Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The World Cup and South Africa

World cup season is upon us again bigger and louder than ever before. Most of the world has been wrapped up in football fever each fan transforming into the hopeful optimist, devoutly believing their team could go all the way regardless of the obstacles. As hosts of the world cup, South Africa has been galvanised in the football atmosphere, in which locals are part and parcel of the party atmosphere. Images of the jubilant colourful South Africans are normally shown as part of sport news, however there appears to be a worrying side to life in South Africa.

As part of the football footage news teams have delved into the reality of life for the majority of poor South Africans. As well as extreme poverty leaving 50% under the poverty line, where a quarter are unemployed, other major problems such as crime, drugs, corruption and HIV are a daily norm for the local people. For those who can afford to, gated residences with private security forces are musts for those who seek to protect their families, but for those who live in shanties or run down suburbs they are left vulnerable. Drugs such as ‘tik' or crystal methamphetamine have had a devastating effect where rape, murder, armed robbery and car-jacking have grown with the soaring addiction rate. Ellen Pakkies, mother of a tik-addict son who turned psychotic and attacked her with scissors, a breadknife and an axe - before she took a rope and strangled him, the problem of inescapable depravation faced by families like the Pakks, leads to a vicious cycle drawing others into this loop of hopelessness and drug addiction.

Most believe the world cup will do little for their situation even though the world cup is hailed as an investment, creating jobs and aiding economic growth in the long term. The world cup is thought to have cost $3.9 billion, spent on stadiums, transport and other necessary aspects of football infrastructure. However for many living in shanties the natural question is why there seems to be billions available for sport but none for providing simple basic needs for the struggling poor.

The world cup appears to be not the only possibility for progression in South Africa. Currently South Africa has well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy and transport sectors and a stock exchange which ranks in the top twenty in the world. In terms of resources South Africa has a large agricultural sector and is a net exporter of farming products. Additionally South African land is rich in coal, diamonds, gold, iron, platinum, copper, uranium, silver and titanium. Therefore not only does South Africa already house an infrastructure capable of larger growth but it also has the resources to drive the progression, which begs the question as to why are so many impoverished?

The reasons for this sad state of affairs have been put down to many issues the two biggest factors being racism and corrupt and incompetent governing - all legacies of colonialism. Like many other developing countries South Africa suffers from a government which is riddled corruption and bungled attempts at sorting its countries problems out. Despite the government's attempts, the distribution of wealth is failing to go where it's needed. Even though some blacks have risen into the wealthier middle class, the majority of blacks are still amongst the poorest alongside an increasing poor white.

Racism in South Africa has a long history stemming from its first interactions with Europeans back in 1487, where Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, looking for new lands and new countries to plunder first reached Africa's southern tip. It wasn't until the 19th- century that diamonds and gold were discovered sparking the conflict known as the Anglo-Boer war, where the British fought the Boers for mineral wealth. During the Dutch and British colonial years the idea of racial segregation was introduced, as time passed increasing laws or acts were created to subjugate the black South Africans, including restricting ownership of land to 7% of the country. Segregation reached its most grave when the infamous ‘apartheid' was formally introduced into the entire system separating races into white, coloured and black. This segregation also represented a division in wealth where the whites enjoyed the highest standard of living which has continued to recent years. Where there is a clear divide still existent between the wealthier white and poorer black even though there may have been some changes.

Today's problems are part of the legacy left by its European imperialists, a society divided along racial lines post apartheid and a government that cares more about power than struggling to rid itself of corruption. What South Africa needs is a vision provided by a solid basis or reference point. A clear reference point would provide a system which would eradicate corruption, providing laws and a societal ethic which would banish and produce hate for such actions. Also the system would obliterate racism as not only being a backward shallow idea but also binding people on the values of the system not race, cast or nationality.

Islam has given the world such a clear vision, where the people are bound by the values of Islam. This produced a system which saw the Muslim citizen as equal to the Non-muslim citizen in providing for both of their daily needs, not aiming to take from the people only as the imperialist nations have done and still do. This gave rise to a socially and economically strong society. This vision has been cemented in Islamic history.

Uthman رضي الله عنه wrote to his governors:

"Allah has commanded rulers to be shepherds; He did not command them to be money collectors. The attitude of the earliest leaders of this ummah was that of shepherds, not money-collectors. Soon you will find your leaders becoming money-collectors, not shepherds. Once that happens, there will be no more modesty, trustworthiness or honesty. The best way of running the people's affairs is to examine the Muslim situation, find out what their dues are and give them to them, and take from them what is due from them. Then go to ahl al-dhimmah (non muslim citizens) and give them what is due to them and take what from them what is due from them. Then confront the enemy and seek to defeat them by means of sincerity."

Uthman رضي الله عنه wrote to the people in the regions:

"Enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. No believer should subject himself to humiliation, for I will be with the weak against the strong so long as he has been wronged, inshaAllah."

Why so much security for the G-20 Summit?

Next week, Toronto will be hosting the G-20 Summit. This meeting represents a gathering of finance ministers and bank governors from the elite Capitalist nations (America, Britain, France, Germany, etc), as well as other nations who have significant resources. The estimated cost to secure the Summit is $1.2 billion. Security measures for the event include:

As reported in the Globe & Mail, the hiring of a "small army" of 10,000 police officers and 1,000 private security contractors

A $5.5 million, 3 meter high, 3 kilometer long concrete/ metal fence circling the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. Anyone attempting to gain access to this security zone will be required to show government issued ID while being subjected to x-rays, and body searches

The establishment of a "protest zone" at Queen's Park - about 2 kilometers away from the actual site of the meeting

Sonic cannons also known as long-range acoustic devices (LRAD). As reported by the Toronto Star, LRAD can emit a blast of sound that is 135 decibels (db), above the pain threshold of 110/120db (permanent hearing damage occurs at 85 db)

These security measures are focused on protecting the leaders from the anger of protestors.

G20: Why the Need for so Much Security?

Given the severity of these security measures, why is there such discontent amongst the people of the G20 nations with their leaders? Themes of the Summit include, "Financial Sector Reform", "Stimulus Programs", and "Global Trade and Growth". Furthermore, the official website, g20.gc.ca, states: "G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors also reaffirmed their commitment to intensify efforts to accelerate international financial repair and reform. This includes the stronger capital and liquidity standards and a cap on leverage that are at the core of the G-20 agenda, as well as principles reflecting the need to protect taxpayers, reduce risks to the financial system and take into account each country's circumstances and options."

Judging by the focus on liquidity, capital requirements and leverage, it is clear that the main concern of the Summit are the banking and financial systems. The beneficiaries of this conference are not the average people, but rather the Capitalist elite - who own the banks and other financial institutions. More importantly, there are several keys issues that are absent from the agenda which affect the common individual including poverty, unemployment, health care, foreclosures, the environment and others. To give a glimpse at the severity of these issues, in the US, the "real" unemployment rate (which is the official unemployment rate, plus part-time workers who want full time work, plus workers who want work but are no longer looking) has been hovering around 17%. As for the "principles reflecting the need to protect taxpayers", it is superficial at best. Clearly it is the taxpayer who is going to pay the $1.2 billion for the Summit - not the Capitalist elite. Furthermore, it has been the taxpayers who have had to pay billions for the bank bailouts. The governments have justified this in the name of job creation - i.e. that if the banks have money they will loan it to companies who in turn will hire more people. However, judging by the consistently high unemployment rates this is not happening.

Capitalism is a Disaster

Although it is easy to understand the outrage of the people, it is more important to understand the root cause of the issue. Very often the ills of the system are attributed to greed. However, the problem is much deeper than that. The flaw of the Capitalist system, which emanates from the liberal democratic ideologies, is its Aqeedah (intellectual foundation). During the Middle Ages, European intellectuals fiercely contested the authority of the Church and their efforts culminated in a solution of compromise: the Church was uprooted from the workings of public life and its influence was restricted to the realm of personal life. As a consequence, the human mind became the source of reference for the public domain. That is, man became the sole legislator. With this new-found authority to legislate came the rights to personal freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of ownership. The freedom of ownership is the intellectual basis by which the Capitalist elite argue that there should be no regulations or restrictions upon their ability to generate wealth. For example, in 1999 when the American Senator Phil Gramm argued that banks should not be regulated, he stated: "We are here today to repeal Glass-Steagall because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers". However, the Senator was obviously unable to foresee the future, where the deregulated banks would create subprime mortgages that would undermine the entire system. But this problem is fundamental to legislation by man - he does not have the ability to foresee the full consequences of his actions.

Islam: Rulers Who Take Care of the People

In sharp contrast to the level of security needed to host the G-20 Summit in Toronto, the Khulafah (Caliphs) who ruled the Muslims from the time of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم until the Khilafah was destroyed did not require such security measures. This was particular to Islam as observed by a Roman official visiting Umar bin al-Khattab (ra). When the Roman arrived in Madinah, he inquired as to the whereabouts of Umar. To his surprise he was directed to a man sleeping under a tree. There was no army of 10,000 men, a 3 meter high fence, or special weapons protecting Umar (ra). When the Roman saw this he stated: "O Umar! You ruled. You were just. Thus you were safe. And thus you slept." That is, he knew from living in Rome that the ruler dares not sleep under a tree unguarded.

The reason that Umar (ra) was able to sleep peacefully was due to the fact that he implemented the Book of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the Sunnah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"A ruler who, having control over the affairs of the Muslims, does not strive diligently for their betterment and does not serve them sincerely, will not enter Jannah with them." [Muslim]

Not only does the ruler have to respond to the people under his care but he must also answer to a higher authority, Malik-al-Mulk (The Owner of All Sovereignty). As such, he must fulfill the obligations placed upon him as this is not only a mandate of the state but is also the Ahkam of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Therefore the Khalifah must care for every citizen's need and ensure that they are not facing any undue hardships such as the lack of access to healthcare or even long wait times.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم also said:
"If Allah invests to someone the affairs of the Muslims and he (i.e. the ruler) ignores their rights, denies their access to him and neglects their needs, Allah will not answer his prayer nor realize his hopes and will act towards him with indifference on the Day of Resurrection." [Abu Dawud &Tirmidhi]

Also, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم established in his Sunnah that the strong do not have the right to trample upon the weak and are not given special privileges to circumvent the law. The rulers, therefore, must ensure that the rights of the weak are preserved and the strong fulfill their obligations toward the weaker elements of society. In the following hadith narrated by Aisha (ra), Usama Bin Zayd (ra) approached the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in order to intercede on behalf of a woman (from the elite tribe of Bani Makhzoom) who had committed theft. After Usama (ra) made his request to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, the colour of the face of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم changed from anger and he said:

"Do you intercede in one of the prescribed punishments of Allah?" He (Usama) said: 'Messenger of Allah, seek forgiveness for me.' When it was dusk, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم stood up and gave an address. He (first) glorified Allah as He deserves, and then said: "Now to our topic. This (injustice) destroyed those before you that when any one of (high) rank committed theft among them, they spared him, and when any weak one among them committed theft, they inflicted the prescribed punishment upon him. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, even if Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, was to commit theft, I would have cut off her hand." [Muslim]

The Sahabah (ra) understood this example and implemented it. When Abu Bakr (ra) became the Khalifah, he said: "Oh people, I have been appointed your ruler, though I might not be the best of you. Support me if I do good, but if I do not, set me right. The weak is strong to me until I remove his plight, Allah willing; and the strong is weak to me till I take the right of the weak from him, Allah willing." And indeed, Abu Bakr (ra) fulfilled his pledge. When the strong withheld the zakat - which is a duty upon the wealthy towards the poor - Abu Bakr (ra) declared war on them. This is despite the fact that the Muslims who remained loyal to the Khilafah state were far outnumbered by their enemies.

Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra) also implemented this Sunnah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم. In the year 18AH, famine gripped Madinah and the surrounding area. This came to be known as the "Year of Ash" (Am al-Ramadah). Umar (ra) set-up tents around Madinah to house and feed those adversely affected by the famine. Umar (ra) sent a letter to Egypt and Sham demanding that they send in food. Furthermore, it is said that Umar (ra) went pale because he refused to eat fat, butter, and milk, until all the Muslims were able to afford such food! Umar (ra) also took care of the affairs of Ahl-al-Dhimma (non-Muslims that lived under Islamic rule). For example, once he found an old, blind Jewish person begging for money. Umar (ra) took him to the Bait-al Mal (Public Treasury) and ordered that they provide him with assistance from the Bait-al Mal and stop collecting the jizya from him. No wonder he was able to sleep safely under a tree!

When Umar ibn Abdul Aziz became the Khalifah, he was seen to be rather gloomy. His servant asked him why he was so sad and worried. Umar replied, "Anyone in my shoes should be so; I must deliver and grant all the nation's citizens all their rights, whether they demand them or not."

Islamic Aqeedah: The Key to Good Governance

By Allah's سبحانه وتعالى leave, the examples of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم, the Sahabah (ra) and the Khulafah who came after, towers over the current decayed political system that rules our world. Nevertheless, when discussing this issue, we should be clear that the Sahabah (ra) and the righteous Khulafah were products of the Islamic Aqeedah. That is, the mindset of the Sahabah (ra) and those who came after them, was one that was deeply concerned about their accountability to Allah سبحانه وتعالى on the Day of Judgement for their actions. For example, Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) said, "If a goat tripped on the road, I would be afraid that Allah would ask me why you didn't pave the road for her O Umar". Also consider Umar ibn Abdul Aziz who used to cry at night due to the fear of his accountability to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for the "stranger, beggared and straying, and the poor and the needy, and the prisoners in captivity." In other words, the Khulafah did not act justly for the sake of morality or achieving some medal of honour. Rather, they did so because they knew that each of their actions will be scrutinized by Allah سبحانه وتعالى on a Day that will determine whether they will go to Jannah (Heaven) or Jahannam (Hell).

May Allah سبحانه وتعالى re-establish the Khilafah, so that humanity can experience the justice of Islamic Leadership.
وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

"And We have revealed the Book to you as an exposition to all things, a guide, a mercy and glad tidings to Muslims." [An-Nahl, 16:89]

Sunday, June 13, 2010

View on the News-10/06/10

British prisons: Inmates converting to Islam
Prisoners are converting to Islam to win benefits and gain the protection of powerful Muslim gangs inside jails, the Chief Inspector of Prisons has warned. Up to a third of Muslim prisoners adopted the religion while serving their sentence, a new report by inspectors has found. Chief Inspector Dame Anne Owers also warned of the need for greater engagement with Muslim prisoners to prevent them turning to extremism. Her report said attempts to crack down on Muslim fanatics in jail are pushing inmates into the arms of extremists, claiming prison staffs treat all Muslims - including converts - as if they could pose a security threat. But this 'blanket approach' risks turning moderates into radicals. There are 10,300 Muslim prisoners in jails in England and Wales. The number has increased fourfold since 1994. Less than 1 per cent are behind bars for terror-related offences. Miss Owers said prison officers need to focus on individual prisoners instead of treating them all alike. 'Without that there is a real risk of a self-fulfiling prophecy: that the prison experience will create or entrench alienation and disaffection, so that prisons release into the community young men who are more likely to offend, or even embrace extremism,' she said. The warning came as a survey found Islam is linked to violent extremism in the minds of most Britons. A YouGov poll of 2,152 adults also revealed widespread concern about the impact of the faith on British values. It found nearly six in ten associate Islam with radical views, and two-thirds believe it encourages the repression of women.

Anti-Islam Wilders in line for Cabinet role as Liberals narrowly win Dutch elections

The Freedom Party of the anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders emerged as the third force in Dutch politics last night, nearly doubling its number of seats in Parliament in the country’s general elections. Mr Wilders won 21 seats, up from 9 — pushing the Christian Democrats, led by the outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, into fourth place. Mr Wilders, who wants to ban Muslim veils and the building of new mosques, is constitutionally bound to take part in coalition talks. He could be offered a place in a Cabinet chosen by Mr Rutte, who has said that the Freedom Party is “just another party”, but Mr Cohen has ruled out on moral grounds sharing power with the controversial critic of Islam on moral grounds. “We really want to be part of government, We want to participate. I don’t think the other parties can escape us,” Mr Wilders said.

US Defence Secretary Gates blames EU for Turkey 'drift'

Turkey's growing hostility to Israel may have been partly caused by its effective rejection by the European Union, the US defence secretary says. Robert Gates said Turkey may have been "pushed by some in Europe" away from the EU and into closer partnerships with states like Iran. Turkey has been put on the path to EU membership, but countries like France and Germany are openly opposed. Turkey and Israel's once-close alliance has come under severe strain. Their relations were already deteriorating before Israeli troops stormed a ship carrying aid to Gaza last month, killing nine Turks. "The deterioration in the relationship between Turkey and Israel over the past year-or-so is a matter of concern," Mr Gates said during a visit to London. "I think the two had a pretty constructive relationship and one that contributed to stability in the region, and I hope that, over time, that kind of constructive relationship can be re-established," he added. "I personally think that if there is anything to the notion that Turkey is, if you will, moving eastward, it is, in my view, in no small part because it was pushed, and pushed by some in Europe refusing to give Turkey the kind of organic link to the West that Turkey sought. I think we have to think long and hard about why these developments in Turkey [occurred] and what we might be able to do to counter them."

U.N. Approves New Sanctions to Deter Iran

The United Nations Security Council leveled its fourth round of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program on Wednesday, but the measures did little to overcome widespread doubts that they — or even the additional steps pledged by American and European officials — would accomplish the Council’s longstanding goal: halting Iran’s production of nuclear fuel. The new resolution, hailed by President Obama as delivering “the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government,” took months to negotiate and major concessions by American officials, but still failed to carry the symbolic weight of a unanimous decision. Twelve of the 15 nations on the Council voted for the measure, while Turkey and Brazil voted against it and Lebanon abstained. The United States and Europe acknowledged before negotiations started that they would not get the tough sanctions they were hoping for, promising to enact harsher measures on their own once they had the imprimatur of the United Nations. Congress is expected to pass a package of unilateral sanctions against Iran, and European leaders will begin discussing possible measures at a summit meeting next week.

Pakistan ranked fifth most unstable country

Pakistan is the world’s fifth most unstable country, better only than Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Sudan in that order, says the US State Department. The department’s Global Peace Index (GPI), released on Wednesday, reports that Pakistan’s overall score deteriorated steadily for the second successive year and it slid three places into the bottom five. Pakistan’s overall rank now is 145 on a list of 149 countries. All South Asian nations occupy the lower half of the regional table, headed by Nepal, in 82nd place. India, although better than Pakistan, is also in the red zone and is ranked 128. Israel rose two places to 144th in the 2010 index. Now it is one place ahead of Pakistan. Ongoing internal conflicts and related security concerns in Afghanistan and Pakistan contribute to their low rankings. Embroiled in conflict and instability for much of the past two decades, Afghanistan remained far from peaceful during 2009.

Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League formally launched in Sindh

The organisation for the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), headed by General (r) Pervez Musharraf, was formally launched in Sindh on Tuesday amid queries regarding accusations against the former military president of the country. APML’s organiser Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif accompanied by former president’s spokesman Rashid Qureshi, addressing a crowded press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday said the party has received a positive response in Karachi and other parts of Sindh during the last three days in the party leaders’ meetings that were held in the city. Responding to allegations against Musharraf including violation of constitution, dozens of killings at Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa, Benazir Bhutto and Nawab Akbar Bugti’s assassination, and killings of over 40 people in Karachi on May 12, 2007, the party leader said he knew such questions would be asked as they had faced the same questions from people at different places. He added that all accusations would be answered and defended with documentary proofs at an appropriate time. Saif remarked that everybody has the right to participate in the politics of the country.

Uzbekistan, China pledge closer energy and security ties

The leaders of Uzbekistan and China on Wednesday said they had signed deals aimed at increasing cooperation on energy and regional security. Speaking ahead of an annual meeting of the Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Tashkent, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Uzbek President Islam Karimov pledged closer ties, particularly on nuclear fuel. "One of the question we discussed was that of long-term and stable cooperation in the field of ... uranium. It's necessary to work in such a way to develop natural uranium and uranium fields," Hu told reporters. Although the leaders said they had signed a number of agreements regarding the purchase of energy from Uzbekistan, including uranium and natural gas, they declined to provide specifics details on the deals. Karimov, who has led his isolated Central Asian state for nearly two decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, pledged support for China's territorial integrity, specifically in Tibet and Taiwan. China has been increasingly active in ex-Soviet Central Asia in recent years, moving to secure access to the region's vast natural resources for its energy-starved industries.

Jun 10 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Guidance and Misguidance

This article is taken from the book Islamic Personality Volume 1  -written by Skh Taquiddin An-Nabhani

Linguistically Huda means rashaad (integrity of conduct) and dalaalah (showing the way). It is said, he guided him to the deen, i.e. led him to guidance; I showed him the way and the home meaning I informed. Dhalaal is the opposite of rashaad.

Hidaayah, according to the Shar'a, is to be guided to Islam and to believe in it. And dhalaal, according to the Shar'a is deviation from Islam.

Referring to this is the saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم: "Verily, Allah will not allow my Ummah to all agree on a dhalaalah." [Tirmidhi]

Allah سبحانه وتعالى has kept the Jannah (Paradise) for the muhtadeen (those who have hidaayah) and the Nar (Fire) for the Dhaalleen (those who are on dhalaal). In other words, Allah سبحانه وتعالى will reward the muhtadi (the one who has hidaayah) and punish the dhaall (the one who is on dhalaal). Attaching reward or punishment to huda and dhalaal indicates these (huda and dhalaal) are due to the actions of man and not from Allah سبحانه وتعالى. If they came from Allah سبحانه وتعالى He would not have rewarded people for having hidaayah and punished them for being on the dhalaal, this would lead man attributing injustice (Zulm) to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. For when He punishes someone whom He has caused to go astray, He has done an injustice to him. He is too High and Exalted to do such as thing.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
"And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves." [Fussilat, 41:46]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
"And I am not unjust (to the least) to the slaves." [Qaaf, 50:29]

However, there are aayaat that suggest hidaayah and dhalaal should be attributed to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and it could be understood that hidaayah and dhalaal do not emanate from man, but are from Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Other verses suggest that hidaayah, dhalaal and idhlaal (causing someone to go astray) should be ascribed to man, thus it could be understood that hidaayah and dhalaal are from man.

All these verses should be understood from a legislative aspect in the sense that one should understand the reality for which they have been legislated. It would appear that ascribing guidance and misguidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى has a meaning other than the meaning of attributing guidance and misguidance to man. Each one focuses on a different aspect from the other, and this makes the legislative meaning clear. Indeed, the verses that ascribe misguidance and guidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى are explicit in that it is Allah سبحانه وتعالى Who guides and it is He Who causes someone to go astray.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى said:
قُلْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ أَنَابَ
"Say: Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance." [Ar-Ra'ad, 13:27]

He سبحانه وتعالى also said:
فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills." [Faatir, 35:8]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills." [Ibrahim, 14:4]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَلَٰكِنْ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"But He sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills." [An-Nahl, 16:93]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ ۖ وَمَنْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ
"And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky." [Al-An'aam, 6:125]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

مَنْ يَشَإِ اللَّهُ يُضْلِلْهُ وَمَنْ يَشَأْ يَجْعَلْهُ عَلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
"Allah sends astray whom He wills and He guides on the Straight Path whom He wills." [Al-An'aam, 6:39]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
قُلِ اللَّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ
"Say: It is Allah Who guides to the truth." [Yunus, 10:35]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَٰذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلَا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ
"And they will say: All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah guided us!" [Al-A'araaf, 7:43]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

مَنْ يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ ۖ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُرْشِدًا
"He whom Allah guides, is rightly guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right Path)." [Kahf, 18:17]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Verily! You (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills." [Al-Qasas, 28:56]

In these verses there is a clear indication that the one who does the guiding and misguiding is Allah سبحانه وتعالى and not the servant. This means the servant does not find guidance by himself, rather he is guided when Allah سبحانه وتعالى guides him. When Allah سبحانه وتعالى sends him astray he goes astray. This meaning comes with indications (qara'in) which change the meaning from considering that the initiation of guidance and misguidance is from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to another meaning, i.e. reconsidering that the creation of guidance and misguidance comes from Allah سبحانه وتعالى, but the one who practices the guidance and misguidance is the servant himself. As for these indications (qara'in) they are shar'ai and rational indications.

As for the shar'ai indications many aayaat were revealed attributing guidance, misguidance and idhlaal to the servant.

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا
"So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self, and whosoever goes astray, he does so to his own loss." [Yunus, 10:108]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ
"If you follow the right guidance no hurt can come to you from those who are in error." [Al-Maaida, 5:105]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَلِنَفْسِهِ
"So whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for his own self." [Zumar, 39:41]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
"And it is they who are guided." [Al-Baqara, 2:157]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا رَبَّنَا أَرِنَا اللَّذَيْنِ أَضَلَّانَا مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ
"And those who disbelieve will say: Our Lord! Show us those among jinns and men who led us astray." [Fussilat, 41:29]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
قُلْ إِنْ ضَلَلْتُ فَإِنَّمَا أَضِلُّ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِي
"Say: If (even) I go astray, I shall stray only to my own loss." [Saba, 34:50]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا لِيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
"Then who does more wrong than one who invents a lie against Allah to lead mankind astray without knowledge." [Al-An'aam, 6:144]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

رَبَّنَا لِيُضِلُّوا عَنْ سَبِيلِكَ
"Our Lord! That they may lead men astray from Your Path." [Yunus, 10:88]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَا أَضَلَّنَا إِلَّا الْمُجْرِمُونَ
"And none has brought us into error except the Mujrimun." [Ash-Shur'araa, 26:99]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَأَضَلَّهُمُ السَّامِرِيُّ
"As-Samiri has led them astray." [Ta Ha, 20:85]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
رَبَّنَا هَٰؤُلَاءِ أَضَلُّونَا
"Our Lord! These misled us." [Al-A'araaf, 7:38]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَدَّتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يُضِلُّونَكُمْ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلَّا أَنْفُسَهُمْ
"A party of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish to lead you astray. But they shall not lead astray anyone except themselves." [Al-Imran, 3:69]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
إِنَّكَ إِنْ تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّوا عِبَادَكَ
"If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves." [Nuh, 71:27]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَأَنَّهُ يُضِلُّهُ وَيَهْدِيهِ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ
"Whosoever follows him, he will mislead him to the torment of the Fire." [Al-Hajj, 22:4]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا
"But Shaytan wishes to lead them astray." [An-Nisaa', 4:60]

So, in the wording (mantuq) of these verses there is clear indication that man is the one who performs the actions of guidance and misguidance, thus he will go astray and he will lead others astray; and the Shaytan also leads people astray. So guidance and misguidance has come to be attributed to man and Shaytan and that man can guide himself and send himself astray. This is an indication (qarinah) that attributing guidance and misguidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى is not one of practice (mubasharah) but one of creation. If the aayaat are placed together and understood in a legislative manner, then the departure of the meaning of one verse from the direction of the other becomes clear. Thus the ayah says:
قُلِ اللَّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ
"Say: It is Allah Who guides to the truth," [Yunus, 10:35]
and the other ayah says:

فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ
"So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self." [Yunus, 10:108]

The first indicates that Allah سبحانه وتعالى is the one who guides and the second verse indicates that man is the one who guides himself. The guidance of Allah سبحانه وتعالى in the first verse is one of creating the guidance in man, thus creating the capacity for guidance. The second ayah indicates that man is the one who practices/takes up what Allah سبحانه وتعالى has created in terms of the capacity for guidance and so he guides himself. That is why He سبحانه وتعالى says in the other ayah:
وَهَدَيْنَاهُ النَّجْدَيْنِ
"And (have We not) shown him the two ways (good and evil)." [al-Balad, 90:10]
meaning the path of good and the path of evil.

In other words Allah سبحانه وتعالى has given man the ability to get guidance and has left man to practice his own guidance. So these aayaat which attribute guidance and misguidance to man are a shara'i indication (qarina shar'iyyah) showing that the practice of guidance should be diverted from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to the servant.

As for the rational indication (qarinah aqliyyah), Allah سبحانه وتعالى takes people to account, rewarding the guided one and punishing the misguided one and He سبحانه وتعالى has prepared the reckoning according to the actions of human beings.

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا ۗ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
"Whoever does the righteous good deeds it is for (the benefit of) his own self, and whoever does evil, it is against his own self, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves." [Fussilat, 41:46]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ
"So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. And whoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it." [Az-Zalzala, 99:7-8]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَا يَخَافُ ظُلْمًا وَلَا هَضْمًا
"And he who works deeds of righteousness while he is a believer, then he will have no fear of injustice, nor any curtailment (of his reward)." [Ta Ha, 20:112]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
مَنْ يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ
"Whoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof." [an-Nisaa, 4:123]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْكُفَّارَ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ هِيَ حَسْبُهُمْ
"Allah has promised the hypocrites; men and women, and the disbelievers the Fire of Hell, therein they shall abide." [at-Tawba, 9:68]

For if the meaning of ascribing guidance and misguidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى is that He سبحانه وتعالى practices it, then His punishment of the kafir, munafiq and sinful is injustice. And Allah سبحانه وتعالى is High Exalted above that; then we are obliged to change the meaning to something other than practice, which is the creation of guidance from nothing and aiding man towards it. Thus the one who practices guidance and misguidance is the servant, and therefore he is accounted for it.

This concerns those aayaat in which guidance and misguidance is ascribed to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. As regards those in which guidance and misguidance is linked to His wish (mashee'a):
فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills." [Faatir, 35:8]

The meaning of mashee'a here is iraadah (will). The meaning of these verses is that no one forcibly guides himself against Allah سبحانه وتعالى's will nor does he forcibly go astray against His will. Rather the one who finds guidance is the one who guides himself by the wish and will of Allah سبحانه وتعالى; and the one who goes astray does so by the wish and will of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

Still remaining are those aayaat from which one might understand that there are people who will never be guided. Such as His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنْذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنْذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ
"Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you (O Muhammad) warn them or do not warn them, they will still not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearings, (they are closed from accepting Allah's guidance), and on their eyes there is a covering." [Al-Baqara, 2:6-7]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ ۜ رَانَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
"Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds)." [Mutaffifin, 83:14]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَأُوحِيَ إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُؤْمِنَ مِنْ قَوْمِكَ إِلَّا مَنْ قَدْ آمَنَ فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
"And it was inspired to Nuh: None of your people will believe except those who have believed already, therefore do not grieve at what they do." [Hud, 11:36]

These verses are information from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to His Prophets about certain peoples that they will not believe, so this comes under the Knowledge ('ilm) of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The information does not mean there is a group which will believe and a group which will not believe. Rather, every human being has the capacity to acquire iman. The Messenger and the da'wah carriers who come after him are ordered to invite all peoples to iman. It is not allowed for the Muslim to despair about anyone's iman.

Concerning the prior Knowledge of Allah that a man will not believe, Allah سبحانه وتعالى knows it because His Knowledge includes everything. For what Allah سبحانه وتعالى has not informed us about what He knows, we cannot pass judgement on this. The Prophets did not pass judgement or make a decision that someone will not believe except after Allah سبحانه وتعالى had informed them about this.

For His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
"And Allah guides not the people who are Fasiqun (the rebellious and disobedient)." [al-Maaida, 5:108]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
"And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (wrong-doers)." [Al-Imran, 3:86]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
"And Allah guides not the people who are Kafirun (disbelievers)." [al-Baqara, 2:264]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:

إِنْ تَحْرِصْ عَلَىٰ هُدَاهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ يُضِلُّ
"If you (O Muhammad) covet for their guidance, then verily Allah guides not those whom He makes to go astray." [an-Nahl, 16:37]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌ كَذَّابٌ
"Verily, Allah guides not one who is a musrif (a polytheist, those who commit great sins), a liar! (kazzab)" [al-Ghaafir, 40:28]

These verses mean that Allah سبحانه وتعالى did not grant them guidance since the granting of guidance comes from Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The fasiq, zalim, kafir, daal, musrif and kazzab, are all characterised by attributes inconsistent with guidance, and Allah سبحانه وتعالى will not help for guidance those who have such attributes. This is because helping in guidance is to provide its causes for the human being; and the one who is characterised with these attributes the means of guidance will not be available for him, rather the causes of misguidance. Similar to this is His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
"Guide us to the Straight Way." [Al-Fatiha, 1:6]

And His saying:

وَاهْدِنَا إِلَىٰ سَوَاءِ الصِّرَاطِ
"And guide us to the Right Way." [Saad, 38:22]
meaning help us so that we may be guided i.e. facilitate for us the causes of this guidance.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Prosperity of the Muslim Ummah

For thirteen centuries, the Muslim Ummah enjoyed unmatched prosperity in this life through the implementation of the rules of Islam. This prosperity was not limited to the advancement in science and medicine, as we often hear, but it spanned all aspects of life including social well being, healthcare and education. Even during the weaker periods of the Islamic State, the well being of its citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, was always one of the primary functions of the State. This is not surprising since Allah (swt) said in Surat Al-Anbiya:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ
“We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures”[TMQ 21:107]

And in Surat Taha:

فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشْقَى (123) وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنْكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَى
“… whosoever follows My Guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery. But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment”[TMQ 20:123-124]

In this issue, we will provide some examples of how people lived under the rule of Islam throughout Islamic history. This will inshaAllah, help us appreciate and better understand the reality of life under the rule of Islam.


In Islam the health of an individual is highly valued, and is considered one of the basic needs of man, along with food and security. RasoulAllah (saw) said:

“Whoever becomes free of illness, secure and safe among his people, and has food for his day, then it is like if he owns the dunia”[Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

Consequently, in Islam, providing free and competent healthcare has been made a responsibility on the Islamic State towards all its citizens – rich, poor, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. RasoulAllah (saw) said:

“The imam (khalifah) is the caregiver and he is responsible for his people”[Al-Bukhari]

Providing free healthcare to people was exemplified by RasoulAllah (saw) in Madina. Ibn Ishaaq reported in his sirah book that a tent was built in the masjid and a woman named Rofaydah from the tribe of Aslam used to provide diagnosis and medication to people free of charge for both the rich and poor. When Saad Ibn Muadh (ra) was hit by an arrow during the Battle of the Trench, RasouAllah (saw) told the companions to take him to the tent of Rofaydah. Rofaydah was paid by the State through shares from the booties of war as Alwaqidi mentions in his book Almaghazi.

Providing healthcare services to the citizens of the State continued throughout the Islamic history and the kuffar themselves bear witness to this. For example, Mr. Gomar, one of Napoleon’s leaders during France’s campaign (1798-1801) to occupy Egypt, described the healthcare services and 600 year-old health facilities that he saw, “all sick people used to go the Bimaristan (i.e. hospital) poor and rich, without distinction. Doctors were hired from everywhere in the east, and they were well paid. There was a pharmacy stocked with medicine and instrumentations. Two nursing personnel were serving every patient. Those with psychological disorders were isolated in a separate section and were taken care of. They were entertained by storytelling among other things. Those who recovered (from either physical or psychological illness) would spend some time in the rehabilitation section. When discharged, each patient would be given five pieces of gold so the patient would not need to work as soon as he/she left”. The French Orientalist, Prisse D’Avennes, describing the same hospital, said, “the patients’ halls where either cooled down by using huge fans spanning from one side of the hall to the opposite side, or warmed up by burning perfumes. The floors of these halls were covered by branches of the (Hinna) or pomegranate trees or other aromatic trees”.

Well Being.

The well being of citizens is exemplified by the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayra in Sahih Muslim stating that RasuolAllah (saw) said:
“whoever leaves money, then it is for the inheritors, and whoever leaves weak offspring then it is to us”[Muslim]

That is, the State is responsible for providing the basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing to those who cannot afford it for any reason. The well being of the people under the rule of Islam is a result of implementing the ahkam of Allah (swt). The understanding of the responsibility that the khaleefah and State have towards people is what made Abu Bakr (ra), as the khaleefah, serve an old blind women living in the outskirts of Madina. Omar Ibn Alkhattab (ra) wanted to serve her too, but he found that Abu Bakr (ra) had already cooked food, cleaned the house and washed her clothes for her. It is the same understanding and feeling of responsibility that made Omar (ra), when he was the Khaleefah, go back to Bait-ul-Mal (treasury) and carry bags of wheat and food on his own back all the way to a woman and her kids living outside the Madina and cook food for them. He (ra) refused his servant’s offer to carry the bags for him by saying, “will you carry my sins and responsibilities for me on the day of judgment?”

The care for people extended to children too. During the Khilafah of Omar, there was a policy to pay a stipend whenever a child finished breastfeeding. However, one day Omar (ra) heard a baby crying so he asked the child’s mother to “Fear Allah (swt) in your baby and take care of him”. She explained that she stopped breastfeeding early in order to receive the stipend from the Islamic State. The very next day, after Fajr, Omar revised the policy to pay the stipend at birth. Omar (ra) feared Allah’s (swt) accounting and said while crying “even the babies O Omar!” – meaning he would be accounted for harming the children.

Animals are also safeguarded by the Khalifah. Ibn Rushd Alqurtobi reported on the authority of Malik that Omar (ra) passed by a donkey burdened by blocks of stones. Realizing the animal was in distress he removed two blocks from its back. The donkey’s owner, an old woman, came to Omar and said “O Omar, what do you have to do with my donkey? Do you have an authority to do what you did”. Omar said “what do you think makes me fill this post (khaleefah)?” Omar (ra) meant that by assuming the responsibility of Khaleefah Omar (ra) was responsible for all the ahkam of Islam, which includes acting on the hadeeth of RasoulAllah (saw) that was narrated by Abu Dawood, on the authority of Abu Hurayra (ra): “Beware not to take the backs of your animals as (minbars), for it that Allah (swt) has made them to carry you to a place that would be hard for you to reach, and made the earth so you fulfill your needs on its surface.” That is, we must be merciful to animals and not overburden them.

This pattern of providing for the people and caring for their well being continued throughout the khilafah until its destruction in 1924. Ibn Aljawzi reported in his book about the lifetime of Omar Ibn Abdulaziz that Omar asked his governors throughout the State for the counts of all blind people, those with chronic diseases, and the disabled. He then assigned a guide for every blind and two servants for every chronically ill or disabled person throughout the whole Islamic State that spanned from China in the east to Morocco in the west, and Russia in the north to the Indian ocean in the south. Ibn Aljawzi also reported that Omar asked his governors to bring any poor person in need. Once they did, he covered all their needs from Bait-ul-Mal. He then asked for those who had debt and could not pay back. He paid their debt, in full, from Bait-ul-Mal. Then he asked for those who wanted to marry but could not afford to, and he paid for their marriage. The well being and prosperity of the people under the Islamic rule was such that during the khilafah of Omar Ibn Abdulaziz, the State could not find poor people to pay the zakat money to.

Ibn Jarir reported during the time of khaleefah Alwaleed Ibn Abdulmalik that the State built and took care of the masjids, built roads, fulfilled the needs of people, paid the disabled and ill people, and ordered them not to beg people but rather ask the State if they did not have what sufficed them. He was the first khalifeeah to build and institutionalize Bimaristans (hospitals). He assigned a servant for every disabled person, a guide for every blind person, salary for the imams (of masjids), and built “guest houses” for strangers and travelers everywhere in the State.

During the Ummyads and Abbasid khilafah, the travelers’ routes from Iraq and bilad-uSham (today’s Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine) to Hijaz (region of Makkah) were setup with “guest houses” along the routes which were equipped with water, food and shelter supplies everyday to ease the travel for people. The remnants of these facilities can be seen today in bilad-uSham. The records of the charity trusts (Waqf) for some hospitals in bilad-uSham testify to this. For example, the records for the charity trusts of Alnnoori hospital in Allipo (Syria) mentions that each mentally-ill person was assigned two servants who are responsible, everyday, for giving him/her a shower, dressing in clean cloths, assisting in prayer (if he/she can) and listening to Quran, and walking him/her outside in the open air to relax.

The Uthmani Khilafah carried out this obligation too. This is evident in servicing the people by building the famous Istanbul-Madina “Hejaz” railway during the time of Sultan Abdulhameed II to facilitate travel for the pilgrims to Makkah as well as to improve the economic and political integration of the distant Arabian regions. While the Muslims rushed to donate and volunteer to building the railway, the Uthmani khilafah offered the transportation service to people free of charge.

This is only a snapshot of how the life of people under the rule of Islam used to be in the days of khilafah. May Allah (swt) help us all to work for it and make us witness and enjoy its existence again… Ameen.

View on the News-03-06-2010

Germany’s President resigns after revealing colonialist ambitions in Afghanistan

Germany's president, Horst Köhler, resigned without warning this week, after intense criticism of remarks in which he suggested military deployments were central to the country's economic interests. Köhler's departure leaves a vacuum that will only add to Angela Merkel's growing political woes, amid criticism over a lack of decisive leadership, and a four-year low rating for her government in opinion polls. Köhler, 67, was accused of advocating a form of "gunboat policy" after saying that a large economic power like Germany, with its significant global trading interests, must be willing to deploy its military abroad. Though a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), he has previously managed to stay out of the political fray. In a radio interview given on his return from a tour of German military bases in Afghanistan earlier this month, Köhler, a former head of the International Monetary Fund, said that the largely pacifist German public was finally coming to terms with the concept that their country could no longer avoid involvement in military missions, which helped "protect our interests, for example, free trade routes, or to prevent regional instability, which might certainly have a negative effect on our trade, jobs and income". The remarks were seized upon by the German left, who accused Köhler of supporting a type of "gunboat diplomacy" and of betraying the thousands of German soldiers who are currently stationed in Afghanistan.

Jewish State asks South Asian Muslims to help bridge gap with Palestine

Facing international backlash over its raid on the Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla, the Jewish state on Wednesday sought help from South Asian Muslims to build bridges between Israel and the moderate Palestinian leadership. At a specially convened press interaction for selected Delhi-based Muslim journalists, Israeli Ambassador to India Mark Sofer asked Muslims to look at the wider picture in Middle East, denying it was a battle between Jews and Muslims. “We respect Islam and the conflict in West Asia is not a religious one. Islam is a religion of peace and beauty. Whoever indulges in violence in the name of Islam, abuses and misuses the religion,” Sofer said. He admitted that Israel had made mistakes, but criticised the international community for shutting eyes to mistakes made by the Palestinians and other Israeli adversaries in the region.

UN official criticises US over drone attacks

The use of targeted killings with weapons like drone aircraft poses a growing challenge to the international rule of law, a UN official says. Philip Alston said that the US in particular was doing damage to rules designed to protect the right of life. Mr Alston, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, feared a "Playstation" mentality could develop. His report to the UN Human Rights Council will also bring renewed scrutiny of Israel and Russia. Both nations are also reported to have carried out targeted killings of alleged militants and insurgents. President Barack Obama has increased the use of Predator drones to attack militants in Pakistan. The UN report comes days after the US hailed news of the death of Sheikh Sa'id al-Masri, al-Qaeda's third in command in Pakistan, who was reportedly killed by a drone strike in May, along with his family. Mr Alston reserves particular criticism for CIA-directed drone attacks, which he said had resulted in the deaths of "many hundreds" of civilians. "Intelligence agencies, which by definition are determined to remain unaccountable except to their own paymasters, have no place in running programmes that kill people in other countries," the report says. Mr Alston also suggests that the drone killings carry a significant risk of becoming war crimes because intelligence agencies "do not generally operate within a framework which places appropriate emphasis upon ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law".

Japanese prime minister resigns under pressure America

When Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan abruptly stepped down Wednesday, largely for his failure to move an American air base off Okinawa, he was essentially admitting he had not won popular support for a prominent campaign pledge: ending Japan’s postwar dependence on the United States for its security. “This has proved impossible in my time,” Mr. Hatoyama said in a teary speech to explain his decision to step down. “Someday, the time will come when Japan’s peace will have to be ensured by the Japanese people themselves.” The Obama administration’s reaction to the resignation suggested that it would not miss Mr. Hatoyama much either. The White House, in its statement, pointedly did not thank or praise him, saying only that the alliance would “continue to strengthen,” regardless of who was in charge. Senior officials often seemed frustrated by his decision-making, and President Obama never developed a rapport with him. In Washington, some analysts even argued that Mr. Obama played a role in Mr. Hatoyama’s downfall, damaging his standing by keeping him at arm’s length and refusing to compromise on the air base. Administration officials denied this, saying they worked with Japan in recent months to resolve their differences. Mr. Obama, they noted, lavishly praised Mr. Hatoyama for his decision not to move the base off Okinawa.

Global military spending soars despite crisis: report

Global military expenditures soared to a record high last year, unscathed by the economic downturn, with the United States accounting for more than half of the increase, a think tank said on Wednesday. In 2009, $1,531 billion were spent worldwide in the military sector, a 5.9 percent rise from 2008 and a 49 percent jump from 2000, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its report.“Many countries were increasing public spending generally in 2009, as a way of boosting demand to combat the recession,” explained Sam Perlo-Freeman, the head of SIPRI’s military expenditure project. “Although military spending wasn’t usually a major part of the economic stimulus packages, it wasn’t cut either,” he said in a statement. The institute said 65 percent of countries for which data was available had hiked their military spending last year. Top spender: The US remains by far the top military spender, dishing out $661 billion to the industry in 2009, or a whopping 43 percent of the total global military expenditure.Washington thus paid $47 billion more than a year earlier and accounted for 54 percent of the global increase, the SIPRI said.China is believed to be the world’s second largest military spender, the institute said, adding that while it did not have access to the official figures from Beijing it estimated the country had spent around $100 billion in the sector last year.With its $63.9 billion in military expenditures last year, France came in third place, the SIPRI said.

Q&A: Iran's nuclear fuel-swap deal with Turkey

Question: What events resulted in Iran agreeing to enriching (Uranium) outside its territories in Turkey and to sign an agreement to that effect with Brazil and Turkey?

Answer: Of late European pressure has mounted to impose strict sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear programme, and these pressures have only intensified after the formation of the new government in Britain which has threatened military action.

Of course the British government on its own is not in such a position and so it aims to spur the US and thus raise the intensity of the Iranian issue. The British Foreign Secretary William Hague, in his first external trip visited the US just three days after assuming charge as foreign secretary where he stressed that as British foreign secretary, he chose to first visit the US to underline the special relationship with America. [Al-Sharq al-Awsat: 15.05.2010]. This was a reference to an earlier report issued by a group of members of the British House of Commons about the special relationship between them. Thus William Hague emphasised the importance of this relationship and Britain's need for it.

William Hague promised to pressurise Iran and expressed his agreement with the US position, he said: "His government will work to convince the European Union to adopt resolutions and strong measures against Iran." He added: "We are in agreement on the need for sending a strong and unified message regarding Iran's nuclear programme, and pass a UN Security Council resolution to that effect. After this the United Kingdom will play a fundamental role to ensure that the EU moves firmly to follow up on such a resolution." [Al-Sharq al-Awsat: 15.05.2010].

He demanded intensifying sanctions against Iran as a first step leading towards achieving global legitimacy for eventual military action, he said: "Though we have not ruled out military action in future, but we do not call for it." [Al-Sharq al-Awsat: 15.05.2010].

This is merely a negotiating pressure alone on Iran, rather it reflects the British position and it was evident during the riots that followed the presidential elections in Iran that Britain was trying to destabilise and eliminate the Iranian regime. Britain is now trying to build European consensus in cooperation with France and Germany and bring pressure upon Iran, and not to speak of the ‘Israeli' pressure in this regard. It so happened that America reached an agreement with Iran and dispatched the president of Brazil and the prime minister of Turkey to Iran to sign a Uranium exchange pact in order to reduce the impact of threats and sanctions card that was being raised by Europe, and especially by Britain, followed by France and ‘Israel'. Thus Iran signed the latest agreement with Brazil and Turkey which includes clauses that Iran agreed to send 1200Kgs of 5.30% low-enriched Uranium to Turkey in exchange for 120Kgs of 20% enriched Uranium which was required for a peaceful nuclear reactor located in Tehran. The essence of this agreement may have been proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a way out of the deadlock in the negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UNSC and Germany about a year back which then failed due to the issue of guarantees and trust.

Two new major clauses have meanwhile been added to this agreement regarding the issue of guarantees and trust, these are:

1: That the enrichment process will be carried out in Turkey (as a compromised place).

2: In case the negotiations concerning the compliance of this agreement with the Vienna group consisting of the US, France and the IAEA fail, then Turkey will be bound to return the Iranian low enriched Uranium meant for enrichment back to Iran.

Examining this agreement closely, we find that it was the US that encouraged Brazil and Turkey under its patronage. The French website (france24.com) reported: "The United States, Russia and France encouraged Brazilian President Lula's official visit to Tehran and considered it as the last chance to avoid sanctions." An Egyptian newspaper reported this news on 18th May, 2010 from an undisclosed source.

The story of this agreement began with the dinner invitation by the Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki to all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council including the five big powers along with Turkey and Brazil who are non-permanent members of the UNSC. This dinner was on the sidelines of the follow up conference on nuclear non-proliferation.
This dinner was attended by America's deputy ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff and ambassadors and lower ranks representatives of all the 15 member nations.

News agencies quoted a US official saying before the dinner began: "The United States considers this dinner as a new opportunity for Iran to convince the Security Council that it is capable of compliying with its requirements."

The passing of this resolution means saving Iran at the last minute from sanctions that were otherwise certain to come, sanctions that were drafted by Europe along with the US, China, Russia and Germany. This opportunity allows Iran a minimum period of another three months before the sanctions become effective in case of any future disagreement.

There is no doubt that the conduct of Brazil and Turkey was at the US's behest because Brazil, which is the eighth largest economic power in the world, needs America to continue its economic growth, and it was just one month back that it signed a military pact with the US.

As for Turkey, its Prime Minister Erdogan clearly stated that on the issue of implementing the clauses of the agreement, he will coordinate with America directly. He later stated that whatever was achieved was through coordination with Washington, a similar statement also came from Brazil!

United States reliance upon Brazil and Turkey in its time of need will help it to evade sanctions against Iran which are being imposed at the behest of Europe and the Jewish state. On the other hand, this means that America is taking advantage of the non-permanent members of the UNSC at the cost of the permanent members.

In conclusion it can be said that the entry of Turkey and Brazil as new parties in the Iranian nuclear issue helps America to prevent any damage from the proposed severe sanctions against Iran, because the entry of Brazil and Turkey in signing the agreement means a clear cracking of the so-called global community's effort against Iran on this issue.

Further, this agreement forges a general demand for negotiations on its implementation, and this gives Iran breathing space from the pressures being mounted by the international community, especially Europe. Irrespective of whether this is implemented immediately or is delayed, the intensity of pressures on Iran is certainly weakened gradually. Similarly the US's embarrassment at the hands of Europe and the Jewish state who have been making attempts to make America take military action or at least place effective sanctions has subsided.

4th Jumadah al-thania, 1431 A.H
18th May, 2010 C.E