the rule of the tyrant Mubarak - this is enough to disqualify him.

Check the end of the following article, it discusses the criterion of whom we should take knowledge from.

Anonymous said...

Jzk for your response, I was mentioning this to my friends and they said that the first thing I should admit is my error that it is Kufr to have more than one ruler. Then we can continue in the other points of Kufr that you listed. I believe that a sign of sincerity and Iman is to admit errors but I thought I'd ask to be sure, is it then correct that (though the majority opinion is strongest), the multiplicity of rulers is a misapplication of Islam and not Kufr? Because even the Ijma evidence brought by you is said by them not to be mutawatir and so thanni thuboot (and they seem to know alot about Islam and speak Arabic!). So actually, is there no Qati evidence (thuboot and dalalah) that establishes the obligation of one ruler? Because if not, then I must apologise to them for insisting that having more than one ruler was Kufr. They said that I must account rulers on the misapplication of this point but not call it Kufr. Is this all true?
Jzk again bro.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

The obligation of having one Khalifah today is definitive by meaning and established by various authentic ahadith and the Ijma of the Sahabah. Although as it is not definitive in transmission this means the one who rejects this is sinful and not kafir. Apart from those scholars who have a view that have views that I discussed where they mention very specific conditions and realities which don't exist today, people who say we can have more than one Khalifah today do not have a legitimate opinion. If their opinion is not from Islam we can say it is from Kufr - however we don't mean that by believing in it they become Kuffar - we mean that it is a sin. Just like the many ahadith which mention Kufr in this context like the famous hadith: "To accuse a Muslim is fisq and to fight him is kufr".

There are many other ahadith like this like the famous one about the one who abandons salah has committed kufr, etc. This means that it is not from Islam and is a sin, it doesn't mean that they are kafir.

Remember the famous hadith mentioned in the khutba's: "Every Bid'a (innovation) is a Dalalah (misguidance) and every misguidance is in the fire".

Anonymous said...

I was watching yesterday a documentary on Pakistan and I was appaled by the amount shirk that there is (the worship of saints tombs). Now, I was wondering and bearing what you just said are these muslims kafir that engage in such bida? Related to the same topic, what is your view on secular Muslims (as in Muslims who belive in the separation of Islam and politics), are they Kuffar?

Now, regarding the discussion of the other brother. I think AI has hit the nail when he said that these states are members of the UN.
Dont waste your time discussing the issue of multiplicity of rulers. Focus on the fact that they establish Kufr Bawaa like being member of the UN and therefore must be removed. The re-establishement of the Khilafah is a vital issue because it is the method by which the systems of kufr and the kufr bawaa present in the muslim countries will be removed, which in itself is a vital issue.
It has been narrated from many sources including Imam Muslim that the Prophet (saw) said "Do not challenge the people of authority unless you see explicit Kufr of which ou have clear proof from Allah (from Islam)". This hadith is in the context of a ruler in Dar ul Islam who reverts to Kufr rule or becomes Kaafir, so the issue of physically fighting him does not apply to our reality of having rulers who have never ruled by Islam and have implemented Kufr systems for the past eighty years. But, I understand from thsi hadith (and i may be wrong, I am no scholar, so correct if I am wrong) that it is impermissible for a ruler to implement explicit Kufr
and he has to be removed. How he is removed is another issue.

Anyway, I dont understand this issue that the transmission and the meaning must be clear-cut/dhanni. I saw that this requirement is only for matter of belief/aqeedah and not for matter of actions/hukm sharii. Aren't working towards the removal of Kufr and the re-establishement of the Khilafah actions that fall under the sphere of Hukm Sharia and not Aqeedah?

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

In response to some other questions I received.

a) I am not saying that if someone rejects the issue of having one Khalifah that they have committed Kufr Buwah (open kufr) and therefore are Kafir. Rather I am saying whoever does this is sinful and the promotion of disunity amongst the Muslims by the multiplicity of rulers is an idea not from Islam, whoever promotes that has committed fisq and is sinful.

b) We shouldn't discuss theoretically - there isn't a legitimate opinion regarding this matter. As I demonstrated what people quote from the scholars are actually misrepresentations of their view.

c) I am not discussing this issue as the sole issue invalidating the rule of the governments in the Muslim world. The key issues are their contradictions to Qat'i I have mentioned. This is just a further point which demonstrates their deviation. It seems odd that the questioner avoids discussing those Qat'i matters and has got bogged down on this issue.

d) The term Kufr can be and has be used by the scholars to describe issues which is someone practices makes them sinful and not a kafir. It is wrong to say only the khawarij used this. Ibn Abbas (ra) who refuted the Khawarij used the term 'kufr dun kufr' (kufr less than kufr) meaning Fisq. Other scholars have used terms such as a lesser form of kufr (kufr al-na’mah) to distinguish from another kind of kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam (kufr al-millah).

There are ahadith which use the term kufr meaning sin, for example the hadith: “There are two qualities that exist among people which are qualities of kufr: slandering people’s lineage and wailing over the dead” and “Trading insults with a Muslim is fisq (immoral conduct) and fighting him is kufr”.

e) Regardless of the semantics - working to remove the rulers in the Muslim world today and to replace them with a Khalifah via an Islamic method is an obligation today - BECAUSE THEY ARE RULING BY DEFINITIVE KUFR, they contradict matters which are well known to be definitive by Thuboot and Dalalah and therefore are QAT'I(DEFINTIVE) - I have listed some of those issues in an earlier reply such as accepting the law of man (international law) above the Shariah of Allah. So please don't get bogged down on the issue of the multiplicity of rulers.

I don't want to keep repeating what has already been explained and for some reason is being deliberately ignored by some. Therefore unless a new issue is raised which has not been addressed I will no longer respond about this issue.

Anonymous said...

I have another question.

I had ages ago a discussion with salafis on this issue, and I also know that the modernists influenced by thoughts coming from Egypt raised the same argument. Basically, you know these ahadith that say not to fight the ruler as long as he establishes salah. The scholars that work for the re-estblishment of the Khilafah say that salah is representative of the whole of the deen just like in the Qu'ran Allah (swt) talks about freeing the neck of the slave, which means the slave. In other words the part represents the whole. Well, they say that salah means literally salah and not the whole of the deen. What would yoy say to this?

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

There are multiple text on the subject which make it clear, the following article explains:

Anonymous said...

For more questions & answers on this topic check:

Anonymous said...

Interestingly the hadiths that establish the unity of the Caliphate are muttawatir by meaning and I will go into that later on in this article.
Anyway back to the primary texts of Imam Juwayni. He has this to say in his Irshaad
“Our companions have agreed on the proscription on pledging allegiance to two Imams throughout the Muslim world. They also went on to say “If it was allowed to have two Imams then it would fall under the same category as allowing two guardians of a potential bride to be married off to two husbands!” As for my position: The pledge to two Imams in one continuous area that is connected…is not allowed and an Ijma has become established on this, but if the different areas are so vastly apart (in terms of the authority of the Imam i.e. Shuzu3 al Nawah) then the possibility can be considered. This issue then goes outside what is definitely established “(as opposed to the initial scenario)
Then we have this in the Ghiath al Umam
In the seventh section dealing with appointing two Imams he has this to say.
“If the appointment of one Imam becomes feasible then the plan of Islam is established. If the Caliphate on its different levels (in strength) in both East and West of the lands has the ability to have an influence (i.e. its authority established) in these areas then it becomes obligatory to appoint him and in this case it is not allowed to have more then one Imam. This is a matter that is agreed upon and there is no difference of opinion on this”
So Imam Juwayni is now starting to clarify this “geographic” exception of lands that are “vastly apart”. He then for the whole page tells us about the calamities one can get when we have more then one Imam! Clearly Imam Juwayni does not think that the norm is plurality that can be used when the need arises! There are exceptions according to this Imam and he clarifies this further on
“It is possible that a certain people will be cut off from the authority of the Caliph (i.e. it is impossible for the orders of the Caliph to reach them) and between them and the Muslim lands is Dar Kufr. Because of this Caliph will not be able to have an authority …….With this scenario some have allowed the appointment of an authority in that area which cannot have any possible influence by the Imam . This has been attributed to our Shiekh Abu Hassan , Abu Ishaaq al Isfra’ani and others… “
Imam Juwayni goes on to agree with this view but finishes with the caption
“The person appointed though is not the Imam….”
and if this difficulty is removed then the Amir should pledge his authority to the Caliph. He considers another situation which really can reflect our reality today. What if we have a time where the lands of Islam no longer have an Imam? In other words we have a number of rulers that have authority over different areas. In this case he goes on to say they cannot claim to be an Imam. Imam Juwayni obviously, and here the word H’aja (need) comes in, does not invalidate the authority because of this need. He still though sees the need for an Imam to be appointed in this case! In fact he goes on and later clarifies the issue. If you have two Imams then the allegiance goes to the first one to claim it. If it is not clear then this does not alleviate the obligation of the Imam but it seems to be in the hands of the Muslims or at least those in authority to decide.
Imam Nawawi has this to say in his Sharh of Sahih Muslim on this view of Imam Juwayni
“…and if between them there are vast expanses then possibility can be considered… and this is a corrupt position that goes against the agreement of the Salaf, the Khalaf and the apparent wording of the hadith”
So let us recap on what deviants attribute to Imam Juwayni
1-We can have multiple rulers when the need arises
2-This is a Dhunni issue and in fact Imam Juwayni makes it a matter of the branches of our religion
Well clearly yet again we have a total distortion of the views of this illustrious Imam. In fact his views are totally the opposite of what is claimed! Subhanallah but we have learned to accept this now as the norm. What did Imam Juwayni really mean?
1-In principle we should have one Imam if he is able to have an influence on all the lands of Islam. This is a matter that is Qati i.e. definite even though it is an issue in the branches
2-In certain situations we can allow this rule to be qualified. These include the following scenarios
A-If the Imam cannot possibly have any influence on the area due to the vast distance between Muslim lands and the people also cannot receive his authority then it is allowed for them to appoint an Amir. He is not called the Imam though.
B-If we have a time when there is no Imam and we are faced with a situation where you have Amirs in different areas, then because of Duroora and Hajaa we should accept their authority but we should strive to have an Imam appointed to unite them. They may continue to be Amirs but it does not remove the obligation to appoint a Caliph. Again they are not called Imams!
C-In these situations if we have a claim to an Imama from different Amirs then we look at the temporal location of the claim. The first one to claim Imama should have priority but if it is not clear then this should not be an excuse to remove the obligation to have one Imam. It seems that this then rests with the people in authority or the Muslims as a whole to choose one.
Interestingly it seems that Imam Nawawi may have misunderstood the position of this Imam and was a tad bit to harsh but even with the whiff of the stench of disunity he put his pen to the Ink well and wrote
“…..and this is a corrupt position that goes against the agreement of the Salaf, the Khalaf and the apparent wording of the hadith”
Somehow I don’t think Imam Nawawi thought this was an ijtihaad (or at least his understanding of it).
Need I say more?
Imam Shokani and the Zaydi school
Imam Shokani is most explicit in his book Sayl al Jarar
“…After the spread of Islam…and the borders moved further away from each other , then it is know that in each area you had a Wilayah to an Imam or Sultan …..There is no objection to having many Imams and Sultans and it is obligatory to obey each one of them after the bayah has been given to them from the people of the region to implement the Uamair and Nawahi of the State”
He goes on to say
“… If someone in that region chooses to rise up against the appointed Ruler then he is to be executed if he does not repent. It is also not obligatory for one nation (or area) to obey the Imam of another area or to come under its authority “
Well that seems to fly in the face of the apparent texts. Why would Imam Shokani say such a thing? Well he had an understanding of reality that made this a rukhsa. He goes onto say
“This is because of the vast expanses of the Islamic lands that have spread out. For this reason people of one area would not be able to be informed about there Imam or Sultan. They would not know who came into authority or who died among them. This is apparent to all those who see the reality of the people and the nations before us. For the people of China and India would not know who is in authority in Morocco let alone knowing the obligations on them and visa versa. …..So the difference between the situation of the Wilaya in early periods of Islam and situation now is clearer then the Sun in broad daylight…”
In fact the one who refuses to accept this in the words of Imam Shokani is not worthy to even discuss with. He cannot be approached with proofs if he cannot understand its reality!
So let us summarise the views of Imam Shokani
1-In the early periods of Islam we had an obligation to have one Imam
2-With the passage of time as the empire expanded, it was necessary to have a Sultan in each area. In each area we cannot have disunity
3-He seems to know this is a rukhsa that goes against the apparent texts so he ventures to give his reason why we have a different understanding of reality to the early period of the Caliphate.
4-The reason is based on the inability of the subjects in each nation to know about the affairs of others that are far apart. For example the people of China could not possibly know about the affairs of the Sultan in Morocco.
Now in my eyes Imam Shokani exaggerated things a bit as it was clear that even in the Ummayad time we had one Caliph controlling vast areas of lands. Still even if we take his understanding the deviants would allow us the privilege to say that this fatwa is now defunct! I mean if the whole world can watch the World Cup finals in Football, I think it would be within the boundaries of our technological capability to pick up a phone and call someone in China even if we are in Morocco.
Interestingly this is the same position of the Zaydi school despite what Abu Zahrah has to say about it in his book “Islamic Unity”
Ibn Taymiaah and Multiple Islamic States
Qumaruddin Khan’s book can be found here
In this book he has this to say
“But this authority need not be one single unit Ibn Taymiyah for the first time in history endeavours to justify juridically that it may be divided…………..Ibn Taymiyah naturally does not use the modern terminology to express this idea, but he is very clear on this issue. In the beginning of the Siyasah, discussing the famous verse of the Quran, dealing with the question of trust authority and obedience, he observes, “The ulema say: the first verse is revealed about the rulers; it is obligatory on them to return their trusts………”. Here obviously Ibn Taymiyah is considering the possibility of many rulers and not of one supreme ruler of the community”.
Well we can clearly see amateurism already in this quote! I mean the views of certain Rukhsa’s can be traced back to the time of Imam Mawardi if not earlier! So this quote i.e.
“…..for the first time in history endeavours to justify juridically that it may be divided….”
Surely needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunately the same applies to his view on Ibn Taymiaah. On looking in Siyasat al Sharia I could not find one reference in his works that pointed to the allowance of multiple Imams! This is an excellent page to look into
Siyasat al Shariaah is online so I challenge anyone to bring the proof. In fact we have an opposite understanding by Ibn Taymiaah
“All the different nations of Islam are to be viewed in the same category as one Islamic Nation” (Bi Manzilit al Balada al Wahida)
In other words legally in Islam they are to be viewed as one ummah!
See The Fatwa wa Iktiraat Ibn Taymiaah Chapter 4 page 105 taken from Majmu al Bu7uth al Faqhiha by by Zaydan page 50.
Unfortunately this is a modern myth that has been passed around because of this book which is clearly not an academic reference.
Before I finish I just want to clarify that the the scholars that Ibn Khalduun quotes in his Muqadaamah and the group that Mawardi mentions as Shadh all subscribe to the view that is claimed by Juwayni. In fact Juwayni repeats the same scholars that Ibn Khaldoon quotes. So I do not think there is any need to delve further because the basic reasoning has been addressed. This is a good link as well, although I may not agree with all the reasoning in the article. Some more modern scholars are addressed.
The Hadith relating to Unity
On the Authority of Abu Hurayirah
“The prophet (saw) said: There will Khalifs and there will be many. They asked: What do you order us? He said: Fulfill allegiance to them one after one and give them their due. Verily Allah will ask them about what he entrusted them with” Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim
The key phrases “one after one” pointing to the fact that you give allegiance go one Caliph at a time. The Isnad need not be discussed as it is narrated both in Bukhari and Muslim
On the Authority of Ibn Abbas
“Whoever sees from his Amir something that he hates then he should be patient for whosoever breaks even an arm length from the Jama’ah (i.e. the Muslims as a whole) has died the death of Jahilyiah”
and in the meaning of Imam Muslim
“Whosoever breaks from the Sultan even an arms length has died the death of Jahiliayah”
This narration is also in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and again there is no need to comment on the Isnad of this narration. The meaning of the hadith is that we have one Jamaah and one Sultan or Amir and if we break our allegiance then we have rebelled (unless we have valid reasons). This is general and would include those who refuse to pledge allegiance to the Sultan of the Jamaa because they view the legality of many Sultans! So bring us proof if you are truthful to qualify this!
Again this narration is also narrated by Abu Hurayriah in Sahih Muslim
On the authority of Fadallah Bin Ubayad the prophet (saw) said
“Three people do not ask about, A man who has broken away from the Jama’ah and disobeyed his Imam and died in that state……”
This is narrated by Ibn Habban, Ibn Abi Asim, Al Hakim, and al Bukhari in al Adab al Mufrad with a Sahih Isnad.
Again this Isnad has nothing to comment on. This hadith shows a man who breaks away from the Jama’ah (singular) and its Imam will be in a sinful state. So again bring proof to qualify this with the allowance for multiplie Jama3at!
On the authority of Ibn Umar “ the Prophet (saw) said
“Whosoever takes his hand away from obedience then there is no excuse for him on the day of Judgement and whosoever dies breaking away from the Jamah has died the death of Jahiliyah”
This is narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, and by Ibn Abu Asim with a sahih Isnad yet again. This also supports the other narrations which are clearer in meaning.
On the authority of Abu Hurayriah The Prophet (saw) said “………..Oh Rasul Allah Shirk we know but what is the Nakth of al Safqaa and the abandonment of the Sunnah? He said “With regards to Nakth al Safqaa, it is giving a man the pledge of allegiance and then fighting him with your sword and with regards to the abandonment of the Sunnah then it is revolting against the Jamaah”
This has been narrated by Ahmad, Al Hakim, and Imam Dhahabi says it is Sahih. There is a question whether Abdullah Bin Sai’b al Shaybani al Kufi heard it directly from Abu Hurayriah or from an intermediate that is unknown
Still it is a supporting narration that goes along with the numerous hadiths mentioned.
On the authority of Abd al Rahman Bin Abd Rab al Kaaba
”………..Whosoever gives his hand in allegiance to the Imam and the fruits of his heart then he should give him if he can, for if someone else comes to dispute this then strike the laters neck….!”
This has been narrated by Muslim, Ibn Majah, Al Nisai, and Imam Ahmad. This Isnad again is Sahih except for the variations with regards to the words of Muawayiah in the end.
On the authority of Abdi Said al Khudri the Prophet (saw) said
“If the pledge of allegiance has been given to two Imams kill the later” Narrated by Imam Muslim with a sahih isnad.
On the authority of Abdullah Bin Umaru and Ibn 3ass that the prophet (saw) said
“ ……Whosoever gives his allegiance to the Imam with his hands and the fruits of his heart then he should if he is capable for if someone else comes to dispute this then strike the neck of the later” Again in Sahih Muslim with a sahih Isnad
On the authority of Arfaja that the prophet (saw) said
“ …Whosoever disputes the orders of this Ummah with its consensus then strike his neck wherever he may be”
Again in Sahih Muslim with a sahih isnad.
On the authority of Hudhaifa Bin al Yaman on the fitna the Prophet (saw) said
“….. What do you obligate from me if I see this situation. The prophet replied “ Hold on to the authority of the Jamah and its Imam!…..”
Again in Sahih Muslim with a sahih isnad

Umar Ibnu Al-Khatab and the consensus of the Sahaba. Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Ibn Abas who said:
”… Abdur-Rahman came to me and said, “Would that you had seen the man who came today to the Chief of the Believers (’Umar), saying, ‘O Chief of the Believers! What do you think about so-and-so who says, ‘If ‘Umar should die, I will give the pledge of allegiance to such-and-such person… ‘Umar became angry and then said, ‘Allah willing, I will stand before the people tonight and warn them against those people who want to deprive the others of their rights (the question of rulership).” This happened during the Hajj season, Abdur-Rahman convinced him that he should delay his speech until he arrives to Medina. Umar in Madina said: (O people!) I have been informed that a speaker amongst you says, ‘By Allah, if ‘Umar should die, I will give the pledge of allegiance to such-and-such person.’ …. Remember that whoever gives the pledge of allegiance to anybody among you without consulting the other Muslims, neither that person, nor the person to whom the pledge of allegiance was given, are to be supported, lest they both should be killed.”
It was reported by Nisa’i that Umar said: Anyone who calls the Imarah for himself or any other person without consulting the Muslims, it is not allowed for you not to kill him. A confirmation of the Isnad is needed but in meaning it is clearly sahih.
After the death of Uthman the people came to Ali to give him the bayah. Ali tried to decline but the Muslims insisted on him and he accepted under the condition he should be given the bayah in the mosque. Muhammad Ibnu Al-Hanafiah (Ali’s son) said: Ali said: Then it should be in the mosque, my bayah should not be hidden and it should be after the consent of the Muslims. (see Tareekh Al-Tabari, vol. 3, page 450, see also Al-Bayah Fi Al-fikr Al-Siasi Al-Islami, “The bayah in the Islamic political thinking”, by Mahmoud Al-Khalidi, page 107-108). Again the Isnad needs to be confirmed
In the books of Al-fasil-fil Milal by Ibnu Hazim, Tarikh of Al-tabari, Al-A’kd Al-Farid of Al-Waqidi, Al-Sira of Ibnu Kathir, Al-Sunan Al-Kubra of Bayhaqi and Siratu Ibn Hisham, that Al-Habbab Ibnu Al-Munthir said
“When the Sahaba met in the wake of the death of the Prophet (SWA) at the saqifa (hall) of Bani sa’ida: One Amir from us and one Amir from you (meaning one from the Ansar and one from the Muhajireen). Upon this Abu Bakr replied: “It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs” Then he got up and addressed the Muslims. And it has been reported in the Sirah of Ibnu Ishaq that Abu Bakr said on the day of Saqifa: “It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs for this would cause differences in their affairs and concepts, their unity would be divided and disputes would break out amongst them. The Sunnah would then be abandoned, the bida (innovations) would spread and Fitna would grow, and that is in no one’s interest.” Therefore Abu Bakr delivered the Shariah verdict on the unity of the Khilafah, stressing that it is forbidden for the Muslim Ummah to have more than one Amir. The Sahaba heard him and approved and consented, no one disputed the verdict, but submitted to it and accepted it as a law (indication of evidence from the Sunnah). The Ansar then conceded their claim to the Khilafah, and Al-Habbab Ibnu Al-Munthir was the first to give the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr”
These narrations need a detailed analysis of the Isnad but are sahih as far as I know. I have not gone into all the variations of this incident.
Clearly the companions would not prescribe a capital punishment for an act that is mubah!
So taking into account the narrations on the unity of the Muslims we have over 10 companions narrating hadith that obligate unity to one Jama’ah and a single Imam! In other words a Tawatur by Meaning! We have also numerous narrations that have reached the level of Tawatur from the Companions on the necessity of unity under one Caliph. I have mentioned four though alot more can be said.

Anonymous said...

I almost totally reject this, since you have not one verse of the quran... Or at least I cannot see any verse of the quran.

Islamic Revival said...

What you mentioned is an incorrect approach. Shariah rules must be taken from both the Quran and the Sunnah, for example the two obligatory rak'ah for fajr salah are from mutawatir ahadith and not mentioned in the Quran.

Besides the concept of Unity and the prohibition of division is mentioned in the Quran in various verses such as: “And hold fast all together by the rope which Allah and be not divided among yourselves” [TMQ Al-Imran 3:103]

Allah (Swt) said:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ

“And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you (Muslims) do not do so (protect one another), there will be Fitnah on the earth, and great corruption.” [TMQ Al-Anfal: 73]

The great Mufassir (commentator of Quran) Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said about this verse:

“The best interpretation of the above verse is, “And those who disbelieve are allies to one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so (i.e. become allies, as one united block with one Khalifah - chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world to make victorious Allâh’s Religion of Islâm), there will be Fitna and oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption.”

Anonymous said...

Salam Brother, can u plz let me know that was there any time gap between the power taking of yazid and protest of ibn zubair r.a? As u said that Yazid's khilafah was not valid, I came to know that ibn zubair protested his khilafat after some my question is that whether we would call the period of Yazid as the absence of khilafat?