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The Islamic Political Law (4)
Political Issues
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

The Qualities of ool-Ul-Amr

1. Qur’ān has used the term ool-ul-amr for all those who are part of an Islamic Political System, whether they are the representatives of the Muslims in the parliament or their administrators. They are eligible for this position if they have the following quality in them, as the Qur’ān specifies:

“When they come across a matter of peace or danger, they make it known to everyone. And if they referred it to the Prophet and the ool-ul-amr, then those among them who had the ability of istimbaat would have soundly understood the matter.” (4:83)

From the above verse, it is clear that they should have the ability of istimbaat.

In Arabic istimbaat means to ‘grasp the truth of a matter’. The ool-ul-amr must necessarily possess this ability so that they can delve into matters pertaining to religion and state and be in a position to form an opinion by analyzing them.

2. They should also be distinguished in the society as regards their character and integrity. To quote the Qur’ān:

“The most honoured of you in the sight of God is the most pious among you.” (49:13)

It is clear from this verse that the believers also should only regard the pious and abstemious among them as eligible to such a position. The Prophet (sws) has explained this fact in the following words:

“When people having the best character are your rulers and your rich are generous and your system is based on consultation, the surface of the earth is better for you than its core and when people having the worst character are your rulers and your rich are stingy and your affairs are entrusted to women the core of the earth is better for you than its surface.” (Tirmazee, Abwaab-ul-Fitan)

3. It should be taken into consideration while electing a Muslim Ruler as well as other representatives that they do not have greed for an office in the government. The Prophet (sws) has unequivocally declared such people as ineligible. Abu Musa reports:

“I [myself] and two people from my banee ‘am came to the Prophet (sws); one of these two said: O Prophet of Allah grant us an office from the political authority which God has granted you. So said the other person also. The Prophet replied: By God we shall not grant any person office in this system who asks for it and has greed for it.” (Muslim, Kitaab-ul-Imaarah)

The above tradition has been reported in another way as well:

“The Prophet replied: in our consideration, the most dishonest among you is the one who asks for an office. After hearing this Abu Musa apologized to the Prophet and said: I did not know why they had come. Abu Musa says that the Prophet did not entrust either of them with any responsibility until his death.” (Abu Daud, Kitaab-ul-Khiraaj-wal-Imaarah)

The Prophet (sws) has also stated the reason for this decision. He told Hadhrat Abdur Rehman Bin Samrah:

“Abdur Rahman! Do not seek a post. If it is granted to you because of your desire your shall [find yourself] handed over to it and if it is granted to you without your desire, the Almighty shall help you.” (Muslim, Kitaab-ul-Imaarah)

This condition shall also be kept in consideration for election in the Majlis-i-Shooraa (parliament). Therefore, it cannot be tolerated in an Islamic State that people should come forward and present their names, go about proclaiming their qualities and services in streets and employ other means, which are now considered an essential part of this show, to allure the public. In Islamic ethics this shameless attitude is not permissible at all.

4. The Qur’ān specifies certain other qualities as well for a person who is elected from these ool-ul-amr as the Ameer (head of the state) of an Islamic State: He should have a commanding and an awe-inspiring personality and should be the most distinguished among them as regards integrity, wisdom and intellect. These qualities have, therefore, been cited by the Qur’ān as the real reason behind the nomination of Taaloot (Saul) for the supreme leadership of the Banee Israel:

“Indeed Allah has chosen him to rule over you and has gifted him abundantly with wisdom and physique.” (2:247)

It is evident from this that such elements are not suitable to head an Islamic State who lack intellect, wisdom and masculine attributes, who instead of being venturesome and enterprising are passive and receptive by nature, and who instead of influencing others are more liable to be influenced1.

The reason for this is that the ruler of an Islamic State is not only one who heads them, he also leads the believers in Prayers, Haj and Jihaad. Moreover, he is an example, a model a guide and a father to his nation. He is the voice of its conscience, a representatives of its ideology, a symbol of its collective awareness--someone whom its sense of honour is personified. It is vital, therefore, that he be someone who instead of delicacy has the ability to take the initiative and who instead of resignation and tenderness possess stoutness and tenacity. Whether he be addressing the shūrā, the Juma congregation or his soldiers in a battle, it is his authoritative yet majestic, dominating yet gracious and awe-inspiring yet benevolent personality which commands the love and respect of all. It is this towering stature of a Muslim ruler because of which the feeble feel secure, the old feel revitalized and the young are inspired to daring deeds.

From the above qualities of the ool-ul-amr, it is clear that an Islamic Political System by nature is an aristocracy which is based on the piety, wisdom and political acumen of the personnel which constitute it. Therefore, it is necessary that a person who is devoid of these abilities should not become a part of it.

Norms for Leadership

After assuming an office in the government the Prophet (sws) has decreed that all the officials of the government must necessarily follow three principles:

Firstly, the head of an Islamic State and his administrators shall have the same standard of living as that of a common citizen.

Secondly, there doors shall always remain open to hear the grievances and problems of the general public.

Thirdly, the Friday prayers must be led by the head of the state in the federal capital and by his administrators in other cities.

These principles are based in established historical facts. During the Prophet’s time and the period of the Rightly Guided Caliphs these principles were strongly adhered to. Today also, they must necessarily be followed by our leaders and administrators.

It is because of these norms of leadership that, in the words of the Prophet Jesus, an Islamic State is called the ‘Kingdom of God’ and whenever it is established on earth, people receive the blessings of the Almighty from the heavens above and the earth below.

(Translated from Ghamidi’s “Meezan”)


1. Therefore, the authenticity of the hadith ‘That nation shall never prosper which entrusts its affairs to a woman’ (Bukhaari, Kitaab-ul-Imaan) can, though, be questioned on the bases that before the battle of Jamal no one had knowledge of a hadith which relates to a high important affair, only one Companion of the Prophet (sws) Abu Bakr has reported it and he too made no mention of it until Ummul-Momineen Hadhrat Ayesha and Hadhrat Ali were confronted in a battle, and it also seems that the h*adīth was concocted under Shi’ite propaganda to prove wrong Hadhrat Ayesha’s move against Hadhrat ‘Alī  yet there is no doubt that what has been stated in the h*adīth is based on this principle.

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