Ahlul Sunnat believe that:
Imamate and Caliphate means rulership.
Ibn Khaldun writes about the Sunni view of Imamate and Caliphate:
“Imamate concerns common and general interests, which in their true sense relate to Ummah. And the Ummah can choose or appoint any person as Imam. And that person becomes responsible to administer the general affairs and common interests of the Ummah concerned.”!1
“Caliphate is seating a person in place of the Prophet to protect religion and worldly affairs.”!2
According to the first description, general and common interests of Ummah constitute the real meaning of Imamate and Caliphate. The second description embraces these two elements by way of meaning:
A) Administration of religious affairs (guarding faith)
B) Administration of worldly affairs (policies of world)
On the basis of descriptions that Sunni sect presents, it emerges to be administration of apparent rules of Islam in a society. Isfahani Ashari in his Sharh Tajreed describes Imamate as follows:
“Succession of the Prophet by a person from the Ummah to establish the rules of religion.”!
As a result: The meaning of Imamate and Caliphate among Sunni sect is only supervising the political and social affairs of Ummah.
Other testimonies that testify the above are:
Evidence 1) The Sunni sect argues the need of Ummah to have a Caliph and Imam3 as says Taftazani:
“Ummah must have an Imam to keep faith alive and to keep the tradition (of the Prophet) in practice. An Imam must attend to the oppressed and restore the rights of people.”!4
“The Prophet has commanded to carry out the decrees of God, to protect the frontiers, prepare the armies for holy war and several other things for guarding the system and supporting Islam (particularly the essence). All this cannot be achieved except by an Imam.”!5
Evidence 2) The Sunni sect has a list of duties and responsibilities incumbent on Imam and Caliph alike. They are as follows according to Baqilani:
“He (an Imam) must be in knowledge so as to qualify him to be a judge of Muslims. He must be with a sight that could enable him to see into affairs of war and manage armies and concomitant things and could be able to protect frontiers and save Islam; save the Ummah. He must be daring enough to take revenge from tyrants and preserve the rights of oppressed.”!6
According to this description Imamate and Caliphate in Sunni concept tantamount to rulership. Ibn Taimmiyah comments:
“Imamate and Caliphate is same as rulership or sultanate.”7
Sunnis believe that:
Imamate and Caliphate is through selection!
The Prophet has not appointed anyone as a Caliph or Imam, but left it to the choice of people. Therefore anyone can be Imam or Caliph of Islam if he is chosen by people.8
It shows that in Sunni thought Imamate and Caliphate depends on choice of people and not divine appointment.
So Ibn Khaldun in his description of Imamate and Caliphate says:
“Imamate (= rulership) is among the general and common matters that is delegated to the Ummah, so anyone that the Ummah chooses will be Caliph and Imam.”9
In the same way Shahristani mentions the outlook of Abul Hasan Ashari about this Sunni belief:
Therefore the office of Imamate and Caliphate is a matter of choice not to be appointed by God. It is left to the Ummah.
As you must have noted the meaning of Sunni concept of Imamate and Caliphate stands at the level of administration of social justice by means of judiciary and general security by means of executing Islamic punishment and guarding the country by means of providing an army. Furthermore, it is also expected to give expansion to Islam by means of conquering (foreign) territories or countries. All the above items are more or less of common interests of a Ummah in its worldly and religious affairs. In one word – all this is called a government.
Therefore according to Sunni outlook Imamate and Caliphate is a social position14 and a popular rank.15 Under the shadow of this selected or chosen government, the common interests of Ummah are looked after and provided. The needs of people are attended to. To gain power and authority is enough to form Caliphate.16
Sunni Believe: Obtaining Power and Dominance is Sufficient for Formation of Caliphate!
In the trend of Sunni thought, the prime aim by framing Imamate and Caliphate is to lay hand upon common and general interests of the Ummah.
In between this the choice of Ummah is a necessity to achieve the aim referred above. When Caliphate is the choice of people, it rescinds the necessity for a Quranic text.17
The contagion of this thought has stricken even some among Shia youths. Well, if it is the choice of people18 why the Ummah by all its individuals did not participate in selecting a Caliph?
If Caliphate comes into being by means of choice why the choice of each individual was not sought. In fact, committee of consultation and Bay’at is a means to give shape to Caliphate.
Their stressing on choice of people is only to form a government to serve popular needs. It is only to reach power and gain rule over society. It is the only ground for Sunni Sect by chosen Caliphate to achieve the aim, which is control over society and domination over it. And to give it legitimacy19 they consider it sufficient20 as Ibn Taimmiyah has explained:
By Imamate and Caliphate, it is not necessary to go beyond the conditions of gaining control of society. The nature of Caliphate is included in a government.
Ibn Taimmiyah further comments:
“Leaders of Sunni Sect have said:
From Sunni outlook one who possesses power and authority has a right to rule and run a government. Power is the base in Sunni thought for ground of Imamate and Caliphate. The belief of Sunni Sect is to attain power first to establish Caliphate. A Caliph must be obeyed from a Sunni view because he holds a government. In Sunni thought the whole process is made simple and easy. If one attains power and control over society by any means or method, the aim of Caliphate is achieved, which is security of popular interests.
Then at this stage responsibility of choosing a Caliphate is relieved from individuals of society. Once a Caliph is made known, others have no responsibility in this regard.
Qadi Abdul Jabbar says:
Sunnis believe that: Caliphate is achieved through whatever means29 and methods it might have been.
Installment of Imamate and Caliphate and achievement of its aim is based on principle of obtaining power and control over affairs of society. The means and methods here do not matter. That which matters is that one individual in the Ummah must attain power over society. If it is attained, it means a Caliphate is established; and through Caliphate a government is established.30 Such is in line with the Caliphs that existed in Sunni school.
It does not mean that all people must participate in choosing a Caliph.
If one person or few persons performed the appointment of Caliph it is enough. It relieves responsibility from others. To establish a chosen government does not call for whole population to participate. As goes Caliphate so goes the government.
Juwaini has this to comment:
“Do know that consensus is not a condition in establishing Imamate and Caliphate. Imamate will be established if there had not had been any consensus at all. So it became clear that consensus is not a condition to bring Caliphate into existence. Consensus has no bearing on Caliphate. Consensus has nothing to do with Caliphate. There is neither limit nor specified number.31 Imamate comes into being only by those who tie and untie.”!32
Qadi Abdul Jabbar comments:
“If some among those who tie and untie choose one to be Imam, he becomes Imam. If no one among Muslims does Bay’at with him, it does not affect him. He is the acknowledged Imam because the people who tie and untie have chosen him to be Imam.”!33
So this shows that in Sunni Sect even force and tyranny can be used as means to obtain Caliphate.
Taftazani has this to say:
“Imamate can be achieved by several means. The third way is force and domination. So when an Imam dies, another man having conditions of Imamate can become Imam without people doing Bay’at with him nor it is necessary that he should have been nominated by his predecessor. He can become Imam by means of force or taking the initiative to occupy the seat. by this way he can even become a successor to Prophet.”!34
Abu Yali comments:
“One who gains upper hand over people by means of sword becomes a Caliph and is called Ameer al-Momineen. Then it is not allowed to anyone who believes in God and Day of Judgment to pass the night without acknowledging him as an Imam.”!35
Sunnis believe that: Imam and Caliph can be a Tyrant, a Sinner or Profligate!
The preceding pages clearly show that the only condition required in a person to qualify him as a caliph is competency to administer affairs of the country. Competency is not a thing that could not be applied on several persons at a time.
Therefore according to above it does not become necessary that a Caliph must excel others in all qualities such as religious knowledge, common information, moral, conduct, human virtues and superiority of behavior.
It is not demanded for him to be the Caliph that he must be superior to all. He is an administrator, a manager or a director and that’s all.
Without superiority in him, he can secure the common interests, which are required of him.
“It is not necessary that an Imam must be a Hashimite or an infallible and superior to all. An Imam when installed or chosen cannot be dismissed or removed because of his sinfulness!”
Taftazani proceeds further and adds:
“Caliphate is vested and assigned to him although he be ignorant or sinner.”38
“The Sunni Sect has unanimously agreed that a Caliph cannot be deposed from office due to his sins and profligacy.”39
Sunnis believe that: Imamate and Caliphate is a branch of Religion!
In the system of Sunni thought the formation of government is the duty of Ummah. So all discussions concerning Imamate and Caliphate in a way relate to actions of adults and rules and regulations of their obligations.
In other words according to outlook of Sunni Sect the subject of Imamate is among branches of jurisprudence. It supervises the actions of adults on whom apply religious duties. Imamate and Caliphate has no bearing on belief of religion of Islam.
This subject has nothing to do with religion. It is – in our view – a branch that concerns actions of adults. To install an Imam is incumbent on Ummah.”44
“The regulations of Imamate are in branches of religion. Imamate is not a principle. There is no dispute about the suitability of this subject to constitute the branch of religion.
On the whole this branch relates to the worldly interests and interests of religion. The society cannot be administered without this branch.
The aim of the Prophet was that these affairs be attained by general people and not by each individual.
It is obvious that Imamate is a practical side of commands. It is not matter of belief. It is in our books of jurisprudence.”45
Sunnis believe that: Imamate and Caliphate are branches of no importance!
The Sunni Sect does not regard the subject of Imamate and Caliphate among basic pillars of faith nor among principles of belief. They even do not provide a room to this subject among issues of jurisprudence. In short, they regard this subject as superfluous or of no importance.
Abu Hamid Ghazzali says:
“Do know that it is not so important to research about Imamate or conduct a study into it. It is also not among intellectual sciences; it is among issues of jurisprudence.”46
Saifuddin Amadi says:
According to the belief of seekers of revision in Shia Faith:
Imamate and Wilayat is in the meaning of rulership!
Those who are after revision in Shia beliefs49 are easily entrapped in deviated beliefs. It could be due to their inclination to discussions related to Islamic government. They are prey of this perverted belief of chosen Caliphate.
The first particularity of the system of ‘chosen Caliphate’ has enchanted50 these open-minded ones or seekers of revision in belief. They have fallen prey to consider the subject of Imamate and Wilayat unimportant in relation to rulership.
According to this all traditions, Quranic verses and signs related to the subject of Imamate and Wilayat have become an object of moral deviation and perversion, which is, of course detrimental and very much harmful. It has a direct bearing on government.
Thus it is claimed:
“In the pristine faith of Islam the subject of Imamate concerns only government affairs and administration of political and social affairs and issues of Ummah.”!51
“Imamate means leadership and to run the political affairs of Islamic Ummah.”!52
“The executive of Islamic orders applies to Waliul Amr (possessor of affairs).”!53
“If an Islamic ruler carries out an Islamic order or commandment he is called Waliul Amr.”!54
“In Quran Waliul Amr is mentioned which gains meaning in the domain of government!”
“In Islamic literature, the word Imam is mentioned repeatedly. It is used in a sense of chief of government. His duties have been discussed repeatedly.”!55
“The dispute between Shia and Sunni since centuries is on the issue of government.”!56
According to the belief of seekers of revision in Shia Faith:
Wilayat and Imamate is rulership and an elected post
These advocates of revision in beliefs of Shia are strongly inclined that Ummah must be present in field of Islamic government, which is the second deviation of this group.
Thus it is claimed:
“Wilayat and rulership that is surrendered by people to an administrator if it carries Islamic conditions, it will be a divine government and it will be called an Islamic government as well as a popular one….”!57
Their superficial understanding about elected Caliphate and elected nature of government is the real cause of their deviation.
As said in preceding pages the theory of selection goes beyond the issue of Imamate and Caliphate and becomes a common field without any divine sanction.58
Choice is a deceptive word used only to avoid or overshadow its being a divine office. This term is utilized in the issue of Caliphate and Imamate to attract the attention of revision-seekers or the so-called modern open minded youths. Then it can be easily claimed:
“The choice of government after the Prophet does not lie in the hands of Prophet. But it lies in hands of people to choose whomever they like.”59
“To choose or to select an Imam is only the right of Ummah.”60
“Chief Executive of Muslims is a chosen one.”61
“To choose a Waliul Amr is a determined certainty of all Muslims which is unchangeable.”62
“The responsibility of installing the government of Quran is an obligation on all Muslims. The ruler of Muslims is chosen from among the masses themselves.”63
“The issue of Caliphate, Imamate and appointment of a chief is in the hands of people.”64
“It is the people who give Wilayat to whoever they desire in an open environment of freedom. It is the people who give entity and reality to his rule. These are powers of the masses which furnish reality to Wilayat and authority of Imam.”65
“A man chosen by people has the right to govern the people.”66
“Islam has vested rulership and authority to the masses themselves.”67
According to the belief of seekers of revision in Shia Faith:
Only ways of installing Imamate and Wilayat (Rulership) are consultation and Bay’at
The view that consultation and Bay’at are correct ways has exercised great influence on minds of seekers of revision in Shia beliefs. To think so is a particularity of the system of the thought of ‘chosen Caliphate’.
In the preceding discussion, it was indicated that in the system of conjecture of ‘chosen Caliphate’ in reality consultation and Bay’at have a very narrow and tight domain. But the simple-minded people do not detect this and are easily dominated by false allegations and window-dressing, because there are several other ways to install a Caliphate.
In other words, those who have laid the foundation of ‘chosen Caliphate’ do not treat Bay’at and consultation as the only way to establish Caliphate. Furthermore, they do not consider it necessary for each and every individual of Ummah to have a say in choosing the Caliph. The founders of chosen Caliphate have made the job for themselves easy. Since the beginning they were particular to clear the way and avoid setbacks and hindrances.
The close inclination to Bay’at and consultation has caused this group of revision-seekers to persist on this principle as the only way to establish Imamate and Wilayat. They want to purge the beliefs of founders of theory of chosen Caliphate, although it is an attraction to them. Yet they criticize the system of Sunni thought68 that why they go after other ways and means and leave aside the way of consultation.
They have the following claim:
“The Sunni Sect has gone against Divine commands and traditions of the Prophet with regard to Caliphate and Caliph. They do not follow the conditions which exist in own books including the reputed Sahih Bukhari and Sahih of Muslim. The qualities of Caliph are stated therein. But in practice they did not exercise these conditions.”69
“If they refer to their own books and traditions, they could see what is required in the personality of the Caliph. But the thing is they have overlooked these facts.”70
“Almost all Islamic sects have gone astray with regard to issue of Caliphate. The Quranic verse of Ulil Amr was forgotten from the first day. It was rightful to have these two verses of Ulil Amr as touchstones after the Prophet’s passing away. Each one of companions was an object of this verse and was suitable to be a Caliph. Such a practice would have lasted until the Days of Judgment. Caliphate would have been a Quranic one.”71
Rulership of Muslims is selection according to the command of Quran! One whose qualities are specified by Quran…Muslims must choose as their Executive since it is enjoined by Quran.
So since the era of Muawiyah upto now all leaders of Islam were chosen against Quranic standards.”72
It is misunderstanding the meaning of chosen Caliphate that impelled revision-seekers to purge the beliefs of Sunni outlook on this issue. And they limited their criticism to Sunnis only to this subject.
While what they criticize is coherent with the thought of chosen Caliphate. Contrary to their imagination, the Sunni Sect is not lacking anything in the issue of Imamate and Caliphate. They do their job without Bay’at and consultation.
On the whole, it can be said:
Wrong conclusions about conjecture of chosen Caliphate have resulted in a belief that there is no way other than Bay’at and consultation to appoint a Caliph. Therefore they say:
“The real issue of Caliphate according to traditions and Quran is based on consultation and choice.”73
“The matter of rulership in Islam is through consultation and selection.”74
While the system of Imamate and Caliphate (rulership) is so designed that no criticism applies thereon because the thought in Sunni conjecture is based on choice.
The revision-seekers regard Bay’at and consultation as the only way to fix Imamate and Wilayat. They emphasize on it too much.
This group in the end justifies all other ways of forming Caliphate (rulership) and they further say:
“Domination over masses by means of force or succession or Bay’at by only a few people is not ground of governorship. If it does not secure the satisfaction of all, it would be short of validity. If it is supported by agreement of all it is a valid choice.”75
According to the belief of seekers of revision in Shia Faith:
Consultation and Bay’at is source of legitimacy of Imamate and Wilayat
Misunderstanding of this group regarding view of chosen Caliphate is the cause for considering Bay’at and consultation to be the only ways to form Caliphate and Islamic government. But they have gone even farther. They think that Bay’at and consultation is the means to give legitimacy to the chosen Caliphate.
Thus it is said:
“Discussion is how to establish the system of Wilayat and Imamate. It would not attain popularity through means of Bay’at and consultation.”76
“A head of government must be chosen through consultation and public opinion. The Holy Quran refers to this as a legitimate way. It further lays stress on the necessity of its practice in absence of the Prophet.”77
“The principle of consultation in Islam is an absolute principle. If the government happens to lack this principle, it will not be legitimate.”78
“If people choose a man of their choice by consultation with Imam or a guardian to administer affairs of Islamic government it will please God.”79
“Bay’at is a right of leader on the masses. This gives legitimacy to government. A governor or a ruler has no command on the people and people too have no obligation to obey him.”80
“As long as people have not done Bay’at with him they are not obliged to obey him. But as soon as they do Bay’at with him his rule becomes legitimate and obedience becomes a religious duty on them.”81
“Rightfulness of Islamic government comes to light when the people have entered into Bay’at with it.”82
All this is borrowed from belief of Sunni Sect about the issue of Imamate of selection. As a matter of fact, the chosen Caliphate on the basis of Bay’at and consultation has quite a different dimension with Sunnis. But revision-seekers are unaware of it.
To explain further:
Founders of ‘chosen Caliphate’ believe in its substitute or transferring it to another. This is against Quranic verse and Divine appointment as is the belief of Shia Imamiyah Sect. Sunni belief is briefed in this:
God has allotted a right to people to choose an Imam for themselves to administer their affairs and govern the society.
To prove their belief that God has sanctioned them to choose an Imam they follow several ways. One of the important ways is Bay’at and consultation. According to them it has an important place in Islam.
In other words, founders of chosen Caliphate believe its legitimacy lies in substitution of authority. Therefore they lay much stress on consultation and Bay’at because they think it a correct one.
Therefore these two elements, consultation and Bay’at are to them one of several ways to appoint Caliphate. They bring it forward as the origin of legitimacy. This is the only proof with them towards correctness of theory of transferring the authority.
In other words they regard consultation and Bay’at as the only important sign, which gives them the right of choosing a Caliph for the Ummah. They think this is the route through which they can obtain legitimacy for Caliphate. Caliphate to them is not a divine appointment. After all this dispute and argument, they do not bind themselves to any particular method because they think they have established legitimacy to it. They argue:
“The nature and characteristic of system of chosen Imamate and Caliphate lose importance of its means when the government is established.
Revision-seekers think consultation and Bay’at to be the only means to frame Imamate and Wilayat.
The above perverted outlook is a reason why revision-seekers exert their efforts to find ways and means to carry out Bay’at and consultation towards establishment of government. To set aside the difficulties and setbacks that hinder execution of this design they should borrow the services of those who tie and untie as is the system in Sunni Sect.
It is neither practicable nor possible for each individual of the Ummah to participate in choosing an Imam. The revision-seekers cannot conceal every age and every occasion in history.
The situation of some endeavors is as follows:
“It is natural that all individuals can participate directly in the first stage and choose a ruler for their society, which is most necessary and important. Or to seek their opinion individually too is not possible.
What is possible and practicable is that a few among the Ummah choose a person. Masses too agree with the choice. Then the masses do Bay’at with him. So a government is formed.”!83
“Between consultation and Bay’at, there is a difference in meaning. Imam and administrator of Islamic society must be a reputed person in addition to his being popular and most popular among majority of people. Bay’at does not mean that all people know the candidate. Consultation has a direct bearing on those who distinguish the people.”84
“In the system of consultation the experts, the scholars and persons in charge, who themselves are representatives and confederates of people; choose a man having ability and competency for the job. They select him for Guardianship (Wilayat Amr) of society. Then the masses (in case of acceptance) do Bay’at with him. This is the same system of majority. This system through two stages provides popularity and legitimacy to the Islamic government.”!85
“Some have stressed that those who tie and untie should fix a head of the government of Muslims. This right does not apply to all Muslims. Here this much could be debated. First, if the body of those who tie and untie is chosen by Muslims masses then all people share in political matters. The only difference is that the ruler is appointed in two stages instead of one.
Secondly, the appointment of the ruler by those who tie and untie is an ephemeral job not a permanent one. As there is no way for presence of masses to choose a ruler the persons who tie and untie should give importance to this job. This is applied only when it is not possible to collect popular opinion.”!86
The sense of Bay’at is changed into a vote of confidence and legitimacy to one with whom Bay’at is done.
Thus it is said:
“Bay’at is in the sense of opinion of trust, selection and formalization of someone as a leader to whom Bay’at has been given.”87
It can be said:
Such a sense originated from a wrong outlook that Bay’at is the source of legitimacy and legality of Imamate and Wilayat.
As a result:
The text of Quran and Bay’at become parallel to each other. They become two pillars of equal worth and importance. Both have a part in exercising the right of Imam Ali (‘a).
So they say:
“One chosen by people has a right to govern them.”88
When Bay’at is changed to a vote of confidence and a choosing right, and becomes equal to Verse of Quran in forming a right to frame the Alawi government, the sense of the verse of Ghadeer too is changed from Divine support to that of priority of Ali towards forming a government.
As a result:
In addition to this Imamate is set outside the boundary of Divine appointment. It becomes a sort of a chosen post. Imam Ali (‘a) too becomes the most befitting person whom God chooses to this job. They also say:
“Although after passing away of Prophet, Muslims had the right to frame a consulting committee to appoint a Caliph but it was better to act on the will of the Prophet also about the consulting committee. Was Shura formed according to God’s command more befitting and suitable than the Prophet? The will is a finishing touch to the consulting body and the completing element to it.”89
“When the Prophet has cleared a matter or recommended a thing the job of consulting body becomes simple and easy. The Prophet had wanted to lay the religion on a foundation that it could exist and last to the last day of the world. So the Prophet introduced to Muslims a man most prefect, most brave, must knowledgeable and consummate one in every tribute and in each aspect. He was Ali. The Prophet presented him to the Ummah as a model to be his successor. The Prophet even reminded to Ummah a few of Ali’s virtues and qualities.
Finally, at Ghadeer he finished the job. He raised Ali on his hands and declared him as the Imam and Caliph and his successor after him.”90
When Bay’at changes to the meaning of a vote of confidence and goes parallel to the Holy text of Quran and helps in creating a right to govern in Alawi manner, the sense of legitimacy also gets changed. It becomes the eligibility of a ruler which rests with the people to decide.91
So it is said:
“A leader or ruler in Islam should have legitimacy as well as acceptance. His legitimacy is judged on the standards of a serious school.”92
“Caliphate is a common right of all. It should be vested on the basis of consultation to a competent person.”93
“God’s and Islam’s command is to choose a more suitable man for Imamate, Wilayat and government. People must choose as a leader one who is more suitable than all and has moral values.”94
“Bay’at neither has a religious aspect nor worth in the matter of Wilayat, obedience and holy war. It cannot be a source of legitimacy. According to this theory, the value of Bay’at goes as far as to oblige a Bay’at doer to obey the ruler whose Guardianship is laid upon Muslims. The obedience too goes as far as Divine commands go, and no further.
According to this theory Bay’at does not constitute any superiority or Guardianship of others. According to my belief, this is the highest angle of jurisprudence in this respect.
The Prophet enjoined the people at four stations to do Bay’at with him. First at Aqaba One, then Aqaba Two, third at the Bay’at of Rizwan and fourth on Ghadeer Day.
The first Bay’at was an invitation. The second and the last one for his governorship and successorship and the third for holy war. According to this, three kinds of Bayyats took place in the time of the Prophet. In these Bayyats, there is no jurisprudential decree to make it incumbent. But reason makes it incumbent to pay allegiance because it is demanded by the Prophet.
Obedience to Prophet is incumbent in peace and war. It is a religious duty.
The issue of Bay’at in Imamate and Wilayat has no jurisprudence value. It does not give legitimacy. It is only a connection and link between Ummah and its leader. It strengthens ties between the two.”95
End: Caution of Wilayat and warning of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) about the beginning of deviation in belief of Imamate
We close this chapter by referring to two points in the speech of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.):
When a group of supporters of falsehood, in order to conceal the truth and justify their usurpation, instigated a generation to head towards the fire of hell, Siddiqa Tahira (Zahra) said regarding this perversion:
“What a surprise! Have you forgotten the Day of Ghadeer Khumm?”96
In the same way, Her Eminence (s.a.) in reply to justifications of the betrayers of trust said:
“Did my father leave an excuse for anyone on Ghadeer Day?”97
- 1. Ibn Khaldun: Muqaddimah, Pg. 196.
- 2. Ibid. Muqaddimah, Pg. 191.
- 3. According to Sunnis the need of Imam is due to the need of having a government in order to remove chaos from the society.
- 4. Taftazani: Sharh Maqasid, Part 5, Pg. 233.
- 5. Ibid. Sharh Maqasid, Part 5, Pg. 236.
- 6. Baqilani: At-Tamheed, Pg. 181.
- 7. Ibn Taimmiyah: Minhaj as-Sunnah, Vol. 1, Pg. 141.
- 8. From this aspect in the system of thoughts of Ahlul Sunnat the legitimacy of Caliphate is based on selection of the Ummah and the one who is selected by the Ummah also becomes the divinely selected one.
- 9. Ibn Khaldun: Muqaddimah, Pg. 196.
- 10. This claim of Sunnis is opposed to the Shia belief in divine Imamate.
- 11. Shahristani: Al-Milal wan Nihal, Vol. 1, Pg. 144.
- 12. The real founders of the view of ‘Elected Caliphate’ are Ahlul Sunnat.
- 13. The meaning of selection of Ummah is insistence on this claim only.
- 14. That is the post of Imamate is limited to rulership and administration of society.
- 15. That is the Almighty Allah does not specify the holders of these posts.
- 16. According to Ahlul Sunnat during the period of the Caliphs the explanation of Islamic law was on the Caliphs to some extent but it was not restricted to them only.
- 17. It can be said that Sunni sect insists upon Ummah’s choice even to the extent of denying existence of Divine text (Nass) in this respect. Since Divine verse exists in case of Ali and which was read by the Prophet on the occasion of Ghadeer they are obliged to deny it or to take refuge in a misrepresentation of it.
- 18. Selected Caliphate means that which the Ummah is obliged to establish.
- 19. From the point of view of Ahlul Sunnat the right of rulership is for one who is capable of domination..
- 20. According to Ahlul Sunnat the pivot of Imamate is power.
- 21. Ibn Taimmiyah: Minhaj as-Sunnah, Vol. 1, Pg. 141.
- 22. Ahlul Sunnat believe that the legitimacy of occurrence of Caliphate is obtained by having power and domination.
- 23. From the point of view of Ahlul Sunnat the basic condition of Caliphate is that a person should obtain domination over the people so that there is no chaos and general benefits of the Ummah are secured.
- 24. Ibn Taimmiyah: Minhaj as-Sunnah, Vol. 1, Pg. 141.
- 25. From the point of view of Ahlul Sunnat obeying the Caliph only becomes incumbent when he has established his domination.
- 26. Regarding ‘Those who tie and untie’ we should explain that there is no specific or precise description about this term. To explain this we can say it pertains to persons who are brokers of power. They perform the task of creating caliphs, (king-makers). They have influence in society and steer the course of thought in it. They have agents and sub-agents. They know how to elevate the desired one into public opinion and how to bring down one in public estimation. So they are called ‘who tie and untie’ which means they tie one from that job.
- 27. According to Qadi Abdul Jabbar if a Caliph is chosen others are absolved from the responsibility of society.
- 28. Qadi Abdul Jabbar: Al-Mughni fil Abwaab at-Tauheed wal-Adl, Pg. 303.
- 29. In Sunni Sect Caliphate has no fixed ground, a standard, or a principle. The Caliphate and Imamate is 2 based on verbal terms only.
- 30. That is a government that the Ummah is obliged to form.
- 31. There is no fixed standard for appointing a person as Imam.
- 32. Juwaini: Al-Irshad Ila Qawaata al-Adalla fee Usool al-Itiqaad, Pg. 424.
- 33. Qadi Abdul Jabbar: Al-Mughni fil Abwaab at-Tauheed wal-Adl, Pg. 303.
- 34. Taftazani: Sharh Maqasid, Part 5, Pg. 233.
- 35. Abu Yaala: Al-Ahkaam as-Sultaaniyah, Pg. 23.
- 36. Qalaqshandi: Maatharul Anaaqa fee Maalimul Khilafah, Vol. 1, Pg. 58.
- 37. Juwaini: Al-Irshad Ila Qawaata al-Adalla fee Usool al-Itiqaad, Pg. 424.
- 38. Taftazani: Sharh Maqasid, Part 5, Pg. 233.
- 39. Nawawi: Sharh Sahih Muslim, Vol. 12, Pg. 229.
- 40. Ahlul Sunnat believe that for security of a Caliph’s regime any law can be cancelled.
- 41. Baqilani: At-Tamheed, Pg. 181.
- 42. Ahlul Sunnat scholastic theologians have included this discussion in Ilme Kalaam only to refute the Shias.
- 43. Eji: Al-Mawaafiq, Part 8, Pg. 344.
- 44. Eji: Al-Mawaafiq, Part 8, Pg. 344.
- 45. Taftazani: Sharh Maqasid, Part 5, Pgs. 232-233.
- 46. Ghazzali: Al-Iqtisaad fil Itiqaad, Pg. 234.
- 47. He on the basis of this view says:
“There is more hope in salvation of one who ignores the discussion of Imamate than one who participates in it.”
(Amidi: Ghayatul Maraam, Pg. 363)
- 48. In the environment of Sunni thought there is no sense to know the Imam. The tradition is distorted in Sunni books. “One who does not knows his Imam dies a pagan’s death. This tradition is distorted like this: one who does not do Bayyat… or/and one who does not obey…the inserted words change the sense quite differently. The aim of the tradition too gets changed.
- 49. Refer: Rasool Ja’faryan: Jaryaanha wa Saazmaanhai Mazhabi – Siyasi Iran, Pgs. 350-377.
- 50. This enchantment has put a big question mark over their originality and sincerity.
- 51. Haider Ali Qalamdaran: Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 52.
- 52. Ibid. Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 51.
- 53. Sayyid Asadullah Meer Islami Kharqani: Raah-e-Tajdeed-e-Azmat O Qudrat-e-Islami (Way to renovate the glory and power of Islam) (Preface by Sayyid Mahmood Taliqani), Pg. 101.
- 54. Ibid. Raah-e-Tajdeed-e-Azmat O Qudrat-e-Islami (Way to renovate the glory and power of Islam) (Preface by Sayyid Mahmood Taliqani), Pg. 101.
- 55. Mustafa Husayni Tabatabai: Hukumat-e-Deeni O Hukumat-e-Mardumi (Government of religion and Government of people), Pg. 1-2.
- 56. Ibid. Hukumat-e-Deeni O Hukumat-e-Mardumi (Government of religion and Government of people), Pg. 2.
- 57. Nimatullah Salihi Najafabadi: Hukumat-e-Salihaan (Government of the Righteous), Pg. 75.
- 58. Refer to introduction of Ibn Khaldun and Abul Hasan Ashari.
- 59. Haider Ali Qalamdaran: Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 129.
- 60. Ibid. Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 128.
- 61. Sayyid Asadullah Meer Islami Kharqani: Raah-e-Tajdeed-e-Azmat O Qudrat-e-Islami (Way to renovate the glory and power of Islam) (Preface by Sayyid Mahmood Taliqani), Pg. 38.
- 62. Ibid. Raah-e-Tajdeed-e-Azmat O Qudrat-e-Islami (Way to renovate the glory and power of Islam) (Preface by Sayyid Mahmood Taliqani), Pg. 290.
- 63. Mustafa Husayni Tabatabai: Article quoted in the book Deen-O-Hukumat (Religion and Rulership), Pg. 574.
- 64. Husayn Ali Montazeri: Mubaani-e-Fiqhi Hukumat-e-Islami (Translated by Mahmood Salawati) (Sources of Islamic jurisprudence in Islamic Government), Vol. 2, Section 4. Proof of the wrong of the caliphate elected by people, Pg. 299.
- 65. Nimatullah Salihi Najafabadi: Hukumat-e-Salihaan (Government of the Righteous), Pgs. 68-69.
- 66. Ibid. Hukumat-e-Salihaan (Government of the Righteous), Pg. 200.
- 67. Abdul Ali Bazargan: Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pg. 69.
- 68. The system of thoughts of Ahlul Sunnat is the real founder of the view of ‘Elected Caliphate’.
- 69. Haider Ali Qalamdaran: Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 135.
- 70. Ibid. Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 136.
- 71. Sayyid Asadullah Meer Islami Kharqani: Raah-e-Tajdeed-e-Azmat O Qudrat-e-Islami (Way to renovate the glory and power of Islam) (Preface by Sayyid Mahmood Taliqani), Pg. 42.
- 72. Ibid. Raah-e-Tajdeed-e-Azmat O Qudrat-e-Islami (Way to renovate the glory and power of Islam) (Preface by Sayyid Mahmood Taliqani), Pg. 101.
- 73. Haider Ali Qalamdaran: Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 121.
- 74. Ibid. Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 111.
- 75. Husayn Ali Montazeri: Mubaani-e-Fiqhi Hukumat-e-Islami (Translated by Mahmood Salawati) (Sources of Islamic jurisprudence in Islamic Government), Vol. 2, Pgs. 190-191.
- 76. Abdul Ali Bazargan: Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pg. 18.
- 77. Mustafa Husayni Tabatabai: Hukumat-e-Deeni O Hukumat-e-Mardumi (Government of religion and Government of people), Pg. 5.
- 78. Muhammad Jawad Hujjati Kermani: Guzarish Daily, Issue no. 99, Pg. 15.
- 79. Abdul Kareem Bi-Aazaar Shirazi: Seemai Imam-e-Muttaqeen, (Portrait of the Imam of the Pious), Vol. 7, Pg. 18.
- 80. Muhammad Waizzaada Khorasani: Nahjul Balagha Magazine, Issue No. 4-5 Pg. 172.
- 81. Ibid. Nahjul Balagha Magazine, Issue No. 4-5 Pg. 171.
- 82. Abdul Ali Bazargan: Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pg. 98.
- 83. Abdul Ali Bazargan: Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pg. 135.
- 84. Ibid. Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pg. 141.
- 85. Ibid. Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pg. 19.
- 86. Mustafa Husayni Tabatabai: Hukumat-e-Deeni O Hukumat-e-Mardumi (Government of religion and Government of people), Pgs. 6-7.
- 87. Nimatullah Salihi Najafabadi: Hukumat-e-Salihaan (Government of the Righteous), Pg. 67.
- 88. Nimatullah Salihi Najafabadi: Hukumat-e-Salihaan (Government of the Righteous), Pg. 200.
- 89. Abdul Ali Bazargan: Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pgs. 82-83.
- 90. Haider Ali Qalamdaran: Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 123.
- 91. In this system of thoughts the main power lies in the Shura, Nass only makes the matter easy
- 92. Abdul Ali Bazargan: Shura-O-Bayat (Consultation and Allegiance), Pg. 98.
- 93. Haider Ali Qalamdaran: Hukoomat Dar Islam (Government in Islam), Vol. 1, Pg. 162.
- 94. Nimatullah Salihi Najafabadi: Hukumat-e-Salihaan (Government of the Righteous), Pg. 77.
- 95. Ustad Muhammad Mahdi Asifi: Waashze Maandgaaraan (Translated by Hasan Shanechi), Pgs. 85-86; Ibid. Mudkhil Ilaa Daraasata Nassul Ghadeer, Pgs. 72-73.
- 96. Muhammad Baqir Ansari: Chaharda Qarn Ba Ghadeer (Fourteen Centuries with Ghadeer) Pg. 36; quoting from: Majlisi: Biharul Anwar, Vol. 36, Pg. 353.
- 97. Ibid. Pg. 37; quoting from Sadooq: Khisaal, Pg. 173.