The Orientalist Arnold Thomas Walker – The Suspicion Saying: “The Succession System (Khilafa) Doesn't Accommodate Any System of Opposition or Freedom of Opinion”
orientalist, arnold thomas, concluded a study about the theory of succession (khilafa) in islam as an administrative governing system and unfortunately, came up with several incorrect perspectives and baseless judgments. he was of the opinion that the system of succession does not accommodate any system of opposition or freedom of opinion like that which prevails in europe nowadays.
refuting this doubt
1- allegiance and obedience in islam are duties on each muslim toward a just ruler only, not for an unjust one.
2- a ruler in islam does not have absolute authority or powers, as alleged by arnold ; on the contrary, his authority is restricted to two aspects:
full compliance with the orders of allah the almighty which were mentioned in the noble qur'an, the prophetic teachings, and the consensus of the muslims.
the approval of people concerning the actions and omissions of the ruler; accordingly, consultation is one of the most important principles in the islamic government. the ruler should consult his people in important and urgent matters.
3- if the ruler deviates from these principles, he should be advised. however, if he insists on deviation and his mistakes are serious, the islamic scholars shall have two options: either to tolerate the injustice until allah the almighty commands that which he wills – this is the opinion of the scholars of the prophetic traditions – or to withdraw confidence and dismiss him if that dismissal will not cause any serious disorder – this is the opinion of jurists.
it is important to note that the aspect of opposition prevailed in the islamic government from the very beginning of the prophet's life. the prophet (peace be upon him) changed his opinions several times and adopted the viewpoint of others, if it was more appropriate.