The Methods Approved By Islam To Become A Ruler Or Caliph – Shaykh Al-Fawzaan

Shaykh Al-Fawzaan said, “The Muslim ruler (or caliph) gains his authority in one of three ways:

a) the people of influence (ahl al-hill wa’l-‘aqd)(1) choose him,

b) the person in charge of affairs appoints someone to take charge after him, then it becomes binding to obey him in that,

c) he seizes power over the Muslims with his sword or forces them to submit in obedience to him.

Aboo Bakr gained his position of rulership through the first of these three methods – namely, the people of influence chose him. The pledge of allegiance to him was established by consensus.

Umar gained his position of rulership by the second of the two methods mentioned; Aboo Bakr appointed him.

Abdul Malik ibn Marwaan(2) gained his position of rulership through the third method mentioned, he and others from the kings of the Muslims, forced the people with the sword to submit, so that the people would comply with them.

There is no difference between Ahlus Sunnah in concerning their approach to the Muslim rigtheous or sinful ruler in relation to, which one of the three methods (previously mentioned) he used to gain his position of authority. They (Ahlus Sunnah) hold it is binding upon the Muslims to obey the ruler, in order to bring about unity and to keep the Muslims free from bloodshed and internal disputes.”

Ref: Slightly adapted from the questions (asked by the brother Aboo Talhah Dawood Ibn Ronald Burbank in Maktabah Salafiyyah Birmingham in 2006) on Imam Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisees Lum’atul I’tiqaad, using the explanation of Shaykh al-Fawzaan


1) In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 9/278, it says, ‘The decision makers (ahl al-hill wa’l-‘aqd) are the scholars, (the) people of wisdom and high status, whose knowledge is accompanied by other essential conditions: trustworthiness, good character and wisdom.’

2) (My words) Abdul Malik Ibn Marwarn became the recognised caliph of Sham (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine) and Egypt due to his dad the pervious caliph appointing him as such.

But while he was the caliph in Sham, he was by no means the overall caliph and single ruler of all the Muslims.

In fact Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubayr was the recognised caliph for the majority of the Muslim world. Plus the majority of the people of North Africa had their own queen while in Iraq they had their own governor.

Abdul Malik Ibn Marwarn forcibly removed Az-Zubayr, the governor of Iraq and the queen in North Africa.

After he toppled each person he took whatever authority they had (eventually establishing himself as the only true ruler for all the Muslims and becoming the caliph at the head of the Ummyyad dynasty.

Moreover Abdul Malik Ibn Marwarn united all the different lands under his control, after completely taking power by removing the opposing authorities.

In these lands that Abdul Malik Ibn Marwarn took over, the people of power and influence in these places considered him their caliph (even the laypeople considered him the caliph). Due to the fact that he took complete control of the all the governments he overthrew, he took overall control of all the institutions under the pervious rulers control, in addition he took control of all the terrrority belonging to the previous rulers and he had all the pervious rulers killed.

Side Point:

(My words) If a group of Muslims occupy some land in a country with its own recognised ruler and control that terrrority, which is contested over by the recognised rulers army.

Even if this group calls it’s leader a caliph or a Muslim ruler and this group claims that the terrrority they control (which is being fought over with the recognised ruler of that land) is the new caliphate or a new islamic state run by them, both of these declarations are to be rejected.

The reason both of this groups declarations are to be rejected is because, this group has not come to power in one of the three established ways Shaykh Al-Fawzaan discussed in the article above.

This groups leader has not been given the bayah (pledge of allegiance) from the people of influence nor did they choose him to be the ruler.

Plus this groups leader has not been appointed by the pervious ruler or caliph to take charge after him. Nor has this group seized power over the Muslims with the sword and forced them to submit in obedience the leader of their group.

The reason this group has not sized power over the Muslims is because the original recognised established ruler still has the authority in over the government, he still has authorurity over the governmental institutions, the people of influence and majority of the lay people (if not alll the lay people) still recognise the original established ruler as still being the ruler of that land, often the previous ruler of that land handed over power to the current ruler (willing or unwillingly – sometimes liking the current ruler and other times disliking the current ruler), the terrrority which he has lost his very small to the land he still fully controls plus the terrrority he has lost he is in the process of trying to regain it via force through his army which still only have allegiance to him (the current ruler).

Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie


About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
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