Constitution of the Caliphate State / Social System
- Category: Social System §112-122
Article 115: It is permitted for a woman to be appointed in civil service and positions in the judiciary apart from the Court of Injustices. She can elect members of the Ummah’s council, and be a member herself, and she can participate in the election of the Head of State and in giving him the pledge of allegiance.
The evidence for the article is the evidence for employment, since the civil servant and judge are employees. The evidence for employment is general and unrestricted. It is narrated that the Prophet said
«أَعْطُوا الأَجِيرَ أَجْرَهُ قَـبْلَ أَنْ يَجِفَّ عَرَقُهُ»
“Give the employee his wages before his sweat dries” (reported by Ibn Maja from Abdullah Bin Umar). The word “employee” here is general and encompasses both women and men. In the same vein, Al-Bukhari reported from Abu Huraira that the Prophet said
«ثَلاثَةٌ أَنَا خَصْمُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ» إلى أن قال: «وَرَجُلٌ اسْـتَأْجَرَ أَجِيرًا فَاسْـتَوْفَى مِنْهُ وَلَمْ يُعْطِ أَجْرَهُ»
“I will be against three on the Day of Judgement” until he said “and a man who employs an laborer, and gets the full work done by him, but does not pay him his wages.”; the word employee is unrestricted and encompasses both women and men. The definition of employment is “a contract upon an exchange of a service for remuneration” and the work in government departments and judiciary is a service, undertaken upon a contract between the State and the civil servant in exchange for remuneration, which is the salary. Umar b. Al-Khattab (ra) appointed Al-Shifa, who was a woman from his tribe, as a judge in the market place (hisbah) in Madinah, though it is not permitted for a woman to be a judge of the Madhalim court and nor to be the chief judge responsible for the Madhalim judiciary, since that is considered a ruling position.
As for the Ummah council which is for consultation and accounting, consultation (Shura) is confirmed by a general evidence
((وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ))
“And consult them in the matter” (TMQ 3:159),
((وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ))
“And whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves” (TMQ 42:38), and when the Messenger saw that the Muslims refused to shave and cut their hair, he went to Umm Salamah and said to her
«لَقَدْ هَلَكَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ»
“The Muslims are destroyed” as reported by Al-Bukhari from Al-Mawar Bin Makhzama, and he told her what had happened, so she said to him “Shave your head, they will not differ from you”, so he followed her advice and as a result the Muslims shaved and cut their hair. Then she said to him “Set off with them quickly”, and so he took her advice. So he took the opinion of a woman, which indicates that he took her opinion in any issue whether politics or otherwise. The member of the Shura council is simply a proxy to represent opinion, and it is permitted for a woman to be appointed as a proxy in the same manner as a man, due to the generality of the evidence. The issue of accounting is the same since the texts regarding enjoining the good and forbidding the evil are general, encompassing both men and women – Muslim reported from Umm Salama that the Messenger of Allah said
«سَتَكُونُ أُمَرَاءُ فَتَعْرِفُونَ وَتُنْكِرُونَ، فَمَنْ عَرَفَ بَرِئَ، وَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ سَلِمَ، وَلَكِنْ مَنْ رَضِيَ وَتَابَعَ، قَالُوا: أَفَلاَ نُقَاتِلُهُمْ؟ قَالَ: لا مَا صَلَّوْا»
“There be Amirs and you will like their good deeds and dislike their bad deeds. One who sees through their bad deeds (and tries to prevent their repetition), is absolved from blame, but one who hates their bad deeds (in the heart of his heart, being unable to prevent their recurrence), is (also) safe. But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined. People asked the Prophet: Shouldn’t we fight against them? He replied: No, as long as they say their prayers” and prayer here is an allusion to ruling by Islam, and the narration is general for both men and women. So just as men account the rulers, so do women.
As for the issue of men accounting the rulers, Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Huraira:
«لَمَّا تُوُفِّيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ أَبـُو بَكْرٍ رضي الله عنه، وَكَفَرَ مَنْ كَفَرَ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ، فَقَالَ عُمَرُ رضي الله عنه: كَيْفَ تُقَاتِلُ النَّاسَ وَقَدْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ : أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَقُولُوا لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، فَمَنْ قَالَهَا فَقَدْ عَصَمَ مِنِّي مَالَهُ وَنَفْسَهُ إِلاَّ بِحَقِّهِ، وَحِسَابُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ. فَقَالَ: وَاللهِ، لأُقَاتِلَنَّ مَنْ فَرَّقَ بَيْنَ الصَّلاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ، فَإِنَّ الزَّكَاةَ حَقُّ الْمَالِ، وَاللهِ، لَوْ مَنَعُونِي عَنَاقًا كَانُوا يُؤَدُّونَهَا إِلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ لَقَاتَلْـتُهُمْ عَلَى مَـنْعِهَا. قَالَ عُمَرُ رضي الله عنه: فَوَاللهِ، مَا هُوَ إِلاَّ أَنْ قَدْ شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ رضي الله عنه، فَعَرَفْتُ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ»
“When the Messenger of Allah died and Abu Bakr took office, and those from the Bedouins disbelieved, Umar said: How can we fight people and the Messenger of Allah said: I have been ordered to fight the people until they say La ilaha illa Allah, and whoever does so then their wealth and blood are protected except by its right, and their account is with Allah. So Abu Bakr said: I swear by Allah, I will fight whosoever differentiates between the prayer and the Zakah, since Zakah is the right of the wealth, By Allah, if they deny me a young goat, that they paid to the Messenger of Allah I will fight them over their denial. Umar said: By Allah, it was only that Allah had opened the chest of Abu Bakr (to understanding), and so then I realised it was the truth”. As for women accounting the ruler, it is mentioned by Al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir, Al-Amidi in Al-Ihkam and Al-Ghazali in Al-Mustasfa that a woman accounted Umar (ra) when he prohibited people from giving dowry of greater than four hundred dirham. She said to him: You have no right to do this Umar. Have you not heard the words of Allah
((وَآَتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنْطَارًا فَلَا تَأْخُذُوا مِنْهُ شَيْئًا}
“And you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything.” (TMQ 4:20)so he said: A woman is correct, and Umar is wrong.
With respect to her participation in elections for the Khalifah and giving him the pledge of allegiance, the narration of Umm ‘Atiyyah explicitly mentions how the women gave the pledge of allegiance, reported by Al-Bukhari from Umm ‘Atiyyah:
«بَايَعْـنَا النَّبِيَّ فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْنَا أَنْ لاَ يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَـيْئًا وَنَهَانَا عَنِ النِّـيَاحَةِ، فَقَبَضَتِ امْرَأَةٌ مِنَّا يَدَهَا ...»
“We gave the Prophet the pledge of allegiance and he read for us that they should not disbelieve in Allah, and he forbade us from wailing (over the dead), so one of us withdrew her hand”, and the verse
((إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَك))
“O Prophet, when the believing women come to you pledging to you.” (TMQ 60:12)is also explicit in mentioning the woman’s pledge of allegiance, and ,therefore, it is permitted for her to elect the Khalifah and give him the pledge of allegiance.