Monday, April 30, 2007

The Infrastructure of the Islamic State by Imam Kalkashandi

By Imam Kalkashandi (died 820AH)

The Islamic history reflects much of the prosperity enjoyed by the Citizens of the Islamic State. The following extract highlights many examples from the past in order to highlight the supremacy of the Islamic infrastructure.

Imam Al-Kalkashandi wrote about the infrastructure of the Islamic state in his book "Reflecting On The Supremacy Of The Infrastructure Of the Islamic State" which is in three volumes and discusses the Khilafah up until the 7th and 8th century hijri. The following article contains extracts from his book:

"From the beginning of the Khilafah the Khaleefahs matched the way of life of Rasoul Allah. We can describe their lifestyle as difficult and close to the people. They were never arrogant despite Allah (swt) giving them much power. The khulafah thereafter continued but in time acquired much wealth and power. They had great a reputation from the non-Muslims who would say of them the although they were the ‘kings of the Muslims’ they ate stale bread and they would wander by foot around their subjects to see if they needed help despite having conquered the east and the west of the Earth." He is referring to Omar Al-Khattab (ra) here as it has been narrated "that when he conquered Bait Al-Maqdis he was in his tent and upon opening his bag Omar (ra) produced an old dried piece of bread which he proceeded to dampen with water before eating it. It was said of him that ‘we have never seen anyone like this’. This situation continued until the time of Mu’awiyah who agreed that the Khilafah must spread everywhere and upon consulting the ulema he adopted the opinion because part of the preparation for jihad was to strike fear into and to shake the enemies or non-Muslim kings it is allowed to create a high profile image of the Khilafah until the structure of the Khilafah changed from what they had to a very strong kingdom type of Khilafah. This continued until the kings of that era began to say that they wanted to be like the Khilafah (especially during the Abbasid period).

During the time of Mu’tasim (35H) a Roman king took a prisoner from among the family of Rasoul Allah (saw) whose name was Fatima. Fatima pleaded for the help of Mu’tasim who said no one could help her except the one who had ablak (a rare expensive type of white horse) since the Romans boasted of having 60 of them. Mu’tasim ordered his Amirs to ride only these horses and when he eventually rode to free Fatima, Mu’tasim did so at the head of 4000 ablak. When freed he asked Fatima to testify to her great, great, great grand-father Rasoul Allah (saw) on the Day of judgement that Mu’tasim came to save her with 4000 ablak and that he was at the front of them. Ibn kathir narrated that when the Roman ambassadors came in 305H during the time of the Khilafah of Mu’tadir, the Khilafah prepared a reception which consisted of 160, 000 fighters on horse-back, 700 assistants of the government department and 7000 servants surrounding the palace (4000 white and 3000 black). He decorated the palace of the Khilafah with weapons taken from other nations. The floor was covered by carpets consisting of 22,000 pieces of basut (1 basut is 10 Foot by 10 Foot in area). There were 38,000 curtains, 12000 of which were covered with gold embroidery and in the middle of the palace was a large tree of gold with silver branches. In addition there were 18,000 horse-carts and 100 live lions together with their trainers around the palace. When the guests arrived it took them between Zuhr and Asr inside the palace to reach the Khaleefah. Imam Qudai’ described the same thing, he said: "this continued until the time of Khilafah of Al-Mu’taqi who said that he wanted to maintain the high profile image but that he wanted the governors to have it as well. He said ‘every governor of the state needs to ensure that no one ever feels that he wants to leave before his application is heard.’" In the time of Bani Buway in Baghdad the name of the Khaleefah was put on the Dinar, 5,000 silver Dirham was allocated for him every day for personal use and all the khateebs were to mention the Khaleefah in their Khutbah. In addition 2,000 silver Dirham were to be allocated for every governor per day. In the time of Muawiyah a bed to carry the Khaleefah was made due to his ill health. This however became permanent, it was adopted for subsequent khulafah and in time became carriage 7 arms high. The mattress used to be well decorated upon which the Khaleefah would sit and the Khaleefah would be allowed to carry something, which belonged to the messenger Muhammad (saw). He would pray publicly at the head of the Jama’a and a mobile Mihrab would stand before him so that the citizens knew where the Khaleefah was. The mimber was decorated with jewellery.

Othman Ibn Affan (ra) was the first to have a curtain around him where he prayed outside of which stood soldiers from his army. The Khaleefahs name used to be sown into many clothes and curtains in gold and silver and this became a common sign of the Khulafah. Another custom was that the new Khaleefah would address the nation upon receiving the bay’ah and on every Juma’a and this continued up until the 7th century hijri when a khateeb was delegated for this. The first khaleefah to receive du’ah from the mimber was Imam Ali (ra) which caused concern for Muawiyyah because he felt the same should have been the case for Abu bakr (ra) and Omar (ra). The logo for the Khaleefah was a ring at the beginning, it is narrated in Bukhari and Muslim that the Sahaba said to Rasoul Allah (saw) "the kings do not read a letter unless it is stamped with authority" and so the Prophet (saw) asked them to make one for him. Abu Bakr (ra) wore the ring and held the Prophets cloak and stick. Othman (ra) lost the ring in a well and so after this each Khaleefah had his own ring with his own name on it (up until the time of imam Kalkashandi). It is narrated in Ibn Kathirs Kitab al-Tarikh that the Prophet (saw) gave his cloak Burda to Kaab Ibn Suwayr who never gave it to anyone and that Mu’awiyyah brought it from his son for 10,000 silver Dirhams. The Burda of the prophet (saw) used to be black with white lines. The stick Khatib of the Prophet (saw) continued to be carried by the Khaleefahs through the time of Bani Abbas up until the time of Imam Kalkashandi. The Khaleefah clothes were special, for example, the sleeves used to be 20 hand spans rolled back up until the time of Ayub. The flag of the Khaleefah was green with the Shahadah on it although Bani Abbas had a black flag. (NB. Attaturk was the first to put a crescent on the flag after a suggestion made by a Jew which has led to Orientalists accusing Muslims of worshipping the moon.)

The uniform of the Khaleefah was properly established at the time of Bani Umayyah. Yazid bin Abdil Malik bin Marwan used to give garments to the subjects who visited him. His store of garments was carried on 600 rolls of fabric and he ordered 10,000 shirts to be made annually as gifts.

From Imam Al-Tharariba it is narrated that when Mansur died he had 95,000,000,000 silver Dirhams to give to the people stored in the State department. Imam Al-Souri narrates that Haroun Al-Rashid had 100,000,000 golden Dinar at the time of his death. He left behind wealth the like of which has not been seen since. The value of the jewellery, furniture and camels etc. came to 100,025,000 Dinar over and above the building assets. Ibrahim Ibn Nur, a top Muslim historian, narrates that the Khaleefah Mu’tad left in the finance department at the time of his death: 100,000,000 Golden Dinar 20,000,000 Dinar worth of jewellery 20,000,000 Dinar worth of Kuswa i.e. cloth 3,000 Dinar Amana 65,000 Clothes for the administrative staff 1,000 Abaya for the ladies 1,000,000,800 pieces of jewellery 18,000 tubes for letter each worth 2 golden Dinar 18,000 Armenian carpets each 10-foot by 10 foot It is narrated that Al-Ma’mun allocated 2,000,000 Dinar in one day consisting of 500,000 Dinar for his brother Mu’tasim for his appointment in Morocco, 500,000 Dinar for Abbas as a fighter, 300,000 Dinar for Abdullah Bin Tahir to fight in Northern Iraq and 700,000 Dinar to the leaders of the army. It took Al-Rukhji, the chancellor 6 months to distribute this. Al-Mu’tasim left cash in the palace of the Khilafah of 8,025,000 golden Dinar plus 18,000 horses all equipped with carts. Al Muktadir left 68,000,000,000 golden Dinar when he passed away. When Al-Ma’mun got married to the daughter of Al-Hasan Bin Sahil, 26,000 balah chefs fed the people for 40 days. Carpets made of gold string covered the palace floor and a huge pot carried by 20 men was filled with jewellery, silver, gold and diamonds and whenever women entered to the Khaleefah he let them fill their bags. Umm Jafer and her other daughters had the task of distributing the jewellery but the pot was left for 40 days and no one took from it. Women worked for over three months making a candle, which stayed alight for 40 days and weighed 110 kilos. The leaders of the army entered and 4000,000 Dinar were placed for them from which each collected money with their soldiers. One scholar Al-Imam al-Ba’buni said, "O Amir Al-Munineen, you gave Allahs wealth as if you feel no shortage and whatever you give in this life will be rewarded in the hereafter." The general public had trays filled with gold and silver, some would get their servants to carry it. The Khaleefah freed 1,000 slaves (i.e. he said "whoever has a slave let him come to me and I will pay to free him") and he ordered 1,000 carts to deliver the people home.

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