Channel: Jamal Badawi
back to another episode of Islamic focus, we want to welcome you, Hassan alaikum. Peace be on do you have to go to our 60, a programming or Thursday with the political system of Islam. We'll be continuing with our discussion on the topic of choice of rulers in Islam with specific reference to the concept of humanmade. I'm your host, Mr. Rashid. And I have joining you on the program. Joining me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal Bradley of St. Mary's University, brother Jamal Assalamualaikum. Monique,
we always take a few minutes at the beginning of our program to quickly summarize the main points in our previous program. Could I ask you to do that first now? Sure.
Basically, reviewing the various methods of choosing the successors, or rulers after Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. In the last program, we dealt specifically with the choice of the third, Kenneth Osman and the fourth Ali.
And we indicated that like the first two caliphs, in all cases, we find that principle of free choice is there, even though the specific mechanism of the choice might have varied depending on the needs of the time,
and that in each case, there was bi, and we said that by means the oath of allegiance, and loyalty, which is more than just election, or just like referendum in the modern sense. But in addition to that, there's also a commitment to obey the leader and to advise him to follow the path of Islamic law.
We finally ended this particular section by a discussion of how could this concept be applied in modern terms. And we said that all kinds of possibilities, it could be a nomination consultation with nomination, it could be a public referendum or public election, as we know it today, one person, one vote, or it could be people electing a representative assembly, and that assembly chooses one person to be the ruler, in whatever case, so long as the free choice of the people is SST, we're fine and indicated that this presentation of the choice of the rulers and Islam is based on the views held by the overwhelming majority of Muslims 90% are over. But we give also recognition
to the fact that there are some minority of Muslims known as the Shia will have a different view that differs with the mainstream or the majority of Muslims, in which they'll believe that the Prophet did appoint his cousin Ali to succeed him. And then Ali was supposed to appoint his successors and so on. So if every person is supposed to appoint a successor, rather than let it be a free choice or selection
by the people,
no. What is your understanding of the main logic or the rationale behind those who suggest that it's, the successor should be appointed as opposed to the majority view that they should be chosen? or choosing one body? Okay, I will not just given my own understanding, but perhaps I can make reference also to Tabata by one of the well known Shah, writers.
But there are a number of points that he raises. First of all, he says that,
in order to have rulers
or leadership, to the Muslim community, that leadership should combine. First, the ability to rule that is administrative skill. It should involve
knowledge of Islam and Islamic jurisprudence, because the law applies Islamic law. And thirdly, it involves spiritual type of leadership.
And he said that a leader must combine all of these qualities in order to be effective, and concludes that, as such, he should be really someone who's very special, someone who is chosen specifically by God, and the Messenger of God by Prophet Muhammad.
A second major argument
he makes is that it
should worry about the destiny of his people, especially after his his gun after his birth. And as such, it is only logical that you should appoint a successor to him. And that it is normal that person even when when he's traveling or when he needs help, somewhere else, he can appoint or usually appoint someone to run the affairs to keep things in tact, and in orderly fashion. And they said, The Prophet did that. That is whenever Islam expanded, and other places or other lands came under the role of Islam, he appointed some people there to supervise the establishment of justice and running of the People's affairs.
And they say if this is what the Prophet did, during his lifetime, then it is only important and logical that you should do that also.
At the time of his death, he should appoint someone to turn this adverse
argument presented is that
when you look into the prophetic tradition of prophetic sin, they say it covers so many details
in very various aspects of worship, for example,
and they said, if there are so much detail about this small issues, how could it be that the Prophet would not say something specific about something which is even more important, and that is the succession in terms of who should succeed him?
enrolling? I tried to be as fair as possible in presenting this argument, like I said, again, that the writer is a Tabata by a well known
writer. Now, what is your response to the to this argumentation? How do you respond to suggestions? Well, maybe you can take three basic points, and we'll just cited. First of all, the sunny view or the majority Muslim view, is that you as a leader should combine these qualities stretch your knowledge in administer ability, there's no question about that.
But this is something different from saying that one particular person should be perfect in all of them had 100% of all of these abilities, because
human beings are just human beings. So you try to make your best choice to someone who has the ability to provide a good or their own leadership in all of these three areas.
leadership on the other hand, does not mean that each and everything would be just in one hand, because there is always a danger that this might turn to be dictatorial.
Leadership means that you have a person who is capable of providing the overall leadership but
this does not
preclude assistance and help provided by people have a special qualities also, more than the leader, even in some of these aspects, some people will administer abilities could be appointed to look after certain things, people with highly specialized areas of knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence, can also be appointed or consulted in certain issues pertaining to that, and so on. So I'm not saying that the leader should be, you know, the worst, it should be the best. But again, assistance and help from others would be needed. To some extent, you can talk even about some form of collective leadership if he takes leadership in a broader type of sense. And Prophet Muhammad peace
be upon him as indicated that each person, every Muslim, is in essence, a leader. He has such responsibility and has some contribution to make to the overall Muslim community.
As far as the argument that the Prophet, Prophet Mohammed appointed deputies, during his lifetime, this is only logical, because no person can do all the work there. So that is quite normal.
But this does not mean at all that by extension of the same logic, he should appoint someone to succeed him after his death. These are two different things. When you appoint people in your lifetime under your supervision, that's different from saying to the people listen, this is going to be your roller and no, no one else.
The question of
mentioning certain details and prophetic traditions and living our true should do the people I think the issues are not really analogous. Why? And they prophetic sayings. We find details for example, pertaining specifically to the issue of worship, the methods of worship,
but the matter of worship.
is an issue which Muslim jurist call a North Toki failure. There are things which we do it exactly as God, and His Messenger has explained to us. Because in the matter of worship, pure worship, because of course, the entire life of a believer can be regarded as worship. But I mean, the pure acts of devotional worship, like prayers, fasting, song, these are matters that the person does, out of his or her conviction
that this is in obedience to God and expression and manifestation of the love of God, and following the way that God exactly has determined. So it's okay to have details in that because we do it in that context and that
feeling with that kind of notice of obedience and love of God.
But the question of people choosing, or judging, who is the best to be the ruler, it isn't judgmental matter, it is important. We're not saying it's not important. But we're saying it's not the kind of thing that's required text, that x should be our ruler followed by y followed by See, see, it's a matter where there are guidelines, and Islamic law, there are basic criteria as to who should be chosen, who the people should really choose in order to have a good system of government. But after all, it's a matter of judgment that need not necessarily be specified, because it varies from time to time, and from place to place from person to person, so long as the guidelines are
Well, to explore this question of appointment versus choosing a little bit further, there are those who argue that the choosing of a ruler assumes that the people who are making the choice, their capability to choose the best is not always
it's not always there that they don't always make the right decision, so to speak. How would you How would you comment on that, when you see the appointment specifying believe that even though we have indicated again, that this is not necessarily something which is desirable, for all times to come just to say a person appointed successor. But even if you look at it, even from the logical standpoint, we can say that appointing a roller or specifying a rollers before his death, before the ones that are successful, does not solve the problem. Because people are either committed to Islam, or not committed. If the people were committed to Islam and try to follow the true path, then they
will try their best to make sure that the person they choose is the best is at least one of the best, but someone who's really qualified and equipped to do the job. Well, if people are not very committed to Islam, and they do not apply those rules, it will not solve the problem to say x must be aluna. Because in the final analysis, to have orders, to have cohesion, or Rowlands be accepted. So in the final analysis, still, it would have come down to people's decision to accept a particular
route or to under a third, so from the practical standpoint, doesn't have much to specify.
it was suggested earlier, by the 30, that you quoted, that there was perhaps some evidence in the Quran for a succession of Allah. Is that true? Is there any support from the contents of the name of Allah is the first killer indicia of you but not in the quote unquote, sanity, I'm just using that to distinguish and present ideas and of course, you know, like I say, majority and minority opinions. But like I said, according to the great overwhelming majority of Muslims 90% or more, there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever in the Quran, which says that Ali is supposed to be the ruler after the Prophet. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary, some of that we touched on
before and some we can discuss later when you deal with the concept of Shura or mutual consultation, as provided for in the Quran. But there is no such verse at all in the Quran that says, you know, Allah should be the ruler or even infinity.
But again, to be fair and present the other side of the argument, the minority opinion was fine that they sound the Shah writers like Tabata by I called earlier referred to one ayah in the Quran, which does not say that but he interpreted to mean the succession of Allah. And this verse appear in chapter five and the Quran, verse 5858, according to the numerology, the numbering system in use of body translation.
In an hourly you come a lot what a Sudoku alladhina amanu
it's always your real friends, addressing believers, your real friends
friends and supporters are no less than Allah, God, capital G is apostle. And the believers, those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly in worship,
the original Arabic word tuna SOHCAHTOA hombre Qian, which, again could be understood to mean they give charity while they are bound down in worship, if you take it in a very literal meaning, but of course, it also means that they bow down to God in worship.
Now, some writers, co writers,
make the argument or present the argument that this verse was revealed, in reference to how they say that one time a poor person entered into the mosque of the profits.
And only at that time was in the regular, you know, this prayers, not prayers in the sense of just supplication he was in the regular prayer where you have this movement for full devotion and prayer,
and that nobody was able to help him. And that during his prayers, Ali was bowing
in record, one of the movements of the prayer extended his hand to that poor person, so that he can take his rank as a charity.
And they further say that the reversal is really you come and while he, as they interpreted means a guardian or successor, to the Prophet, so they say, in a way, it's the first to Holly as being the successor of the Prophet, but
this seems like stretching the verse a little bit too far in terms of interpretation, it doesn't necessarily imply that at all.
Well, why is that? So? What could you please explain a little bit more, okay. There are aspects in that interpretation, which are questionable, from the linguistic standpoint, from the
historical standpoint, from the logical standpoint and from the context of the verse in general. First of all, linguistically, the term one or earlier appears in the Quran in different places to mean friends, help or support, but does not mean the successors necessarily, to the Prophet peace be upon it has various shades of meaning, which carries all of these meanings altogether.
Many times the Quran uses the term rallies in the plural are really not that one person, but the plural sense also.
And the historical aspect of it also is quite questionable. For example, one of the great Muslim writers of nicosia's
in his commentary and the Quran. He said that, when the authenticity of that particular story was examined, it was found that it has so many weaknesses and some of the narrator's even who said that we heard from so and so was proven to have never seen the person through whom they communicated the story, not only to the tenant that there is a good discussion that in Volume Two of advocacy, particularly on page 71, where there is indication that authenticity historically on that particular story is is quite questionable. In fact, he says that some historians say that this verse was revealed. With respect to another Companion of the Prophet by the name of Arvada at the summit, we
decided to break his allegiance with others and take the allegiance and help and support of the Muslim or believers.
But, as I mentioned earlier, there's also some logical questions about that particular interpretation. Because it has been the customs of Muslims, especially devoted Muslim like Ali, that when they stand in prayers, they are so much in concentration and devotion to God. As you know, you're not supposed to move your face or listen to somebody else. During the prayer you have to focus and your entire attention to what you're reciting the Quran that you recite in prayers. And this is much more so in the case of highly devoted people like me.
It has been narrated that some people even had some kind of operations even when they prayed, because they didn't feel anything because of the
full devotion to God. Now,
to say that the army was listening to all of this discussion and start moving in his prayers to point to the poor man to take his rank seem to be unlike unlikely
Not really the kind of
manners and prayers that Muslim usually follow.
But more importantly, even in the context of this particular verse, one cannot take something just in isolation and try to build a theory on it. Because the verses immediately before that verse, and those immediately following shows that the whole context of the verse is to tell Muslims to advise Muslims, that they should not seek Alliance and support of those who do not believe in God, or at least those who rejected the message of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, that the real supporters, the real allies should be also those who share this belief in God which I think even for non Muslim, we can see the logic behind that. So the with this over all,
context of having friendship and support among the believers. There is no room then to say that this verse specifically in the middle is fixed about one person to be the successor
of the Prophet peace be upon him.
Or we've examined the Quranic references that are sometimes used to substantiate these, the choice of Allah. And let's extend the discussion a little bit further, perhaps in terms of examination of the evidence in the in the Sunnah.
Today to the naming of Allah, is there any evidence in Islam? Again, from the Sunni standpoint, the majority view there is no Exclusive OR inclusive
evidence and the professor saying that says that Holly should be the first Calif afternoon that is appointed and not to be chosen.
But there are important things when you deal also with center because the Quran again, there's only one core and so you can at least say All right, everybody knows and admits with a Sunni or Shia that this verse isn't the Quran, it might be just a matter of understanding its meaning and context. That in the case of prophetic tradition, there are four points that one has to keep in mind, I just did now with the mythological aspect.
First of all, there are certain
traditions attributed to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him by Shah writers, which from suddenly standpoint, from the majority Muslim standpoint, they do not accept and they question its authenticity. And some Muslim writers even wonder whether it was something that was attributed to the prophet in support of some specific political or ideological views. Well, I'm sure also they might be similar feeling on the part of the minority of the Shia, they might also not necessarily accept on a tradition which certainly Muslims believe to be authentic. But this is a matter that goes back to the studies of the sciences of Hades, how the prophetic traditions were narrated and
preserved. And there have been tremendous effort on the part of the mainstream of Islam to verify the saying of the Prophet peace be upon him that this is competitive, an interesting comparative study, but I've just mentioned the reservations here.
Secondly, even when they just have some of the saying, of the Prophet is being admitted or accepted in both Sunni and Shia references, you'll find that the wording might not be exactly the same. And it's not only a trivial or minor difference. In some cases, there are major additions, or statements we find and for example, in the shower sources, which gives the same an entirely different meaning from that, which the majority of Muslims understand.
A third problem, that even if you assume that the same, saying prophetic tradition is accepted by all,
we will find again, that the interpretation and the meaning attached to those things are not necessarily always the same. And finally, something that's even more important that reflect my approach and analysis of any topic really, that to understand or interpret those sayings. One has to put it in the proper context of the context of other things, but just take one of few other sayings of the Prophet you have to put it in the context of the overall teaching of the Quran and Sunnah.
Keeping in mind the analysis of the psychology of the companions of the Prophet these are all relevant aspects before one can say all right, you know, that saying means this.
So this is this basic question that one has to keep in mind when we call to start quoting.
Can you elaborate a little bit further on
Well, just to give a few illustrations in as much little time as we have,
for example, there is difference to the Prophet,
his cousin, may peace be with him better that you are to me, or don't you accept to be to me like Aaron was to Moses. And you know, of course the contemporary of Moses, or era France in which the Prophet makes a prayer, and he says, or Allah, or God, support those who support Ali, and be the enemy of those who are enemies of Allah.
But if you really go back to the text of those sayings, in authentic sources of Hadees, we find, for example, that in one occasion, a prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him was going to a place called the book battle,
actually was preparing for a battle in trouble. And before he left, he appointed Ali, to be in charge of running the affairs of whatever is remaining of Muslims there in Medina.
And it was a little bit disappointed because he actually wanted to join in other companions of the Prophet to come to the, to the battlefield. So he said to the Prophet, are you leaving me behind just to look after the women and children? In other words, he felt that this was really
was not very good. So the Prophet peace be upon him in order to, you know, assure him and know,
please him, he said, Don't you like to be to me like Aaron was to Moses?
See, when you look at it, that's an interesting remark. Because Moses appointed Aaron to be in charge of their satellites, when he went to Mount Sinai, just as a temporary type of like caretaker until I come back.
So in explaining this, it is so obvious that
you cannot stretch that prophetic saying to mean that the Prophet meant that as I appointed you, during my absence, my temporary absence in the book, you must also be of necessity, be appointed as the overall rulers, not just duty and responsibility that somebody has to carry a good person, and it was a good person to carry the responsibility. It could have been other persons as well. There's no difficulty with this.
And to to make an analogy, as some shout writers, for example, that Moses and Aaron means the succession. Yes, it is useful to point out that it is believed that Aaron died, actually in the life of Moses, it has nothing to do with them the analogy of succession at all.
Now, as far as the prophets, prayers, that all God support those who support the audience on what Sunday Muslims are the great majority of Muslim would say, Amen. There's no question about that. And among the Sunni traditions, everybody loves and respect Ali, that even in the early days of Islam, when some intellectuals had a difference of opinion with Holly, they still love him and respect them as one of one of the great companions
of the Prophet.
So there's other elements, which shows that if there have been praised, for it, they have been also pleased as well for other companions of the Prophet. And the context of mentioning this does not authenticity means
a specific requirement
to choose it in particular as the ruler, the prophet has been mentioned or quoted, for example, as commenting or recommending people to be kind and to be considerate to his household which includes his wife includes also Ali and his descendants because he's, it was his cousin, and he was married to his daughter Fatima.
But again, that's quite natural mean that you must have all your rulers for all time to come from that particular
computer program for today. I want to thank you for watching and invite you back next week. We will continue with our series, dealing with the political system.
Thank you for watching.