The following is part of a series of articles which are based upon extracts from the excellent book by Hizb ut-Tahrir,(أجهزة دولة الخلافة (في الحكم والإدارة (Ajhizat Dawlat al-Khilafah fil hukm wal idara), 'Organisations of the Khilafah State (in ruling and administration)', published in 2005. We will be focussing on those aspects which are eloborations that are not contained in the earlier book 'The Ruling System in Islam'. The beginning of the book mentions that it is issued and adopted by Hizb ut-Tahrir and that it nullifies anything that disagrees with it, this means that there are some updates to the previously adopted views of the party contained within it. These articles are based upon certain draft translations of extracts of the book, for exact meanings and accuracy please refer to the original Arabic.
Thirdly: Executive assistants (mu’awin ut-tanfeedh)
Mu’awin-un-Tanfeeth is the wazir whom the Khaleefah appoints to be his assistant in the execution, follow up and implementation of his orders. He is the intermediary between the Khaleefah and the various State departments, the subjects and the foreign office on the other side. He conveys messages from the Khaleefah on the one hand and on the other hand; so he is an assistant in executing orders and not authorized over them or entrusted with them. His work is therefore administrative and not ruling, and his department is a tool used to execute what the Khaleefah issues to the internal and foreign offices and to submit to him all that comes to him from these offices. His department acts as an intermediary between the Khaleefah and others, where it conveys to them on his behalf and conveys to him from them.
The executive assistant was used to be called secretary (al-Katib) at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and the khulafaa’ rashidoon. Then he became known as the keeper of the divan of letters or correspondence, and then it was decided to call him the secretary of composition or the keeper of the divan of composition. Finally the jurists called him the executive assistant (wazir ut-tanfeedh).
The Khaleefah is a ruler, whose duties include ruling, execution, and looking after people’s affairs. Carrying out of ruling, execution and guardianship require administrative actions. This necessitates the setting up of a special department that works closely with the Khaleefah to manage tasks that help him carry out the Khilafah’s duties. Thus an executive assistant is required, to be appointed by the Khaleefah to run administrative affairs not the affairs of ruling. He does not perform any ruling duties like the delegated assistant. He is not allowed for example to appoint a Wali or an ‘Amil, nor to manage people’s affairs. His duties are merely administrative, i.e. to execute the ruling orders and the administrative tasks issued by the Khaleefah or the delegated assistant. This is why he is known as the executive assistant. Jurists used to call him ‘wazir tanfeeth’ which simply means Mu’awin-un-Tanfeeth, on the basis that the word wazir is linguistically used to mean ‘the assistant.’They said that this wazir is an intermediary between the Khaleefah, the subjects and the Walis, who conveys the orders issued by him, executes his rules, informs about the appointment of Walis, and about the preparation of task forces and armies stationed at the frontiers. He also submits to the Khaleefah whatever comes from such offices and informs him of all new matters that may arise so that he can implement whatever the Khaleefah may order him to. This makes him an assistant in executing commands and not in charge over them, or entrusted with them. He is similar to the head of the divan of the head of the state at the present time.
Since the executive assistant is linked directly to the Khaleefah just like the delegated assistant, and he is part of the Khaleefah’s entourage. Besides his task is in contact with the ruler (Khaleefah) and requires pursual with the Khaleefah and meeting with him in isolation at any time at day and night, a matter that disagrees with the conditions of the woman according to the divine rules. Therefore, the executive assistant has to be man. In addition the executive assistant cannot be a disbeliever; he must rather be a Muslim, for he is part of the Khaleefah’s entourage. This is because Allah (swt) says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لاَ تَتَّخِذُوا بِطَانَةً مِنْ دُونِكُمْ لاَ يَأْلُونَكُمْ خَبَالاً وَدُّوا مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتْ الْبَغْضَاءُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ
‘O you who believe; do not take for intimates others than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you; they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but that which their breasts hide is greater.’ [TMQ 3: 118]
The prohibition of taking a non-Muslim as part of the Khaleefah’s entourage is very clear in the verse. Therefore the executive assistant cannot be a Kafir but must be Muslim for he is directly connected to the Khaleefah and not separate from him, just like the delegated assistant. The executive assistants can also number more than one according to the need and according to the work he communicates between the Khaleefah and others.
As for the areas in which the Mu’awin at-Tanfeeth acts as an intermediary between the Khaleefah and others, these are four:
1) The international affairs, whether the Khaleefah discharges them directly, or he appoints a foreign department that takes charge of them.
2) The army.
3) The state organizations other than the army.
4) Relations with the citizens.
These are the types of duties, which the executive assistant carries out. Since he is an intermediary between the Khaleefah and others, he would be considered as a liaison department that reports from the Khaleefah and reports to him. By acting as such he follows up what is required of the State departments’ action..
The Khaleefah is the actual ruler. He is the one who deals with ruling, execution and the management of people’s affairs by himself. Therefore he is in constant contact with the ruling apparatus, international affairs and the Ummah. He enacts laws, takes decisions, carries out actions of caring and looks at the performance of the ruling apparatus and whatever obstacles it may face and whatever needs it requires. He is also informed of any demands, complaints and matters that come from the Ummah, and he follows up the international activities as well. Therefore, based on the nature of these actions, the Mu’awin at-tanfeeth acts as an intermediary relating to them, i.e. he conveys messages to the Khaleefah and conveys orders from him. Since what is issued by the Khaleefah to the different departments and what comes to him from them needs following up in order to be implemented, the executive assistant needs to carry out this follow up for insuring the execution to be satisfactorily completed. He would carry out a follow up with the Khaleefah and with the State departments and would not stop carrying out this follow up, unless the Khaleefah specifically demanded so. In this case he has to obey his orders and stop the follow up, because the Khaleefah is the ruler and his order has to be implemented.
With regards to the matters related to the army and the international relations, these are generally confidential and are specific to the Khaleefah. Therefore the executive assistant does not follow up the execution of these matters nor pursue their execution, unless the Khaleefah requests him to do so in which case he will follow up only the matters which the Khaleefah demanded and not any others.
With regards to the Ummah; in matters of looking after her affairs, fulfilling her demands and removing unjust actions from her, these matters are for the Khaleefah to deal with the one who is appointed as a deputy to him. They are not a mandate for the executive assistant, so he does not follow them up except for those issues which the Khaleefah requests him to do so. His action in their regard is simply execution and not following up. All this depends on the nature of the actions which the Khaleefah carries out and accordingly the nature of the Mu’awin at-tanfeedh actions.
As examples to the actions of the executive assistant at the time of the Messenger (saw) and khulafaa’ rashidoon (where this assistant was called secretary at that time):
1. International relations, and the examples are:
• Hudaybiah treaty as narrated by al-Bukhari through al-Musawwar and Marwan. It says:
فدعا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الكاتب...»
“So the prophet (saw) called the secretary (writer)…”
Abu Yousuf also narrated in the book of Kharaj, he said:
وحدثني محمد بن اسحق والكلبي، زاد بعضهم على بعض
في الحديث، وفيه: وقال: اكتبوا...
“Mohammad ibn Ishaq and al-Kalbi informed me, some others added in the hadeeth saying: He sad: Write (plural)..”, without mentioning the name of the writer.
Ibn Katheer narrated it, he said:
قال ابن اسحق قال الزهري... ثم دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم علي بن أبي طالب فقال: أكتب...
“Ibn Ishaq said az-Zuhari said…then the Messenger of Allah (saw) called upon Ali ibn Talib and said: Write (singular)…”
Abu Ubayd narrated it in the book of al-Amwal from ibn Abbas, where he said:
... فقال لعلي: أكتب يا علي.. .
“….and he said to Ali: O Ali, write…”
Al-Hakim narrated it from ibn Abbas, and az-Zahabi authenticated it and approved it, saying:
... أكتب يا علي...
“…..O Ali, write…”
The text of this peace treaty is well known, and does not need to mention it here.
• The letter of the Messenger (saw) to Hercules is narrated by the jamaa’ah (of muhadditheen) excluding ibn Majah. The wording of the hadeeth as narrated by Al-Bukhari from ibn Appas from Abu Sufyan:
• بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، من محمد عبد الله ورسوله إلى هرقل عظيم الروم، سلام على من اتبع الهدى، أما بعد، فإني أدعوك بدعاية الإسلام، أسلم تسلم يؤتك الله أجرك مرتين، فإن توليت فإن عليك إثم الأريسيين، ويا أهل الكتاب تعالوا إلى كلمة سواء بيننا وبينكم، أن لا نعبد إلا الله، ولا نشرك به شيئاً، ولا يتخذ بعضنا بعضاً أرباباً من دون الله، فإن تولوا فقولوا اشهدوا بأنا مسلمون».
“Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim, from Mohammad, Abdullah and Messenger of Allah (saw) to Hercules the leader of the Romans, peace is upon whoever follows the guidance. After that, I invite you to the da’wa of Islam; if you embrace Islam Allah will give your reward double. If you turned away then you are responsible about the sin of the Arisiyeen (meaning the Romans). O you people of the book, come forward to a fair word between us and between you, that we do not worship save Allah, we do not associate partners with Him, and nor take each other as lords beside Allah. If they turned away say bear witness that we are Muslims.”
• The book of Hercules to the Messenger of Allah (saw) in response to his letter. Abu Ubayd reported in the book of al-Amwal from Bakr ibn Abdullah ibn Abdullah al-Muzni: “…And he wrote to the Messenger of Allah (saw) that he is Muslim, and sent him some dinars (money). The Messenger of Allah (saw) said when he read the letter:
كذب عدو الله ليس بمسلم، ولكنه على النصرانية
"He lies, the enemy of Allah, he is not Muslim, rather he is on Christianity."
Al-Hafiz said in al-Fath, the hadeeth is of authentic narration but disconnected (mursal) from Bakr.
• The letter written by people of Minbaj to Umar and his reply to them, where Ab Yousuf said in the book of al-Kharaj: “Abdul Malik ibn Jurayj told us from Amr ibn Shua’yb that the people of Minbaj – some people of war behind the sea – wrote to Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra): Allow us to enter your country as traders and impose upon us a tax of tenth. He said: Umar consulted with the companions of the Messenger of Allah (saw) regarding that, and they advised him to do that. Thus, they were the first people of war that paid the tenth.”
2. The army, and some of its correspondence are:
• The letter of Abu Bakr to Khalid, in which he commands him to travel to Ash-Sham. Abu Yousuf said in the book of Al-Kharaj: “Khalid wanted to take Al-Heerah as his centre. However the letter of Abu Bakr came to him in which he was commanded him to travel to Ash-Sham as reinforcement to Abu Ubaydah and Muslims…”
• The armies in Ash-Sham wrote to Umar asking him support, and he wrote to them: Ahmad narrated through narrators considered of the quality of the sound’s narrators, and Abu Hatim ibn Happan through sound narration from Sammak, he said: I heard Iyadh al-Ash’ary said: “I attended al-Yarmook when we were under five ameers: Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, Yazeed ibn Aby Sufyan, Ibn Hasanag, Khalid ibn Al-Waleed and Iyadh who was different to the narrator that spoke to Sammak. He said that Umar said: If it was a matter of fight, then seek the help of Abu Ubaydah. He said: So we wrote to him that death raged against us and we sought his support. He wrote to us: I received your letter in which you seek my support. I direct you to the one who is of stronger support and his soldiers more ready; he is Allah (azza wajall), so seek His help, because Muhammad (saw) was given victory at Badr with less than your army. Once this my letter reached you fight against them and do not revise with me. He said: So we fought against him and thus defeated them. We killed them for four farsakh..”
• The army of Ash-Sham wrote to Umar ibn Al-Khattab “When we meet the enemy and see them cover their weapons with silk we find terror in our hearts. Umar wrote to them: You do the same, so cover your weapons with silk”, as mentioned by Ibn Taymiyyah in Al-Fatawa.
3. The state’s organizations other than the army. These are some of its correspondence.
• The letter of the Messenger (saw) to Mu’adh regarding the tenth: Yahya ibn Adam narrated in the book of Al-Kharaj about ruling, he said: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) wrote to Ma’adh in Yemen:
فيما سقت السماء أو سقي غيلاً العشر، وما سقي بالغرب فنصف العشر
“The tenth is due in whatever was irrigated with rain or with sizable water; and half of the tenth in whatever is irrigated with bucket.” And Ash-Shi’by narrated the like of it.
• The letter of the Messenger of Allah (saw) to Al-Mundir ibn Sawa regarding the head tax (jizyah). Aby Yousuf mentioned in the book of Al-Kharaj from Abu Ubaydah, he said:
كتب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى المنذر بن ساوى أن من صلى صلاتنا، واستقبل قبلتنا، وأكل ذبيحتنا، فذلك المسلم، له ذمة الله وذمة رسوله، فمن أحب ذلك من المجوس فهو آمن، ومن أبى فعليه الجزية
“The Messenger of Allah (saw) wrote to Al-Mundir ibn Sawa that whover prayed our prayer, turned to our qiblah, ate our slaughtered meat, then this the Muslim, and he is entitled with the protection of Allah and His Messenger. Whoever of the Magus liked that then he is safe, and whoever rejected, then he has to pay the jizyah”.
• The letter of Abu Bakr to Anas regarding the duty of Sadaqa, when he sent him to Bahrain: Al-Bukhari narrated from Anas “that Abu Bakr (ra) wrote to him regarding the duty of Sadaqah which Allah and His Messenger commanded…”
• The letter of Umar to Amr at the year of Ramadah (famine), and the reply of Amr to him. Ibn Khazeemah narrated in his authentic (saheeh) book, and Al-Hakim who said it is sound on the terms of Muslim, al-Bayhaqi in the Sunan, and Ibn Sa’d in the Tabaqaat from Zayd ibn Aslam from his father, he said: “When the year of Ramadah took place, and the land of the Arab suffered of drought, Umar ibn Al-Khattab wrote to Amr ibn Al-Ass: From Abdullah, ameer al-Mu’mineen to Amr ibn Al-Ass. By Allah you do not bother if you and the people on your side became fat at the time I and the people on my side became slim. Help us! Amr wrote: Peace is upon you. I am at your service; I am at your service. Camels are coming to you, where its first is with you and its last is with me; though I hope to find a way to carry the supplies by sea.”
• The letter of Mohammad Abu Bakr to Ali regarding the apostates, and his reply to him. Ibn Aby sheebah reported from Qaboos ibn al-Mukhariq from his father, he said: “Ali sent Mohammad ibn Abu Bakr as an ameer over Egypt, so he wrote to him regarding some zendik (apostates), some of them worship the sun and moon, and some of them worship something else, and some of them claim he is Muslim. He wrote to him ordering him regarding the zendik to kill the one that claims Islam, and leave others worship whatever they like.”
4. Letters addressed directly to the citizens, this is some of which:
• The letter of the Messenger (saw) to the people of Najran. It is narrated by Abu Dawud from Al-Saddy from ibn Appas. Al-Mundidry said: What Al-Saddy heard from Ibn Appas needs examination. Abu Ubayd narrated it in Al-Amwal from Aby Al-Maleeh Al-Hadly, which says at its end: “Uthman ibn Affan and Mu’ayqeeb testified to that, and wrote”. Abu Yousuf narrated it in Al-Kharaj, and he mentioned the scripter was Al-Mugheerah ibn Aby Shu’bah. Then Abu Yousuf mentioned the letter of Abu Bakr to them, and the scripter was Al-Mugheerah. Then he mentioned the letter of Umar and the scripter is Mu’ayqeeb, and then the letter of Uthman to them and the scripter is his associate (mawla) Humran, then the letter of Ali and the scripter is Abdullah ibn Rafi’.
• The letter of the Messenger (saw) to Tameem Al-Dari. Abu Yousuf mentioned in al-Kharaj, he said:
قام تميم الداري وهو تميم بن أوس - رجل من لخم - فقال يا رسول الله، إن لي جيرة من الروم بفلسطين، لهم قرية يقال لها حبرى، وأخرى يقال لها عينون، وإن فتح الله عليك الشام فهبها لي، فقال: هما لك. قال: فاكتب لي بذلك، فكتب له: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، هذا كتاب من محمد رسول الله لتميم بن أوس الداري، أن له قرية حبرى وبيت عينون قريتها كلها، وسهلها وجبلها وماؤها وحرثها وأنباطها وبقرها ولعقبه من بعده، لا يحاقه فيها أحد، ولا يلحد عليهم أحد بظلم، فمن ظلم وأخذ منهم شيئاً فإن عليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين. وكتب عل
“Tameem Al-dary, who is Tameem ibn Aws, a man from Lakham, and said; O Messenger of Allah; I have neighbors from the Romans in Palestine. They have a village called Habra, and another one called ‘Aynoon. If Allah conquered Ash-Sham for you, please grant those (two villages) to me. He said: They are yours. He said; so write regarding that to me. He wrote to him: Bismillah ir-rahman ir-Rahim. This is a letter from Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Tameem ibn Aws Al-Dary, that he has the village of Habra and the village of Bayt ‘Aynoon, all of it, its plain, mountain, water, arable land, Nabateans and cows, and to his offspring after him. No one would challenge him regarding his right over them, and nor any one would deviate from their right unjustly. Whoever did so and took any thing from them he deserves the curse of Allah, the Angels and all mankind. Ali has written.” When Abu Bakr took authority he wrote to them a letter regarding that that says: “Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. This is a letter from Abu Bakr, the trustee of the Messenger of Allah (saw) that was taken authority in the land. He writes it to the Darys, that no one would undermine what they possess of the village of Habra and ‘Aynoon. Whoever listens and obeys Allah, he must not undermine any thing of them. My chief has to set up the two doors on them, and protect them from the corrupters.”
The Khaleefah has the right to appoint secretaries as many as he needs in his correspondence. This even becomes obligatory if the duty cannot be performed without their appointment. The authors of the seerah mentioned that the Messenger of Allah (saw) had about twenty scripters. Al-Bukhari mentioned in his saheeh that the Messenger of Allah (saw) ordered Zayd ibn Thabit to learn the language of the Jews so as to read to the prophet (saw) when they write to him. So, he learnt it in fifteen days. Ibn Ishaq narrated from Abdullah ibn Al-Zubyr:
أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استكتب عبد الله ابن الأرقم بن عبد يغوث، وكان يجيب عنه الملوك...
“that the Messenger of Allah (saw) dictated to Abdullah ibn Al-Arqam ibn Abd Yaghooth, and he used to reply the kings on his behalf…” Al-Bayhaqi narrted from Abdullah ibn Umar (ra), he said:
أتى النبي كتاب رجل، فقال لعبد الله بن الأرقم: أجب عني، فكتب جوابه، ثم قرأه عليه فقال: أصبت وأحسنت اللهم وفقه
“A letter from a man came to the prophet (saw), so he said to Abdullah ibn Al-Arqam: Reply on my behalf. He wrote his reply and then read to the prophet (saw). He said: You did the right and was proficient; may Allah give him success”. Muhammad ibn Sa’d reported from Ali ibn Muhammad Al-Mada’ini through his narrations that Muhammad ibn Maslamah was the one who once wrote a letter to a delegate, based on an order from the Messenger of Allah (saw); Ali ibn Aby Talib was the one that used to write the treaties when the Messenger (saw) made treaties, and write peace when he made peace. Mu’ayqeeb ibn Aby Fatimah was responsible for his stamp. Al-Bukhari reported in the history through Muhammad ibn Bashshar from his grandfather Mu’ayqeeb, he said:
كان خاتم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من حديد ملوّن عليه فضة كان بيدي. وكان المعيقيب على خاتم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
“The seal ring of the Messenger of Allah (saw) was made of coloured iron, with silver on it, and it was with me; and Mu’ayqeeb was responsible for the stamp of the Messenger of Allah (saw)”.