Every Mukallaf (i.e. mature and sane person) is considered to be one of the following:
- The Original Al-Aseel i.e. the one who represents him/herself.
- The Representative Al-Wakeel i.e. the one who represents another person
- The Next of kin (Al-Waliy) i.e. the one who is responsible for others e.g. the father or the Khaleefah.
- The Guardian Al-Wassiy i.e. the one who is responsible for a child or a disabled person ( i.e.Al-Qaaser).
The Shari'ah holds the Mukallaf (him/her) as an Aseel: the one who is responsible for his/her own affairs and duties and Islam gives every Aseel the Wilaayah (power of self-representation). However the Shari'ah does give one a permit to delegate certain responsibilities to someone else to represent him or her. This requires us to understand the principle of Representation
Al-Wilaayah in Islam and its divisions and types.
The Divisions of Representation Al-Wilaayah: Representation Al-Wilaayah is of two divisions:
1. Self Representation (Al-Wilaayah Al-Asseelah)
2. Appointed Representation (Al-Wilaayah Al-Niyaabiyyah)
1. Self Representation Al-Wilaayah Al-Asseelah: In order to be Asseel i.e. to represent yourself, you must be Raashed (i.e. rational, competent) and not Qaaser (i.e. a child or disabled without any two of the following: sight, hearing or speech.)
2. Appointed Representation Al-Wilaayah Al-Niyaabiyyah: Appointed Representation is of two types:
a. Without choice Al-Wilaayah Al-Niyaabiyyah Al-Ijbaariyyah
b. With choice Al-Wilaayah Al-Niyaabiyyah Al-Ikhtiyariyyah
Without choice Al-Wilaayah Al-Niyaabiyyah Al-Ijbaariyyah: Appointed Representation without choice is appointment over life's affairs Wilaayat-ul-Nafis, for example the Representation of the father over the marriage of his daughter, or it is appointment over wealth Wilaayat-ul-Maal, for example a representative appointed over the wealth of a child or the wealth of someone who is insane.
With choice Al-Wilaayah Al-Niyaabiyyah Al-Ikhtiyariyyah: Appointed Representation with choice (i.e. delegation Al-Wekaalah) is also of two types: Specific Khaassah or General Aammah and these can be either un-restricted Muttlaqah or restricted Muqayyadah.
Specific Khaassah: For example you can delegate someone to sell your car and this could be: a) un-restricted Muttlaqah: e.g. [sell it for how much they think it should sell for.] b) restricted Muqayyadah: e.g. [sell it for no less that 5000.]
General Aammah: For example you can delegate someone to deal with your property and this could be: a) un-restricted Muttlaqah: e.g. [deal with everything regarding it.] b) restricted Muqayyadah: e.g. [manage it but do not sell it.]
Delegation (Al-Wekaalah): Delegation Al-Wekaalah has four pillars:
1. The Delegator (Al-Muwakkil) .
2. The Delegatee (Al-Wakeel).
3. The Wording of the Delegation Seeghat-ut-Tawkeel.
4. The Subject of the Delegation (Al-Muwakkal feeh).
1. The Delegator (Al Muwakkil): The conditions for the Delegator Al-Muwakkil are: The Delegator must be Sane (Aaqil) The Delegator must be Mature (Baalegh) The Delegator must be Competent (Raashed i.e. not Qaaser) The Delegator must only delegate that which is permissible by Shari'ah. The Delegator must own the thing or have the right he/she wishes to delegate. The Absence of any divine prevention's (Ghiyaab ul-Mawaani Ash-Shar'iyyah).
2. The Delegatee (Al-Wakeel): The conditions for the Delegatee Al-Wakeel are: The Delegatee must be Sane (Aaqil). The Delegatee must be Mature (Baalegh). The Delegatee must be Competent (Raashed i.e. not with a severe disability or Qaaser). The Delegatee must accept only the delegation, which is permissible by Shari'ah. The Delegatee must accept only the delegation, which is open for representation by Shari'ah. The Absence of any divine prevention's (Ghiyaab ul-Mawaani Ash-Shar'iyyah).
3. The Wording (Form) of the Delegation (Seeghat-ut-Tawkeel): The conditions for the Wording of the delegation Seeghat-ut-Tawkeel are: There must be an offer and acceptance between the Delegator and the Delegatee. There must be no duress upon either party. There must be no ambiguity in the Wording. i.e. it must be clear as to the delegation i.e. whether it is specific or general and restricted or un-restricted. The Absence of any divine prevention's (Ghiyaab-ul-Mawaani Ash-Shar'iyyah).
4. The Subject of Delegation (Al-Muwakkal feeh): The conditions for the subject of delegation Al Muwakkal feeh are: It must be known to the Delegatee and present if it is a thing. e.g. [represent me in the meeting] or [sell my car for $5000]. It must be delegatable by Shari'ah e.g. to sell, buy, contract or donate etc.. It must be in the area of permissibility by Shari'ah e.g. it is not allowed to ask someone to oppress, to sell alcohol, to attack someone or to legislate law etc. The Absence of any divine prevention's (Ghiyaab-ul-Mawaani Ash-Shar'iyyah).
Evidence for delegation (Al-Tawkeel): The evidence for delegation is mentioned in the Hadeeth of Abu Daoud and Tirmidhi narrated upon the authority of Haakim bin Hizam that Rasool Allah (SAW) delegated Haakim to buy for him (SAW) a sheep and in the Hadeeth narrated by Imam Ahmad and Bukhari upon the authority of Urwa that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) delegated his father Abu Urwa Al-Bariqi to buy for him a sheep and to offer it as Qurbani. It is further narrated by Abu Daoud in Vol. 1 Hadeeth No. 468 that the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) delegated Amru bin Umayyah Ad-Damuri to conduct on behalf of him the contract of marriage to Umm Habeebah, the daughter of Abu Sufyan, while she was in Abyssinnia. In addition the Prophet (SAW) delegated to many of the state departments someone to manage the affairs e.g. to collect Zakat, distribute wealth, to remove disputes etc.. Islam also permits one to pay the Delegatee some money. It is narrated from Abu Daoud and Tirmidhi upon the authority of Urwa that the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) used to delegate people to manage the affairs of others and would specify for them some revenue.
These evidences are sufficient for the permissibility of delegation within the aforementioned conditions e.g. for the subject of delegation not to be prohibited in Islam and the Delegatee not to indulge in any prohibited transaction e.g. legislation (whether beneficial or not), aggression or Kufr etc. and Allah (SWT) says: "Those who do not judge (rule or refer) to whatever Allah reveals, they are the disbelievers". [TMQ 5:45]
It is agreed upon among the classical scholar's e.g. Al-Imaam Al-Maqdisi, Al-Imaam Al-Kasani and Al-Imaam Al-Quraafi etc.. that those who delegate in any matter prohibited by Islam (e.g. selling alcohol or voting for man-made law) or delegate a person who is not trustworthy or Kaafir will share with the Delegatee the sin and punishment.