I know in Quran, Allah has revealed that

"And We made an appointment with Moses for thirty nights and perfected them by [the addition of] ten; so the term of his Lord was completed as forty nights. And Moses said to his brother Aaron, "Take my place among my people, do right [by them], and do not follow the way of the corrupter's." Quran : Chapter 7: verse 142.

Since, Prophet Mosses (Pbuh) left the place for just 40 days. And even Prophet Mosses (pbuh) didn't left his people without a Successor for these 40 days.
I also remember a hadith whose reference is not in my mind which is like this

"when prophet Muhammad (pbuhAhf) left for some battle, he left Ali (a) his successor for the people and all other matters."

I have a question that how is it possible that Prophet Muhammad (pbuhAhf) left this world without selecting his Successor.
This question is for sunni muslim brethern. As we shia's have the proof that Prophet Muhammad (pbuhAhf) selected Ali (a) his successor at Ghadeer Khum.


1 Answer 1


The most commonly accepted opinion among Sunni scholars is that a Caliph should be elected by ahl al-hall wa’l-‘aqd (The body that elects the caliph, made up of highly influential Muslims with good character). According to Al-Maawardi (may Allaah have mercy upon him) the members of this body (ahl al-hall wa’l-‘aqd) should have the following qualities:

“There are three requirements regarding those eligible to make the choice (of electing the caliph):

  1. Being of good moral character, including all its requirements;
  2. Possessing adequate knowledge by which one comprehends who has a right to the leadership of the Muslim state and the requirements that must be met in the leader;
  3. Being endowed with the insight and wisdom which will lead them to choose the person who is most fit for the Imamate and who is the most upright and knowledgeable with respect to the management of the offices of administration.” [Al-Ahkaam As-Sultaaniyyah]

But there is no specific instructions regarding selecting the members of the Ahlul-Hall wal-‘Aqd in Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. This fatawa provides some insights regarding how to select those who would elect the Caliph:

Some scholars held that they should be chosen according to the customs and traditions of the society provided that the requirements of the Sharee‘ah are fulfilled. Shaykh ‘Abd Ar-Rahmaan Al-Maydaani may Allaah have mercy upon him wrote:

“The qualities of those eligible to choose the Muslim caliph and hand the leadership of the Muslim state to him differ according to the social context and time. The criteria in choosing the members of this body differ from time to time, from one environment to another, and from one society to another.

It is a matter susceptible to change according to developments and changes in people's lives, how educated and civilized they are, and the scope of their social contribution. Urban societies and villages are susceptible to significant social change; accordingly the criteria in choosing the members of the Ahlul-Hall wal-‘Aqd varies.

Since it is left for Muslims to decide such a matter, they are entitled to set the mechanism and criteria for choosing the Ahlul-Hall wal-‘Aqd through which the supreme Muslim leadership is established and do whatever serves the best interest of Muslims …

This may be done by electing the elite of a given community to serve as members of a regional and local body within their regions and then by each country choosing the elite from among them (those regional and local panels) and those elites from different parts of the Muslim land forming the main Ahlul-Hall wal-‘Aqd body to choose the Muslim caliph.” [Kawaashif Zuyoof fi Al-Mathaahib Al-Fikriyyah Al-Mu‘aasirah]

In the present circumstances, Ahlul-Hall wal-‘Aqd members may be elected through a elective process in which ordinary citizens will vote to choose the candidates.

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