Appointing a Leader

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Appointing a Leader

Post by samirisaoui on Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:45 am

There are four approaches to elect the Leader in Islamic law, which are:
1) To be directly elected by the whole/majority of the people or by certain elected representatives of the whole people. For example the election of the first and fourth Caliphs Abu Bakr and Ali (may God be pleased with them all).
2) To appoint a certain person for succession. During the first era of Islam the first Caliph Abu Bakr appointed Umar to be his successor. It is acceptable under one condition which is: The successor is truly pious, knowledgeable, and qualified to serve and handle all challenges that may face Muslims. It should be noted that Abu Bakr took consultation with his close companions about his decision in appointing Umar as Caliph after his death. It should also be noted that Umar has no family relations with Abu Bakr.
3) In the case -God Forbid- that there is a conflict or civil war between two groups of Muslims, the Power moves directly to the triumphant leader. Sadly, this happened a few times in the 14 centuries of Islamic history. That will be under a condition of being a Muslim known for at least performing the 5 pillars of Islam as prescribed. If the leader is not Muslim or does not perform the main Pillars of Islam, then he will not be qualified to lead the people.
What has been mentioned in case three may sound a bit strange, however, Islam was revealed to close the door on bloodshed and put and end to suffering among mankind. Stopping the blood shed is much more important than the issue of who will be the ruler of Muslims. In other words, if there was a civil war -God forbid-, whoever was triumphant assumes control regardless of who lost. If the one who loses the battle is more suitable to be the leader it doesn’t give those who sided with him the right to keep fighting. This because there is a principle in Islamic law that stopping civil strife and blood shed takes priority over promoting an ideal situation.
4) To appoint a committee in which they will decide among themselves who will be the Caliph. This was done when Umar was on his deathbed and he appointed six of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) who were given the glad tidings of paradise to choose from among themselves a leader. In the end they chose ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. 

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