The Imam is a Shield
Hadith 34, Only the Imam is a shield, behind whom you fight and you protect yourself with, so if he orders by taqwa and is just then he has reward for that, and if he orders by other than that then it is against himself (Muslim)
A: Imam Nawawi explained the shield as being a cover for those behind him, since the Imam is the cover which prevents the enemy from harming the Muslims. This is by leading the army, protecting the borders and organizing the Jihad.
B: Imam Ibn Hajr mentions that the Imam is also like a shield in that he prevents the Muslims from harming each other - and this would be by resolving the disputes through his order, appointing the judges and implementing the Shari'ah.
C: The word " إنما " is from the linguistic style of restriction, so the hadith negates that anyone other than the Imam can be the shield for the Muslims.
D: When looking at the abuse of the Muslims, it can be quickly realized that the major factor behind the continued and open attacks is because it is considered that the Muslims have no one to represent them, and this is true since the current rulers do not represent their people nor do they represent Islam. In contrast, in Islamic history the presence of the Khilafah meant that other nations were much more cautious in infringing the sanctity of Muslim blood, and when necessary recourse was taken.
E: The Imam is not perfect, and may do righteous acts for which he is rewarded and may also act otherwise and that will be against him with his account. So the Imam is not protected from sin, and not free from blame and accounting.
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