It is a contractual condition for the Caliph to be upright/just/trustworthy (‘Adl) and it is not allowed for him to be a transgressor (fasiq).
There are seven contractual conditions that must be fulfilled before someone can become a Caliph of the Muslims. One of these is maturity i.e. above the age of puberty.
This timeline outlines the names of all the Caliphs. Later editions will also include important historical events that took place under each Caliph.
15 November 2013
There are three reasons the Caliph cannot be removed by the army in a Caliphate.
Muqadimatud-Dustur Aw al-Asbabul Mujibatulah by Hizb ut-Tahrir
Shakhsiya Islamiyya volume II by Taqiuddin an-Nabhani
1 September 2013
It is a contractual condition for the Caliph to be upright/just/trustworthy (‘Adl) and it is not allowed for him to be a transgressor (fasiq). The evidence for this contractual condition is from the Qu’ran where Allah سبحانه وتعالى stipulates that a witness must be upright.
So if the witness must be upright, then the Caliph who holds a higher post and governs over the witness should, by greater reason (Bab Awla), be upright.
What does the word ‘Adl mean?
Ahmad ad-Da’our answers the question in his book, Ahkaam al-bayyinaat (The Rules of Testimonial Evidences) an extract of which follows.
Trustworthiness (‘Adl) means that transgression (fisq) does not appear from him. The one who is faasiq that shows his transgression (fisq); his testimony is not accepted. But the one whose fisq was not apparent, his testimony would be accepted. There is a disagreement regarding the definition of ‘adl. It is said that ‘adl refers to a person who is no known t have committed any kabeerah (grave) sin or openly committed a (minor) sagheerah sin. This definition is ambiguous because the definition of kabeerah sin is not agreed upon. It is not even agreed that there is something called kabeerah and sagheerah sin because no sin is small. The violation of Allah’s command is big whether it is lying or giving false testimony. As for what was mentioned in the text that there are kabeerah sins, what’s meant is to stress the prohibition. Otherwise we find there are sins which are bigger but we do not find them being described as kabeerah. It has been stated in the text that false testimony is kabeerah, but it has not been stated that highway robbery is kabeerah. False testimony is one type of a lie, but to give a lie to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم was not mentioned within the kabeerah sins. So, there is no defining limit to the kabeerah or the sagheera sin such that one can say someone is known to have committed a kabeerah sin or displayed a sagheerah sin. Thus, the definition is not clear. What is better is that we should say ‘adl is the person who restrains himself from that which the people would consider in breach of upright behavior. This is because the word ‘adl in respect to witnesses has been mentioned in two verses of the Qur’an:
It is one of the expressions used by the Qur’an and therefore, so it is not given a technical or an arbitrary explanation, rather it should be interpreted the way other words and sentences of the Qur’an are interpreted. Thus, it is explained by its linguistic meaning if it does not have another shar’i meaning mentioned in the Kitaab and Sunnah. If it has ashar’i meaning then it is interpreted according to the shar’i meaning. Upon scrutiny we do not find a special meaning mentioned by the Legislator for the word ‘adl in respect to witnesses other than its linguistic meaning, and hence it needs to be explained according to its linguistic meaning. The word ‘adl in respect to witnesses means in the Arabic language someone who is known by the people to be of upright character. It says in al-Qamoos al-Muheet: ‘al-‘adl is the opposite of jawr (injustice), and it is that which is established in the souls of people as being upright (mustaqeem), such as reliability (‘adala), and relaiable (‘adool). It comes from ‘adala, ya’dilu, so he is ‘aadil (he was just, so he is just). ‘Adala al-hukm (he established the judgenment). ‘Adal a person (he commended him). ‘Adala the balance (he levelled it)’. This text which gives the meaning of ‘adl in respect to witnesses indicates that the ‘adaalah is istiqaamah (to be of upright character). Defining ‘adl as that which is established in the souls of people as being upright (mustaqeem) is an ambiguous speech. This is because there is no limit by which uprightness is known, for the situations of the people differ, and the people’s habitats also differ in their view to uprightness. Though uprightness means proceeding on the straight path, but this straight path is technical and neither is it linguistic or shar’i. Therefore, it is necessary to refer the explanation of the meaning of the word of uprightness (istiqaama) to the view of the people in accordance with their habitats and societies. This is the approach followed by the linguistic dictionaries specialized in the explanation of the linguistic words that were mentioned regarding the ahkam shar’iyyah. Al-Misbah al-Munir mentioned:
(‘Addaltu ash-shahid ‘I commended the witness’ means ‘I ascribed him to ‘adaala (trustworthiness) and portrayed him with it). The term of ‘adl applies to one or more, and its plural as ‘udool, as it came in poem of Abul Abbas as mentioned by Ibn al-Anbari:
In the feminine, it might be said imra’ah ‘adlah (a trustworthy woman). Some scholars said that ‘adaala is an attribute which requires abstaining from anything that usually violates the sense of honour (muroo’a) openly. However, one small mistake and twisting the words once does not violate the sense of honour openly, for it is possible that was because of forgetfulness or interpretation. This is different to the case when this became widely known and repeated, then violation becomes open. The norm ‘’urf’ of every person is that which he is used to in terms of dress, dealings in trading and carrying his luggage and the like; so if he did that which is impropriate to him, unnecessarily, then he violated his muroo’a, otherwise not). This text from this dictionary differs according to the people habitats. This is because the word of uprightness is ambiguous, thus leading to this difference. However, it might be referred to the linguistic explanation of the word of (‘adl) and thus adopt the meaning of the explanation. So, their saying: (That which is established in the souls as being upright) would mean the one that is not known about him of openly violating that which the people consider impropriate. Therefore, it is better to say ‘adl is the one that abstains from that which the people considers violation of uprightness, whether he was a Muslim or non-Muslim. This is because ‘adaala was stipulated in the testimony of the Muslim as well as in the testimony of the non-Muslim, by using the same word without distinguishing one from the other. Allah سبحانه وتعالى said:
He سبحانه وتعالى meant non-Muslims by saying other than you. He said ‘two ‘adl witnesses from Muslims or two ‘adl from other than Muslims. So, how can the ‘adaala be defined to be not committing a kabeera (major) sin and insistence on committing a sagheera (small) sin regarding a non-Muslim? How we can also reject as witness the one who disobeyed his parents once, but accept as witness the spy, just because spying is not from kabeera sins? Therefore, the valid meaning of 'adl is the one that abstained from that which the people consider violation to the uprightness. Whoever was characterised with that he is ‘adl, because he is one of those that was established in the souls that he is upright. The one that is known (amongst the people) to be insolent in doing haram or committing sin openly, or reckless about committing it, or known of being not upright, he would be fasiq. Thus ‘adl is opposite to fasiq, and ‘adaala is opposite to fisq. Thus, the fasiq is the one that does not abstain from haram, or known to be not upright. ‘Adl is the one that abstains from haram, or not known to be lacking uprightness.
31 August 2013
Abu Dawud narrated from ‘Ali Ibnu Abi Talib that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Accountability is lifted off three people: The sleeping person until he awakes, the boy until he reaches maturity and the deranged until he regains his mind.”
Therefore the person for whom the pen is raised is not responsible for himself, and he is not liable under Sharia. It is therefore unlawful for him to become a Caliph or hold any post of authority for he is not responsible for his own actions let alone others.
Evidence is also derived from the fact that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم rejected the Bay’ah of the child.
Al-Bukhari narrated from ‘Abi Aqeel, Zahra ibn Ma’abed from his grandfather ‘Abdullah Ibnu Hisham (who was a child at the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم) His mother Zainab bint Humair took him to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Take his Bay’ah’. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “He is still a little boy”, so he stroked his head and prayed for him.
Therefore, if the Bay’ah of the little boy is invalid and he cannot give Bay’ah to a Caliph, he evidently cannot be Caliph himself.
Once someone has reached puberty they have fulfilled the maturity condition. There is however another contractual condition which is capability to rule. There are physical capabilities which Mawardi discusses in his book Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah. This discusses whether certain physical disabilities such as blindness, deafness or loss of limb can prevent someone being a Caliph or not. The other capabilities are spiritual and intellectual which are discussed in Nabhani’s book Shakhsiyya Islamiyyah volume 2. These are qualities that give someone a ruling mentality in which they can fulfil the heavy burden of governing and which cannot be achieved at such a young age.
How is a ruling mentality achieved?
Allah سبحانه وتعالى in His infinite wisdom has endowed people with different qualities. Some of these attributes are qadar and others are shaped through experience. Abu Dharr, a senior sahabi who brought his entire tribe to Islam was refused a ruling position because he didn’t have the strength of personality to rule.
Muslim narrated from Abu Dharr who said, "I said: O Messenger of Allah, will you not appoint me as a governor/ruler?" He صلى الله عليه وسلم struck my shoulder with his hand then said: “O Abu Dharr, you are weak and it is a trust (amanah). On the Day of Judgement it will be a disgrace and regret except for the one who took it by its right and fulfilled his duty in it.”
A ruling mentality requires political experience in looking after peoples affairs even if the person is not in power. This experience will be achieved through political actions. Outside of office it means accounting the government individually or as part of a political party within the Majlis ul-Ummah (Ummah’s Council). Within office it means holding a government position such as a governor (Wali), department head or Wazir (Delegated Assistant).
This experience can be accelerated through tests and trials (fitna). Allah سبحانه وتعالى tests the believers not of our hatred but out of mercy to elevate their position and wipe off sins.
Ahmad reported via Mus’ab b. Sa’d from his father who said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم which people are tested most?” He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The Prophets come first, then the righteous, then the next best, then the next best of people. A man will be tested on account of his adherence to the Deen. If he is strong in his commitment, he will be more sorely tested, and if there is some weakness in his commitment the test will be lightened for him. A man will continue to be tested until he walks upon the face of the earth with no sin on him.”
Al-Azhari said: “The Arabic word fitnah includes meanings of testing and trial. The root is taken from the phrase fatantu al-fiddah wa’l-dhahab (I tested the quality of gold and silver), meaning I melted the metals to separate the bad from the good…” (Tahdheeb al-Lughah, 14/196).
During tests and trials someone has to continually think about their situation and how to resolve it. This continual linking of solutions to political problems under pressure, develops quick thinking in someone and can turn them in to strong statesmen earlier than usual.
We can see this in the army. In peacetime rising through the ranks to senior positions takes time and an officer may only achieve a rank such as a Lt. Colonel in their late thirties. However, during WWII military experience was achieved quickly and due to officers being killed it was possible to achieve the rank of Lt. Colonel much earlier as happened with Geoffrey Keyes who was a Lt. Colonel at the age of 24.
Having said this even in times of fitna political experience which gives someone an intellectual capability to rule the entire Muslim ummah will not be achieved in a teenager.
Why did we have teenage Caliphs in the past?
During the Rightly Guided Caliphate all the Caliphs were selected freely by those who represented the opinion of the Muslims. They were given the Bay’ah (Pledge of Allegiance) on the basis of meritocracy and each of them had huge political experience. Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali had all held the position of Wazir (Delegated Assistant) which is the highest government position after the Caliph. When we look to their ages we see they were all elder statesman (excluding Hasan who became Caliph during the civil war).
If we compare this to when the Bay’ah was misapplied and became confined to ruling dynasties as happened after Muawiyah we find a stark contrast in the ages of the Caliphs. This is a characteristic of hereditary rule where the ruler is chosen not on meritocracy but by position in the family. This is why we find instances of very young Caliphs in certain periods of the Caliphate.
Dangers to the Caliphate of very young Caliphs
During the Abbasid Caliphate Al-Muqtadir who was only 13 at the time was given Bay’ah and became the Caliph in 908CE and ruled until 932CE. Since he didn’t have the capability to rule he relied heavily on his Wazirs (Delegated Assistants) of which there were thirteen. The Wazir is the most powerful government position after the Caliph and has similar powers to the Caliph in the task he is assigned. Too many Wazirs can lead to power struggles and infighting which will destabilise and weaken the government. It’s no coincidence that in 909 the Fatimids in Egypt declared independence from Al-Muqtadir in Baghdad and appointed their own Caliph (not legitimate) in Cairo. In 929 still under the reign of Al-Muqtadir, Abd-ar-Rahman III declared himself as Caliph (not legitimate) and Al-Andalus also became independent from the Caliphate.
In a future Caliphate there will be constitutional processes in place on how to elect the next Caliph which will prevent the Bay’ah being misapplied as it was previously. Therefore the Caliph will likely be an elder statesman in their forties or fifties when they come to office. This is not to say we will specify a minimum age limit as the US constitution does where someone must be 35 years old before they can be President or Vice President of the United States. This cannot be done because the Sharia has only restricted the minimum age to puberty. However, as discussed the contractual condition of capability to rule will not be reached by a teenager.
The scenario below attempts to illustrate how a young Muslim in the Caliphate could become the Caliph.
Abdullah joins an Islamic political party in his youth. He is an activist of the party through his schooling and university. After completing university he pursues a full time career as an army officer in the Caliphate’s army. He rises up the ranks and then decides on pursuing a full time political career. His political party put him forward as a candidate for the 5-yearly Majlis elections. He campaigns and wins his seat. He then becomes a member of the Majlis ul-wiliyah and makes a strong impression on his constituency and the Majlis. In the elections for his second term he gains enough votes for a seat on the Majlis ul-ummah in the Caliphate’s capital. His work on some on the Majlis committees impresses the Caliph’s Assistants (Mu’awinoon) who recommend his appointment to a government position. He works his way through various government posts finally becoming Director-General of Foreign Affairs which is a cabinet position. From there he becomes a Delegated Assistant and when the Caliph unexpectedly dies he is shortlisted by the Majlis ul-Ummah for candidacy to the post of Caliph. His previous political and military experience wins over the Ummah who believe he can successfully manage their affairs and be the commander in chief of the armed forces. He gains the majority of votes during the election and becomes the Caliph.
Source: Caliphate Online
26 August 2013
25 August 2013
This was related by Ibn Shabbah in 'Taareekh Al-Madeenah', Tabari in his 'Taareekh' (History) and Ibn Sa'd transmitted similar to this in 'At-Tabaqaat Al-Kubraa'. This was in spite of them (shura council) being from the people of Shuraa and from the senior Sahaabah. This occurred in front of the eyes and ears of the Sahaabah and it has not been transmitted that there was somebody who opposed or denounced this. As such it represents an Ijma of the Sahabah upon it not being permitted for the Muslims to be without a Khaleefah for more than three days and its accompanying nights. And the Ijmaa' of the Sahaabah is a Daleel (source of evidence) just like the Kitaab and the Sunnah.
Source: Caliphate Online