Sheikh Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, Director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas, states: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not appoint a successor. The Holy Qur’an taught him (the Prophet) that Muslims have to choose their leaders through mutual consultation (shura). The difference among the companions of the Prophet was on who they should elect as the Caliph; they did not differ on the procedure; all of them believed in the mutual consultation as the only source of legitimacy. The difference about choosing the most appropriate person to lead is very normal in the process of electing new leaders.
The notions that the Caliph must be from the tribe of the Prophet (in the traditional Sunni view) or must be from the family of the Prophet (in the Shi`a traditional view) are developed later in Islamic history and were not a part of the way the Companions looked at it. These notions were legitimized by fabricating some hadiths that the Prophet never said, or by interpreting other hadiths in a way that he never meant.”