Caliphate, Ruling

Q&A: Is it permitted to add extra conditions to the bay’ah?

When Uthman bin Affan accepted the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) he agreed to rule by the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the actions of Abu Bakr and Umar. The bay’ah is a contract and follows the ahkam (rules) of contracts. Is it therefore allowed to add extra conditions to the bay’ah contract such as the one added to Uthman’s bay’ah?

If Uthman bin Affan once he was Caliph decided not to rule according to the actions of Abu Bakr and Umar and instead conducted his own ijtihad would this make the bay’ah contract fasid (defective) and therefore make the Caliph eligible for removal by the Qadi Mazalim (Judge of Unjust Acts)?

In answer to this there are a few points to consider.

  1. There is something that needs to be explained regarding this question. The texts reported about the bay’ah emphasized necessity of abidance by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). It is not allowed to add any issue in the bay’ah that obliges the Caliph to adopt it unless there is a specific text providing for that, because adoption is one of the mandatory powers of the Caliph.
  1. A clause may be mentioned in the bay’ah if the unity of Muslims requires that as happened with the bay’ah of Uthman, where the adoption of Abu Bakr and Umar was added to the Qur’an and Sunnah in his bay’ah, for this was for the unity of the Muslims.
  1. So, if the unity of Muslims necessarily requires addition of commitment by a certain adoption, approved by the Mahkamat ul-Mazalim (Court of Unjust Acts) , this adoption may be added in the text of the bay’ah.

The consent of the Mahkamat ul-Mazalim is mentioned because examination of the legislative texts related to the constitution, law and all other adopted legal provisions are one of its powers.

  1. If such a condition was added to the text of the bay’ah, the Caliph is obliged to implement, and he would be sinful if he did not execute it.