Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 472 [Read full issue]
Sanction for Authority in Islam
The Prophet, on him be peace, ordered his Community to appoint authorities over them, and commanded these authorities to fulfil their trusts and when judging between people to judge fairly. He ordered them to obey those in authority in obedience to God, Exalted is He.
In the Sunan of Abu Dawud we have it on the authority of Abu Said that the Messenger of God said: "When three men go on a journey let them put one of their number in command." In the Musnad of Imam Ahmed we learn on the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar that the Prophet said: "It is not permissible for three men to be in a desert place without putting one of their number in command."
Now since the Prophet demanded of the smallest groups and most limited societies that one person be put in charge, we must admit the same obligation where greater numbers are involved.
"Public Duties in Islam" - Ibn Taymiya, p. 22