I thought my answer was quite clear and explicit. It appears you are not familiar with usool al-fiqh/fiqh, otherwise when I mentioned the principle, you would have agreed with it. It is one which is not disputed amongst the jurists. Maybe I am wrong and you have studied it (AA).
The principle you are violating is that of “absence of an action is not a proof on a matter”. It states that on a given subject matter, if something was not said or done regarding that subject, you cannot draw a conclusion regarding the rule on that subject.
The point you make that absence of directive/action can at most render such an action not prohibited or allowable is a totally different topic to the one discussed above. It is the topic of ikraaha – approval/consent. IE The silence of the Prophet (saw) on an action done in front of him or with his knowledge means it is permitted and not prohibited. You are confusing this ikraaha with the issue of absence of an action. The Prophet (saw) did not mention the issue of Khilafah to Hudaifa is not an issue of ikraaha but absence of an action on part of the Prophet(saw) here. You yourself make this clear in your question, “why did the Prophet(saw) not tell Hudhaifa…” – absence of a comment by the Prophet(saw) is what your question is concerning.
Let me give you a couple of simple examples:
The famous hadith of Gibraeel contains the question “tell me about Islam”. The Prophet (saw) did not mention anything about jihad, obedience to parents, seeking rizq, implementing Allah’s laws, punishing criminals, janaazah, jummah, halal/haram foods etc. Absence of comment on these matters does not mean they are not from Islam – in fact they are from Islam as there is positive evidence elsewhere regarding them. However following your reasoning, one would have to conclude that Islam has not obliged us/prohibited on any of these issues, ie they are not from Islam, as when the Prophet(saw) was asked what is from Islam, he did not mention them, and today, if we were asked about Islam, we would definitely mention them! Why the Prophet (saw) did not mention it is up for speculation – anyone could come up with lots of possible explanations (e.g., he was summarizing Islam, he only wanted to mention the frequent obligations to Gibraeel, he wanted to teach the companions Islam so wanted to highlight some important points, he was ordered by Allah to give only those answers, Gibrael started the next question before he was able to elaborate further points etc etc etc)
The same hadith asks of the Prophet (saw) about imaan – again, his failure to mention names of Prophets like Isa (as), Musa (as), Adam (as) etc or mention articles of Imaan such as Jinn, Shaitan, Azaab Qabar etc does this mean we do not believe in any of these things or that they are not in our imaan?
Another example, a bedouin asked the Prophet(saw) what should he do? The Prophet (saw) told him to pray all his prayers – the bedouin asked “if that is all I do will I achieve paradise?” – the Prophet (saw) told him yes. Based on your reasoning, you would have to conclude all we have to do is pray. On my reasoning, we would say the Prophet (saw) only commented on salat so we take that issue from this hadith – absence of comment on anything else is ignored and fards/harams/mandoubs/mubahs/makroohs regarding other subjects are taken from other verses/hadiths.
The way scholars understand texts in Islam is to take rules regarding a given subject from texts which actually mention the subject. Not to try drawing conclusions from texts, which make no mention of the subject matter. I doubt if you would disagree with me on this point – it is quite self-evident ia.
The hadith of Hudaifah makes no mention of the topic of Khilafah – so what can one conclude from it? Khilafah is fard, mandoub, mubah, makrooh, haram? In fact, one cannot conclude any of these as there is no wording regarding this topic at all in the hadith, just like there is no mention about the issue of seeking rizq, jihad, obedience to parents etc – one cannot conclude something from nothing! Now, why the Prophet (saw) did not mention khilafah is up for speculation and anyone giving it a little thought could come up with a dozen or so reasons. However, the topic of Khilafah is mentioned in many other texts and we are obliged to extract the rule regarding this subject from those texts and base our actions on the extracted rules.
This is basic usool – all I can conclude is if you argue you can conclude something from nothing, and confuse it with the matter of ikraaha, then please study this issue further from any scholar ia if you do not accept my explanation above.
I look forward to hearing your response.
Thank you very much for your highly informative response. However, the confusion in my mind relates to your misplaced application of an apparently correct principle.
The hadith of Hudaifah makes no mention of the topic of Khilafah.
Let me remind you that in the referred narrative, Hudhayfah (ra) has asked the Prophet (pbuh) about his responsibilities in a situation where the Muslims have neither a collective organization – state, government, Al-Jama`ah, Al-Khilaafah, Al-Imaarah etc – nor a leader – ruler, Imaam, Khaleefah, Ameer etc.
Do you really not see any connection between the referred narrative and the issue of establishment of ‘Khilaafah’? In case you do not, I would be interested in your interpretation of the referred narrative. Please do let me know how you interpret it.
It is due to my understanding of the narrative that, in my opinion, your stated principle does not apply to it. Nevertheless, if you can show me that this narrative is not related to the issue of ‘Khilaafah’, then, obviously, your application of the stated principle on my argument would be correct.
I would, therefore, suggest that you explain your understanding of the referred narrative.
However, the topic of Khilafah is mentioned in many other texts and we are obliged to extract the rule regarding this subject from those texts and base our actions on the extracted rules.
We shall, insha’Allah, come to this as soon as I have understood your interpretation of the narrative of Hudhayfah (ra).
February 26, 2001