All praise is due to ALLAH alone; may His peace and blessings be upon His messenger and his household and companions and the pious generations after them.
Being outside of Arabia and not having sufficient insight into the Arabic media, we as solely English speakers are vastly deprived of the true state of affairs in the countries where the so called "Islamic State" has spread Fitnah and Fasaad. However what is known to the non-Arab Muslim world is that the head of the ISIS has self-proclaimed that he is the Khalifah of the Muslim Ummah, and audaciously demanded that it is to him that we all give him the pledge of allegiance known in Shari'ah as the Bay'ah. What are the Muslims to do? The answer is simple if the Muslim understands what dictates decision making processes in his or her life. The Muslim obeys all of what ALLAH said in the Qur'an, and all of what the prophet peace be upon him said to do per authenticated narrations and explanation of knowledgeable scholars. Therefore, no man or woman can say that Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi is justified in the call to his rule because it is contrary to the Qur'an and Sunnah.
ALLAH says in His book
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَنْ تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ
which means, “Verily, ALLAH commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice” (al-Nisa’ 4:58). Shaykh Dr. Saalih al-Fawzaan commented, “This is addressed to rulers and those in authority. Trusts (amaanaat) here refers to official positions and positions of high office in the state, which ALLAH made a trust that is entrusted to the ruler. The way in which it is to be fulfilled is by choosing people who are competent and have integrity, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him) and the caliphs who came after him and the Muslim rulers after them appointed to various positions those who were fit to hold those positions and were able to fulfil these duties as prescribed in Shari’ah.
With regard to elections as they are known today in different states, they are not part of the Islamic system and they may lead to disorder and chaos and personal ambitions. They are subject to favoritism and greed, and may lead to fitnah (tribulation) and bloodshed. They do not achieve the purpose they are meant to achieve; rather they are more like auctions, buying and selling, and false propaganda." (al-Fawzaan, Al-Jazeerah newspaper, issue no. 11358).
Islam does not support what is known as Democracy as a political process because in a Democratic election, the entire population votes and chooses the ruler. In ALLAH’s Shar'iah, only those trusted to make sound Islamic decisions are permitted to make this selection (see here for more information)
The example of establishing the Khilaafah lies with those whom the Prophet said to take it from. Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may ALLAH be pleased with him) became caliph when he was elected by the decision makers (ahl al-hall wa’l-‘aqd), then the Sahaabah unanimously agreed with that and swore allegiance to him, and accepted him as caliph. ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (may ALLAH be pleased with him) became caliph in a similar manner, when ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may ALLAH be pleased with him) delegated the appointment of the caliph to come after him to a shoora council of six of the senior Sahaabah, who were to elect one of their number. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf consulted the Muhaajireen and Ansaar, and when he saw that the people were all inclined towards ‘Uthmaan, he swore allegiance to him first, then the rest of the six swore allegiance to him, and they were followed by the Muhaajireen and Ansaar, so he was elected as caliph by the decision makers. ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may ALLAH be pleased with him) became caliph in a similar manner, when he was elected by most of the decision makers.
Appointment to the position by the previous caliph, when the current Khalifah passes on the position to a particular person who is to succeed him after he dies. For example, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab became caliph when the position was passed on to him by Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may ALLAH be pleased with him).
It must be known that rebellion and anarchy is not supported by the Shari'ah of ALLAH. As such, there is the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him called the Bay'ah. The prophet (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him) said:
ومن مات وليس في عنقه بيعة مات مِيتة جاهلية (رواه مسلم1851)
“Whoever dies and did not make an oath of allegiance (to the Muslim leader) has died a death of jaahiliyyah.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1851). He, peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him, also said:
ومن بايع إماما فأعطاه صفقة يده وثمرة قلبه فليطعه ما استطاع ، فإن جاء آخر ينازعه فاضربوا عنق الآخر (رواه مسلم1844)
“Whoever gives his oath of allegiance to a leader and gives him his hand and his heart, let him obey him as much as he can. If another one comes and disputes with him (for leadership), kill the second one.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1844).
The Muslim leader is only the Muslim leader if he was chosen through the correct process, by the trusted decision makers who were given this role by virtue of their fear of ALLAH and their insight to what is best for their society. The Khilaafah is not to be taken by force. However, if it was taken by force or overthrown, the scholars of al-Islam say that the usurping leader is still to be given Bay'ah in order to reduce and prevent catastrophe (i.e. loss of life and livelihood) (Ibn Uthaymeen, Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Safaareeniyyah p. 688).
This is by no means my personal endorsement to accept the tyranny of ISIS, nor is it my recommendation to fight against them. I have no authority to advise the Arab people to anything involving the administration of their countries. My intention is to help educate the Muslims, particularly in the Western and English speaking world, about what is and is not an Islamic Caliphate.