But the caliphate is not a matter of theology; rather, it is a matter of law subject to legal stipulations, and it is one possible means among others that could be replaced today by other means in order to achieve unity between nations so that they may cooperate and complement one another.
Actually, for many centuries, some Muslim lands were independent of the caliphate and were still able to uphold the religion, safeguard the law and sacred sites, and ensure peace and security. This is still the case.
Our religion teaches us that our understandings stem from meanings, not words and forms. Consequently, there is no religious duty to pursue the establishment of a caliphate by force—even if we assume it is possible to do so. What then of those who spread corruption in the land, kill the innocent, terrorize the weak, destroy mosques and houses of worship, and disinter tombs?
As Ibn Qayyim records, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ God’s peace and blessings upon him, and the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs never destroyed a church, synagogue, or temple!
This is Not the Path to Paradise - Response to ISIS
Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah
President, Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies September 14, 2014
Document written by 250 muslim scholars and thinkers.
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