The Holy Prophetsa said: “Were people to be given everything they claimed, they would not stop short of making claims on the blood and property of others.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
In light of this insightful hadith, if office-bearers were to be suspended or dismissed on mere accusations without sufficient evidence, all offices would have to be shut down, bringing to a halt the system of any community.
Since the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is based on Islamic principles and strives to uphold them in all internal matters, we will have to seek guidance from the practice of the Holy Prophetsa and of his rightly guided Khulafa. For that, we cite a few instances from those blessed days of Islam.
1. During the War of Yamama, Maja‘a bin Murrah, a commander of Musaylima’s army, signed a truce with Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid through deceit. Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid, after the agreement, went on to marry Maja‘a bin Murrah’s daughter.
When Hazrat Abu Bakrra was informed of this, he warned Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid but did not remove him from his position as commander of the Muslim army. (Tarikh-i-Yaqubi, Vol. 2, p. 148)
2. During the combat with Banu Tamim, Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid killed their chief, Malik bin Nuwaira and married his widow, Umm Tamim. The killing of a chief who had embraced Islam was reported to Hazrat Abu Bakrra by Hazrat Umarra, with the recommendation to suspend Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid. Hazrat Abu Bakrra, declining the recommendation, called Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid to Medina, listened to his reason for having killed the chief, accepted him and sent him back to continue his duty. (Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 3, p. 279)
3. Hazrat Umarra kept a very strict eye on his officer-bearers and would hold them accountable for any complaints made against them. History has it that a complaint was once lodged against Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas to Hazrat Umarra.
Hazrat Umarra had appointed Saadra bin abi Waqas as governor of Kufa. A complaint was received that Hazrat Saadra had erected a gate outside his seat which could be shut at his will. Hazrat Umarra had instructed that no such gate should be erected that could hinder public access to the governor of any Muslim state.
Hazrat Umarra sent Hazrat Maslamara to Kufa for an on-site enquiry and did not suspend Hazrat Saadra bin abi Waqas in the meantime. (Al Faruq by Allama Shibli Nomani, Vol. 2, pp. 193-194 )
4. Several complaints were lodged against Hazrat Abu Musa Ash‘arira, governor of Basra, in the time of Hazrat Umar. The allegations made were of him paying larger stipends to people closer to him; that he was paying undue stipend to a personal maid; that he had kept around 60 captives as personal servants and had delegated most of his duties to a young man called Ziyad. Hazrat Umarra held an enquiry and accepted the defence offered by Hazrat Abu Musa Ash‘arira, letting him stay in office meanwhile and afterwards. (Ibid, p. 198)
5. When Hazrat Iyadra bin Ghanm was in charge of Egypt, it was brought to Hazrat Umar’sra attention that he wore garments that did not befit a noble man. Hazrat Umarra did not suspend or dismiss him but summoned him to Medina. Hazrat Iyadra bin Ghanm admitted his mistake and was pardoned by Hazrat Umarra and was sent back to carry on with the duties of his office. (Kitab al-Khiraj by Imam Abu Yusuf)
However, there are instances where evidence outweighed the defence of the accused and the Khulafa punished their officials. For instance, governor of Kufa, Waleed bin Uqba, was accused of consuming alcohol. The then Khalifa, Hazrat Uthmanra, lodged an investigation where credible evidence was found. Hazrat Uthmanra dismissed him from governorship of Kufa and had him flogged in Islamic law (Tarikh al-Tabari). However, certain narrations have it that it was later discovered that the evidence was fake.
It ought to be kept in mind that office-bearers are members of the society first and their rights and honour ought to be protected just as the honour of any other member of the society ought to be protected. To press charges against any individual, office-bearer or otherwise, the claimant has to provide acceptable and credible evidence to support their claims.
(Prepared by the Ahmadiyya Archive and Research Centre)