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]