Political System of Islam 4 – Early Application 1

Jamal Badawi

Channel: Jamal Badawi

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Welcome to another episode of Islam focus. Today we have a four step program in our series dealing with the political system of Islam. We'll be continuing with our discussion of the selection of rulers in Islamic State. I'm your host, Hama Rashid. And I have joining me as usual, Dr. Jamal Beretta, we have St. Mary's University, brother Jamal, assemble a commodity.

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Correct, I ever very quickly highlight the main points that we touched on in our third program in the series last week, before we get into today's topic, okay. And the first part of the program three, we discussed the basic purpose behind the establishment of an Islamic State. And he said that it is basically to establish justice. And we indicated again, the variety of opinions given by the jurist on the basis of the Quranic provision in terms of what needs to be achieved. And we said that this is a near unanimous position that has been taken by Muslim jurists, and we'll discuss some of the, you know, very insignificant with very minor opinion that might have emerged at one time or the

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other. But you said the consensus is basically that it is imperative to have an Islamic system. And then we moved on to the ruler itself. And we said that there is no particular title even though the title Calif or Khalifa or successor to the prophet and conducting the affairs of the believers

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is a common type of term. And from there, we'll discuss briefly, the main qualifications required.

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Understand the corner and an idea of Islamic State.

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Now, I'd like to, in today's program, begin by some discussion of the method of selecting the ruler in Islam, familiar with political systems here in the West with the leadership conferences, residential colleges and so on. How does the ruler to be chosen in the Islamic system? Okay, well, the basic rule fundamental rule is that a ruler cannot be imposed on the people he must be consented to or chosen by the people. When the Quran actually speaks about obedience, they obey God obey His Messenger, and also those in authority among you are from among you, which means one chosen from among you.

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As far as the specific mechanism according to which the selection can take place, there is a great deal of flexibility. And that so long as that basic principle of free choice of the people is respected. But perhaps it may be useful, at least at this juncture, to indicate that there is a difference between Sharia and there is a difference between the basic divine law or basic principle as the one just cited, which appears in the Quran based on the text or spirit of the the revelation. And fifth, which is simply jurisprudence or jurisprudence, the the way, a particular jurists try to interpret those loads, and how could this be applied in a given place, under certain circumstances

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or in a given time. So when we talk about the ideal mechanism, as such, it's very difficult to talk about one mechanism of selection of successors or rulers and a purely Islamic State, because it varies from time to time and from place to place, the principle is always there, but the mechanism could could be rather flexible.

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Now, you indicated earlier in the series that the prophetic era and the following four camps representative, the perfect model of the Islamic political system,

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I like to perhaps examine the method of selection in the in that particular period beginning first of all with the prophetic area. Could you comment on how it was done at that time? Okay. Well, of course, in the case of prophets, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. He was in a unique position, combining between two offices, the Office of the messenger sent by God, to humanities, which is one and secondly, being also the head of the Muslim community, especially when Muslims migrated after 13 years of torture and persecution in Mecca to Medina, where the genesis of an Islamic State or Islamic community was established. He was also in public

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In position or office already the head of that state.

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But in any case, we find that this was still with the acceptance of the people, of course, he was not accepted as a property would not be accepted even as a ruler. And even then we find that the Prophet has accepted beya

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which is like a pledge of loyalty or pledge of obedience and acceptance of, of his leadership in both respects.

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In fact, he began to exercise this political authority as soon as he went to Medina and with the consent of the inhabitants of Medina.

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In fact, we find that the oldest constitution of this written constitution in the world was the Constitution,

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proposed by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him when he went to Medina, composed of some 47 articles, which is amazing, it could be a subject by itself. But it is far far ahead of its time. It enunciated certain principles and in a way, as some Muslim political scientists, but it established the first in history,

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states in the fullest and true meaning of what the state really means with a written constitution.

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Some of those basic principles was that

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tribal relationships should be replaced with the ties of faith. So there's a kind of fusion of tribal ties, replacing it with fusion on the basis of faith. It determined the first head of the states, in this case, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. It reiterated the principles of equality, which are enshrined in the Quran and Sunnah, including the protection also of other non Muslims living under the protection of the Islamic State. Like I said, this could be a subject in itself, especially when you touch on the area of the life of the Prophet and his Syrah, or history.

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But the main point in any case, is that in the present context, when we deal with political system, that Prophet Mohammed was able to exercise what we call today of any political authority, only with the consent and overwhelming acceptance of the people.

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Now, it's sometimes claimed that the first Caliph after Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was chosen by only a very few people. Is that true? No, it's not true at all. And in fact, it reflects sometimes a confusion between what you might call nomination and actual selection. I know that sounds sometimes that statement

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is made.

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While the nomination, or what you might call, perhaps accurately the nomination of Abu Bakr,

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to be the successor of the Prophet was initiated even by one person was initiated first by

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one of the prominent companions.

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This did not give legitimacy to Abu Bakr to be the leader until the people who are regarded as leaders of their tribes present and that meeting also pledged loyalty to Abu Bakr, and not until the following day, even when he went to the mosque openly in public, and the Muslim masses came and express their approval through what is called beta, or pledge that alibaug only was installed officially as the the Caleb or successor. After the Prophet Mohammed

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was just a nomination we did not really a choice by a few. Approval was by the masses.

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I'm sure, while we're discussing, discussing rather this question of succession, people might be curious to know whether or not Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, gave any instruction as to who should succeed him as the leader of the Muslims. No, not really, before the death of the Prophet peace be upon him, there is no conclusive evidence at all, that he explicitly specified that

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X or Y should be the successor. In fact, this would have violated even the basic principles that you have spoken about which are all based on the Quran and his teaching also.

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And I believe that this is actually a better approach that the Prophet has taken.

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Because if he suggested one particular person or one particular method,

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in succession, it will be regarded as binding on all Muslims and become extremely inflexible for times to come.

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Indeed, he lifts the Muslim Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or community of believers to settle this and to apply reasoning. And Islam, as you know, as you mentioned before, combines between

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permanent divine revelations and also the use of the human mind and visioning, to adapt or apply these rules to the circumstances of time and place, or else it would not have been a universal face for all times, and all people should have this element of flexibility.

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There are sometimes references made to the Prophet peace be upon him praising

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some of his measures, and closest companions. But this applies to more than one it applies to Annie, his cousin, as much as he praised Abu Bakr and Omar and many others. So they will not only one person that he praised,

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sometimes a reference made to the Prophet that he once was quoted as saying that Ali would be a ruler or came after me. But this again, does not contradict what happened in history did not say he will be the first came after me. And he actually was the first case after the Prophet.

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Indeed, there are references that have the same subtle meaning also, with respect to other companions, but nobody has ever used this as an evidence or conclusive evidence that they should have been the first successors of the property. An example, at the time when the Prophet for example,

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was ill. He asked abubaker, to lead the prayer, and what actually came to be elected as the first case, but nobody really used that as the initial argument for that. And that might give some, some hint. But nobody can say it's

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conclusive

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clear evidence, that he specified one person or the other, and I think this was very appropriate thing. And that leaves the freedom of the people to choose the rulers after all, there is nobody who is infallible after the Prophet at all, only prophets are infallible because they are guided by revelation that directed by God, what they say. But other human beings it is less to people to choose who they judge to be, as the most qualified to start as the first, second, third or fourth, successor to the

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islands that were given that Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon did not specify who should who should succeed him. How then to start, the speaking was the first successor of the first 10 have chosen, okay.

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When the word got around, that the Prophet died, we hammered this woman died.

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A meeting was held in a place called Suffolk benissa, which is a sort of like meeting hall or community hall and Benny side as the name of just the people.

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And that meeting actually was initiated by the answer. Maybe I should clarify the terms here.

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The people who migrated with Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina because they were persecuted. They were called the Mohajer in or the migrants.

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And the original residents of Medina, who received them supported them and gave refuge to them are called unserved literally means supporters. So these terms are relevant to you. So the answer or the residents of Medina, initiated that meeting, and one of their prominent leaders by the name of Southern Nevada,

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said that now that the Prophet died, his successors really should be one of you. One of you people, the residents of Medina, or downside. Why he said, after all, you gave refuge to Muslims when they were persecuted when they migrated. Here's our study. you participated in protecting Muslims and protecting the profit again is the campaign's conducted by the pagans, and you may struggle or Jihad you fought for the sake

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of Islam.

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When news about that meeting, got around, and rich, the Amish, a very prominent Companion of the Prophet.

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As soon as he heard of that meeting, he rushed to the house of the Prophet where his body was being prepared for burial.

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And he sent to Abu Bakar, another very prominent Companion of the prophet who was also inside. And he said,

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there's something important that happened, that you must be present. You must come.

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So I will work best with Mr. On the way they were met by a third mohajirs migrant

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The name of abrar VEDA. And they all went and joined that particular meeting in order to participate in the discussion. This was the initial in the

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forum, if you will, with a succession question was, was discussed.

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Now, some people may wonder whether or not it was appropriate for Abu Bakr and Omar to go to this meeting before the problem was even even buried.

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Well, Islam is based on principles and not individuals. With all the respect and admiration of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as the model of Islamic teaching the model of the personality that God sent him to show us the way.

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Islam is not based on worship of individuals, and the end of the life of individuals. Neither means the end of islam itself, nor of the political system itself, or the orders of the Muslim community. Now, one of the principles which is, I believe, universally accepted, is that no state no nation, no group of people should remain without leadership, at least temporary type of leadership, in any emergency case, or for any period of time. Let me give you a couple of examples that perhaps might be familiar with many of the viewers. When President Kennedy was assassinated. Nobody said wait until the He is buried before some succession, or temporary leadership is appointed to my

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recollection. Before, long before his den Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in just in the airport, I believe, or something like that sort of just immediately,

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to make sure that there's some continuity of leadership.

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relatively more recently, when an attempt on the life of President Reagan was made, and when, when he was, you know, in danger in hospital, we find again, that somebody took charge and not now who should have been in charge of the various claims as to who should have been empowered at that time. But again, nobody hesitated, or nobody disagreed that somebody should be in charge, aside from burial or non burial.

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This matters would have been even more important and more urgent, in the case of early Muslims, because in the case of United States, for example, or other countries, maybe the procedures

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of succession has been spelled out quite clearly in the constitution or otherwise. In the case of Muslim, they didn't have all this details. So they have to move or somebody has to move to make sure that the problems will not be created in vacuum will not emerge.

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And the meeting since the meeting was held, and initiated only by one segment of Muslims. The answers are residents of Medina, this is a serious matter, because the choice of a leader to be accepted by all should not be left in the hands of only a few people to prevent any disorders and

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dissension.

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So the given the circumstances, yes, and then the seriousness of the matters, I think it was very appropriate on the part of Abu Bakr and Omar not to let the problem grow and to go and participate and try to see how a better procedures for the choice of successors of the Prophet can be ensured it's a matter of public interest and public order, not just like somebody racing to get a piece of the pie or anything, but it's the interest of the general orders and interest of Muslims in general, necessitated that we have this meeting being called by Omar with overlapping buttons on what was the what happened when they went to this meeting, the outcome, okay, one day join that meeting, which

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the uncertainty around the residence of Medina started,

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the discussion seem to have centered around three basic proposals.

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The initial proposal is the one cited earlier by Southern Nevada that it should be one from the residence of Medina, and he gave his reasons the role they played in protecting the Muslims and all that.

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A second suggestion, said that the successor of the Prophet should be

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specifically from one segment of the family of the Prophet Benny Hashem in particular, and more specifically, the name of Allah His cousin was given.

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A third proposal

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that prevailed is that there is no need to specify one segment of the family of the Prophet but since Quraysh is the more prominent tried as we indicated earlier, which is likely to be obeyed and accepted.

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by other tribes and least in terms of rebellion and dissension,

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it would be appropriate to have the successor of the Prophet from among those migrants, those who came from, from Medina. Other people give additional reasons also that why in the unstarred, or Medina residents were very kind and very instrumental in helping the migrants. The migrants also were the first to accept the mission of the Prophet. They've gone through a very, very rough time, and took all kinds of tortures sacrifices for the sake of Islam. And for all of these reasons, together, not just a single one, the that particular opinion seemed to have

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to have prevent.

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How was the question? Ultimately resolved? How was a decision arrived? It was on the basis of party politics like we

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see it sometimes today? Well, it's an interesting question, because in a way, you find some Orientals who lacked some insight and understanding Islam try to analyze everything, you know, in terms of,

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you know,

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politics the same way we see it today.

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McDonald's, for example, one orientalist once said that meeting was just like party representatives.

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You know, but that's, that's not necessarily true, because, first of all,

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there were no parties as such, of course, the answer or residence of Medina could constitute one group as such, but not really a party. And when the three one apo box armored and abroad by that they did not go in the capacity of representatives of Nigerian or SDP over one with the numbers by the others in the meeting.

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Now, the other question, which is a legitimate one, was it perhaps more or less like sort of parties at least, trying to settle their affairs, again, we find that it did not follow what we know today as party politics or party line that we're in a partisan way. In fact, when the discussion went on, which I believe was basically a free discussion, as to who would be more eligible, we find that even an Ansari, a person from the residence of Medina, telling his people and reminding them that after all, if you have given refuge to Muslims, if you have supported the cause of Islam, we have done that only for the pleasure of God. And obedience to His Prophet, not for the pursuit of any

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particular benefit or position is whatsoever. And he was himself and I'm sorry. So he, of course, in today's terms would have been dismissed of the party. But there was not nearly as a party. And more importantly, is that

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when the final discussion, you know, proceeded and some crystallization took place as to who should succeed the Prophet, we find that

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those who were present even though they were residents of Medina, agreed to a migrant Auerbach, and he was actually chosen. So the mechanism is what you might call free discussion. I'm not again trying to give a misleading picture that it was all very courteous and very easygoing discussion. There were times where they were some emotional outbursts. They were strong statements made by this or that.

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But this is human. It's natural that people express their ideas and opinions and happens today. parlance, people sometimes use very strong terms, the word argument and discussion heated at times, but people were convinced of the validity of the argument that

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a bobak really is the one who should be chosen, or at least nominated, I should say, why in your view, was it that everybody received the word acceptance is the is the first Khalifa You see, the discussion of the virtues of Abu Bakr is a topic in itself are the virtues of Ali or any other great companion of the Prophet? I mean, there's so much about them to be said. But in the context here of just the topic, in a very brief way, first of all the

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qualities possessed by Abu Bakr made him the clearest logical choice to succeed the Prophet at least for that particular period.

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First of all, Abu Bakr was the first person to embrace Islam and follow the Prophet among men. As indicated in the previous series, the first person to embrace Islam was a woman actually was a DJ, the wife of the Prophet, but the First Amendment was Abu Bakr.

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Secondly, Abu Bakar

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manifested his sincerity commitment to God, by the many, many sacrifices he did of his own comfort of his wealth and he was a wealthy person. He went through a lot of persecution

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hurt and never wavered in support of Islam and the mission of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him for 13 years he has gone through that he's gone through that. Certainly, Abu Bakr was a very, very close companion to Prophet Mohammed, he was so close to him, and he learned so much directly from him in words and example.

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Indeed, as an evidence of how close he was to the Prophet, Abu Bakr alone, was the one companion, chosen by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, to accompany him in a very important and dangerous chip. When the Prophet migrated from Mecca, to Medina, in fact, the Quran itself next reference and described Abu Bakr as the Companion of the prophet in chapter nine, verse 14, there is another reference to Abu Bakr also in chapter 24, verse 22, in the Quran.

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But in addition to all of this, as a person even

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he had the qualities of compassion,

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firmness and decision making and justice which made him very widely acceptable by by the people,

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I should say, again, to be hopefully as accurate as it could, that the choice of avoca was not unanimous. After all words, in any place where there is truly free choice and free elections, a ruler is chosen with 100% of the hoods, whenever we have freedom should be people who have different views or feel that another companion

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is better than he was. There are some who believe that Harley should have been the the first candidate, for example. But this is again, the freedom that Islam afforded to people to express and it's a matter of the joint decision and the majority opinion that should, should prevail. But in any case, there was no question here about the necessity of having a leader, nor on the need to have participation in the hearts of the people to choose the latest. Yes, you could have difference as to who should be the leader, or the successor of the Prophet, that no difference about its necessity and the right of people to determine who should be. That said, we only have a couple of minutes left

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to today's program, I'd like to move on to some brief discussion of the selection of the second Caliph. Some claim that he was appointed by the first Caliph. Is that true? What is just as true as the previous common question that again, claimed that Abu Bakar the first Caliph was chosen only by a few, and I hope we have indicated that he was nominated by Ahmed chosen by the leader of the people in that meeting, but did not become officially the first killer until the following day, when he went to the masjid the mosque. And the masses came and express their approval only then, with this buyer, or Pledge of Allegiance or loyalty, was he installed as a

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candidate and derive his authority and legitimacy. But by the same token, also, what happened is that when Abu Bakr was dying,

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he gathered some prominent people, and he said, Why don't you choose one, to succeed me so that you can have or fall into disputation after my death,

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because people so much trusted Abu Bakr for his integrity and piety, they said, your opinion is ours. In other words, choose for us suggest one for us. But that's on the nomination. Notice. He said, Give me some time. And during that period, he made some consultation and, you know,

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collected some opinions of prominent people. And then he finally ended up by suggesting are much It is reported that when he talked to him or even to accept almost said, No, it's a big responsibility, you know, I don't want it you know, and he really pressured him that pressure the second Caleb

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to accept that responsibility. So, even though again, we find that the method or the mechanism of nomination here is different, again, the same principle is there. It was nothing but a nomination. It did not give legitimacy to Amash as the second Caleb, until, again, he went to the mosque, the masses came to him and the public made the pledge of allegiance, and he was actually installed as case so in all cases has to be the choice out there. Just the process of nomination that suited its time.

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I think on that note, we will conclude our program for today. We want to thank you for watching, and I invite you back next week, we will continue our discussion Assalamu alaikum. Peace be unto you