Whoever removes his hand from obedience (to the ruler) will meet Allah with no proof for himself, and whoever dies without the pledge of allegiance (to the ruler) upon his neck dies a death of jahiliyya (Muslim).
Whoever removes himself from the Jama’at (the unified Muslim Ummah) by a handspan then he has taken Islam from his neck until he returns, Whoever dies and does not have a leader of the Jama’at over him then his death is a death of jahiliyya (Hakim)
- These ahadith show the obligatory nature of unity upon the Truth, with the expression “by a handspan” indicating that any disunity however small is forbidden.
- Islam obligates obedience to the consented ruler, which should be considered alongside other ahadith explaining the specific circumstance when dissension and even rebellion is permitted (such as when the ruler rules by other than Islam).
- The pledge of allegiance referred to in the hadith is the pledge taken between the ruled and ruler, as exemplified by the Prophet and the companions after him, to rule the people by the Quran and Sunnah and in return to be obeyed.
- The “death of jahiliyya” is an indication in the narration that to die without having the pledge of allegiance upon one’s neck is prohibited, and therefore the existence of the pledge of allegiance is obligatory, which in turn necessitates the existence of the Khalifah with whom that pledge is made as mentioned by scholars such as Imam Taftazani, and also Shah Waliullah Dahlawi (in his book originally written in Persian izalatul khafa an khilafatul Khulafaa).
- In the second of the narrations this point is made explicit, with the wording of the hadith being “does not have leader of the group (of Muslims) over him” explaining what is meant in the first narration by the metaphor “without the pledge of allegiance upon his neck”.
- To establish the Khilafah is in turn obligatory from the principle “whatever leads to a wajib is wajib”, and this is an obligation which encompasses all of the people due to the generality indicated in the use ” من ” (whoever).