The following is a chapter from the English translation of 'The Islamic State' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. It is useful to read especially due to the recent events in Egypt.
Reestablishing the Islamic State is by no means an easy or straightforward task. There are several colossal obstacles facing the re-establishment of the Islamic State which first need to be removed and dismantled, and there are several major difficulties standing in the way of the resumption of the Islamic way of life which also need to be overcome. This is so because the issue is not merely the existence of just any state, nor the founding of a state simply calling itself Islamic. The issue is in fact the existence of the Islamic State which implements Islam as a system emanating from the Islamic ‘Aqeedah, a State which implements Islam according to the Shari’ah rules, since these are the rules of Allah (swt). Thus, the Islamic way of life would initially be resumed at home and the Islamic Message would come to be conveyed to all the peoples abroad.
This Islamic State should be founded upon the Islamic concepts and emotions, grounded in the Islamic ‘Aqeedah. The Islamic mentality, nurtured by Islamic thought and rationally shaped by the Islamic ideology and method should be present in its citizenry. The incentives to adhere to the Shari’ah should originate from the inner self. This Islamic disposition would ensure the voluntary implementation of the system and its rules with passion, zeal and peace of mind.
This State must be Islamic both at the level of the Ummah and that of the people in authority. It must be Islamic in all aspects of its life, securing the resumption of the Islamic way of life in a manner which would enable her to carry its Message to the whole world. This in turn would enable the non- Muslims to witness the light of Islam from within its State so that they enter the Deen of Allah (swt) in flocks.
This is why the difficulties which stand in the path of resuming the Islamic way of life are numerous. They should be assessed and a clearly laid out plan should be made in order to overcome them.
The most serious of these obstacles are:
1. The presence of the non-Islamic concepts in the Islamic world.
This is so because the Islamic world - while undergoing a period of decline with the level of thought being low, knowledge scarce and rationality very weak due to its state of decline - was invaded by non-Islamic concepts, which contradict the Islamic concepts and are based on an erroneous understanding of what existed prior to the life of this world, life as we know it, and the life to come after the life of this world comes to its conclusion. These concepts found fertile ground free of any resistance and they became deeply rooted, thus the mentality of the Muslims, especially the intelligentsia, came to be infested by these concepts. A mentality largely influenced by imitation emerged which lacked any sense of creativity and which was unprepared to accept the Islamic ideology nor was it able to realize the essence of this ideology, especially the political side of it. The Islamic call must be a call to resume the Islamic way of life. The non-Muslims should be called to Islam by presenting the Islamic thoughtsto them and the Muslims should be called to work towards the resumption of the Islamic way of life by properly explaining Islam to them. This would entail divulging the shortcomings of non-Islamic concepts and their dangerous consequences and thus the Da’wah should take its political course with endeavors made in order to enculcate the Ummah with the Islamic outlook on the reality before and after life, as well life itself, which necessitates a discussion of life’s political aspects. This is how the first obstacle would be overcome.
2. The presence of the educational programs which the colonial powers set up and the method by which these educational systems are implemented in the schools and universities.
Those who take up positions in Government, the Administration, the Judiciary, the teaching profession, medicine and students of other professions who graduate from such institutions have adopted a distinctive mentality that works in harmony with the plan which the colonialists have laid down.
This is clearly reflected in the ruling system as we see it today whereby the colonial employees were replaced by Muslim ones whose task was (and is) to safeguard the laws, the culture, the policies and the systems which the colonial powers had established, and to defend them as the colonialists did, nay with even greater vigor!
The way to overcome this obstacle would be to divulge these actions of those rulers, civil servants to all the people so that the ugly face of colonialism comes to the surface and so that they cease protecting those policies and systems allowing therefore the Da’wah to find its way to those Muslims.
3. The continued application of the educational curriculum according to the basis which was laid down by the unbelieving colonialists, and according to the method which they selected, a matter which made the majority of the graduated young people and those in the educational institutions proceed in a direction contradictory to Islam.
We do not mean the scientific and industrial part of the educational curriculum, as these are universal which do not relate to a specific Ummah. We mean here the culture which affect the viewpoint towards life, as they are responsible for making the educational programs stand as an obstacle in the face of resuming the Islamic way of life. These subjects include history, literature, philosophy and legislation.
History reflects the practical interpretation of life; literature reflects emotional conditions; philosophy is the basic thought upon which the viewpoint towards life is built; and legislation is the practical solutions to life’s problems and the tool which regulates the organization of and transactions between individuals and communities.
These comprise the culture with which the disbelieving colonialists fashioned the Muslim mentality with. Some felt Islam as unnecessary in their life and the life of their Ummah. It made some of them hostile to Islam, denying its capability to solve life’s problems.
Therefore, it is necessary to change this mentality, by culturing today’s young people outside the schools and universities with concentrated education that entails probing discussions about the Islamic thoughts and rules.
4. Lending culturally based subjects, such as sociology, psychology and education science unnecessary respect and erroneously classifying them as universal sciences.
Most people recognize these disciplines as being scientific and that the facts which these studies establish have come by way of experimentation. As a result, they treat them with high regard and they consider the findings of such studies to be indisputable. In so doing, they turned to them in order to solve their life’s affairs and taught them in our schools and universities as sciences.
Consequently, whatever the psychiatrists, sociologists and educationalists say is taken as a reference above the authority of the Qur’an and Hadeeth, or at best, these studies have been mixed with the Islamic texts and thus we carry erroneous concepts and viewpoints. It has thus become extremely difficult for people to accept anything which contradicts this state of affairs. This categorically leads to the separation of the Deen from life’s daily affairs in both the public and private arena and stands in the way of reestablishing the Islamic State.
The truth of the matter is that these disciplines cannot be considered as scientific endeavors, as they are drawn from observation and inference and are not based on experimentation. Implementing them upon people cannot be defined as experimentation, but merely repetitive observations carried out on different persons in different situations and circumstances, and therefore they are just observations and inferences and nothing like the experiments carried out in laboratories where something is tested. Thus, they are classified as culturally based studies and not scientifically based. The findings are always doubtful with some considerable margin of error. Furthermore, these disciplines are based on false premises because they are based on viewing the society from an individualistic point of view.
Therefore, their outlook, progresses from the individual to the family, group, and then to society on the basis that the society is defined as a group of individuals. This leads to the understanding that societies are independent and that what is valid for one society is not necessarily valid for another. In reality, society is comprised of the human (individual), concepts, emotions, and systems, and what is valid for the human in terms of concepts and solutions in one place should be valid for him everywhere else. These concepts and solutions would transform several societies into one single society for which the concepts, emotions and systems would be valid. The shortcoming of education and sociology is due to the fact that those two disciplines are built upon this misinterpretation of the makeup of society.
Furthermore, psychology influences sociology and education. Psychology is an erroneous discipline for two reasons: It considers the brain as being divided into segments with each of these segments having a distinct function or aptitude and claiming that some brains have certain aptitudes which other brains may not have. The truth of the matter is that the brain is one unit and the disparity of thoughts is natural due to the disparity of things and the previous information retained by the mind. There is no aptitude in one brain which is not found in another, but all brains contain the ability to think about every matter whenever the tangible reality, the senses, and previous information were made available to the brain. Brains differ in their ability to assess and link information and in the ability of the senses; similar to the natural variation in eyesight. It would be possible therefore to feed any person with any type of data and he would have the ability to digest such data. Thus, the claims which psychologists make about those aptitudes are groundless. Psychology considers the instincts to be numerous, some of which have been discovered and others which are yet to be discovered.
Some theorists went on to establish false theories based on this concept about instincts. In reality, if we observe the reaction of human beings, one can perceive through the senses that the human being possesses vital energy which has two aspects: one which needs to be satisfied, otherwise the human being would perish, and the other which needs to be satisfied, otherwise the human being, although he would survive, would become agitated and troubled. The first one represents the organic needs, such as hunger, thirst, and the call of nature.
The second represents the instincts, which are the instinct of religiosity, kind, and survival. These instincts reflect the feeling of weakness, the feeling of the preservation of species and the feeling of survival, and there are no other instincts except these three. Anything other than these three instincts would be merely drives of these instincts. For example, fear, supremacy and ownership, which are drives that are part of the instinct of survival; sanctification and worship, which are drives of the spiritual instinct; and parenthood and brotherhood, which are aspects of the instinct of kind. Evidently, psychology’s vision of human instincts is false and its claims about the brain are also incorrect, which in turn leads to the falsehood of the theories upon which it is based and consequently to the falsehood of education.
Sociology, education and psychology are cultural discipline are studied and propagated by the West contain ideas that contradict Islamic thought. To continue to hold them in high esteem and to refer to them as a reference constitutes an obstacle in the face of working towards establishing the Islamic State. We ought to demonstrate that these are cultural matters and not pure sciences, and that they are disputed subjects and their results are inconclusive. They are based on false premises that should not be running our lives.
5. Society in the Islamic world is misguided by the non-Islamic way of life.
This is so because the political system upon which the society is based, as well as the principles upon which society as a whole stands, and the emotional trend which Muslims follow and their intellectual mode of thinking is based on concepts about life which are alien to Islamic concepts. As long as these fundamentals remain unchanged and as long as these erroneous concepts are not eradicated, it would be difficult to change people’s way of life in society, political system, society’s order, and the emotional and rational trends which control the Muslims.
The widening gap between the Muslims and Islamic rule, especially in the areas of ruling and economy. This makes the Muslims’ vision of the Islamic way of life as something remote, and makes the disbelievers’ illustration of the Islamic way of life negative due to the fact that the Muslims witnessed a period during which Islam had been misimplemented. Since 1924, they have been ruled by their enemy with a system which contradicts Islam in every department, specifically in ruling and economics. It is therefore imperative that people should realize that this transformation to the Islamic way of life must be comprehensive and not partial, and that the implementation of Islam must be simultaneous and comprehensive, and not gradually and in a partial or haphazard manner.
7. The presence in the Muslim countries of governments founded on a secular basis, implementing the Capitalist Ideology and Democratic System upon the people, having strong political ties with Western countries, and founded on nationalism.
This makes the task of resuming the Islamic way of life difficult to achieve because it cannot be brought about unless it is comprehensive. Islam does not allow Muslim lands to be divided into statelets, but commands that the land be united under one single state. This entails the need for comprehensiveness in the Da’wah. This would be met by the resistance of the representatives of these regimes even if they called themselves Muslims. The Da’wah should therefore be conducted in every land even if it means enduring difficulties and hardship as a result of opposition from the regimes in the Muslim countries.
8. The presence of strong public opinion in favor of nationalism, patriotism and socialism coupled with the rise of political movements based on nationalist, patriotic and socialist ideas.
This came about due to the fact that seizure by the West of Muslim lands, its resumption of power and its implementation of the Capitalist system over the land, triggered the tendency of self defense. This fueled the sentiments of nationalism and touched on the raw nerve of racism and tribalism in self defense and in defense of the family and tribe, and which led people to work and compete towards gaining the rule on that basis.
This led to the rise of some political movements which carried the banner of nationalism to repel the enemy from the land, and others which carried the banner of patriotism in order to confine the rule within the people. Then the corruption and shortcomings of the Capitalist system became flagrant and the call for socialism spread. As a result, groups carrying the banner of socialism were established in order to patch up the Capitalist system. These movements did not have any clear vision of the system of life, their strategy was not focused and this led them astray from Islam being a universal ideology.
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