The meaning of the Hadith: 'The Caliphate will last thirty years after me...'

Q 2: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, The Caliphate will remain after me for thirty years, then it will change into a cruel monarchy. Thus, Mu`awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) said after thirty years had passed, "I am the first of the kings." (Extracted from the treatise written by Abu Zayd Al-Qayrawany, vol. 1, p. 96). What is the interpretation of this Hadith?

A: This Hadith was related by Imam Ahmad in "Al-Musnad", Al-Hakim in "Al-Mustadrak", Abu Ya‘la in "Al-Musnad", ibn Hibban in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith, and Al-Tirmidhy in his "Sunan". This Hadith was explained by (Part No. 3; Page No. 404)  Al-Hafizh in "Al-Fath". He said, "What is meant by the Caliphate is that which follows the model of prophethood, while Mu`awiyah and those who followed him followed the model of kings, even if they were called Caliphs."May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.