Q&A: Strength of Hadith evidence used in specifying the Time Limit to appoint a Khaleefah


Jazak Allah for your reply… also is it possible to make the discussion open so that Muslims may benefit from their contents and to see the sincerity of Hizb ut Tahrir and its Ameer in accepting the truth, after they realise the weakness of the opinion?

The first idea that we want to discuss is the time limit for the Muslims to establish the Khilafah.

A brother named Aang Yulius wrote this article to me:

Is the narration used by Hizb ut Tahrir as an evidence for the fixed time limit for the Muslims to establish the Khilafah correct?

From the adopted thoughts of Hizb ut Tahrir is the appointment of a Khalifah for all Muslims; they say it is not permissible for the Muslims to be without a Khalifah for more than three days; if three days passes without any one appointing a Khaleefah for all Muslims, they all become sinful. After the destruction of the Ottoman Khilafah till this day the Muslims have lived for more than eighty years without a Bay’ah (pledge of allegiance to the Khaleefah) on their necks. Anyone who does not participate in the work to attempt to establish the Khilafah is sinful. Hizb ut Tahrir presents Ijmaa’ as-Sahaba as an evidence for the three days time limit for the Muslims to establish the Khilafah; it is the famous narration of Umar Ibn Al-Khatab (ra): It was narrated that after he was stabbed and his death was imminent, he (ra) nominated six of the senor Sahaba so that one of them can be the Khaleefah through the method of consultation between them. He gave the instruction to kill anyone who disagreed with the group once the three days had lapsed. He ordered fifty of the Sahaba to execute his instructions; this took place with the knowledge of the senior Sahaba; no one objected or condemned such instructions. This is an evidence for their consensus that the time limit to establish the state is three days. The origin of this idea is what is narrated from “The History of Tabari” (Tareekh at-Tabari) in this text:

“If five of them agree and one disagrees, then smash his head or break his head with the sword, and if four of them agree upon one man and two disagreed then break both of their necks…”

This is a core thought of Hizb ut Tahrir which is written in their adopted books and are published by the Shabab under the name of the Hizb or their own names. This idea is written in the book The Institutions of State in the Khilafah under the chapter of the time limit for Muslims to establish the Khilafah (page 53 of the Arabic version and p.35 in the English version) and the book The Ruling System in Islam under the chapter of the method of appointing the Khaleefah, and others.

The problem is the weakness of the narration because in its transmission there is a mention of Aba Mukhannaf and he was from the Shi’a ar-Rafidha. Ibn Mu’een described him as untrustworthy. Also in the Isnad (transmission) there are other unknown narrators… and in the Isnad are narrators who are defrauders and they were mentioned in the “‘An” (from so and so) format.

There is also another narration regarding the meaning of the narration of Tabari, but it is also weak because the transmission is interrupted/cut.

It was narrated that Ibn Sa’d in Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra had a similar narration that included Sammak Bin Harb Al-Zahli Al-Bakri who was described by Al-Khafath as “truthful but he changed” and he could not have met with Umar because the chain was cut.

In terms of the meaning, we find that which cannot be believable from the Tabari narration and others similar to it that contradicts the correct narration. Let us look at the following points: How can Umar (ra) order the killing of the prominent Sahaba?

How can Umar (ra) say this knowing that they are the best out of the Prophet’s companions?

Therefore this clearly shows that this narration is weak. So it cannot be used as an evidence to say that the time limit for the Muslims to establish the Khilafah is three days, and it is false when glorifying the Khilafah to say: “Umar ordered the killing of the one who refuses to appoint the Khaleefah”.

So what is your opinion? We await a comprehensive answer.

From: Muafa Abu Haura


Before I answer, I would like to point out some issues that drew my attention:

a) The Question came under the name Muafa Abu Haura but the article that you used in the question came under the name Aang Yulius!

b) You said, “Also is it possible to make the discussion open so that Muslims may benefit from their contents and to see the sincerity of Hizb ut Tahrir and its Ameer in accepting the truth, after they realise the weakness of the opinion?” How is it that you want a discussion when you have decided “after they realise the weakness of the opinion”. Would you not want to wait until the end of the discussion to find out the strength or weakness of the opinion… it is best not to decide that the opinion is weak until after the discussion that you are keen to have, isn’t this right?

c) You did not greet us, you did not say Assalamu Alaikum and yet you made a du’a, which we do not know if it is for us or against us; you said Jazak Allah for reply but you did not specify which type of reward it should be good or bad! You have ended the duaa with three dots and kept the rest concealed “in the belly of the poet”.

Regardless of this or that, I will assume you have good intentions in coming to the understanding of the above points and will answer the article of your friend. And the success is from Allah:

1. Hizb ut Tahrir and its Ameer do not refuse a purposeful discussion to demonstrate the truth with the intention that it will be followed and to work based on it in order to resume the Islamic way of life by establishing of the Khilafah ar-Rashida, the great obligation in which no Muslim is permitted to stay without the appointment of a Khaleefah for more than a three day period or else all those capable to work for its establishment and do not do so will become sinful.

2. The writer of the article discussed Al-Tabar’s narration that included “Abu Mukhanaf” and he accounted that he is untrustworthy. He also mentioned men in the narration that he said were unknown and others who narrate with the “‘An” (from so and so) format…

Then he mentioned the narration in Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d and mentioned “Simmak Bin Harb” in its transmission and said that he was “truthful but he changed” and that Simmak never met Umar (ra).

3. The article’s writer discussed a very important issue but from one narration, even though this issue of “waiting for three days and then to kill the one that disagrees” is not a secret, on the contrary, it was known to the Sahaba (ra)… and in many narrations. Also his saying that the men were unknown, this is not considered an evidence, he might not recognise them, but others with a stronger memory than his did.

The same is applied to the “‘An” (from so and so format) argument is an evidence that shows his ignorance in the science of hadeeth because the “An” (from so and so) format is accepted as long as it has met the conditions of the transmission.

4. Acceptance of the hadeeth or its rejection requires the knowledge and fiqh of the science of terminology of the hadeeth, its origins and branches. I will mention some of them for the sake of the answer to your friend’s article, he might be able to recollect them if he is from the people of this Knowledge.

According to the Muhaditheen (scholars of hadeeth) some regarded trustworthy narrator and others did not regard them so, some regarded them as a known narrators but others did not. The Muhadtheen differed in considering what hadith to be from a correct chain and what is not; some considered a chain to be correct and others consider it incorrect, some hadeeth will be challenged by some while considered sahih or hasan according to one opinion or many opinions or all opinions and is an incorrect imposition and contradicting to the reality of the hadeeths.

When looking at the Ijtihad of renowned faqheehs (Islamic jurists) you will find one them taking a hadeeth as evidence but another will not; because it is considered correct by the first one and incorrect by the second. You will find this with the Hanafi, Maliki’s, Shafi’i’s, Hanbali’s and others.

It is best to have deliberation and thoughts about a hadeeth before challenging it or rejecting it, those who follow the narrators and Ahadeeth will find many difference in this between many Muhaditheen, there are numerous examples about this:

For instance, Abu Dawoud narrated from Amr Bin Shu’aib from his father from his grandfather that he said: The Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«الْمُسْلِمُونَ تَتَكَافَأُ دِمَاؤُهُمْ. يَسْعَى بِذِمَّتِهِمْ أَدْنَاهُمْ، وَيُجِيرُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَقْصَاهُمْ، وَهُمْ يَدٌ عَلَى مَنْ سِوَاهُمْ يَرُدُّ مُشِدُّهُمْ عَلَى مُضْعِفِهِمْ، وَمُتَسَرِّيهِمْ عَلَى قَاعِدِهِمْ…»

“Muslim blood is one, they are equal in covenants, their furthest is protected and they are united when attacked, the strong responds for the weak, and the chivalry respond for those sitting.”

The narrator of the hadeeth is Amr Bin Shu’aib; it is well known regarding Amr Bin Shu’aib from his father, from his grandfather, yet many used it as evidence and rejected by others.

Also the example in Al-Darqitni from Al-Hasan from Ubada and Anas Ibn Malik that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«مَا وُزِنَ مِثْلٌ بِمِثْلٍ إِذَا كَانَ نَوْعًا وَاحِدًا وَمَا كَيْلَ فَمِثْلُ ذَلِكَ، فَإِذَا اخْتَلَفَ النَّوْعَانِ فَلَا بَأْسَ بِهِ»

“The weight and measure are of those of the same type, if the two types differ then it is acceptable”.

In the transmission of this hadeeth is Al-Rabee’ Bin Sabeeh, he is considered trustworthy by Abu Zar’a but some group said it is weak (transmission).

If this hadeeth is used as an evidence, or that another hadeeth that includes Al-Rabee’ Bin Sabeeh in the transmission, it is accepted that he has used a Shari’ah evidence.

Another example: Narrated by Ahmad that Ibn Numair told us, Anas bin Malik told us, Abdullah Bin Yazeed told us, the slave of Al Aswad Bin Sufian, from Abi ‘Ayash from Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqas that he said: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was asked about the wet dates being weighed against the dry dates, He صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

«أَلَيْسَ يَنْقُصُ الرُّطَبُ إِذَا يَبِسَ» قَالُوا: بَلَى. «فَكَرِهَهُ»

“Does not the weight of the wet dates decreases when dried?” they said yes. “He made it detestable”

In the narration of Abu Dawoud with this version: Abdullah Bin Maslama told us from Malik, from Abdullah Bin Yazeed, that Zaydan Aba ‘Ayash, told him that Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas said: I heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ask about buying dry dates with wet dates, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked:

«أَيَنْقُصُ الرُّطَبُ إِذَا يَبِسَ؟» قَالُوا نَعَمْ، «فَنَهَاهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ ذَلِكَ»

“Does the wet date decrease in weight when they are dry?” They said yes, “The Messenger of Allah sallalahu alaihi wassalam prohibited us from doing so.”

This hadeeth is considered Sahih by At-Tirmithi but was doubted by a group from the: Al-Tahawi, At-Tabari, Ibn Hazm, and Abdul Haq, because it has included Zaydan Aba ‘Ayash and he is unknown. He said in the Talqhees to an answer that Ad-Darqitni said that he is proved to be trustworthy (meaning Zaydan Abu ‘Ayash). The Munthiri said that he narrated two from him; Malik approved it with severe criticism. So if any one used this hadeeth that includes Abu ‘Ayash then he would have used a Shar’ evidence.

Hence, to extract the hukm; it cannot be from one narration without considering the other narrations, it is not sufficient to get criticism and modification (Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel) from one party without looking at the other different parties, instead the issue must be studied from all aspects…

5. Now I will discuss some areas that are either unknown or were ignored by the article’s writer:

In his commentary on At-Tabari’s narration he focussed on Abi Mukhanaf but left his partner in the transmission. The narration of At-Tabari states that: “Umar Bin Shibhat told us, he said: Ali Bin Muhammad told us from Wakee’, from Al-A’mash, from Ibrahim and Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Ansary, from Ibn Arooba from Qatadah from “Shahr Bin Hawshab and Abi Mukhanaf”, from Yusuf Bin Yazeed, from Abbas Bin Sahl and Mubarak Bin Fadhala, from Ubaid Allah Bin Umar and Yunus Bin Abi Ishaq, from Amr Bin Maysoon Al Awdi that Umar Bin Al Khattab when he was stabbed…” (End of quote).

The writer of the article focussed on Abi Mukhanaf and mentioned that he is weak, and left out Shahr Bin Hawshab, Abi Mukhanaf’s partner. In the narration from Yusuf bin Yazeed, that Qatada narrated from (Abi Mukhanaf ans Shahr Bin Hawshab) and they both narrated from Yusuf Bin Yazeed but he only mentioned Aba Mukhanaf, this is because Shahr Bin Hawshad was considered trustworthy by a group.

Al ‘Ijli (died 261 AH) said in his book Athiqat: (Shahr Bin Hawshab: from Ash-Sham; Tabi’i, trustworthy)

Al-Haithami (died 807 AH) said regarding Shahr Bin Hawshab in Mujama’ Az- Zawa’id and Manba’ al Fawa’id in more than one place:

(Shahr Bin Hawshab, who was made trustworthy and who was disagreed on but made trustworthy by Ahmad and Ibn Ma’een and Abu Zur’ah and Ya’qoob Bin Sheeba), (Shahr Bin Hawshab who was disputed about has been made trustworthy more than once), (Shahr Bin Hawshab who was disputed about has been made trustworthy by a group).

Ibn Shaheen (died 385 AH) said in his book the History of Trustworthy Names Thiqat: (Yahya said Shahr Bin Hawshab is proved and in another narration about him that he is from Sham, and stayed in Basra, and was from Ash’aris and is trustworthy)

This is why Qatadah narrated from Abi Mukhanaf and Shahr Bin Hawshab and not just from Abi Mukhanaf, but the writer of the article did not mention Shahr Bin Hawshab because he was made trustworthy by more than one Muhadith.

This is regarding At-Tabari.

• As for the narration of Ibn Sa’d in At-Tabaqat:

The writer of the article mentioned one of the narrations in At-Tabaqat which included Simmak, this is the Sanad of the narration:

“He said: Abdullah Bin Bakr As-Sahmy told us saying: Hatim Bin Abi Sagheera told us from Simmak that Umar Bin Al-Khattab when his death approached he said If I choose my successor it is Sunnah and if I don’t choose my successor it is Sunnah, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم died and did not choose a successor, and Abu Bakr died but he chose a successor”

The writer of the article mentioned that Simmak who was described as “trustworthy and then changed it” Could not have met with Umar….

But it was mentioned in the History of Trustworthy Names Thiqat: by Ibn Hiban (died: 354H) from Simak Bin Harb the following: (Simmak Bin Harb Al-Bikri from the people Kufa….At-Thawri narrated from him and Shu’ba. Hamad Bin Salama used to say, I heard Simmak Bin Harb say I met eighty of the companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, and he died during the rule of Hisham Bin AbdulMalik when Yusuf Bin Umar was made Wali over Iraq and he is Simmak Bin Harb Bin Aws Bin Khalid Bin Nizar Bin Mu’awia Bin Amir Bin Zuhl).

Also in the book of the History of the Names of the Thiqat by Ibn Shaheen the following:

(He said Simmak Bin Harb is trustworthy, he told us Abdullah Bin Muhammad Al- Baghawi said he tod us Muhammad Bin Ghailan said he told us from Hamad Bin Salamah from Simmak Bin Harb, he said: “I have met eighty from the companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

This proves that Simmak have met with eighty of the companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, it is a reasonable number enough to make him met with Umar; If any of the companions is left out from the transmission it does not affect its correctness.

• Even though Ibn Sa’d have mentioned many narrations regarding the issue that does not include Simmak.

He said: Ubaidullah Bin Musa said: He told us that Israel Bin Yunus from Abi Ishaq from Amr Bin Maysoon said: “I witnessed when Umar was stabbed… then he said: Summon for me Ali, Uthman, Talha, Zubair, Abdullah Bin Awf and Sa’d. Then he said call for me Suhaib, he was summoned, he said: “Lead the people in prayer for three days and these men will have consultation in a house, if they agree upon one man, break the head of the one who disagrees with them.

Amr Bin Maymon Al Awdi had converted to Islam during the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and he performed Hajj 100 times; some said 70 Hajj. He gave his Zakat to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as was mentioned in Asad Al Ghaba, he witnessed the stabbing of Umar (ra). He said: Muhammad Bin Umar said; Muhammad Bin Musa said; he told us from Ishaq Bin Abdullah Bin Abi Talha from Anas Bin Malik that he said Umar Bin Al-Kattab said to Abi Talha Al-Ansari an hour before his death and said: “O Abu Talha be with these men of shura and bring with you fifty of your men from Al Ansar, they will be meeting in one of the houses, so guard the door with your men, do not allow anyone to enter to them, and don’t let the third day pass without them choosing one Ameer from them, by Allah you are my successor over them.”

He said: Muhammad Bin Umar told us and said: Musa Bin Ya’qoob told me from Abi Al Howayrith that he said: Umar said in what he instructed: “If I die then let Suhaib lead you in prayer for three (days) then consult with each other and give Bay’ah to one of you…”

It is clear that Ibn Sa’d has more than one narration but the article’s writer clutched on to the doubt (shubha) that he found in one narration that involved Simmak and left the others which proves that he is not in pursuit to reach the truth instead he wants to cast doubt on the people of Haq, but he will not reach this goal!

Together with all of this there are other narrations proved by Ibn Shabat in his book The History of Medina, and here I would like to mention three narrations:

Abu Bakr Al Ulaimi told us, he said: Al Nadhr Bin Shumail told us, he said: Ibn Al Mubarak told us: he said: a slave of the family of Ibn Affan told us: That Umar (ra) ordered Suhaib to lead the people in prayer for Three (days) and said: “Do not let three days pass or do not let three days set on you until you give Bay’ah (to one of you) i.e. the people of Shura (consultation), then fear Allah and make up between you and do not divide and dispute and obey Allah and His Messenger and the Ameer.”

Haban Bin Bishr told us, Yahya Bin Adam told us, he said: Ibn Idris told us, he said, from Talha bin Yahya Bin Talha, from Isa Bin Talha and Urwa Bin Al Zubair, they said, he said: When Umar (ra) was stabbed: “Let Suhaib lead you in prayer for three (days) and consult Talha if he comes with the decision or consult each other in the matter, for the Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم can be left for three with nothing.”

Muhammad told us, he said: Musa Bin Uqbah told us, he said: Nafi’ told us that Abdullah Bin Umar (ra) told hi that Umar (ra) was washed and shrouded and prayed on (Jinaza prayer), he was a Shaheed, and said that Umar (ra) said: “If I die then wait for three days, let Suhaib lead the people in prayer, do not let the fourth day descend on you and you are without an Ameer appointed over you and let Abdullah Bin Umar attend as a consultant and he should not be involved in the issue and Talha is your partner in the issue, if he arrives in the third day, let him witness your affairs and if three days passes before his arrival then carry on with your affair…”

He said to the Miqdad Bin Al Aswad: “If you put me in my grave, gather those people in a house until they choose one man from amongst them.” He said to Suhaib: “Lead the people in prayer for three days and bring Ali, Uthman, Az –Zubair, Sa’d and Abd ur Rahman Bin Awf and Talha when he arrives and bring Abdullah bin Umar but he is not involved in the issue and supervise them, if five agree and one disagrees, smash his head with the sword, If four agree upon one man and disagree, then break their heads, if three agree upon one man, then make Abdullah Bin Umar as the Judge, so whoever he chooses from the two teams they choose a man from amongst them, if they do not agree with Abdullah Bin Umar’s decision then choose one from the team that includes Abd ur Rahman Bin Awf and kill the rest, if they object to what the people have consented to”.

• The mention of three days period is mentioned in the narration in general with no mention of the killing of the one who disagrees; e.g. “let him lead the people for three days”, “Do not let three days passes you”, “Do not let three days pass without you giving the bay’ah to one of you”, “Let Suhaib Lead you in prayer for three” then seek consent in the issue and give bay’ah to one of you”

There are detailed narrations of the killing of the one who disagrees. “Lead the people in prayer for three….if they agree upon one man, break the head of the one who disagrees”…and so on, i.e. that the duration of three days mentioned in the narration are general without the mention of the details of the action to be taken to the one in disagreement. In other narrations the details of the action to be carried out on the one who disagrees are mentioned, which is killing.

So why did the writer of the article focuses on the killing of the one who disagrees and left out the narrations of three days period which does not mention the killing of the one who disagrees? He wanted to bring up the issue of killing to get an emotional reception to his opinion even though the saying of Umar is known to people regarding the killing of the one who disagrees and it is an evidence for the three days which is very important.

• Therefore the writer of the article and his likes and followers as it seems are not seeking the truth as much as they want to bring confusion to the people of Haq and to find excuses for their cowardice and inaction, to undertake this great obligation that the Sahaba have prioritised over the burial of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

As for what the writer of the article mentions at the end of his article by saying:

“How can Umar (ra) orders the killing of senior Sahaba?

How can Umar (ra) say this knowing that they are the best out of the Prophet’s companions?” (End of quote).

The Shari’ah rules are taken from their evidences and not taken by desire and assumption.

The one who reflects upon what we have mentioned and understands it will be guided to the truth by the permission of Allah and the one who took pride in his sin and wrote the article and insisting on not comprehending, then the answer will be of benefit to him, his matter is referred to Allah, it is He Jal Wa ‘Ala Who Guides to the right path.

Your brother,

Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

15 Sha’ban 1434 AH

24 June 2013 CE

The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page: