What is the meaning of this hadith -

“The caliphate will be for thirty years, then there will be a kingship after that.”

[Collected by at-Tirmidhi (2226) who graded it ḥasan, as did Ibn Ḥajar in Muwāfaqat al-Khabar al-Khabar (1/141); Aḥmad (21969) and deemed ḥasan by al-Arna’ūṭ; Abu Dāwūd (4646) who deemed it ṣāliḥ (acceptable); and authenticated by al-Albani in Ṣaḥīḥ at-Tirmidhi and Ṣaḥīḥ Abu Dāwūd]

Source is Yaqeen institute - https://yaqeeninstitute.org/mohammad-elshinawy/the-prophecies-of-prophet-muhammad/#ftnt31

Was Mu'awiyas rule considered a kingship?

Also, up to al-Hasan, it was a 29 year rule, not 30 - is 30 years just a rounded number ?

  • Salam and welcome to IslamSE the Q&A site about Islam. Please add a quote of the hadith you are referring to and a source. Further wouldn't it be important to check the authenticity of the hadith first before asking about the content? See for example here and here.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jul 21, 2020 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


The nature of the Caliphate (Khilafah) changed after the first 30 years of the Khulafah Rashidah. It became more temporal in nature however it remained a Caliphate until 1924 when secular nation states emerged. The Caliphate did not last thirty years because the Rasool said the Khulafaa will be many and in no way does 4 or 5 amount to many.

Writing nearly two centuries after the Mongol conquest of Baghdad, the classical jurist al-Shirazi insisted on the centrality of the Cairo Abbasid caliph for contemporary affairs, in both legal and metaphysical terms. In his explanation, the honour of the caliphate originates with the first of men and prophets: Adam.

Shirazi invokes God's words to the angels, "I am putting a trustee (khalifah) on earth" (Qur'an 2:30) to convey the honuor of God's designating Adam as the first of caliphs responsible for tending to God's creation. In addition to selecting Adam for this high and noble station, God further distinguished him by placing this successive leadership in his progeny (khala'if in Qur'an 6:165). Accordingly, he describes the word caliph or khalifah as the noblest of all titles. The best of creation in each era inherit this paternal role (magām al-ubuwwah) from the father of humankind and no king or sultan can compare with the glory of a caliph. Indeed, the caliph commands what God commands, and therefore opposition to him in reality means disobedience of God.

Hence, the Caliphate lasted more than 30 years and the meaning of the Hadith, therefore, is that its purest form would last for 30 years.

Read this for a detailed answer with evidences

  • So it suggests 30 years of ruling following the prophetic way, and was 30 years just a rounded number? Because up to al hasan is actually 29 years not 30 ?
    – user39611
    Jul 21, 2020 at 16:46
  • There might differences of opinion on this, however, I suggest you read this islamiqate.com/1651/… for detail... I cannot answer if it suggested 30 as a rounded number... Jul 22, 2020 at 10:18

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