Question: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “One who dies without knowing the Imaam of his age, will die the death of one belonging to Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic time of ignorance),” and “One who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to an Ameer), will die the death of one belonging to Jaahiliyyah.”
What is meant by this Hadeeth in the context of our own time, and how can we understand and apply it?
Answer: Concerning the first Hadeeth we doubt its authenticity by this wording. The second Hadeeth is related by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh on the authority of Naafi‘ (may Allaah be pleased with him) who narrated that when they deposed Yazeed and unanimously declared their allegiance to Ibn Muti‘, Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) came to him. `Abd Allaah ibn Muti` said: Place a cushion for Aboo `Abd Ar-Rahmaan, but `Abd Allaah ibn `Umar said to him: I have not come to sit with you, but to tell you that I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying: One who withdraws his hand from obedience (to the Ameer) will meet Allaah on the Day of Resurrection having no excuse, and one who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to an Ameer) will die the death of one belonging to Jaahiliyyah (will die as a pagan).
The Hadeeth means that it is not permissible to rebel against the ruler unless he commits open Kufr (disbelief), as narrated in the authentic Hadeeth. Moreover, the Ummah (nation) must choose a just ruler to take good care of their affairs and preserve their rights.
May Allaah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Source: Al-Lajnah Al-Daa’imah, alifta.net