Friday, June 29, 2007

Islamic Empire: The Khilafah – Part 3

AUTHOR-Imran Nazar Hosein

“In this third part of a 9 part series we will see the way that the new Islamic Emperor or Caliph is chosen. It becomes clear that the Islamic concept of democracy and elections is very different from the West. There needs to be a mantle of authority, the bay’ah which is an authority that comes from a contractual obligation and theoretically there can only be one rightly elected Caliph. If another country decides to elect a Caliph for their country after the Caliphate has been established and a Caliph elected, then the second caliph must be opposed and killed. There can only be one Caliph and his authority is world-wide. One ruler over the whole world promising peace.

The Khilafah Contract
Khilafah is a contract of consent and selection, because it is a pledge to obey those in authority. So the consent of the person who is given the bay’ah to hold the Khilafah and the consent of those who give the bay’ah are essential. Therefore, if somebody rejected to be a Khaleefah and declined it, he must not be compelled to accept it, but another person is selected instead. Also, it is not allowed to take the bay’ah from the people by force, because, in this case, the pledge contract cannot be considered legal due to its contradiction with using force, since Khilafah is a contract of consent and selection devoid of any compulsion, like any other contract.

However, if the pledge contract is accomplished by those whose bay’ah is reliable then the bay’ah would be legal, and the elected person would become the person in authority who must be obeyed. bay’ah given to him later on becomes bay’ah of obedience rather than a bay’ah of Khilafah contract. In this case he is allowed to force the rest of the people to give him the bay’ah because it is a bay’ah of obedience which is wajib (a must). It is not correct to say that it is illegal to use compulsion, because the bay’ah in this case is not a contract bay’ah on Khilafah. Accordingly, the bay’ah initially is a contract which is not legal except by consent and choice. But after the contract bay’ah is given to the Khaleefah, then bay’ah becomes an obedience to his order, and compulsion comes from the fact that it is allowed to implement the order of Allah (swt). Since Khilafah is a contract, then there must be a contractor for the contract to be considered legal, like in the judiciary where the person cannot be a judge unless he is appointed in this office by somebody else, and in the imarah nobody can be an amir (leader) unless there is a person who appoints him in this office. And in the Khilafah, no person can be a Khaleefah unless he is appointed in this post as a Khilafah.Thereupon, it is clear that nobody becomes a Khaleefah unless the Muslims appoint him in this post, and he cannot have the authority of Khilafah unless he is contracted to it. And this contract can only be implemented by two parties - the first is the one who asked for the Khilafah and the second is the Muslims who accepted him as their Khaleefah. Therefore, the bay’ah of Muslims is essential to fulfill the Khilafah contract. Accordingly, if someone usurped power by force he will not become a Khaleefah even if he declared himself a Khaleefah for Muslims, because the contract of Khilafah has not been convened to him by the Muslims. And if he took the bay’ah from the Muslims by force, he is not considered a Khaleefah by such bay’ah, because the bay’ah by force is illegal. And Khilafah cannot be convened with it, since it is a contract of consent and selection which cannot be accomplished by force, but convened by a bay’ah of consent and choice. However, if this usurper managed to convince the people that it is in their interest to give him the bay’ah, and that the implementation of the Shari'ah laws requires from the people to give him the bay’ah and were convinced of that and accepted it, and they gave him the bay’ah by consent and choice, then he becomes a Khaleefah the moment he was given the bay’ah by consent and choice, though he initially held the power by force. So it is a condition that the bay’ah must occur by consent and choice whether the person who obtained the bay’ah was the ruler or not.

As for the people by whose bay’ah the Khilafah is established this can be derived by examining what happened in the bay’ah of the Khulafa'a ar-Rashidun and what the Sahabah agreed upon. In the bay’ah of Abu Bakr it was sufficient from ahle al-hal wal 'aqd (the people of influence) among Muslims in Medina alone; the opinion of Muslims in Mecca and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula was not sought, they were not even asked. It was the same case in the bay’ah of 'Umar. As for the bay’ah of 'Uthman, 'Abdul Rahman ibn 'Auf took the opinion of Muslims in Medina and did not confine it to the people of influence as Abu Bakr did when he nominated 'Umar. At the time of 'Ali it was sufficed with the bay’ah of the majority of the people of Medina and Kufa, and he was singled with bay’ah. His bay’ah was considered legal even by those who disagreed with him and fought against him, as they did not make bay’ah with any other person than him, and did not object to his bay’ah, they rather demanded revenge for the blood of 'Uthman, so their case was considered as rebels who avenged a matter from the Khaleefah and he had to explain it for them and fight them, but they did not form another Khilafah.

All this happened, i.e. giving the bay’ah to the Khaleefah from the people of the capital only without the rest of the regions, in front of the Sahabah, and none of them disagreed or denied that action of limiting the bay’ah to the majority of the people of Medina, though they disagreed on the person selected as Khaleefah and denied some of his actions, yet they did not deny that the bay’ah was made to him only by the majority of the people of Medina. So this was Ijma'a of the Sahabah that the Khilafah is established by those who represent the opinions of the Muslims in the matter of ruling. This is so because the people of influence and the majority of the residents of Medina represented the opinion of the majority of the Ummah in the matter of ruling in the whole territories of the Islamic State at that time.Accordingly, the Khilafah is convened if the bay’ah is made by the majority of those who represent the Islamic Ummah, who are under the authority of the Khaleefah that is being replaced by another, as was the case at the time of Khulafa'a ar-Rashidun. Their bay’ah would then be a bay’ah of contract to the Khilafah. As for the bay’ah of the other people, it becomes a bay’ah of obedience after the Khilafah was convened to the Khaleefah, that is a bay’ah of submission to the Khaleefah, not a bay’ah of contract to establish the Khilafah.This would be the case if there were a Khaleefah who died or was deposed and it is required to establish a Khaleefah in his place. But if there is no Khaleefah at all, and it became obligatory upon Muslims to appoint for themselves a Khaleefah to implement the Shari'ah laws and convey the Islamic call to the world, as is the case since the removal of the Islamic Khilafah in Istanbul in 1343 After Hijrah (1924 Christian Era) until the present day, then every country in the Islamic world is eligible to elect a Khaleefah and thereby establish a Khilafah.

So if one country of the Islamic world appointed a Khaleefah, and the Khilafah was established for him, it becomes obligatory upon Muslims to make a pledge of obedience to him, i.e. a bay’ah of submission, after the Khilafah was convened to him by the bay’ah of the people in his country, whether this country was big like Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia or small like Albania, Cameroon and Lebanon, on condition that the country fulfils four criteria:

1. The authority in that country must be self determined, depending on Muslims only, not on any disbeliever state or disbeliever influence.
2. The security of Muslims in that country must be through the security of Islam and not the security of Kufr, i.e. the protection of the country internally and externally must be in the name of Islam from the Muslims power in its capacity as a purely Islamic power.
3.The country must commence immediate implementation of Islam completely, comprehensively and radically and also engage in delivering the Islamic call.
4. The elected Khaleefah should fulfill the conditions of Khilafah contract, even if he is lacking the preferable conditions, because what matters is the contract conditions. Therefore, if that country has fulfilled these four conditions, then the Khilafah has been established by the bay’ah of that country alone and it was convened with it alone as well, even if this country does not represent the majority of the influential people who represent the Islamic Ummah. This is so because establishing the Khilafah is a collective duty, and whoever performs this duty in the correct manner would accomplish the prescribed duty.
And because the condition concerning the majority of the influential people applies if there was a Khilafah and there was a need to appoint another Khaleefah in place of the dead or deposed one. But if there was not a Khilafah at all and the establishment of one is necessary, then by its establishment in accordance with Shari'ah, the Khilafah will be convened legally by any Khaleefah who satisfies the conditions of the contract regardless of the number of the people who elected him, as the matter would be then a question of fulfilling a duty neglected by the Muslims for more than three days. Their negligence to this duty is a termination of their right to choose whom they want for a Khaleefah.

So if there arise some people who perform this duty, it suffices for the Khilafah to be established by them, and once the Khilafah is established in that country and contracted to a Khaleefah it becomes a duty upon all Muslims to rally under its banner and to give bay’ah to the Khaleefah, otherwise they would be sinful before Allah (swt). The elected Khaleefah must invite them to give him bay’ah and if they refused they would be considered as rebels whom the Khaleefah must fight until they submit to his authority. If another Khaleefah in the same or a different country is elected after the first Khaleefah who had the Khilafah convened to him legally by satisfying the four aforementioned conditions, then the Muslims must fight the second Khaleefah until he makes bay’ah to the first one. The evidence on this matter is what 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As narrated, that he heard the Prophet saying: "He who has pledged allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him if he can, if another person comes to dispute (his authority) strike the neck of the latter."

And also because the Khaleefah of Muslims is the one who unites the Muslims under the banner of Islam. So if the Khaleefah is found the Muslim community would be found and it becomes obligatory upon Muslims to join this community and haram (unclean) upon them to dissociate themselves from it. Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet said: "If anyone sees in his amir something that displeases him let him remain patient because he who separates himself from the jama'ah (congregation) even so much as a hand span and dies as that, he dies the death of jahilliyah (the heathen)." Muslim reported about Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet said: "If anyone hates something from his amir let him remain patient because he who separates himself from the sultan (authority) even so much as a hand span and dies as that, he dies the death of jahilliyah."

The indication from these two hadiths is to adhere to the Muslim community and to the authority of Islam.Non-Muslims have no right in the bay’ah, and it is not obligatory upon them because it is a bay’ah on Islam and on the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah and it requires belief in Islam, the Book and the Sunnah. Non-Muslims are not allowed to be involved in ruling nor to elect the ruler because they have no authority over Muslims and have no place in the bay’ah.

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