The Khilafah Contract
The Khilafah is a contract based on mutual consent and choice; it is a Bai’ah of obedience to whoever is entitled to obedience from the people in authority. It is therefore imperative to have the consent of the one who is given the Bai’ah to take the post, and of those who give him the Bai’ah. Thus, it is forbidden to force anyone to become Khaleefah if he rejected the post of Khilafah. He should not be forced to accept it. Under such circumstances another person would then have to be considered to fill the post. It is also forbidden to take the Bai’ah from the people by force or by using coercion because in this case the contract would be invalid. Mutual consent and choice have to be observed without any compulsion as in any other contract. However, if the Bai’ah has been contracted by those whose Bai’ah is reliable then the Bai’ah would be considered valid and concluded, and the person for whom the Bai’ah was given would become the person in authority, his obedience would subsequently become compulsory. If afterwards the rest of the people were to give him their Bai’ah, it would be a pledge (Bai’ah) of obedience and not of contracting the Khilafah. Then he could legitimately force the people to give him the Bai’ah, because, at this stage, it would be imposing on them obedience to him, and this is compulsory under Shari’ah law. In this case it would not be a Bai’ah of contracting the Khilafah. Some people may claim that it is forbidden to coerce people to give their Bai’ah.
Firstly, the Bai’ah is a contract that would only be valid if mutual consent and choice (within the Islamic Shari’ah) was observed. Once the Bai’ah has been concluded it would become a Bai’ah of obedience, i.e. submission to the order of the Khaleefah, where compulsion would then become lawful as an execution to the command of Allah. Since the Khilafah is a contract, it cannot take place without a contractor. It is like the judiciary, where a man cannot become a judge unless somebody had appointed him as such. The same applies to the Imara; a man cannot become Ameer unless somebody appointed him as an Ameer. So a man cannot become a Khaleefah unless somebody appointed him into the Khilafah post. This indicates that no man assumes the post of Khilafah unless the Muslims appointed him to the post, and he would not possess the mandatory powers of the Khilafah unless it was first contracted to him. This contract would not be concluded unless two parties existed, one party would be the one seeking the post of Khilafah (the potential Khaleefah) and the other party would be the Muslims who accepted him to be their Khaleefah. Therefore, for the Khilafah to be contracted the Bai’ah of the Muslims is necessary.
The Unity of the Khilafah
The Muslims are obliged to live in one state, and be ruled by one Khaleefah. It is forbidden for the Muslims in the world to have more than one state and more than one Khaleefah. It is also necessary that the ruling system in the Khilafah State be a system of unity, and forbidden to be a system of union (federation of states). This is due to what Muslim narrated that ‘Abdullah b. ‘Amru b. al-‘Aas said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say: “Whoever pledged allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart, he should obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him, you must strike the neck of the latter.” It has also been narrated by Muslim that Arfajah said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say: ‘Whoever comes to you while your affair has been united over one man, intending to divide your power or dissolve your unity, kill him.’” Muslim has also reported it from Abu S’aid Al Khudri that the Messenger of Allah said: “If the Oath of Allegiance (Bai’ah) has been taken for two Khulafaa’, kill the latter of them.” Muslim reported that Abu Hazim said: “I accompanied Abu Hurayra for five years and heard him talking about the Messenger of Allah, he said: ‘The children of Israel have been governed by Prophets; whenever a Prophet died another Prophet succeeded him; but there will be no prophet after me. There will soon be Khulafaa’ and they will number many’, they asked: ‘What then do you order us?’ He said: ‘Fulfil allegiance to them one after the other, and give them their dues; for verily Allah will ask them about what he entrusted them with.”