Bismillahi Ar-Rahman - The first edition of the book "The Ruling System"

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   Bismillahi Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem

The first edition of the book "The Ruling System" was written in the early 50's of this century. Western culture had a great effect on the minds of the educated sons of the Muslims. One of its effects which dominated their thinking was that Islam is a spiritual religion that does not have a system suitable to solve the problems of life in this age and that there was no ruling system for the state beside that, the State that Islam had was religious and spiritual.

Those undertaking the work for Islam used to call for it with general thoughts which were not crystallised. They lacked the clarity to show Islam as a complete system for life, state and society. They used to call for a return to Islam in an open and general manner without them having a clear vision in their minds as to what the systems of Islam were or the manner in which they were going to restore the ruling by Islam. The fact that ruling by what Allah (SWT) has revealed could not be restored without the Khilafah was absent from their Da’wah. That is why establishing the Khilafah and reinstating the ruling by what Allah (SWT) has revealed did not find a place in their program of work.

At such a time a structure undertook the study of the situation of the Ummah at her present time and the condition she had reached. And it studied her history and the power and authority she had in the State which was the leading state in the world. A state which was established on the Islamic 'Aqeedah and the Shari’ah rules that emanate from it and which the State apply, implement and convey it as a Message to the world. Then this structure undertook an aware study of Islam from its original sources in the Qur'an and Sunnah and came to the following conclusion: that Islam is a complete and comprehensive system which solves all of life's problems. So it wrote books explaining all of this in a general manner without touching upon the details. Thus, regarding the systems of Islam, i.e. ruling system, economic system and social system it wrote books. And in writing these books it observed the practical aspect so that the Muslims realise that Islam is a practical ideology and a complete system fit for implementation. So that they adopt its systems and work to bring it back in the realm of life via the work to establish the Khilafah State which is the only method for applying these systems and establishing them in the reality of life.

This structure, by conveying these thoughts and systems to the Muslims to establish them in the reality of life, by continuously discussing and talking about them, and by crystallising them and returning to their sources, exapnded the understanding of these thoughts. They were no more confined to just broad guidelines or just giving a general picture, not least after Islam had become the expectation of Muslims and their object of hope in rescuing themselves from the situation they were in. This was after realising that Islam was the complete and comprehensive system which solves all of life's problems. Likewise it became an incentive for them to learn more details of the Khilafah State for the establishment of which work was undertaken. And to know more details about the systems of Islam which the Khilafah State would implement upon them. This was the incentive for us to expand these books and enrich them with many details which hitherto were not present in the first edition.

Regarding the book of 'The Ruling System' which is our present concern, we, in the third edition, worked to expand it and demonstrate in a detailed manner the reality of the Khilafah State, its apparatus and tasks and whatever relates to it. We elucidated how the form of ruling in Islam is unique and distinct, differing with all other ruling systems existent in the world. In addition, we have set forth the principles of ruling in detail and the apparatus of the Khilafah State, the method and styles of appointing a Khalifah. Also we explained that the Khilafah State is a human state and not a divine state. We mentioned the Mu'awineen (assistants) and their mandatory powers, the ruling regarding Shura (consultation) and its mandatory powers. And we presented the clarification that it is obligatory to implement Islam completely all at one time and that it is forbidden to implement its rules gradually. Similarly we have showed how its is forbidden for the state to be a police state and when obedience to the ruler is obligatory and when it is forbidden. And when we are obliged to unsheathe the sword in his face and that we are obliged to account him in every instance.

In the third edition we missed the chance of giving the reference for the Ahadith and sticking to the text mentioned in the books of Hadith. In taking many of the Ahadith we used to rely on the texts mentioned in the trustworthy and recognised books of Fiqh (jurisprudence) but the books of Fiqh would sometimes transmit a Hadith by meaning only or just confine itself to a portion of the Hadith which it used as an illustration or evidence. So when the third edition went out of print we undertook the task of finding the references of all the Hadiths mentioned in the book and we mentioned from where each Hadith had been taken and we stuck to the text stated in the books of Hadith. We excluded every Hadith whose authenticity or suitability as a proof was not assured for us. Likewise we are convinced of all the reports cited in the books from their sources. Any report we were not sure of or if we found it to be weak we omitted it from the book. Similarly we corrected certain concepts and rules as a result of the discussions and reviews. As a result, the book came out in this form which we present to the Muslims.

We pray to Allah (SWT) that He grants in this book much goodness and that He quickly honours the Muslims by establishing the Khilafah State so that what has been mentioned in the book is put in application and implementation. Verily, for Allah (SWT) that is not a hard matter.

15th of the sacred month of Muharram 1417 AH


Abdul Qadeem Zalloom

The Ruling System of Islam


Allah (SWT) has revealed the Message of Islam, and based it on the ’Aqeeda of Tawheed; the belief that: “there is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

It is a general and comprehensive Message, sent to all mankind. It determines all life’s affairs and all relationships, past, present and future. The Message offers the solutions to all the human problems, and determines his relationship with his Creator, with himself, and with his fellow human beings, at all times and places.

The Islamic Message has provided answers regarding the relationship of Allah (SWT), with the universe, with human beings and with life as a whole. It has dealt with issues of creation and its control, life and death, guidance and misguidance, provision and help, and all the other powers associated with Allah (SWT), such as omnipotence, perfection, absolute control, free disposition, supreme knowledge over all creatures and free will over all possibilities.

The Islamic Message has also provided answers regarding the relationship of human beings and lives that they lead, with Allah (SWT), the Creator, emphasising the obligation of worshipping Him alone and associating none with Him, abiding only by His Decrees to the exclusion of all others, and executing His commands and avoiding His prohibitions. It also emphasised the obligation of following only the Messenger of Allah, Muhammed (saw), obeying him and adopting his teachings to the exclusion of all other people.

The Islamic Message has brought specific and determined concepts which in turn created a distinguished civilization (Hadharah) by which it outlined the whole concept about life and crystallised the perceptions of those who embraced it within the framework of that civilisation. This Message has provided a viewpoint about life, which is the Halal and the Haram, and a specific way of living . It has established a society distinct in its concepts, emotions, rules and the personalities of its individuals.

The Islamic Message has brought a complete legislative system that determines the relationships of the state with society, whether regarding ruling, economics, social, educational, domestic and foreign policy, or whether those relationships relate to the public relationships between the state and its subjects or the state and other states and nations, in times of war or peace. Whether they relate to the private relationships between individuals in society.

It is therefore a complete and comprehensive system, designed for mankind, which made it obligatory on Muslims to implement and execute such a system in a state that takes a specific shape, represented by the system of Khilafah.

Ruling in Islam

Linguistically, the ruling (al-Hukm) means the judgement, and the ruler (Al-Hakim) is the executor of the rulings. In technical (itstilahi) terms, the ruling (Al hukm), the dominion (Al mulk) and the authority (as sultan) have the same meaning. It is the body that executes the rules , it could also be said that it is the governing body (Imara) which the Shar’a has made an obligation on Muslims to establish. The duty of Imarah is to avert injustice and to settle disputes which may arise. In other words the ruling means the guardianship, as revealed by Allah (SWT). He (SWT) says:

“Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you in authority...” [4:59]

And He (SWT) also says:

“If they had only referred it to the Messenger and those among them with authority..” [4:83]

Therefore to rule is to actively look after the people’s affairs.

Since Islam, as an ideology, covers the state, the society and life as a whole, the ruling becomes part of it, which Muslims are commanded to perform by establishing the state and implementing this ruling i.e. to govern by the Islamic laws. A host of verses have been revealed in the Holy Qur’an confirming the obligation of ruling by what Allah (SWT) has revealed.

Allah (SWT) says: “So judge between them by that which Allah has revealed and follow not their desires away from the truth that has come to you..” [5:48]

He also says: “ Judge between them by that which Allah has revealed and follow not their desires and beware of them lest they seduce you from some part of that which Allah has revealed to you..” [5:49]

Allah (SWT) says: “ Whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are disbelievers” [5:44]

“Whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are oppressors” [5:45]

“Whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are transgressors” [5:47]

He (SWT) also says: “ But no, by Your Lord, they can have no (real) faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest submission” [4:65]

He (SWT) also says: “ Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you in authority...” [4:59]

He (SWT) also says: “ And if you judge between people, judge with justice” [4:58]

This is in addition to many other verses dealing with ruling as an authority and power. Other verses have also been revealed providing details with respect to the different areas of ruling; some regarding military legislation, political, criminal, social and civil legislation as well as others.

Allah (SWT) says: “Fight those of the disbelievers who are near you and let them find harshness in you” [9:123]

He (SWT) also says: “If you come on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that they may remember. If you fear treachery from any group throw back (their covenant) to them (so as to be) on equal terms….” [8:57-58]

He (SWT) also says: “And if they incline to peace, incline you also to it, and trust in Allah” [8:61]

He (SWT) also says: “ O you who believe fulfil the contracts (undertakings)..” [5:1]

“And eat up not your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that you may knowingly devour a portion of the property of the others wrongfully .” [2:188]

“And there is (a saving of life) life for you in (the law of ) retaliation, O men of understanding ..” [2:179]

“As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands, as a retribution for their deed and an exemplary punishment from Allah” [5:38]

“…then, if they suckle for you, give them their due payment.” [65:6]

“Let him who has abundance spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend according to what Allah has given him..” [65:7]

“Take alms of their wealth, with which you may purify them..”[9:103]

Therefore, we find that the broad lines of the civil, military, criminal, political and social legislation evident in hundreds of verses, in addition to the numerous sound Ahadith of the Messenger of Allah (saw), which have all been revealed to be implemented and executed. They have effectively been implemented in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (saw), the period of the khulafa’a rashideen, as well as during the ruling of the Khulafa’a who came after them. This could only prove that Islam is a ruling system embracing the state, the society, and life in general, to the Ummah as a whole and to individuals. It also proves that the state has no authority to ruling except if it adheres to the Islamic system. Islam would have no existence unless it were alive, represented by a state that implements its rules. Islam is a Deen and an ideology; the state and the ruling system are part of it. The state is the only legal body that Islam has laid down to implement its laws and execute them in public life. Islam would not exist without a state that implements it under all conditions. The state, besides, is a political and human, not a godly or spiritual one. It has no sainthood and its leader has no infallible characteristics.

The ruling system is the one that determines the shape of the state and its character, its foundation, pillars and bodies, and the basis upon which it is built, together with the basic thoughts, concepts and the criterion with which it looks after the affairs, as well as the constitution and the laws it implements.

It is a distinct and unique system for a distinct and unique state; totally different from all other systems known to mankind, whether in terms of the basis upon which it is built or the thoughts, concepts and criteria with which it deals with people’s affairs or the shape that it takes or the laws and constitution it implements.

The Islamic State

The Islamic state is a Khaleefah implementing the Shar’a. It is a political and an executive body entrusted with the duty of implementing and executing the laws of Islam, and of conveying the Islamic Message to the world by means of Da’wah and Jihad. It is the only method that Islam has laid down to implement its systems and general laws in life and society. It is the soul of Islam in temporal life; for without it, Islam would completely recede from being an ideology and a system of life and it would be confined to merely being a host of spiritual rites and moral values. Therefore the state is a permanent body and not a temporary one.

The Islamic state is only based on the Islamic doctrine (’Aqeeda). So is its basis and it is forbidden, under Shari’ah law, to be detached from it under any circumstances. When the Messenger of Allah (saw) established the authority of Islam in Madinah and took power, he based the ruling on the Islamic ’Aqeeda from the very first day. The verses of legislation had not been revealed yet, so he made the Shahada of there is no God but Allah and Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah as the basis of the Muslims life, and of the relationships amongst people. He (saw) made the Shahada the basis of averting injustice, settling disputes, that is, the basis of the whole life, ruling and authority. He (saw) did not stop at that, but he decreed Jihad and made it an obligation on Muslims, so as to convey this ’Aqeeda to mankind. He (saw) said:

“I have been ordered to fight people until they profess that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammed (saw) is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayer and give the zakah; if they did so, their blood and their wealth would be inviolable to me, except by its right, and their account will be with Allah.”

He (saw) made it obligatory on Muslims to have the Islamic ’Aqeeda ever present as a basis to the state. He commanded Muslims to fight if the open disbelief emerged i.e. if the Islamic Aqeeda ceased to be the basis of ruling.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) was asked once about the tyrant rulers: ‘Do we fight them ?’ He (saw) replied: “No, as long as they established the salah.”

In his pledge, he stipulated that Muslims should not dispute with the people in authority, unless they witness (in their actions) an open disbelief. Muslim narrated from Awf Ibnu Malik regarding the wicked Imams, it was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah ! Do we fight them ?’ He (saw) replied: “No as long as they established salah amongst you.” Al Bukhari narrated from ’Ubadah ibn as-Samit in the Bai’ah: “And not to dispute with the people in authority, unless if you see (in their actions) an open disbelief upon which you have a proof from Allah”, Al-Tabarani extracted the same Hadith but with the wording “a clear disbelief”. All this demonstrates that the basis of the state is the Islamic ’Aqeeda, for the Messenger of Allah (saw) established his authority on that basis and ordered the Muslims to fight in order to preserve it as such, and to perform Jihad in order to spread it worldwide.

Therefore, it is forbidden for the Islamic state to have any thought, concept, rule or criterion not emanating from the Islamic ’Aqeeda. It would be futile to have the Aqeeda as a basis to the state only in name, rather it should be represented in every single area related to the existence of the state, whatever it is, of its whole affairs. So, it is not allowed that the state has any concept about life and authority unless it emanates from the Islamic ’Aqeeda. The concept of democracy should accordingly not be adopted by the state for it is not derived from the ’Aqeeda, and besides that it contravenes the concepts that are derived from it. Nationalism and Patriotism should not hold any value whatsoever, for these are not derived from the Islamic ’Aqeeda, and concepts originating from the ’Aqeeda, abhor, forbid and warn of the dangers of such concepts.

The ruling system of Islam does not contain the ministerial departments, which operate in the democratic system of government, for this concept is not derived from the Islamic ’Aqeeda. It also does not have any Imperial, Royal or Republican concepts, because they are not derived from the Islamic ’Aqeeda, and disagree with the concepts that emanate from it. It is also not allowed to account the state on other than the basis of the Islamic ’Aqeeda, whether by individuals, parties or groups. It is forbidden to establish any movements, groups or parties based on other than the basis of the Islamic ’Aqeeda. The fact that the Islamic ’Aqeeda is the basis of the state obliges all that, and makes it obligatory for the state to abide by such rulings, being obligatory on the head of state and on the subjects ruled by the state.

The obligation of having the Islamic ’Aqeeda as the basis of the Islamic state necessitates that the state’s constitution and rules are derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw). Allah (SWT) has ordered the Imam and the ruler to rule by that which Allah (SWT) has revealed to His Messenger. He (SWT) considered whoever ruled by other than that which Allah (SWT) revealed to be a disbeliever if he believed that which Allah (SWT) revealed not to be suitable. He would be disobedient, a wrong doer, and rebel if he ruled by other than that which Allah (SWT) had revealed, but without believing in it. The command of Allah (SWT) to the Imam and the ruler to rule by that which He (SWT) revealed is proved in the Holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah.

Allah (SWT) says : “ But no, by Your Lord, they can have no (real) faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest submission” [4:65]

Allah (SWT) says: “And rule between them by that which Allah has revealed”

The legislation of the state has been restricted to that which Allah (SWT) has revealed. He (SWT) warns against ruling by other than that which He (SWT) revealed i.e. ruling by Kufr.

Allah (SWT) says: “And those who do not rule by that which Allah has revealed are the disbelievers”

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Any action which is not according to our matter (Deen) is rejected.”

All this indicates that the state’s legislations, whether the constitution or laws, are restricted to what emanates from the Islamic ’Aqeeda in the form of divine laws. In other terms, it is restricted to that which has been revealed by Allah (SWT) of rules in the Book and the Sunnah, and in whatever the Book and the Sunnah directed to of analogy (Qiyas) and general consensus of the companions (Ijma’a as Sahaba). 

This is because the speech of the Legislator came related to the actions of the humans (’Ibad), and obliged the people to restrict themselves to it in all their actions, thus the organisation of actions comes from Allah (SWT). The Islamic Shari’ah came in relation to all the actions of people, and all their relationships, whether the relationship was with Allah, with themselves, or with others. So there is no place in Islam for the people to put forward canons to the state for organising their relationships, because they are restricted to the Ahkam Shari’ah. 

And Allah (SWT) says: “Whatever the Messenger brings you take it, and whatever he forbids you leave it” [TMQ 59:7],

and said: “It is not fitting for a Muslim, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they have a choice in their matter.” [TMQ 33:36]

The Prophet (saw) said: “Verily Allah puts down obligations so do not neglect them, and put down limits so do not transgress them, and forbade some things so do not indulge in them, and remained silent about some things, as permitted to you not out of forgetfulness, so do not ask about them.”

 Muslim narrated from ’Aiesha, she said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said “Whoever introduced into our matter (Deen), that which is not from it, it is rejected.” So Allah (SWT) put down the rules, and not the Imam, and He (SWT) compelled the people and the rulers to follow them in their relationships and their actions, and He (SWT) restricted them to these rules, and prevented them from following other than them.

Thus, there is no place for humans, in the Islamic state, to put down the rules for organising their relationships, nor in legislating the constitution or canons. There is also no place for the Imam to compel the people or to permit them to follow rules or canons introduced by man to organise their relationships.

The Prophet (saw) established the Islamic state in Madinah Munawwara, together with the basis it was built on, its foundations, pillars, institutions, army and it’s domestic and foreign relationships. From the moment he arrived at Madinah he ruled over the Muslims, looked after their affairs, managed their matters and created the Islamic society. He also made a treaty with the Jews, Banu Dhamra and Banu Madlij, then with the Quraysh, with the people of Elat, Girba and Azrah. He gave the people a covenant that no one will be prevented from perfoming Hajj, and that no one is to be afraid in the month of Haram. He sent Hamza ibn `Abdul-Muttalib, ’Ubaydah ibn Harith, and Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas in expeditions to fight the Quraysh. He sent Zayd ibn Harithah, Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib, ‘Abdullah ibn Ruwahah to fight the Romans. He sent Khalid ibn al-Walid to fight the Domma of Jandal, and he (saw) himself led the army in numerous battles (Ghazwat), where he engaged in severe fighting. He appointed Walis for the provinces, and ‘Amils for the cities. He appointed Attab ibn Aseed over Makkah as well after its opening, and Bazan ibn Sasan as Wali over Yemen, after he became Muslim. He appointed Mu‘az ibn Jabal the Khazraji over Jund, and he appointed Khalid ibn Said ibn al-Aas as ‘Amil over San’aa, and Zayd ibn Labeed ibn Tha’laba Al-Ansari over Hadramut. He appointed Abu Musa Al-Ashari over Zabeed and Aden. He appointed Amr ibn Al-A’ass over Oman. Abu Dujana was ‘Amil for the Messenger (saw) over Madinah. When he (saw) would appoint Walis he would choose them from those who were suitable for the job they were responsible for, and they would infuse the hearts of their subjects with Iman, and he (saw) used to ask them about the way they would act in their ruling. Al Baihaqi, Ahmad and Abu Dawood narrated

“That when the Messenger of Allah (saw) sent Mu’az to Yemen he (saw) said to him: “How would you judge if a matter was raised to you?” He said: ‘By the Book of Allah.’ He (saw) said: “If you do not find it in the Book of Allah?” He said: ‘I would judge by the Sunnah of Rasool Allah (saw).’ He (saw) said: “If you did not find it in the Sunnah of Rasool Allah? He said: I would perform my own Ijtihad, sparing no effort in doing that.” He said: ‘He (the Messenger of Allah (saw)) hit his hand on my chest and said: “Praise be to Allah who helped the messenger of the Messenger of Allah in that which pleases Rasool Allah”.

It  was narrated from Saad from Amru ibn Awf that the Messenger (saw) appointed Iban ibn Said ibn Al-Aas over Bahrain and he said to him: “Take care of Abdul Qais and respect their leaders.”

He (saw) used to send Walis from the best of those who embraced Islam. He used to order them (the Walis) to teach Islam to those who had accepted Islam, and to take Sadaqat from them. He would delegate the Wali, on numerous occasions, the job of levying of taxes, and He (saw) would command him to exhort the people with good, teach them the Qur’an, educate them in the Deen, and he advised him to be lenient with the people in the truth and be hard against them in situations of injustice. He (saw) also ordered the Walis to forbid the people from calling to their tribes when there was agitation between the people, so that their call be to Allah alone without partner. He (saw) told the Walis to take a fifth of the wealth and what was obliged upon the Muslims of Sadaqat. And that whoever accepted Islam sincerely from the Jews or the Christians and submitted to the Deen of Islam, he would be a believer whose rights are like their rights and his obligations are like their obligations; and whoever remained a Jew or a Christian, he should not be tempted from his Deen.

Muslim and Al-Bukhari narrated from Ibn Abbas that when the Messenger of Allah (SWT) sent Mu’az to Yemen he said:

“You will be appointed over tribes from the people of the Book so let the first matter you call them to be the worship of Allah (SWT). If they recognised Allah (SWT) then inform them that Allah (SWT) has obliged on them five prayers in the day and night. If they did that tell them that Allah (SWT) obliged on them Zakat which is taken from their wealthy people and paid to their poor people. If they obeyed, take (Zakat) from them and stay away from their best property” 

In another narration, they added: “And protect yourself of the prayer (du’a) of the wronged (person), for there is no barrier between it and Allah (SWT).”

He (saw), on some occasions, appointed specific people to deal with financial matters. Every year he (saw) would send ‘Abdullah ibn Ruwahah to the Jews of Khayber to assess their fruits. Al-Muatta mentioned 

“..the Messenger (saw) used to send Abdullah ibn Ruwahah to assess their fruits between him and them. Then he would say: if you would like, this is for you, or if you like it is for me. They used to take it”.

Salman ibn Yassar said: ‘They gathered some of their women’s jewellry. Then they said: “This is for you and reduce from us and tolerate in the division”. Abdullah ibn Ruwahah said “O’ people of the Jews! By Allah, from amongst the creatures of Allah (SWT) hate you most, but this will not drive me to opress you. As for the bribe you offered me it is illegal property (Suht) and we do not eat (take) it”. They said: By this (justice) the heavens and the Ardh (earth) stand.”

He (saw) used to inquire about the situation of the Walis and ‘Amils and he used to listen to what is reported to him of their news. He removed ‘Alaa ibn Al-Hadhrami who was his ‘Amil over Bahrain because a delegate from ‘Abd Qays complained about him. Ibn Sa’ad said, Mohammed Ibn Omar said: I was told from Amru ibn Awf, the ally of Bani Aamer ibn Luai that the Messenger of Allah (saw) sent Al-Alaa ibn Al-Hadhrami to Al-Bahrain, then he removed him from it, and sent Iban ibn Said as an Amil over it. Mohammed ibn Omar said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) had written to Al-Alaa ibn Al-Hadhrami to come to him together with twenty men of Abd Qais, so he came to him with them. Their leader was Abdullah ibn Awf Al-AsHajj and Al-Alaa appointed over Al-Bahrain after him Al-Munzir ibn Sawa. The delegation complained of Al-Alaa ibn Al-Hadhrami. So the Messnger of Allah (saw) removed him and appointed Iban ibn Said Al-Aas and said to him “take care of Abd Al-Qais and respect their leaders”.

He (saw) used to receive the full (financial) accounts of the Amils and would enquire about their revenues and expenses.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Abi Hammeed As-Saidi that the Prophet (saw) appointed Ibn Al-Lutbiyyah over the Sadaqat of Bani Saleem. When he returned back to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he revised accounts with him, he said: ‘This is what is yours, and this is a gift to me.’ The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Won’t you stay in your parents’ home and see if you get your present, if you say the truth ?”

Then the Messenger of Allah (saw) stood preaching to the people. So he praised Allah and glorified Him and said: “After all I appoint some men of you over some affairs in which Allah gave me authority. Then someone amongst you comes and says: This is for you and this is a gift given to me. Had he not sat in his fathers’s and mother’s home so as his gift comes to him if he says the truth. By Allah, no one of you would take of them (the Sadaqat) anything unduly but comes to Allah carrying it on the Day of Judgement. Beware, I will know any man who comes to Allah with a camel that brays and a cow that is mooing and a sheep that bleats. Then he raised his hands till I could see the whiteness of his armpits. Didn’t I coney.

Abu Dawood narrated from Bareeda from the prophet (saw), he said:

“Whoever we appointed in his job and we provided him (some funds), so whatever he took unduly would be ghalool (misappropriation).

The people of Yemen complained of the length of Mua’z’s prayer, so the prophet (saw) restrained him. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Abi Masoud Al-Ansari, he said: A man said:

“O Messenger of Allah (saw) I hardly attend the (Jama’a) prayer, because so and so person makes it long. As a response I have never seen the Prophet (saw) in any preaching more angry than he was then. He said: O people! You drive the people away. So whoever becomes Imam to the people let him lighten (the prayer), for there are amongst them the sick, the weak and the one who has a pressing need.” 

In another narration by Muslim from Jabir, he (saw) said

“… O’ Mua’z! Are you a seducer (Fattan)…?”

He (saw) used to appoint judges to judge between the people. He appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib as a judge over Yemen. He also dispatched Mu‘az ibn Jabal and Abu Musa Al-Ashari as judges to Yemen. He asked the two of them:

‘… By what would you judge? They replied that if they did not find the rule in the Book or the Sunnah then they would measure the matter with another, and they would act with that which is closer to the truth. The Prophet (saw) consented with that, which indicates that he (saw) chose the judges and checked their method of judging.

He (saw) used to look after the affairs of the people and he appointed secretaries as heads of the departments. So Ali ibn Abi Talib was the secretary of agreements and peace treaties. Muaiqeeb ibn Abi Fatima was in charge of the Prophet’s official seal and he was the secretary for booty. Huzayfah ibn Al-Yaman used to assess the fruits of the Hijaz and Zubair ibn Al-Awaam used to record the funds of the Sadaqat, and Al-Mughira ibn Shu’abah used to record the debts and transactions, and Shurahbeel ibn Hasanah used to write the letters to the leaders of other States. So he appointed a secretary for each of the interests, however numerous these were. He (saw) used to make many consultations with his companions and he did not prevent himself from consulting the people of opinion and vision and those whom he witnessed of their intellect and honour, and showed their strong Iman and sacrifice in calling for Islam. There were seven people from the Quraish and seven from the Muhajireen who were: Hamzah, Abu Bakr, Jafar, Umar, Ali, Ibn Masood, Salman, Amaar, Huzayfah, Abu Dharr, Al-Miqdad and Bilal. Ahmed narrated from Ali, he said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah(sw) say: “There was no prophet before me who was not given seven intelligent assistant chiefs, and I was given fourteen intelligent assistant chiefs, seven from Quraish and seven from Al-Muhajireen.” In another narration by Ahmed from Ali, he mentioned the names …Hamzah, Jafar, Ali, Hassan, Hussein, Abu-Bakr, Umar, Al-Miqdad, Abdullah ibn Masood, Abu Dharr, Huzaifah, Salmaan, Ammar and Bilal.


He (saw) also used to seek advice from other than these people, but these people mentioned are the ones he sought opinion from extensively. They were effectively the Majlis Ash-Shura. He (saw) put on the Muslims and others certain funds, on fruits and livestock which are: Zakat, Ushr, Fai, Kharaj, Jizya. The funds of spoils and booties were due to the Bait-Ul-Mal. Zakat was distributed on the eight types of people mentioned in the Qur’an and it was not given to other than them nor was it used to manage the affairs of the state. Funds for looking after the affairs of the people used to be from the revenues of Fai, Kharaj, Jizya and Booty, which were sufficient for running the state and preparing the army, thus the state did not feel that it had a shortage of funds.

In this way the Prophet (saw) established the structure of the Islamic state and he completed it in his life. He was the leader of the state and had assistants, Walis, judges, army, directors of departments, and a Majlis for Shura. This framework in its structure and functions is a method that must be followed. As a whole, it is proved by Tawatur. The Prophet (saw) performed the actions of the leader of a state from the moment he arrived in Madina until his death, and Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were his assistants. The Sahabah consented after him on establishing a leader for the state who would succeed the Prophet (saw) in the leadership of the state only, and not in Messengership nor Prophethood because he (saw) was the seal of the Prophets. Thus the Messenger (saw) established the whole structure of the state in his life, and he left behind the shape of ruling, and structure of the state completely known and clear.

The shape of the ruling system in Islam.

The Islamic ruling system is distinct from all other existing ruling systems in the world. It is unique in terms of the basis upon which it is built. As a result it is distinct in the thoughts, concepts, criteria and laws by which it looks after the affairs, the constitution and cannons which it implements and executes, and in the shape by which the state is represented and distinguished from all other shapes of ruling in the whole world.

The Shape of the Islamic Ruling System is not Monarchical, 

The shape of the Islamic ruling system is not monarchical. It neither approves of the monarchical shape of government nor does it resemble it. The ruling in the monarchical system of government is hereditary where sons inherit the authority from their fathers the same way they inherit their legacy. Whereas in the ruling system of Islam, there is no concept of hereditary ruling, rather the ruling is held by whoever the Ummah gives her pledge (of allegiance) to, willingly and selectively.

The monarchical system allows the monarch special privileges and rights exclusively to him, and puts him above the law and makes him personally answerable to none. He is made the symbol of the nation, where he owns but does not rule like the monarchs of Europe; or he owns and rules, and even becomes the source of the rules, thus running the country and the people as he wishes, like the kings of Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Jordan.

The Islamic system however does not assign to the Khaleefah or the Imam any special privileges or rights, so he is treated the same as any citizen of the Ummah. He is not the symbol of the Ummah where he owns and does not rule nor is he a symbol who rules and runs the affairs of the people and country as he pleases. He is a representative of the Ummah in ruling and power, where the Ummah selects him and gives him the pledge of allegiance willingly so as to implement on her the Shar’a of Allah (SWT). He is restricted in all his actions, judgements and looking after the affairs of the Ummah and her interests by the divine rules.

There is also no crown princeship in the ruling system of Islam. Islam abhors hereditary ruling and forbids that the ruling be taken by legacy. The ruling is assumed by the Khaleefah only when the Ummah willingly gives him the pledge of allegiance.

The Shape of the Islamic Ruling System is not Republican.

The Islamic ruling system is not republican. The republican system is based on democracy, where sovereignty is given to the people. Thus, the people have the right of ruling and legislation, and they reserve the right to appoint the ruler and remove him. They reserve the right to lay down a constitution and enact laws and to abolish, alter or modify both the constitution and the laws. In contrast, the Islamic ruling system is based on the Islamic Aqeeda and on the Shari’a laws. The sovereignty is to the Shar’a of Allah (SWT) and not to people (Ummah). So the Ummah has no right to legislate nor does the Khaleefah. The sole legislator is Allah (SWT), and the Khaleefah has the right only to adopt rulings for the constitution and cannons that are derived from the Book of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw). Also the Ummah has no right to remove the Khaleefah; what removes him is the Shar’a.

However, the Ummah has the right to appoint him, for Islam gave the authority and power to her, so she is put in charge of authority and power whom she selects, and gives the Bai’ah to.

In the Presidential form of the Republican system, the president of the republic holds the mandatory powers of the head of state. He does not have in his cabinet a prime minister, but secretaries of state, as can be seen in the United States. In the parliamentary form, the president has a prime minister, and the mandatory ruling powers are in the hands of the ministerial cabinet not the president of the republic, as in France and Germany.

In the Khilafah system there are no ministers, nor a council of ministers working with the Khaleefah as it is in the democratic system, where ministers have special portfolios and mandatory powers of their own. Instead the Khaleefah has assistants whom he appoints to assist him in assuming the functions of the Khilafah and discharging its duties. They are delegates and executive assistants. The Khaleefah heads them in his capacity as the head of state and not a prime minister, nor as a head of an executive body. The Khaleefah has no council of ministers working with him, since he has all the mandatory powers and the assistants only help him in executing his mandatory powers.

Besides, in the republican system, in both of its shapes, the presidential and parliamentary, the president is accountable to his people and it’s representatives. The people and their representatives have the right to remove him since the sovereignty in the republican system belongs to the people. This is contrary to the Imarah of the believers. The Ameer of the believers, even if he is responsible before the Ummah and her representatives and is accountable to the Ummah and her representatives, the Ummah has no right to remove him, and thus her representatives have no right to remove him either. He is removed only if he violates the Shar’a in a way that his removal becomes obligatory, and only the Court of Unjust Acts is the one that decides this.

In the republican system, whether it is presidential or parliamentary, the term of the presidency is fixed and cannot be exceeded, whereas the Khilafah system does not determine the Khaleefah’s term of office, it is rather determined by his implementation of Shar’a. So long as the Khaleefah is implementing the rules of Islam, that are derived from the Book of Allah, and the Sunnah of His Messenger, he remains a Khaleefah, regardless of how long his Khilafah term lasts. If the Khaleefah violated the Shar’a, and deviated from implementing the rules of Islam, his term in office would be terminated even if it were one month or one day; and he must be removed.

We conclude, therefore, that there is a great difference between the Khilafah system and the republican system and between the Khaleefah and the president of a republic. It is, therefore, forbidden to claim that the Islamic system is a republican system, or to say the Islamic Republic, for there exists a great contradiction between the two bases on which the two systems are founded, in addition to the difference between them in the shape and details.

The Shape of the Islamic Ruling System is not Imperial.

The Imperial system of government is completely inconsistent with the Islamic one. The regions ruled by Islam - though they are of various races and linked to one central place - are not ruled by an Imperial system but by a system contradictory to the Imperial system. The Imperial system does not treat races equally in the various regions of the empire, rather gives privileges, in the ruling, finance and economy to the centre of the empire.

The Islamic way of ruling is to equate between the subjects in all the regions of the state. Islam grants non-muslims who hold citizenship, the full rights and duties that Muslims have. They enjoy the same fairness as Muslims and are subject to the same accountability like them. Furthermore, every single citizen, regardless of his or her creed, enjoys rights that even a Muslim living abroad who holds no citizenship does not enjoy. With this equality, the Islamic system differs completely from the Imperial one. It does not make the regions under its ruling into colonies, areas of exploitation, nor a source of wealth funneled back into the central region for it’s own benefit, no matter how far apart they were, and no matter how different their races were. It considers every single region as a part of the state and its citizens enjoy the same rights as those in the centre region. It also makes the ruling authority, its system and its legislation the same in all the regions.

The Ruling System in Islam is not a Federal one, 

The ruling system in Islam is not federal, where its regions separate by autonomy, but unite in the general ruling. It is rather a system of unity, where Marrakesh in the West is considered to be the same as Khurasan in the East; and the province of Al-Fayoom would be the same as Cairo if it were the Islamic capital. The finance of all the regions will be the same, as will their budget. Funds are spent equally on the affairs of the subjects, regardless of their Wilayah. If for instance, the taxes collected in one Wilayah were double its expenditure, the funds spent will be to cover the Wilayah’s needs but not according to how much tax raised. If another Wilayah’s taxes fell short of its expenditure, this would not be taken into consideration, and funds will be spent to satisfy the Wilayah’s needs from the general budget whether it raised enough taxes or not.

Therefore the ruling system is one unit not a federation. That is why the Islamic ruling system is distinguished from other known systems, in its origin and basis, even if some of its aspects were similar to some of their aspects. Furthermore, the Islamic system is central in its ruling, where the high authority is at head office, and where the authority and power engulfs every single part of the state, no matter how small or large it is; independence of any part of it is not allowed thus preventing disintegration. The high authority is the body which appoints the army commanders, the Walis, rulers and finance and economy officials. He appoints  judges in all the regions and everyone whose duties is to rule. He is the one who deals with ruling all over the land.

In summary the ruling system in Islam is a Khilafah system. The general Ijma’a about the unity of the Khilafah and the state has been established, and that it is not allowed to give the Bai’ah to more than one Khaleefah. All the Imams, jurists and scholars have agreed on this. If another Khaleefah is given the pledge, while a Khaleefah is in office or a Khaleefah had already been given a pledge, the second one should be fought until he himself gives the pledge of allegiance to the first Khaleefah or he is killed, for the pledge has been confirmed lawfully to the one who was given Bai’ah first.

The System of Ruling in Islam is the Khilafah

The Khilafah is the general leadership over all the Muslims, in the whole world, whose responsibility is to implement the laws of Islam, and to convey the Islamic Message to the whole world. It is also known as the Imama, so Imama and Khilafah are the same. It is the shape which the divine laws determine as Islamic state. Many Sahih Ahadith have been narrated using these two words, with the same meaning. No one of these two words differed in their meaning from the other in any Shari’ah text i.e. the Qur’an and Sunnah, for they are the only divine texts. However, it is not binding to adhere to either of them, rather we have to adhere to their meaning.


Appointing a Khaleefah is obligatory upon all the Muslims all over the world. Executing such a duty, just like executing any other duty which Allah (SWT) has decreed on Muslims, is compulsory, in which no choice or complacency is allowed. Failure in performing this duty is one of the gravest sins that Allah (SWT) will punish us about, severely.

The evidence about the obligation of appointing a Khaleefah over all the Muslims, is in the Sunnah and in the Ijma’a of the Sahabah. As for the Sunnah, it has been narrated that Nafi’ said: Umar told me: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:

“Whoever takes off his hand from an obedience to Allah, he will meet Him on the Resurrection Day without having any proof for himself; and whoever dies while there were no Bai’ah on his neck, his death would be that of the days of ignorance,”

as narrated by Muslim. So the Messenger (saw) made it obligatory upon every Muslim to have a Bai’ah on his neck. He described the one who dies without having a Bai’ah on his neck as if he died the death of Jahiliyyah. The Bai’ah would not be valid except for the khaleefah. The Messenger of Allah (saw) made it an obligation that every Muslim should have a Bai’ah on his neck for a khaleefah, but he did not oblige every Muslim to give a Bai’ah to the Khaleefah. The obligation therefore, is the existence of a Bai’ah on the neck of every Muslim. This necessitates the existence of a Khaleefah, who, through his existence, is entitled for a Bai’ah (on the neck of every Muslim.) Thus, the existence of the Khaleefah is the issue which necessitates a Bai’ah on the neck of every Muslim, whether he actually gave the Bai’ah or not. Therefore, the Hadith is an evidence that the appointment of a Khaleefah is obligation, it is not an evidence suggesting that giving the Bai’ah is an obligation. This is because the Messenger of Allah (saw) rebuked the absence of the Bai’ah of allegiance on the neck of the Muslim till he dies, and not the abstention from giving the Bai’ah itself.

Muslim narrated from Al-Araj from Abu Hurrairah from the Prophet (saw), he said:

“Indeed the Imam is a shield, from whose behind (one) would fight, and by whom one would protect oneself.”

Muslim also reported on the authority of Abu Hazim that he said: I accompanied Abu Hurayra for five years, and heard him informing about the Prophet (saw), he said: “The Prophets ruled over the children of Israel, whenever a prophet died another Prophet succeeded him, but there will be no Prophet after me. There will soon be Khulafa’a and they will number many.” They asked: ‘what then do you order us ?’ He said: “Fulfill the Bai’ah to them, one after the other and give them their dues for Allah will verily account them about what he entrusted them with.” Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “If anybody sees in his Ameer something which displeases him, he should remain patient, for he who separates himself from the authority of Islam (Sultan) by even so much as a hand span and dies thereupon, he would die the death of the days of ignorance,” as narrated by Muslim.  

In these Ahadith, the Messenger of Allah (saw) informed us that there would be leaders who would run the affairs of the Muslims. There is also the description of the Khaleefah being a shield, i.e. a protection. The description of the Imam as a shield is an indication of the benefits of the existence of the Imam, therefore it is a command. This is because when Allah (SWT) or His Messenger (saw) informs us about something that includes a rebuke this is taken as a command of prohibition i.e. to abstain from it. When the text contains a praise it is taken as a command to perform an action; and if the commanded action is necessary to implement the divine rule, or if its neglect would cause the divine law to be abandoned, then this is decisive.  These Ahadith also inform us that those who run the affairs of the Muslims are the Khulafa’a, which means a command of appointing them. They also include the prohibition of Muslims separating themselves from authority. This means the obligation that the Muslim establishes power, i.e. authority to the Khaleefah. However, the Messenger of Allah (saw) ordered the Muslims to obey the Khulafa’a and to fight those who dispute with them regarding their authority, which means that it is an obligation to appoint a Khaleefah and protect his Khilafah by fighting those who dispute his authority. Muslim reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“Whosoever gave a Bai’ah to an Imam, giving him the clasp of his hand, and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him, you must strike the neck of that man.”

Therefore the command to obey the Imam is an order to appoint him. And the command to fight those who dispute with him is a collaborating evidence that the command of maintaining the presence of one Khaleefah, is decisive.

As for the Ijma’a of the Sahabah, they (may Allah be pleased with them) agreed upon the necessity of establishing a successor (ie. Khaleefah) to the Messenger of Allah (saw) after his death. They all agreed to appoint a successor to Abu Bakr, and upon his death, appointing ‘Umar as successor and upon ‘Uthman’s death to appoint Ali as a successor to him. The general consensus of the Sahabah on the appointment of a Khaleefah manifested itself emphatically upon the death of the Messenger of Allah (saw) where they engaged themselves in appointing a successor to him though it is known that the burial of the dead person after his death is obligatory. It is also prohibited upon those in charge of preparing the burial to engage themselves in anything else until they completed the burial. Despite this, some of the Sahabah engaged themselves in appointing a Khaleefah, even though they were obliged to engage themselves in preparing the burial of the Messenger of Allah (saw). Other Sahabah kept silent about this and participated in the delaying of the burial for two nights, despite having the ability to deny the delay and to bury the Messenger of Allah (saw). This action of the Sahabah is therefore an evidence of Ijma’a of busying themselves in the appointment of the Khaleefah instead of the burial of the dead person. This could not have been legitimate unless the appointment of a Khaleefah were more obligatory than the burial of the dead person.  Furthermore, all the Sahabah consented throughout their lives, upon the obligation of appointing the Khaleefah. Although at some times they differed about the person who should be selected as a Khaleefah, they never disagreed about the fact that a Khaleefah must be appointed, whether in the wake of the death of the Messenger of Allah (saw) nor after the death of each of the Khulafa’a ‘Rashideen.’ Accordingly, the general consensus of the Sahabah (Ijma’a) is both a strong and clear evidence that the appointment of a Khaleefah is obligatory.

Furthermore, establishing the Deen and implementing the Shar’a in every single aspect of life is an obligation upon Muslims proven through evidences definite in report and in meaning, and this cannot be achieved unless there is a ruler who possesses the authority to do so. Therefore, in this context, the Shari’ah principle states: ‘Whatever is necessary to accomplish a duty, becomes itself a duty.’ Thus appointing the Khaleefah is obligatory based on this principle.

Furthermore, Allah (SWT) commanded His Messenger (saw) to rule the Muslims by that which He(SWT) revealed to him; the command of Allah (SWT) was conveyed in the most decisive manner. Allah (SWT) addressed His Messenger:

“And rule between them by that which Allah has revealed to you, and do not follow their vain desires away from the truth which came to you” [5:48].  

He also (SWT) says:

 “And rule by that which Allah has revealed to you and do not follow their whims, and beware that they may deviate you away from some part of that which Allah has revealed to you.” [5:49].

The speech of Allah (SWT) to His Messenger is also a speech to the Messenger’s followers, unless there exists an evidence which indicates that the speech is limited to him. In this case there is no evidence limiting this speech to the Messenger of Allah (saw). Thus the verses call upon Muslims to establish the rule of Allah. The appointment of a Khaleefah does not mean other than the establishment of the rule of Allah and the authority of Islam. Furthermore, Allah (SWT) obliges the Muslims to obey those in authority, i.e. the rulers, which is an indication that the existence of a man in authority upon Muslims is obligatory. Allah (SWT) says:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from amongst you” [4:59]. 

Allah (SWT) does not command of the obedience to those who do not exist, or whose existence is Mandub, therefore the existence of a man in authority is Fard. The order of Allah to obey those in authority is also an order to establish them.  The implementation of the divine law depends on the presence of the ruler i.e. the man in authority, while neglecting his appointment results in the non-application of the Shar’a rules. Therefore his presence is compulsory because of that which results due to his absence, that is the negligence of the Shar’a rules.

These evidences are explicit in that the establishment of the ruling and the authority amongst Muslims is obligatory, and that the appointment of a Khaleefah who takes charge of the ruling and authority in order to implement the divine laws, not merely for the sake of the ruling and authority alone, is also compulsory. Let us contemplate the following Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (saw): “The best of your Imams are those whom you love and they love you, and pray for you and you pray for them, and the worst of your Imams are those whom you hate and they hate you, and you curse them and they curse you.” We asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah ! Shall we not then declare war on them?’ He said: “No, as long as they establish Salah amongst you,” narrated by Muslim from Auf bin Malik. The Hadith explicitly informs about the good and bad leaders, and the prohibition of revolting against them as long as they established the Salah. For establishing Salah indicates upholding the Deen and implementing its rules. Therefore the obligation upon Muslims to appoint the Khaleefah to implement the rules of Islam and to convey its message is beyond any doubt, with regards to its proof in the sound Shari’ah texts. Furthermore, this duty is obligatory because Allah (SWT) made it compulsory upon Muslims to establish the authority of Islam and to protect the unity of Muslims. However, this duty is a collective one; if some of the people accomplished it the duty would be fulfilled and the responsibility would be discharged from the rest of the Ummah. But if a section of the Ummah failed to accomplish this duty, though they undertook all the steps required to fulfill it, then it would remain as an obligation upon all the Muslims, and no one would be relieved of the duty as long as the Muslims remained without a Khaleefah.

To refrain from appointing a Khaleefah for Muslims is one of the gravest sins, for it is an abstention from fulfilling one of the most important duties of Islam. For upon this duty, depend the implementation of the rules of the Deen and the very existence of Islam in life’s affairs. The Muslims would be committing a grave sin if they refrained from establishing a Khaleefah for themselves. If they all agreed to abandon the duty, the sin would fall upon every single Muslim in the entire world. If however some of the Muslims embarked to establish a Khaleefah whilst others did not, the sin would fall from the shoulders of those who work to establish the Khaleefah and the duty would remain upon them until the Khaleefah is appointed. The involvement in the work to accomplish the duty would remove the sin of delaying the accomplishment of the duty in its due time and the failure to fulfill it. This is because of the involvement in performing it and the dislike of being prevented from its accomplishment. Those who do not participate in the work to accomplish the duty will be sinful after three days from the departure of the Khaleefah until the day the (next) Khaleefah is appointed. This is because Allah has entrusted them with a duty they neither carried out nor participated in. Thus, they committed a sin and deserved the punishment and disgrace from Allah (SWT). The sin would duly fall upon them for abstaining from working to establish the Khilafah, or from performing the actions that would naturally accomplish it. This is because any Muslim who fails to perform any of his duties quite evidently deserves punishment, particularly the duty by which other duties are implemented, the rules of the Deen are established and the word of Allah is raised high in the lands of Islam and in the whole world.

Therefore, there is no excuse for any Muslim anywhere in the world for abstaining from performing that which Allah (SWT) obliged on him so as to establish the Deen, that is to work for appointing a Khaleefah for the Muslims when there is no Khilafah in the world, and when there is no Khaleefah who implements the rules of Allah (SWT) to protect the sanctities of Allah (SWT), and establishes the rules of the Deen, and unites the Muslims under the banner of “there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His Messenger.” There is no excuse in Islam that exempts anyone from working to perform this duty until it is accomplished.

The Principles of Ruling

The ruling system is built upon four principles which are:-

  1. Sovereignty is for Shar’a, not for the Ummah.
  2. Authority is for the people.

3)  The appointment of one Khaleefah is an obligation upon all the Muslims.

4)  The adoption of the divine rules is the exclusive right of the Khaleefah, so he is the one who enacts the  constitution and the various cannons

These are the principles of ruling in Islam. These principles have been derived and backed by evidences from the Shari’ah.

1. Sovereignty is for Shar’a

As for the first principle, that the sovereignty belongs to the Shar’a; it has a reality, which is the word sovereignty. It has an evidence which indicates that it belongs to the Shar’a and not to the Ummah. Its reality is that this word is a Western term, which means the one who exercises and controls the will. So if an individual exercised and controlled his own will, he would be sovereign over himself, but if his will was controlled and exercised by other than himself he would be a slave. The Ummah, as well, if her will i.e. the bulk of the will of her individuals, was controlled by herself via some of her individuals, to whom she willingly and freely granted the right of controlling that will, she would be considered sovereign over her own self. Whereas if her will was controlled by others against her wishes she would be considered enslaved. That is why the democratic system states: the sovereignty belongs to the people i.e. the people exercise their own affairs and elect the delegates they wish and give them the right to control their will. This is the reality of the sovereignty which we want to apply the verdict on. The verdict regarding this sovereignty is that it belongs to the Shar’a and not to the Ummah. The will of the individual is not controlled by himself as he pleases but by the commands and prohibitions of Allah (SWT). Similarly, the Ummah, is not controlled by her own free will where she acts as she pleases but is rather subjected to the commands and prohibitions of Allah (SWT). The evidence about this is reflected in Allah’s saying:

“And by thy Lord they will not believe until they make you judge between them..” [4:65]

And His Speech:

“O you who believe, Obey Allah, Obey His Messenger and those in authority from amongst you and if you differ then refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [4:59]

Referring it to Allah and the Messenger means to the rules of Shar’a. Therefore, that which controls the Ummah and the individual, and conducts the will of the Ummah and the individual is, in fact, what the Messenger of Allah (saw) has brought. So the Ummah and the individuals submit to the Shar’a. Thus, the sovereignty is for the Shar’a. Therefore, the Khaleefah is not given the Bai’ah by the Ummah as if hired by her to execute what she wishes as is the case in the democratic system. He is rather given the Bai’ah on the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw), so as to execute the Book of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) i.e. to implement the Shar’a and not what the people wish. Even if the people who gave him the Bai’ah deviated from the Shar’a he has to fight them until they revert back to the Shar’a.

2. The authority belongs to the Ummah

The principle that the authority belongs to the Ummah is taken from the Shari’ah rule which states that the appointment of the Khaleefah is the right of the Ummah and that the Khaleefah can only take up his post and exercise his authority by taking a Bai’ah. The evidence for this has been clearly demonstrated in many Ahadith. Muslim narrated from ‘Ubadah Ibnus-Samit, he said:

“We gave Bai’ah to the Messenger of Allah (saw) to hear and to obey in ease and hardship.”

And from Jarir Ibn Abdullah, who said:

‘I gave Bai’ah to the Messenger of Allah (saw) to listen and obey and give advice to every Muslim’.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“Three types of people which Allah will not speak to (on the Day of Judgement), nor will He praise them and they have severe punishment are: A man with surplus water on the road but he bans the traveller from it; a man who gives a Bai’ah to an Imam only for his own Dunia, if he gave what he wanted him, he fulfilled to him otherwise he would not; and a man offered a commodity for sale after Asr, (i.e. from at the end of the day) so he swore that he was given so and so price for it, so he (the buyer) trusted him and took it, but he was not given (that price) for it”, narrated by Al-Bukahri and Muslim.


Thus, the Bai’ah is given by the Muslims to the Khaleefah and not by the Khaleefah to the Muslims. They are the ones who give him the pledge of allegiance (Bai’ah), i.e. they appoint him as a ruler over them. The Khulafa’a’a Rashideen took their Bai’ah from the Ummah; they only became Khulafa’a once the Bai’ah was given to them by the Ummah.

As for the evidence that the Khaleefah only takes his authority by this Bai’ah, this is clear in the Ahadith concerning the obedience and the Ahadith regarding the unity of the Khilafah. Muslim narrated from ‘Abdullah Ibnu ‘Amru Ibnul A‘as that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

Whoever gave Bai’ah to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can. If another comes to dispute with him, you must strike the neck of that man.

Naf’i said ‘Abdullah Ibnu ‘Umar told me: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:

Whoever takes off his hand from allegiance (Bai’ah) to Allah, he will meet Allah on the Resurrection Day without having any proof to show for himself; and whoever dies while having no allegiance (Bai’ah) on his neck he dies the death of the days of ignorance (Jahiliyyah)”, narrated by Muslim.  

Ibnu ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

If anyone sees in his Ameer something that displeases him let him remain patient, for behold! He who separates himself from the Sultan (authority of Islam) by even so much as a hand span and dies thereupon, he has died the death of Jahiliyyah”, narrated by Muslim.  Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

The Prophets ruled over the children of Israel. Whenever a Prophet died, another Prophet succeeded him, but there will be no Prophet after me. There will soon be Khulafa’a’a, and they will number many.” They asked: ‘What then do you order us ?’ He (saw) said: “Fulfil (Bai’ah) allegiance to them one after the other, and give them their dues, for verily Allah will ask them about what He entrusted them with”, narrated by Muslim.  

These ‘Ahadith demonstrate that the Khaleefah only takes the authority by this Bai’ah, for Allah (saw) has commanded his obedience: “Whoever pledged allegiance to an Imam ... shall obey him.” So, he is appointed Khaleefah through the Bai’ah, and his obedience becomes compulsory because he is a pledged Khaleefah. Thus he took the authority from the Ummah by giving her Bai’ah and her obedience to the one whom she pledged to i.e. to the one who has a Bai’ah on her neck. This proves that the authority belongs to the Ummah. Despite the fact that the Messenger of Allah (saw) was a final Messenger, he took the pledge (Bai’ah) from the people, which is a Bai’’ah on authority and ruling and not on Prophethood. He (saw) took this Bai’ah from men as well as women, but not from adolescent youngsters. The fact that it is the Muslims who appoint the Khaleefah by giving him the Bai’ah according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and that the Khaleefah only assumes power by this Bai’ah, clearly indicates that the authority belongs to the Ummah who gives it to whoever she wishes.

3. The Appointment of one Khaleefah is Obligatory on all Muslims

As for the third principle i.e. that the establishment of one Khaleefah is an obligation on all Muslims, this has been confirmed in the Hadith. Muslim narrated from Naf’i that he said: ‘Abdullah Ibnu ‘Umar said to me: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:

Whoever takes off his hand from obedience to Allah, he will meet Allah on the Resurrection Day without having any proof to show for himself; and who dies while there was no pledge of allegiance on his neck, he dies a death of the days of ignorance (Jahiliyyah).”

In this Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (saw) has made it compulsory on every Muslim to have a pledge of allegiance, i.e. Bai’ah to a Khaleefah on his neck, but he (saw) did not make it compulsory for every Muslim to give the pledge (Bai’ah). For the obligation is the presence of a Bai’ah on every Muslim’s neck, i.e. the existence of a Khaleefah who is entitled for a Bai’ah on the neck of every Muslim by his existence. The existence of the Khaleefah is the matter which initiates the Bai’ah on every Muslim’s neck, regardless of whether the Muslim has effectively given the Bai’ah or not.  As for the unity of the Khilafah and the prohibition of having more than one Khaleefah, this is due to what Muslim narrated from  Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudri from the Messenger of Allah (saw) that he said:

When an oath of allegiance (Bai’ah) has been taken for two Khulafa’a’a, kill the latter of them”.  

This clearly proves that it is forbidden for the Muslims to have more than one Khaleefah.

4. The Adoption of Laws is the Exclusive Right of the Khaleefah

The fourth principle, states that the Khaleefah is the sole body with mandatory powers to adopt laws and legislation. This has been proved by the general consensus of the Sahabah (Ijma’a). Following this consensus these Shari’ah principles have been derived:

 “The Imam’s opinion settles the difference”,  “The Imam’s opinion is binding”,  “The Sultan (Imam) reserves the right to adopt new laws for as many new matters that arise”.

This will be explained later on together with its proofs, in the subject of the mandatory powers of the Khaleefah.  

The Structure of the State

The state is founded on eight pillars:

  1. The Khaleefah 
  2. Delegated Assistants

3.        The Executive Assistants

4.        The Ameer of Jihad

5.        The Governors (Walis)

6.        The Judiciary

7.        The Administrative Departments

  1. The Council of the Ummah

Evidence of this structure is reflected in the actions of the Messenger of Allah (saw) since this was the form in which he set up the structure of the State. He (saw) was the head of State and he ordered the Muslims to establish a head of State when he ordered them to establish a Khaleefah or an Imam. As for the assistants, the Messenger of Allah (saw) chose Abu Bakr and ‘Umar as his two assistants. Al-Hakim and Al-Tirmithi narrated from Abu Sa’id Al Khudri  that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

My two ministers from the heavens are Gibra’el and Mika’el and from the people of the earth are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.

The meaning of the term “my two ministers” here is my two assistants, because this is what the word Wazir (minister) linguistically means in Arabic. As for the word ‘minister’, which people currently refer to, this is a Western term which means the function of a particular type of ruling. This is alien to that which the Muslims know and it contradicts the Islamic ruling system. Indeed the assistant, who the Messenger of Allah (saw) called minister (Wazir), is not assigned to a certain function. He is rather an assistant to whom the khaleefah gives a general delegation to carry out tasks; and he should not be assigned to a specific task.  As for the governors (Walis), they were appointed by the Messenger of Allah (saw) over the provinces (Wilayat). He (saw) appointed Attab Ibnu Usayd as Wali over Makkah after its conquest. After Bazan Ibnu Sasan had embraced Islam he (saw) appointed him Wali (governor) of Yemen. The Messenger of Allah (saw) also appointed many other Walis.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) was in direct charge of the judiciary. He (saw) appointed the judges in order to settle the disputes between the people. So he (saw) appointed ‘Ali Ibnu Abi Talib as judge over Yemen, and he (saw) charged Mua’z Ibn Jabal and Abu Mousa with Judiciary and Imarah over Yemen. Al-Tabarani reported through trustworthy narrators from Masrooq, he said:

“The people of Judiciary at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) were six: ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Abdullah Ibn Ma’sood, Ubay ibn, K’ab, Zayd ibn Thabit and Abu Mousa Al-Ash’ari”. 

As for the administrative system, the Messenger of Allah (saw) appointed secretaries to run the various government departments, these were as directors of departments. He (saw) appointed Mu‘ayqib Ibnu Abi Fatima as director (under secretary) of booty and Huzayfah Ibnul Yaman was appointed as a director in charge of assessing the harvest of Hijaz. He (saw) appointed others in charge of the other departments, where over each one of them, there was a secretary.

As for the army, which administratively is under the Ameer of Jihad’s authority, it was effectively under the control of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and it was he who was the effective commander of the army where he used to deal with its administration and run its affairs. However, the Messenger of Allah (saw) would appoint commanders to lead certain expeditions. On one occasion he (saw) appointed ‘Abdullah Ibnu Jahsh at the head of an exploratory mission to Quraysh. On another occasion the Messenger of Allah (saw) appointed Abu Salma Ibnu ‘Abdil Asad as the commander of a regiment of 150 men, and he (saw) gave him its banner. This regiment contained some of the best Muslim warriors, among whom were ‘Abu Ubayda Ibnul Jarrah, Sa‘ad Ibnu Abi Waqqas and Usayd Ibnu Hudhayr.

As for the Council of the Ummah whose function is one of consultation (Shura) and holding the ruler accountable, the Messenger of Allah (saw) did not establish a permanent one in his lifetime, but he did consult the Muslims whenever he deemed it fit. Thus he (saw) gathered the Muslims and consulted them on the day of ‘Uhud’ and on the day of ‘Hadith-ul-ifk’ (slander of Ayesha (ra)) and on several other occasions. Though he (saw) gathered the Muslims for consultation, he (saw) would summon some of his companions on a regular basis and consult them; they were regarded as the chiefs of the people, as Hamza, Abu Bakr, Ja‘afar, ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Ibnu Mas‘ud, Salman, ‘Ammar, Huzayfah, Abu Dharr, Al-Muqdad and Bilal. They were considered as his (saw) Shura Council, for he consulted them on a regular basis.

This demonstrates that the Messenger of Allah (saw) had set up a specific structure for the State, and that he (saw) adhered to that structure until he joined his Lord (SWT). Then after him (saw) came his Khulafa’a’a (successors) and they followed him in ruling according to the same structure that the Messenger (saw) established himself. They did that in front of the Sahabah. The structure of the government of the Islamic State should, therefore, be in this form. Some may argue that the Messenger of Allah (saw) appointed a separate official in charge of finance and that he placed him in charge of the department of finance. This might lead people to think that the department of finance is an independent body which is not part of the overall government structure. However, the reality is that the Messenger of Allah (saw) did appoint a special official in charge of finance, which meant giving him an independent department to run, but he (saw) did not make it an independent structure, rather a part of the structure (of the government). Some of the Walis (governors) were appointed with general mandatory powers that included both ruling and finance, whilst some were appointed in ruling powers only, and he appointed a special Wali over finance. For example, the Messenger of Allah (saw) sent ‘Amru Ibnu Hazm as a Wali over Yemen with general powers including  ruling and finance as prescribed in the letter he (saw) handed to him. Furwa Ibnu Musaik’ was appointed by the Messenger of Allah (saw) as ‘Amil over the tribes of Murad, Zubayd, and Muzhaj, and Khalid Ibnu Said Ibnul A‘as was appointed with him as collector of Zakat.The Wali in charge of ruling alone was known as the Wali of Salah; this is a Shari’ah term meaning the Wali in charge of all matters of administration, judiciary, politics, warfare and Ibadat, amongst other duties, with the exception of finance.

 The Wali in charge of finance was alternatively known as the Wali of Kharaj, meaning the one who was responsible for collecting the Zakat and land Kharaj together with other financial duties. The Wali (governor) who held the position of general governorship was known as the Wali of Salah and Kharaj. This clearly demonstrates that the financial department was not a separate structure, but part of the duties of the Imarah i.e. the Wilayah .A governor may be appointed specifically to run the financial affairs of a district, or the job could be given instead to the general governor. In either case, the financial department ultimately did not follow a special department in the centre of the state (the capital), but it remained under the control of the Khaleefah. So it is part of the (state) structure, not a separate structure.

In a similar fashion the Imarah of Jihad, which supervises war, foreign, domestic and industrial affairs, was always under the direct control of the Messenger of Allah (saw), as well as his Khulafa’a. The Messenger of Allah (saw) used by himself to prepare the army and supervise its training and weaponry, and run all its affairs, the way he used to run the foreign and domestic affairs. He (saw) sent people to Jurash in Yemen to learn how to manufacture weapons. His Khulafa’a’a after him (saw) followed the same policy. However, at the time of ‘Umar Ibnul Khattab he set up a war cabinet (Diwan al-Jund) and he appointed a head to that cabinet which is the function of the Ameer of Jihad.

Thus, the State which the Messenger of Allah (saw) had established, was founded on this structure.

The Khaleefah 

The Khaleefah is the man who represents the Ummah in the ruling and authority and in the implementation of the rules of a Shar’a (Divine Laws). Islam has decreed that the ruling and authority belong to the Ummah. It is she who appoints someone who runs that on her behalf, and Allah (SWT) has made it obligatory upon the Ummah to execute all of the rules of Shar’a.

Since the Khaleefah is appointed by the Muslims, this makes him a representative of the Ummah in terms of ruling and authority and as well in the implementation of the rules of Shar’a. Therefore, he does not become a Khaleefah unless the Ummah had given him the pledge of allegiance (Bai’ah). By giving her Bai’ah  to him over Khilafah she effectively appointed him as her representative. The conclusion of the Khilafah to him by this Bai’ah, he was given the authority (Sultan) and through the Ummah was obliged to obey him.

The man who rules the Muslims does not become Khaleefah unless pledge of allegiance, i.e. the Bai’ah was given to him by the influential people (Ahlul Hall Wal Aqd) from amongst the Ummah , with choice and content. He should fulfil all the conditions required for concluding the Khilafah to him, and he should proceed after that in implementing the rules of Shar’a.

As for his title, it could be the Khaleefah, or the Imam or the Ameer of the believers. These titles have been narrated in sound  Ahadith and in the Ijma’a of the Sahaba. The ‘Khulafa’a Al-Rashideen’ (first four Khulafa’a’a) have held such titles. Abu Said Al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

If the pledge of allegiance (Bai’ah) has been taken for two Khulafa’a kill the latter of them”, narrated by Muslim.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amru Ibnul ‘A‘as reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:

Whoever pledged allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can ...”, narrated by Muslim.

Auf Ibnu Malik reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:

The best of your Imams are those whom you love and they love you and who pray for you and you pray for them ...”, narrated by Muslim.

As for title “Ameer al-Mu’mineen”, the first to be called that was ‘Umar ibnul Khattab. Then it continued to be called on those who followed him, at the time of the Sahaba and those who followed them. It is not obligatory to adhere to these three titles, rather it is allowed to give whoever takes charge of the Muslims’ affairs other titles. Any other title has, however, to indicate the same meaning like for instance the ruler of the believers or the head of the Muslims or the Sultan of the Muslims or any other title that does not contradict their meaning. As for titles which carry a specific meaning and which contradict the Islamic laws connected with ruling, such as the title of king or president of the republic or emperor, these are forbidden to be used by whoever takes charge of the affairs of the Muslims because they contradict the meaning of the laws of Islam.

Conditions of the Khaleefah:

The Khaleefah must satisfy seven contractual conditions in order to qualify for the Khilafah post and for the Bai’ah of Khilafah to him to take place legitimately. These seven conditions are necessary. If just one condition is not observed the Khilafah contract would not have taken place and it would be considered null and void.

The contracting conditions are:

Firstly. The Khaleefah must be Muslim; the post of Khilafah is never allowed for the unbeliever, nor is it allowed to obey him. Because Allah (SWT) says:

And Allah will never (lan) give the unbelievers any way (of authority) against the believers.”- [TMQ; 4: 141]

Ruling is the strongest way for the ruler over the ruled, hence the term ‘lan’ (never) means the categorical prohibition of the unbeliever (Kafir) from taking a post of authority over the Muslims, be it the Khilafah or any other post of authority. This in turn forbids the Muslims from accepting the Kafir to rule over them.

 Besides, the Khaleefah is the person in authority and Allah (SWT) has decreed that the person in charge of the affairs of the Muslims should be Muslim. Allah (SWT) says:

“O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority (Ulil-Amr) from amongst you.” - [TMQ; 4: 59]

He (SWT) also says:

“ When there comes to them some matter touching public safety or fear they divulge it .If they had only referred it to the Messenger or to the people of authority (Ulil- Amr) from among them ” - [TMQ; 4: 83]

The phrase “Ulil-Amr” has always been mentioned in connection with the Muslims, it has not been mentioned in any other context other than to indicate that the people concerned are Muslims. This proves that they must be Muslims. Since the Khaleefah is the person in authority and it is he who appoints people in positions of authority such as his assistants, Walis and ‘Amils, he himself must, therefore, be Muslim.                        

Secondly. The Khaleefah must be male. It is forbidden for a female to be Khaleefah, i.e. the Khaleefah must be a man, not a woman. Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Abi Bakra that he said: Allah has given me the privilege of a word which I heard from the Messenger of Allah during the days of Al-Jamal (the camel), when I was about to join the people of Al-Jamal and fight with them: When the Messenger of Allah heard that the people of Persia had appointed the daughter of Chosroes (Kisra), he said:

People who appoint (Wallaow) a women as their leader will never succeed.”

If the Messenger of Allah (saw) foretold the failure to those who assign the running of their affairs to a woman this indicates a prohibition. This is because it came in the form of reproach to those who give authority over themselves to a woman by negating their success thus indicating of definite prohibition. So the prohibition of appointing a woman to a position of authority came linked with a connotation (Qareenah) which indicates that the prohibition is decisive. Therefore, appointing a woman as a ruler is forbidden (Haram).

Appointing a woman to a position of authority in this case means appointing her as Khaleefah and any other post connected with ruling. This is because the Hadith is related to the issue of ruling not specific to the appointment of Chosroes’s daughter as queen. The Hadith is not also general to cover everything but related only to matters regarding ruling and authority, so it does not apply to other than ruling whatsoever.

Thirdly. The Khaleefah must be mature; it is forbidden to appoint a youth (pre-puberty). Abu Dawoud narrated from ‘Ali Ibnu Abi Talib that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

Accountability is lifted off three persons: The dormant until he awakes, the boy (adolescent) until he reaches maturity and the deranged until he regains his mind.”

In another narration from ‘Ali “The pen has been raised off three persons: The deranged in his mind till he restores his mind, the dormant till he wakes up and the adolescent till he reaches maturity”

Therefore, the person for whom the pen is raised is not able to be responsible for himself, and he is not under any liability by Shar’a, so it is unlawful for him to become Khaleefah or to hold any post of authority for he is not responsible for his own actions. Evidence is also derived from the fact that the Messenger of Allah (saw) rejected the Bai’ah of the adolescent. Al-Bukhari narrated from ’Abi Aqeel, Zahra ibn Ma’abed from his grandfather Abdullah Ibnu Hisham who reached the time of the Prophet (saw) and his mother Zainab bint Humair took him to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Take his Bai’ah’. The Prophet (saw): “He is still a little boy”, so he stroked his head and prayed for him. Therefore, if the Bai’ah of the little boy is not valid, and he cannot give a Bai’ah to a Khaleefah, he evidently cannot be Khaleefah himself.

Fourthly. The Khaleefah must be sane; it is unlawful for a Khaleefah to be insane because the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

The pen has been raised off three persons: The deranged in his mind till he restores his mind, the dormant till he wakes up and the adolescent till he reaches maturity.

The person off whom the pen is raised is not under obligation. Also the mind is the condition for responsibility and for the validity of actions.

The Khaleefah enacts the rules and executes all the legal duties, it is therefore unlawful to have an insane Khaleefah because the insane cannot look after himself, nor is he responsible for his own actions, thus he cannot look after the affairs of the people by greater reason.

Fifthly. The Khaleefah must be just (‘Adl); it would not be right for him to be a ‘Fasiq’ (rebel). Justice is an obligatory foundation for contracting the Khilafah and for its continuity. This is because Allah (SWT) has stipulated that the witness must be just .He (SWT) says:

“And seek the witness of two just men from amongst you” - [TMQ; 65:2]

So if the witness must be just, then the Khaleefah who holds a higher post and rules over the witness himself should, by greater reason, be just. For if justice was stipulated in the witness, its presence in the Khaleefah must exist by greater reason.

Sixthly. The Khaleefah must be a freeman; since the slave is under his master’s sovereignty, so he cannot run his own affairs, therefore he has no power to run other people’s affairs and be a ruler over them.

Seventhly. The Khaleefah must be able to carry out the task of the Khilafah; this is an integral part of the Bai’ah. One who is unable to do so cannot perform the duty of running the people’s affairs by the Book and the Sunnah upon which he took the pledge of allegiance (Bai’ah).

The Conditions of Preference

The aforementioned are the contractual conditions necessary for the Khaleefah to be appointed. Any other condition, apart from the seven mentioned above, does not constitute a necessary prerequisite for contracting the Khilafah. Such conditions however, constitute conditions of preference if the texts relating to them are confirmed, or if they are listed under a rule that has been confirmed by a sound (Sahih) text. This is because for the condition, to be a contractual one it should have an evidence which includes a decisive command to indicate that it is obligatory. If the evidence does not include a decisive command then the condition becomes only one of preference. No evidence containing a decisive command has been found except for those seven conditions, therefore they alone constitute the contractual conditions. As for the other conditions, whereby a rule has been confirmed as sound, these would constitute conditions of preference only.  Thereupon, the stipulation that the Khaleefah should be a Mujtahid is not a contractual condition because this has not been confirmed by a text indicating a decisive command. Moreover, the duty of the Khaleefah is to rule, so he is not in need for his own Ijtihad, as he could ask about a verdict or follow the opinions of a Mujtahid and adopt opinions on the basis of his imitation (Taqlid), thus it is not necessary for him to be a Mujtahid. It is, however, preferable for him to be so, but if he is not his Khilafah would still be contracted. The Khaleefah does not have to be brave, nor a shrewd politician or an expert in managing the affairs of the people because there is no evidence to back these conditions, nor do they come under a divine rule that makes them contractual conditions. It is, however, preferable for the Khaleefah to be brave with vision and opinion .The Khaleefah does not also necessarily have to be from Quraysh. As for what has been reported by Al-Bukhari from Mu‘awiya that he said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:

Verily this matter is within Quraysh. As long as they implemented the Deen, if anyone were hostile to them, Allah would throw him on his face.”

And what Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Ibnu ‘Umar that he said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

This matter would still be within Quraysh even if only two of them remained.”

These and other Ahadith, proved sound and related to the Messenger of Allah (saw),which relate the authority to be amongst the people of Quraysh, they have actually come in an informative form and not an imperative one. Not one Hadith actually carries a command even though they carry a request. Such a request, however, is not a conclusive command because there is no evidence to qualify them for this. No Hadith has been linked to any connotation that makes it a conclusive command, which indicates that it is Mandub (desirable) and not obligatory. It is, therefore a condition of preference and not a contractual condition. As for Allah’s Messenger (saw) saying:

“...if anyone were hostile to them, Allah would throw him on his face.”

This indicates prohibition of being hostile to them and not confirmation to his saying:

“this matter is within Quraysh”.

The Hadith says that the matter (ruling) is within them, and it then proceeds to forbid hostility to them. Besides, the word Quraysh is a name and not a description. In Shari’ah terminology it is known as a title. And the meaning derived from the title is never considered, because the title has no meaning (Mafhoom) at all. Therefore, the mention of Quraysh does not mean that the position of ruling cannot belong to other than Quraysh. So when Allah’s Messenger (saw) said:

Verily this matter is within Quraysh...,”

 and his saying:

This matter would still be within Quraysh...,”

He (saw) did not mean that it is wrong for it (the ruling) to be in other than Quraysh. He (saw) meant that it is within Quraysh and, as well, it is valid to be in the hands of others who are not from Quraysh. Thus specifying the people of Quraysh as rulers does not necessarily mean that others are not valid to rule. Therefore, it is a condition of preference and not a contractual condition.

Indeed the Messenger of Allah (saw) appointed ‘Abdullah Ibn Ruwahah, Zayd Ibnu Harith and Usama Ibnu Zayd to positions of authority and all three were not from Quraysh. Thus the Messenger of Allah (saw) did appoint people from other than Quraysh to positions of authority. In this phrase “this matter” (Amr), means the authority, i.e. the authority to rule, and this does not only apply to the post of Khilafah. The fact that the Messenger of Allah (saw) did appoint people from outside Quraysh in posts of authority indicates that authority is not exclusively confined to the people of Quraysh, and prevented from others. Therefore, the Ahadith have mentioned some of the people who are worthy of the Khilafah post, to indicate their preference and do not indicate that it is exclusively confined to them or prohibited for other than them.

The Khaleefah does not also have to be a Hashemite or an ‘Alawi because the Messenger of Allah (saw) appointed people who were not from Banu Hashim nor from Banu ‘Ali to positions of authority. When he (saw) went out to Tabuk, he appointed Muhammad Ibnu Maslama as Wali over Madina and he was neither a Hashemite nor an ‘Alawi. He (saw) also appointed Mu‘az Ibnu Jabal and Amru Ibnul A‘as over Yemen, neither were of the Hashemites or ‘Alawis. In any case, it has been definitely proven that the Muslims gave the Bai’ah to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and Uthman, and that ‘Ali gave the Bai’ah to the three of them despite the fact that they were not from Banu Hashim. The Sahabah did not object giving the Bai’ah to them, and it was not reported that anyone had actually objected giving Bai’ah to them, because they were not Hashemites or ‘Alawis. This is considered consensus of the Sahabah, (Ijma’a) including  ‘Ali and Ibnu Abbas and all of Banu Hashim’s household, that the Khaleefah could be other than a Hashemite or an ‘Alawi. As for the Ahadith expressing a preference of ‘Ali and the Messenger of Allah’s household, these do not indicate that the Khilafah can’t be contracted except to them, they rather indicate that they are more favourable to it.

The above clearly indicates that there is no evidence whatsoever stating that there are other contractual conditions apart from the seven previously outlined. Any other condition constitutes a condition of preference and not a contractual one if the text expressing such a condition has been proven genuine or such a condition has come under a rule (Hhukm) derived from a sound text. Under Shari’ah law, what is required is the contractual condition for the Khilafah to be contracted to the Khaleefah. Apart from this, the Muslims will be told about it when the candidates are presented to them, so that they can elect the one whom they prefer. Any man whom the Muslims choose would be appointed Khaleefah if the contractual conditions were fulfilled regardless of the other conditions.

Contracting of the Khaleefah

The Khilafah is a contract based on mutual consent and choice, it is a Bai’ah of obedience to whoever is entitled of obedience of people in authority. It is therefore imperative to have the consent of the one who is given the Bai’ah to take the post, and of those who give him the ba Bai’ah . Thus, it is forbidden to force anyone to become Khaleefah if he rejected the post of Khilafah. He should not be forced to accept it. Under such circumstances another person would then have to be considered to fill the post. It is also forbidden to take the Bai’ah from the people by force or by using coercion because in this case the contract would be invalid. Mutual consent and choice have to be observed without any compulsion as in any other contract. However, if the Bai’ah has been contracted by those whose Bai’ah is reliable then the Bai’ah would be considered valid and concluded, and the person for whom the Bai’ah was given would become the person in authority, his obedience would subsequently become compulsory. If afterwards the rest of the people were to give him their Bai’ah, it would be a pledge (Bai’ah) of obedience and not of contracting the Khilafah. Only then could he force the people to give him the Bai’ah, because, at this stage, it would be imposing on them to obey him, and this is compulsory under Shari’ah law. In this case it would not be a Bai’ah of contracting the Khilafah, as some people may claim that it is forbidden to coerce people to give their Bai’ah. The Bai’ah first of all is a contract that would only be valid if mutual consent and choice (within the Islamic Shari’ah) was observed. Once the Bai’ah has been concluded it would become a Bai’ah of obedience, i.e. submission to the order of the Khaleefah, where compulsion would then become lawful as an execution to the command of Allah. Since the Khilafah is a contract, it cannot take place without a contractor. It is like the judiciary, where a man can not become a judge unless somebody had appointed him as such. The same applies to the Imara; a man cannot become Ameer unless somebody had appointed him as an Ameer. So a man cannot become a Khaleefah unless somebody had appointed him into the Khilafah post. This indicates that no man assumes the post of Khilafah unless the Muslims appointed him to the post, and he would not possess the mandatory powers of the Khilafah unless it was first contracted to him. This contract would not be concluded unless two parties existed, one party would be the one seeking the post of Khilafah (the potential Khaleefah) and the other party would be the Muslims who accepted him to be their Khaleefah. Therefore, for the Khilafah to be contracted the Bai’ah of the Muslims is necessary.

The Verdict on the Usurper (Mutasallit)

If a usurper were to seize power by force he would not become Khaleefah, even if he declared himself to be the Khaleefah of the Muslims. This is because the Khilafah in this case would not have been contracted to him by the Muslims. If he were to take the Bai’ah from the people by force and coercion he would not become Khaleefah even if the Bai’ah was given to him. This is because a Bai’ah that is taken by force and coercion is not considered valid and the Khilafah cannot be concluded by it. For it is a contract based on mutual consent and choice and cannot be concluded forcefully or by coercion. The Khilafah cannot therefore be concluded except by a Bai’ah of consent and choice. However, if the usurper managed to convince the people that it would be in the interest of the Muslims to give him their Bai’ah and that the implementation of Shar’a rules obliges them to give the Bai’ah, and they were convinced of that and accepted it and then gave him the Bai’ah by consent and free choice, he would become Khaleefah from the moment that the Bai’ah was given to him by consent and choice. This is the case, even though in the first place he seized the authority by coercion and force. The condition is giving the Bai’ah and that it must be by mutual consent and free choice, regardless of whether the one who was given the Bai’ah was the ruler or not.

By Which People is the Khilafah Contracted?

From reviewing what took place in the Bai’ah of the ‘Khulafa’a Al-Rashideen’ and the consensus of the Sahabah (Ijma’a), one can understand that the Khilafah can be contracted by Bai’ah. In the Bai’ah to Abu Bakr, the Bai’ah from the influential figures amongst the Muslims, (Ahlul Hall Wal ’Aqd) in Madina alone was enough to conclude the Khilafah. The Muslims of Makkah were not consulted, nor were those living in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula, indeed they were not even asked about their opinion concerning the matter. This was also the case in the Bai’ah to ‘Umar. As regarding the Bai’ah to ‘Uthman, ‘Abdul Rahman Ibnu ‘Awf asked the Muslims of Madina regarding their opinion and he did not merely content himself by asking the influential people as Abu Bakr had done when he nominated ‘Umar. When the Oath was taken for ‘Ali, most of the people of Madina and Kufa gave him their Bai’ah, and he was singled out in the Bai’ah. His Bai’ah was valid even for those who opposed him and fought against him because they never actually gave their Bai’ah to another man nor did they object to his Bai’ah. They in fact only demanded with the blood of Uthman (in revenge for his killing). So the verdict regarding them was that they were rebels who resented from the Khaleefah over one particular issue. The Khaleefah therefore had to explain that issue to them and fight against them. These rebels did not form another Khilafah.

All of this occurred in the past - the Bai’ah for the Khaleefah by the people of the capital to the exclusion of the other regions - in the presence of the Sahabah. Nobody actually objected to or condemned that such action be confined to the people of Madina. This is considered to be a general consensus of the Sahabah (Ijma’a) which states that the Khilafah can be contracted by those who represent the Muslims’ opinion in matters relating to ruling. This is simply because the influential people and the majority of the people of Madina, were the majority of those who represent the opinion of the Ummah regarding the ruling matters, all over the territories of the Islamic State at the time.

Therefore, the Khilafah is contracted if the Bai’ah was taken from those who represent the majority of the Islamic Ummah, that lives under the authority of the Khaleefah, in whose place another Khaleefah is sought to be appointed as it was the case at the time of the Khulafa’a Rashideen. Their Bai’ah would then be a Bai’ah of contract, while for the others, once the Khilafah has been contracted, their Bai’ah would then be a Bai’ah of obedience, i.e. a Bai’ah of allegiance to the Khaleefah and not a Bai’ah of contract.

This would be the case if there was a Khaleefah who died or was removed and a new Khaleefah is sought to replace him. However, if there was no Khaleefah at all in office, and the Muslims were under obligation to appoint a Khaleefah for them to implement the rules of the Shar’a and to convey the Islamic call to the world. This is the case since the destruction of the Islamic Khilafah in Istanbul in the year 1343 Hijri (1924) until this day 1417 Hijri (1996). Every country in the Islamic world would be eligible to give Bai’ah to a Khaleefah and thus the Khilafah would be contracted to him. If any country throughout the Islamic world gave Bai’ah to a Khaleefah and the Khilafah was contracted to him, then it would become an obligation on all the Muslims living in the other countries to give him the Bai’ah of obedience, i.e. the Bai’ah of allegiance after the Khilafah was contracted to him by the Bai’ah of the Muslims in his country. This is regardless of the size of that country, big like Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia or small like Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon. However, this country must fulfill four conditions:

Firstly. The authority in that country must depend on the Muslims only and should not depend on a non-Islamic country or a non-Islamic influence.

Secondly. The security of the Muslims in that country must be guaranteed in the name of Islam, not in the name of Kufr. That is the protection of the country against domestic or foreign threat should be protection of Islam and by the Muslims force, in its capacity as purely Islamic force.

Thirdly. The implementation of Islam should take place with immediate effect in a comprehensive and radical manner, and that country must be involved in conveying the Islamic Call.

Fourthly. The Khaleefah must fulfil all the contractual conditions, although he needs not fulfil the conditions of preference, since what really matters are the conditions of the contract.

Should that country satisfy these four conditions then the Khilafah would have been established by the Bai’ah of that country alone, even if it did not represent the majority of the influential people within the Islamic Ummah. This is because establishing the Khilafah is an obligation of sufficiency ‘Fard Kifaya’, and whoever performs that duty legitimately would then have accomplished the obligation.  However, stipulating that the Bai’ah should be by most of the influential people would only apply if the Khilafah was existing and a Khaleefah was sought to succeed the deceased Khaleefah or one who had been removed. But if there was no Khilafah at all and we sought to establish one, then the fact that it was established legitimately, the Khilafah would be contracted to any Khaleefah who fulfilled the contractual conditions, regardless of the number of Muslims who had given him the Bai’ah. For what matters at that point in time is the establishment of a duty which Muslims have neglected for a period that has exceeded three days. Their neglect of that duty would strip them of their right to choose whom they want. Therefore, under these circumstances, whoever performs the duty would be enough for the Khilafah to be contracted by them. Once the Khilafah was established in that country, and the Khilafah was effectively contracted to a Khaleefah, all the Muslims would be obliged to come under the banner of the Khilafah and give their Bai’ah to the Khaleefah, otherwise they would be sinful before Allah (SWT). The Khaleefah should invite them to give the Bai’ah to him. If they were to refuse then the verdict regarding the rebels (Bughat) would apply to them, and the Khaleefah should fight against them until they entered under his loyalty. If the Bai’ah were to be given to another Khaleefah in that country, or in any other country for that matter, once the Bai’ah had been given for the first Khaleefah, and the Khilafah had been legitimately contracted to him with the four conditions being fulfilled. The Muslims would then be obliged to fight against the second ‘Khaleefah’ until he had given his Bai’ah to the first Khaleefah. It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amru Ibnul ‘A‘as that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:

“Whoever pledged allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him you must strike the neck of that man.”

The Khaleefah is also the one who unites the Muslims under the banner of Islam. So once the Khilafah was established, the Jama’ah (community) of the Muslims would have existed, and it becomes an obligation upon the Muslims to join it, and a sin to alienate oneself from it. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Ibnu ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“If anyone sees in his Ameer something that displeases him, let him remain patient, for behold! He who separates himself from the Jama’ah (community) by even so much as a hand span and dies thereupon he has died the death of Jahiliyyah.”

Muslim also reported on the authority of Ibnu ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“If anyone sees in his Ameer something that displeases him let him remain patient, for if anyone separates himself from the Sultan (authority) by even so much as a hand span and dies thereupon, he has died the death of Jahiliyyah.”

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We gather from these two Ahadith that adherence to the Jama‘ah (the community) and to the Sultan (authority) is obligatory.

The non-Muslims have no right in the Bai’ah nor it is a duty upon them.This is because it is a Bai’ah on Islam, on the Book of Allah (SWT) and on the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw). It necessitates Iman (belief) in Islam, in the Book and the Sunnah. The non-Muslims can’t be in the ruling nor can they elect the ruler, because there is no way (power) for them over the Muslims, and they have no say in the Bai’ah.

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