Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin

Researcher of Political Science & Classical Islam. Initiated by the Khwajagan i-Naqshband.

Exalted Status of Righteous Monarchy and Kingship in the Qur’an and the Sunnah by Dr. GF Haddad


…Allah (SWT) praised monarchy and kingship by making it one of the greatest gifts He gave to a Prophet, making it synonymous with prophethood itself in the verse {And Allah gave him [Dawud (AS)] the kingdom and wisdom} (2:251).

Greater yet is the kingdom Allah gave to Sulayman (AS). The Prophet said  in the authentic hadith of Isra’ and Mi`raj: “[O Allah!] You have given Sulayman an immense kingdom, and subjected the jinn and men and devils to him, as well as the winds, and You have given him a kingdom the like no one may have after him.”

Kingdom was given to Sayyidina Muhammad also. An angel descended as Gibrîl – upon him peace – was sitting together with the Prophet . Gibrîl said:

“This angel did not descend on earth since its creation until this moment. The angel said:

“O Muhammad! Your Lord told me to ask you: `Shall I make you a king or a servant and Messenger? Gibrîl said:

“Humble yourself before your Lord, O Muhammad! The Prophet  said:

“A servant and Messenger! Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Ahmad, al-Bazzar, and Abu Ya`la, the former two with a sound chain as stated by al-Haythami and Ahmad Shakir in Ahmad’s Musnad (#7160). Also see al-Mundhiri’s al-Targhib. This hadith is a proof that kingship is an honored state, as Allah (SWT) would not propose to His Beloved anything dishonorable or disliked, and Allah knows best.

The fact that an even greater Kingdom than Dawud’s and Sulayman’s – a royal family, by the way – was actually given to Sayyidina Muhammad  even though he preferred the higher title of Servant to that of King, is estbalished by the foundational hadith in the two Sahihs “I was given the keys to all the riches of the earth” beginning with the words “I was given five things which no Prophet before me was given.”

Every Epoch has a Divinely-Appointed King Reflecting Its People

Nor did the Prophet  condemn monarchy in itself, as shown by the hadiths already cited. A more specific proof that it is not monarchy but evil rule that is condemned – whether under caliphate or kingship – is the following narration: “Every epoch has a king whom Allah sends in the semblance (`ala nahw) of the hearts of its people. If He desires their reform He sends them a reformer, and if He desires their destruction He sends them one who shall cause their perdition.” Al-Fattini said in Tadhkira al-Mawdu`at (#182): “`Umar said: ‘People follow the religion of their kings.’ I do not know it as a Prophetic hadith, but … it supported by what al-Tabarani narrates [and al-Bayhaqi from Ka`b, as stated in Kashf al-Khafa (2:166)] raised [to the Prophet ]: “Every epoch has a king… etc.”

Al-Tabarani narrated that al-Hasan [al-Basri] heard a man supplicating against al-Hajjaj whereupon he said to him: “Do not do that! Truly you are all the same and were treated accordingly. The only thing we fear, if al-Hajjaj were to be put away or die, is that apes and pigs shall be made rulers over you.* It has been narrated: “Your deeds are your workers (a`malukum `ummalukum) and as you are, so will your leaders be.” … No doubt, “ape rule” includes the lust and advent to power of those who scoff at the encouragement to worship and the power of du`a, dhikr, salat `ala al-Nabi, karamat al-Awliya’ etc. believing only in human power, its means and its instruments with little or no knowledge of the Sunna, its fiqh, its adab, and its secrets, wAllahu a`lam.

Ibn Hajar [al-Haytami] said [in al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyya]: “Al-Najm said that Ibn Abi Shayba narrated from Mansur ibn Abi al-Aswad that the latter asked al-A`mash about Allah Almighty’s saying: {Thus We let some of the wrong-doers have power over others because of what they are wont to earn} (6:129) to which he replied: ‘I heard them say about it [that it means] that the most evil of people are made to rule over them.'” …

Al-Bayhaqi also narrated from al-Hasan that the Israelites asked Musa – upon him peace – saying: “Ask your Lord to show us how we can tell He is pleased with us and how we can tell He is displeased.” He asked Him and He said: “Tell them: My good pleasure with them is [seen in] the fact that I make their best govern them, and that my displeasure with them is [seen in] the fact that I make their most evil ones govern them.” …

[Al-Sakhawi] said in al-Maqasid: “We have narrated from al-Fudayl [ibn `Iyad] that he said: ‘If I had one supplication that is answered, I would consider the Sultan more deserving of it. For in his uprightness lies the uprightness of those who are governed by him, and in his corruption lies their corruption.'” This is supported by what al-Tabarani narrated in al-Kabir and al-Awsat from Abu Umama, raised [to the Prophet  ]: “Do not curse the governors but supplicate that they be upright. For their uprightness is best for you.” …

Similarly al-Qasim ibn Mukhaynara’s saying: “The epoch in which you live is nothing other than your governor. If your governor is upright then your epoch is upright and if your governor is corrupt then your epoch is corrupt.” I mentioned all the narrations in this section in my July 1999 internet post titled “Ape Rule.”

The Awaited Mahdi (AS) Shall be a King

When the Israelites were oppressed by Jalut and his forces they went to their Prophet and asked him to ask Allah to raise up for them a King so they could fight in the way of Allah: {Bethink thee of the leaders of the Children of Israel after Moses, how they said unto a Prophet whom they had: Set up for us a King and we will fight in the way of Allah} (2:246). Our Shaykh, Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim – Allah save and keep him in the best care – spoke to this effect: “Why do you now run to the U.N. and ask for help? Go to the Grave of the Prophet Muhammad  and ask him to ask Allah, to send al-Mahdi (AS). Indeed, One of the distinguishing traits of Ahl al-Sunna today in contrast to innovators is their belief in Khalifat Allah al-Mahdi (AS) as righteous *King* – as shown by the following narrations – endowed with full Divine support …

Many hadiths mention that al-Mahdi shall actually “rule by Kingship” (yamluku) and speak of “the duration of his kingdom” (muddatu mulkihi) as narrated by Abu `Amr al-Dani in al-Sunan al-Warida fi al-Fitan, Nu`aym ibn Hammad in Kitab al-Fitan, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, and al-Barzanji in al-Isha`a li Ashrat al-Sa`a (cf. p. 225). This indicates that his Caliphate shall be of the nature of a righteous monarchy.

For example: The Prophet  said: “The Hour shall not rise until a man from the People of my House [again the concept of royal family] shall rule by kingdom (yamluk), named after me, his father named after mine, and fill the earth with justice and equity just as it had been filled with oppression and injustice.” Narrated from Ibn Mas`ud by Abu Dawud in his Sunan (book of al-Mahdi), al-Tabarani in al-Mu`jam al-Kabir (10:165 #10219), al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (4:442) where al-Dhahabi said it is sound (sahih). Cf. al-Dani (5:1040, 1041, 1047, 1048, 1051 [“Rule by kingdom over the earth”], 1052 [“Rule by kingdom over the Arabs”]).

From Abu Sa`id al-Khudri: The Prophet  said: “Al-Mahdi shall rule by kingdom for seven, eight, or nine years.” Nu`aym ibn Hammad (2:689). He cites several similarly-worded reports with variant durations (1:376-378).


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