Islamic Themes / Khilafah

Two Characteristics of the Khalifah



Two characteristics of the khalifah:

  • The noble jurists have delineated a number of qualities of the Islamic ruler (caliph).
  • The Imam/khalifah/sultan has to be brave and firm in administering the ahkam shari`iyyah – especially the hudud.

(الثالث : أن يكون قَيِّما بأمر الحرب والسياسة وإقامة الحدود لا تلحقه رأفة في ذلك والذب عن الأمة)

Imam al-Juwayni and Qadi Abu Ya`la both state: “that he [s: the Imam] must be firm in the matter of upholding war when it is necessary, correctly administering the political affairs as well as establishing the hudud of Allah and not to be soft in it but to defend the umma.”[1]

(الرابع : الرأي المفضي إلى سياسة الرعية وتدبير المصالح، الخامس : الشجاعة، والنجدة المؤدية إلى حماية البيضة وجهاد العدو)

Imam al-Mawardi states that in addition to the khalifah being able to administer the political affairs of the people and to implement what is in their interests (tadbir al-masalih), “…he ought to be brave and undaunted in protecting the territories of Islam and upholding jihad against the enemies where necessary”.[2]

  • Today, the Islamic values, laws, beliefs and symbols are under open vilification and attack: – the ban on the face veil (niqab) in France and the attempt to initiate a ‘ban the Qur’an day’ are just two recent examples.
  • No response, challenge or leadership has been shown by the current Muslim rulers who have a track record of oppressing its citizens and instituting policies against Islamic interests.
  • In Tunisia, under the Ben Ali regime, women who wear the headscarf have been horribly harassed and the oppression of any Islamic or non-Islamic opposition goes on.
  • In Syria, the ban on the niqab in the universities has shown how Syrian secular values are to trump its Islamic values.
  • In Bangladesh any attempt at Islamic politics is banned and activists persecuted.
  • In Egypt, the collusion of the government with Israel and America still goes on leaving the Palestine question unresolved. And the list goes on. 
  • No Muslim ruler has even addressed these issues in the interest of the Muslim ummah.
  • We as an ummah need to wake up and realise that only under the shade of the khilafah with the leaderhip of one imam will we be able protect our din and its laws, values and beliefs.

And this is the work needed so urgently today.


[1] See al-Juwayni, Ghiyath al-Umam, p.68 and Abu Ya`la, al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya, p.20.

[2] See al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya, p.6.


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