Salam... I would like to bring your attention to; As-Sultān dhillullāh fi’l-ard, “The Sultan is the shadow of Allah on earth” is a saying of Ka‘b al-Ahbār as stated by al-Daraqutnî, al-Zarkashî and and al-Suyûtî. Is that an authentic or a sound Hadith? If it is, what does it mean?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
This wording is mentioned in a Hadeeth (narration) attributed to the Prophet and which was reported by Al-Bazzaar in his Musnad from Abu Hurayrah and by At-Tabaraani from Abu Bakrah and by Ibn Khuzaymah and by Al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab Al-Eemaan from Ibn ‘Umar .
This Hadeeth was reported with different wordings and the scholars differed in opinion about their ruling on it. Some of them ruled that some of its expressions were fabricated and some of its expressions were Dha’eef [weak], while some other scholars classified the Hadeeth as Hasan [good].
On the other hand, Shaykh Al-Albaani classified the narration by Abu Bakrah as Hasan in his book entitled Thilaal Al-Jannah. The narration reads, “The Sultan (i.e. the Muslim ruler) is the shadow of Allaah on earth, so whoever honors him (the Sultan), Allaah will honor him, and whoever despises him, Allaah will despise him.”
The meaning of the Hadeeth is likening the Sultan with shade, as the people get rest from the coolness of his justice as opposed to the heat of (his) injustice but he repels harm from the people in the same manner that the shade prevents the heat of the sun. This is how Al-Munaawi interpreted it in his book entitled Faydh Al-Qadeer.
Allaah Knows best.
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