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Question text

Is this claim of Sunnis true that some of the Quranic cases are reasons for making holding a consultation legal?


Visits 291 categorization: Qur’anic Sciences
Answer

According to the view of Sunnis one of the ways of proving Caliphate and Imamate of the Islamic ruler is the counsel; it means that the ruler who is elected in this way is legally acceptable. We discuss the mentioned Quranic reasons by Sunnis and criticize them here:
A) The verse of﴿وَشاوِرْهُمْ فِي اْلأَمْرِ﴾"And take counsel with them in the affair"
The Almighty God says: ﴿فَبِما رَحْمَة مِنَ اللهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ کُنْتَ فَظّاً غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِکَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَ شاوِرْهُمْ فِي اْلأَمْرِ فَإِذا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَکَّلْ عَلَى اللهِ﴾ "Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah;". [1]
This verse confirms the validity of the counsel in all affairs; because the Almighty God has ordered the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to do this matter and we should also follow him in this case.
In the answer of this argumentation we should say that:
1- The verse is addressing one whose government has been steady, so he is responsible for taking counsel with the people, but the matter of making the caliphate legal by counsel is not understood from this verse.
2- The meaning of the word of «امر» "affair" in the noble verse is the social affairs which relates to the people, but this issue is still under discussion that the caliphate is one of public affairs or not.
3- The apparent of the verse and whatever is understood from the word of «شورا» "counsel" just indicates consultation with the people in different events, before issuing any command, not that issuing the command should also be dependent on the view of councilors.
4- The following of the verse indicates that it is the view of Islamic ruler which influences his command not the counsel; because the following of the verse says:﴿فَإِذا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَکَّلْ عَلَى اللهِ﴾So when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah;" although his view be against the view of people. Therefore, the Commander of Believers (a.s.) says to Abdullah Ibn Abbas that: "It is your duty to say your view and it is my duty to check it, but if my view was against yours, you should obey mine."[2]
5- The above mentioned verse is following the verses of the war and it means that holding the consultation has been only a cause for bringing the fighters close together to consider themselves to be responsible for the war.
The explanation is that the above mentioned verse is among the verses 139 - 166 of Al Imran Sura , all of these verses are related to battles of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and giving help to him by Muslims. Therefore, Fakhr Razi says: The above mentioned verse is about the battle; it means that the Almighty God has recommended His Prophet for taking counsel with his companions about the cases of battles. Then he says: "Alif" and "Lam" in the word of «الامر» are for remembering the previous words and the previous words in this verse is the battle and meeting the enemy. [3]
Ibn Abbas says: After the revelation of the verse﴿وَشاوِرْهُمْ فِي اْلأَمْرِ﴾“And take counsel with them in the affair" the Messenger of God ( s.a.w.) said: "Be aware! The Almighty God and His Prophet has no need of holding the consultation, but the Almighty God has made the counsel a blessing for my nation…"
B: The verse﴿وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورى بَيْنَهُم﴾ "And their rule is to take counsel among themselves" The Almighty God says:﴿وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقامُوا الصَّلاةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورى بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمّا رَزَقْناهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ﴾ "And those who respond to their lord and keep up prayer, and their rule is to take counsel among themselves, and who spend out of what we have given them".[4]
It is held that in this verse the «امر» is an infinitive word and whenever it is added, it is used for general purpose, so it is understood from this verse that people should hold the consultation in all affairs, particularly in the issue of Caliphate:
We say in its answer:
1- The above mentioned verse is encouraging people to hold the consultation in the affairs related to themselves, but this matter that the right of appointment the Caliph and Islamic ruler has been given to people and is in their jurisdiction is questionable.
2- When it has not been received any command from the Almighty God and His Messenger (s.a.w.) about a matter, holding the consultation is true, otherwise no one has the right to put his view into practice against the command of the Almighty God and His Messenger (s.a.w.). The Almighty God says:﴿وَما کانَ لِمُؤْمِن وَلا مُؤْمِنَة إِذا قَضَى اللهُ وَ رَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَنْ يَکُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللهَ وَ رَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلالا مُبِيناً﴾"And it behaves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and his messenger have decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and his messenger, he surely strays off a manifest straying". [5]
Moreover he says:﴿وَرَبُّکَ يَخْلُقُ ما يَشآءُ وَ يَخْتارُ ما کانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ﴾ "And your lord creates and chooses whom he pleases; to choose is not theirs". [6]
3- The Islamic nation "Ummah" has not ever used the consultative system in the issue of appointment of caliph and ruler and it is not possible to prove the consultative system only with two verses without considering its qualities and features. [7][8]


resources and references

[1] - Al Imran, verse 159. 22- Nahjul Balaghah, 'Abdah, vol. 2, p. 212.
[2] - Tafsir Fakhr Razi, following the above verse.
[3] - Dur al-Mansur, vol. 2, p. 359.
[4] - Shura, verse 38.
[5] - Ahzab, verse 36.
[6] - Qisas, verse 68.
[7]- Ali Asghar Rizwani, Imamology and answering to the doubts (1), p. 96.
[8] - Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, Mawardi, p. 7,
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