Archive for the ‘Takhrij’ Category

Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet

 

From Sunan an-Nasai with full Isnaad:

 

أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَهَّابِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْحَكَمِ الْوَرَّاقُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا حَجَّاجٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ جُرَيْجٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ طَلْحَةَ، – وَهُوَ ابْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ – عَنْ أَبِيهِ، طَلْحَةَ عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ جَاهِمَةَ السُّلَمِيِّ، أَنَّ جَاهِمَةَ، جَاءَ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَغْزُوَ وَقَدْ جِئْتُ أَسْتَشِيرُكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ هَلْ لَكَ مِنْ أُمٍّ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ نَعَمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَالْزَمْهَا فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ تَحْتَ رِجْلَيْهَا ‏

 

It was narrated from Mu’awiyah bin Jahimah As-Sulami, that Jahimah came to the Prophet and said:

“O Messenger of Allah! I want to go out and fight and I have come to ask your advice.” He said: “Do you have a mother?” He said: “Yes.” He said: “Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.”

 

There are two problems wthin the isnaad of this particular hadith: 1) Ambiguity in transmission, and 2) lack of trustiness of one of the narrators.

 

1) The ambiguous transmission from حَجَّاجٌ “An”  ابْنِ جُرَيْجٍ and from مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ طَلْحَةَ “An” أَبِيهِ، طَلْحَةَ  “An”  مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ جَاهِمَةَ السَّلَمِيّ.  Neither of these narrators clearly stated whether they heard, or were told, this hadith from their source.  Whether some of them were reliabel or not is irrelevant, since the actual state of receiving is in question.

 

2) طلحة is also an issue.  His full name was طلحة بن عبد الله بن عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله بن عثمان and he did not report many narrations.  His acceptability is not established by anyone who interacted with him.  No major imam mentioned him to be upright and reliable.

 

 

Paradise is at the feet of mothers

 

These words are supposedly reported by two companions – Anas b. Malik and Abdullah b. Abbas.

 

From al-Jami of al-Khatib with full Isnaad:

 

 أَنَا الْحَسيَنُ بْنُ أَبِي بَكْرٍ، أَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ زِيَادٍ الْقَطَّانُ، نَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْوَاسِطِيُّ، نَا مَنْصُورُ بْنُ الْمُهَاجِرِ الْبُزُورِيُّ، نَا أَبُو النَّضْرِ الأَبَّارُ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ : “ الْجَنَّةُ تَحْتَ أَقْدَامِ الأُمَّهَاتِ 

 

From Anas b. Malik, Allah’s Messenger said : “Paradise is at the feet of mothers.”

 

There are two narrators who are a major problem: مَنْصُورُ بْنُ الْمُهَاجِرِ الْبُزُورِيُّ  and أَبُو النَّضْرِ الأَبَّارُ, both of these men are unknown. (ref. al-Ajluni)

 

 

From al-Kaamil of Ibn Adiy with full Isnaad:

 

ثنا عُمَرُ بْنُ سِنَانٍ، ثنا عَبَّاسُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ الْخَلالُ، ثنا مُوسَى بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَطَاءٍ، ثنا أَبُو الْمُلَيْحِ، عَنْ مَيْمُونَ بْنِ مَهْرَانَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ K: ” الْجَنَّةُ تَحْتَ أَقْدَامِ الأُمَّهَاتِ مَنْ شِئْنَ أَدْخَلْنَ وَمَنْ شِئْنَ أَخْرَجْنَ 

 

From Ibn Abbas who said, Allah’s Messenger said: “Paradise is at the feet of mothers, from there we are admitted and saved.”

 

Ibn Adiy comments: “وهذا حديث منكر أيضا This hadith is munkar” and al-Khatib also collected this hadith and said it was “weak.”

 

Once again, there are two problems wthin the isnaad of this particular hadith: 1) Ambiguity in transmission, and 2) abandonment of one of the narrators.

 

1) The ambiguity of narrating this hadith by أَبُو الْمُلَيْحِ “An” مَيْمُونَ بْنِ مَهْرَانَ “An” ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ

 

2) The narrator  مُوسَى بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَطَاءٍ was declared as “Matruk” by ad-Daraqutni and accused of lying (ref. Abu Hatim ar-Razi).

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Allah says there is no compulsion in Deen, the right way is clear from the wrong [2:256] and the truth is from your lord, whoever wills, let him believe and whoever wills, let him disbelieve [18:29].

 

Apostasy is when one abandons or renounces his religious and/or political beliefs and allegiances.

 

Whenever one testifies there’s no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s apostle, we assume that he’s Muslim based on his outward deeds.

 

However, there may be times these individuals manifest disbelief through their deeds. If he opposes the Rasul after guidance is made clear to him and follows other than the believers’ path, then clearly he’s among those who disbelieve [4:115].

 

Either he never believed or he believed then disbelieved or he’s filled with doubts. The ayat in surah an-nisa 89-91 tell us not to take them as allies until they emigrate in Allah’s path and if they turn away, seize them and kill them but if they restrain their hands against you and offer peace then Allah has not made a way for you against them, only those who have joined the enemy in fighting you should be fought against.

 

There are mainly three narrations which allude to killing apostates:
whoever changes his deen, kill him
the one who comes out against Allah and His Rasul
the one who forsakes Islam and parts the jama’ah (or parts from the jama’ah)

 

The first: whoever changes his deen, kill him
If this were taken generally, then a pagan or a Jew who becomes Christian should be killed.  Even if a Christian or Jew who becomes a Muslim should be killed, following the obvious wording of the narration.  If someone says only Islam is deen, then they are mistaken.  Why?  Because Allah tells the people of the scripture not to exceed the limits of their religion… [4:171], calling their ways ‘deen.’  Therefore, this narration is problematic with the Qur’an.

 

The second: the one who comes out against Allah and His Rasul
The Qur’an has already detailed the punishments for hiraba in surah al-ma’idah, regardless of whether or not it’s done by one who used to say he’s Muslim or one who still claims he’s Muslim.

 

The third: the one who forsakes Islam and parts the jama’ah (or parts from the jama’ah)
By jama’ah, it’s not speaking about the sect that emerged after the Rasul’s passing, calling themselves ‘Ahl us sunna wal jama’ah.  No, rather, the jama’ah is the Muslims and splitting their ranks. But due to the  word “and” in the narration, this individual must be doing both: leaving Islam and splitting the ranks of the believers, causing sectarian strife.  If the other wording is used -or parts from the jama’ah- then it implies he has parted ways with the jama’ah, in which case we apply the ayat in surah an-nisa depending on which camp he’s joined, a neutral party or the enemy…

 

Muhamad bin Muhamad

‘Authubillaahi min ash-Shaytaani rajeem

Bismillaahi ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem, as-Salaatu was-Salaam ‘ala Rasulullaah

Weakness in the Hadith of “…Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them”

by al-Kindi

Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wasallam said: “ i was sent with the sword just before the Last Hour, so that Allah is worshipped, my sustenance was provided for me from under the shadow of my spear and made inferior, and whoever imitates a people, he is one of them.”

This Hadith is well known and always quoted in talks and articles, particularly the first part of the Hadith which is always used by  some group when another group focus on the last part of the Hadith which quoted and narrated in Sunnan Abu Dawad when the full Maten (text) of the Hadith is narrated by Al-Imam Ahmad and others by the same Isnaad (chain).

I understand clearly how the authenticity of this Hadith is sort of undebatable to some Muslims and it all most a sin to indicate the defects in the narration, however, this does not surprise me as this Hadith is repeated by many speakers and some scholars have even authenticated it, such as Shaykh Al-Albani. As for the follower (Muqalideen) of those scholars is unacceptable in any way to doubt the credibility of this Hadith, as they are hold behind the barriers of the superiority of those scholars and that it is unlike to make a mistake and what’s more hard to accept is the mistake to be hinted by some not well known.

The Hadith has few chains where each one of them not single Isnaad (chain) that is Saheeh with no defects. For these different Isnaad narrating the same Maten, some scholars authenticated this Hadith i.e. the method of Shawahid which means weak+ weak+weak= Saheeh. It is mostly accepted the late Muhaditheen in different level and circumstances in which some of them are more strict than others in regard the type of defect, the condition of the narrators and if they have narrated from the same Shaykh which called Mutaba’at, if they are from same country or different land etc, however others might be very  relax, authenticating many Hadiths for some different weak Isnaad that this Maten of Hadith is narrated by.

However, for many of the early Muhaditheen the way of authenticating Hadiths by Shawahid is not acceptable to make a Hadith Saheeh Hujjah in the Deen, and this what i accept to be the Haq in this matter. inshAllah if you read the details below with an open heart and mind from a per-conclusion, you will understand my argument whether you agree or disagree.

The first Isnaad

 

   حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو النَّضْرِ ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ ثَابِتٍ ، حَدَّثَنَا حَسَّانُ بْنُ عَطِيَّةَ ، عَنْ أَبِي مُنِيبٍ الْجُرَشِيِّ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ ” .

 

أبو داود في السنن

 

حَدَّثَنَا هَاشِمُ بْنُ الْقَاسِمِ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ ثَابِتٍ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا حَسَّانُ بْنُ عَطِيَّةَ ، عَنْ أَبِي مُنِيبٍ الْجُرَشِيِّ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” إنَّ اللَّهَ جَعَلَ رِزْقِي تَحْتَ رُمْحِي وَجَعَلَ الذِّلَّةَ وَالصَّغَارَ عَلَى مَنْ خَالَفَ أَمْرِي , مَنْ تشبه بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ ” .

 

عُثْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ في المصنف

 

 

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو النَّضْرِ ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ ثَابِتِ بْنِ ثَوْبَانَ ، حَدَّثَنَا حَسَّانُ بْنُ عَطِيَّةَ ، عَنْ أَبِي مُنِيبٍ الْجُرَشِيِّ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” بُعِثْتُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ السَّاعَةِ بِالسَّيْفِ حَتَّى يُعْبَدَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ، وَجُعِلَ رِزْقِي تَحْتَ ظِلِّ رُمْحِي ، وَجُعِلَ الذُّلُّ وَالصَّغَارُ عَلَى مَنْ خَالَفَ أَمْرِي ، وَمَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ ” .

 

أحمد في المسند

As you can see Abu Dawod narrated from Ibn Abi Shaybah from Abu Al-Nadhr whos name is Hisham ibn Al-Qasam, both of Imam Ahmad and Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated from Abu Al-Nadhr the full Maten in their book, yet Abu Dawad brought the last part of the Maten.

The same Maten has been narrated by other then Abu Al-Nadhr such as:

محمد بن يزيد ، وسليمان بن داود ، والفريابي ، وعلي بن عياش ، وغسان بن الربيع

However they all narrated from the same Shaykh

عبد الرحمن بن ثابت بن ثوبان ، حدّثنا حَسان بن عطية ، عن أبي مُنيب الجرشي

So this Isnaad is depend on the reliability of those narrators.

The first defect:

عبد الرحمن بن ثابت بن ثوبان

This narrator is not Thiqah, has been weaken by many scholars thou they accept him as a religious good person but is not reliable in his narration.

Imam Ahmad said  أحاديثه مناكير

Yahya ibn Ma’een said    لا شىء  ضعيف صالح

The second defect:

أبي مُنيب الجرشي

This is the Tabe’ee who but narrated from Ibn Umar yet he did not clear say that he has heard it from Ibn Umar rather he used the word  A’n which does not mean necessary that he has heard it from Ibn Umar and there is no evidence to prove  that he heard from Ibn Umar, as he might has heard it through another person.

أَبِي مُنِيبٍ الْجُرَشِيِّ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ

Although he has been mentioned in the book of Ibn Heebban Ath-Thiqaat but the fact is that he is Majhool Hall although Ibn Heebban listed his name following his ruling of including any Tabe’ee how has been Majrooh, and those who did Tawthiq to this Tabe’ee followed Inb Heeban. Also it should known that no Hadith has been narrated through this Tabe’ee in both of Bukhari and Muslim and the four books of Sunnan other than this narration and he know by his Konyah only Abu Moneeb not by his name and his father name.

The second Isnaad:

 

حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ ، ثَنَا أَبِي ، ثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ الْحَارِثِ ، ثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَالِمٍ ، عَنِ الزُّبَيْدِيِّ ، ثَنَا نُمَيْرُ بْنُ أَوْسٍ ، أَنَّ حُذَيْفَةَ بْنَ الْيَمَانِ ، كَانَ يَرُدُّهُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ : ” مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ” .

 

مسند الشاميين للطبراني

The first defect

The narrators عَمْرُو بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ and his father are not Thiqa, yet the the son is better than the father but the best can be said about him that he is Sadooq. However, the father is described to be Nothing by Abu Dawad and Not Thiqa by An-Nisaee.

The second defect

The narrator is  عَمْرُو بْنُ الْحَارِثِ Majhool Hall

The third defect

The narrator نُمَيْرُ بْنُ أَوْسٍ did not hear anything from the Sahabee Hudayfah, so the Isnaad is Munqat’a i.e there is a gap between the Sahabee and this narrator (Nomaar Ben Awa), which means Nomaar heard from another narrator we don’t know his credibility, that if the first three narrators mentioned above narrated the correctly which is unlikely.

The third Isnaad

 

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ زَكَرِيَّا ، ثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَرْزُوقٍ ، نا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ ، ثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ غُرَابٍ ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ حَسَّانٍ ، عَنِ ابْنِ سِيرِينَ ، عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ بْنِ حُذَيْفَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، أَنّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ : ” مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ ”

لَمْ يَرْوِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ حَسَّانٍ ، إلا عَلِيُّ بْنُ غُرَابٍ ، وَلا عَنْ عَلِيٍّ ، إلا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ ، تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ : مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مزوقٍ

   المعجم الأوسط للطبراني

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَرْزُوقٍ ، قَالَ : أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ ، قَالَ : أَخْبَرَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ غُرَابٍ ، قَالَ : أَخْبَرَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ حَسَّانَ ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سِيرِينَ ، عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ بْنِ حُذَيْفَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، أَنّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ : ” مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ ” ،

 وَهَذَا الْحَدِيثُ لا نَعْلَمُهُ يُرْوَى عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ مُسْنَدًا إِلا مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ ، وَقَدْ رَوَاهُ غَيْرُ عَلِيِّ بْنِ غُرَابٍ ، عَنْ هِشَامٍ ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ مَوْقُوفًا .

البحر الزخار بمسند البزار

If you read Arabic then you must understand that At-Tabari highlighted the Tafarrod of Ali Ben Ghoraab from Hisham Ibn Hassaan  from Ibn Syreen from Abu U’baydah Ben Hudayfah

The first defect

The narrator عَلِيُّ بْنُ غُرَابٍ is not Theqah, Abu Dawad caaled him weak, An-Nasaee and Abu Hatem said: he is not bad and Ibn Hebbaan criticised him very harshly. However, the best can be said about him that he is Sadooq yet he was Mudalles known by Taddlees and in this Isnaad he has narrated using the word A’n which make this Isnaad weak.

The second defect

The Tabe’ee whose name is not known yet his known by his Konyah Abu U’baydah, he is a son of the great Sahabee Hudayfah Ibn Al-Yaman, in general his state in Hadith like the Tabe’ee in the first Isnaad Abu Muneeb. Abu Hatem said: about him he is not named, Ad-Daraqtni considered him to be Majhool and Ibn Hajer said he has no biography, yet Ibn Hebbaan listed him in his book of Ath-thiqaat

 

 

The fourth Isnaad

This Mursal Isnaad has been narrated by some scholar all of them from Al-Awza’ee

الْأَوْزَاعِيِّ ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جَبَلَةَ ، عَنْ طَاوُسٍ ، أَنّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ : ” إنَّ اللَّهَ بَعَثَنِي بِالسَّيْفِ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ السَّاعَةِ , وَجَعَلَ رِزْقِي تَحْتَ ظِلِّ رُمْحِي , وَجَعَلَ الذُّلَّ وَالصَّغَارَ عَلَى مَنْ خَالَفَنِي , وَمَنْ تشبه بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ

The first defect:

The narrator سَعِيدِ بْنِ جَبَلَةَ Majhool Hall not known at all with no disagreement  e.i. we don’t know if he is trustworthy or not if had a good memory of not etc.

The second defect:

This Isnaad is Mursal i.e a Tabe’ee says the prophet said without saying whos told him, in this Isnaad Tawoss narrated from the prophet directly

عَنْ طَاوُسٍ ، أَنّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ : ” إنَّ اللَّهَ بَعَثَنِي

The fifth Isnaad

This is another Mursul Isnaad full of defects.

إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي عُمَيْرٍ الصُّورِيِّ ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَعَثَنِي بِسَيْفِي بَيْنَ يَدَيِ السَّاعَةِ ، وَجَعَلَ رِزْقِي تَحْتَ ظِلِّ رُمْحِي ، وَجَعَلَ الذُّلَّ وَالصَّغَارَ عَلَى مَنْ خَالَفَنِي ، وَمَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ ” .

سنن سعيد بن منصور

The first defect

The author of the book Sa’eed Ben Mansoor has narrated this Hadith from  إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍwho is not a Thiqa. Al-Imam Muslim said: don’t write from him whether he narrated from those who know or from others, Ibn Khzaymah said: he is  not Hojjah, Ad-Daraqoteni said: weak, the best been said about his that he is okay if he narrated from narrators from his land (Ash-sham) weak if he narrated from others.

The second defect

The narrator أَبِي عُمَيْرٍ الصُّورِيِّ  whose name is Abban Ben Sulayman nothing is known about him other than that he was a religious man so he is Majhool Hall i.e. Not Thiqah.

The third defect

Al-Hasan Al-Basri is quoting this Maten from the prophet without saying who has heard it from as he is a Tabe’ee never met the prophet, therefore this Hadith is Mursal.

To be continued…

Ahumdoolillaah, as-salaatu was-salaam ‘ala Rasoolullaah

This is a excerpt from the book ‘Kitab al-Jami’ by one of the greatest Maliki scholars ever lived, Imaam bin Abu Zaid al-Qairawani (310AH-386AH).  He quotes Imaam Malik’s view about the following authentic hadeeth from al-Muwatta’ under the heading ‘The banishment of the Jews from Medinah.’ We will only quote the needed material from the section InshAllaah.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Isma’il bin Abi Hakim that he heard ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz say, “One of the last things that the Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa sallam said was, ‘May Allaah fight the Jews and the Christians. They took the graves of their Prophets as places of prostration. Two deens shall not coexist in the land of the Arabs.'”

Yahya related to me from Malik from bin Shihab that the Rasoolulllaah sallaahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Two deens shall not coexist in the Arabian Peninsula.”

Malik said that bin Shihab said, ”’Umar bin al-Khatab searched for information about that until he was absolutely convinced that the Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa sallam had said, ‘Two deens shall not coexist in the Arabian Peninsula,’ and he therefore expelled the Jews from Khaybar.”

Malik said “That (Arabian Peninsula) is Makkah, Medinah, Yemen and the land of the Arabs.”

Then ‘Umar expelled the people (Jews) of Najran (place in Yemen).  As for the people of Fadak, a treaty had been made with them for a half (of the produce of their land.)  Their half was evaluated and he gave them camels, packed saddles and gold for it, and bought it for the Muslims.  He expelled the Jews of Khaibar and didn’t take anything away because they didn’t have anything.

Malik said “As for Tayma’, their affair is clear.  Between us and them is eleven nights (journey), it is not an Arab land, it is a district of Sham.  I believe that the Wadi’s (Wadiul Qura) Jewish inhabitants were left because they didn’t think that it is a land of Arabs.”  As for Egypt, Khorasaan and Sham, they were not expelled from there because they are non-Arab lands.  Whoever is expelled from places other than Medinah which they had been inhabiting may delay more than three days until they have loaded up.  ‘Umar imposed three days on them in Medinah because they were only passer-by.”

Bin Shihab said, “Khaibar (was conquered) by force, and some of it by treaty, and most of the Kateebah by force.”

Malik was asked, “What is the Kateebah?” He said, “The land of Khaibar, which is forty thousand palm trees with their fruits.”

Alhumdoolillaah, as-salaatu was-salaam ‘ala Rasoolullaah.

Imaam Muslim recorded in his Saheeh under Book of Imaan, that Abu Huraira (ra) related Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa salam said (translation):

“Islaam began as something strange, and it will become strange again just like it was at the beginning, so blessed are the strangers.”

And he also reports it from bin ‘Umar (ra):

“Indeed Islaam began as something strange and it will become strange again just as it started, and it would recede between the two mosques just as the serpent crawls back into its hole.”

This is a well-known hadeeth which reaches the status of mutawatir, reported by around twenty Sahaaba (ra) with different wordings.

Imaam Tirmidhi collected the following wording from ‘Amr bin ‘Awf of Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa salam (translation):

“The deen will shrink back to the Hijaz like the snake shrinks back into its hole. It will cling to the Hijaz like the mountain goat clings to the mountaintop. The deen began as something strange, and it will become strange again just like it was at the beginning, so blessed are the strangers who restore what the people corrupt of my Sunnah.” And he graded it Hasan Saheeh.

And in Musnad Ahmed and bin Hiban’s collection, it was reported (translation):

“Islaam began as something strange and it will revert to how it began as something strange. So Tooba to the strangers” The people asked, “Who are they, Ya Rasoolullaah?” He answered, “Those who are pious and righteous when the people have become evil.”

In Imaam bin al-Mubarak’s ‘Kitab uz-Zuhd’ #775 the hadeeth ends with:

“They are righteous people among many evil people, who disobey them more than they obey them.”

Imaam at-Tabari in his famous tafsir reports that Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa salam explained “Tooba” as a tree in Jannah. The time it takes to travel it is 100 years and the clothing of the people of Jannah is taken from its lamina.

All of the above narrations are authentic by their own right or due to supporting chains.

Who exactly are these people?

Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa salam had mentioned that there will always be a group from his Umma fighting upon the truth. This was reported by many Sahaaba (ra), rising the hadeeth to the level of mutawatir. Some narrations are as follows (translation),

In Saheeh Muslim, under the Book of Government:

From Thauban (ra):

“A group of people from my Umma will always remain triumphant on the right path and continue to be triumphant (against their opponents). He who deserts them shall not be able to do them any harm. They will remain in this position until Allaah’s. Command is executed (Qayama).”

From Mughira (ra):

“A group of people from my Umma will continue to be triumphant over the people until the Command of Allaah overtakes them while they are still triumphant.”

From Jaabir bin Sumara (ra):

“This religion will continue to exist, and a group of people from the Muslims will continue to fight for its protection until the Hour is established”

From Jaabir bin ‘Abdullaah (ra):

“A group of people from my Umma will continue to fight in defense of truth and remain triumphant until the Day of Judgment…”

From Umair bin Umm Hani (ra):

“A group of people from my Umma will continue to obey Allaah’s Command, and those who desert or oppose them shall not be able to do them any harm. They will be dominating the people until Allaah’s Command is executed.”

And similar reports clearly show that this group of Strangers is, without a doubt, the Mujahideen. And to make things even clearer, Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa salam specifies to whom “Tooba” is for. The hadeeth is recorded in Saheeh Bukhaari and Sunan bin Maja, from Abu Huraira (ra), in which Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa salam mentions the destruction and humiliation for the worshipper of the dinar, dirham, khameesa and khamila. Than Rasoolullaah sallaahu alaihi wa salam mentions (translation):

“…Tooba is for the worshipper, taking the reins of his horse in the cause of Allaah; his hair flying, his feet dusty. If he is assigned the watch, then he remains on watch. If he is assigned the rear guard, he guards the rear. Yet if he asks permission, he is not permitted, and if he intercedes, his intercession is not granted.”

Hence, Tooba for the Mujahideen.

Ascertaining the most accurate wording of the hadeeth of Auf Ibn Maalik “No, as long as they establish the call for prayer amongst you”

It has been reported in the Saheeh of Imaam Muslim,

[حدثنا إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي أخبرنا عيسى بن يونس حدثنا الأوزاعي عن يزيد بن يزيد بن جابر عن رزيق بن حيان عن مسلم بن قرظة عن عوف بن مالك عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «خيار أئمتكم الذين تحبونهم ويحبونكم، ويصلون عليكم وتصلون عليهم، وشرار أئمتكم الذين تبغضونهم، ويبغضونكم وتلعنونهم ويلعنونكم»، قيل: (يا رسول الله: أفلا ننابذهم بالسيف?!)، فقال: «لا ما أقاموا فيكم الصلاة: وإذا رأيتم من ولاتكم شيئا تكرهونه: فاكرهوا عمله، ولا تنزعوا يدا من طاعة!»]

Told us Ishaaq Ibn Ibraaheem al-Hanzali, informed us ‘Isa Ibn Yoonis, told us al-’Awzaa’i, from Yazeed Ibn Yazeed Ibn Jaabir, from Ruzayq Ibn Hayyaan, from Muslim Ibn Qarda, from Auf Ibn Maalik who said, “The Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salamsaid, “The best of your leaders are those whom you love and they love you, and for whom you pray and they pray for you; and the worst of your leaders are those whom you hate and they hate you, and you curse and they curse you” Someone asked, “Should we not then fight them with the sword?” He saAllaahu alayhi wa salamsaid, “No, as long as they establish the call for prayer amongst you” and he saAllaahu alayhi wa salamcontinued, “And if you observe something dislikeable from the ‘Ameer, then dislike it but do not release your hand from obedience”.

All the mutawatir narrations, in essence have come with the same wording. In some narrations it mentions the word Munaabidtha (disputing with them) but without the word Sayf (Sword). However, the word Sayf has come through various channels from a number of trustworthy authorities and cannot be rejected.

Otherwise, if we take the addition of a Thiqah in one narration but reject the addition of a Thiqah in another narration, then that would be a contradiction. Either you take all the words of a thiqah in a narration or you reject all their words. If he is trustworthy in the main wording of the hadeeth, he is also classed as trustworthy in the additions, unless there is a counter evidence to suggest that he has made a mistake. Accepting the hadeeth of a thiqah is required and rejecting it for no reason is haraam so we have to take this additional part of the hadeeth.

Also, by necessity of reason, disputing with the rulers is usually done with the sword otherwise how else will you be able to dispute with them, so even the other hadeeths which don’t contain the word Sayf , still imply, by necessity of reason, that the disputing with them, will be by the sword.

In some channels of narrations, it says “if there is a wali (governor) above you, and you see him committing a disobedience to Allaah, then hate the disobedience to Allaah, but don’t pull your hand from obedience” instead of the wording contained in the above narration which we have quoted in full, which says ““And if you observe something dislikeable from the ‘Ameer, then dislike it but do not release your hand from obedience”.

The narration we have quoted in full is better and more eloquent for the following reasons.

1. If you hate what the one in authority does, than that is wider then hating just the disobedience to Allaah. For example, you may hate taxes imposed upon you, but they are not a disobedience to Allaah and you are not permitted to rebel just because you hate these taxes.
2. The wording “dislikeable” has a wider meaning.
3. The other wording “then hate the disobedience to Allaah, but don’t pull your hand from obedience” may misguide some people, who may take it to mean that they must tolerate every sin. But this is not correct as some sins cannot be tolerated like the kufr buwah. So the wording “dislikeable” is more befitting and suitable for all cases.

In some of the chains of narration, the phrase “No, as long as they establish the call for prayer amongst you” is repeated two or three times, and this is just for further affirmation and does not change the meaning at all.

The hadeeth of Auf Ibn Maalik in Saheeh Muslim is saheeh and is confirmed by oath in another chain also contained in Saheeh Muslim:

Told us Dawud ibn Rashid, told us Al-Walid ibn Muslim, told us Abdul Rahman ibn Yazeed ibn Jaabir, from Mawla bani Fazarah (who is Razaik ibn Hayan) that he heard from Muslim ibn Karadah (who was the cousin of Auf Ibn Maalik) say that he heard from Auf Ibn Maalik that the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salamsaid this hadeeth.

Then Abdul Rahman ibn Yazid ibn Jabir said “I said to Razaik (ibn Hayan) when he told me this hadeeth, by Allaah did you hear this hadeeth from Muslim ibn Karadah saying that he heard from Auf Ibn Maalik saying that the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam said this hadeeth?” Razaik ibn Hayan went onto his knees and faced the Qiblah and said “By Allaah i heard this hadeeth from Muslim ibn Karadah saying that he heard from Auf Ibn Maalik saying that the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salamsaid this hadeeth“

The hadeeth of Auf Ibn Maalik is also contained in other narrations of Saheeh Muslim, as well as al-Darimi’s Sunan, the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, the Saheeh of Ibn Hibban, Imaam Al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan al Qubra, the Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer of Imaam Tabarani, the Musnad al-Shamail and the Musnad ibn Rowanah from many channels so the hadeeth is well-established and authentic.

There is another similar hadeeth in the Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer of Imaam Tabarani which is not narrated from Auf Ibn Maalik, but from Uqbah ibn Aāmir:

Told us Muhammad ibn yahya ibn Mandah Al-Asbahani, from Abu Qurayb, from Yunus ibn Baqir, from Musa ibn Ali, from his father, from Uqbah ibn Aāmir who said that the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salamsaid “Shall I not tell you about the best of your rulers and the worst?” they said “Yes, tell us, Messenger of Allaah” he said “the best are the ones you love and they love you and you make dua for them and they make dua for you. The worst are those who you hate and they hate you and you make dua against them and they make dua against you” they responded “should we not fight them?” the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam replied “leave them, as long as they pray and fast”

This isnaad is Hasan not saheeh, because it is said of Yunus ibn Baqir that he is “Saduq (Trustworthy), but makes mistakes” and Bukhaari and Muslim did narrate from him but only as a supporting channel not a main channel. The rest of the narrators in the chain like Musa ibn Ali, his father, and Uqbah ibn Aāmir are from the strong narrators of Saheeh Muslim. While Abu Qurayb is Muhammad ibn Alaa ibn hamdani, a teacher of both Imaams Muslim and Bukhaari and Muhammad ibn yahya ibn Mandah Al-Asbahani are famous scholars, well known to the scholars of hadeeth.

There is a third hadeeth narrated on the authority of Umar ibn al-Khattaab in the Sunan al-Tirmidhi:

Told us Muhammad ibn Bashar, from Abu Amar al-Aqdi, from Muhammad ibn Abi Hamayd, from Zayd ibn Aslam, from his father (Aslam, the freed slave of Umar), from Umar ibn al-Khattaab who said that the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salamsaid “”Shall I not tell you about the best of your rulers and the worst? The best are the ones you love and they love you and you make dua for them and they make dua for you. The worst are those who you hate and they hate you and you make dua against them and they make dua against you” the hadeeth stops there and does not carry on.

Imaam Tirmidhi says the hadeeth is “Hasan, but strange” because it is only known through this channel and Muhammad ibn Abi Hamayd has been declared to be weak as a narrator of hadeeth. Shaykh Albani declared this hadeeth to be saheeh, but it is not saheeh unless he meant it is saheeh because of shawaahid (supporting) evidences, but he didn’t mention this when he declared it saheeh and he should have done so as it is not saheeh on its own.

The hadeeth is also mentioned in the Musnad of Abu Ya’la and Shaykh Husayn Salim Asad declared the isnaad to be weak, which is correct. But the hadeeth can be considered Hasan if the other supporting evidences are also taken into account as Imaam Tirmidhi stated.

So we have the hadeeth of Auf Ibn Maalik which is Saheeh without doubt, the hadeeth of Uqbah ibn Aāmir which is Hasan and the hadeeth of Umar ibn al-Khattaab which is of a acceptable isnaad if the supporting evidences are taken into account. So the hadeeth is close to being Mutawatir.

The hadeeth is definite in meaning that it is permissible to remove the rulers including fighting them with the sword, if they do not “establish the call for prayer amongst you”.

The meaning of establishing the call for prayer amongst us can be both literal and metaphorical.

Literally, it can mean allowing us to establish the salah amongst ourselves, by leaving the mosques open, not prosecuting those who pray, not preventing people praying in the official institutions like government buildings and the armed forces. If any of this happens then they are not establishing the call for prayer amongst the Muslims.

The metaphorical meaning of establishing the call for prayer amongst us could be of establishing the deen and this would essentially convey the same meaning as the hadeeth of ‘Ubaaidah bin As-Samit (…unless you see public Kufr for which you have evidence from Allaah) which we will be discussing in the next section. Because whoever establishes kufr buwah in public has not established the deen.

So in the literal sense it gives a condition of allowing salah to be established in the society unhindered and in the metaphorical sense it synchronises with the hadeeth of ‘Ubaaidah bin As-Samit, so it must be understood by both its literal and metaphorical meanings.

A Study of the hadeeths related to Munaabidtha al-Hukaam (disputing with the Rulers)

There is no need in this brief study to examine the authenticity of the Isnaads and discuss the reliability and trustworthiness of the narrators of the three famous ahadeeth of Umm Salamah (No, as long as they pray), Auf Ibn Maalik (As long as they establish call for prayer amongst you), and ‘Ubaaidah bin As-Samit (…unless you see public Kufr for which you have evidence from Allaah) as they have been established beyond doubt in the collections of saheeh hadeeth, In the books of Sunan as well as the Masanid collections and can be found everywhere amongst them. The whole ummah has taken these ahadeeth as saheeh and no muhadith of any calibre has ever rejected them. What remains is tahreer, which is to find what the most accurate wording of these ahadeeth is and to discuss some necessary conclusions in relation to their meaning.

Ascertaining the most accurate wording of the hadeeth of Umm Salamah “No, as long as they pray”

It is reported in the Sunan of Abu Dawood;

[حدثنا سليمان بن داود قال: حدثنا حماد بن زيد عن هشام عن حسان عن الحسن عن ضبة بن محصن عن أم سلمة زوج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، قالت: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «ستكون عليكم أئمة: تعرفون منهم وتنكرون فمن أنكر بلسانه، فقد برئ، ومن كره بقلبه، فقد سلم، ولكن من رضي وتابع!»، فقيل: (يا رسول الله: أفلا نقاتلهم?!)، قال: «لا ما صلوا»]

Told us Sulaymaan Abu Dawood, told us Hammad Ibn Zayd, from Hishaam, from Hasan (al Basri), from Adubbat Ibn Muh’sin, from ‘Umm Salamah  the wife of the Messenger of Allaah  saAllaahu alayhi wa salam, she (r.a) said the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam said “There will be above you Imaams, some things (from them) you will accept and other things you will reject; whoever rejects with his tongue will be innocent, and whoever hates with his heart he will at least have escaped, but whoever follows and accepts!” It was said, “Should we not fight them?” The Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam said, “No, as long as they pray”.[1]

We say this is the most balanced of the various Riwayaat of this narration, both in transmission and in wording.

Some narrators have reversed the wording of the hadeeth in their minds so they say that whoever rejects with the tongue is safe from punishment and whoever hates the munkar with his heart is innocent. However, this is definitely wrong as rejecting with the tongue is a higher level then hating with the heart and being innocent is higher than being safe from the punishment because you could have been guilty, but still escape punishment because Allaah (swt) has forgiven you.

Whilst the one who is innocent has no sin and the issue of being safe from the punishment of Allaah (swt) is not relevant to him whatsoever.

The rejecting with the tongue is at a higher level and must be associated with being innocent and  divorced from the sin whilst the hating with the heart should be associated with being safe from the punishment. So, although you didn’t reject the munkar with the tongue at least you hated it with your heart. However, the one who is pleased with the munkar of what the rulers do and follows them, then it separates him from being either safe or innocent. The sahabah around the prophet understood the gravity of the sin and without hesitation asked “Should we not fight them?” and the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam replied, “No, as long as they pray”.

It is amazing that Imam Al-Bayhaqi narrates this hadeeth from the channel of Abu Dawud and you would assume that it would be the same wording but he mixes the hadeeth up and only mentions the part of the hadeeth of hating with the heart. He also states that the one who hates with the heart is innocent whereas the full hadeeth mentions only that he would have escaped punishment. Nevertheless, the dhikr is protected and the full narration is preserved in the books of ahadeeth and is established beyond doubt.

Some narrators do not use the words ‘with his tongue’ or ‘with his heart’ but what we have chosen is what must be understood by necessity because hating is something that happens in the heart. You cannot hate with the tongue. Rejecting or condemning munkar happens with the tongue and is at a higher level because the existence of hating with the heart is a necessary condition to condemn the munkar with the tongue. Otherwise condemning the munkar with the tongue whilst not hating it in your heart would be an act of hypocrisy. True sincere rejection and condemnation of munkar cannot happen with the tongue unless you first hate the munkar in your heart.

It is also not possible that both are in the heart. Otherwise, the hadeeth does not make sense. Why would the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam say condemn with the heart and also hate the munkar in your heart when we know that condemning munkar is better than just hating it in your heart. It would have mentioned just one of them and we know that the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam is the most eloquent and has been given the comprehensiveness in his speech.  Whenever Inkar is mentioned alongside KARAHIYYAH then rejection must be with the tongue whilst hatred must be with the heart.

It has been said by some that the two wordings of “with his tongue” and “from the heart” are from Al-Hasan Al-Basri and not from the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam. Some narrators claim that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said ‘’with his heart’ in both of them as a tafseer and that it is not contained in the hadeeth. The one who said this is most likely Qatadah.  However, what is most correct and a proof that the two wordings weren’t added by Al-Hasan Al-Basri  is that which is found in al-Bayhaqi’s Shu’ab al-Imaan[2] where it is narrated through another channel from Al-Hasan Al-Basri that he said “whoever rejects with his tongue will be innocent, but the time of that happening has gone and whoever hates with his heart his time has come”. So he is saying that his time is so bad that no one is condemning the munkar with their tongues anymore and instead they are only hating it in their hearts. The two statements “but the time of that happening has gone” and “his time has come” are the additional comments of Al-Hasan Al-Basri. From this statement, we can prove that the wordings of “with his tongue” and “from the heart” are in the original hadeeth and the one who claims they are from Al-Hasan Al-Basri is mistaken.

The wording “Should we not fight them?” has been narrated in most of the chains of narrations. In a couple of narrations the wording has been “Should we not kill them?” however they are singular chains of narration which when compared with other chains indicate that the narrator has made a mistake with his narration. In addition, the context of the hadeeth is that it is not discussing establishing a hadd (punishment) for the rulers, but whether they should be removed from power or not. So the sahabah asking, “Should we not fight them?” means should we not fight them to remove them from power not whether they should be killed or not. In one of the Isnaads the phrase narrated is “shouldn’t we fight the evil ones amongst them” and this has the same meaning as “Should we not fight them?” as you would only fight those whose deeds are rejected.

Most of the strong narrations contain the phrase “No, as long as they pray” and in some narrations it says “No, as long as they pray the obligatory prayers” which is a further clarification.

This hadeeth establishes that if they pray regularly then it is a barrier to rebelling against them and this is different from the hadeeth of Auf Ibn Maalik, which talks about establishing salah in the society. So if they do not establish salah in the society, then according to the hadeeth of Auf Ibn Maalik, rebellion against them is permissible and even if they do establish the salah in society, if they themselves do not pray then that it is also permissible to rebel against them according to the hadeeth of Umm Salamah. This shows the importance of salah both at an individual level and at a societal level. We will discuss the meaning of the hadeeth of Auf Ibn Maalik in the next section.

The hadeeth of Umm Salamah is a Saheeh hadeeth narrated through a number of channels in Sahih Muslim as well as a number of channels in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, some of which are even stronger then the channels in sahih Muslim. It is also to be found in the Musnad of Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi (d 201/818) and in the Musnad of Abu Ya’la. Shaykh Husayn Salim Asad who wrote a commentary on the Musnad of Abu Ya’la declared the isnaad to be saheeh and he is one of the best modern commentators on the Musnad of Abu Ya’la and his judgments can be relied upon to be correct. It is also narrated in the Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer of Imam Tabarani in many many channels most of which are saheeh and is also narrated in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, in the Musnad of ibn Ruhwanah, in the Musnad of  Ishaq ibn Rahwaih and in the Tamheed of Ibn Abdul ‘Barr (Volume 24, p 312 onwards) as well as many other works of the imams of islam.

In the Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer of Imam Tabarani there is a witness to some of what has been narrated in the hadith of Umm Salamah in a hadeeth from Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA), Imam Tabarani narrates:

Told us Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Abu Shaybah, From his father (Uthman ibn Abu Shaybah), from Yahya ibn abu Baqir, from Al-Hayyaj ibn Bustam, from Layth, from Tawoos, From ibn Abbas who said the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam said “There will be umara (leaders) over you, who you will know and will reject, whoever rejects and fights them will escape and be saved, whoever abstains from them (but doesn’t fight them) is safe, however whoever mixes with them will perish” however this hadeeth is not strong because Al-Hayyaj ibn Bustam is weak and his son Khalid, narrated very weak hadeeth from him. Also Al-Hayyaj ibn Bustam narrates from Layth ibn abu Sulaym whose memory in later life deteriorated although it was good earlier on in his life and it not clear in this hadeeth when Al-Hayyaj ibn Bustam is taking from him so the isnaad is weak.[3]

The hadeeth of Umm Salamah is definite in its meaning, that it is permissible to fight, including using the sword if necessary, with the intention and purpose of removing the ruler who does not pray. Leaving one obligatory prayer is enough to make him liable to be removed. The Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam prohibited the listener from fighting the ruler on the condition “ as long as they pray” and this condition would be violated if they leave any of the obligatory prayers clearly and intentionally.

The wording of the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam “as long as they pray” indicates a continuous action because he did not say, “Unless they leave salah” like in other hadeeths like “What is between imaan and kufr is leaving salah” or “ salah is the pillar of the deen, whoever leaves it has commited kufr” All the hadeeths which talk of leaving the salah, have come as As-salāh (The salah) which means leaving salah permanently, not just leaving one salah. But the hadeeth of Umm Salamah does not talk of leaving the salah permanently, it has a different wording, that of “as long as they pray” meaning that they must continuously offer the obligatory prayers. The moment they leave one salah then it becomes permissible to remove a ruler, even with the sword if necessary.

On a side point, this refutes those who claim that it is only permissible to remove a ruler once he has been declared a kafir, as leaving one salah is not agreed upon by all scholars to be enough to declare a person to be outside the millah of Islam.

The phrase “as long as they pray” could also have a metaphorical meaning. In Arabic As-salāh can mean the individual prayer or it can mean the deen as a whole. The metaphorical meaning would therefore be that as long as they remain committed to the deen in their private affairs and implement Islam upon the society, showing they are committed to the deen in the public affairs as well, then they cannot be removed.

However, if they commit kufr or apostasy in their personal affairs but they implement Islam in the public affairs the hadeeth would still apply upon them. In fact the one who has committed apostasy his salāh is invalid and he can be considered to have left the salāh completely and cannot be called ‘Musalli’ who are referred to in the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah saAllaahu alayhi wa salam “ where he said “I have been prohibited from killing the musallin’[4] meaning the Mu’min who prays.

If he establishes kufr in the public affairs then it is even worse than if he commits kufr himself as it shows he is not continuously committed to the deen in the public affairs. This is worse in the sense, that his function as a leader is to manage the affairs of the society and not applying the Shariah would have wider implications than his individual actions, so a fortiori he should be removed, and this is where the hadeeth of ‘Ubaaidah bin As-Samit applies.

To clarify one final point, from the wording of the hadeeth it can be deduced that fighting the ruler is permissible, the evidences to show whether it is desirable or an obligation come from other ahadeeth not from this hadeeth itself.
[1]  Sunan Abu Dawud, (no.4760)
[2]  al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Imaan (Volume 6, p.62)
[3] Abdullaah Ibn ‘Abbaas said that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “There shall be rulers whom you will recognize from them good and evil. Whoever opposes them is saved. Whoever abandons them is freed. And whoever intermingles with them is destroyed.” (Collected by Ibn Abi Shaybah and at-Tabaraanee; al-Albaanee authenticated it in “Saheeh al-Jaami’”, hadeeth #3661).

[4] Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 41, Number 4910: Narrated AbuHurayrah: A mukhannath who had dyed his hands and feet with henna was brought to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). He asked: What is the matter with this man? He was told: Apostle of Allaah! he affects women’s get-up. So he ordered regarding him and he was banished to an-Naqi’. The people said: Apostle of Allaah! should we not kill him? He said: I have been prohibited from killing people who pray. AbuUsamah said: Naqi’ is a region near Medina and not a Baqi (in other words not refering to Jannat al-Baqi cemetery. Indicating they were not punished.