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The Fall of Islamic Khilafah

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center or Raleigh, NC on April 14, 2000)

When we talk about the fall of Islamic Khilafah and the end of the Islamic State, we talk about one of the most important issues. The end of Khilafah was and still is the most devastating crises that happened to the Muslim Ummah in the contemporary age. The Muslim Ummah still suffers from this crises and will continue to suffer until the Muslim Ummah returns to its glory and the Islamic Khilafah as the prophet (S.A.W.) promised. He (S.A.W.) said: "The prophet-hood will last as long as Allah (S.W.T.) is willing, then he will lift it. Then, a rightly guided Khilafah will be according to the prophet’s way and will last as long as Allah is willing, then Allah will lift it. Then, there will be a hereditary power that will last as long as Allah is willing, then Allah will lift it. Then, there will be dictatorships that will last as long as Allah is willing, then Allah will lift it. Then, there will be a Khilafah according to the prophet’s way. The prophet, then fell silent." {Authentic Hadith reported by Imams Ahmad, Al-Bazar and At-Tabrani.}

In this Hadith, the prophet (S.A.W.) reveals to us what Allah (S.W.T.) had revealed to him. He tells us about the different phases of regimes that will rule the Muslim Ummah for a long time. We see that his prophecy is quite truthful. After he died, there was a rightly guided Khilafah, then there was a hereditary power starting with the rule of The Ummayyad, then the Abbasi and lastly the Ottomans. Then, dictatorships prevailed and still prevail over the Muslim lands since the fall of the Ottoman Khilafah. Then, the Khilafah will come back with the will of Allah (S.W.T.) to rule the Muslim Ummah and will remain as long as Allah is willing. Indeed, this will happen because Allah’s promise is true and Allah does not break His promise. Allah (S.W.T) said in surat As-Saff, (Verses 9), what can be translated as, "He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the deen of truth to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the musheikeen (disbeliveers) hate it." So, Muslims should work hard and with sincerity so that Allah will fulfill his promise.

Why did the Khilafah fall after it had lasted for 1300 years?

It is a must that we answer this questions objectively because if we know the answer, we will be able to go back to our glory.

With the fall of the Islamic Khilafah, one of the greatest blessing that Allah (S.W.T.) bestowed upon the Ummah had gone. This blessing is Islam as a complete way of life that dealt with all aspects of life. Allah (S.W.T.) says about this blessing in surat Al-Mai'dah, (Verse 3), what can be translated as, "This day I have perfected your deen for you, completed my favor upon you, and I have chosen for you Islam as your deen."

The Nobel Qur’an tells us about the ways of Allah (S.W.T.) in changing the human societies and emphasized to us that Allah’s ways are universal laws that do not change and will affect all people with no exception. Allah (S.W.T) said in surat Al-Fat-h, (Verses 23), what can be translated as, "That has been the sunnah (way) of Allah already with those who passed away before. And you will not find any change in the sunnah (way) of Allah." and in another verse, Allah (S.W.T) said in surat Fater, (Verses 43), what can be translated as, "…So no change will you find in sunnah (way) of Allah, and no turning off will you find in sunnah of Allah (way of dealing).

The Noble Qur’an tells us that when corruption hit the societies and devastate the people, it starts in the most advanced political, economical, and social phase of a society. Corruption starts at that point, and if there is no one to stop corruption and stop those oppressors who are promoting corruption, then corruption will prevail and will permeate the majority of the society if not all of it. Then, the whole society deserves the punishment of Allah (S.W.T.). Allah (S.W.T) said in surat Al-Esra', (Verses 16), what can be translated as, "And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a defined order among them who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction."

The Noble Qur’an tells us that the punishment and devastation befall a society as a punishment from Allah because of the spread of evil and because no one is trying to stop evil from spreading further. The punishment befalls all people even the righteous people for a purpose and wisdom that Allah wants. Allah (S.W.T) said in surat Al-Anfal, (Verses 25), what can be translated as, "And fear the fetnah (affliction) which affects not only who do wrong (but it may afflict all the bad and the good people), and know that Allah is severe in punishment." And the prophet (S.A.W.) emphasizes this meaning when he said: "…Woe to the Arabs because of the evil which has drawn near!…" Zainab, his wife, said: O Allah's Messenger! Shall we perish while still there will be righteous people among us? He replied, "Yes, when wickedness abounds." {Reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim.} In another narration by Imam Ahmad: "… then they will be resurrected according to their intentions." In another Hadith, the prophet (S.A.W.) says: "If people see the oppressor without stopping him, Allah will punish them."

Sayyid Qutb said: "If a group of people allows some among them to practice oppression in any shape or form – and the most oppressive practice is rejecting Allah’s legislation – then, the other would not stand against them and do not stop them… then, this group of people will deserve to be punished along with the oppressive people." Because remaining silent is consent and the consenting person is a partner in crime.

Indeed, the weakness started in the Ummah internally. This weakness is in the following two primary aspects: Weak Islamic understanding, and bad implementation of Islam.

  • Weak Islamic Understanding: This affected many Muslims. It led to the following:
    • Wrong understanding for some aspect of the Islamic Aqeedah, emergence of many different groups and sects that got away from the straight path, and that were influenced by the non-Islamic philosophies. The concept of Al-Qada' and Al-Qadar was misunderstood. Also, the concept of Tawakul (depending) on Allah (S.W.T.) was misunderstood.
    • Misconception of the meaning of Ibadah to the point that it is misunderstood as being restricted to the rituals of worship only.
    • Misunderstanding the concept of Zuhd and the means to purify the soul and being influenced by the non-Islamic spiritualities. This curbed the private and the public Islamic life.

  • Bad Implementation of Islam: This led to the following:

    • Not ruling with what Allah (S.W.T.) revealed concerning the life of people, and importing man-made laws.

    • Not taking seriously the duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil.

    • Not taking seriously the duty of delivering the Da'wah and conveying the message of Islam to all people.

    • Ending Jihad for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.), with which corruption is removed from the face of the earth by carrying the Da'wah and protecting it.

    • Not taking seriously the moral aspect of Islam and bad social relationships amongst people.

Indeed, Allah (S.W.T.) has blessed this Ummah so much. The greatest blessing is the Islam, the Deen of Allah. The Ummah embraced this blessing with the correct understanding and complete implementation for its rules. With that, it was the greatest Ummah raised for humanity and led people in all fields and for centuries. But, when it let go of this great blessing by not making the effort to understand it and correctly implement it, then Allah (S.W.T.) sent His punishment. Allah (S.W.T) said in surat Al-Anfal, (Verses 53), what can be translated as, "That is so because Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their own selves…"After the Ummah was powerful, it became weak. After it was the leader, it became a follower. After it was one, it became divided. After it was at peace, it became fearful….

Indeed, the enemies of Islam conspired against the Muslim Ummah especially towards the end of the Ottoman era. We can mention many of these conspiracies, but that alone should not lead to the fall of Khilafah because the presence of the enemies of Islam and their conspiracies is not something new. It is present in all ages. But, the primary problem is in the spread of many diseases and that they were not treated correctly. This led to weakness and finally to collapse of the immune system of the Muslim Ummah. Then, it became an easy prey and was destroyed utterly and divided into many pieces to the extent that even the enemy can not believe what happened to the Muslim Ummah.

So, it is a must for us to study in some details the weakness in the understanding of the Muslim Ummah toward Islam and toward its implementation in life. This lack of understanding is the reason behind its weakness and its degradation. We will try to shed more light on this in the future by the will of Allah (S.W.T.)

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