Friday, July 30, 2010

Turkey and the Ottomans

It was the month of Rajab the Khilafah came to an end in Turkey. Various individuals in post-Ottoman Turkey have attempted to wipe its history away, but Turkey under the Ottoman's was the world superpower for centuries - this will remain the history of Turkey, whatever its future course.

The Ottoman's were one of the many bands of Turkmen horsemen who began to come into the Islamic lands as a result of the Mongol invasions in the 13th century. These Turkmen warriors, who had converted to Islam, were sent to the frontiers of the state by the Seljuks, who themselves were of Turkish origin. They had excellent fighting skills and zeal, which the Seljuks wanted them to apply along the frontier with the Byzantines. The house of Uthman proved to be one of the most successful of these bands, taking many towns and villages from the control of the Byzantines, they then unified the other ghazis, under their banner, brought the lands surrounding Constantinople under Islam, culminating in the capture of Byzantine Empire capital - Constantinople in 1453.

The Uthmani's then swept through the Balkans and Eastern Europe in spectacular fashion. The important city of Thessaloniki was captured from the Venetians in 1387. In 1389, the kings of Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Hungary attacked the Uthmani's but Sultan Murad I crushed them at Kosovo, which shocked Europe. In 1396, the whole of Europe including French and German armies fought against Sultan Bayazid Yaldram at Nicopolis but were comprehensively defeated and 20 rulers and dignitaries were brought to the Khaleefah's court as the captives. Sultan Bayazid had annexed all the territory from Bosnia to Danube. He had also conquered Greece (Athens) in 1398.

Before Suleiman al Qanooni's reign came to an end in 1566 he had expanded the Islamic frontiers well into Eastern Europe bringing Belgrade the capital of Serbia under Islam as well as regaining the Greek island of Rhodes. He had defeated Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia and brought most of Hungary under Islamic authority. By 1578 Georgia and what is today Romania was under Islam. Before the beginning of the 17th century the Ottoman's had brought Southern Italy, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Ukraine, the Canary Islands, parts of Iceland and the largest island of the Bristol waters in England, UK - Lundy under Islamic authority. Such was the perceived threat of the Uthmani Khilafah under the reign of Suleiman al Qanooni that ambassador Busbecq of the Austrian monarch Ferdinand I warned of Europe's imminent conquest: "On [the Turks'] side are the resources of a mighty empire, strength unimpaired, habituation to victory, endurance of toil, unity, discipline, frugality and watchfulness... Can we doubt what the result will be?...When the Turks have settled with Persia, they will fly at our throats supported by the might of the whole East; how unprepared we are I dare not say."[1]

The Ottoman's until the era of decline were hugely successful in integrating and amalgamating the different peoples in the new territories. The Uthmani's like their predecessors gave the non-Muslim populace in matters of marriage, faith and personal issues their own religious leaders. As a result, vast areas of the Balkans remained mostly Christian. The Eastern Orthodox Churches had a higher position in Uthmani Khilafah, mainly because the Patriarch resided in Istanbul and was an officer of the Khilafah.

Sultan Mehmed II allowed the local Christians to reside in Constantinople after conquering the city in 1453, and to retain their institutions such as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. In 1461 Sultan Mehmed II established the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. Previously, the Byzantines considered the Armenian Church as heretical and thus did not allow them to build churches inside the walls of Constantinople. In 1492, when the Muslims and Jews were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, Sultan Bayezid II sent his fleet to save them and granted the refugees the right to settle in the Khilafah. Thomas Arnold confirmed in his study of the spread of Islam: "though the Greeks were numerically superior to the Turks in all the European provinces of the Empire, the religious toleration thus granted them, and the protection of life and property they enjoyed, soon reconciled them to the change of masters and led them to prefer the domination of the Sultan to that of any Christian power."

The Ottoman's influence internationally was such that many of the European powers turned to the Ottoman's for help. The French king Francis I was captured at the battle of Pavia in 1525. France felt humiliated by the capture of her king but her army was unable to rescue him from captivity. She made recourse to the Islamic Khilafah state, under the Ottoman's at that time, and she sent a messenger on behalf of the king of France on 6th December 1525 seeking help from the Islamic State. The messenger met the Uthmani Khaleef Sulayman al-Qanooni who responded to his call. Sulayman gave the messenger a letter which read: "we have received the letter delivered by your messenger, and in which you stated that your enemy has attacked your country and you are imprisoned and seek our help in respect to securing your release. We have answered your request so be at ease and do not worry". The Khilafah state used its international weight and military power to rescue the king of France and made an effective contribution towards his release. The Khaleef of the Muslims helped France without compensation, without occupying a part of France or colonising any region of France in return. Rather he did the action as an act of goodwill.
In 1783 the first US navy boat started to sail in international waters and within two years was captured by the Ottoman navy near Algeria. In 1793 12 more US navy boats were captured. In March 1794 the US Congress authorized President Washington to spend up to 700 000 gold coins to build strong steel boats that would resist the Uthmani navy. Just a year later the US signed the Barbary Treaty to resolve the Ottoman threat.
Barbary, was the term for the North African wilaya's of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, under the rule of the Ottomans.

The terms of the treaty were:

1.The treaty will cost the US a one off payment of $992,463

2.The American ships captured would be returned and the American Navy was to be given permission to sail in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

3.In return, the American government would pay $642 000 in equivalent gold.

4.The US would also pay an annual tax (tribute) of $12 000 in gold. The annual tribute would be calculated according to the Islamic calendar and not the Christian calendar

5.$585,000 would be paid for the ransom of the captured American sailors

6.A state of the art steel ship would be constructed and delivered to the Uthmani's, built in the US with all costs borne by the US in return for privileges. (The costs of masts, Yards, and heavy planks, were very costly and so difficult to procure, and then so exceedingly expensive to transport. Once delivered the US had actually paid thirty times their estimated price in the stipulations).

The treaty was written in Turkish and signed by President Washington, This is the only American legal document to ever have been concluded in a foreign language and the only treaty the Americans have ever signed that agrees to pay annual tax to another nation. This treaty continued until the Khilafah was abolished.

Turkey Today

Ever since the destruction of the Khilafah in 1924, Turkey has become a nation with no influence in the world. Turkey has been used by the world's powers to achieve their own interests. Turkey joined NATO and today Turkey provides the most troops after the US to the security organisation that protecting US interests during the cold war.
Whilst most of Turkey's history consists of menacing Europe, today is trying all it can to join the European Union. Whilst Turkey has reforming in the face of EU demands. The EU continues to reiterate that Turkey should be given second class membership.

Turkey has suffered an economic crisis once every decade since the end of the Khilafah, it has used each crisis to bring in more and more reforms in order align the nation to the global market, with little success.

The Turkey of today is a far cry from the international position the Ottoman's had. Today Turkey is being described by many thinkers as a resurgent nation, but like it recent history Turkey continues to protect the interests of other nations. Whilst in the past Turkey menaced Europe. Many accepted it was a matter of time when the Ottoman janissaries would march across Europe, Jews and many other minorities welcomed the Ottoman's due to the treatment they received regarding there faith. Turkey should learn from its history.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Al Hind and Islam

The Pew report "Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population," concluded that the world wide Muslim population was 1.6 billion and that the majority of Muslims today reside beyond the birth place of Islam. It is estimated that over 30% of Muslims - the largest - reside in Hind, which comprised of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Contact between the Muslims from Baghdad - the Abbasid Khilafah [800-1300 CE] - took place before the expedition of Muhammed bin Qasim, which has come to be seen as a seminary period in the regions history books. The Arabs used to visit the coast of Southern India, which then provided the link between the ports of South and South East Asia. After the Arab traders became Muslim, they brought Islam to South Asia. A number of local Indians living in the coastal areas embraced Islam through contact with the Muslim traders.

Over a period of 500 years Islam expanded across the Indus plains. By the 12th century Islam had reached Delhi. The Islamic conquests were different compared to the previous invasions into the region, as many conquerers did nothing regarding the prevailing customs and in many cases assimilated into the existing architecture. Hind had an abhorrent caste system which differentiated between people on ethnic lines which led to the supremacy of princely rulers who enslaved many to work in their fields in return for basic wages. As Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms came under the fold of Islam, the Khilafah became a highly centralising force that facilitated the creation of a common legal system that gradually replaced the caste system.

Letters of credit issued in Egypt or Tunisia were honoured in India and in order to create and sustain such an internationally consistent legal system, local and traditional systems of governance were uprooted.

In an analysis of the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent, one researcher highlighted: "Unlike earlier conquerors who assimilated into prevalent social systems, Muslim conquerors retained their Islamic identity and created legal and administrative systems that challenged and destroyed existing systems of social conduct, culture, religious practices, lifestyle and ethics.

The Muslims when they came to the region introduced a new culture, which was very different from the existing cultures. Muhammad bin Qasim set up an administrative structure that incorporated a newly conquered land, inhabited by non-Muslims. He adopted a conciliatory policy, asking for acceptance of Muslim rule by the natives in return for non-interference in their religious practices, so long as the natives paid Jizya, without forced conversion. Shari'ah law was applied over the people of the region; however, Hindus were allowed to settle their marital disputes according to their own laws. Hindus and Buddhists were inducted into the administration as trusted advisors and governors.A Hindu, was at one point the second most important member of Muhammed bin Qasim's administration.

Islam created a system where political power, law and worship became fused in a manner so as to safeguard the interests of all people. This stability led to the subcontinent to become the hub between the Far East and the Mediterranean. The Khilafah has also been credited for creating the Karkhanas - small factories in the subcontinent. New towns were created that specialised in a particular category of manufactured goods, which led to development and prosperity that had not been seen for centuries.

While the spread of Islam in the Sub-continent is the story of untiring efforts of numerous saints and Sufis who dedicated their lives to the cause of Islam, by the time the Muslims conquered Delhi and established what came to be known as the Delhi Sultanate, Sufi fraternities had come into being and the Sufi influence was far more powerful than it was in earlier days under the Arabs in Sindh.

One Hindu historian described this period as follows: "Throughout its existence the Delhi Sultanate (1205-1526), remained a legal part of the worldwide Muslim empire functioning under the de jure suzerainty of the Abbasid caliphs. Sultans considered themselves the deputies of the caliph and derived their validity of their administrative and legal authority only on the basis of delegation. Since the supreme authority of the community legally remained with the caliph, every king and potentate claimed to exercise governmental power for, and on behalf of the Imam of Islam."[iv]

In this way many people who were discriminated against due to the caste system embraced Islam.

It was only the weakness that overcame Muslims in understanding Islam that became the cause of their decline as under Islam the people of the region only saw progress.

Hind today
Today, Hind is widely, though incorrectly, recognised as encompassing India alone. In spite of the apparent economic growth of India today, the region is the most poverty stricken in the world after Africa. The resources of the region have not been marshalled for the people and corruption runs rampant as it was before Islam came to the region.

We also unfortunately see the ancient caste system return to the region which has turned the region into hereditary groups creating huge fault-lines which has led to the ugly head of sectarianism returning to the region when the early Muslims dedicated their lives to removing it.

The Hind region today is a far cry from the heights it achieved in the past.

Adnan Khan

The Reality of the Media

This article is written by Manal Bader

Media in its reality and essence is a reflection of government views and policies. There is no true freedom of expression as in the case against Hizb ut-Tahrir seen world-wide in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. All different types of media attack Hizb ut-Tahrir and their views because governments will risk hypocrisy if they ban Hizb ut-Tahrir for exposing the fallacies of the West, because there is no valid proof against Hizb ut-Tahrir of breaking any constitutional act.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is constantly under attack by using a the so-called fright factor. What is the fright factor? When a certain word is spoken a certain frightful image comes to mind; as with the media trying to falsely link Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and Al-Zarqawi to Hizb ut-Tahrir. This is done under deceptive means so the common people will automatically link Hizb ut-Tahrir with whom the West considers as terrorists, thereby, shunning away from Hizb ut-Tahrir and its concepts.

News channels provide alleged evidence by quoting other news channels yet their so-called evidence holds no grounds of truth. The ethics of unbiased journalism are tainted. Reporters and journalists use slander to try and make the general people shudder from Hizb ut-Tahrir. They have waged a full blown smear campaign against Hizb ut-Tahrir. Their reporting cannot provide a single authentic proof that Hizb ut-Tahrir supports terrorists or having trained them-or what is lately called the conveyer belt of terrorism, with many media outlets jumping on this bandwagon.

As a result from the demands of the media, it was able to exert pressure to have commercial facilities cancel Hizb ut-Tahrir venues in the United States this year. One journalist warned that it hopes the government will closely watch Hizb ut-Tahrir. Again frightening people over the airwaves. The government uses this tactic to its advantage but behind closed doors. This proves the West's grave fear of HT and what they stand for. Making them all the more intense in their campaign to stop HT. They realize that HT calls for all Muslims to unite together from all over the world. They know that Khilafah will embody the fiercest army in the world if Muslims unite under its rule. They understand that the Khilafah will provide relief to the millions of oppressed Muslims under its Islamic economic system. The most important concern the Western governments and their think tanks closely considers; that Hizb ut-Tahrir will not stop until it reaches its goal of establishing an Islamic state no matter how much pressure they exert on the media. Again intensifying their fury, because the establishment of the Islamic state or Khilafah, will signify the end of the Western superpowers and their influence over Muslim countries all over the world as we know it.

The West thinks it can stop Hizb ut-Tahrir from accomplishing the Khilafah. Nothing is farther from the truth. This will become a reality because Muslims are firmly planted in their belief. There is no greater satisfaction that makes them struggle unconditionally in this path towards true justice. No greater reward than Allah's promise of the reestablishment of the Khilafah. It is a sacred promise from the Quran. In the following verse:
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
"Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me; and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the transgressors." [Al-Nur, 24:55]

The Prophet also made that same promise clear to his Ummah. Muslims are eager for Islam to prevail over their lives and spread throughout the world under Islam's umbrella of justice and glory.

Manal Bader
Bayt Al-Maqdes
13 Sha'aban 1431

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CIA's 20:20 Vision for the future Caliphate is Short Sighted

This article is written by brother Abid Mustafa

“They talk about wanting to re-establish what you could refer to as the Seventh Century Caliphate. This was the world as it was organized 1,200, 1,300 years, in effect, when Islam or Islamic people controlled everything from Portugal and Spain in the West; all through the Mediterranean to North Africa; all of North Africa; the Middle East; up into the Balkans; the Central Asian republics; the southern tip of Russia; a good swath of India; and on around to modern day Indonesia. In one sense from Bali and Jakarta on one end, to Madrid on the other."

-- Former US Vice President Cheney

In December 2004, The National Intelligence Council of the CIA predicted that in the year 2020 a new Caliphate would emerge on the world stage. The findings were published in a 123-page report titled “Mapping the Global Future”. The aim of the report is to prepare the next Bush administration for challenges that lie ahead by projecting current trends that may pose a threat to US interest. The report is presented to the US president, members of Congress, cabinet members and key officials involved in policymaking.

What is striking about the report is that it is full of references about political Islam and the various challenges it poses to US interests in the foreseeable future. There is even a fictional scenario depicting the emergence of Caliphate state in 2020 and its impact on the international situation.

However, the report is predicated on assumptions which undermine the validity of the report in various parts, especially the section on the Caliphate. Below is a critique of some of the arguments postulated in the fictional scenario: -

The report asserts that the strength of the new Caliphate will be borne out of the efforts of a global Islamic movement taking power. While it may be true that a global Islamic movement may instigate civil disobedience or initiate a coup to bring about the Caliphate, its strength and longevity is dependent upon something entirely different.

Intellectual conviction in a common set of values amongst the citizens of a state is the measure of the state’s strength and not the movement, which founded the state. The Soviet Union collapsed not because it was deficient in technology, but because its people abandoned communism and the communist party was powerless to convince them otherwise.

An accurate appraisal of the convictions of the Muslim masses for the resumption of the Islamic way of life through the re-establishment of the Caliphate is the single most important factor in determining whether the Caliphate will succeed or fail in the 21st century. This is more important than technology and resources, both of which can be quickly gained as long as the Caliphate is able to defend itself and base its progress exclusively on the Islamic ideology. Whenever Islamic movements are taken as the sole gauge for estimating the extent of Islamic revival in Muslim countries, a skewed picture will always emerge. The CIA is not alone in employing this false standard. The practice is wide spread and has tainted the analysis of respected think tanks and the writings of some notable commentators such as Francis Fukuyama and Samuel P. Huntington.

This flaw is not the result of their malice towards Islam, but is due to their adherence to the philosophy of individualism, which has marred their understanding of society and reduced it to a collection of individuals.

A proper understanding of society reveals that it is composed of individuals, which are bonded together by common thoughts and emotions, and live under a specific system. The degree of support amongst people towards the existing system of governance or for an alternative system of ruling can only be ascertained through the evaluation of these common thoughts and emotions.

The attachment to individualism has led the West to grossly underestimate the penetration of Islamic thoughts and sentiments in the Muslim countries, and also to miscalculate the wide spread support for the re-establishment of the Caliphate.

Another point of contention in the report is the claim that the emergence of the Caliphate will not cause the regimes in Muslim countries to collapse one after the other – the domino effect.

Again this understanding is derived from an incorrect understanding of society. A cursory study of the Muslim world shows that there exists strong polarisation in viewpoints between the regimes and the people they govern. Before the collapse of the Baath regime, Saddam an atheist was delivering speeches laced with Islamic terms. He did this, because he realised that the people were no longer motivated by Baathism, secularism or Arabism and only responded to Islam. Similarly, when Musharraf sided with America’ s war against Afghanistan he had to quote lengthy passages from life of the Messenger (SAW) to justify his stance.
The conflict between maintaining the secular order and preventing political Islam from assuming power is a daily occurrence in much of the Muslim world. The regimes in the Muslim world are viewed as the custodians of western interests and antagonistic towards Islam. Muslims simply loathed these regimes and are eager to extinguish their existence. The only reason these regimes survive is because of the dogged support from western governments.

Today, the Islamic Ummah stands on the cusp of a monumental change, just as the Warsaw pact countries stood some 18 years ago. The iron curtain came down because people had changed their viewpoint from communism to capitalism. Likewise the Muslim Ummah has abandoned both communism and capitalism, and is waiting for the emergence of the Caliphate, which will cause these regimes to collapse in spectacular fashion, only to be absorbed by the Caliphate.

Finally the report claims that Muslims would find the temptations of western materialism too much to bear, causing them to flee the shores of the new Caliphate. This view is obviously founded on the prevalent western notion that the Caliphate is the antithesis to modernisation.

Another factor that enhances this perception amongst westerners is the current exodus of Muslims from the Islamic world to the west. Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, the Caliphate that Muslims want to establish is the rightly guided Caliphate, which was at the zenith of human civilisation. A historical fact widely recognised by several eminent experts on Islam- most notably Bernard Lewis.

Second, the mass migration of Muslims to the West is a consequence of western foreign policy ventures in the Muslim world and not because of Muslim infatuation with western values. Most migrants, if not all are either economic migrants or political asylum seekers escaping the tyranny of regimes often supported by western governments. Even those Muslims, who have settled in the west, have yet to embrace secular values for fear of corrupting their Islam.

The recent endeavour by Europe to coerce its Muslim population to adopt western values speaks volumes for Europe’ s obsession with secularising Muslims and runs counter to the stereotyped image projected by the western media that Muslim countries are pleading to be westernised.

The typecasting of Muslims is based on the erroneous understanding of anti-western feeling that pervades the Muslim world. Often in western circles, anti-western sentiments are equated with the total rejection of western civilisation and attributed to the fundamentalist camp.
To make matters worse, the desire amongst Muslims to own western goods are interpreted as a craving for the western way of life. Westerners often classify those who display admiration for western goods into the moderate camp.

To pigeonhole Muslims into the two camps based on such interpretations is wrong. This is because the anti-western rhetoric found amongst Muslims is a denunciation of western culture and not of western goods. Likewise, the expression for the admiration for western products is an acknowledgement of the superior quality of the goods and is not an affirmation for the wholesale acceptance of western culture.

For the first time in many years, the Muslim world has undergone a radical transformation in reconciling which aspects of the western way of life can be accepted or rejected with Islam. Muslims today accept western goods such as DVDs, Satellites Dishes, and TVs only because such items do not contradict their Islamic viewpoint. On the other hand western concepts such as freedom, democracy and individualism are discarded because are deemed to contradict Islam. Previously, the Muslim world was torn between two factions i.e. the modernists who wanted to adopt everything from the West and the traditionalists who were keen to rebuff all aspects of western civilisation. This mentality stifled progress and allowed the West to establish their hegemony over Muslim lands.

Today, it is not Muslims who are holding themselves back from human advancement and meeting the demands of the 21st century, but rather it is the West that chooses to suppress these developments and insists on imposing its values upon the Muslim masses in connivance with the regimes of the Muslim world.

This attitude has not only contributed to the West’ s misunderstanding of Islam, but has encouraged the West to define an inequitable relationship with the Muslim world.

Furthermore, the mindset has prompted the West to shun everything to do with Islam. West’ s occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan has already highlighted the abuse of the Muslim people, the pillage of their land and denigration of Islam.

If this attitude is not reversed then the West will find itself in a precarious position on two fronts.

First, the Caliphate will be a strong, progressive state charting a new destiny for the Muslim people after liberating them from the political, military and economic hegemony of the West. The West weakened by this abrupt loss of control will struggle to maintain its dominance in world affairs.

Secondly, the Caliphate will swiftly harness the synergy between Islam and science, thereby surpassing the West in terms of inventions, technologies and new scientific discoveries. Given the West’ s negative attitudes towards all things Islamic, it will find itself closing the doors to knowledge and shielding its people from progress and challenges of 21st century.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Invitation to Hizb ut-Tahrir's International Media conference

The Central Media Office of Hizb-ut-Tahrir is honored to invite you to participate in the international conference to be held in Beirut-Lebanon to mark the 89th annual painful remembrance day of the destruction of the Khilafah on the 28th Rajab 1342H/ 3rd March 1924.

The conference will be convened under the title:
Hizb ut-Tahrir's Perspective on the world's most critical international and regional problems

The speakers will present the viewpoint of Hizb ut-Tahrir related to the most significant strategic crises confronting the global village:

A- The Muslim world:
•1- Issues in the Middle East (Palestine, Iraq, Sudan)

•2- Issues in South Asia (Pakistan, Afghanistan)

•3- Issues in South East Asia (Indonesia and the separatist movement)

•4- Issues in West and Central Asia (Cyprus, Turkey, Caucasia, East Turkestan)

B- Islam, Muslims and the West

C- International crises that impact the Muslim ummah:
•1- The international financial crisis

•2- The global nuclear threat, including the Iranian nuclear issue

All these issues will be addressed in an express unambiguous manner presenting the true path to better future for the troubled global village
Professional politicians and distinguished media people can not afford to miss this opportunity.

Date: Sunday, 6 Shaban 1431 H, corresponding to July 18, 2010
Conference venue: Conference Hall of Bristol, Le Bristol Hotel Convention Center, Verdun, Beirut

Osman Bakhach
Central Media Office

Who will fill the government posts in a future Khilafah and from where in society will they be selected from?

This article is written by Brother Abdul-Kareem

In answer to this there are two factors that need to be considered for someone to be suitable for a ruling position in the Khilafah - capability and strength of ideology.

Capability to Rule

Capability in carrying out the task of ruling is an explicit shar'i (Iegal) condition for the Khaleefah, Assistants (mu'awinoon) and the governors (wulah).

This ruling capability is manifested in certain traits that will enable the person to fulfil the responsibilities of office and manage the affairs of state. These traits are strength of personality, consciousness of Allah (taqwa), kindness and that he should not be one who causes aversion.

1. Strength of personality - The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم stipulated that the ruler must be strong and that the weak person is not suitable to become a ruler.

Muslim narrated from Abu Dharr who said: "I said: O Messenger of Allah, will you not appoint me as a governor/ruler? He صلى الله عليه وسلم struck my shoulder with his hand then said: "O Abu Dharr, you are weak and it is a trust (amanah). On the Day of Judgement it will be a disgrace and regret except for the one who took it by its right and fulfilled his duty in it."

Strength of personality means the intellectual and emotional strength. It is necessary that this mentality be the ruling mentality by which he understands matters and relationships, and that his emotional disposition (nafsiyya) is that of a ruler who understands he is a ruler so his inclinations are of a leader.

2. Consciousness of Allah (taqwa) - Since the personality trait of strength has within it the potential of domination there is an obvious need for the ruler to have an attribute which protects him from the evil of domination. It is therefore necessary that he has the attribute of taqwa in taking care of the Ummah.

Muslim and Ahmad from Sulayman bin Buraydah from his father: "Whenever the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم would appoint an Amir over an army or expedition, he would command him with taqwa with himself and to be good to those Muslims who are with him."
The ruler, if he is conscious of Allah and fears Him, and accounts himself in his own soul secretly and openly, then this would prevent him from tyranny in the first instance.

3. Kindness - Taqwa alone would not prevent the Khaleefah from harshness and severity since in his taking account of Allah he would restrict himself to His commands and prohibitions. And since he is a ruler, it is natural in his position to be severe and hard, and because of this the Lawgiver (Ash-Shari') commanded him to be friendly and not to be hostile to the citizens.

From Aisha who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم saying in his house of mine: "O Allah, whoever is appointed over any matter of my Ummah and is hostile to them, then be hostile to him! And whoever is appointed over any matter of my Ummah and is friendly to them, then be friendly to him!" [Muslim]

4. Doesn't cause aversion - He also commanded to be one who gives glad tidings not one who repels or turns people away.
From Abu Musa who said: When the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم sent one of his companions in some of his affairs, he would say to him: "Give glad tidings and do not repel people, be easy and do not be hard (to the people)." [Muslim]

Strength of Ideology

The Khilafah is an ideological Islamic State where the Islamic aqeeda (belief) is the basis of the state, its institutions, systems and societal relationships. The Khilafah's strength will depend directly on the strength of the ideology within the state. This means those in ruling positions must be of those who will work in protecting, implementing and propagating the Islamic ideology so the state remains strong and becomes a leading nation in the world.

This means those in ruling positions must be Muslim. This is because the Shari'a (Islamic law) has restricted ruling positions to those who believe in the ideology of the state i.e. Islam. This is no different to any ideological state within the world today. America or Western Europe for example would never accept a Muslim or Communist as President or Prime Minister. The fact that during Obama's Presidential election campaign he was forced to distance himself from any hint of being a ‘secret Muslim', such as removing two Muslim women in headscarfs from standing behind him in a speech is clear evidence of this.

Muhammad Asad in his book ‘The Principles of State and Government in Islam,' writes on this point.
"One cannot escape the fact that no non-Muslim citizen - however great his personal integrity and his loyalty to the state - could, on psychological grounds, ever be supposed to work wholeheartedly for the ideological objectives of Islam; nor, in fairness, could such a demand be made of him. On the other hand, no ideological organization (whether based on religious or other doctrines) can afford to entrust the direction of its affairs to persons not professing its ideology. Is it, for instance, conceivable that a non-Communist could be given a political key position - not to speak of supreme leadership of the state - in Soviet Russia? Obviously not, and logically so: for as long as communism supplies the ideological basis of the state, only persons who identify themselves unreservedly with its aims can be relied upon to translate those aims into terms of administrative policy."

Those in ruling positions must also be just (‘adl) and it is forbidden for them to be transgressors of the ideology (fasiq). The Shari'a has made justice a condition for the witness.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
وَأَشْهِدُوا ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ مِنْكُمْ
"Call two just witnesses from amongst you." [At-Talaq, 65:2]

Since the Khaleefah, Assistants and Governors rule over witnesses, by greater reason (Bab Awla) they must also be just (‘adl).

Having established the characteristics of those suitable for taking up ruling positions within the Khilafah the next question is where in the state would we find such capable people?

Selection of Rulers during the Umayyad and Abbasid Khilafah

After the period of the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs the rulers in the Khilafah were on the whole selected based on family ties where the Khaleefah would choose the next Khaleefah from his family. This led to the creation of ruling dynasties in the form of the Umayyads, Abbasids and later the Ottomans. The executive branch of the Khilafah started to resemble a monarchy, a period to which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم referred to in the hadith narrated by Ahmed as a ‘biting kingship'.

Despite the misapplication of appointing rulers in the executive branch, the Islamic State was still a Khilafah, with the legislative and judicial branches held by the ulema (scholarly) class who ensured the shari'a was always implemented by the executive. Conflict between the ulema and executive always existed and ensured the independence of the judicial and legislative branches of government. This conflict came to a head during the inquisition (mihna) of Abbasid Khaleefah al-Ma'mun where Ahmed bin Hanbal refused to concede the Islamic position that the Qur'an was not created in favour of al-Ma'mun's deviant view that the Qur'an was created. Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi'i, Imam Malik, Imam Nawawi and Ibn Taymiyyah all faced persecution during their times for accounting the rulers and ensuring shari'a was always implemented by the executive.

One of the benefits cited for a monarchy is the clear line of succession for future rulers of the Kingdom. Historically, this was seen as providing a stable system that prevents a power vacuum after the King dies. When Mu'awiyah was Khaleefah he was the first to introduce the concept of hereditary bay'ah (pledge of allegiance) where the Khaleefah would nominate his son or other close relative to succeed him. In Mu'awiyah's case he nominated his son Yazeed and took bay'ah for him before he died. The first to convince Mu'awiyah of such an idea was Al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah who was Mu'awiyah's governor in Basrah. He visited Mu'awiyah in Ash-Sham and said, "O Leader of the Believers! You are aware of what this Ummah faced of disorder (fitnah) and difference, and death is due on you; and I am afraid when it comes to you what had happened after the murder of Uthman will happen to the people. So assign to the people an outstanding person so that they take refuge in him, and make that person your son Yazeed."

Mu'awiyah became convinced of the benefits in nominating his son and proceeded to implement this plan despite opposition from the senior companions (sahaba) within the state.

Regardless of the perceived benefit in having a clear line of succession as in a monarchy, Muslims are restricted by the shari'a rules. This deviation from the shari'a rules in misapplying the bay'ah resulted in severe weaknesses creeping in to the political structures of the state and in fact the hereditary bay'ah made the Khilafah less stable.

This weakness and instability occurred because restricting the post of Khaleefah to an elite few prevented any other aspiring candidates from reaching a ruling position. Political parties within the state were then forced to rebel and seize power militarily since no other mechanism was available to them for achieving power.

This is what the Abbasids did by seizing Persia and Iraq and using them as a platform to capture total power away from the Umayyads whom they then killed. They then followed in the footsteps of the Umayyads restricting the authority to the family of Banu Hashim in place of Banu Ummayyah.

Later the Fatimids took over the province of Egypt and established a state there. They tried to use this as a support point for transferring the rule of the Islamic State to the sons of Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. Their action caused instability within the Islamic State and stalled the Jihad allowing the crusaders to occupy the holy lands.

Selection of rulers by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs

A future Khilafah will not follow in the footsteps of the Umayyad and Abbasid Khilafah's by selecting rulers based on tribal and family ties. The model for ruling is taken from the sunnah and the ways of the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs (Khulufa Rashida).

On the authority of Abu Najih Al-Erbadh bin Sariah, who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم gave us a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and tears came to our eyes. We said: "O Messenger of Allah, it is as though this is a farewell sermon, so counsel us." He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "I counsel you to fear Allah and to give absolute obedience even if a slave becomes your leader. Verily he among you who lives [long] will see great controversy, so you must keep to my sunnah and to the sunnah of the rightly-guided Khaleefahs - cling to them stubbornly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray, and every going astray is in Hell-fire." [Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi]

If we look back to the first Islamic State in Medina and the states of the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs we find those appointed to positions of authority were those who were strong in the Islamic ideology, and had the capability to rule i.e. they had a ruling mentality.

Those Muslims who before Islam were tribal leaders or from the ruling class already had this ruling mentality looking after the affairs of their tribe. An example is Mu'awiya, the sixth Khaleefah who before the conquest of Makkah was the crown prince primed for ruling Makkah after his father Abu Sufyan. Mu'awiya was appointed by Umar bin al-Khattab as governor of ash-sham (Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon) and remained in office until he took over the Khilafah from Imam Hasan.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "You will find people to be like mines. The best of them in the Jahiliyya (days of ignorance) are the best of them in Islam when they have understanding." [Bukhari, narrated by Abu Hurayra]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم also cultured the personalities of the sahaba and appointed them to positions of authority which developed their political experience. This political experience nurtured their ruling mentality and resulted in the sahaba becoming the future rulers once he صلى الله عليه وسلم had passed away. The sahaba were also the guarantors of the continued implementation of Islam even if they were not in government.

We can see this from the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs who were all Delegated Assistants (wazirs) at some point before becoming the Khaleefah. Abu Bakr and Umar were the wazirs for the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. Umar was also the wazir when Abu Bakr was Khaleefah. Uthman and Ali were the wazirs when Umar was Khaleefah. Ali and Marwan ibn al-Hakam were the wazirs when Uthman was Khaleefah. Incidentally Marwan later became Khaleefah after usurping power from Abdullah ibn Zubair.

In addition to holding the posts of wazir the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs held other positions within the state. Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali were chosen by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to be the people of shura (consultation) and effectively formed part of the Shura Council (majlis ush-shura) in Medina.

"The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم sent ‘Umar as responsible for sadaqah." [Bukhari & Muslim]

"When the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم returned back from the umrah of Ji'ranah, he sent Abu Bakr responsible for hajj." [Al-Nasa'i, reported by Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban]

He صلى الله عليه وسلم appointed ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan as an ambassador to Quraysh during the Hudaybiyah Treaty affair.

He صلى الله عليه وسلم appointed ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib as a judge over Yemen, as secretary of agreements and peace treaties and commander of the Muslim army at different periods during his صلى الله عليه وسلم rule in Medina.

Khaleefah Umar ibn al-Khattab was very strict in ensuring he didn't resemble a King and that family ties would have no place in ruling. One day ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "By Allah, I do not know whether I am a Khaleefah or a king, for if I am a king then this is a tremendous matter!" [Suyuti, History of the Khaleefahs]

When Umar was dying the Muslims came to him and requested him to assign a Khaleefah after him. One of the Muslims said to him: "Recommend your son ‘Abdullah." Umar said: "May Allah fight you, by Allah you did not seek Allah's pleasure by this opinion. Woe to you! How can I recommend a man who was unable to divorce his wife? There is no desire for us (family of Al-Khattab) in your affairs. I did not praise it (Khilafah) so as to like it to be for anyone from my family. If this matter (of Khilafah) was good then we have got our share. If it was bad then it is enough for family of ‘Umar that one person from them be accounted and be asked about the affairs of the Ummah of Muhammad. Really, I exerted myself and I deprived my family. If I managed to save myself sufficiently without sin and without reward, then I am happy."

Selection of rulers in the future Khilafah

A ruling mentality is something generic that may be exhibited in both Muslim and non-Muslim rulers and is developed through political experience whether this is gained in government or not.

As an example America is a capitalist ideological state. Its rulers would therefore be from people who are strong in the Capitalist ideology which primarily means links to large corporations. For example Dick Cheney, the former Vice-President was chairman of Halliburton and Michael Bloomberg, the current New York Mayor is the eighth richest in America. The bulk of election campaign funding is received from major corporations in all government elections whether they are Presidential, Mayoral or Congress elections.

US Presidents are selected from those with former political experience such as governors, Senators, Vice Presidents or military generals. George Washington was a former Military General, George Bush Junior was a former governor of Texas and Barack Obama a former Senator.

Obama was in fact attacked during his election campaign for not having enough political experience since he was only a Senator for three years, compared to John McCain's long running political and military career. Obama used his grass-roots political work as a community organizer in Chicago as evidence of his political experience for the post of President.
Similarly a future Khilafah will choose rulers based on their ruling capability and strength of ideology as discussed previously. They will be those with a ruling mentality and political experience who have the skills to manage the affairs of state.

In practice this means the Khaleefah will be drawn from the pool of existing government posts. The Khaleefah may be a former governor, Ameer of Jihad, Delegated Assistant or Treasury Secretary with a wealth of political experience and well known to the ummah. As we saw with the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs it's likely the Khaleefah will always have served as a former Delegated Assistant.

For the other government posts the Khaleefah is free to choose whoever fulfils the contractual conditions of that post and is able to perform the task at hand. These posts may be filled by former university professors, military generals, newspaper editors, heads of political parties, tribal leaders, imams, members of the Regional Assemblies (Majlis ul-Wiliyah) and members of the Council of the Ummah (Majlis ul-Ummah).

In practice the majority of government posts will be drawn from the Majlis ul-Ummah since this is where the majority of politicians and statesman will be in the Khilafah.

A question arises, is it permissible for a member of the Majlis ul-Ummah to also be a member of the Khilafah government?

If we look back to the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم state in Medina we find he صلى الله عليه وسلم appointed fourteen men for shura (consultation) because they were the representatives of their people. There were seven from the Muhajiroon and seven from the Ansar. These fourteen men effectively formed a Shura Council (Majlis ush-Shura). Among the members of this council were Abu Bakr and Umar. Abu Bakr and Umar were also Delegated Assistants in the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم state so they held both positions, i.e. they were majlis members and rulers at the same time.

Therefore in a future Khilafah the state may adopt that Majlis Members can also be members of the government as we find in the UK where the elected representatives (MP's) hold a dual role as Ministers and even the Prime Minister. However, due to the expansion in the role of the Majlis and its importance as a counterbalance to the executive power of the Khaleefah and its cabinet, the best solution would be for the Majlis Member to resign his position when taking up a government post. This is what happens in America when a Senator or Congressman is selected for government.

Path to government
As mentioned above closing off ruling positions to an elite few is not permitted in Shari'a and can cause huge problems to the Khilafah's future stability. Therefore there needs to be a clear path to government and even the post of Khaleefah for any of the state's citizens with such aspirations. This will be done primarily through allowing the formation of numerous Islamic political parties, establishment of Regional Assemblies (Majlis ul-Wiliyah) in each province and the empowerment of a central Council of the Ummah (Majlis ul-Ummah) in the Khilafah's capital in the heart of government.

The scenario below attempts to illustrate this path.
Abdullah joins an Islamic political party in his youth. He is an activist of the party through his schooling and university. After completing university he pursues a full time career as an army officer in the Khilafah's army. He rises up the ranks and then decides on pursuing a full time political career. His political party put him forward as a candidate for the 5-yearly majlis elections. He campaigns and wins his seat. He then becomes a member of the Majlis ul-wiliyah and makes a strong impression on his constituency and the majlis. In the elections for his second term he gains enough votes for a seat on the Majlis ul-ummah in the Khilafah's capital. His work on some on the majlis committees impresses the Assistants (Mu'awinoon) who recommend his appointment to a government position. He works his way through various government posts finally becoming Foreign Affairs Secretary which is a cabinet position. From there he becomes a Delegated Assistant and when the Khaleefah unexpectedly dies he is shortlisted by the Majlis ul-Ummah for candidacy for the post of Khaleefah. His previous political and military experience wins over the Ummah who believe he can successfully manage their affairs and be the commander in chief of the armed forces. He gains the majority of votes during the election and becomes the Khaleefah.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Islamic Ruling on Military Alliances

Today, we find Muslim countries making military alliances with the kuffar and fighting alongside them. Turkey is a member of NATO and has sent troops to Afghanistan under the UN International Security Assistance Force.

Pakistan has entered a military alliance with America to fight Muslims in the tribal areas and support the Afghan war.

Many Muslim countries participate in numerous other military alliances and collective security agreements.

Historically, the Khilafah entered in to military alliances with kafir states at certain times.

In America and Europe we find a small minority of Muslims joining the western armies and being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan with some scholars even issuing fatwas that this is permissible in Islam.

The Islamic ruling on military alliances and their permissibility is given below. This is taken from the book Shakhsiya Islamiyya (Islamic Personality) Volume 2 by Sheikh Taquideen an-Nabhani. The extract below is based on a draft translation from Arabic.

"Al-hilf" linguistically means covenant (‘ahd) and friendship. It is said "halifuhu" derived from "'ahiduhu" (he covenanted with him). However, the technical definition of the word "al-hilf" specifically means military alliance.

Military alliances are the alliances contracted between two or more states that make their armies fight together with a common enemy, or exchange military intelligence and weapons between them, or if one of them enters in to war they will consult with the other state to enter war with them or not according to the interests they see.

These alliances could be dual treaties (mu'ahadat thinaiyya) contracted between two, three or more states, but they do not consider aggression upon one state as an aggression against all of them. Rather if aggression occurs upon one of the treaty states, the other states with which it has a military alliance have the option of joining the war alongside the state facing aggression or not according to what is in their interests.

These alliances could also be collective alliances in which aggression against one of the treaty states is an aggression against all of them. So if war occurs between one treaty state and another state then the other states with which it has a military alliance will enter the war alongside it.

All of these alliances, whether they were dual, collective or other than these, necessitate that the army fights with its ally to protect it and its entity whether there were numerous leaders or a single leader.

These alliances are void from their basis and are not contracted legitimately in Islam. The Ummah is not obliged to follow them even if the Muslims' Khaleefah contracted them since they contradict the Shar'a. This is because these alliances make the Muslim fight under a kafir leadership, under a kufr banner, in order to preserve a kufr entity, all of which is haram. It is not allowed for a Muslim to fight except under a Muslim leadership and under the Islamic banner.

There came a prohibition in the sahih hadith against fighting under the disbelievers' banner and their leadership.

Ahmad and An-Nisa'I narrated from Anas who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Do not seek light with the fire of polytheists." i.e. do not make the polytheists' fire a light for you.

The fire is an indication of war. It is said the "fire of war was kindled" (awqada nar) i.e. its evil and violent passion was called into existence. The fire of fright (tahweel) is a fire the Arabs in jahiliyyah would kindle during alliances. The hadith alludes to war with polytheists and adopting their banner, so the prohibition of war together with polytheists is understood from it.

Alliances would also make the disbelievers fight with Muslims while preserving their entity i.e. they would fight as a state and not individuals. The Messenger prohibited seeking assistance of the disbelievers as an entity.

It came in the hadith of Adh-Dhahhak (RA), "that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم went out on the day of Uhud, when all of a sudden there was a good squadron or a harsh squadron so he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Who are these?' They said: ‘The Jews of so and so.' So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘We do not seek assistance of disbelievers.'"

Al-Bayhaqi said: The authentic report is what Al-Hafidh Abu Abdullah informed us via a chain leading to Abu Hameed as-Sa'idi who said: "The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم went out until he left behind Thaniyya al-Wada', and all of a sudden there was a squadron. He said: ‘Who are these?' They said: ‘Banu Qaynuqa and they are the people of Abdullah bin Salam.' He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Have they embraced Islam?' They said: ‘Rather they are on their deen.' He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Tell them to return for we do not seek assistance of the polytheists."
The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم rejected assistance from the Jews and said in general manner: "We do not seek assistance of the disbelievers...We do not seek assistance of the polytheists."

One should not say that we seek assistance with disbelievers against our enemy and seeking assistance with the disbeliever is allowed because the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم consented to Quzman fighting together with him in Uhud and he was a disbeliever, and he صلى الله عليه وسلم accepted assistance from some Jews of Khaybar in war. One should not say this because seeking assistance with disbelievers is allowed if they are individuals under the Muslims' banner. Those whom the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم sought assistance from were individuals not an entity or state.

When Banu Qaynuqa came to the messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم they came as a tribe with their own leader, and they were like a state that previously made a treaty with the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم. They came to fight with the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and they were upon this situation and it was said to him: "They are the company of Abdullah bin Salam" so he refused to seek assistance from them due to this. Accordingly it is not allowed to seek assistance from a kafir army and under the banner of their disbelieving state.

Imam As-Sarakhsi said in ‘Al-Mabsut' in the book of ‘Siyar': "From the hadith of Adh-Dhahabi (ra) ‘that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم went out the day of Uhud where there was a husna squadron or he said khushna. So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: Who are these? They said: The Jews so and so. So he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: We do not seek assistance of disbelievers.' Its interpretation (ta'weel) is that they were powerful in themselves not fighting under the Muslims' banner. For us, we only seek assistance from them if they were fighting under the Muslims' banner whereas if they come independent with their own banner then we do not seek assistance from them. This is the interpretation of what was narrated when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘Do not seek light from the fire of the polytheists' narrated by Ahmad and An-Nisa'I via the way of Anas and he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "I am free (bariu) from every Muslim who fights together with a polytheist' meaning if the Muslim is under the polytheists' banner."

From this it becomes clear that military alliances with disbelieving states are haram in the Shar'a and they are not contracted.

It is not allowed for the Muslim to shed his blood in the way of defending the belligerent disbeliever. Rather the Muslim only fights people so that they enter into Islam from disbelief (kufr). As for fighting disbelievers to enter from kufr into kufr and to shed his blood for that, this is also haram.

Khilafah - Hope for the Ummah

This week, on the 28th of Rajab, the Ummah will mark the 89th anniversary of the fall of the Khilafah. We should use this anniversary as a reminder of our obligation - as an Ummah - to resume the Islamic way of life, through the re-establishment of the Khilafah.

Since the abolishment of the Khilafah in 1342/1924, the Ummah has witnessed a succession of despotic rulers whose sole concern has been to please their Capitalist masters. These dictators, the Assads, Mubaraks, and Zardaris of this Ummah, are eagerly financed, armed, and supported by the parliaments of North America and Europe. Such subjugation has resulted in the political, economic, and social hardships of the Ummah. For example:

Poverty: A 2002 study by the Economist found that 1 out of 5 Arabs lives on less than $2 a day - and this was before the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Corruption: According to Transparency International, Muslim countries account for 8 of the 10 most corrupt countries that were surveyed.

War: According to the UN, the colonial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have widowed 2 million and 744,000 women, respectively.

The contrast of the current reality to that of the past, when Islam was implemented, is stark:

Economy: Under the Khilafah of Umar bin Abdul Aziz (rh), the State Treasury was overflowing with funds to the point that no person could be found to accept the Zakat.

Governance: Also under Umar bin Abdul Aziz's (rh) Khilafah, good governance was established. When a man came to discuss personal matters with him, Umar (rh) blew out the state candle and used his personal candle, to ensure that he did not use state resources for personal benefit

Security: When the hijab of one Muslim woman was violated by Roman soldiers, the Abbasid Khaleefah Mutasim (rh) mobilized an entire army to secure her safety and dignity.
Lack of Islamic Leadership: The Critical Issue

In this era, where the Muslims are in a state of subjugation and poverty, many sincere members of this Ummah have attempted to identify the root causes of the problems. Some may say the Ummah lacks resources and economic power. However, the lack of economic prosperity is a symptom of the actual problem. From a resources perspective, we are well aware that approximately 60% of the world's energy resources reside in the Muslim lands. Furthermore, if we analyze Pakistan - just one of the 54 "statelets" that the Ummah has been dismembered into - we find that it possesses the land area of both France and Britain combined. Pakistan also has the 6th largest population in the world. Furthermore, uniting the armies of Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Morocco would gather over 3 million soldiers - more than 20 times the number of American forces in Iraq. Clearly the resources (i.e. wealth of people, minerals, and land mass) are squarely located in the Muslim world. One might ask: if there is such an abundance of resources in the Muslim lands, then why do we find the Ummah in economic difficulty? The economic problems are linked to the lack of sincere leadership. More specifically, the current rulers do not govern this wealth according to the book of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. They instead govern it based on the dictates of their American and European masters.
Thus, the issue is not a lack of resources, but a lack of Islamic leadership. What we lack is the shield that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم prescribed for us to use in order to protect ourselves. This shield is described in the following hadith:

"Indeed, the Imam (Khaleefah) is a shield, from behind whom you fight and by whom you are protected." [Muslim]

Allah سبحانه وتعالى has made it an obligation on us to refer solely to the Quran and the Sunnah of His beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in matters of ruling, economy, and settling the affairs of the people. As long as we tolerate the rule of the Muslim despots - who do not rule by what Allah سبحانه وتعالى has revealed - we can only expect our present-day condition to persist. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has revealed:
وَأَنِ احْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ

"And rule between them by that which Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware that they may turn you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you." [Al-Maaida, 5:49]

Re-establishing the Khilafah - a comprehensive system of governance, education, courts, and other societal institutions which are based on the Quran and Sunnah - in the Muslim lands is the only way of bringing Islam back into our daily lives, free from the influence and dominance of kufr.

Khilafah: One of the Highest Obligations

The fardiyah (obligation) of Khilafah is well known to the Ummah, but some may consider it a low priority. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has revealed:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

"And no, by your Lord, they will not believe until they refer to your judgment in all disputes between them then find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission." [An-Nisaa, 4:65]

This means that if we differ on an issue - such as the priority of the Khilafah - we must refer to the Quran and Sunnah to resolve our disagreement.

By the mercy of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the Shariah has identified certain issues as "vital", i.e. matters of life and death for the Ummah. If such issues are not attended to, then the Ummah's existence will be at stake. According to the Quran and Sunnah, when a hadith or ayat refers to taking of life, it signifies a vital issue. That is because the life of the human being is sacred and can only be violated under very specific circumstances.

Islam has made the unity of the Islamic Ummah and the unity of the State as one of the vital issues. This is manifested in two cases: plurality of Khulafaa' and rebellion against the Islamic State. Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-' Aas that he heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم say: "He who pledged his Bay' ah (oath) to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him, you must strike the neck of that man."

It has also been reported on the authority of Abu Said Al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

"If a Bay'ah has been taken for two Khaleefah's, kill the latter of them." [Muslim]

Hence, he صلى الله عليه وسلم made the unity of the State a vital issue when he prohibited the plurality of the Khulafaa' and ordered the death penalty for the one who insists, after being advised against it, on establishing multiple leaders within the Islamic State. It has also been reported on the authority of Arfaja who said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم say:

"He who comes to you while your affair has been united under one man, intending to drive a wedge between you or fragment your group (Jama' ah), kill him." [Muslim]

Now that the Islamic State no longer exists, these ahadith indicate the level of priority we must give to ensure that the Ummah is united under the leadership of one Khalifah (Caliph). We must understand that the unity of the Ummah is a "matter of life and death" and therefore we must exert our utmost effort to re-establish the Khilafah in the Muslim lands according to the Prophet's method.
The Return of the Khilafah

The current era of tyrannical rule over the Ummah was prophesized by Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم in the famous hadith narrated by Imam Ahmed (rh): "...there will be dictatorships that will last as long as Allah is willing..." However, the same hadith also predicts that, after this tyrannical era: "...there will be a Khilafah on the way of the Prophethood." Allah سبحانه وتعالى has promised victory to the Ummah.

He سبحانه وتعالى has revealed:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا

"Allah has promised such of you who believe and do good deeds that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those before them to succeed (others); and He will surely establish for them their religion which He has approved for them, and will give in exchange safety after their fear." [An-Nur, 24:55]

Allah سبحانه وتعالى never fails in His promise. We should therefore be motivated by these ahadith and ayah to look forward to the return of the Khilafah as the hope for the Ummah. However, this does not give us the excuse to sit back and wait for the Khilafah. Instead we must reflect on the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and follow his method in establishing the Khilafah, which includes taking halaqa with the goal of attaining the Islamic personality, interacting with the Ummah to create public opinion for Islam, and seeking the support of the people of power and influence for the re-establishment of the Khilafah. In order to do so, we must culture ourselves, as the Sahabah did in Dar-Al-Arqam, and rid ourselves of the influences of Capitalism and adopt the measures of halal and haram in our decision making. We must also work with the Ummah to convince her that Islam is the sole source of legislation and that Islam is sufficient: we do not need the ideas of Karl Marx, Adam Smith, or Barack Obama. Finally, we must work to convince the people of power in the Muslim lands to give the nusra to Islam - just as the Ansar gave nusra to Islam. Only intellectual and political means (e.g. discussion, leaflets, conferences, etc) can be used in the struggle to re-establish Khilafah, as RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم restricted himself to them and forbade the Sahabah from using armed struggle in establishing the Islamic State. He صلى الله عليه وسلم also did not participate in the political system of the Quraish: Dar-al Nadwa. Therefore, we are also forbidden from working through the non-Islamic political systems that are currently in place. If our goal is to implement the Deen of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, we must take the Quran and Sunnah as a reference point instead of our own desires.

May Allah سبحانه وتعالى grant this Ummah victory, so that we may worship Him as He has ordained us to worship.
وَقُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ۚ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا
"And say: Truth has come, and falsehood has vanished away. Lo! Falsehood is ever bound to vanish." [al-Israa, 17:81]