DECLARATIONS OF THE CALIPHS
This is what each of the four Caliphs of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam), declared on the assumption of their high office. It was no a mere wishful thinking on their part nor an expression of idealistic sentiments. They meant what they said and adhered throughout their office to their assertions both in letter and spirit. It is the only sound and sincere basis that can serve as a foundation of a truly progressive and a flourishing society.
Hazrat Abu Bakr said:
"I have been made your custodian though I am not the best of you all. If I do the right, support me, if I go wrong, then put me right. Truth is a trust and falsehood is a breach of that trust. The weak among you shall be strong for me until I have secured for them their rights; and the strong among you shall be weak for me until I have wrested from them the rights of the others. Obey me so long as I obey Allaah and His Messenger. Should I ever disobey Allaah and His Messenger you will be under no obligation to obey me any longer."
Hazrat 'Umer said:
"Let me tell you what rights you have upon me and in regard to them you can always hold me accountable."
To those whom he appointed as Governors, Hazrat 'Umer said:
"I am appointing you as Governors not to become masters of the people, but in order that you promote the worship of Allaah among them, decide matters between them justly and distribute what is due to them equitably."
Hazrat 'Usman said:
"I am follower and not a path finder. Know that after the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allaah, there are three principles that I assure you to abide by. First, I shall follow the precedents fixed by common consent before my assumption of office. Secondly, where there is no precedent available, I shall determine the proper course in consultation with all of you. Thirdly, I shall not lay my hands on any one of you until and unless the law requires that action should be taken."
Hazrat 'Ali said:
"I owe you the duty of acting according to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet, of administering your affairs in accordance with the laws ordained by Allaah, of giving effect to the Prophet's Sunnah, and of looking after your welfare, even without your being aware of it."
His advice to one of his Governors was:
"Do not impose thick curtains between yourself and the people. For rulers to hide themselves from their people is a kind of narrowness of vision and lack of wisdom."
The above Declarations, each and every word of them, is worthy of our most careful consideration, having been uttered 1400 years ago when, Man had little respect for the rights of others and did not have the slightest idea of his own limitations. The people should proudly proclaim these high and sublime principles to their administrators and the administrators would do well to imbibe and practice as much of these sentiments, in their own interest, as possible.