Question: Are all Muslim rulers and Muslim civilizations automatically discounted because they were after the period of the righteous caliphs?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
No, this is not the case. No one is automatically disqualified from any of Allah’s mercy and favor. A person, a ruler, and civilization only has recompense from Allah what they themselves did or didn’t do. Race, history, or circumstances do not cancel one out or forestall one.
Every Muslim ruler and every Muslim dynasty or civilization who strove (or now strives) to apply the Qur’an and Sunna is on the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This is not restricted to time or place.
Furthermore, eutopia doesn’t exist. Just as there are demons and devils within the midst of the Muslims today, there were demons and devils in the time of the Prophetic Companions and the Early Muslims.
The many hadiths about the bad rulers who would come in the future are to be understood in general terms and were, for the most part, confirmed by history. But they do not mean that everyone ruler since the time of the Righteous Caliphs should be discounted as a mere “prince.”
Regarding the hadiths, Imam Ahmad narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Prophecy will remain among you for however long Allah wishes for it to last, and then Allah will remove it when He wishes; then there will be a caliphate that will adhere to the Prophetic way for however long Allah wishes for it to last, and then Allah will remove it when He wishes; then there will be despotic monarchies for however long Allah wishes for it to last, and then Allah will remove them when He wishes; then there will be tyrannical rulers for however long Allah wishes for it to last, and then Allah will remove them when He wishes; then there will be a caliphate that will adhere to the Prophetic way.’
This hadith was deemed sound (hasan) by Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut.
Imam Ahmad also narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘The caliphate will last thirty years, and then there will be princes thereafter.’
Again this is a general trend that the Messenger of Allah drew for us. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t many good and righteous Muslim rulers after the period of the Righteous Caliphs and that there won’t be righteous Muslim rulers before the appearance of the Mahdi.
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language