Constitution of the Caliphate State / Governors
- Category: Governors §52-60
Article 60: The Khalifah must examine the actions of the governors and continually assess their performance strictly. He must deputise people to monitor their situations, investigate them, and periodically gather all or some of them, and listen to the complaints of the subjects regarding them.
It is confirmed that the Prophet used to test the governors when he appointed them as he did with Mu’adh and Abu Musa, and explained to them how they should proceed as he did with Amr b. Hazm in his message famous amongst the people of knowledge as mentioned by Ibn ’Asakir in Tarikh Damascus and Al-Hafiz said in Al-Isaba
«... واسـتعمل النبي عمرو بن حزم على نجـران ... »
“…and the Prophet appointed Amr Bin Hazam over Najran…” and it is reported from him that the message he wrote to him was regarding the obligations and blood money and other issues, as narrated by Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa’i, Ibn Hibban and Al-Darimi and others.
Likewise he would make them aware of some important issues as he did with Abaan Bin Said when he appointed him over Bahrain as has been mentioned in Al-Tabaqatof Ibn Sa’d from Al-Waqidi when it was said to him
«اسْـتَـوْصِ بَعَـبْـدِ قَـيْسٍ خَيْراً، وَأَكْرِمْ سَرَاتَهِمْ»
“Take good care of ’Abd Qays and honour their leaders”. In the same way, it is confirmed that he used to account the governors, investigate their circumstances and listen to what was narrated to him regarding their news. He also used to account the governors over the taxation and expenditures; it is narrated by Abu Hamid Al-Sa’idi
«اسْـتَعْمَلَ النَّبِيُّ رَجُلاً مِنْ بَنِي أَسْدٍ يُقَالُ لَهُ ابْنُ اللُّتَبِيَّةِ عَلَى صَـدَقَـةٍ فَلَمَّا قَـدِمَ قَـالَ هَـذَا لَكُمْ وَهَـذَا أُهْدِيَ لِي فَقَامَ النَّبِيُّ عَلَى الْمِنْـبَرِ قَالَ سُفْيَانُ أَيْضًا فَصَعِدَ الْمِنْـبَرَ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ مَا بَالُ الْعَامِلِ نَـبْـعَـثُـهُ فَيَأْتِي يَقُولُ هَذَا لَكَ وَهَذَا لِي فَهَلاَّ جَلَسَ فِي بَيْتِ أَبِيهِ وَأُمِّهِ فَيَـنْـظُـرُ أَيُهْدَى لَهُ أَمْ لاَ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لاَ يَأْتِي بِشَيْءٍ إِلاَّ جَاءَ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَحْمِلُهُ عَلَى رَقَـبَـتِـهِ إِنْ كَانَ بَعِيرًا لَهُ رُغَاءٌ أَوْ بَقَرَةً لَهَا خُوَارٌ أَوْ شَاةً تَيْعَرُ ثُمَّ رَفَعَ يَدَيْهِ حَتَّى رَأَيْنَا عُفْرَتَيْ إِبْطَيْهِ أَلاَ هَلْ بَلَّغْتُ ثَلاَثاً»
“The Prophet employed a man from the tribe of Al-Azd named Ibn Lutbiyyah as collector of Zakat. When the employee returned (with the collections) he said: " O Prophet ! This is for you and this is mine because it was presented to me as gift." Messenger of Allah rose to the pulpit and praised Allah and extolled Him. Then he said, "I employ a man to do a job and he comes and says: 'This is for you and this has been presented to me as gift'? Why did he not remain in the house of his father or the house of his mother and see whether gifts will be given to him or not? By Allah in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, if any one of you took anything wrongfully, he will bring it on the Day of Resurrection, carrying it on (his back), I will not recognize anyone of you, on the Day of Resurrection with a grunting camel, or a bellowing cow, or a bleating ewe." Then he raised his hands till we could see the whiteness of his armpits. Then he said thrice, ''O Allah ! have I conveyed (Your Commandments” (agreed upon narration).
Umar (ra) used to be severe in his monitoring of the governors and appointed Muhammad Bin Maslamah (ra) to examine their circumstances and investigate them. He would gather the governors in the pilgrimage season in order to look into what they had done, listen to the complaints of the subjects regarding them and to remind them of the affairs of the governorship and establish their circumstances. It is narrated from Umar (ra) that one day he said to those around him
"أرأيتم إذا استعملت عليكم خير من أعلم ثم أمرته بالعدل، أكنت قضيت الذي علي قالوا: نعم، قال: لا، حتى أنظر في عمله، أعمل بما أمرته به أم لا"
“Do you think if I appointed over you the best whom I know, and then commanded him to be just, that have I completed what was upon me?” They replied, yes. He said “No, until I looked into his actions – did he act according to what I commanded him to or not” (reported from Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan and Al-Shi’ab from Tawus).Umar (ra) used to strictly account his governors and ’Ummal, and his severity in accounting them would lead to him sometimes removing one of them due to a doubt for which there was no definite evidence and he used to remove them due to suspicion which did not reach the level of doubt. He was once asked about that and so said
"هان شيء أصلح به قوماً أن أبدلهم أميراً مكان أمير"
“The simplest thing I do to make things right for people is to relplce a leader (Amir) they have by another” (reported by Abu Shabah in Al-Tarikh Al-Madinah, and by Ibn Sa’d in Al-Tabaqat from Al-Hasan).
However, even with his strictness over them he used to allow them freedom of conduct, would protect their standing in government, listen to them and be attentive to their proofs. If the proof convinced him, he would not hide his conviction of it and his praise of the ’Amil. One day, it reached him that his ’Amil over Hims, ’Umayr b. Sa’d, said while upon the pulpit,
"لا يزال الإسلام منيعاً ما اشـتـد السلطان. وليسـت شـدة السلطان قتلاً بالسـيـف أو ضرباً بالسوط، ولكن قضاءً بالحق وأخذاً بالعدل"
“Islam will remain strong as long as the authority is rigorously strong. But strength in authority is not killking by sword or striking by whip, but it is judging according to Truth and applying justice” as mentioned by Ibn Sa’d in Al-Tabaqat from Said b. Suwayd. So Umar (ra) said regarding him,
"وددت لو أن لي رجلاً مثل عمير بن سعد أستعين به على أعمال المسلمين"
“I wish I had a man like ’Umayr Bin Sa’d who I could rely upon in Muslims’ matters”.