Chapter 4 — the Muslims' Attitudes Towards the Authority After the Prophet

Regarding the authority succeeding the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family), Muslims were engaged in two main parties each of whom is claiming following the manifest right.

  1. The historicists: This term is called upon those who justified and legalized the total occurrences of the political history of Islam, eminently the reign of Rashidite caliphate. They are known as ‘Ahlus­Sunneh.’ This term was originated in the Umayid reign and, markedly, in Muawiya's, when power overcame legality and survival became for the strongest who could submit majority of people to his domination. Thence, this year was called ‘year of congruity’, and the party who followed the prevailing force was called ‘the congruous.’ They are, in fact, the ruling party. They are, although disagreeing to the ruling regime in some situations, loyal to the Umayids who possessed the riches banned to those who stood against the ruling regime. Ahlus­Sunneh, however, looked at the Umayids as an emblem of the Muslims' unity.

  2. The Shariites: They are, in various proportions, the party that opposed and decided illegality of occurrences of the political history of Islam. Proportionally, the Rashidite caliphate is considered as a golden reign if balanced with the Umayid. Moreover, there is no single face of comparison between the two. The Abbasid caliphate was worse than the Umayid.

The Shariites see that the divine doctrine did nominate the authority after the Prophet, and that God did not leave this affair for personal impressions. They believe that God did elect an authority and granted him the authorization of joining leadership to issuing judgments. The defined authority after the Prophet is Ali­bn­Abi­Talib (peace be upon him). According to arrangements of the doctrine, each authority is to nominate the successor. The adopters of such a belief is known as ‘Shia.’ Since the time of the Prophet, Shism was instituted. They are the opposition party all over history. At all the reigns, especially the Umayid and the Abbasid, Shias were

chased, banished, banned from their basic rights, inadmitted as testifiers, disavowed as beneficiaries of the state imports and cursed forever.

Below, both parties' opinion and argument of the authority after the Prophet shall be respectively debated.

Who is the Authority Succeeding the Prophet?

The Sunnis' Opinion: the Claim of the Prophet's Leaving His Nation Without Nominating A Successor Or An Authority

Sunnis allege that the Prophet left his nation without nominating a successor or an authority. That is to mean that he did not indicate to an Imam or a leader whom should succeed him in undertaking the political and the religious affairs of the state. They referred to Omar's replying those who commended him to nominate a definite successor, as their evidence on the Prophet's leaving his nation without nomination. Omar, the caliph, said: “Should I name someone, this matter had been done by that who was more honorable than me — Abu­Bakr. Should I neglect so, this negligence had been practiced by that who was more honorable than me — the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family.)­”[3]

The Prophet, they claim, had never willed to anybody to undertake his mundane and godly affairs, including authority. They referred to Ummul­Mu'minin, A'isheh, as an evidence on their claim. A'isheh alleged that the Prophet had died while he was put between her neck and breast, and his head was on her thigh. She would have certainly heard him had he willed of anything. Thence, depending on Ummul­Mu'minin's previous claim, Al­Bukhari and Muslim denied the allegation of the Prophet's will.

Pursuant to their opinion, too, had the Prophet definitely nominated somebody in his will, as his successor, Ali­bn­Abi­Talib would never have been the one intended, as Shias allege. This is by the reason that had Ali been the one intended, the virtuous Sahaba would most surely not have disdained this will and elected someone else. This is arisen from the fact that the Sahaba, as a whole, are decent. He whoever bears any doubt about the


[3] bn­Quteibeh's Al­Imametu Wes­Siyaseh, page23, At­Tabari's Tarikh, vol.3, page34 and Al­Mas'udi's Muroujut­Theheb, part.2 page353.

order of the caliphs (Abu­Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali respectively), is debasing about twelve thousand Sahaba.[4]

Briefly, the Prophet did leave the affair of leading and ruling the Muslims for themselves considering it as an affair of their own concern. Necessarily Imamate and authorization are adjacent to headship of the Islamic government.

Settlement of the Claim of the Prophet's Leaving His Nation Without An Authority

Later on, Sunnis perceive that the ever most menacing matter that threatens the existence of the Islamic state is the current leader's neglecting nominating a successor. They also descry that assigning a successor is a concern resulting in the benefit of Muslims and Islam.

Let's take a view on the following incident. A'isheh addressed at Abdullah, the son of Omar­bn­Al­Khattaab: “O son! After carrying my greetings to Omar, tell him that he should never leave Mohammed's nation without a guide. He should nominate a successor, lest, they shall be dispersed. I anticipate that they shall be engaged in seditious matters.” Abdullah carried Ummul­Mu'minin's message to his father.[5]

Ummul­Mu'minin was quite true; leaving the nation without nominating a guide or an authority is a matter leading to the arising of seditious disadvantages and the dispersion of people.

Abdullah, the son, paid thorough intention to this point. While his father was dying, he stood before him and said: “O Amirul­Mu’minin! Nominate a successor for leading Mohammed's nation! You should certainly reproach the supervisor of your camels or sheep if he left the animals without appointing a supervisor as his representative. You would blame him for missing his depository. How would you, Amirul­Mu’minin, then do it with Mohammed's nation?” Al­Faruq, however, provided the same reply: “Should I name, this matter had been done by that who was more honorable than me — Abu­Bakr. Should I neglect so, this negligence had been


[4] Al­Issabetu Fi Tamyizis­Sahaba, part.1, page8 and on. As a footnote of this book, you may see bn­Abdil­Berr's Alisti'ab. [5] Al­Imametu Wes­Siyaseh, page23.

practiced by that who was more honorable than me — the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family.)­”[6]

The process of the Prophet's leaving his nation without nominating a successor was settled by innovation of the procedure so-called the heir apparent of leadership. This procedure is practiced by the current leader's nominating a person, disregarding distinct qualifications and characteristics, as his heir apparent; that is to mean the successor. This is established for the reason that the current leader, Imam, caliph or president, disregarding legality or the way by which he had come to power, is the actual custodian and supervisor of the nation and, in addition, he is the only one who has full acquaintance of the convenience of the state he is ruling. Therefore, he is the most familiar with the future of his state. People, consequently, should accede and trust the one he is to appoint in the same amount of confidence they had already provided for the previous. This procedure was jurisprudentially called the nation's congruity. It was, first, processed by Abu­Bakr when he appointed Omar as his successor. The same was processed by Omar when he founded the six­member advisory board.[7]

The heir apparent was enacted as a law. Origin of this process was Abu­Bakr's nominating Omar, and the Sahaba's showing no objection that it was seen as the outcome of congruity. For bn­Khuldoun, congruity is measured as a lawful certificate defined for the benefit of unificating Muslims, getting rid of seditious concerns, evading keeping Mohammed's nation dispersed with no supervisor, as A'isheh, Ummul­Mu'minin expressed[8], and evading any reproach as Abdullah­bn­Omar expressed[9].

According to Sunnis’ opinion, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) was the only leader who had not nominated a successor. On the contrary of other leaders and presidents of the Islamic states who could conceive the Muslims' advantages in their life as well as after their death, the


[6] Al­Mas'udi's Muroujut­Theheb, part.2, page353, Al­Imametu Wes­Siyaseh, page23 and At­Tabari's Tarikh, page34. [7] bn­Khuldoun's Muqeddimeh, page210, Pub. Darul­Fikr. [8] bn­Quteibeh's Al­Imametu Wes­Siyaseh, page23. [9] Al­Mas'udi's Muroujut­Theheb, part.2, page353.

Prophet, pursuant to bn­Khuldoun's exposition, saw people only during his lifetime, and he should not forecast their advantage after his decease![10]

In Abstract, after a long period of suffering, the virtuous Sahaba could perceive the fact that it is an inescapable collapsing to leave the nation without referring to the coming leader, Imam or authority. They also perceive that nominating a successor, by a will or conventionally, is a matter flowing in the advantage of the Muslims. Thenceforth, they enacted the law of appointing an heir apparent.

A more important matter is that the divine Islamic doctrine has shown everything mentioned in detail or generally in the Holy Quran or by the Prophet. The religion's being clear of this fundamental question is contrary to perfection of the religion and completion of the divine grace. This is emphasized by the fact that the Prophet had opted for his departure and had awareness of his decease during that final disease. God has planted caring for this nation in the Prophet's heart and made him benevolent and merciful to the believers, and let him in on the future of this nation. Is it, then, rational for him to leave the nation without referring to an authority succeeding him? How should a prophet neglect such a serious affair while Abu­Bakr, Omar and A'isheh, who are not prophets, treated it? Decisively, this matter is unacceptable and denied by positive doctrinal texts in spite of the estimation of dominant occurrences in that period.

Sunnis adhered to any argument for justifying occurrences. As they were disappointed by the texts, they clung to surmise. When surmise was collapsed, they clasped the advisory board. When that failed, they adduced mercy to the Muslims and keeping their benefits, unity and future so that they would not be scattered like a guideless cattle. After a long period of probing a pretext, they could settle on the principal that the current Imam or caliph is to nominate his successor to whom people are to declare loyalty.[11]

The Prophet’s Successor According to the Sunnis' Opinion

The caliph, the Imam or the president of the Islamic state is the religious and political authority since he is seen as the Prophet's representative. The caliph


[10] bn­Khuldoun's Muqeddimeh, page210, Pub. Darul­Fikr. [11] our An­Nidhamus­Siyasi Fil­Islam, page8 and on where the total hypotheses adopted by Sunnis are shown and categorically criticized.

undertakes the Prophet's tasks and functions. He estimates the mundane and supernal benefits of the nation. He is the leader and the warden of Muslims in his life and after his decease. He is in charge of assigning the coming leader and the next authority whose responsibility is continuing the current caliph's missions. People should confide this new caliph as they confided the previous one.[12] The caliph enjoys also total privileges and competencies the Prophet had enjoyed on the nation. In our An­Nidhamus­Siyasi Fil­Islam, a whole chapter is debating such competencies. In the same book, the following saying of Dhafir Al­Qasimi recorded in his Nidhamul­Hukm, is written down: “Competencies and privileges of a caliph include the utter internal, external and military affairs. He is the only one on whose shoulders the responsibility of such affairs falls. In case the caliph authorizes some of managing any of these affairs, this should not extinguish his competencies and privileges.”[13]

Al­Mawerdi endeavored to define and proclaim these competencies on pages15 and 16 of his Al­Ahkam. A summary of this endeavor is entered on page194 of our An­Nidhamus­Siyasi Fil­Islam. Considering him as the Prophet’s successor who had been the authority in both mundane and supernal affairs, the caliph is the Muslims’ religious authority. He has the authorization of practicing the same acts practiced by the Prophet, since he is his representative in every field except prophesy. Moreover, there are some privileges given to the caliphs while the Prophet himself had not practiced. An example of these is the heir apparent of caliphate. According to Sunnis' opinion, the Prophet left his nation without nominating a guide, a leader, an authority or an Imam; while Abu­Bakr, the intelligent, named Omar as his heir apparent after he had been counseled by the grand Sahaba. In his turn, Omar defined six individuals for succeeding him. A scrutinizing view at Omar's will reveals that Othman was practically the one intended. Othman was originally called ‘Radeef’ which stands for the heir apparent.[14] Talha, however, was absent during the advisory board Omar had ordered of for electing the new caliph. Had Az­Zubeir, Talha and Ali adopted the same line, Othman should certainly, however, have been the caliph. A literal implementation of Al­Faruq's will, beyond any dispute, leads to Othman's


[12] bn­Khuldoun's Muqeddimeh, page210, Pub. Darul­Fikr. [13] Dhafir Al­Qasimi's Nidhamul­Hukm, page353. [14] Dhafir Al­Qasimi's Nidhamul­Hukm, pages 197­8 which is quoted from At­Tabari's.

being elected for caliphate. This very result is attained by taking an accurate look at any of the references involved.

During the Umayid caliphate, the president of the state, who came to power due to his domination, used to nominate his heir apparent. In other words, the prevailing individual was the caliph, who was the authority having competence of assigning his successor. The same thing is said about the Abbasid and the Ottoman caliphate.

Abu­Bakr and Omar were the originators of the principal of the caliph's nominating his successor. Hence; this procedure was pursued by the others. There is a difference between the purport intended by Abu­Bakr and Omar at inventing the heir apparent principal and that intended by the others. The earliers used this principal for evading the circumstance that any of their relatives may come to power, while the others used it for enabling their relatives from prevailing the state and ruling the government after them. Later on, the current caliph's naming and electing his successor became a regular practice. It was seen as one of the caliph's rights. Including bn­Khuldoun, a many Sunni scholars received this matter as one of the caliph's rights. “The Imam should select on behalf of people in his life and, sequentially, after his death.[15]

For Sunnis, the Prevalent Ruler is the Authority

Sunnis regard the caliph who comes to power and practices its responsibilities as the very authority of the political and religious affairs. Abu­Bakr, Omar, Othman, Muawiya, Yazeed, Marwan and so on were the supreme authorities during their reigns. Each played the role of authority in his time. The same thing is said about the Abbasid and Ottoman caliphs. Prevalence is the actual measure of authority. The prevailing ruler, similarly, is the Imam, the guide and the authority of the nation in both mundane and religious affairs.

Abu­Ya'li Al­Izz records: “Many reports ascribed to Imam Ahmed indicating that caliphate is attained by prevalence and preponderance. It may not be in need of a contract. In a narration related by Abdus­bn­Malik Al­Attar, Imam Ahmed says: ‘It is illicit for any who really believes in Allah and the Hereafter to pass a single night before he declares fealty to the


[15] bn­Khuldoun's Al­Muqeddimeh.

individual, whether virtuous or immoral, who used his force in dominating affairs of the Muslims and became a caliph and titled Amirul­Mu'minin.’ In another narration reported by Abul­Harith with respect to rebellion against rulers, Imam Ahmed says: ‘Muslims should support the victorious party in case two parties struggle for coming to power.’ This rule was inferred from the (legal) ruling legislated by Abdullah­bn­Omar­bn­Al­Khattaab when he led the collective prayer in Al­Madina on the day of battle of Harra. He said: ‘We are with the prevalent. People should swear allegiance to the predominating.’”[16]

This is the conclusion of the political system of Islam. People should declare their fealty to the predominating, apart from regarding religion, qualifications or legal situation. Such a saying became a part of the political Shari'a.

Concisely, for Sunnis, the prevalent circulating ruler became the authority in the entire affairs of the Islamic nation.

The Representative Authority

The prevailing ruler is the actual supreme authority of the nation in total mundane and religious affairs. Rulers should, even if bed­ridden, nominate an heir apparent as the new Imam, leader and authority. Rulers enjoy authorization of doing so since they are the Wali and the warden of this nation who chooses for people in life as well as after death. Rulers should appoint an individual taking the charges of people whose role is to confide only. Legally, this procedure was known as ‘people's congruity’ which was first originated by Abu­Bakr's nominating Omar as his successor, and the attendant Shaba permitted and committed themselves to this.[17]

In a like manner, the ceremony of Muawiya's nominating Yazeed as the heir apparent was attended by the remaining Sahaba. Practically, people should declare their allegiance to the new caliph assigned by the late. Objectors of such a procedure should be decided as ill­doers.

Competencies of the current caliph regarding nominating an heir apparent are limitless and irrefutable, since he is looked as ‘confident’ as


[16] Al­Qasimi's Nidhamul­Hukm. [17] bn­Khuldoun's Al­Muqeddimeh.

bn­Khuldoun describes. (Abu­Bakr, the bed­ridden, named Omar as the heir apparent and told Othman, the registrar of this decision, that he would have been fit for it.)[18]

Omar, in a like situation, discussed the Muslims' affairs with himself and reviewed various aspects of the matter while he was in his last moments. As he scrutinized the most appropriate who would have the ability of occupying his place, Omar said: “Had Abu­Ubeideh been alive I would have nominated for caliphate. Had Khalid­bn­Al­Waleed been alive I would have nominated for caliphate. Had Salim, Abu­Hutheifeh's slave, been alive I would have nominated for caliphate.”[19] This indicates that Salim, Abu­Hutheifeh's slave, could have been the caliph if he had been alive. Salim was not from Quraish. His lineage was unknown. Nevertheless, he was, as Al­Bukhari recorded, leading the Muhajirs and the Ansar in collective prayers held in Qeba Mosque. By the way, if Salim's being the caliph was an all right matter, why was it, then, illicit for the Ansar, who were racially closer to the Prophet, to be caliphs? Besides, how should Salim have been caliph while the three Quraishi individuals who attended the Ansar' meeting at the Saqeefa of Bani­Sa'ideh, argued that they had been more eligible to caliphate for their being the Prophet's clan and people? Similarly, how should Salim have been the caliph while the immutable rule says: caliphs should be constantly from Quraish? How did it become, later on, lawful to designate Me'ath­bn­Jabal, the Ansari, for leadership while it had been illegal for the Ansar to have leadership? Finally, Khalid did exert all efforts for the sake of combating Islam, while Ali spared no efforts for the sake of defending it; on which principal was Khalid preferred to Ali?!

For a simple reason, Omar refused the suggestion of nominating his son, Abdullah, as the heir apparent. The reason provided by Omar was that Abdullah had lacked even the ability to divorce his wife in the proper way!![20]


[18] At­Tabari's Tarikh, part.3, page429 and Ibnul­Jawzi's Seeretu Omar, page37. [19] At­Tabari's Tarikh, Chapter: Omar's final disease. bn­Sa'd's At­Tabaqat, Chapter: Omar's final disease. Al­Imametu Wes­Siyaseh, page15. [20] bn­Abil­Hadid's Sharhu Nahjil­Belagheh, part.1, page64 and many other references.

It is remarkable to reflect precisely upon the report that Omar (Pleased be him), finally, decided to designate Ali­bn­Abi­Talib for caliphate, but he was fainted!![21]

From the above we can conclude that, for Sunnis, competencies enjoyed by the present caliphate with regard to nominating the heir apparent or the morrow caliph, are incontrovertibly conclusive. It is worthy mentioning that the law of nominating an heir apparent was first originated by Abu­Bakr who named Omar as his successor, and Omar who established the six­member advisory board according to which Othman was practically the one intended. Nomination of an heir apparent was mostly followed, in the form of a legislated law, in the Umayid reign. The Abbasids and Ottoman followed the same practice. The heir apparent was usually the late’s son or one of the royal family members.[22]

Arguing for keeping Muslims' good, the nomination of an heir apparent and a morrow authority became an ordained law. Ummul­Mu'minin advised Omar to nominate the morrow caliph so that they, Mohammed's nation, should not be scattered. Omar sought her directions in this regard. This means that the caliph would have nominated the exact one A'isheh had selected.

Congregational Authority for Sunnis

“Not all of the Prophet's companions — Sahaba — were legible for issuing verdicts. Not all of them were referred in questions regarding the religion. This matter, however, was exclusively attached to the retainers of the Holy Quran, who were having full acquaintance of its entire aspects; such as repealing and repealed positions, bases and allegorical and the rest of its evidences. They had received these concerns from the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) directly or from their supreme tutors. Those individuals were named ‘Qurra'’ — reciters of the holy Quran, since the Arab were illiterate nation and the ability of reading was an inexperienced matter on these days. This question lasted all over the first stage of Islam.” bn­Khuldoun says.[23]


[21] Ibid. An­Nidhamus­Siyasi Fil­Islam. [22] Al­Qasimi's Nidhamul­Hukm, pages 197­8. [23] bn­Sa'd's At­Tabaqat, part.4, page168, and Ara'u Ulema'il­Muslimin, pages 50 and up.

By emergence of the Umayids as rulers, the essential sections of the entire Sahaba's ultimate decency conception were originated to comprise the entire Sahaba, with the lexical and the terminological meaning of this term. Without an exception and without any introductory, the entire Sahaba became so decent that they shall be certainly in the Paradise, and none of them shall be in the hell­fire, and they are inapplicable to forge lies. They grew idiosyncratic religious authorities that it is lawful to rest upon.

As he is reckoned with the first class Sahaba, Abu­Bakr's opinions are lawful. The same thing is said about Omar's and any other Sahabi's. This is by the reason that the entire Sahaba are decent.

The following saying is imputed to Abu­Haneefeh: “In case I could not find the text involved in the Quran or the Prophet's traditions, I go straightly to the Sahaba's opinions. Supposing there were various opinions of various Sahaba, I, then, have full option to adopt any provided that I do not prefer their followers' opinions to theirs.”[24]

In his I'lamil­Muwaqqi'in, Ibnul­Qeyyim writes down: (For Imam Ahmed, principals of legislation are five. The first and the second are the — doctrinal — texts and the Sahaba's verdicts respectively. The Hanafites and the Hanbalites ruled of allocating the Holy Book of Allah to the Sahaba's deeds. Their argument is that the learned Sahabi would not neglect applying a general text unless he has an evidence. Hence, applying on the contrary of a doctrinal text is an evidence on the allocation of such a text. The Sahabi's deeds, however, are as same value as his words.)[25]

Like the Prophet, each Sahabi has his own words, deeds and signature. This means that each Sahabi has his own tradition. From Ibnul­Qeyyim's saying of estimating a Sahabi’s deeds as same as his words, we can deduce any Sahabi's deed is used for allocating general significations of the Holy Book of Allah and generalizing a restricted meaning. This indicates that the Sahaba's sayings were treated as if they were revealed from the heavens. The most catastrophic matter in this question is that every Sahabi, in both lexical and terminological meaning, is intended in this rule. Abu­Bakr, Muawiya, Marwan­bn­Al­Hakam and Abdullah­bn­Abi­Sarh are, according to Sunnis’


[24] In the first of this study, bn­Hajar's definition of the Sahaba, on which Sunnis depend, and an analysis of it are cited. [25] Ma'ruf Ad­Dewalibi's Al­Medkhelu Ila Ilmil­Ussoul, and Weyyid Murtedha Ar­Radawi's Ara'u Ulema'il­Muslimin, page87.

conception, Sahaba of the same degree and standing, and are authorities and stars that guidance to the right path is gained by following any of them.

As an abridgment, the following is inferred; there is a congregational authority believed in by Sunnis. Unexceptionally, each Sahabi is an idiosyncratic unadulterated authority that is impracticable to forge lies. He speaks only the most evident right since he is one of the people of the Paradise. He whoever suspects them, or any one of them, is decided as a miscreant whom should be neither share in food or drink, nor offered the funeral Prayer when he perishes!! The Sahaba’s followers became their successors. The Sunni scholars were successors of the Sahaba's followers. Hence, the variant parties were the dominant powers.

Roles of the Authorities for Sunnis

In the Rashidite caliphate, the caliph was the supreme authority of Muslims. He was a decent Sahabi who has the right of seeking the advice of any and, in the same time, neglects or follows any opinion. Abu­Bakr and Omar were wont to seek the advice of the retainers of the Quran such as Ali, Ubey­bn­Ka'b, Me'ath­bn­Jabal, Zaid­bn­Thabit and the like. It was not unacceptable for the caliph to adopt the opinion of any of them, since the most important thing had been recognition of the Shariite ruling. There was no existence for the Sahaba's ultimate decency in the meaning for which the Umayids advertised and legislated. The majority of Sahaba played a little role in the aspect of authority. In other words, they were not authorities.

In the Umayid reign, the matter was not so different. After he had planted the entire Sahaba's ultimate decency conception, Muawiya, the decent Sahabi, became the Muslims’ supreme authority. He practiced his authority as same as the former caliphs did. He had the right to seek advice and adopt opinion of any. Thanks to the Sahaba's ultimate decency conception, Muawiya was regarded as one of people of the Paradise that he took the place of Abu­Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali despite the fact that he had been ‘released’ and son of ‘released’. As he was seen as a caliph, Muawiya enjoyed the caliphs’ same competencies. He had the right to adopt any opinion from any in case there were variant solutions of the same question.

For scholastic individuals, they also had the right to adopt any opinion in case of variety of solutions of the same question. The same thing is said about Sahaba's followers and scholars; their successors. The parties enjoyed the same right. After the collapse of the Islamic caliphate, every scholar

became an independent authority who had his own verdicts and followers. In a like manner, every Arab party became an autonomous authority enjoying the right of issuing verdicts and having followers. The mission of each party was not more than proving its meritoriousness of predominating power in the province taken as its center.