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Succession in Islam – History – Laws

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Succession is the act or process in order or sequence. Some of them refers the succession as an ecological succession. But in this page, we are talking about the succession of a leadership, in Islamic view.


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Succession at the Khulafaur Rasyidin Era

Islam already gain succession since Khulafaur Rasyidin Era. Khulafaur Rasyidin means the four appointed and trusted Muslims of Islam to lead the Muslims after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Then, these four are the closest companions of Prophet and have been well-known as humans who are very much defending Islam and spreading the teachings of Prophet Muhammad SAW.

A. Abu Bakr as-Siddiq

When Prophet Muhammad saw passed away, there was a problem to find a substitute of Him for leading people in Arab, because Rasulullah saw never choose someone to replace Him after he died. Probably this is happen because there are no rules in al-Qur’an, so they were a little bit confuse to choose the successor. Moreover, there are two large group, Muhajirin (the group who follow Prophet saw moved to Medina) and Ansar (the group who help Prophet in Madina). Each group taught that the leader must came from their group.

Seeing that condition, Umar ibn Khathab take the initiative to vow for loyal to the next leader. At that time, he chose Abu Bakr as-Siddiq as the successor. Along with two Muhajirin : Abu Bakr and Ubaida ibn Jarrah, he met Ansar people to discuss and chose the next leader. They were agreed to chose Abu Bakr as the new khalifah.

There is a reason why Abu Bakr was chosen.

  1. He is one of the friends of Prophet saw. who first converted to Islam (in the other name is Assabiqunal awwalun)
  2. Abu Bakr is the one who accompanied the Prophet moved or hijrah from Mecca to Medina.
  3. Abu Bakr became a prayer imam when Rasulullah sick.
  4. Abu Bakr has strong leadership qualities and high diplomatic knowledge in resolving conflicts between tribes in the Arabian peninsula.
  5. And the most important, he was the closest Prophet’s best friend who knew about the thoughts of the Prophet.

See also :

  1. Ethical Values in Islam
  2. Akhlaq of Prophet Muhammad SAW
  3. Character of Prophet Muhammad

B. Umar ibn Khathab

On August 23rd, 634 Abu Bakr died. His leadership is very short but its success is amazing. Before his death Abu Bakr had appointed Umar bin Khattab as his successor. This means that the process of electing Umar as Caliph is different from Abu Bakr’s appointment as leader. Although Omar’s appointment by Abu Bakr as Caliph has no example of the Prophet, Umar’s appointment was approved by the Muslims at that time.

Muslims feel that two years is a short period to create an established system of government. Omar’s appointment by Abu Bakr as Caliph was thus a new innovation, but on condition that it was approved by all Muslims at that time. Umar is a man of great quality in leadership. He quickly developed an effective government administration system.

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C. Uthman ibn Affan

The third Caliph was Uthman ibn Affan. The process of electing Uthman as Caliph is also different from that of the two previous caliphs. Unlike Abu Bakr who appointed Umar to be Caliph, Umar appointed an electoral committee to appoint the Caliph after his death. The committee is comprised of six people from among the muhajirin Ali Bin Abi Talib, Uthman ibn Affan, Sa’ad bin Abi Waqash, Abdurrahman bin Awf, Zubair bin Awwam, Talha bin Ubaydah and Abdullah bin Umar.

With the appointment of this committee it seems that Umar wants the Caliph’s election handed over to Muslims openly and invites the committee as a representative of the Islamic community to decide who is eligible to be Caliph among them after Umar’s death. After the deliberation was conducted by the Muslim community of Madinah, the Caliph candidate finally conical to two candidates namely Ali bin Abi Talib and Uthman ibn Affan.

Abdurrahman bin Auf, chairman of the electoral commission, offered the Caliphate to Ali Bin Abi Thalib on condition that Ali would continue the policies of Abu Bakr and Umar in the sense of continuing the domination of Bani Quraish as Caliph. But Ali firmly refused the offer because he saw by continuing the Khalifah tradition derived from the Mujahin of Mecca, making Muslims politically divided. Ali wanted the Ansar were given the opportunity to lead the Muslims into a khalifah. Finally, the caliph was offered to Uthman on the same terms, and Uthman accepted it.

D. Ali ibn Abi Thalib

The killing of Uthman left Muslims in Medina shocked and the political temperature increased for five days in uncertainty. Finally Ali emerged as the fourth caliph. Without doubt, Ali was the one who most deserved to succeed him, although the Caliphate was offered to the Islamic community when it was openly, no one was running.

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Succession post-Khulafaur Rasyidin Era

After the death of Ali ibn Abi Thalib, the succession continued with two major caliphate, Umayyah and Abbasiyah. We will elaborate one by one about the succession.

  1. Umayyah Caliphate

Umayyah Caliphate, or Ummayah Dynasty, is one of the strongest dynasty after Khulafaur Rasyidin. At that moment, Islam reached its golden era, because they expand the region until Andalusia or Spain now. They also start to spread Islam culture abroad Arabian peninsula. Reformasi quite a lot happening, related to the field of development and progress of Islamic education. The development of science not only in the field of religion alone but also in aspects of technology.

While the education system is still the same when Rasul and khulafaur rashidin, ie kuttab whose implementation is centered in the mosque.
The form of government is in the form of a kingdom, which is similar with Persia and Byzantium. And the power is feudal (control of land/area/region, or hereditary). But unfortunately, to maintain the power, the caliphate is authoritarian, the element of violence, diplomacy accompanied by deceit, and the loss of deliberation in the election of the caliphate.

2. Abbasiyah Caliphate

Abbasiyah Caliphate is the second caliphate after Umayyah Caliphate. The Abbasids were referred to the descendants of Muhammad’s youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib (566-652), therefore they were also included in the Bani Hashim. Beginning in 750 and moving the capital from Damascus to Baghdad. It flourished for three centuries, but gradually dimmed after the rise of the Turks formerly a part of the Caliphate army they formed, known as the Mamluks.

During 150 years of taking power across Iran, the Caliphate was forced to surrender power to local dynasties, often called amirs or sultans. Delivering Andalusia to the descendants of the Umayyads who fled, Maghreb and Ifriqiya to Aghlabiyyah and Fatimids. Its total collapse in 1258 was due to the Hulagu Khan-led Mongol attack that destroyed Baghdad and left little to the knowledge collected in the Baghdad library.

3. Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire or Ottoman Turks were a kingdom born in 1453 after Mehmed II succeeded in conquering Constantinople. As we mention before, Ottoman Empire formed by separated with Abbasid Caliphate, with formed the army name Mamluks.
The Ottoman Empire reached its heyday during the reign of Sulaiman al-Qonuni bin Salim or known as Suleiman the Magnificent (Suleiman the Great). The reign of Sultan Sulaiman lasted for 48 years from 926 H to 974 H, thus he was the longest sultan ever to lead the Turkish Sultanate.
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Succession in Modern Era and Islamic View

In modern-era, succession often attributed with democracy. This is inseparable from the successful elections in Indonesia, where in 2004, the leader was elected by all the people of Indonesia. This triggers other countries such as the Middle East to conduct democratic elections, so that the Arab Spring appeared from 2010 to 2011.

There is no legal basis that is violated by the pattern of democratic succession. The Quran does not provide an explanation of the procedure for the determination, election, and determination of the leader of the people or head of government. The Prophet himself also never gave a will or instructions on the process of leadership change in Islam. Until the last moments of his life did not give a political statement.

These are all signs that the affair of succession is a worldly contemporary affair, which can be done and elected by society and people on the basis of its objective needs. Islam only delineates the best course deliberation in solving all things. The democratic system is closer to the shura system than the monarchy system.

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 The limited verses of the Qur’an speak about the social life of the people, including the politics of succession, it is much lesson. Among the people always dynamic and always experience change and evolve to follow the circulation of the times. What happens if the rules and the absolute laws that govern the community too much less detailed, then of course the dynamics of society will be rigid and bound. In other words the development of society will become shackled by the rules and man will lose his independence.

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The instinct of society requires that the verses that govern the community are few in order to be more adaptable to the times. Here lies the wisdom of the verses of the Qur’an and does not talk much about the issues of human society. God gave more of his contemporary affairs to the tops of human thought to organize it. Allah is enough to give only the points of doctrine in the Qur’an.

These basic doctrines or teachings that will guide the local intelligence of the people in regulating their worldly affairs. We always hope that Muslims will stick to this basic doctrine in the succession of leadership throughout the entire life.

That is the explanation of succession in Islam, we hope you enjoy and take a benefit as much as we get.

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Kategori : History