My brother in Islam, the Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir,
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh.
What is the authenticity of this hadeeth, and if it is true, please explain it, may Allah reward you with all the good?
Al-Zubayr bin ‘Adi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “We went to Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, and we complained to him about the wrong we were suffering at the hand of Al- Hajjaj. Anas bin Malik said:
”اصبروا فإنه لا يأتي زمان إلا والذي بعده شر منه حتى تلقوا ربكم، سمعته من نبيكم ﷺ” “Be patient till you meet your Lord, for no time will come upon you but the time following it will be worse than it. I heard that from your Prophet (saw).” [Extracted by Al-Bukhari]
First: I want to remind you of two matters in Usul to clarify the answer
1- If there is a suspicion (Shubha) of conflict in the evidence, then we turn to combining the evidences, because the application of the two evidences is more important than the neglect of one of them.
2- If it is not possible to combine the evidences, we outweigh between the evidences according to the rules of outweighing.
Now we answer the question:
Bukhari extracted from Az Zubair bin ‘Adi, he said: We went to Anas bin Malik, and we complained to him about the wrong we were suffering at the hand of Al- Hajjaj. Anas bin Malik said:
“اصبروا فإنه لا يأتي زمان إلا والذي بعده شر منه حتى تلقوا ربكم، سمعته من نبيكم ﷺ”
“Be patient till you meet your Lord, for no time will come upon you but the time following it will be worse than it. I heard that from your Prophet (saw).”
This Hadith indicates that every time period is worse than the one before it.
This Hadith contains a suspicion (Shubha) of conflict with other Hadiths
a- It contains a suspicion (Shubha) that conflicts the Hadith of the return of the Khilafah (Caliphate), which is better than the oppressive rule (mulk al-jabriyah) that preceded it:
Ahmad included in his Musnad on the authority of Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman who said: (The Messenger of Allah (saw) said
«...ثُمَّ تَكُونُ مُلْكاً جَبْرِيَّةً فَتَكُونُ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَكُونَ ثُمَّ يَرْفَعُهَا إِذَا شَاءَ أَنْ يَرْفَعَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خِلَافَةً عَلَى مِنْهَاجِ النُّبُوَّةِ» ثُمَّ سَكَتَ)
“Then there will be an oppressive rule (ملكًا جبرية), and it will last for as long as Allah wishes, then He will lift it if He wishes. Then there will be a Khilafah on the method of Prophethood.” Then he (saw) fell silent”.
b- And in conflict with the Hadith of the appearance of the Mahdi (from the house of the Messenger (saw)), who will fill the earth with justice after the injustice that preceded it:
Al-Tabarani narrated in Al-Mi’jam Al-Kabeer on the authority of Abdullah bin Masoud, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
«لا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يَمْلِكَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي، يُوَاطِئُ اسْمُهُ اسْمِي، يَمْلأُ الأَرْضَ عَدْلاً وَقِسْطاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ ظُلْماً وَجَوْراً»
“The world will not pass away before the Arabs are ruled by a man of my family whose name will be the same as mine; who will fill the earth with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny.”
c- Likewise, the suspicion (Shubha) of conflict with the Hadith of the descent of Jesus, peace be upon him, after the existence of the evil of the Dajjal that preceded him:
Al-Tabarani narrated in Al-Kabeer on the authority of Samra bin Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet (saw) said:
«إِنَّ الْمَسِيحَ الدَّجَّالَ يَلْبَثُ فِي الأَرْضِ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ، ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ صَلَّى اللُّه عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ، مُصَدِّقاً بِمُحَمَّدٍ ﷺ وَعَلَى مِلَّتِهِ، ثُمَّ يَقْتُلُ الْمَسِيحَ الدَّجَّالَ»
“The Dajjal will remain on earth for as long as Allah wills, then Jesus the son of Mary will come from the East, believing in Muhammad (saw) following his way (millah), and he will kill the Dajjal.”
So, the Hadith about every time (period) is worse than what came before it, has suspicion (Shubha) of conflict with these Hadiths which state that their time (period) is better than the one before it and not worse than it…
As I mentioned at the beginning, if it is possible to combine (the evidences), then this is the priority, otherwise we outweigh (the evidences) ... After studying the Hadiths, it is clear that we can combine the evidences. So, the Hadith of Al-Bukhari (every time is worse than what came before it) is understood that it is not general, but rather it is specific in other than the previous mentioned cases, i.e. before the return of the second rightly-guided Khilafah (Caliphate) on the method of prophethood… As if this agrees with the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (saw), which Al-Bukhari extracted that the Prophet (saw) said:
«خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ قَوْمٌ تَسْبِقُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَأَيْمَانُهُمْ شَهَادَتَهُمْ»
“The best of men are my generation, then those who come next to them, then those who come next to them. Afterwards people will come who will give testimony before swearing an oath and swear an oath before giving testimony.”
Muslim extracted it with the following version:
«خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ - فَلَا أَدْرِي فِي الثَّالِثَةِ أَوْ فِي الرَّابِعَةِ قَالَ - ثُمَّ يَتَخَلَّفُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ تَسْبِقُ شَهَادَةُ أَحَدِهِمْ يَمِينَهُ وَيَمِينُهُ شَهَادَتَهُ»
“The best among people are of my generation, then those next to them. (The narrator said): I do not know whether (he said) it three times or four times. Then there would follow after them such persons whose evidence would precede the oath, and in case of some others, the oath (would precede) the evidence.”
And Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated in his Musanaf on the authority of Abu Burda on the authority of his father, who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
«وَأَصْحَابِي أَمَنَةٌ لِأُمَّتِي فَإِذَا ذَهَبَ أَصْحَابِي أَتَى أُمَّتِي مَا يُوعَدُونَ»
“And my Companions are a source of security for the Umma and as they would go there would fall to the lot of my Umma as (its people) have been promised.”
Thus, the closer the time is to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and his companions (ra), the more goodness prevailed. Evil is closer until the return of the rightly-guided Khilafah (Caliphate), so that goodness returns in it instead of the evil that preceded it in the oppressive rule.
Of course, what is meant by every time is the majority in it, and not the emergence of individuals who contradict the majority, for example, the Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz was in his justice different to the caliphs of the Umayyads, and some of the caliphs in the Abbasid and Ottoman era until the caliphate ended 1342 AH -1924 CE. It was followed by the great evil of the oppressive rule. And after that, the Khilafah will return on the method of Prophethood again, and goodness will shine with it.
((وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ *بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنْصُرُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ))
“And that day the believers will rejoice * In the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful” [Ar-Rum: 4-5].
This is what I have outweighed regarding this issue, and Allah is Most Knowledgeable, Most Wise.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page