Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, which considers itself to be an affiliate of the Caucasus Emirate (IK) in Syria, has published a question and answer with Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, asking whether those who have bay’ah to IK should keep it now that the Emir of IK, Ali Abu Mukhammad, has been killed.
The question is an interesting one and relates to whether one has bay’ah to an individual Emir, or whether that bay’ah is de facto to the Emir’s group (in this case IK) so that after his death, an individual is still under bay’ah to the group. The fatwa has important implications for the “legality” of certain matters, and is particularly relevant currently, with IK still leaderless. (There is also the question of Umar Shishani’s transferring his allegiance from IK to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and whether it was OK for him to do so after Dokku Umarov’s death in September 2013).
Maqdisi says that someone who has pledged bay’ah cannot suspend that oath after the death of the emir while the group is on the “correct path.” (Umar and others who transfer allegiance to IS would, of course, argue that he believed IS and not IK to be on the “correct path.”)
Anyway, here is the question and Maqdisi’s fatwa:
Are the youth who have given bay’ah to the Emir of the Imarat Kavkaz freed from that bay’ah when he is killed or do they have to maintain bay’ah to Imarat Kavkaz?
The basis is that a Muslim gives bay’ah to help the religion of Allah and wage jihad and does not suspend his bay’ah while the Imarat is on that programme (path) which is satisfactory to Allah and his Prophet…
To turn away from helping Imarat after the death or murder of the Emir is to leave Jihad and the mujahideen without help.