How strong is the Hadith saying Khilafah will be 30 years?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah Most Merciful Most Kind

Short Answer

The narration saying Khilafah will be 30 years is Hasan. A Hasan Hadith is very strong. This is because it is almost the same as a Sahih Hadith. Furthermore, it is also important to note the Hadith specifies that Prophetic Khilafah will last 30 years – not the Khilafah itself.

عَنْ سَفِينَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: خِلَافَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ ثَلَاثُونَ سَنَةً، ثُمَّ يُؤْتِي اللَّهُ الْمُلْكَ أَوْ مُلْكَهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ

Safinah (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: The Prophetic Khilaafah will be thirty years. Then Allah will give the kingdom or His kingdom to whomever He wills. (Sunan Abu Dawood, 4646).


The Hadith saying Khilafah will be 30 years was narrated by Imam Abu Dawood twice (4646 and 4647). Imam al-Tabarani narrated in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer (6444). Imam al-Hakim narrated it in al-Mustadrak (4697). Imam Ahmad narrated it with similar wording in his Musnad (21919, 21923, 21928). Imam al-Tirmidhi (2226) who narrated the hadith saying the Khilafah will be 30 years mentioned that it is a Hasan (slightly weaker than strong) Hadith.

حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ قَدْ رَوَاهُ غَيْرُ وَاحِدٍ عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُمْهَانَ

It is a Hasan Hadith. More than one (scholar) narrated it from Saeed bin Jumhan. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi).

Imam al-Tirmidhi mentioned Saeed bin Jumhan in his comments. This narrator is the reason the Hadith saying Khilafah will be 30 years is not quite strong (sahih). This is because Saeed is a Hasan narrator, not a Sahih narrator. However, practically there is little difference between a Sahih Hadith and a Hasan Hadith.

Caution with Hadith

The narration saying Khilafah will be 30 years is a sound Hadith. However, there are many Hadith mentioned in our communities that are not sound. Unfortunately, many Muslims do not give any consideration to Hadith authenticity. They simply convey everything they hear. The blessed Prophet ﷺ warned against such behaviour and the Companions were even more careful about it.

A very strange phenomenon has become widespread in our time. That is, those people who speak most about love for the blessed Prophet ﷺ, seem to have the least concern regarding Hadith authenticity. Such people to be completely oblivious to the fact that being protective regarding the Prophet ﷺ and his speech is a fundamental part of loving the Prophet ﷺ.

Strangely, these same people are often very cautious about how people narrate from their Shaykhs. Sometimes they become angry when they think someone is misquoting their Shaykh. Why do they not have equal or great concern for the speech of the Prophet ﷺ?

Lastly, it is important to be cautious with the wording of a Hadith when it is narrated too. As mentioned above, the Hadith in question does not say the Khilafah will be 30 years. Rather, it says a Prophetic Khilafah will last 30 years. There is a subtle, but very important, difference between the two. Therefore, we see that the Hadith itself is authentic but people mention the wording in an incorrect manner.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (19.03.24)