Article 107: Every citizen who is adult and sane, has the right to be a member of the Ummah Council or the Provincial Council, whether they are male, female, Muslim or non Muslim; the non-Muslim member is restriced to raising complaints regarding the oppression of the rulers or the misapplication of the laws of Islam.
Any Muslim who holds the citizenship of the State, provided he is mature and sane, has the right to be a member of the Ummah Council, irrespective of whether they were male or female. This is because the Council of the Ummah has no mandate to rule and it does not come under the narration that prevents the woman from becoming a ruler. It is rather within the issue of consultation (Shura) and accounting, which is a right for both men and women. In the thirteenth year of the Messenger of Allah’s Prophethood, in other words, in the year he emigrated, there came to him seventy-five Muslims, among whom were two women, and they all gave him the Second Bay’a of Al-‘Aqaba, which was a Bay’a of war and fighting and a political Bay’a. Once they had all given their Bay’a, he said to all of them:
«أَخْرِجُوا إليَّ مِنْكُمُ اثْـنَيْ عَشَرَ نَقِيباً يَكُونونَ على قَوْمِهِمْ»
“Choose from among you twelve leaders (naqibs) who will be responsible for themselves and their people.” This is part of a long narration reported by Ahmad through Ka’b Bin Malik and it is an order from him addressed to everyone, to elect from all who were present. He did not specify the men nor exclude the women, neither in regard to who would select nor to who should be selected. The mutlaq (unrestricted) rule should be taken as such, unless there is evidence that restricts it; and the ‘Aam (general) rule should also be taken as such, unless there is evidence that specifies it. In this case the speech was unrestricted and general. No evidence of specification or restriction has been reported, which indicates that the Messenger of Allah ordered the two women to elect the Naqibs, and gave them the right to be chosen as Naqibsfrom among the Muslims.
The Messenger of Allah sat once to take the Bay’a from the people, with Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra) sitting with him, and both men and women gave him the Bay’a. This Bay’a was one for ruling, and not on Islam, for the women were already Muslims. After the Bay’a of the Redhwan in Hudaybiyah the women gave him their Bay’a too. Allah (swt) says:
((يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَى أَنْ لَا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَانٍ يَفْتَرِينَهُ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (12)))
“O Prophet, when the believing women come to you pledging to you that they will not associate anything with Allah, nor will they steal, nor will they commit unlawful sexual intercourse, nor will they kill their children, nor will they bring forth a slander they have invented between their arms and legs, nor will they disobey you in what is right - then accept their pledge and ask forgiveness for them of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (TMQ 60:12)
This Bay’a was also a Bay’a on ruling, as the Quran states that the women were believers, and the Bay’a was that they would not disobey him in any good thing.
In addition to that, the woman has the right to represent and be represented in voicing an opinion. This is because she has the right to voice her opinion, so she can choose her representative; and moreover since deputyship does not necessitate being a man, she has the right to represent those who elect her.
It was also confirmed that our master Umar (ra) used to seek the opinion of the Muslims when a problem faced him, whether it related to the rules of the Shari’ah or governing or any of the actions of the State. When a problem faced him he used to call the Muslims to the mosque, and he used to call the men and women, and seek the opinion of all of them. He withdrew his opinion when a woman opposed him regarding limitation of the dowry.
Non-Muslims have the right, like the Muslims, to be represented in the Council of the Ummah, and to be representatives of their electorate in it, so as to express the opinion on their behalf regarding the misapplication of the rules of Islam upon them and the oppression of the ruler that might fall upon them. This is because Allah said
((فاسألوا أهل الذكر إن كنتم لا تعلمون))
“So ask the people of the message if you do not know.” (TMQ 16:43).
However, non-Muslims would not be allowed to voice their opinion in matters related to legislation, because the Islamic legislation emanates from the Islamic belief ('Aqeedah). It is a host of practical divine rules deduced from their elaborate evidences, which treat human problems according to a specific viewpoint outlined by the Islamic belief. The non-Muslim embraces a doctrine that is alien and contradictory to the Islamic 'Aqeedah and his viewpoint about life contradicts the Islamic viewpoint and ,therefore, his opinion is not sought in matters of legislation.
The non-Muslim also does not have the right to elect the Khalifah, nor to participate in the short listing of the candidates from whom the Khalifah is to be elected, for he has no right in ruling. As for other matters that form part of the Ummah Council’s mandatory powers, he is just like the Muslim in these matters and in voicing an opinion regarding them.