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Islamic researcher, graduated from Al-Azhar University, Islamic Studies in the English language. I also studied at Temple University in the US.
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In a Nutshell: The hadith is not sahih as there is a missing narrator who was supposed to hear from the companion, but it is supported by other shawahid (similar narrations) that endorse the credibility of the meaning of the hadith so it can be accepted and followed.

Background

It was narrated in the collection of Darmi that the Umar noted there is no Islam without jama'ah (Muslims gathering in a certain providence), there is not jama'ah without Imarah (leadership or Khilafah) and there is not Imarah without the obedience to the Leader of the Caliphate (when he enjoys good).

It was narrated he said:

إِنَّهُ لَا إِسْلَامَ إِلَّا بِجَمَاعَةٍ، وَلَا جَمَاعَةَ إِلَّا بِإِمَارَةٍ، وَلَا إِمَارَةَ إِلَّا بِطَاعَةٍ
"Indeed, there is no Islam without jama'ah, and there is not jama'ah without imarah, and there is no imarah without obedience." (Darami 257)

This narration was reported in (Ibn Abd al-Bar al-Qurtubi, Jami al-Bayan, Vol. 1, p. 263; Ibn Hajar, Ithaf al-Maharah, Vol. 12, p. 116)

Authenticity

This narration was reported on the authority of Safwan ibn Rostom back to Tameem al-Dari (ra).

Critics of this narration assign two illahs (defects) in the sand (chain of narrators) mentioned by the editor of Sunan al-Darmi Hussin al-Darani in the footnote of this hadith.

These two illahs are: Safwan is majhool (unknown) and the hadith has a defective inqitaa (the one who heard from the companion is not mentioned in the sanad, but only his student Abd al-Rahman ibn Maysarah).

Whilst the Dhahabi and others considered the narrator as majhool i.e., unknown, (Dhahabi, al-Mizaan al-I'tidaal, Vol. 2, p. 316), he was accepte by a more skilful scholar of hadith, al-Bukhari, who mentioned him in his book al-Tarikh and mentioned his teachers and said nothing of his jahalah. (Bukhari, al-Tarikh al-Kabeer, Vol. 4, p. 309)

But for inqitaa, it is true and the first narrator was not contemporary to the companion (ra). But there are many narrations (shawahid) supporting the exact wording of the hadith, as well as other ahadith, supporting the same meaning.

Shawahid

There is a shahid (a related narration of the same event) for this narration supporting it via two chains both narrated by two different tareeq (chain of narrators).

The fifth-century muhadith ibn Abd al-Bar al-Qurtubi narrated Umar (ra) said:

لَا إِسْلامَ إلّا بِطَاعَةٍ، و لَا خَيْرَ إلّا فِي الْجَمَاعَةِ

"There is no Islam except with obedience (to the leader of the state) and there is no good except in the jama'ah." (Ibn Abd al-Bar al-Qurtubi, al-Tamheed, Vol. 10, p. 491)

Additionally, this notion is well known in the Islamic classical scholarship referred to like the notion of dar al-Islam used by the Prophet (saw). So, if you have a Muslim polity or community, they require a ruler and a Muslim state.

The scholars generally argued a region can only be called Dar al-Islam where control and sovereignty belong to Muslim rulers. It is insufficient Muslims live in that land, or they are allowed to perform some aspects of Islam with the permission of disbelievers. Similarly, non-Muslims residing in a land, conducting aspects of disbelief by the permission of Muslims has no bearing on the land being Dar al-Islam. This is because they do not have dominance - the status of a region hinges on dominance, not on presence or appearance.

So, Islam is only visible where an Islamic government is established and vice versa. Read this answer for more discussion on the notion.

Conclusion

The hadith is not sahih as there is a missing narrator who was supposed to hear from the companion, but it is supported by other shawahid (similar narrations) supporting the meaning of the hadith.

References

Bukhari, al-Tarikh al-Kabeer
Ibn Abd al-Bar al-Qurtubi, al-Tamheed
Ibn Abd al-Bar al-Qurtubi, Jami al-Bayan
Ibn Hajar, Ithaf al-Maharah
Sunan Darami


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