Ahmed narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw), who conveys the meaning of Allah’s (swt) Ahkam in his (saw) own words as part of his Sunnah, who does not speak except that which is revealed to him (saw) from His Lord, declared,
«تَكُونُ النُّبُوَّةُ فِيكُمْ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَكُونَ ثُمَّ يَرْفَعُهَا إِذَا شَاءَ أَنْ يَرْفَعَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خِلَافَةٌ عَلَى مِنْهَاجِ النُّبُوَّةِ فَتَكُونُ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَكُونَ ثُمَّ يَرْفَعُهَا إِذَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَرْفَعَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ مُلْكًا عَاضًّا فَيَكُونُ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَكُونَ ثُمَّ يَرْفَعُهَا إِذَا شَاءَ أَنْ يَرْفَعَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ مُلْكًا جَبْرِيَّةً فَتَكُونُ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَكُونَ ثُمَّ يَرْفَعُهَا إِذَا شَاءَ أَنْ يَرْفَعَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خِلَافَةً عَلَى مِنْهَاجِ النُّبُوَّة ثم سكت»
“Prophethood will last with you for as long as Allah wants it to last. Then there will be Khilafah according to the Method of Prophethood, and things will be as Allah wishes them to be. Then Allah will end it when He wishes. Then there will be biting (hereditary) rule, and things will be as Allah wishes them to be. Then, Allah will end it when He wishes. Then there will be an oppressive rule, and things will be as Allah wishes them to be. Then, Allah will end it when He wishes. Then there will be a Khilafah according to the method of Prophethood.” After this speech, then, he (saw) fell silent.
In the time of oppressive rule in the Muslim World, it is a source of hope and inspiration that the bushra (glad tidings) of the Messenger of Allah (saw) indicate that the Khilafah will indeed return. Moreover, the Khilafah which will return will be of specific characteristics. It is going to be like the first Khilafah, established by the great Companions (ra) of the Messenger of Allah (saw), a Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of the Prophethood. Thus, it is not to be from the biting rule, as the Khilafah came to be after the Khulafa’a Rashideen. The hereditary character of the ruling is described in the Hadith as ‘biting’, meaning clinging to the rule, in the way that dynasties do cling. In this period, the Khaleefah on approaching death would nominate his successor from his dynasty and he would ask for Bayah to be given to him. The contracting Bayah would then be taken upon the Khaleefah upon the death of the Khaleefah. Thus, we take the words of the Messenger of Allah (saw) as a bushra (glad tidings), lifting our hearts from grief at the sad situation of the Ummah under the oppressive rule.
However, at the same time, the glad tidings of the Messenger (saw) do not mean that we take them as an excuse for inaction. No, by no means, for the blessed Hadith is not only glad tidings, it is also khabar (news) by the meaning of action for us to undertake. As such the Hadith is similar to the Hadith,
لَتُفْتَحَنَّ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةُ» «فَلَنِعْمَ الْأَمِيرُ أَمِيرُهَا، وَلَنِعْمَ الْجَيْشُ ذَلِكَ الْجَيْشُ
“You will open Constantinople. The best Amir will be its Ameer and the best army will be its army.” [Ahmad.] Here too, we have news (khabar), in the form of a demand to act (Talab bil fa’il). Thus, for centuries, every Muslim was eager to witness the glad tidings but did not become resigned to fatalism, idleness or complacency. Muslims were keen to have the glad tiding of RasulAllah (saw) becoming a reality at their hands. So, Muslim rulers exerted their efforts to be the best Ameer, obedient to Allah (swt) and implementing His (swt) commands, and prepare the best army, grooming them upon Islam and equipping them with the finest weaponry. Then Allah (swt) bestowed His Nasr (Victory) to Sultan Muhammad al-Faatah, who opened Constantinople.
So what is upon us, O Muslims, one hundred Hijri years since the abolition of the Khilafah, in the interim of the oppressive rule, before the return of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood? Whilst we dearly wish to see it, are we not to undertake the actions to achieve it? We must take action for the sake of re-establishing the Khilafah, for the Hadith of the return of the Khilafah on the Method of Prophethood is also khabar by the meaning of action. Thus, we are also commanded to establish the Khilafah, seeking from Allah (swt) to be amongst those honoured to establish it. We must be the best Muslims we can be and equip ourselves with the knowledge of Islam accordingly in order to be deserving for such a high quality of Khilafah. We do not simply submit to our situation, making Dua alone, without acting according to the commands of Allah (swt). Indeed, the weight of the words of Messenger of Allah (saw) are to be considered,
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنْ الْمُنْكَرِ أَوْ لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عِقَابًا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ ثُمَّ لَتَدْعُنَّهُ فَلَا يَسْتَجِيبُ لَكُمْ»
“By the one in whose hands is my soul, you must enjoin the ma’roof and you must abstain from evil or Allah (swt) will send upon you punishment from him, then you will make Dua to him and he will not answer you.” [Ahmad] So if we are to act, what are the actions required of us, whether they are actions of the heart or actions of the limbs?
As for the actions of the heart, our Emaan is that Nasr (Victory) is from Allah (swt) Alone, with no partners with Him. After the kuffar defeated us when they collaborated with traitors from amongst the Arab and Turkish leadership to destroy the Khilafah, our victory over them, by restoring the Khilafah, depends on Nasr (victory) from Allah (swt) alone. Allah (swt) said,
(وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بُشْرَى وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ بِهِ قُلُوبُكُمْ وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلاَّ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ)
“And Allah made it not but good tidings and so that your hearts would be assured thereby. And Victory is from none but from Allah. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:10]. Ibn Kathir commented in his Tafsir, “وإلا فهو تعالى قادر على نصركم على أعدائكم” “There is none but Him that is capable to grant victory to you against your enemies.” Imam at-Tabari commented,
“وما تنصرون على عدوكم، أيها المؤمنون، إلا أن ينصركم الله عليهم, لا بشدة بأسكم وقواكم, بل بنصر الله لكم, لأن ذلك بيده وإليه”
“You are not victorious over your enemies, O believers, except when Allah (swt) grants you Victory over your enemies, not by the force of your might and power, but by the granting of Victory to you by Allah (swt), for Victory is in His Hand and upon Him.” Indeed, though the kuffar fight the return of Islam, both directly and through their agents in the Muslim World, it is Allah (swt) Alone that will grant us victory over them.
Emaan compels us to obey Allah (swt), abstaining from sins He (swt) forbade us from and undertaking duties He (swt) commanded us, when seeking His Nasr, (وَكَانَ حَقًّا عَلَيْنَا نَصْرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ) “And incumbent upon Us was Nasr of the believers.” [Surah Ar-Rum 30:47] Indeed Allah (swt) has promised us that it is upon Him (swt) to grant us Victory when we respond to His (swt) command. Regarding this Ayah, Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying,
«مَا مِنِ امْرِىءٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَرُدُّ عَنْ عِرْضِ أَخِيهِ إِلَّا كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يَرُدَّ عَنْهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»
“No Muslim man defends the honour of his brother except that there would be a right upon Allah to defend him from the fire of Hell on the Day of Resurrection.” Then he (saw) recited this Ayah,
(وَكَانَ حَقّاً عَلَيْنَا نَصْرُ الْمُؤْمِنينَ) “And it was incumbent upon Us to help the believers.”” Imam at-Tabari commented in His Tafsir that here Allah (swt) is saying,
ونجَّينا الذين آمنوا بالله وصدّقوا رسله إذ جاءهم بأسنا، وكذلك نفعل بك وبمن آمن بك من قومك ﴿وَكَانَ حَقّاً عَلَيْنَا نَصْرُ الْمُؤْمِنينَ﴾ على الكافرين، ونحن ناصروك ومن آمن بكعلى مَن كفر بك ومظفروك بهم
“And we saved those who believed in Allah (swt) and believed in his Messengers (as) when our might came upon them. We do similarly for you (O Muhammad (saw) and anyone who believes in you from your people,
(وَكَانَ حَقّاً عَلَيْنَا نَصْرُ الْمُؤْمِنينَ) “and it was incumbent upon Us to help the believers” over the kaafireen. We grant you and those who believe in you Victory over those who disbelieve and grant your triumph over them.”
Emaan compels us to obey Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw), if we do not wish to lose our strength in our way to earning the Victory of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) said,
(وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَلَا تَنَٰزَعُواْ فَتَفۡشَلُواْ وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيحُكُمۡ)
“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart.” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:46]. Imam at-Tabari in his tafseer commented, that Allah (swt) here is saying, أطيعوا، أيها المؤمنون، ربَّكم ورسوله فيما أمركم به ونهاكم عنه, ولا تخالفوهما في شيء “Obey, O believers, your Lord and His Messenger (saw) in what they order you with and what they forbid you from and do not oppose either of them in any matter.” Imam Qurtubi commented in his Tafsir ريحكم أي قوتكم ونصركم “Your strength is your power and your victory.” So, if we seek victory, we do not dispute in the commands and prohibitions of Allah (swt), falling into Ma’siyah (معصية Disobedience). We cannot earn the Nasr, if we do accept the dispute with Allah (swt), through the implementation of laws of disobedience in our lands, whether it is interest, taxing the poor and indebted, division of Muslim Lands or alliance with the enemies of Allah (swt).
If we do not wish to be ruined, our Mawaalaah (Allegiance) must be to Allah (swt). If we want Allah to support us, we must not be loyal to other than Allah (swt) and we not adopt other than His (swt) Path. Allah (swt) said,
(يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّخِذُواْ بِطَانَةٗ مِّن دُونِكُمۡ لَا يَأۡلُونَكُمۡ خَبَالٗا وَدُّواْ مَا عَنِتُّمۡ)
“O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin.” [Surah Aali Imran 3:118]. Imam Qurtubi commented in his Tafsir,
نهى الله عز وجل المؤمنين بهذه الآية أن يتخذوا من الكفار واليهود وأهل الأهواء دخلاء وولجاء يفاوضونهم في الآراء ، ويسندون إليهم أمورهم
“Allah azza wa jal has forbidden the believers with this verse from taking from the kuffar, the Jews and the people of whims and desires as intimates and help, with whom they confer with over opinions and rely upon them in their affairs.” So how can we seek Victory, if we are loyal and intimate to the kuffar, making alliances with them, negotiating with them over our opinions rather than referring to the Quran and Sunnah, extending them pacts and alliances as well as sharing military secrets, despite their enmity and disbelief? How?
Whilst striving for the Nasr of Allah (swt), we must prepare ourselves for adversity and anguish of the people to earn the Nasr of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) said,
(أَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ أَن تَدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأۡتِكُم مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوۡاْ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۖ مَّسَّتۡهُمُ ٱلۡبَأۡسَآءُ وَٱلضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلۡزِلُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ ٱلرَّسُولُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُۥ مَتَىٰ نَصۡرُ ٱللَّهِۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ نَصۡرَ ٱللَّهِ قَرِيبٞ)
“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were afflicted by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] Messenger and those who believed with him said, “When is the help of Allah?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:214]. We cannot embark on the path of Haq by remaining silent whilst tending to our families and careers alone, due to our aversion to adversity at the hands of the oppressive rulers. We cannot seek Victory, if we do not prepare for facing adversity, by strengthening of Taqwa, drawing closer to Allah (swt) by seeking the knowledge of Islam, immersing ourselves in the Quran, approaching Allah (swt) in the night prayers and fasting for His sake amongst many good actions.
As for our haste in Victory, asking when will the Khilafah come, this haste is not a defect or Haram (Forbidden) because man is hasty by his nature,
(وَيَدۡعُ ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُ بِٱلشَّرِّ دُعَآءَهُۥ بِٱلۡخَيۡرِۖ وَكَانَ ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُ عَجُولٗا) “And man supplicates for evil as he supplicates for good, and man is ever hasty.” [Surah Al-Isra’a 17:11]. However, what makes us fall into sin, invoking the anger of Allah (swt) upon ourselves, is our neglect of the actions that are required to bring the change in society. So let not our haste push us into despair, hopelessness and frustration.
So we must be studying Islam in Halaqah, as the Companions (ra) did in Dar al-Arqam. We must be working together in one kutlah (structuring) as the Companions (ra) did, not as individuals separately. We must be meeting the people individually and collectively as the Companions (ra) did. We must be proclaiming the Haq openly in the arena of life, as the Companions (ra) did. And those of us who are from the people of power, weapons and warfare must be as the chiefs of the Ansaar (ra) were, extending their Nussrah so that the ruling by Islam can be resumed. So let not one of us tire or relent from following the blessed Method of the Prophethood (saw) for bringing change to society, retreating into isolation and despair. May Allah (swt) strengthen us in our good actions and commitment to His Deen, lest we are lost in the darkness!
It is then that the Victory of Allah (swt) comes, after human change is achieved, which is followed by divine change and victory being achieved. Allah (swt) said,
(إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمۡ)
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Surah ar-Ra’ad 13:11]. So when people transform from Iman to Kufr, from obedience to disobedience, or from thanking for the blessings of Allah (swt) to ingratitude, then Allah (swt) deprives them of all that is of goodness upon them. Similarly, if the servants change all that is in themselves, such that they transform to obedience to Allah (swt), Allah (swt) changes all that is upon them, from misery to goodness, happiness, bliss and mercy. So let us strive in the good actions, O Muslims, let us strive.
Allah (swt) said,
(وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ)
“Allah has promised those of you who believe and do good that He will certainly make them successors in the land, as He did with those before them; and will surely establish for them their faith which He has chosen for them; and will indeed change their fear into security—˹provided that˺ they worship Me, associating nothing with Me. But whoever disbelieves after this ˹promise˺, it is they who will be the rebellious.” [Surah an-Noor 24:55]. As Ibn Kathir commented in his Tafsir,
هذا وعد منالله لرسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم. بأنه سيجعل أمته خلفاء الأرض، أي: أئمة الناس والولاة عليهم، وبهم تصلح البلاد، وتخضع لهم العباد، وليبدلن بعد خوفهم من الناس أمنا وحكما فيهم
“this is a promise from Allah (saw) to His Messenger (saw) that He would cause his Ummah to become successors on earth, i.e., they would become the leaders and rulers of humankind, through whom He would reform the world and to whom people would submit, so that they would have in exchange a safe security after their fear.” So let us strive O Muslims in the good actions, so that Allah (swt) restores the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) to its rightful place, as rulers over humankind.
So, let the march to spread Islam throughout the world resume, from where the Khilafah had left it one hundred Islamic Hijri years ago, to the point that Islam extends over the entire earth. Thauban reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«إِنَّ اللَّهَ زَوَى لِيَ الأَرْضَ فَرَأَيْتُ مَشَارِقَهَا وَمَغَارِبَهَا وَإِنَّ أُمَّتِي سَيَبْلُغُ مُلْكُهَا مَا زُوِيَ لِي مِنْهَا وَأُعْطِيتُ الْكَنْزَيْنِ الأَحْمَرَ وَالأَبْيَضَ وَإِنِّي سَأَلْتُ رَبِّي لأُمَّتِي أَنْ لاَ يُهْلِكَهَا بِسَنَةٍ بِعَامَّةٍ وَأَنْ لاَ يُسَلِّطَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَدُوًّا مِنْ سِوَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ فَيَسْتَبِيحَ بَيْضَتَهُمْ وَإِنَّ رَبِّي قَالَ يَا مُحَمَّدُ إِنِّي إِذَا قَضَيْتُ قَضَاءً فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يُرَدُّ وَإِنِّي أَعْطَيْتُكَ لأُمَّتِكَ أَنْ لاَ أُهْلِكَهُمْ بِسَنَةٍ بِعَامَّةٍ وَأَنْ لاَ أُسَلِّطَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَدُوًّا مِنْ سِوَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ يَسْتَبِيحُ بَيْضَتَهُمْ وَلَوِ اجْتَمَعَ عَلَيْهِمْ مَنْ بِأَقْطَارِهَا»
“Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake. And I have seen its eastern and western ends. And the dominion of my Ummah would reach those ends which have been drawn near me and I have been granted the red and the white treasure and I begged my Lord for my Ummah that it should not be destroyed because of famine, nor be dominated by an enemy who is not amongst them to take their lives and destroy them root and branch, and my Lord said: Muhammad, whenever I make a decision, there is none to change it. I grant you for your Ummah that it would not be destroyed by famine and it would not be dominated by an enemy who would not be amongst it and would take their lives and destroy them root and branch, even if all the people from the different parts of the world join hands together (for this purpose)” [Muslim]. May the Islamic Ummah see what our Master Muhammad (saw) gave us of good tidings!
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Musab Umair – Pakistan