Rebutting the Imaginary Foundations of “Baghdadi’s” Alleged Khilafah (Part 1)

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه

The “Islamic State” group announced that it had established the khilafah by surprise during Ramadan 1435 hijri, while the Muslims met that announcement with indifference. Except that the strength of Western hype for this alleged khilafah and their highlighting of it turned the attention of a group of Muslims towards it, who sympathised with it and began defending it as though it was a real khilafah. Consequently we saw some of the Muslim youth promoting the Da’ish (ISIS) state and rushing to join it, motivated by their love for their deen and supporting their ummah, defending her and her issues. Out of our conviction that the khilafah is wajib and that ISIS’s state is not a real khilafah, and on the basis of the obligation of advising Muslims generally, we intend in this article to rebut the foundations upon which the alleged khilafah was established to explain their worthlessness and the invalidity of their call. This will be done by depending on ISIS’s own literature and the literature of its supporters.

The text announcing the establishment of the khilafah

This is the text announcing the establishment of the khilafah that came in the statement “This is Allah’s promise” by the official spokesman for “the Islamic State” Abu Muhammad al-Adnani:

“The shura council of the Islamic State met and discussed this issue [i.e. establishing the khilafah] after the Islamic State, by Allah’s grace, had started to possess all of the components of the khilafah such that the Muslims are sinful if they do not establish it, and that there is nothing to prevent nor a shariah excuse for the Islamic State that will remove that sin if it delayed or did not establish the khilafah. The Islamic State, represented by its people of influence (Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd) from the notables, leaders, amir’s and the shura council, decided to ‘announce the establishment of the Islamic khilafah’ and to install a khaleefah for the Muslims giving bay’ah to the mujahid sheikh, the knowledgeable, the working, the worshipful, gallant mujaddid imam, the descendent of the prophetic household, Abdullah Ibrahim bin Iwad bin Ibrahim bin Ali bin Muhammad, al-Badri, al-Qarshi, al-Hashami, al-Husseini by lineage, from Samara by birth and from Baghdad as a student and resident; and he accepted the bay’ah. With that he became the imam and khaleefah of the Muslims everywhere, therefore the name “Iraq and ash-Sham” has been removed from the state’s name in its official dealings and transactions, being shortened to the name “The Islamic State” beginning from the issuing of this statement.

We point out to the Muslims that with the announcement of the khilafah it has become an obligation upon all of the Muslims to give bay’ah to and support the khaleefah Ibrahim حفظه الله and that it has nullified the legitimacy of all emirates, groups, governorates and organisations that his authority extends to and his soldiers reach. Imam Ahmad رحمه الله said in a narration of Abdoos bin Malik al-Attar: “If one overcomes them by the sword and becomes the khaleefah and is referred to as Amir al-Mo’mineen, it is not legal for anyone who believes in Allah to spend the night without recognizing him as imam, be he a righteous man or a sinner.” The khaleefah Ibrahim حفظه الله has fulfilled all of the conditions of khilafah that the people of knowledge mentioned and was given bay’ah in Iraq by the Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd in the Islamic State, succeeding Abu Omar al-Baghdadi رحمه الله , and his authority has spread over vast areas of Iraq and ash-Sham, for the land today submits to his order from Halab to Diyala. So fear Allah O servants of Allah, and listen to and obey your khaleefah, and support your state that is growing every day, by Allah’s grace, in dignity and stature, and whose enemies are increasingly receding and regressing… As for you O soldiers of the factions and organisations, you should know that after this consolidation and establishment of the khilafah legitimacy has been nullified for your groups and organisations, and it is not allowed for anyone of you that believes in Allah to spend a night without being loyal to the khaleefah.”

While on the way to criticising the foundations upon which ISIS’s khilafah was established and explaining its invalidity we mention an important matter, that is: before the ISIS group announced the establishment of the khilafah by surprise in Ramadan 1435 it was known by the name “The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham”, meaning that this organisation established an Islamic state in Iraq and ash-Sham and its amir was known as the Amir al-Mo’mineen, then this state was transformed into a khilafah, according to the evidence of what came in “this is Allah’s promise” statement, when Adnani said “the Islamic state, by Allah’s grace, had started to possess all of the components of the khilafah.” Here we ask: what is the difference between announcing the establishment of the Islamic State and announcing the establishment of the khilafah? Is not the Islamic State the khilafah? Does this not indicate ignorance in understanding the state and the meaning of khilafah?

In the statement titled “informing mankind of the birth of the Islamic State” by Uthman bin Abd ur-Rahman at-Tameemi, the representative of the shar’iah commission in the organisation, which is one of the leaflets issued by the Iraqi Islamic State, came the following: “the state that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ established did not carry all of the qualities that are looked upon as characteristics of the modern state, with its political, administrative, and economic institutions…” This means that in the thought of ISIS just a piece of land, whether small or large, along with an armed faction is enough to establish a state, in their opinion, with no consideration by them for understanding the qualities of a state and its components! Their evidence as it came in the publication is “that the Islamic sovereignty in Madinah was not complete, as Madinah at that time was a large settlement for groups of Jews who had significant military and economic might, in addition to the existence of enemies and critics of the dawah and its carriers inside and outside of Madinah…” This opinion also came clearly in the author’s statement “the Prophet ﷺ and his companions were not completely safe at the beginning of the Madinan stage, rather they used to carry weapons and were in fear, i.e. their authority over the new society was incomplete in the beginning, yet with that it was called the Islamic State.”?! If the situation was as they say, then it would be permitted for anyone to declare a state, and for any group to do that!? But that is false.

Moreover, their understanding is wrong; because the Prophet ﷺ established a state in Madinah which had the characteristics and components of a state, and they were in complete safety. The evidence is what was narrated by Anas about the hijrah of the Prophet ﷺ

فَلَمَّا دَنَوْا مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ بَعَثَا إِلَى الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا مِنَ الْأَنْصَارِ إِلَى أَبِي أُمَامَةَ وَأَصْحَابِهِ، فَخَرَجُوا إِلَيْهِمَا فَقَالُوا: ادْخُلَا آمِنَيْنِ مُطَاعَيْنِ

“When they got close to Madinah, they sent for the people who had entered Islam from the Ansar to Abi Umamah and his companions, so they came to meet them both and said “enter secure and obeyed.” In another narration

فَجَاءُوا نَبِيَّ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَسَلَّمُوا عَلَيْهِمَا، وَقَالُوا: ارْكَبَا آمِنَيْنِ مُطَاعَيْنِ، قَالَ: فَرَكِبَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ، وَحَفُّوا حَوْلَهُمَا بِالسِّلَاحِ

“They came to the Prophet ﷺ and said salam to them both and said “ride in secure and obeyed” so The Messenger of Allah ﷺ and Abu Bakr rode and they surrounded them with weapons.” In another narration

فَاسْتَقْبَلَهُمَا زُهَاءَ خَمْسِ مِائَةٍ مِنَ الْأَنْصَارِ، حَتَّى انْتَهَوْا إِلَيْهِمَا، فَقَالَتِ الْأَنْصَارُ: انْطَلِقَا آمِنَيْنِ مُطَاعَيْنِ

“So about five hundred of the Ansar met them both until they stopped at them, so the Ansar said ‘go ahead secure and obeyed.’” Therefore the Prophet ﷺ entered Madinah as a head of state and began his mission without hiding, instead mixing with the people, applying the rules, meeting the delegations and other than that of the functions of ruling.

As for their saying “that the Islamic sovereignty in Madinah was not complete, as Madinah at that time was a large settlement for groups of Jews who had significant military and economic might”, it is false, because the Jews were in two sections: one was an independent entity just outside of Madinah who are the Jews of Bani Qaynaqah, Bani Nadir, and Bani Quraydhah; and a section that lived inside of Madinah as individuals. Nevertheless the Prophet ﷺ dominated them and spread his sovereignty over them all, evidenced by the Sahifah of Madinah, in which came

وَإِنَّهُ لَا يَخْرَجُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدٌ إلَّا بِإِذْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ … وَإِنَّكُمْ مَهْمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ، فَإِنَّ مَرَدَّهُ إلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ، وَإِلَى مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

“none of them shall leave without the permission of Muhammad ﷺ … and whatever you differ in shall be referred back to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ.” The meaning of that is clear, which is affirming the authority and sovereignty of the Prophet ﷺ as a ruler, i.e. the authority of the Islamic State.

The first point in refuting in refuting the foundations upon which ISIS’s khilafah was established

If we look into the explanation of the announcing of the khilafah in the statement “this is Allah’s promise” we notice that establishing the khilafah is built upon the following: “The Islamic State, represented by its Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd from the notables, leaders, amir’s and the shura council, decided to ‘announce the establishment of the Islamic khilafah’ and to install a khaleefah for the Muslims giving bay’ah to the mujahid sheikh…”

I.e. the khilafah was established upon the bay’ah of Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd from the State organisation itself; while this is invalid, because the Prophet ﷺ did not take the bay’ah from his companions, he only took it from the Ansar. If the bay’ah of contracting could be completed with the Muhajireen, he ﷺ would have taken it from his companions and established the state in an isolated area next to Makkah, for example. Except that he did not do that; he only took the bay’ah from the Ansar to establish the state in Madinah. al-Bayhaqi narrated with a strong chain that Ubadah bin as-Samit said:

إنّا بايعنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على السمع والطاعة في النشاط والكسل، والنفقة في العسر واليسر، وعلى الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر، وعلى أن نقول في الله لا تأخذنا فيه لومة لائم، وعلى أن ننصر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا قدم علينا يثرب ممّا نمنع أنفسنا وأزواجنا وأبناءنا ولنا الجنّة. فهذه بيعة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم التي بايعناه عليه

“We gave the bay’ah to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ upon hearing and obeying in activeness and laziness, and to spend in hardship and ease, and to order the ma’roof and forbid the munkar, and that we would speak for Allah’s sake without being influenced by the blame of the blamer when doing that, and to support the Messenger of Allah ﷺ if he came to us in Yathrib with what we protect ourselves, our wives and our sons, and for us is al-Jannah. This is the bay’ah of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that we pledged to him.” Ahmad narrated that Anas said about the hijrah of the Prophet ﷺ

فَلَمَّا دَنَوْا مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ بَعَثَا إِلَى الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا مِنَ الْأَنْصَارِ إِلَى أَبِي أُمَامَةَ وَأَصْحَابِهِ، فَخَرَجُوا إِلَيْهِمَا فَقَالُوا: ادْخُلَا آمِنَيْنِ مُطَاعَيْنِ

“When they got close to Madinah, they sent for the people who had entered Islam from the Ansar to Abi Umamah and his companions, so they came to meet them both and said “enter secure and obeyed.” In another narration

فَجَاءُوا نَبِيَّ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَسَلَّمُوا عَلَيْهِمَا، وَقَالُوا: ارْكَبَا آمِنَيْنِ مُطَاعَيْنِ، قَالَ: فَرَكِبَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ، وَحَفُّوا حَوْلَهُمَا بِالسِّلَاحِ

“They came to the Prophet ﷺ and said salam to them both and said “ride in secure and obeyed” so The Messenger of Allah ﷺ and Abu Bakr rode and they surrounded them with weapons.” In another narration

فَاسْتَقْبَلَهُمَا زُهَاءَ خَمْسِ مِائَةٍ مِنَ الْأَنْصَارِ، حَتَّى انْتَهَوْا إِلَيْهِمَا، فَقَالَتِ الْأَنْصَارُ: انْطَلِقَا آمِنَيْنِ مُطَاعَيْنِ

“So about five hundred of the Ansar met them both until they stopped at them, so the Ansar said ‘go ahead secure and obeyed.’”

This is a very important pivotal point. Therefore, the supporters of ISIS attempted to reply to it from two perspectives.

The first is that they said that the state (in Iraq) was established upon consultation with a group of the mujahideen, different organisations and tribal sheikhs. This was denied by Abu Sulayman al-Atibi (a judge in the Islamic State of Iraq) in a famous letter to the leadership in Khurusan where he explained that the bay’ah was from unknown people and that the tribal sheikhs did not participate.

The second is that Abu Hamam al-Athari said in the letter “extending the hands to pledge to al-Baghdadi”: “The bay’ah of all the people is not stipulated, nor indeed all of Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd, rather whoever is easily available from Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd is sufficient. Imam an-Nawawi said in the explanation of Sahih Muslim after he mentioned Ali bin Abi Talib’s delay in giving bay’ah to Abu Bakr رَضِي الله عَنهُما ‘however the delay is not harmful to the bay’ah, nor for him. As for the bay’ah the ulema agreed that it is not stipulated for its soundness that all the people give bay’ah, nor even all of Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd, all that is stipulated is the bay’ah of whoever is easily gathered from the ulema, chiefs and prominent people.’ [77/12] As for stipulating all of Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd, this is the statement of the Mu’tazilah. As for stipulating all of the people, this is the statement of the democrats. So let the opposer see which of the two is speaking!… The Amir ul-Mo’mineen Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi حفظه الله was given the leadership with the bay’ah of those who were available from Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd as it came in the explanation of the state that we came across in the first part: ‘The shura council remained in a state of continual contracting throughout the past period of meeting the ministers of the state, its governors, Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd, and the people of opinion in it. We congratulate the ummah of Islam and especially the pioneering mujahideen, at its forefront the sheikhs of the ummah and leaders of jihad in every place, that the opinion has been unified on the bay’ah of the mujahid sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Husseini, al-Qarshi, Amir ul-Mo’mineen of the Islamic State of Iraq’”

Here we notice confusion in two matters:

  • Confusion in the foundation of the establishment of the alleged khilafah: i.e. was it built on the previous establishment of the state, or not?

If we said that it was built on the previous establishment of the state, we did not recognise it, nor did anyone else; because it had no components, and it was not established on a shariah basis. If we said no it was not built on the previous establishment of the state and that it is a new announcement, it is also invalid.

  • Confusion in the understanding of Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd and shura

They assume that Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd are the members of the organisation, which is a mistake, because Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd are those who fulfil the conditions of representation and expression (النيابة والتعبير) of the opinion of the majority of the people who live in the region that gave bay’ah to the khaleefah. This is because the authority is for the ummah and they represent the ummah and stand for it. al-Mawardi said in al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah:

فَأَمَّا أَهْلُ الِاخْتِيَارِ فَالشُّرُوطُ الْمُعْتَبَرَةُ فِيهِمْ ثَلَاثَةٌ : أَحَدُهَا الْعَدَالَةُ الْجَامِعَةُ لِشُرُوطِهَا . وَالثَّانِي : الْعِلْمُ الَّذِي يُتَوَصَّلُ بِهِ إلَى مَعْرِفَةِ مَنْ يَسْتَحِقُّ الْإِمَامَةَ عَلَى الشُّرُوطِ الْمُعْتَبَرَةِ فِيهَا . وَالثَّالِثُ : الرَّأْيُ وَالْحِكْمَةُ الْمُؤَدِّيَانِ إلَى اخْتِيَارِ مَنْ هُوَ لِلْإِمَامَةِ أَصْلَحُ وَبِتَدْبِيرِ الْمَصَالِحِ أَقْوَمُ وَأَعْرَفُ

“There are three conditions regarding those eligible to make the choice:

  1. That they must be just and fulfil all the conditions implied in this quality;
  2. That they possesses a knowledge by which they may comprehend who has a right to al-imamah and that they fulfil all the conditions implied by this knowledge;
  3. That they possess the insight and wisdom which will lead them to choose the person who is most fitting for al-imamah and who is the most upright and knowledgeable with respect to the management of the offices of administration.”

But we do not know anything about them.

They assume that shura means taking the non-binding opinion, for the “extending the hands” letter stated “the amir’s consulting of Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd is in origin recommended and not obligatory, which is the opinion of the jurists in general, rather imam an-Nawawi transmitted that there is consensus on that, saying ‘in it there is consultation on the matters, particularly the mission, and that is recommended for the ummah according to the consensus of the ulema…’ [The Explanation of Sahih Muslim 76/4]…” This is a shameless error in understanding, because what is intended with shura here is the ummah choosing its ruler, which is an obligatory matter, indeed it is the basis of ruling. Umar bin al-Khattab said in a sermon in front of the sahabah:

فَمَنْ بَايَعَ أَمِيرًا عَنْ غَيْرِ مَشُورَةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَلا بَيْعَةَ لَهُ، وَلا بَيْعَةَ لِلَّذِي بَايَعَهُ، تَغِرَّةَ أَنْ يُقْتَلا

“Whoever gives bay’ah to an imam without consulting the Muslims has no bay’ah, and there is no bay’ah for the one he gave bay’ah to, for they both may be killed” in the narration of Ahmad. In the narration of al-Bukhari

مَنْ بَايَعَ رَجُلًا عَنْ غَيْرِ مَشُورَةٍ مِنَ المُسْلِمِينَ فَلاَ يُبَايَعُ هُوَ وَلاَ الَّذِي بَايَعَهُ، تَغِرَّةً أَنْ يُقْتَلاَ

“Whoever gave bay’ah to a man, without consulting the Muslims, is not to be pledged allegiance to, nor is the one whom he pledged allegiance to, for they both may be killed.” Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath al-Bari “(تَغِرَّةً أَنْ يُقْتَلاَ) …the meaning is that the one who does that has endangered himself and his companion and offered them both to be killed.” In Umar’s رَضِي الله عَنهُ advice to the sahabah after he was stabbed:

أَمْهِلُوا ، فَإِنْ حَدَثَ بِي حَدَثٌ فَلْيُصَلِّ لكم صُهَيْبٌ ثَلَاثَ لَيَالٍ ، ثُمَّ اجْمَعُوا أمركُمْ ، فَمَنْ تَأَمَّرَ منكم عَلى غَيْرِ مَشُورَةٍ من المسلمين فَاضْرِبُوا عُنُقَهُ

“Take your time, if it happens to me, then it happens, so Suhayb should pray with you for three nights, then gather your affairs, so whoever conspires from among you without consultation of the Muslims, strike his neck.” (Ibn Sa’d narrated it in at-Tabaqat with a sound chain, as al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath).

Therefore the first core point in rebutting the foundations upon which the alleged khilafah was established is the lack of shura, i.e. establishing it without taking the opinion of Ahlul-Halli wal-aqd as they claim.

Written by Yasin Bin Ali

See Also:

Rebutting the Imaginary Foundations of “Baghdadi’s” Alleged Khilafah (Part 2)

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