ASSIGNMENT No. 2
- 1 Elaborate Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique’s (RA) importance in galaxy of caliphate.
“If I had taken anyone as my closest friend I would have taken Abu Bakr, but he is my brother and companion,” these are the words of Prophet Muhammad (may God shower him with mercy). Abu Bakr was known as Siddeeq (the truthful). The Arabic word Siddeeq implies more than lack of deceit; it indicates a person in a constant state of truthfulness. One who recognizes the truth and adheres to it. The word Siddeeq implies truthfulness to one’s self, those around us and most importantly to God. Abu Bakr was such a man. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) showed his great love and respect for Abu Bakr by associating him with the concept of the “closest friend.” In Arabic, the word used is Khaleel and it denotes more than friendship, rather a heartfelt closeness with an unbreakable connection. Prophet Abraham was known as the Khaleel of God. The sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the history of Islam tell us that Abu Bakr was born a little over two years after Prophet Muhammad, and that both were born into the tribe of Quraish, although into different clans. Abu Bakr was born into a reasonably well off family and established himself as a successful trader and merchant. He was a likeable, approachable man who had a large social network. Abu Bakr loved to talk and communicate with all those around him and was an expert in Arab genealogy. He knew the names and locations of all the Arab tribes and understood their good and bad qualities. It was this knowledge that allowed him to mix easily with many diverse people and command a great deal of influence in Makkan society.When Prophet Muhammad married his first wife Khadijah, he and Abu Bakr became neighbors and found that they shared many of the same characteristics. Both men were traders, and both conducted their affairs with honesty and integrity. Both Prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr avoided the vice and corruption that abounded in pre-Islamic Arabia and both avoided idolatry. They recognized each other as kindred spirits and struck up a lifelong friendship. Abu Bakr was the first person to heed Prophet Muhammad’s message and accept Islam. When he heard Prophet Mohammad say that there was nothing worthy of worship but God and that he (Muhammad) was the messenger of God, Abu Bakr accepted Islam without any reservations. For everybody else who comes to Islam or rekindles lost faith, there is an obstacle, a moment of hesitation, but not for Abu Bakr. The sweetness of faith entered his heart and the one known as the truthful, recognized the truth. In the early days when the message was first revealed, Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) called the people around him to Islam in secret. Prophet Muhammad knew that his message would shock and dismay the Makkans who were deeply entrenched in ignorance. He wanted to build a group of followers who would slowly deliver the message, spreading out in ever-increasing circles. When there were 38 Muslims, Abu Bakr went to his beloved friend Prophet Muhammad and said he wanted to proclaim the message in public. Prophet Muhammad refused, thinking the numbers to be too small to risk exposure. Abu Bakr insisted and kept mentioning this to his companion. When Prophet Muhammad was ordered by God to make his message public, he and Abu Bakr made their way to the Kaaba. Abu Bakr stood up and proclaimed in a loud voice, “There is none worthy of worship but God, and Muhammad is his slave and messenger.” Abu Bakr was the first public speaker for Islam. When Prophet Muhammad passed away the Muslims were devastated, some even refused to accept that the Prophet had died. Their hearts were broken. Although overwhelmed by grief, Abu Bakr addressed the people, he praised and glorified God and said, “Whoever worshipped Muhammad should know that Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped God, then God is Ever-living and shall never die.” He then recited verses from the Qur’an.
“(O Muhammad) Verily you will die, and they also will die.” (Qur’an 39:30)
“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to God, and God will give reward to those who are grateful. (Qur’an 3:144) During this great crisis, the devastated Muslims chose Abu Bakr as their leader. He was the first Caliph (leader of the Muslims). Ali ibn Abu Talib, praised Abu Bakr as the first person to enter Islam and the first to perform any good deeds. In Islam, competing with one another to do good deeds is not only acceptable but also encouraged. Prophet Muhammad exhorted his followers to behave easily in the affairs of this world, but to race with one another toward everlasting life in Paradise. Muslim historian Al-Tabarani, quotes righteous companion Ibn Abbas as saying, “Abu Bakr…..excelled all the companions of Prophet Muhammad in piety and righteousness, renunciation of worldly goods and reliance upon God.” From the sayings of Prophet Muhammad we learn that Abu Bakr will be the first person to enter Paradise after the Prophets of God.
Often, the pain of losing someone can seem impossible to get over. When the Holy Prophetsa passed away, the Companions experienced all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, including shock, anger, disbelief, guilt and profound sadness. Hazrat Umar was no different. His heart wasn’t ready to accept the Prophet’s demise and threatened to kill anyone who said that the Prophet had passed away. In such a situation, where the companions were in denial and confusion, Hazrat Abu Bakr stood up and recited the verse.
“And Muhammad In Only A Messenger. Verily, All Messengers Have Passed Away Before Him. If Then He Die Or Be Slain, Will You Turn Back On Your Heels? And He Who Turns Back On His Heels Shall Not Harm Allah At All. And Allah Will Certainly Reward The Grateful.”
[SURAH AL-E-IMRAN, CH.3: V.145]
When we read this incident in the Hadith, we find the reactions of the companions who were present. Hazrat Umarra stated that when he heard Hazrat Abu Bakr recite the verse, he felt as though it had been revealed to him by God at that very moment, though he had recited it before many times. Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakr was able to bring peace back into the hearts of the Companions. Thereafter the Companions took the Bai’at at the hand of Hazrat Abu Bakr.
- 2 Highlight the problems and difficulties faced by Hazrat Umar (RA) as Caliph.
During the last days of his worldly life, the 1st caliph of Muslims Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) consulted important companions for choosing his successor. In conformity with their opinion, he (RA) nominated Hazrat Umar (RA) as the second caliph of Muslims in what can be called a smooth transition of power.
Hazrat Umar (RA) had averted armed conflicts among Muslims on the issue of selecting head of Umah on three occasions. Firstly, after the demise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), he (RA) supported the candidacy of Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) for caliphate. Secondly, after the death of 1st caliph, he (RA) was elected as caliph in a smooth manner and without any opposition. Thirdly, during his last days, he (RA) constituted a six-member panel and assigned it the task of choosing one amongst them as his successor, i.e. the third Caliph of Muslims. That committee comprised of Hazrat Usman (RA), Hazrat Ali (RA), Hazrat Talha (RA), Hazrat Zubair (RA), Hazrat Abdurrehman bin Auf (RA) and Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqas (RA). With majority vote, they elected Hazrat Usman-e-Ghani as the 3rd caliph.
The ten years of the caliphate of Hazrat Umar (RA) are considered a glorious period of conquests during which Islamic empire expanded immensely and the two great powers of that time, i.e. the Romans and Persians, were defeated decisively many times.
Major conquests of his era are:
I. Battle of Qadsiya
This battle was fought between Muslims and Persian armies. The former was led by Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqas (RA) while the latter by Rustum. It was a fierce battle in which about 9000 Muslims embraced martyrdom. But the Persian casualties were four times larger including their Commander-in-Chief. Huge booty fell into the hands of Muslims. This battle dealt a deadly blow to the Sassanid Empire of Persia, and heralded the Islamic Empire of the Middle Age. After the battle, the capital of the Sassanid Empire Madain was conquered by Muslims and Kufa and Basra were founded, the cities which later on became centres of Islamic civilization and culture. Conquest of Iraq was result of this battle
II. Battle of Yarmuk
This battle was fought between Muslims and the Byzantine army. Comprising about 30000 soldiers, the Muslim army was led by Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed (RA). The Roman army was more than three times larger. However, Muslim losses were about 3000 dead whereas casualties of Romans were nearly ten times to those of Muslims. The immediate result of victory of Yarmuk was the conquest of Syria.
III. Capture of Jerusalem and Palestine
After their great triumph in the battle of Yermuk (in 636AD), Muslims got hold of Jerusalem under the command of Hazrat Amr bin al-As (RA) without any bloodshed. After the triumph, the Muslim army started advancing towards Jerusalem and laid siege to the city. The Byzantine commander fled, leaving the city in the control of Patriarch who offered to surrender on the condition that only the caliph must take its keys from him in person. Accepting this condition, Hazrat Umar (RA) travelled from Madina to Jerusalem, accompanied by no escort but only his slave, with whom he (RA) exchanged ride on camel-back. On the last lap of the journey, it was the slave’s turn to ride the camel. Thus, Hazrat Umar (RA) reached Jerusalem while he was holding the reins of the camel, though he (RA) was, at that time, the most powerful ruler in the world. The Patriarch delivered him the keys of Jerusalem. With Jerusalem, Palestine also became part of Islamic Empire.
IV. Conquest of Egypt and Fall of Alexandria
Egypt was also conquered during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar (RA). In battle for Babylon and Alexandria, the Commander-in-Chief of Muslim army was Amr ibn al-Aas. Although Muslim army was about half the Byzantine army, the Muslims fought with great valour and zeal and won it. After the conquest of Egypt, Fustat was founded as headquarter of Muslims in Egypt.
V. Final subjugation of Persia
The battle of Nihavand proved as the final nail in the coffin of Persian Empire. An-Numan (RA) was the Commander-in-Chief of Muslim Army in this battle. Although Persian army was much larger and mightier than the Muslim army, but the Muslims came out triumphant on account of their valour, dedication and war plan. About 100,000 Persian were killed in the course of battle. This battle shattered the Persian Empire and decided its fate once for all. The Arab historians have thus termed it the Victory of Victories. After this great triumph, the whole of Persia came under the sway of Islam.
Reforms of Hazrat Umar (RA)
Apart from providing unprecedented expansion to Islamic Empire, Hazrat Umar (RA) introduced umpteen innovative and excellent administrative reforms that not only ameliorated the administration but also went a long way in bringing happiness and prosperity to the people. Some of his reforms are as under:
1) He (RA) was the 1st Muslim ruler who adopted the title of Ameer-ul-Momineen, i.e. “Leader of the Faithful”.
2) He (RA) established the institution of Bait-ul-Maal, i.e. National Exchequer, on sound footing and gave the concept that it is the property of people, not of the rulers.
3) He (RA) held the census for the very first time in Islamic history.
4) Salaries/Pensions were fixed for unemployed people and for social work. So, he (RA) was the first ruler who established a true welfare state.
5) A number of canals were dug for providing water to the people so as to meet their drinking and irrigation needs.
6) Godowns were constructed for storage of food and concrete steps were taken for controlling profiteering, hoarding and adulteration.
7) He (RA) installed a proper judicial system by appointing Qazis/Judges. However, in order to ensure that people have direct, easy access to them, separate buildings were not built rather they were directed to sit in mosques.
8) Islamic calendar commencing from Hijra, i.e. migration, was initiated.
9) A regular postal system was established to ensure speedy and effective delivery of mail.
10) An impressive policing and spying system was introduced that heralded an exemplary law and order situation.
11) A regular army was established by fixing salaries for the soldiers. New cantonments were built.
12) He (RA) took special care of subjects. For that purpose, he used to visit areas of his caliphate in disguise, especially at night. He (RA) used to say: “Even if a dog dies within the territorial jurisdiction of my caliphate, I would be held accountable for it.”
13) Teachers were appointed in provincial towns that were settled by the Arab tribes for imparting them education.
14) New cities like Kufa, Basra and Fustate were established.
15) For the convenience of pilgrims, open space around Kaba was epspqned .
16) He (RA) also took care of non-Muslims subjects and abolished jizya i.e. Tax on aged and disabled non-Muslim charged by the Muslim Empire when he (RA) found an aged Muslim begging in the Madina.
On 27th of Zil Haj 23 AH, he (RA) was stabbed with a poisoned dagger by Abu Lolo Feroz, when he (RA) was leading the morning congregational prayers. He (RA) was injured and five days later on 1st Muharram 24 A.H he (RA) embraced martyrdom. His glorious caliphate lasted for 10 years and five months.
The non-Muslim writers also accept and acknowledge Hazrat Umar (RA) as a great conqueror and successful administrator who gave zenith to Islamic Empire. For example Michael Heart has written the famous book “the 100” in which he has discussed lives of 100 personalities who have left indelible effects on human history from the time of Moses to this age. In this book, only two great Muslim personalities the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Umar (RA) have been mentioned. He has compared Hazrat Umar (RA) with Saint Paul of Christianity on account of his enormous services for the cause of Islam. Throughout his life he (RA) exhibited extra ordinary level of fear of Allah and piety. He (RA) used to say, “A man is not known by his worship but by his dealing with other people”.
- 3 Examine the charges against Hazrat Usman (RA). How did he tackle them?
The allegations levelled against Hazrat Usman (RA) are wrong, absurd, frivolous and based on distortion of historical facts and ground realities. A brief overview of them is as under:
- Dismissal of important companions and their replacement by men of his clan
This is an absurd allegation as dismissal of the governors was on the basis of cogent reasons. Mughira bin Shoba was removed in conformity with the will of Hazrat Umar (RA) and after some time of his dismissal from governorship of Basra, he was appointed Wali/Governor of Kufa. The reason for dismissal of Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqqas (RA) was his failure to clear a loan he had taken from the national exchequer. Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood (RA) was removed from post on account of advance age and was replaced with another important companion Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit (RA). The cause for removal of Hazrat Umru bin Ala’as (RA) was financial mismanagement.
- Maltreatment of some important companions
This is also a false allegation. For example, Hazrat Abu Zar Ghaffari (RA) was not sent on exile but he himself started living in isolation and refused to accept financial assistance. The financial stipend of Abdullah bin Masood (RA) was halted because he refused to comply with genuine official orders.
- Misuse of government money
Even prior to becoming a caliph, Hazrat Usman (RA) was an affluent and generous person. He used to grant financial assistance to poor relatives from his personal resources. But, in order to dent his image, his opponents with malafide intention falsely accused him of spending government money lavishly and unauthorizedly on his kith and kin. On the basis of his strong financial status, he (RA) was the only caliph who used to draw nothing from government exchequer for meeting his basic needs.
- Failure to control financial mismanagement of government functionaries
This is also not true as he (RA) took actions, including dismissal from service, against many government functionaries when he (RA) received serious complaints against them. However, he was very kind and lenient temperament-wise. Therefore, he (RA) tried his utmost to avoid awarding strict punishments.
- Destruction of copies of Holy Quran
This is just a flimsy accusation against Hazrat Usman (RA) which is no less than a distortion of historical facts. In order to unite the Muslims on one recitation of the Holy Quran, Hazrat Usman (RA) requested the commission led by Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit (RA) to prepare some copies of the manuscript ‘Mashaf-e-Siddiqui’ that was prepared by them during the reign of the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakar (RA). After the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA), that manuscript came in the possession of the second caliph Hazrat Umar (RA), and after his martyrdom, in the possession of his daughter Umm-ul-Momineen Hazrat Hafsa (RA). Hazrat Usman (RA) requested her to hand over that manuscript to him so that it could be handed over to Hazrat Zaid Bin Thabit (RA). Hence copies were made from the original manuscript by the commission and all other copies of the Holy Quran were destroyed only to leave no room for confusion and ambiguity. It was a great service of Hazrat Usman (RA) and the whole Muslim Ummah is indebted to him for that.
- Soft nature that was unfit for administration
Although piety, chastity, modesty, honesty, generosity, kind-heartedness and leniency were the hallmarks of his character, he (RA) lacked some essential qualities of a statesman like prompt and timely decision-making power and taking stern action against rebels, and trouble-makers. He (RA) vacillated often that weakened the writ of the state and fomented unruly tendencies of Bedouin tribes.
We, however, may also take it in this way that on account of having a high degree of piety and fear of Allah, he (RA) was reluctant to punish even his staunch adversaries and instead of taking punitive action against them, he (RA) left their affairs at the disposal of Allah who is the Best Judge. In order to avoid bloodshed and rifts among Muslims, he (RA) avoided action against the rebels who had assembled in Madina for taking his life.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is history’s first major figure to condemn collateral damage in word and deed. His advanced rules of war established 1400 years ago a yet unmatched humanitarian standard. And herein lies the solution to modern conflict. !Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) commanded the following uncompromising rules of war:
O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well…for your guidance in the battlefield! Do not commit treachery, or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.
Thus, Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) rules of war permit defensive fighting against active combatants while forbidding harm to anyone or anything else—human, animal, or property. According to Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) rules of war, no justification exists for either side to attack civilians, property, animals, or anyone who is not an active combatant.
And even against combatants, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) put Muslims on notice. Once, Usama bin Zaid (RA) overcame an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. The soldier implored Usama (RA) for amnesty just as Usama (RA) prepared to deliver the deathblow. Usama (RA) heard but ignored the plea and killed him anyway. Learning of this, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) vociferously condemned Usama’s (RA) act as repulsive to Islamic rules of war.
- 4 Identify the main problems faced by Hazrat Ali (RA) as a Caliph.
After the murder of Uthman ibn Affan, people in Medina paid allegiance to Ali as the new Muslim caliph. But after allegiance Talhah and Zubair asked Ali for permission to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. He granted it and they departed. The Medina people wanted to know Ali’s point of view about the war against Muslims, by asking his view about Muawiyah I and his refusal to give Ali his allegiance. So they sent Ziyad Bin Hanzalah of Tamim who was set on getting the caliphate of Ali because Uthman had died and they wanted to “get to killers of Uthman”. However, they went to Basra, and not Medina where the crime happened.
Aisha (Aisha bint Abi Bakr) (Muhammad’s widow), Talhah (Talha ibn Ubayd-Allah) and Zubayr ibn al-Awam (Abu ‘Abd Allah Zubayr ibn al-Awwam) set off from Mecca on their way to Iraq to ask Ali to arrest Uthman‘s killers, not to fight Muawiyah.
While passing Medina, on their way to Iraq, Aisha, Talha, and Zubair passed a group of Umayyads leaving Medina, led by Marwan, who said that the people who had killed Uthman, had also been causing them trouble. Everyone then went to Basra, which was the beginning of the first civil war in Islam. Some historians put the number at around 3,000 people.
Zubair and Talha then went out to meet Ali. Not all Basra was with them. Bani Bakr, the tribe once led by the second Caliph, joined the army of Ali. Bani Temim decided to remain neutral.
Before the battle started, Ali reminded Talha of the sermon of Muhammad at the event of Ghadir Khumm. Ali said to Talha, “I adjure you by Allah! Didn’t you hear the Messenger of Allah (S) when he said: ‘Whoever I am his MAWLA, this Ali is his MAWLA. O God, love whoever loves him, and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him’?” Talha responded “Yes” to Ali, after which Ali asked him, “Then why do you want to fight me?” This conversation is recorded by both Shia and Sunni sources.
Some chieftains of the Kufa tribes contacted their tribes living in Basra. A chieftain contacted Ali to settle the matter. Ali did not want to fight and agreed to negotiate. He then contacted Aisha and spoke to her, “It is not wise to shed the blood of five thousand for the punishment of five hundred.” She agreed to settle the matter. Ali then met Talha and Zubair and told them about the prophecy of Muhammad. Ali’s cousin Zubair said to him, “What a tragedy that the Muslims who had acquired the strength of a rock are going to be smashed by colliding with one another.” Talha and Zubair did not want to fight and left the field. Everyone was happy except the people who had killed Uthman and the supporters of the Qurra, who later became the Khawarij. They thought that if a settlement was reached, they would not be safe. The Qurra launched a night attack and started burning the tents. Ali tried to restrain his men but no one was listening. Everyone thought that the other party had committed breach of trust. Confusion prevailed throughout the night. The Qurra attacked the Umayyads and the fighting started.
Talhah had left. On seeing this, Marwan (who was manipulating everyone) shot Talhah with a poisoned arrow saying that he had disgraced his tribe by leaving the field. According to some Shia accounts Marwan ibn al-Hakam shot Talha, who became disabled in the leg by the shot and was carried into Basra, where he died later of his wound. According to Shia sources Marwan said,
By God, now I will not have to search for the man who murdered Uthman.
In the Sunni sources it says that he said that Talha had disgraced his tribe by leaving the field.
Qadi Kaab ibn Sur of Basra held the Quran on his head and then advised Aysha to mount her camel to tell people to stop fighting, until he was killed by arrows shot by the forces of Ali. As the battle raged Ali’s forces targeted their arrows to pierce the howdah of Aisha. The rebels led by Aisha then gathered around her and about a dozen of her warriors were beheaded while holding the reins of her camel. However the warriors of Ali faced much casualties during their attempts to reach Aisha as dying corpses lay piled in heaps. The battle only came to an end when Ali’s troops as commanded attacked the camel from the rear and cut off the legs of the beast. Aisha fled from the arrow-pierced howdah and was captured by the forces of Ali.
Ali’s cousin Zubair was by then making his way to Medina; he was killed in an adjoining valley.
Aisha’s brother Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was a commander in Ali’s forces, approached Aisha and seized her, who was aged 45. Alī then sent Aisha to Medina under military escort headed by her brother Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr. She subsequently retired to Medina with no more interference with the affairs of state. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was the son of Abu Bakr, the adopted son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was raised by Ali alongside Hassan and Hussein. Hassan also accompanied Aisha part of the way back to Medina. Aisha started teaching in Medina and deeply resented Marwan.
- 5 Give an overview of the Judicial System under Pious caliphate.
The Prophet Muhammad nominated no successor. It would be idle to speculate why with his genius for organization he neglected to make such provision for the future of the new religious community he had founded. For unknown reasons, Holy Prophet made no stipulations for the choice of his successor. The society he left behind had a greater range and scope than the tribal organization. After the demise of the Holy Prophet it was considered necessary to have the institution of the Caliphate in order to provide leadership in succession to the Holy Prophet for the preservation of religion and the administration of temporal affairs; and it was obligatory to the people to appoint an Imam by the consensus of the community. It was with the election of Hazrat Abu Bakr (Rad.A) that the institution of the Caliphate came into being. Al-Mawardi gave the minimum requirements are seven; (i) Soundness of the limbs, (ii) To formulate his own decision (in) Courage and ability (iv) Qurashite (v) Justice (vi) Knowledge (vii) Soundness of the senses.
The immediate successors of the Holy Prophet, called the rightly guided Orthodox Caliphs, had evolved the institution of the Caliphate on the principles of Qur’an and Sunnah. In the time of Caliphs the administrative and legislative affairs were carried in accordance with the Qur’anic injunctions and the Sunnah. Since the Orthodox Caliphate was an ideological state. The major objectives of the Caliphate in accordance with the famous verses of the Qur’an were to establish prayer and pay Zakat, and enjoin good upon the people and to restrain them from committing wrong. The seat of the Caliphate (632-661 A.D) was at Medina , the city of the Holy.
Since the Caliphate was a trust in the hands of the chosen Caliph, the Caliph was not a master but a whole time servant of the public required to carry on the affairs of the state in accordance with the laws of Shriah for good of the people. He was the supreme head of the state. His major functions were temporal. He had no religious authority. He had no power to change any injunctions of Islamic Law. Qur’an and Shriah were the guiding principle for the Caliph. He had not sole authority in legal decisions of the state. He was not allowed to devote any part of his time to his personal works, but for his necessities of life, he was allowed to take fix allowance for him. He was also allowed to have fixed allowance for his family in accordance with the early decision of his Advisory Council. The system of election in Islam described by many historian and jurists like al-Mawardi, Kaladun, Tusi, Anwar Chejne and Arnold. On the whole there were many flaws in the system of election in Islam about the Caliphs. But the status and position of the Caliph was very sacred for the Muslims.
Governor was the chief administrator in that area who was appointed by the orders of the Caliph, who was called Wali. Role of Shura and appointment of these officials both were part and parcel in that period. Hazrat Umar (Rad.A) was extra genius minded, so he was more careful about the choice of the Governors and other provincial and central officials. At the appointment, the Caliph gave some instruction to the governor about his duties and powers. The words of Hazrat Umar (Rad.A) to the newly appointed governor of Basrah, ”Listen, you are not appointed to rule over the necks of the people, but to guide them in the right path, which you know the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet render unto the Muslims, their rights. Do not beat them. Do not place guard at your gate so as to shut the people from approaching you. Do not shut your doors against them, least the strong amongst them devour the weak ones”. Under these directions the governor worked in his office. The governor was the head of province and representative of the Caliph in that unit of administration. He performed all those functions in the province as the Caliph done in the centre. He maintained the law and order in the province. He was the military Commander of the provincial forces. Governor had some officials who assisted in all matters of the province. Governor resided at the Dar-ul-Imara in that province.2
Amil or Collector
The economic policy of the Caliphate was very sound and profitable. The revenue administration run by some officials, Amil was one of them. Each district had a revenue officer called the Amil or tax collector. He collected the land tax and other taxes which were imposed by the government.
Administration of the justice has its own importance in all the times. Hazrat Umar (Rad.A) was the great administrator of civil and military matters. He appointed the separate judicial officials. Before the time of Caliphate this was done by the governor of the province. The Qazi was chosen with consent of the members of the Advisory Council. The supreme judge’s powers vested to the Caliph. Mosque was the official court in all judicial matters. There was no charges of the decisions matter like the present. Qazi was required to follow the Qur’anic injunctions and Sunnah in all judicial matters. Ijma or collective opinion system in all matter which had not proper solution in Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. If it was not possible by Ijma then matter was decided by Ijtihad.
To keep law and order inside the state, a police force was necessary. Hazrat Umar (Rad.A) was the first Muslim head of state who established the police department. The police force at that time was known as ’Ahdath’ and the police officer as the ”Sahibiul Ahdath”. A famous compiler of the Hadith. Hazrat Abu Hurairah was appointed as the police officer for Bahrain. Hazrat Umar (Rad.A) gave the following’ instructions as he was going to join his duty. ”Keep peace in the area. Let not the people contravene law. They should measure incorrectly. No body should build any house on roads so as to hinder the passage. No one should overload an animal. No body is allowed to sell or buy liquor”.
Classification of the Soldiers
Hazrat Umar (Rad.A) arranged the masses of the Arab tribes according to the nature of the relations with the Holy Prophet. Those who were the scholars of the Qur’an and those who had rendered special services to Islam received high annuities. The Arab soldiers and their Mawali were assigned three to four hundred dirham each. A hundred dirham each was fixed for weaned children. This was the first example in the military history of the world where the state took the responsibility of feeding and clothing the entire population of the state. A critic like the Sir William Muir writes in Annals of Early Caliphate, ”A great nation dividing thus amongst them their whole revenues, spoils, and conquests, first on the principle of equal brotherhood, and next on that martial merit and spiritual distinction is a spectacle probably without parallel in the world.”
The army of the early Islamic state consisted of two kinds of troops, the cavalry and infantry. With the passage of time there was a great military revolution in the Caliphate. The archers, scouts of intelligence corps and service corps. Shields, lances, swords, bows, arrows were used in the war.
Flag was used in the battles as signal for the attack. In the battle of Nihawand, Numan gave the signal for attack by waving the flag. By the end of the Pious Caliphs, Muslim had organized a very efficient army of first class well disciplined fighters with all the weapons of their age including important siege engines, they had efficiently built up a system of marching, camping, transport, supplies and other essentials of a first rate army; and they had learnt and improved the technique of defense t>f laying siege, of taking a fortress by storm and of fighting huge armies with a much lesser number. The Holy Prophet had devised for them a unique method of warfare; and in every respect, in organization, in supplies, in weapons, in technical skill, the equality of the soldiers and Cornmanders in tactics, and above all in morale, the Muslims had outstripped all thefr contemporaries.
Basically the Kharijites belonged to the revolutionary party which took part in the assassination of Usman (656 A.D). After that they merged themselves with the Shiites. They fought in the battle of Camel (656 A.D.) against Hazrat Ayesha. They were with Hazrat Ali during the battle of Siffm (657 A.D). So far they did not maintain a separate entity.
In the battle of Siffm, when Mu’awiya’s forces were facing defeat, he asked his troops to raise the copies of the Holy Book on the point of their lances, meaning thereby an appeal to arbitration on the word of God. The sabotage worked, Hazrat Ali knew it and declared that it was a stratagem of war, but his men became divided on the issue. Some were in agreement with him, others, mostly from Banu Tamim said that they fought in the name of God, and so when the word of God itself was claimed as arbiter they could not spurn it. This latter opinion prevailed and a truce was negotiated. The Syrians chose Amr Ibn A’s their delegate while Abu Musa Ashari was selected by the Alids though against the will of Hazrat Ali.’
They were originally a political faction. They began by announcing their verdict on matters relating to the Caliphate. They spoke of the righteousness of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar, and of Hazrat Usman, during the first seven years of his regime. They disowned him when he introduced the various innovations and deviated from the path of his predecessors, and of Hazrat Ali, they said that Hazrat Ali committed a grave sin by accepting arbitration. They also condemned those who fought in the battle of the Camel. They abused Mu’awiya as infidel. So their original talk was as to who deserved the Caliphate and who not and as to who was real Muslim.
Later on they developed a theory of the Caliphate. 1. The Caliphate was an elective principle. 2. The Caliph is to be elected by universal suffrage. 3. When elected, the Caliph cannot argue about the validity of his position or election, and he cannot submit the matter to arbitration. 4. The Caliph needs not to be a Qurayshite. He is simply to be a Muslim from any stock of Muslims, even from the Negroes. 5. The Caliph must carry out the injunction of God other wise he was liable to deposition.
It was on this account that they elected one of them Abdullah bin Dahib as their chief. He was a non-Qurayshite, a man from Azd. Similarly all the great Kharijites leaders were non-Qurayshite. Further, it was with this principle that they opposed the Shiite claim that the Caliphate was confined in the House of the Prophet, and the Sunnite dogma that it vested only in the Quraysh. It was this principle that drove them to rise in arms against the Umayyads and the Abbasids, for they did not fulfill the condition of the Caliphate in their opinion.