I wanted to know your opinion on this hadeeth and some people use it as a prophecy that Khilafah will be re-established and we have to work for that. Please tell me what is the correct opinion?
It was narrated by Ahmed in his Musnad, from Al-Nu’man b. Bashir, who said: “We were sitting in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah (saw), and Bashir was a man who did not speak much, so Abu Tha’labah Al-Khashnee came and said: ‘Oh, Bashir bin Sa’ad, have you memorized the words of the Messenger of Allah (saw) regarding the rulers?’ Huthayfah replied, ‘I have memorized his words’. So Abu Tha’labah sat down and Huthayfah said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (saw) said ‘Prophet-hood will be amongst you as long as Allah wishes, then He will lift it up when He wishes to lift it up. Then there will be a Khilafah on the way of the Prophet, and it will be as long as Allah wishes it to be, then Allah will lift it up when He wishes to lift it up. Then there will be an inheritance rule (ملكًا عاضًا), and it will last as long as Allah wishes it to, then Allah will lift it up if when He wishes to lift it up. Then there will be a coercive rule (ملكًا جبرية), and it will last as long as Allah wishes it to be, then Allah will lift it up when He wishes to lift it up. Then there will be a Khilafah on the way of Prophet-hood.’ Then he was silent.”
Reference: Masnad Ahmed bin Hanbal (Hadith # 18430) , As-Saheeha al-Albani (Hadith # 5). It has been declared Hasan by Sh’uaib Arnaoot, and al-Albani classified it as Sahih. The text quoted is the one from Masnad Ahmed.
Does this make it obligatory on us to strive for Khilafah?
Since a quick response was requested I will not delve into the reliability of the Hadith. Let us assume that the Hadith is in fact reliable. With this assumption all we can say is that the Prophet (pbuh) has foretold what would happen to his Ummah in terms of political leadership. No where in the Hadith there is any instructions what so ever. The nature of the Hadith is of “Informing” (Ikhbaar) nature rather than Instructing (Inshaa) nature. Therefore the Hadith does not place any obligations upon us.
If we find that what is narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) in this Hadith has not become reality, this will not mean that we need to force it to become the reality. It simply means that the Hadith is falsly reported or attributed to the Prophet (pbuh).