Khilafah / الفتاوى العطائية (al-Fatawa al-'Ata'iyya)

The Obligation of Appointing a Khalifah Part 2

Shaykh `Ata’:

“Evidence for Establishing a Sultan (Caliph): Part 2”


  • The noble scholar shaykh `Ata’ Ibn Khalil states:

وأما السنة فقد رُوي عن نافع قال: قال لي عبد الله بن عمر: سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: «من خلع يداً من طاعة لقي الله يوم القيامة لا حجة له، ومن مات وليس في عنقه بيعة مات ميتة جاهلية» رواه مسلم. فالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فرض على كل مسلم أن تكون في عنقه بيعة، ووصف من يموت وليس في عنقه بيعة بأنه مات ميتة جاهلية. والبيعة لا تكون بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلا للخليفة ليس غير. فالحديث يوجب وجود بيعة في عنق كل مسلم، أي وجود خليفة يستحق في عنق كل مسلم بيعة بوجوده.

وروى مسلم عن الأعرج عن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «إنما الإمام جُنة يُقاتَل من ورائه ويُتقى به». وروى مسلم عن أبي حازم قال: قاعدت أبا هريرة خمس سنين، فسمعته يُحدّث عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «كانت بنو إسرائيل تسوسهم الأنبياء، كلما هلك نبي خلفه نبي، وإنه لا نبي بعدي، وستكون خلفاء فتكثر، قالوا فما تأمرنا؟ قال: فُوا ببيعة الأول فالأول، وأعطوهم حقهم، فإن الله سائلهم عما استرعاهم». فهذه الأحاديث فيها وصف للخليفة بأنه جُنة، أي وقاية. فوصف الرسول بأن الإمام جنة هو إخبار فيه مدح لوجود الإمام، فهو طلب؛ لأن الإخبار من الله ومن الرسول، إن كان يتضمن الذم فهو طلب ترك، أي نهي، وإن كان يتضمن المدح فهو طلب فعل، فإن كان الفعل المطلوب يترتب على فعله إقامة الحكم الشرعي، أو يترتب على تركه تضييعه، كان ذلك الطلب جازماً. وفي هذه الأحاديث أيضاً أن الذين يسوسون المسلمين هم الخلفاء، وهو يعني طلب إقامتهم. على أن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم أمر بطاعة الخلفاء، وبقتال من ينازعهم في خلافتهم. وهذا يعني أمراً بإقامة خليفة، والمحافظة على خلافته بقتال كل من ينازعه. فقد روى مسلم أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «ومن بايع إماماً فأعطاه صفقة يده، وثمره قلبه، فليطعه إن استطاع. فإن جاء آخر ينازعه، فاضربوا عنق الآخر». فالأمر بطاعة الإمام أمر بإقامته، والأمر بقتال من ينازعه قرينة على الجزم في دوام إيجاده خليفة واحداً.


As for the Sunnah, there is a narration form Nafi` who said: `Abd Allah b. `Umar said to me: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) say: “Whoever removes his hand from obedience, he will meet Allah on the Resurrection Day without having any proof for himself; and whoever dies while pledge of allegiance (bay`ah) on his neck, his death would be that of the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah).”[1] So the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) made it obligatory upon every Muslim to have a bay`ah on his neck. He described the one who dies without having a bay`ah on his neck as if he died the death of jahiliyyah. The bay`ah after the Messenger of Allah is not valid except for the Khalifah and no other. The hadith obligates that the bay`ah should be on the neck of every Muslim, i.e. it necessitates the existence of a Khalifah, who, through his existence, is entitled to a bay`ah on the neck of every Muslim.

Muslim also narrated from al-A`raj from Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) who said: “Indeed the Imam is a shield behind whom you would fight and by whom one would protect oneself.” Muslim also reported on the authority of Abu Hazim that he said: I accompanied Abu Hurayrah for five years and heard him informing about what the Prophet said: “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 soon be Khulafa’ and they will number many.” They asked: ‘what then do you order us to do?’ He said: “Fulfil the bay`ah to them, one after the other and give them their dues for Allah will verily account them about what he entrusted them with.” In these narrations, there is a description (wasf) of the Khalifah as being a shield (junnah), i.e. a protection (wiqayah). The description of the imam as a shield by the Messenger of Allah is information of praise [regarding the imam] that he should exist and this amounts to a request (talab). This is because when Allah or His Messenger informs us about something that includes a rebuke, this is taken as a request to avoid a prohibition i.e. to abstain from it. When the text contains praise, it is taken as a request to perform an action; and if the commanded action is necessary to implement the divine rule, or if its neglect would cause the divine law to be abandoned, then this request becomes decisive. These narrations also inform us that those who run the affairs of the Muslims are the Khulafa’, which means a command of appointing them. They also include the prohibition of Muslims separating themselves from authority. This means the obligation that the Muslim establishes power, i.e. authority to the Khalifah. However, the Messenger of Allah ordered the Muslims to obey the Khulafa’ and to fight those who dispute with them regarding their authority, which means that it is an obligation to appoint a Khalifah and protect his Khilafah by fighting those who dispute his authority.”[2]

Part 3…



[1] The full narration is as follows: `Ubayd Allah b. Mu`adh al-`Anbari related that: my father related that: `Asim – who is ibn Muhammad b. Zayd narrated from Zayd b. Muhammad from Nafi` who said that: `Abd Allah b. ‘Umar came to ‘Abd Allah b. Muti` and it was during the time when al-Harra [had occurred] in the reign of  Yazid b. Mu`awiyah and [ibn Muti`] said: ‘bring a cushion for Abu `Abd al-Rahman’ but [the latter] said: ‘I have not come here to sit with you, rather I have come to tell you (li-uhadditha laka) about a narration (hadithan) I heard from the Messenger of Allah (SAW): ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger say’: ‘Whoever withdraws (man khala`a) his hand from obedience, he will meet Allah on The Day of Judgment with no argument for him (la hujjah lahu); and anyone who dies without a pledge of allegiance (bay`ah) on his neck, he dies a death like the days of ignorance (maytatah jahiliyyah).’” Two broad points can be made about the narration: 1) the negation in “la hujjah lahu” is known as the ‘negation of the genus’ (la li-nafy al-jins) which denotes the negation of every category and type and so precludes any and every kind of defence, stand or apology. This is a strong qarinah (indication) establishing the extreme importance of having obedience to the khalifah for no person will have any acquittal or pretence whatsoever before Allah on the Day of Judgment as Imam al-Nawawi writes: “‘Whoever withdraws his hand from obedience, he will meet Allah on The Day of Judgment with no argument for him’ means: there is no defence for him and no excuse (la `udhr lahu) for opposing it,” al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslimhadith no. 1851, p.1435 and 2) The co-ordinator particle “waw” in the hadith here stands to denote what is ‘newly commenced’ (li ’l-isti’naf) and according to the rules of Arabic grammar, a ‘newly commenced sentence’ (jumlah isti’nafiyyah) establishes an entirely new subject-matter and reference. The hadith is in fact a disjunction of two separate statements the first being recanting from giving obedience to the ruler and the second having the pledge of allegiance upon one’s neck. Cf. Kamal Hussain’s article, The Fardiyyah, pp.15-18

[2] “Q & A: Implementing the Hudud in a Land”.


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