The following is an extract from the draft translation of the arabic book entitled 'Dawa ilal Islam' (Dawa to Islam) by Sheikh Ahmad Mahmoud, published by Al-Waie Publications in Lebanon. I will be posting the sections of the book related to this subject.
Should the movement be regional or global?
There are some Muslims who suggest that the Islamic movement should be universal, because Islam is a universal deen, and Muhammad (saw) was sent to the whole of mankind. Besides that, in reality the Islamic movement faces universal movements. Moreover the enormity of the tasks required by the Islamic change imposes the need for universality. People who hold this view cite the following Qur’anic proofs; “Thus We have made you a just nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (saw) be a witness over you.”[TMQ 2:143]. And “Say:(O Muhammad [saw]): ‘O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah.’” [TMQ 7:158]. And also “And We have not sent you (O Muhammad [saw]) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most men know not.” [TMQ 34:28]. Hence we find the Messenger (saw) directed his da’wah to the whole world, to every force, camp or King. Thus, he wrote to Najashi (the King of Abysinnia), Heraclius (the emperor of Rome), Muqawqis (the emperor of the Copts) and Kisra (the emperor of Persia). It is not allowed for the Islamic work to remain isolated like the work in a single shop or a single field and to let the Islamic effort remain a cry coming from only one valley.
Indeed, Islam as a deen is universal in its ‘Aqeedah and system.
Allah (swt) is the Creator of everything, the Manager of affairs, the Most Knowledgeable and Most Informed, to whom the weak and needy human being, who has been created from a worthless fluid (semen), must turn. Thus, Allah (swt) is the Creator of man and he is the Rabb (Lord) of every human being. Man’s existence is linked to the purpose of his creation, which is worship. His existence is also linked with that which comes after life, the Resurrection, Paradise, Hellfire, requital for Iman, Kufr, obedience and disobedience. The truth of the ‘Aqeedah must be transmitted and conveyed to everyone; “So that those who were destroyed (for their rejection of Iman) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and thsoe who were to live (believers) might live after a clear evidence.” [TMQ 8:42]
The system that Allah (swt) revealed to His Messenger that emanates from the Islamic ‘Aqeedah, is the system for man as a man, irrespective of his colour, race or position.
Indeed, Islam is a universal deen. It obliges that the seed of establishing the Islamic State be a universal seed. Consequently, Islam obliges the group to prepare itself to take up this task. That is why, in origin, the group must not look at its work in a narrow manner or restrict itself to the country in which it works. It must not accept patchwork or gradual proposals, which accept the truth in parts only and deprive the truth of its radicalism. Rather, the group should see that it must save mankind from the stupidity of kufr, and the falsehood of shirk, whatever forms they may take to the truth, which can only be one. In the past people used to look upon idols as benefiting them and that benefit and harm was in their hands. Today people look upon certain thoughts as bringing benefit and containing good, while seeing others as causing harm. The group should look at the matter and adopt its culture on this basis. Its work and path are drawn on this basis, so if it followed it without deviation and remained patient on what may confront it and did not falter, compromise or be pliant, then Allah (swt) will have prepared it (practically and theoretically) to undertake this task universally, which will be after establishing the Islamic State. The group, in terms of thought, is universal, and in terms of work, it cannot go beyond the fact that it is a group that works in a particular place to establish the Khilafah State. Consequently, it is the Khilafah State that will undertake this great task.
One point remains to be mentioned. It is the fact that the Muslim lands are intentionally divided into many states and the Muslims in these lands generally live in similar atmospheres, though there are differences in some partial issues that do not change the method or prevent the expansion of one organised work to more than one country. This expansion gives strength to the group and increases its awareness and more effective. It also makes the establishment of the Khilafah State in one area liable to expansion and spread. This helps the group to undertake the task that will follow the establishment of the State. It will prepare the State to enter the stage of global struggle. In both these situations, the group would rely on the Help of Allah (swt).
Should the work be partial or comprehensive and balanced?
There are also Muslim activists who put forward the idea of integration and balance required in the present Islamic work, whilst others suggest the partial approach or the excessive approach.
The integral approach means the impermissibility of restricting it to one aspect or partial thing to the exclusion of other parts and aspects. Part of the characteristics of the Islamic methodology is that it has a system of worship, an economic system, a social system, a political system and a military system. The first Islamic work in the time of the Prophethood was also complete. Thus, the Rasool of Allah (saw) adhered to and followed the Islamic work in all its aspects. Whether in the field or in moral instruction, he was a Murabbi (educator), in the field of education he was a teacher, in the field of Jihaad he was a leader, and in planning he was a guide. The Islamic work obliges us to follow the footsteps of the Rasool (saw) in all times and places, and there is no choice in whether to follow his way or not.
In contrast to this is the partial approach in the Islamic work, which is to restrict oneself to one aspect of the Islamic work. They adhere to this only, and do not overstep it. They only believe in this partial work and reject everything else. Partial work causes plurality and fragmentation in the work, and scatters the efforts of the people. The Qur’an rejected the partial work for the Children of Israel. He (swt) says; “Do you believe in a part of the scripture and reject a part? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in this life, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment.” [TMQ 2:85]. The protagonists also add that the challenge of Jahilliyah and its solidarity obliges integration in the Islamic work.
This group of Muslim activists thinks that there should be a balance in giving every part of the integrated Islamic work its due weight and measure, otherwise it will lead to deficiency in some things and excessiveness in others. This balance requires the consideration of the logic of priorities.
In short, the idea of integration deals with Islam as a whole. Thus the group’s work must be characterised by comprehensiveness. Balance obliges that one be concerned with every aspect, according to values and measures suitable for each one. There should be no increase in it, otherwise this will lead to exaggeration, neither should there be deficiency, otherwise this will lead to defects.
The laws of integration and balance control the nature of things and actions. They are laws that are observed by the Muslim and the non-Muslim. He feels the importance of their presence in his life, and he works to realise them, so that the results come as intended.
However one must notice that judgement on the integration of things and achieving their balance depends on the mind, as opposed to judgement on actions, which relies on the Shar’a.
That is because the mind comprehends the reality of things and the elements that make up the reality and fixed ratios. This is the area of the people of expertise, and the following hadith of the Messenger (saw) applies to it; “You are are more knowledgeable about the affairs of your dunya.” [Reported by Muslim].
So the farmer, doctor, engines and mechanic, each one of them is expert in his field and its rules. Each one tries to achieve this law (of integration and balance).
As for the actions, they are determined by Allah (swt), and the following hadith of the Messenger (saw) applies to them; “Every action which is not based on our matter (deen) is rejected.” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim]. The following Shar’ee principle also applies to them: ‘In origin, actions are adhered to according the Shar’ee rule.’ That is because judging upon actions as hasan (good) or qubh (reprehensible) is subject to man’s consideration of this action and not from the action itself. The Muslim will judge upon his actions according to the thoughts he believes in. If the action is according to the orders and prohibitions of Allah (swt) then it is hasan (good), otherwise it is qabeeh (reprehensible). The Shar’ee principle states: ‘The hasan is what the Sharee’ah has defined as hasan and qubh is what the Shar’a has defined as qubh.’
Therefore, when the Muslim wishes to realise integration and balance in things, he depends upon his mind like any other human being. As for when he wishes to realise it in actions, it must be according to the Shar’ee rule.
There is another issue that is, the law of integration and balance takes into consideration the size of the work required by the Shar’a without being exceeded. This requires the following details;
Islam is complete. All Muslims, ie the Islamic Ummah, undertake the whole of Islam.
The Islamic Ummah consists of individuals, groups and the Khaleefah.
Each one of these has been entrusted with rules specific to them.
Thus, the individual Muslim undertakes what the Shar’a requires of him as an individual. The group undertakes what is required from it as a group. The Khaleefah undertakes what he has been ordered to undertake as a Khaleefah.
If the Muslims, as individuals, undertook all that they are required to undertake, just like the jama’ah (group/s) and the Khaleefah, then the completeness and comprehensiveness of the work will have been realised. Any shortcoming (in the individual, group or Khaleefah) regarding the obligations will make the one with the shortcoming deficient in regards to what was required from him and he will be sinful.
Complete Islam cannot exist completely without the presence of a Khaleefah. The fact that many of the rules of the deen depend upon his presence makes his presence an obligation, and the work to establish a Khaleefah an obligation. Consequently having a group that works to establish the Khaleefah is a Shar’ee obligation. Thus, the group undertakes everything required to establish the deen through the establishment of the Khilafah State. This is what is known as the work to resume the Islamic way of life. This is the totality required from it by Shar’a, and it is not the whole of the deen, which it cannot deal with, neither is it entrusted to undertake it. Rather it is prohibited by the Shar’a from undertaking the implementation of many rules, like the Hudood for example. Thus the group does not take up the role of the Khaleefah; it rather works to establish the Khaleefah so that he can undertake what is required of him; “The Ameer for the people is a Shepherd and he is responsible for his flock.” [Reported by Muslim] “...Indeed Allah will ask about what He has entrusted them with.” [Reported by Muslim]
Here we would like to draw attention to the fact that the Muslim believes in Islam completely and calls to it in general. However, he adopts in detail what he needs in order to perform what is required of him by the Shar’a, and what is required of him from the group that he works with. He will be accounted for any deficiency in these details by Allah (swt). Similarly, the Khaleefah will undertake what is required by the Shar’a as an individual. So he prays, fasts, makes Hajj, gives zakah and looks after his parents, and he abstains from adultery, usury, lying and deception. He also undertakes what the Shar’a requires from him as Khaleefah. So, he passes laws, declares Jihaad, protects the Muslims, rules by what Allah (swt) has revealed and applies the Hudood. Allah (swt) will account him for any deficiency in any of these.
This is the reality on which the Shar’ee rules apply. It must be clear for the group so that it can distinguish between what is required from it and what is not required. Hence what is required from the Khaleefah is not required from the group. If the group defined its reality, it will be able to define the magnitude of what is required from it, and hence will be accounted for it. This is from the angle of integration.
After the group has defined what is required from it, it will lose the required balance if it restricted itself to one aspect of what is required, to the exclusion of another aspect, or it only concentrated on one aspect, and gave it more attention than it deserves at the expense of another aspect, or if it did not consider the priorities in its work. However we must remember that it is the Shar’a and not the mind that decides what the priorities are. Thus the work of the group is political, and it is established on an ideology which it wishes to be implemented upon the Islamic Ummah. The ‘Aqeedah takes the prime position in the da’wah, because it is the basis upon which every branch is established, and to which all the Shar’ee rules are related. Concentrating on the establishment of the Khilafah must have a wide scope, because many rules are dependent on it, and that is why it is known as the ‘Crown of the Furood (obligations).’
Therefore, if the group strives to realise its integration and balance outside this viewpoint, then it has charged itself with what Allah (swt) has not charged it with. It will continue to complain of deficiency and inbalance as it complains of plurality. It will become a group that complains and weeps, and loses its way because it has lost its compass of direction.
If the characteristics of the Islamic methodology are that it has a system of worship, economic system, social system, political system and military system, then what is the group’s linkage with all these systems?
The group has been established to establish the Rule of Allah (swt). When the Rule of Allah (swt) has been established, then the various Islamic systems have been established.
In the economic system, there are Shar’ee rules relating to land and ownership, and other rules relating to manufacture, and domestic and foreign trade. The Legislator has entrusted all of these rules and other such rules to the Khaleefah. It is the Khaleefah and not the group that assumes the responsibility of looking after them.
In the political system, the State is established on principles and pillars laid down by the Shar’a, such as the Khaleefah, the mu’awineen (assisstants) to the wulaah (governors), qudaah (judges), administrative system and the majlis al-Ummah (Council of the Ummah). The Khaleefah has his mandatory powers and so do the mu’awineen (assisstants) and the wulaah (governors). The army has its tasks, and the administrative system has its area. What has the group got to do with any of these things?
The Islamic armies and their preparation are to realise the aim for which they exist, which is to convey the Islamic da’wah to the world. The preparation has to be on the global level and not just on the tactical level, where the Muslim learns how to disassemble his machine gun, use it and throw a grenade. It is well known that there are weapons that an individual possesses, and weapons that only states can possess. This necessitates that the training be of a sophisticated level using tanks, artillery, aeroplanes, nuclear power, and outer space. Laboratories, arms factories, airports, and training centres should also be established; and many other things beside what we have mentioned. So what has the group got to do with any of these things? The Messenger (saw), when he used to prepare and train his Sahabah, did not do that as someone responsible for a group; rather he did that as a ruler of a State. The emulation of the Messenger (saw) should not go beyond this view.
It is not the duty of the group to assume the responsibility for these systems. Rather the group has to establish the Khaleefah who, in his role, realises these systems because that is his responsibility. If the Ummah neglected the establishment of the Khaleefah, and tried to undertake his tasks, then it has distorted the Shar’a.
The group is obliged to adopt intellectually the systems which it wishes the people to be ruled by when Allah (swt) grants them the ability to to this. Thus the group sets out the structure of the Islamic system and the constitution of the State. It gives a general picture of the rules of Islam to the people, so that they can see its ability to solve their problems. They then proceed towards achieving the worship of Allah (swt), by implementing the pure Sharee’ah rules and enjoying their blessing.
As for the small part (of Islam) mentioned by those who hold an opinion about carrying only a small part; if they are charitable or ethical societies, or societies that are established on a single Shar’ee rule, such as taking care of the Qur’an, then such associations are acceptable, as long as their members come together on a Shar’ee rule. However, if they claim that through this work they want to establish the deen, then we say to them they have deviated from the planned Shar’ee method, and their partial work becomes rejected.
The group that works to restore the ruling by what Allah (swt) has revealed should fulfill what is necessary for it, namely: it should not take the rules of the Khaleefah, or the rules of the individual for itself, and not consider itself to be the whole Muslim community but rather a group from the Muslim community, and define its objective as the establishment of Allah’s (swt) rule and the resumption of the Islamic way of life. It should adopt then everything it needs in the work to achieve its objective, so it should adopt the correct understanding of the Islamic ‘Aqeedah and the thoughts that relate to it, and prepare its shabab properly with the ‘Aqeedah it adopts. It should also adopt the method that will help it to achieve the objective, the constitution with which the people would be ruled, and also the thoughts that help to show clearly the fallacy of the false thoughts prevalent amongst Muslims, corrected the erroneous concepts. It should also demand that the individual who works with the group should fulfil his individual requirements so as to become a pious Muslim individual. So he should fulfil the requirements in things such as the beliefs, worships, societal transactions and morals. It should focus its work on establishing the Islamic society, whose relationships are based on Islam, and guarded by the Khilafah State. Then it should monitor the actions of the rulers and their masters so as to know what is planned for the Muslims. The group should expose this to the people, and in its place it should adopt what is good for the Ummah; the Shar’ee rules. It should work to practically seize the power from those Taghut who treat the Muslims ruthlessly. If all this has been done then this group would have fulfilled all that is necessary for it.
The culture of the group should be extensive, and the field of its work should be wide. Consequently, the group must undertake everything that is required, and this encompasses many things. It should perform the actions with the required balance, so it does not turn into an athletic, ethical association or an economic institution... rather it preserves its political approach and political work. Thus, its thoughts are those of looking after the affairs and the adoption of the Ummah’s interests.
Therefore, partial work in the aforementioned manner is rejected. The wide approach of the group that encompasses what is required and what is not required from it, is also an erroneous understanding that is rejected.