21) QUALIFICATIONS OF A CALIPH

The Sunnis consider ten conditions necessary for a Caliph:

1

That he should be of age, i.e., he should not be; a rninor

2

That he should be of sound mind

3

That he should be free, not a slave

4

That he should be a man, not woman.

5

That he should be able to conduct battles and beware of warlike tactics.

6

That he should be courageous

7

That he should be accessible and not be concealed or hidden

8

That he should be a Muslim

9

That he should be just

10

That he should be able to judge and give verdicts on points of law and religion, that is, he should be a Mujtahid.

 

 

But the last two conditions are on paper only. As quoted in the previous chapter, even an ignorant and immoral person can become a Caliph. Therefore, this pretension of Justice and Religious knowledge is just a claim without any basis.

They hold that infallibility is not necessary for a caliph. The words of Abu Bakr (vide Tarikh Al-Khulafaa of Sayuti) which he spoke from the pulpit before the companions of The Prophet, are cited in support of that view: "O people!" he said, "I have been made ruler over you, although I am not better than you. So, if I perform my duties well help me, and if I go wrong you should set me right."

Sharh-e-Tajreed' gives a different version of the above as under:

"For me there is a Satan who comes to me now and then. Help me if I am right, and if I be doing wrong keep aloof from me."

Tafta-zani says in Sharh-e-Aqaid-e-Nasafi: "An Imam is not liable to be deposed on the ground of his oppresion or impiety."

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CHAPTER-22