Article 18: There are four types of rulers: the Khalifah, the delegated assistant, the governor, and the worker (’amil), and whoever falls under the same rule. As for anyone else, they are not considered rulers, but rather employees.
The ruler in the article is the one holding authority who is responsible for governing the affairs, irrespective of whether the governance was for the whole State or for a part of it. Through deduction from the Shari’ah rules, the ones who are made responsible for governing the affairs, establishing the laws and are to be obeyed with respect to their implementation of the laws are these four: the Khalifah, the assistant (delegate minister), the governor, and the Amil; and they are to be obeyed due to their position of rule.
With regards to the Khalifah, he is the man who is given the pledge by the Ummah (nation) to establish the Deen (religion)as their representative, and so he establishes the hudud, implements the laws, and carries out the Jihad, and he is owed obedience:
«وَمَنْ بَايَعَ إِمَامًا فَأَعْطَاهُ صَفْقَةَ يَدِهِ وَثَمَرَةَ قَلْبِهِ فَلْيُطِعْهُ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعَ، فَإِنْ جَاءَ آخَرُ يُنَازِعُهُ فَاضْرِبُوا عُنُقَ الآخَرِ»
“He who swears allegiance to a Caliph should give him the grasp of his hand and the sincerity of his heart (i. e. submit to him both outwardly as well as inwardly). He should obey him to the best of his capacity. If another man comes forward (as a claimant to Caliphate), disputing his authority, they (the Muslims) should behead the latter.” (reported by Muslim through ‘Abd Allah b. Amr b. Al-‘As).
As for the delegate minister, he is the assistant who assists the Khalifah in running the governing of the affairs; in other words, the general, continuous binding governorship. The evidence for this is that he is the one in a position of rule who must be obeyed in the issues that the Khalifah charged him with or requested him to assist him in carrying out the affairs. Ahmad reported with a good chain from 'Aisha (ra) that she said: the Messenger of Allah said,
"مَنْ وَلاَّهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنْ أَمْرِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ شَيْئًا فَأَرَادَ بِهِ خَيْرًا جَعَلَ لَهُ وَزِيرَ صِدْقٍ، فَإِنْ نَسِيَ ذَكَّرَهُ، وَإِنْ ذَكَرَ أَعَانَهُ"
“ When Allah (swt) appoints a governer over Muslims, and desire good for him (this ruler), Allah (swt) appoints a sincere minister (assistant) to him who will remind him if he forgets and helps him if he remembers.”
As for the governor, he is the man who the Khalifah gives authority to over one of the governorates of the State. The evidence that he is in a position of ruling who must be obeyed is what is reported by Muslim from Auf Bin Malik Al-Ashja’i who said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say
"... أَلاَ مَنْ وَلِيَ عَلَيْهِ وَالٍ فَرَآهُ يَأْتِي شَيْئًا مِنْ مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ، فَلْيَكْرَهْ مَا يَأْتِي مِنْ مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ، وَلاَ يَنْزِعَنَّ يَدًا مِنْ طَاعَةٍ"
“…mind you! One who has a governer appointed over him and he finds that the governer indulges in an act of disobedience to Allah, he should condemn his act, in disobedience to Allah, but should not withdraw himself from his obedience.”
"... إِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ مِنْ وُلاتِكُمْ شَيْئًا تَكْرَهُـونَهُ، فَاكْرَهُوا عَمَلَهُ، وَلا تَنْزِعُوا يَدًا مِنْ طَاعَةٍ"
As for the ‘Amil he is the one who the Khalifah puts in charge of, or his representative, a village, townor part of a governorate. His work is like that of the governor except that he is ruling over a part of the governorate and not the whole of itand accordingly he is a ruler who must be obeyed like the governor, because he is a leader coming either from the Khalifah or the governor. Al-Bukhari reported from Anas b. Malik who said that the Messenger of Allah said
"اسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَإِنِ اسْـتُعْمِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌ حَبَشِيٌّ كَأَنَّ رَأْسَهُ زَبِيبَةٌ"
“Listen and obey even if an Ethiopian whose head is like a raisin where made your ruler”. Muslim reported from Umm Al-Husayn who said that she heard the Prophet give a sermon in the farewell pilgrimage where he said
"وَلَوِ اسْتُعْمِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌ يَقُودُكُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَاسْمَعُوا لَهُ وَأَطِيعُوا"
“and even if a slave who leads you by the book of Allah is appointed over you, listen to him and obey”.
With respect to the expression “and whoever falls under the same rule”, this means the Madhalim judgeand the judge of judges if he is given the authority to appoint and remove the Madhalim judge, as well as the powers of the judges in Madhalim, since the judge of Madhalim is from the rule as is the subject of article 78.