The date 3rd of March 1924 matters because it was when the Khilafah State was abolished officially. It matters because by the abolishment of the Khilafah State the laws of Islam were no longer comprehensively applied. Consequently, Islam as a complete way of life was reduced to a set of spiritual rituals and morals.
The Messenger ﷺ said:
لَيُنْقَضَنَّ عُرَى الْإِسْلَامِ عُرْوَةً عُرْوَةً فَكُلَّمَا انْتَقَضَتْ عُرْوَةٌ تَشَبَّثَ النَّاسُ بِالَّتِي تَلِيهَا وَأَوَّلُهُنَّ نَقْضًا الْحُكْمُ وَآخِرُهُنَّ الصَّلَاةُ
“Verily, the knots of Islam will be undone one by one. Whenever one knot is lost, then the people grabbed onto the one which came after it. The first of these knots will be the ruling (al-hukm) and the last will be the salah.” (Hakim/ Ahmed)
In this hadith, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ described Islam as series of knots (عُرَى الْإِسْلَامِ), denoting commands, prohibitions and limits of Islam. We will mention five critical knots of Islam which have been untied since the destruction of the Khilafah on 3rd of March 1924.
The Knot of Ruling
As per the hadith, the first knot to be undone is the knot of ruling. The knot of ruling being untied first is significant because the ruling system is the method by which all the laws of Islam are implemented in society. The ruling system has been defined by the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ which the Khulafah Rashidun and those who succeeded them continued to implement throughout the history of Islam with its ups and downs.
It has been narrated by Abu Huraira that the Prophet ﷺ said:
كَانَتْ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ تَسُوسُهُمُ الأَنْبِيَاءُ كُلَّمَا هَلَكَ نَبِيٌّ خَلَفَهُ نَبِيٌّ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي وَسَتَكُونُ خُلَفَاءُ فَتَكْثُرُ ” . قَالُوا فَمَا تَأْمُرُنَا قَالَ ” فُوا بِبَيْعَةِ الأَوَّلِ فَالأَوَّلِ وَأَعْطُوهُمْ حَقَّهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَائِلُهُمْ عَمَّا اسْتَرْعَاهُمْ
“Banu Isra’il were ruled over by the Prophets. When one Prophet died, another succeeded him; but after me there is no prophet and there will be caliphs and they will be quite large in number. His companions said: what do you order us to do (in case we come to have more than one Caliph)? He said: the one to whom allegiance is sworn first has a supremacy over the others. Concede to them their due rights (i. e. obey them). God (Himself) will question them about the subjects whom He had entrusted to them.” (Sahih Muslim)
The knot of ruling is none other than the Khilafah ruling system which rules by what Allah ﷻ has revealed. Allah ﷻ says:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
“But no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission.” [An-Nisa:65]
وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ ۖ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۚ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا ۚ
“And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you; for every one of you did We appoint a law and a way…” [AL-Ma’idah: 48]
Throughout the Islamic history, the Muslim scholars recognised the importance and obligation of appointing the Khalifah of the Muslims. Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (in Fath Al-Bari) states:
“Al-Nawawi and others said: they (the scholars) agreed unanimously that the Khalifah should be appointed one after another and his selection should be done by those charged with authority and there must be only one Khalifah, who should be selected with mutual consultation whether this consultation is done between a limited or unlimited number of people. They also agreed that the selection of a Khalifah is an obligation imposed by the Shari’ah and is not something produced by the mind”.
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami explained the Ijmaa’ of the Sahabah (in Al-Sawa’iq Al-Muhriqah):
“It is known that the Sahabah (RAA) unanimously agreed that the selection of Imam after the end of the era of Prophethood was an obligation (Wajib). Indeed they made it more important than the other obligations whilst they were busy with it over the burial of the Prophet ﷺ”.
The Knot of Unity
The colonialist disbelievers worked day and night to destroy the political unity of the Muslims by creating impotent nation states controlled by client regimes, numbering more than 50 today. It is due to this political disunity the Muslims lack strength and remain weak and dependent on the colonialist powers.
The political unity of the Muslims is manifested by having one leader who rules according to Islam, and it is forbidden for the Muslims to have more than one leader. Abu Said Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,
إِذَا بُويِعَ لِخَلِيفَتَـيْنِ فَاقْتُلُوا الآخَرَ مِنْهُمَا
“When oath of allegiance has been taken for two caliphs, kill the one for whom the oath was taken later.” (Muslim)
Arfajah bin Shuraih (RA) narrated, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say:
مَنْ أَتَاكُمْ وَأَمَرَكُمْ جَمِيعٌ, يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُفَرِّقَ جَمَاعَتَكُمْ, فَاقْتُلُوهُ
“He who comes to you when you are united and wants to disunite your community, kill him.” (Muslim)
Abu Bakr (RA) went on to say on the day of Thaqifa:
وَإِنَّهُ لا يَحِلُّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ أَمِيرَانِ ، فَإِنَّهُ مَهْمَا يَكُنْ ذَلِكَ يَخْتَلِفْ أَمَرُهُمْ وَأَحْكَامُهُمْ ، وَتَتَفَرَّقُ جَمَاعَتُهُمْ ، وَيَتَنَازَعُوا فِيمَا بَيْنَهُمْ ، هُنَالِكَ تُتْرَكُ السُّنَّةُ ، وَتَظْهَرُ الْبِدْعَةُ ، وَتَعْظُمُ الْفِتْنَةُ ، وَلَيْسَ لأَحَدٍ عَلَى ذَلِكَ صَلاحٌ
“It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs for this would cause differences in their affairs and concepts, their unity would be divided, and disputes would break out amongst them. The Sunnah would then be abandoned, the bida’a (innovations) would spread and Fitna would grow, and that is in no-one’s interest.” (As-Sunan Al-Kubra of Bayhaqi)
The Knot of Protection
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Prophet of Allah ﷺ said:
إِنَّمَا الإِمَامُ جُنَّةٌ يُقَاتَلُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ وَيُتَّقَى بِهِ فَإِنْ أَمَرَ بِتَقْوَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَعَدَلَ كَانَ لَهُ بِذَلِكَ أَجْرٌ وَإِنْ يَأْمُرْ بِغَيْرِهِ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْهُ ”
“A commander (of the Muslims) is a shield for them. They fight behind him, and they are protected by (him from tyrants and aggressors). If he enjoins fear of God, the Exalted and Glorious, and dispenses justice, there will be a (great) reward for him; and if he enjoins otherwise, it redounds on him.” (Muslim)
The Imam mentioned in the hadith is the Khalifah of the Muslims who is the shield that protects the Muslims from the aggressors. Today, it is painfully apparent that in the absence of this shield the Muslims have no protection in Palestine, Syria, Kashmir and many other places. Despite having substantial Muslim armies and weapons, we are still not protected. The reason is that the current ‘rulers’ in the Muslims lands don’t have the will to act for the protection of the Muslims, they only use the armies to fight on behalf of the colonialist kuffar and to protect their thrones.
The Knot of Welfare
Narrated Ibn `Umar: I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ saying,
الإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ
“The Ruler (i.e. Imam) is a guardian and responsible for his subjects..” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Today, the Muslim world is plagued with poverty, illiteracy, lack of development in industry and science, even though, the Muslim world is rich in resources, population and talent. It was the Khilafah state that historically led humanity in science, technology and human welfare.
The Knot of Da’wa (Conveying Islam) to the World
With the destruction of the Khilafah, humanity has been in darkness and misguidance under the kufr ideologies of capitalism and socialism. Today, the world is in dire need of the guidance of Islam in all aspects of life. The Khilafah must bring humanity out of darkness and into the light of Islam.
Allah ﷻ says:
الر ۚ كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
“Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission from utter darkness into light– to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One…” [TMQ 14:1]
Al-Tabari narrated that Rabi` ibn `Amir entered the court of Rustum, the Persian leader, who asked him: “What brought you here?” Rabi` said:
اللَّهُ ابْتَعَثْنَا لِنُخْرِجَ مَنْ شَاءَ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ الْعِبَادِ إِلَى عِبَادَةِ اللَّهِ ، وَمِنْ ضِيقِ الدُّنْيَا إِلَى سِعَتِهَا ، وَمِنْ جَوْرِ الْأَدْيَانِ إِلَى عَدْلِ الْإِسْلَام
“God sent us, and He brought us here to lead whom He wills from the worship of man to the worship of God alone; from the narrowness and oppression of this world to the space and abundance of the hereafter; and from the injustice of other religions to the justice of Islam.”