Does The Voting System Apply To Islamic Leadership? - The Event Of Ghadir 3/8

'Eid al-Ghadeer is an event that all Muslims should be celebrating. If, truly, the Prophet appointed Imam Ali, alayhi assalam, as a successor, then why did the people not follow him? There has never been a case where either a prophet or a successor of a prophet has ever been chosen by people.

Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim, wal-Hamdulillah Rabbil-'Alameen wa assalatu wa assalamu 'ala Muhammadin wa alihi at-tayyabeen at-tahareen. Dear brothers and sisters a-salamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatu. Welcome to this third episode of this special series about 'Eid al-Ghadeer, where we are exploring the Prophet's appointment of Amir al-Mu'minin, salamullahi alayh, as his successor. In the past two episodes, we spoke about one, if any of the prophets before Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali wa sallam, appointed people, or did they just tell the people you choose?

And we found there was not a single case where the prophets, alayhum as-salam, before Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali wa sallam, told the people you choose. Every time they chose their successor, every time they chose the people to be with them, every time even Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala would appoint a king like Talut, who would lead the people. It's never been a case of them voting in matters of leadership, Imamah in the sense of divine leadership, religious leadership, religious guidance, there is no voting, there is no choosing, Allah choose, no choosing by the people, Allah appoints, Allah chooses.

Second, we also looked at the sirah, the tradition of Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali wa sallam, and not a single case did we find in the lifetime of Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali wa sallam, where he would leave Medina without he himself appointing someone, or he would send an army to go fight in a war without appointing an imam or a leader who will lead this army. Not a single case.

Now, Qur'an tells us, Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim, "la qad kana lakum fi Rasil Allah oswatun hasanan" (33:21), indeed, in the example of Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, is a role model. The Prophet is a role model, plus Allah says, Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, "'Atee Ullah wa 'ateeu al-Rasul" (4:59). And Allah also says whatever the Prophet the Messenger gives you, orders you, then you have to take it, and whatever he forbids you from doing, then you have to leave it. "Wa ma 'atakumu ar-rasulu fakhdhu, wa ma na'akum 'anhum fantahu"(59:7) you have to leave it.

So, when we look at all these examples, if the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali wa sallam, was going to tell the Muslims: you people choose who will lead you, I leave it up to you. I have done my job by giving you the message of salat, of siyam, of hajj, ahkam and now the matter is up to you. If that was the case, then the Prophet,, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, should have given us an example in his lifetime. He should have said at least once, at least once, that, you know what people, you choose who will be your leader, at least once. So we can say that, yes, there is precedence, but there is absolutely no precedence.

This basically brings up a question, some people say the Qur'an talks about shura. Where? Qur'an talks about shura or this voting system in two occasions. One, in Surat al-Shura Allah says, Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim verse 38, "wa ladheena stajabu li Rabbihim, wa aqamu salata wa amrahum shura baynahum"(42:38), 'and those who respond to their Lord and keep our prayers and their rule is to take counsel among themselves'. This is among themselves, not with religious matters. This was revealed about the people of Medina, Allah is praising them that they consult, they choose themselves and then they vote and they progress. Indeed, when it does not affect or when it doesn't relate to religious matters, then no, no problem.

But it's never been a case where they people of Medina, the Muhajareen, the people of Mecca or the Ansar of Medina got together and said, let us vote who will lead the army. Never. So that is the one ayat. The second ayat, which talks about Shura is also in Surah Ali 'Imran, verse number 159, Allah says: "fa'fu 'anhum wa staghfir lahum wa shawrhum fil amr" (3:159), 'so forgive them and ask for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the matters". This consultation what does it mean? Does it mean religious matters? Ya'nee, for example, if the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, wanted to tell people that you have to fast, was it the case where the Prophet told people of Medina: come over here. We want to fast. How many days would you like to fast? Ten days, 15 days, 20 days? Do we have such a case? No.

The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, tells them that you have to fast the month of Ramadan, 30 days or 29 days, depending on the moon, but that's what you have to fast. When it comes to salat, the Prophet asked the Muslims, how many rak'a you have you'd like to pray? No. The Prophet teaches them, this is how "yu'allimahum al-keetabah wa al-hikmah"(2:151), he's teaching them the book and the wisdom.

It's never been a case when it comes to religious matters, and that is why even the hadith which says or suggests that when the Prophet wanted to appoint the call of prayers, one of the companions had a dream, and in his dream, he saw the call of prayers and he came to Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali wa sallam, and told him, Ya Rasul Allah, I have seen in my dream how to call people for prayers, and this is what I saw. And then the Prophet called Bilal and said, Ya Bilal, this is a great way to call people for prayers. So learn from him and go and call the people for.

This hadith is nonsense. We rejected. How can we accept that the adhan the call for salat came to us through a dream, through our companion who is not infallible? Some someone, some person at least if the dream had even come to Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, we said, okay, maybe we'll take it because Ibrahim saw a dream, Yusuf, alayhi assalam, there is some leeway here. But a companion sees a dream and comes and teaches Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, which mind would accept this? Allah says the Prophet teaches, the Prophet yu'alimahum, he teaches. Some man comes and teaches Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali? No. So this hadith we reject. When it comes to the ahkam of Allah, there has never been a case where the Prophet consults people, takes their opinion, to tell them and teach them the ahkam or the laws of Allah. Never.

What the Prophet did do, is that at times of war, because the Muslims are fighting with him, he sometimes takes their opinion as to how to approach the battle, not whether or not to fight even, but how to approach it. For example, in the battle of Khandaq or al-Azhab, the Prophet consulted the people. he said, listen, we have enemies attacking us from outside, it's a big army, what do you guys suggest we go about it? So he's getting them involved because they're fighting with him. So he needs to give them make them feel the sense of responsibility that, you know what? He's not just doing it by himself, but rather we are involved in this because we're fighting for this. This is going to affect us as well, some of us might get killed. So to make them feel that they are being listened to he, collected them and there was Salman al-Farsee or al-Mohammadi Radhwan Allahi Ta'ala 'alayh, suggesting that let us dig the trenches, khandaq, so they did so.

At the battle of what Uhud the Prophet consulted the Muslims, the mushrikeen are attacking us. Should we fight them in Medina or outside of Medina? The Prophet was suggesting or leaning towards fighting inside Medina because then it's more difficult for the mushrikeen to attack them. But some of the youth got really excited and said, no, ya Rasul Allah, we want to fight them outside of Medina. So they did not want to listen to the command of Rasul Allah, so the Prophet said, okay, he agreed with them. They went outside. He drew up the battle plans, but they deliberately disobeyed Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, and they lost the battle severely. So this teaches us the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, would consult them, but not with religious matters that come from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, but rather at times of war when he wants to involve them so that they take some sense of responsibility and ownership to the battles and they would fight eagerly in the battles as well.

So when it comes to these two verses in the Qur'an that talk about Shura, council, votes, people choosing, it is not with regards to religious matters, it is not with regards to matters that are coming from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, but rather as with regards to social issues or war issues that may affect the lives of the people fighting with Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, so that they would also take ownership to this war, they would also fight eagerly. The Prophet gives them the opportunity to voice their concerns, to give their opinions, and that's it, but not with regards salat, not with regards to siyam or hajj, etc.. This is all a command from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and it's not up to people to choose.

Similarly, with imamah, with leadership, with kheelafah, al-kheelafah al-Ilahiyah, divine leadership. The Prophet did not leave it up to the people to choose.

And here is a question I would like to pose to every intellectual human. Those who claim there is a program of shura or council or vote after us Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali. I ask you, can you please give me one example, other than Ali ibnu Abi Talib, alayhi assalam, when he came to the khilafah, other than, was there an example, one example of one person coming to the khilafah by a council or vote? Even one. Some will say, well, the first Khalifah came. OK, the first khalifah. My question is, was it a unanimous vote? I mean, when you have a council is in the majority that votes and the majority that chooses? Isn't that democracy? Or is it just one or two people choosing or five people choosing? You have all the muhajireen, all the ansar, out of all of those, only five people choose. Is that shura? Is that voting? You telling me, but that's not what happened. I tell you no, that's exactly what happened.

If we go to Sahih al-Bukhari, in a section called Bab Rajim al-Hublah, stoning of a pregnant woman in that section. And a hadith narrated by the second khalifah himself, where Abdul Rahman ibn 'Awf, tells ibn 'Abbas that Ya ibna 'Abbas today you missed what happened in Mina in the tent of Amir al-Mu'minin, the second khalifah. Ibn 'Abbas said, what happened? Abdul Rahman ibn 'Aw said, a man came to him and he said to him that after you die, I will pledge my allegiance to so-and-so and he will become the khalifah, just like the leadership of the first khalifah, which in itself was rushed and he himself was not qualified to lead the Muslims. So this man is telling the second khalifah that when you die, I will go pledge my allegiance to someone to become the khalifah of the Muslims after you, because that's what you did to the first khalifah when he himself was not qualified to lead the Muslims.

The second khalifa becomes upset. And to make a long story short, because it's a very long hadith, when he returns back to Medina, the second khalifa goes onto the pulpit, and this was in the last Hajj of the second khalifa. So he got killed shortly after that. And his last hajj, he goes to the pulpit, after his last Hajj, he goes to the pulpit when he came back to Medina and he tells people and there is a man or some people would say that after I die, they would go and pledged allegiance to somebody else and that somebody else will become the khalifa and the leader of the Muslim.

This action is basically forcing people against their will, against their will. Because he's saying, how could it be that one man would pledge allegiance to somebody else and this person is saying that the first khalifa was not qualified and him being chosen to lead the Muslims was a rushed act? That is true. That is true. That's what he says. You don't believe me? Return to Sahih al-Bukhari. Sahih al-Bukhari. The second khalifa is speaking, in the section of Rajm ul-Hubla, Stoning of the Pregnant Woman. He says the first khalifa, indeed, him being chosen, was rushed and it was he was not qualified falta. To the world falta. What is falta mean?

You go back, it means it was rushed, means he was not qualified. It means, for example, tomorrow you wake up in the news and you find somebody, a man who let's say is only a simple person who knows nothing about politics, he is not involved in any of the political parties, he is not basically in the political system, he's just an ordinary citizen. You open the newspaper the next day and you find this man became the prime minister. So how did he become the prime minister? What qualification, what procedure did he go through? Work as a person who has been through the political system, he has got experience, he nominates himself, then he wins. That is not considered falta because it's kind of understood.

But this person was a simple, ordinary citizen, all of the sudden, the next day, he becomes the prime minister, literally overnight. That's called falta, it's rushed, unqualified. And he says that was the case. But Allah protected the Muslims from the consequences of that event. So he's trying to kind of sugarcoat it a little bit, protected the Muslims. Which means he himself disagrees with that. So in Bukhari, the second khalifa himself saying that he disagrees with the nomination of the first khalifa. With him coming, because it was not a fair political system.

And then who voted for the first khaleefa? Bani Hashim were not present at the saqifa of Bani Sa'ada, al-Khazraj their leader Sa'ad ibn 'Ubada did not vote for the first khalifa. In fact, they chose not to vote, they did not agree with him. Al-Khazraj did not vote, Bani Hashim was not there, Salman was not there, Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari was not there. 'Ammar, al-Maqdad, all these people were not there, so who was there? Who shook the hand and pledged allegiance of the first khalifa? Where is that council?

That is why you have scholars who try to explain this, try to figure out what to do. How do you vote for someone? They say if one person or five people, they choose someone as their leader, khalas, you have to accept them. Who says this? In fact, if you refer to al-Mawardee in his book al-Ahkam Al-Sultaneeya. 'Abadu Ad-deen al-Eejee, in his book al-Mawaqi fi 'Ilm al-Kalam. If you look at tafseera Qurtobi, if you look at al-Juwaenee, who was the imam of the Haramain. Among many other scholars, such as al-Isfara'ini, at-Taftazani. All those people, they all say that a man can become the imam, the leader if he's chosen by one or between one and five, two, three, four or five. Is that how it is? Four people get together, they say, you know what, I will choose him as a khaleefa. He becomes a khalifa? Is that really logic? That is the first khalifa.

The second khalifa, was he, how did he come to power? How did he come? He was appointed? So where is that council? Where is that vote? Why would he appoint him? The third khalifa, it was chosen by one man, Abdul Rahman ibn 'Awf. The the second khalifa choose six people, six people. What about the rest of the Muslims? They were not present in this selection.

Did Mu'aweeya ibn Abi Sufyan come to power through a shura, a council? Bani Ummayah, Bani 'l-Abbas, the Ottoman Empire, any of them come? Not a single case except 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, salamullahi 'alayh, where it was unanimously agreed by the Muslims that he should become the khalifa, as he himself says, and the third sermon of Nahjul Balagha.

Nonetheless, we find, brothers and sisters, that there is not an example in the time of the of the predecessors of Rasul Allah, the time of Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, and those companions after Rasul Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa aali, not a single case where divine leadership was chosen by people. Now, what about then, the Prophet choosing someone will come to that in the next episode, Insh'Allah.

Until I see you, then, we ask Allah to bless us, guide us, wa as-salamu 'alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu.