Question: What does it mean that Muslims should only have one caliph?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
In Sahih Muslim, the Messenger of Allah said, ‘If two caliphs are pledged allegiance to, kill the last of the two.’ Similarly, he also said, ‘There will be all sorts of problems, so whoever comes seeking to split this nation in two when it is united, then kill him, whomever he may be.’ (Muslim) He also said, ‘Whoever comes trying to split you up when you are united under one man, then kill him.’ (Muslim)
Imam Nawawi said that these hadiths tell us that rebellions and coups d’etat are forbidden and that rebels must be fought until they submit. (Sharh Muslim, Nawawi)
It doesn’t mean that we should choose one current Muslim ruler and assassinate the rest. The point of the hadiths is to reduce turmoil, not to increase it.
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.