Imam Malik narrates in his Muwatta that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلاَّ ظِلُّهُ إِمَامٌ عَادِلٌ»
“There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the day on which there is no Shade except His Shade: a just Imam …” The just Imam, the ruler of the Muslims, is the first mentioned of the seven who will enjoy relief in the Shade of Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement, when the people will be overwhelmed by scorching heat and profuse sweating. The Final Prophet and Messenger of Allah (swt) described the Muslim ruler ruling by Islam, as the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«السلطانُ ظِلُّ الله في الأرض» “The Sultan is the Shade of Allah on earth.” [Imam Sayuti graded it as Sahih in Al-Jaam’a as-Saghir, as did Ibn Taymiyyah in Mujmoo’a al-Fataawa].
The relief that the Sultan brings to the people of earth is by virtue of his abiding to the commands and prohibitions of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw). It is Islam alone that prevents the powerful from exploiting the weak, whether it is the rulers exploiting the ruled, the rich exploiting the poor, the majority exploiting the minority or men exploiting the women. The first to rule after the Prophet (saw), the Khaleefah of the Messenger of Allah (swt), Abu Bakr as-Sadiq (ra), declared, “وَالضّعِيفُ فِيكُمْ قَوِيّ عِنْدِي حَتّى أُرِيحَ عَلَيْهِ حَقّهُ إنْ شَاءَ اللهُ, وَالقَوِيّ فِيكُمْ ضَعِيفٌ عِنْدِي حَتّى آخُذَ الحَقّ مِنْهُ إنْ شَاءَ اللهُ” “The weak amongst you is strong before me till I return to him his right, Allah willing, and the strong amongst you is weak before me till I take the right from him Allah willing.”
Indeed, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth have been witness to the great justice of ruling by Islam in the Islamic era. Islamic ruling came to a tragic, prolonged pause with the destruction of the Khilafah (Caliphate) in Rajab 1342 Hijri, March 1924 CE, a hundred Hijri years ago. The loss of the Khilafah is felt more severely at a time when all peoples of the world, regardless of religion, wealth, gender and race, are seeking relief from the scorching oppression of the current world order.
In Islam, the ruler cannot exploit or oppress the ruled as both are bound by Islam. Islam alone is the source of ruling for Muslims and no human opinion or consensus can ever abrogate the Hukm of Allah (swt) in any matter. Allah (swt) said,
(وَأَنِ ٱحْكُم بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ وَٱحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَن بَعْضِ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ)
“And judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their desires, and beware (O Muhammad) that they might seduce you from some of what Allah has sent down to you.” [Surah Al-Maaida 5:49]. Thus the Sultan is neither a dictator nor a democrat. He neither rules by his own personal opinion nor the consensus opinion of an assembly. He rules according to the Quran and the Sunnah and he is subject to the Law of Allah (swt) in any dispute with those he rules. Allah (swt) said,
(فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ)
“And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [Surah an-Nisa’a 4:59].
Thus we witnessed the Shade of Allah (swt) in the era of the second Khaleefah Rashid, one of the ten promised Jannah, Ameer ul-Mu’mineen, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra). ‘Umar al-Farooq (ra) declared as a ruler, “لَا تُغَالُوا فِي مُهُورِ النِّسَاءِ” “Do not be excessive in the dowry of women.” From amongst the ruled, a woman disputed and said,
لَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لَكَ يَا عُمَرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ وَآتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنطَارً “It is not so, O Umar, for Allah said: (وَآتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنطَاراً) “You gave one of them a great amount.” [TMQ 4:20]. As a Sultan resolving disputes by Islam, Umar immediately conceded and revoked his order, declaring, “إِنَّ امْرَأَةً خَاصَمَتْ عُمَرَ فَخَصَمَتْهُ” “Indeed, a woman has disputed with Umar and she is in the right in the dispute over him.” So the powerful ruler of the entire Ummah conceded to the opinion of the ruled, as she had the weight of Revelation on her side.
However, without the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth, Muslims throughout the Muslim World are thrown into prison or abducted, merely for calling for their right by Islam. Today, even the expression of Islam in political affairs falls under the laws of anti-terrorism.
Under the rule of Shade of Allah (swt) on earth, the weak and poor were given their right, without giving the rich a free hand over most of the wealth of the nation. Allah (swt) said, (كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاء مِنكُمْ) “so that it (wealth) may not merely circulate between the rich among you” [Al-Hashr 59:7]. Numerous Islamic laws ensure the fair distribution of wealth, allowing the permeation of wealth throughout society.
It is narrated in the Book of Funds, by Imam Abu ‘Ubaid al-Qasim, regarding the Khaleefah ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul-Aziz,
كتب عمر بن عبد العزيز إلى عبد الحميد بن عبد الرحمن وهو بالعراق أن أخرج للناس أعطياتهم، فكتب إليه عبد الحميد إني قد أخرجت للناس أعطياتهم وقد بقي في بيت المال مال، فكتب إليه أن انظر كل من أدان في غير سفه ولا سرف فاقض عنه، قال: قد قضيت عنهم وبقي في بيت المال مال، فكتب إليه أن زوج كل شاب يريد الزواج، فكتب إليه: إني قد زوجت كل من وجدت وقد بقي في بيت مال المسلمين مال، فكتب إليه بعد مخرج هذا أن انظر من كانت عليه جزية فضعف عن أرضه، فأسلفه ما يقوى به على عمل أرضه، فإنا لا نريدهم لعام ولا لعامين
“Umar bin Abdul-Aziz wrote to ‘Abdul-‘Hameed bin ‘Abdur-Rahman in Iraq. Take funds for the people and give to them. Abdul Hameed wrote, “Indeed I have taken for the people and given them and the remaining is in the state treasury.” So ‘Umar wrote to him, “See whoever became indebted, without foolishness or in extravagance, pay their debt.” So he replied, “I have paid their debt and the rest is in the state treasury.” So ‘Umar wrote to him “Get every youth married who wants to marry.” He replied, “I have got married everyone I could find and the rest is in the state treasury of the Muslims. So ‘Umar wrote, “After this expense, see who has Jizya due and has weakened regarding his land, so grant him something that strengthens his work on the land and we do not want from them for a year or two years.”
However, without the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth, there is an immense concentration of wealth in the hands of a select power elite, both through the very mechanics of Capitalism itself and corruption. The world’s richest saw their wealth climb 27.5% to $10.2trn (£7.9trn) from April to July 2020, according to a report from Swiss bank UBS. In contrast, extreme poverty is set to rise for the first time in more than two decades, the World Bank reported on 7 October 2020. India is rocked by protesting impoverished farmers under Democracy, whereas the Indian Subcontinent under Islam had a 23% share of the world economy, peaking at 27% in the time of Aurungzeb Alamgir.
It is the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth that will, inshaaAllah, grant the world relief from the immense concentration of wealth in the hands of the banking elite through the evil of interest. Allah (swt) said,
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ * فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ)
“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from Riba (from now onward), if you are (really) believers. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger, but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:279]. Indeed, the Khilafah will provide welcome relief to Pakistan where most of its back-breaking tax revenues are used just to pay the interest on domestic and international debt.
It is the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth who will, inshaaAllah, grant the world relief from the immense concentration of wealth in the hands of the corporate elite, by ensuring that energy and minerals are a public property that cannot be state owned or privatized, but must be used for the need of the entire public. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«الْمُسْلِمُونَ شُرَكَاءُ فِي ثَلَاثٍ الْمَاءِ وَالْكَلَإِ وَالنَّارِ» “Muslims are partners in three things, waters, feeding pastures and fire (energy).” (Ahmad). The term ‘fire’ here includes all forms of energy used as fuel in industry, machines and plants as well as the plants which use gas or coal as fuel. All of these are under the public ownership category. Indeed, the Khilafah will generate immense funds for looking after the affairs of its citizens, regardless of their religion, gender or race.
It is the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth that will, inshaaAllah, grant the world relief from the immense concentration of wealth in the hands of the corrupt officials. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«مَنِ اسْتَعْمَلْنَاهُ عَلَى عَمَلٍ فَرَزَقْنَاهُ رِزْقًا فَمَا أَخَذَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَهُوَ غُلُولٌ» “Whomever we appointed in his job and we provided him (some funds), so whatever he took unduly would be ghalool (misappropriation).” [Abu Dawood]. It is reported of ‘Umar bin Khattab (ra) that he used to account the properties of the ‘aamils before appointing them, as well as after their terms were completed. He would take away any unreasonably extra wealth found with them. He also accounted the possessions of some of the governors and took away part of their wealth, because of suspicion about the means of their earning, such as exploiting their position and influence. He would take possession of such wealth and put it in the Bait ul-Maal.
Under the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth, the women will inshaaAllah be secured from the oppression of men. This is at a time when in the West, legions of single mothers must not only provide for themselves, they bear children alone and raise them alone. This is a time when in the East, women are denied basic rights that Islam established for them fourteen Hijri centuries ago regarding consent for marriage, possession of property and accounting rulers. The women’s right in Islam is guaranteed by Allah (swt), not for her beauty, wealth or her lineage, but by virtue of her being a human being, a loyal servant of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) said,
(وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّه وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ)
“The true believers, both men and women, are protectors of one another. They enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil; they establish Salah, pay Zakah, and obey Allah and His Rasool. It is they on whom Allah will have His mercy; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.” [Surah at-Tawbah 9:71]. The Prophet (saw) said,
«نَعَمْ. إِنَّمَا النِّسَاءُ شَقَائِقُ الرِّجَالِ» “Yes, Indeed the women are twin halves of men.” [Abu Dawood] The Prophet (saw) said in his last Hajj sermon, «اسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ خَيْرًا» “Treat the women well.” [Ibn Majah]. Men and women work together according to the rights and duties Islam has assigned, without allowing oppression of either gender. The husband is obliged to provide the maintenance (nafaqah) to his wife, whether she is a Muslim, Christian or Jew, and his neglect is an oppression, which will be removed by the Sultan. He must support his wife as she bears their children and spends freely from her youth in their custodianship (Hadaanah). Thus, the Muslim men and women co-operate in the family life, for the family is the fortress of the Islamic society.
Secured by Islam, the women in Islam are those who worked to establish the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth. Sayyidah Khadeejah (ra) provided support to the Prophet (saw) ever since his Prophethood. Sumaiyyah (ra) was the first martyr in Islam, who carried its Da’wah, the strong who persevered against all odds. Umm Ammarah and Umm Munee’a who gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet (saw) at the Second Bai’ah of ‘Aqabah which was a pledge of Nussrah (Support) and ruling. And the women in Islam are those who flourished under the Shade of Allah (swt). Sayyidah Aishah (ra) was a Faqiha (Jurist) and an Alima (Scholar) who narrated the Ahadeeth of the Prophet (saw). Rafidah al-Aslamiyyah was a pioneer in the science of medicine in Islam. Umm Salamah, the Mother of the Believers gave her sound opinion at Hudaibiyyah. Fatima al Zahra’ (ra) raised and groomed the two Chiefs of Jannah, Hassan and Hussain (ra). Zaynab bint al Hussain emerged from the tragedy of Karbala and confronted Yazid, striking him with strongest of words for having usurped the authority and martyring Husaain (ra).
Under the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth, the non-Muslim citizens will be secure from any oppression from their Muslim rulers, as Islam itself commands observation of the rights of non-Muslims it has determined as inviolable. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«أَلا مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا مُعَاهِدًا لَهُ ذِمَّةُ اللَّهِ وَذِمَّةُ رَسُولِهِ فَقَدْ أَخْفَرَ بِذِمَّةِ اللَّهِ، فَلا يُرَحْ رَائِحَةَ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنَّ رِيحَهَا لَيُوجَدُ مِنْ مَسِيرَةِ سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفًا»
“Whosoever persecuted a dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen), usurped his right or took work from him beyond his capacity or took something from him with evil intentions, I shall be a complainant against him on the Day of Judgement.” [Tirmidhi]. Thus, Islam ensured the complete protection of the non-Muslim citizen of the Khilafah, protection for their property and person and Islam prevented any coercion regarding their individual religious practice. Immediately, after the Sword of Allah, Khalid Ibn al-Walid (ra), had opened al-Hira in southern Iraq, he (ra) wrote a letter to the Khaleefah Abu Bakr (ra) telling him how he had implemented the jizyah tax but had exempted non-Muslims who were poor, old and handicapped, saying, “طُرِحَتْ جزيتُه وعيلَ من بيت مال المسلمين وعياله” “Exempted of Jizyah, he will be enriched of the Bayt ul Maal of Muslims, along with his family.”
Should the Khilafah become unable to abide by the contract of protection to non-Muslims, it is not allowed to collect the Jizyah. Ash-Sham had been opened at the hands of Muslims, but as the Roman Christians were gathering troops to regain it, the great Companion, Abu Ubaidah (ra), could not undertake the protection of non-Muslims. The Jizyah was, therefore, returned with the announcement,
“وَإِنَّمَا رَدَدْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ أَمْوَالَكُمْ لِأَنَّا كَرِهْنَا أَنْ نَأْخُذَ أَمْوَالَكُمْ وَلَا نَمْنَعَ بِلَادَكُمْ”
“We have returned your money to you because we hate to take your wealth whilst we do not defend your land.” Instead of siding with the Roman Christians, the Christians of ash-Sham exclaimed,
“رَدَّكُمُ اللهُ إلينا، ولَعَنَ اللهُ الذين كانوا يملكوننا من الروم، ولكن والله لو كانوا هم علينا ما ردُّوا علينا، ولكن غصبونا، وأخذوا ما قدَرُوا عليه من أموالنا، لَوِلايتُكُم وعدلُكم أحبُّ إلينا مما كنا فيه من الظلم والغُشْم“
“May Allah return you to us safely and Allah curse those who dominated us from Rome. By Allah had they been over us, they would not have returned to us, but would have robbed us and taken what they could form our wealth. Indeed your guardianship and justice is more loved for us than what we were under of oppression and misery.” Thus, the Khilafah returned victorious and secured the non-Muslims of ash-Sham for centuries under its shade.
At a time that religious minorities are persecuted throughout the world, the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth is indeed sorely missed. At midnight August 2, 1492, the fleet of Columbus departed from the relatively unknown seaport of Palos because the shipping lanes of Cadiz and Seville were clogged with Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain by the Edict of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain. The Jews were forced either to convert to Christianity or to leave the country without their properties. Learning about the oppressive expulsion of Jews from Spain, Sultan Bayezid II dispatched the Khilafah’s navy to bring the Jews safely to the lands of the Khilafah State, mainly to the cities of Thessaloniki and İzmir, whilst declaring, “You venture to call Ferdinand, the Wise, he who has impoverished his own country and enriched mine!”
What of ending oppression of peoples now without the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth? Muslims and non-Muslims of the lands of ash-Sham are unprotected and suffer immensely at the hands of the Jewish entity and the tyrant regime of Bashar. The oppressed inhabitants of ash-Sham flee to all corners of the earth seeking protection, drowning on the way or being greeted with disdain, housed as if they were neglected chicks in a battered poultry farm. Beyond ash-Sham, the tragedy is similar. The cries of the Uighurs in East Turkestan and the Rohingya of Burma fall upon the deaf ears of Muslim rulers, with the rulers of Pakistan even denying the cries themselves. Muslims fleeing the foreign occupation of Afghanistan to Pakistan are treated with scorn and contempt by the rulers of Pakistan, who regard them as a burden rather than riches. The Muslims of Occupied Kashmir are left abandoned to the tyrant Modi, whilst Pakistan’s rulers restrain hundreds of thousands of willing and able troops from fighting the Hindu state to liberate Kashmir. The Muslims of occupied lands are left to their being overwhelmed by enemies, even though Allah (swt) said, (وَإِنِ اسْتَنْصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ) “If they ask you for help in Deen, you must come to their aid.” [Surah Al-Anfal 8:72] The armies are not sent to liberate them from oppression, even though Allah (swt) commanded,
(وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ)
“And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and Fitnah is worse than killing.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:191].
Moreover, in the absence of the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth, the current rulers of Muslims even strengthen the hands of the oppressors by rushing to make military treaties and economic pacts with them even though Allah (swt) said,
(إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمْ اللَّهُ عَنْ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَى إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَنْ تَوَلَّوْهُمْ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الظَّالِمُونَ)
“Allah forbids your alliance with those who fight you because of your Deen, and drive you from your homelands, or aid others to do so: and as for those who turn to them in alliance, they are truly oppressors.” [Surah al-Mumtahina 60:9]. Thus they facilitate normalization with the American crusaders in Afghanistan, the Jewish entity and the Hindu State, humiliating Muslims, even though the Hukm of Allah (swt) is to fight in the Path of Allah (swt) until the occupiers are expelled. As part of their treaties with the enemies, Muslim rulers not only restrain the Muslim armies, they hunt down Muslim individuals who fight the enemies, even though the Messenger of Allah (saw) warned,
«مَا تَرَكَ قَوْمٌ الْجِهَادَ إلاّ ذُلّوا» “No people abandon Jihad except that they are humiliated.” [Ahmad]
Indeed, O Muslims, the world is at a great loss without the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth. It is upon us all to learn of and fully embrace our rich Islamic legacy. It is upon us all to understand our obligation, assuming full responsibility for the restoration of Islamic rule. It is upon each and every one of us to work to re-establish the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood alongside the advocates of the Khilafah until it is re-established. It has been a hundred years since the destruction of the Shade of Allah (swt) on earth, O Muslims, so restore it! Indeed, Allah (swt) has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have succession (to authority) on earth,
(وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ)
“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them.” [Surah An-Nur 24: 55].
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Musab Umair – Pakistan