001  Al Fâtihah
002  Al Baqarah
003  Âl 'Imrân
004  An Nisâ'
005  Al Mâ'idah
006  Al An'âm
007  Al A'râf
008  Al Anfâl
009  At Taubah
010  Yûnus
011  Hûd
012  Yûsuf
013  Ar Ra'd
014  Ibrahîm
015  Al Hijr
016  An Nahl
017  Al Isrâ'
018  Al Kahf
019  Maryam
020  Tâ Hâ
021  Al Anbiyâ'
022  Al Hajj
023  Al Mu'minûn
024  An Nûr
025  Al Furqân
026  Ash Shu'arâ'
027  An Naml
028  Al Qasas
029  Al 'Ankabût
030  Ar Rûm
031  Luqmân
032  As Sajdah
033  Al Ahzâb
034  Saba'
035  Fâtir
036  Yâ Sîn
037  As Sâffât
038  Sâd
039  Az Zumar
040  Ghâfir
041  Fussilat
042  Ash-Shûra
043  Az Zukhruf
044  Ad Dukhân
045  Al Jâthiya
046  Al Ahqâf
047  Muhammad
048  Al Fath
049  Al Hujurât
050  Qâf
051  Az Zâriyât
052  At Tûr
053  An Najm
054  Al Qamar
055  Ar Rahmân
056  Al Wâqi'ah
057  Al Hadîd
058  Al Mujâdilah
059  Al Hashr
060  Al Mumtahinah
061  As Saff
062  Al Jumu'ah
063  Al Munafiqûn
064  At Taghâbun
065  At Talâq
066  At Tahrîm
067  Al Mulk
068  Al Qalam
069  Al Hâqqah
070  Al Ma'ârij
071  Nûh
072  Al Jinn
073  Al Muzzammil
074  Al Muddaththir
075  Al Qiyâmah
076  Al Insân
077  Al Mursalât
078  An Naba'
079  An Nazi'ât
080  'Abasa
081  At-Takwîr
082  Al Infitâr
083  Al Mutaffifîn
084  Al Inshiqâq
085  Al Burûj
086  At Târiq
087  Al A'lâ
088  Al Ghâshiyah
089  Al Fajr
090  Al Balad
091  Ash-Shams
092  Al Lail
093  Ad Duha
094  Ash Sharh
095  At Tin
096  Al 'Alaq
097  Al Qadr
098  Al Baiyinah
099  Az-Zalzalah
100  Al 'Adiyât
101  Al Qâri'ah
102  At Takâthur
103  Al 'Asr
104  Al Humazah
105  Al Fîl
106  Quraish
107  Al Mâ'ûn
108  Al Kauthar
109  Al Kâfirûn
110  An Nasr
111  Al Masad
112  Al Ikhlâs
113  Al Falaq
114  An Nâs

Surah al-Baqarah. (30)

30. And remember when your Lord said to the angels: ‘verily, I am going to place a successor on the earth.’ They said: ‘will you place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, - while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You?’ He said: ‘I know that which you do not know’"

His saying, ‘successor (Khaleefah)’: The scholars have explained this in two ways,

That the khaleefah refers to our father Adam, upon him and our Prophet be peace and blessings, because he was the khaleefah of Allaah on His earth appointed to implement His laws. And it is said: that Adam was the khaleefah because he succeeded the Jinn that used to live on the earth before him, so upon this understanding (the grammatical construction of khaleefah built upon the form of) fa’eela is taken with the meaning of faa’il (the subject). It is also said: that Adam was the khaleefah because when he died, he would be succeeded by those that came after him, so upon this understanding (the grammatical construction built upon the form of) fa’eela is taken with the meaning of maf’ool (the object). And Adam being referred to as the khaleefah is the clear understanding derived from the context of this verse.

That His saying, ‘khaleefah’ is singular but intending the plural i.e. successors{1} - this being the preferred opinion of ibn Katheer. The singular, if it is a generic noun, is commonly employed in the language of the Arabs to refer to the plural such as in His saying, "indeed the pious are in Gardens and river (nahr)" (54:54) meaning rivers (Anhaar) with the evidence of His saying, "in it are rivers of water, the taste and smell of which are not changed" (47:15), and in His saying, "and make us leaders (imaamah) for the pious" (25:74), and in His saying, "but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit (tibna) any part of it." (4:4)

So, if this noble verse is open to these two interpretations that have just been mentioned, then know that other verses lend weight to the second explanation, i.e. that the meaning of successor (khaleefah) is the successors to Adam and his sons, not just Adam himself. For example His saying,

"Will you place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood?" (2:30)

And it is known that Adam, upon him and our Prophet be peace and blessings, is not from those that made mischief therein and shed blood. And His sayings,

"It is He Who has made you successors, generation after generation, in the earth" (35:39)

"And He made you generations coming after generations, succeeding each other in the earth" (6:165)

And other similar verses.

It is possible to reply to the evidences of this opinion by saying that the khaleefah refers to Adam, and that Allaah taught the Angels that there would be from his progeny those that would make mischief and shed blood, and therefore the Angels said what they said. And that the meaning of the khilaafah of Adam was the khilaafah as understood in the Sharee’ah (i.e. the Leader of the Islamic State), but the khilaafah of his progeny was something more general than this i.e. that generations would succeed other generations{2}.

Addendum: al-Qurtobee said in his commentary to this noble verse,

‘This verse comprises the foundational proof for appointing an Imaam and Khaleefah who is to be heard and obeyed, so that through him the voices become united and the laws are implemented. There is no difference amongst the Muslim nation with respect to the obligation of this, and neither amongst the Imaams, except for what is reported from al-Asam due his being ignorant of the Sharee’ah,’

Going on to say,

‘And our evidence for this lies in the saying of Allaah, "verily, I am going to place a khaleefah on the earth" and His saying, "O Daawood, indeed We have made you a khaleefah in the earth" and He said, "Allaah has promised those who believe from amongst you and do righteous deeds, that He shall certainly grant them succession in the earth" meaning he will make some of them to be khaleefahs, and other such verses.

And the Companions agreed to giving precedence to (Abu Bakr) as-Siddeeq after the difference that occurred between the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar in the shelter of Banee Saa’ida over who should be appointed as the Khaleefah - to the point that the Ansaar said, ‘appoint a leader from us and a leader from you’ but this was opposed and restrained by Abu Bakr, Umar and the Muhaajiroon who said, ‘the Arabs will only follow this tribe of the Qur’aysh’ and they reported the narration concerning this so the Ansaar retracted what they said and gave their obedience to the Qur’aysh. So if the designation of a leader was not obligatory, neither from amongst the Qur’aysh or from other than them, then why did this debate and dialogue take place? And if one were to say: "appointing a leader, from the Qur’aysh or other than them, is not obligatory" then there would be no reason for this debate, and neither would there be any benefit in such a debate over an issue that was not obligatory.

Then when death came to as-Siddeeq, he appointed Umar to be the leader and not one person said to him, "this is not obligatory upon you or us". So this indicates that it is obligatory, and a pillar from amongst the pillars of the Religion by which the Muslims are kept safeguarded.’ End of the words of al-Qurtobee.

He (ash-Shanqeetee) said, may Allaah forgive him: from the matters that are clearly known in the religion by necessity is that it is obligatory upon the Muslims to appoint an Imaam through whom the words would be united and the laws of Allaah be implemented in His earth, no one has differed over this except for those who are not depended upon like Abu Bakr al-Asam the Mu’tazili whose mention has preceded in the words of al-Qurtobee, and like ad-Diraar and Hishaam al-Qutee and their likes.

The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the obligation of the Great Imaam has come to be known via the route of the Sharee’ah, as is indicated by the verses that have preceded and the consensus of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, and because Allaah has curbed by means of the Imaam what he has not curbed by means of the Qur’aan as the Exalted said,

"Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind uphold justice. And We have brought forth iron wherein is mighty power (in matters of war), as well as many benefits for mankind." (57:25)

Because His saying, "and We have brought forth iron wherein is mighty power" contains an indication towards employing the sword at the time of dissidence after the proof has been established upon the dissidents.

The Imaamiyyah said: the appointing of an Imaam is known to be obligatory through the intellect not the Sharee’ah. And it is reported from al-Hasan al-Basree and al-Haafidh al-Balkhee that: the appointing of an Imaam is known to be obligatory by way of both the Sharee’ah and the intellect.

Know that what the Imaamiyyah ignorantly speak of with respect to their lies against Abu Bakr and Umar and their likes from the Sahaabah, and what they ignorantly speak of with respect to the ‘12 Imaams’ and the ‘The Awaited Sinless Imaam’, and other such cases of their lies and distortions, are all false having no basis.

And if you wish to find out the truth of this then I enjoin you to the book, ‘Minhaaj al-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah fee Naqd Kalaam ash-Shee’ah wa al-Qadariyyah’ by the Unique Scholar Shaykh Taqee ad-Deen Abu al-Abbaas ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah cover him with His Mercy, for he has brought forward in it that which requires no increase from the decisive evidences, and radiant proofs falsifying all of these concocted distortions.

So when you come to realise the obligations of appointing the Great Imaam over the Muslims then know that the Imaam is to be designated by one of a number of ways:

1) Anyone who the Messenger (SAW) has textually stated to be an Imaam, so he is given the duty due to this.

Some of the scholars said: the appointment of Abu Bakr as Imaam is from this category because in the Prophet (SAW) giving him precedence over being the imaam of the congregational prayer, and this is the most important of matters, lies an indication in his having precedence in being the Great Imaam - and this is obvious.

The agreement of the people holding influence and authority in granting him the pledge of allegiance.

Some of the scholars said: the appointment of Abu Bakr as Imaam falls under this category due to the agreement of the people of influence and authority from amongst the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar in giving him the pledge of allegiance after differing over this. And no consideration is given to the lack of acceptance on the part of some of them as happened with Sa’d bin Ubaadah, may Allaah be pleased with him, in his not giving his pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr.

That he be appointed by the Khaleefah who came before him, as occurred in the case of Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them.

From this category is Umar’s establishing a consultative committee to decide between six Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) with whom he was pleased with when he died.

That he conquer the people by his sword and forcefully attain the Khilaafah to the extent that the affairs become stabilised under his rule. So the people should then follow him due to the harm that lies in revolting against him such as the breaking up of the Muslim community and the shedding of the Muslim’s blood.

Some of the scholars said: in this category falls the stance of Abdul Malik bin Marwaan against Abdullaah ibn Zubair and his fighting him at the hands of Hajjaaj bin Yusuf in Makkah, and so the affairs became stabilised under him. This was stated by ibn Qudaamah in his ‘Mughnee.’

Some of the scholars said that he can be appointed as an Imaam by the pledge of allegiance of only one person, and they made the pledge of allegiance of Umar to Abu Bakr in the enclosure of Banee Saqeefah of this category. Al-Qurtobee leaned towards this opinion and Imaam al-Haramayn (al-Juwaynee) relates a consensus over this.

It is also said: he has to be appointed as an Imaam by the pledge of allegiance of four people, and opinions other than this have also been stated.

This is a summary of the words of the scholars concerning those who can be given the authority of being the Imaam, and the words of Shaykh Taqee ad-Deen Abu al-Abbaas ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have Mercy on him, in ‘al-Minhaaj,’ dictate that an Imaam is to be designated by the pledge of allegiance of those that would strengthen his valor and power and would enable him to implement the laws of Islaam, because the one who is not able to do this, such as any ordinary Muslim, then he is not to be the Imaam.

Know that the Great Imaam has to fulfill a number of conditions:

That he be from the tribe of Quraysh. The Quraysh are the offspring of Fahr bin Maalik, and it is said: the offspring of Nadr bin Kanaanah but the Fahree is from the tribe of Quraysh without any contention and their is a difference of opinion concerning those that are from the offspring of Maalik bin an-Nadr or (his father) Nadr bin al-Kanaanah - are they to be considered from the Quraysh or not? As for those who are the offspring of Kanaanah through other than Nadr then they are not considered to be from the Quraysh without any contention.

Al-Qurtobee said, during the course of his commentary to this verse, while mentioning the conditions of the Imaam,

‘First: that he be from the Quraysh proper due to his (SAW) saying, "the Imaams are from the Quraysh" and there is a difference of opinion over this.’

He (ash-Shanqeetee) said, may Allaah forgive him: the difference of opinion that al-Qurtobee mentioned over the condition of the Imaam being from the Quraysh is weak for the authentic ahaadeeth prove that the Quraysh are given precedence in being the Imaams over other than them, and the majority of the Muslims are agreed to this.

More than one (scholar) has related a consensus on this but the claim of consensus is need of an explanation to what Imaam Ahmad reports from Umar via a chain of narration consisting of trustworthy and precise narrators, "if my time comes and Abu Ubaidah is alive, I would pass the Khilaafah to him" and he mentioned the hadeeth and in it occurs, "and if my time comes and Abu Ubaidah has died, then I would pass the Khilaafah to Mu’aadh bin Jabal." And it is known that Mu’aadh is not from the Quraysh.

It’s explanation lies in the claim that the consensus over this occurred after the passing away of Umar, or that his opinion later changed to agree with the majority. So the condition that he should be from the Quraysh is the truth - but the texts of the Sharee’ah prove that this precedence given them in being appointed as Imaams is conditional upon their establishing the Religion and their obeying Allaah and His Messenger. So if they oppose the Order of Allaah, then those other than them who do obey Allaah and implement His Laws have greater precedence in being appointed as Imaams.

From amongst the proofs for this lies in what al-Bukhaaree reports in his ‘Saheeh’ from Mu’aawiyah, may Allaah be pleased with him, when he said,

‘Chapter: The Leaders are from the Quraysh

Abu al-Yamaan reported to us that Shu’ayb related to him from az-Zuhree who said, ‘Muhammad bin Jubair al-Mut’am used to tell us that it reached Mu’aawiya, while he was staying with him amongst a delegation of the Quraysh, that Abdullaah bin Amr had said that there would be leader from Qahtaan. So Mu’aawiyah became angry and stood up, praised Allaah as He deserved and said, "to proceed, I have come to know that there are people amongst you narrating things that are not in the Book of Allaah and neither are reported from the Messenger of Allaah (SAW). Such people are the your ignorant ones, beware of vain desires that would misguide those that possess them. I have heard the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) saying, ‘the affair shall remain with the Quraysh, and none will rebel against them except that Allaah will throw them down on their faces, as long as they establish the religion.’"’ End of what is in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree. {3}

And the place of evidence lies in his saying, "as long as they establish the religion" meaning that if they do not establish the religion then they are not to be from the Imaams. This is what is correct, having no doubt in it concerning the meaning of this hadeeth. Ibn Hajr said in ‘Fath al-Baaree’ during the course of his discussion over this hadeeth of Mu’aawiyah,

"the hadeeth of Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq contains something similar to what occurs in the hadeeth of Mu’aawiyah, this was mentioned by Muhammad bin Ishaaq in ‘al-Kitaab al-Kabeer’ and he mentioned the story pertaining to the enclosure of Banee Saqeefah and the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr in it and that Abu Bakr said, "indeed this matter is to remain amongst the Quraysh as long as they obey Allaah and remain firm upon His Command.

The ahaadeeth that occur pertaining to this are of three types:

1) Those threatening them with a curse if they do not preserve and upkeep what they have been commanded, as occurs in the ahaadeeth that have been mentioned in the previous chapter where he (SAW) said, "the leaders are from the Quraysh as longs as they do three things: when they rule they are just...," and in it occurs, "and whosoever does not do this then the Curse of Allaah is upon him." But this does not contain anything that would necessitate revolting against them.

2) Those threatening that Allaah will be severe against those that go to extremes in harming (the Muslims), so in Ahmad and Abu Ya’laa is the hadeeth reported by ibn Mas’ud from the Prophet (SAW) that he said, "indeed you are the rightful claimants to this matter (of leadership) as long as you do innovate, but when you change Allaah will send against you those who will sever you just as this tree stump has been severed."

It’s narrators are trustworthy and precise except that it is from the narration of Ubaidullaah bin Abdullaah bin Utbah bin Mas’ud from the uncle of his father Abdullaah bin Mas’ud but he did not meet him. This is the narration of Saalih bin Qaisaan from Ubaidullaah, but he was contradicted by Habeeb ibn Abee Thaabit who reported it from al-Qaasim bin Muhammad bin Abdurrahmaan from Ubaidullaah bin Abdullaah ibn Utbah from Abu Mas’ud al-Ansaaree and it’s wording is, "this matter (of leadership) will always remain amongst you, and you are it’s rightful claimants."

There is a question over the hearing of Ubaidullaah from Abu Mas’ud built upon the difference concerning what year he died in but there is a support for this hadeeth in the mursal of Ataa bin Yasaar reported by ash-Shaafi’ee and al-Bayhaqee with an authentic chain up to Ataa with the wording that he (SAW) said to the Quraysh, "you have precedence in this matter as long as you remain upon the truth and do not divert from it and thereby get stripped (of authority) as this branch has been stripped of leaves."

There is no categorical statement in this hadeeth to revolt against the rulers even though it may contain an indication towards this.

3) Those containing permission to take a stance against them, kill them and revolt against them as is reported by at-Tayaalisee and at-Tabaraanee from the hadeeth of Thawbaan from the Messenger (SAW), "stand firm for the Quraysh as long as they stand firm for you, and if they do not stand firm then place your swords upon your backs and destroy their green pastures. If you cannot do this then be unhappy farmers." [da'eef as in ad-Da'eefah no. 1643]

It’s narrators are trustworthy and precise but the hadeeth contains a missing link because it’s reporter Saalim bin Abee al-Ja’d did not hear from Thawbaan but the hadeeth has a support in the hadeeth reported by at-Tabaraanee from the hadeeth of Nu’maan bin Basheer with the same meaning.

Imaam Ahmad reports from the hadeeth of Dhee Mikhbar, the son of the brother of an-Najaashee, from the Prophet (SAW) that he said, "this matter used to be amongst the red-skinned people but Allaah removed it from them and placed it amongst the Quraysh but it shall return to them."

It’s chain of narration is good and it represents a strong support to the hadeeth mentioning al-Qahtaanee for indeed the lineage of the red-skinned people goes back to al-Qahtaan, and by it the understanding of the hadeeth of Mu’aawiyah is strengthened that the meaning of ‘as long as they establish the religion’ is that if they do not establish the religion then the matter is to be removed from them." End of quote from ‘al-Fath.’

Know that the saying of Abdullaah bin Umru bin al-Aas which was rejected by Mu’aawiyah in the aforementioned hadeeth – that there shall be a king from Qahtaan – if Abdullaah bin Umru (RA) meant al-Qahtaanee about whose kingship is authentically reported then there is no reason to his rejection due to al-Qahtaanees affair being established in the Saheeh, from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said, "the Hour will not established until a man from Qahtaan shall drive the people with his stick."

Reported by al-Bukhaare in the ‘Book of Trials and Tribulations’ in the ‘Chapter: the times changing until the idols are worshipped,’ and in the ‘Book of Virtues’ in the ‘Chapter: the mention of Qahtaan.’ {4} It is also reported by Muslim in the ‘Book of Trials and Tribulations and the Signs of the Hour’ in the ‘Chapter: the Hour shall not be established until a person shall pass by the grave of another and would hope that he be in the place of the deceased due to the trials.’ {5}

The name of this Qahtaanee is not known according to the majority of scholars.

Some of the scholars said: his name is Jahjaa. Others said: his name is Shu’ayb bin Saalih. Ibn Hajr said during the course of his discussion on the hadeeth of al-Qahtaanee,

"It has preceded in the ‘Book of Hajj’ that Hajj shall be performed to the House (Ka’bah) after the appearance of the Gog and Magog people, and the reconciliation between this and the hadeeth, ‘the Hour will not established until the Hajj will not be performed to the House, and the House shall be demolished by Dhu al-Sawayqatain from Abysinnia,’ has also preceded. So it is understood from this hadeeth that when Abysinnia demolishes the House, al-Qahtaanee shall go out against them and destroy them, and that the believers shall perform Hajj before this in the time of Jesus after the appearance of the Gog and Magog people and their subsequent destruction. And that the breeze that shall take the souls of the believers shall commence with those that remain after the time of Jesus and delay for the People of Yemen.

It is possible that this be the explanation for his saying, ‘Faith is in Yemen’ i.e. that it shall remain their after it’s disappearance from all of the earth. And Muslim reported the hadeeth of al-Qahtaanee after the hadeeth concerning the demolition of the Ka’bah by Dhu Sawayqatain, so maybe he alluded to this (reconciliation)." End of quote from ‘al-Fath’.

And Allaah knows best, and attributing the knowledge (of what is correct) to Him is the safest course.

From the conditions of the Great Imaam is that he be male, there is no difference concerning this amongst the scholars. This condition is proven by what is established in the Saheeh of Bukhaaree and others from the hadeeth of Abu Bakra (RA) that when it reached the Prophet (SAW) that the Persians had appointed the daughter of Chosroes as leader, he said, "a nation shall not be successful who take a woman as their ruler." {6}

From the conditions of the Great Imaam is that he be a free man and not a slave, there is no difference amongst the scholars concerning this.

If it is said: but there occurs in the Saheeh that which proves the permissibility of a slave becoming leader, for al-Bukhaaree reports in his ‘Saheeh’ from the hadeeth of Anas bin Maalik (RA) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said, "hear and obey even if an Abysinnian slave be placed over you, and his head resemble a raisin" {7}

And in Saheeh Muslim from the hadeeth of Umm al-Husayn, "hear and obey even if a slave be placed over you who leads you by the Book of Allaah." {8}

Also in Muslim from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (RA), "my beloved friend enjoined me to obey and hear, even if it be an Abysinnian slave whose bodily extremities (hands, feet etc) have been cut off." {9}

Then the reply is from a number of angles:

a) That he set forth a parable of something which cannot occur in reality, so the reason behind employing the words ‘Abysinnian slave’ was to strongly stress the obligation of obedience even though it is inconceivable that this actually occur according to the Sharee’ah. This was mentioned by ibn Hajr in his reply to al-Khattaabee. Resembling this aspect of the reply is His saying, "say: if ar-Rahmaan had a son, then I am the first of the worshippers" (43:81) according to one of the explanations of this verse.

b) That the meaning of having an Abysinnian slave given authority is that governorship be granted to him from the Great Imaam over some of the Muslim lands (not that he be the khaleefah over all of them), this being the most clearest explanation.

c) That the word slave has been unrestrictedly applied to him looking, not to his present state, but to his past, although at the time of being given the authority he is a free man. The equivalent to this is unrestrictedly applying the term orphan to the one who has attained maturity due to taking into consideration his state in the past as in His saying, "and give the orphans their wealth" (4:2)

All of this is by way of having a choice in the matter, but if the slave were to conquer by force and become the khaleefah in reality then obedience to him becomes obligatory, this so as to subdue the trials and tribulations and to prevent the spilling of blood that has not been commanded to spill, an indication to which has preceded.

The meaning of az-Zabeebah (raisins) in the hadeeth, the singular of which is az-Zabeeb, is the well-known food. The intention behind the similitude is: one who is held in contempt and has ugliness of features, because of hearing and obeying are obligatory upon such a person, then this indicates that the obligation is true for all cases except for the case of being ordered to perform sin.

From the conditions of the Great Imaam is that he be mature, it is not permissible for a child to be ruler by consensus due to the absence of his ability to undertake the burdens of the Khilaafah.

That he be sane, it is not permissible for someone who is insane or feeble-minded to become the Khaleefah. There is no difference over this.

That he be just, it is not permissible for one who is morally deprave to be the Khaleefah. Some of the scholars proved this with His saying, "and remember when the Lord of Abraham tried with (certain) commands which he fulfilled. He (Allaah) said: ‘I have appointed you as a leader of mankind.’ He said: ‘and of my descendants?’ He said: ‘My covenant does not extend to the transgressors.’" (2:124) Included amongst the condition of being just is being Muslim, because (true) justice is not present in other than a Muslim.

That he be from those who can be considered a Judge (Qaadee), a Mujtahid who is not in need of going to another to seek a legal ruling at the onset of new occurrences.

That he is sound of limbs and body, not chronically ill or blind. These two conditions – I mean the conditions of knowledge and being sound of body – are proven by His saying concerning Taalut (Saul), "And their prophet (Samuel) said to them: ‘indeed Allaah has appointed over you Taalut as a king.’ They said: ‘how can he be a king over us when we are better suited than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth?’ He said: ‘indeed, Allaah has chosen him above you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and soundness of body (or stature)." (2:247)

That he possess deep understanding and insight into the matter of war, into the organisation and direction of armies, into the barricading of ports and defence of the Muslim lands. That he stand firm against the oppressor and defend the rights of the oppressed.

That he not be prone to softness, leniency, and faintness of heart when establishing the prescribed Islamic punishments, and neither have aversion to beheading or the cutting of limbs. The proof for this is the consensus of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Imaam has to be like this, as was stated by al-Qurtobee.

Issues:

The First Issue: When a sin or call to an innovation is seen in the Great Imaam, is this to be considered as a reason to overthrow him and take a stand against him or not?

Some of the scholars said: when he becomes a sinner or caller to an innovation then it is permissible to take a stand against him with the intention of removing him. But that which is correct, containing no doubt, is that it is not permissible to take a stand against him with the purpose of removing him with the exception of the case when he takes on board clear and manifest disbelief, proven with a text from Allaah.

It is reported in both Bukhaaree and Muslim from Ubaadah bin Saamit that he said, "the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) took a pledge of allegiance from us to hear and obey at times of our pleasure and displeasure, at times of adversity and prosperity, even when another is given preference over us, and that we should not wrench the authority from it’s rightful people. He said, ‘except when you see clear and manifest disbelief in him, having a proof (for this) from Allaah.’" {10}

And in the Saheeh of Muslim from the hadeeth of Awf bin Maalik al-Ashja’ee (RA) who said, "I heard the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) saying, ‘the best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke the blessings of Allaah upon you and you upon them. The worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you, those who curse you and you them.’ The people asked, ‘should we not then overthrow them?’ He replied, ‘no, as long as they establish the prayer amongst you. Indeed the one who is given authority over someone else and he brings something of disobedience to Allaah, then he should hate what he has brought of disobedience to Allaah but not withdraw a hands-span from obedience.’" {11}

Also in the Saheeh of Muslim from the hadeeth of Umm Salamah (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said, "there shall be leaders appointed over you whom you shall find to be performing good as well as evil. The one who knows their evil (but does not follow it) is absolved of blame, the one who rejects their evil is safe. But the one who is pleased with it and follows it (is ruined)." The people said, ‘should we not then fight them?’ He said, "no, as long as they pray." {12}

It is reported in both Bukhaaree and Muslim from the hadeeth of ibn Abbaas (RA) who said, "The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said, ‘the one who finds something in his leader that he dislikes should be patient, for indeed the one who splits of from the group of Muslims a hands-span shall die the death of pre-Islaamic ignorance (jaahiliyyah).’" {13}

Muslim reports in his Saheeh from the hadeeth of ibn Umar (RA) that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) saying, "the one who withdraws from obedience (to the ruler) by a hand-span shall meet Allaah on the Day of Judgement having no proof/argument. And the one who dies having no made no pledge of allegiance has died the death of pre-Islaamic ignorance." {14}

The ahaadeeth with this meaning are many, and the texts given prove that it is forbidden to take a stand against the Great Imaam, even if he were to take on board something which is not permissible, with the exception of the case that he were to take on board clear and manifest disbelief for which there is a textual proof in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (SAW) – meaning a clear and unequivocal text.

And al-Ma’moon and al-Waathiq called to the innovated saying that the Qur’aan was created, and they punished the scholars (who disputed this) by killing them, beating, imprisoning them, and other such trials but not a single person stated that it was obligatory to revolt against them due to this. The matter continued like this for some ten odd years until al-Mutawakkal was made Khaleefah and then he stopped the trial and ordered that the Sunnah be made manifest.

Know that the all of the Muslims are agreed that there is no obedience to the leader, or other than him, in that which involves disobedience to Allaah the Exalted. There are a number of clear, authentic ahaadeeth concerning this, containing no obscurity in them or one who is defamed (in their chains of narration). Like the hadeeth of ibn Umar (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said, "hearing and obeying is enjoined upon the Muslim in that which he likes and hates as long as he is not commanded to disobedience. So if he is commanded to disobedience then there is no hearing or obeying." Reported by Bukhaaree, Muslim and Abu Dawood. {15}

And from Alee bin Abee Taalib (RA) from the Prophet (SAW) that he said concerning the raiding party whose leader ordered them to enter the fire, "if they had entered it they would never have left it. Obedience is only in that which is good." {16}

And in the Great Book (there occurs), "and that they will not disobey you in that which is good." (60:12)

The Second Issue: is it permissible to appoint two Khaleefahs both independent of each other?

There are three opinions concerning this:

The saying of the Karaamiyyah that this is unrestrictedly permissible.

Depending upon the fact that both Alee and Mu’aawiyah were leaders at the same time, and it was obligatory upon each of their followers to obey him. Depending also upon the fact that if it is permissible to send two Prophets at one time, and that this does not invalidate the Prophethood of one of them, then this is more rightfully the case with the leadership.

The opinion of the majority of the Muslim scholars: that it is not permissible to have a number of Great Imaams, rather it is obligatory to have only one, and that he should not appoint any leaders over any portion of the Muslims lands except as his governors under his authority.

Depending upon what Muslim reported in his Saheeh from the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said, "when the pledge of allegiance has been given to two khaleefahs then kill the one for whom the oath was given later." {17}

And in the Saheeh of Muslim as well from the hadeeth of Arfajah (RA) who said, "I heard the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) saying, "whosoever comes to you, ordering you to unite upon one person desiring thereby to disrupt your affairs or split your group then kill him." {18} And in a version, "then fight him with your swords continuously, whosoever he may be."

And in Muslim as well from the hadeeth of Abdullaah bin Umru bin al-Aas (RA), "whosoever swears allegiance to a leader then let him give him the pledge of his hand and sincerity of his heart and let him obey him to the best of his ability. If another person were to come forward (as a claimant to leadership) disputing his authority then strike the neck of the latter." Then Abdullaah said, "my ears heard it, and my heart retained it from the Messenger of Allaah (SAW)." {19}

The proofs of the Karaamiyyah are falsified by the fact that Mu’aawiyah, in the days of his dispute with Alee, did not claim to be the Khaleefah, rather all he claimed was the governorship of Shaam that was given him by the leader, and the proof for this is the consensus of the nation at their time that only one of them was the Khaleefah, not both of them.

As for the proof that it was permissible to send two Prophets at one time, then this is refuted by the saying of the Messenger (SAW), "kill the one for whom the oath was given later" and by the fact that appointing two Khaleefahs leads to splitting (of the Muslim nation) and the occurrence of trials and tribulations.

Those that distinguish. So (according to them) it is forbidden to appoint two Khaleefahs in one land, or in lands that are close to each other, but it is permissible for lands that are remote from each other such as Andulus and Khurasaan.

Al-Qurtobee said in his commentary to this verse,

"But when the lands are distant from each other like Andulus and Khurasaan then this is permissible in accordance to the explanation that follows insha’allaah."

What is pointed to in his words is the appointment of two Khaleefahs, and from those that were of the opinion that this is permissible were al-Ustaadh Abu Ishaaq as was quoted from him by Imaam al-Haramayn (al-Juwaynee), and was quoted from him by ibn Katheer and al-Qurtobee in their commentary to this noble verse.

Ibn Katheer said,

"I say: this is like the situation of Banee al-Abbaas in Iraaq and the Faatimiyyeen in Egypt and the Amawiyyeen in Morocco."

The Third Issue: is it possible for the Great Imaam to abdicate?

Some of the scholars said: this is possible for him. Al-Qurtobee said,

‘The evidence for his being able to abdicate is the saying of Abu Bakr, "depose me, depose me" and the saying of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, "we will not depose you and neither will we attempt to do so, the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) gave you precedence in our Religion so who can then not give you precedence? The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) was pleased with you for our Religion so should we not also be pleased with you?"

So if this (attempt to abdicate) was not possible for him then the Companions would have rejected this coming from him and they would have said, "it is not possible for you to say this."’

Some of the scholars said: it is not possible for him to abdicate because he has been entrusted with the rights of the Muslims, and it is not for him to give both these matters up.

Ash-Shanqeetee said explaining this further, may Allaah forgive him: if his abdication is due to a necessity that would dictate this, such as repressing trials and tribulations, or due to his knowledge of his inability to take on the burdens of the Khilaafah, then there is no dispute over the permissibility of his abdication. This is why all of the Muslims were agreed upon praising the grandson of the Messenger of Allaah (SAW), al-Hasan bin Alee (RA), for his abdicating and handing over the rule to Mu’aawiyah, after the people of Iraaq had given him the pledge of allegiance, so as to prevent the spilling of the Muslim blood. So this is the reason that he was praised due to his abdicating before the occurrence of this blood shedding. The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) declared his great position in his saying, "indeed this son of mine is a leader, and maybe Allaah will cause reconciliation between two warring parties through him." {20}Reported by al-Bukhaaree and others from the hadeeth of Abu Bakra (RA).

The Fourth Issue: Is it obligatory to witness the appointment of the Great Imaam?

Some of the scholars said: this is not obligatory, because to obligate the witnessing of the appointment requires textual evidence, and there is none.

Some of the scholars said: this is obligatory because it is possible that a claimant (to the Khilaafah) claim that he was appointed as the Great Imaam secretly, and this would then lead to disunity and trials.

Those that stated that witnessing was obligatory said: two witnesses are sufficient, this in contravention to al-Jabaa’ee in his setting four witnesses as the condition for the witnessing along with the one who is to be appointed and the one doing the appointing. His evidence for this was in Umar’s leaving a consultative committee of six people to decide amongst them as to who should be Khaleefah. So the affair came about that the one doing the appointing was Abdurrahmaan bin Auf, the one being appointed was Uthmaan, and the remaining four were the witnesses (according to the argument of al-Jabaa’ee).

But the weakness of this argument is obvious as was pointed out by al-Qurtobee and ibn Katheer. And the Knowledge of (what is correct) lies with Allaah.

FOOTNOTES:

{1} Meaning that it refers to the whole of mankind, not just Adam

{2} i.e. the meaning of the verse is taken to comprise both the opinions mentioned

{3} Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans 9/190 no.253]

{4} Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans 9/178 no.233, 4/471 no.720A]

{5} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 4/1507 no. 6954]

{6} Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans 9/170 no.219]

{7} Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans 9/192 no.256]

{8} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1021 no. 4528]

{9} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1021 no. 4525]

{10} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1023 no. 4541]

{11} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1033 no. 4573]

{12} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1032 no. 4569, 4570]

{13} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1030 no. 4560]

{14} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1031 no. 4562]

{15} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1022 no. 4533]

{16} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1022 no. 4536]

{17} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1032 no. 4568]

{18} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1031 no. 4565, 4566, 4567]

{19} Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans 3/1025 no.4546]

{20} Saheeh Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 5/66 no.89]