The following is a chapter from the English translation of the book, 'The Islamic State' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani (rh).
The strength of the Islamic thought coupled with its methodology would be sufficient to establish an Islamic State and to resume the Islamic way of life, provided that this thought is deeply rooted in the hearts and deeply embedded in the souls, and provided it materialised itself in the Muslims and became a living Islam working in all walks of life. However, despite all this, some colossal tasks have to be achieved before the existence of the State, and phenomenal efforts must be made in order to resume the Islamic way of life. Desire and optimism would not, therefore, be sufficient for the State to arise, nor would hope and enthusiasm be enough to secure the resumption of the Islamic way of life. The mother of all duties would be to duly assess these colossal obstacles which stand in the way of Islam in order to make their removal possible.
It is also most important to warn the Muslims about the heavy load which awaits those who rise to this objective and to bring to the attention of the people, especially the intellectual ones, the serious consequences of any opinion which is voiced concerning this hugely serious issue, so that words and actions move together with awareness, desire, resoluteness and courage. Those who tread the path in order to resume the Islamic way of life should be aware that they would be carving their way into hard stone, but that with great resolve and dedication they would be able to break the stone. At the same time they should be aware that they would be treating a delicate matter, however, their kindness would help them treat it perfectly. They should be aware that they would clash against major problems, yet they would overcome them. They should not deviate from the path because it is the path which the Messenger of Allah (saw) trod, and if the path is trodden correctly the results would be inevitable and victory would be certain without a shadow of a doubt. It is this path which the Muslims should tread carefully today, provided that the example of the Messenger of Allah (saw) is carefully followed, and his steps carefully and correctly copied so that anyone who treads upon this path does not stumble, because every error in the analogy and every deviation from the path would result in a stumble and introduce sterility into the work. It therefore follows that holding conferences on the issue of the Khilafah would not of itself lead to the establishment of the Islamic State, nor would a federation of countries ruling Muslim peoples be a legitimate method to establish the Islamic State, nor would congresses of Muslim peoples help in the resumption of the Islamic way of life. None of these, nor anything similar to them, should be considered correct, instead they would merely represent rhetoric aimed at soothing the anger of the Muslims. Rather, these would contain their feelings and neutralise their zeal, and consequently lead them astray from the real task, in addition to the fact that they contradict the Islamic method. The only way to establish the Islamic State is to carry the Islamic Message and to work towards the resumption of the Islamic way of life, this necessitates taking the Islamic countries altogether as one unit because the Muslims are but one Ummah, which represents a human group linked by one ‘aqeedah from which emanates her system. Any task carried out in any Muslim country, touching on the emotions and concepts, should therefore have its effects in all the other Muslim countries, thus, it is imperative that all Muslim countries be considered as one and that the da‘wah is carried to all these countries so that it affects their respective societies. This is because, the one society which represents the Ummah would be like water in a pot, if a fire was lit under it the water would warm up and reach its boiling point, then the boiling would cause the society to move and work. This is why the da‘wah should target the Islamic world so that work towards resuming the Islamic way of life could be initiated; this would be done by means of publications of books and leaflets, and by means of communication and all other means of publicity, especially (direct) contacts since they are one of the most successful methods of da‘wah. However, the initiation of da‘wah in this open manner is merely a fuel for the society in order to turn the frozen state, which it suffers from, into energy. It cannot reach the boiling point unless the practical da‘wah is confined in its political orientation within one single country from where the work would begin. Then the da‘wah would be launched from there to mushroom all other parts of the Islamic world. This country, or several countries, would be taken as the support point where the Islamic State would be established, following which work would begin to expand and establish the greater Islamic State, which in turn would carry the Islamic Message to the whole world. This would be just like what the Messenger of Allah (saw) did; he (saw) conveyed his da‘wah to all the people and the steps of conveyance reached the practical phase. He (saw) invited the people of Makkah and all the Arabs in the hajj season. His da‘wah spread all over the Arabian Peninsula, as if he (saw) had lit a fire under the society of the Peninsula, a fire which was aimed at releasing the energy in the Arabs as a whole. The Messenger of Allah (saw) called the Arabs to Islam by directly contacting them and by inviting them to Islam during the hajj season, and by visiting the tribes in their homes and calling them to Islam. The da‘wah reached all the Arabs as a result of the clashes which took place between the Messenger of Allah (saw) and Quraysh, the echoes of those impacts reached the Arabs and triggered their curiosity and their desire to learn more about the da‘wah. However, although the da‘wah targeted all the Arabs, the scope of the da‘wah was confined to Makkah, then it stretched to Madinah until the Islamic State was founded in Hijaz. Only then did the heat of the da‘wah and the victory of the Messenger of Allah (saw) cause boiling resulting in real action, so that all believed and the Islamic State grew until it engulfed the whole of the Arabian Peninsula from where it carried its Message to the world.
We ought to adopt the carrying of the da‘wah and the work towards resuming the Islamic way of life as our method to establish the Islamic State. We ought to consider, also, all the Muslim countries as one single society and as a target for the da‘wah. We must, however, concentrate our scope of work to one province or specific provinces where we undertake to educate people with Islam so that it springs to life within themselves and so that they live by it and for it, and we ought to create public opinion by Islam and for Islam so that a response is generated between the carriers of the da‘wah and society, a response which would be fruitful, effective and moving, and which would be able to transform the da‘wah into interaction and result in output. Interaction of this nature would be translated into a struggle aimed at establishing the Islamic State, which emanates from the Ummah, in that part of the Islamic world. The da‘wah would then have developed from being an idea in the mind to existing in society, and from a popular movement to a State. By then it would have concluded its stages and moved from the starting point to the launching point, and then to the point of support where it would be rooted in the State, which fulfills all elements of the State and the strength of the da‘wah. Then the practical task, which Shari’ah commands the State and the Muslims who live outside its authority to fulfill, will have begun. The duty of the State would be to rule comprehensively by that which Allah (swt) has revealed and to make the merging of the other provinces with it or its merger with the other provinces part of its home policies. It would therefore initiate the conveying of the da‘wah and the call for the resumption of the Islamic way of life all over the other provinces. It would lift the imaginary political borders which the colonialists drew up between them and who were responsible for making the rulers of those provinces the watchdogs of the borders. The State must therefore remove and cancel the borders even if the other provinces choose not to follow suit. Visas would be canceled, so would the customs checkpoints, and its doors would be left wide open to the citizens of the other provinces. This would make the citizens of the other Muslim provinces feel that this State was indeed an Islamic State, and it would make them witness the implementation and the execution of the Islamic rule. As for the duty of the Muslims, they should work towards turning their land where Islam is not implemented, and which is considered as Dar al-Kufr, into Dar al-Islam. This would be achieved by aiming to merge their household with the Islamic State by means of da‘wah and publicity. This would ensure that the whole of the society within the Islamic world had reached boiling point, which would drive it towards the right action and which would ensure in turn the unification of all the Muslims under the one State. Thus, the greater Islamic State would be established, and so the Islamic State, which represents a universal intellectual leadership, will have come back into existence. By then it will have gained its stature and the weight necessary to enable her to convey its Message and to work towards saving the world from the evils it has been plunged into.
If the Muslim Ummah, had in the past, lived in a country which did not stretch beyond the Arabian Peninsula, and which at that time numbered only a few millions, and despite that when she embraced Islam and carried its Message she represented a world superpower in the face of the two major camps at the time, whereupon she struck them both simultaneously, conquered their lands and spread Islam over almost the whole of the inhabited parts of the world at that time, then what are we to say about the Ummah today - numbering more than one billion, spread over countries that are geographically linked together - if she were a single country, stretching from Marrakesh to India right up to Indonesia, occupying the best part of the world in terms of resources and strategic points, and carrying a single ideology which is the only correct ideology in the world? She would undoubtedly form a front which would be stronger than the two present camps put together, in every domain.
It is therefore the duty of every Muslim to work from this moment on in order to establish the greater Islamic State which would convey the Message of Islam to the world. Ones work should start by carrying the Islamic da‘wah with the aim of resuming the Islamic way of life in all the Muslim countries; concentrating ones practical scope in one country or some selected ones in order to achieve the point of support so that this serious task can be resumed. Such a cause with its high objective, which the Muslim should aim to achieve by treading this practical and clear path and which he must follow, should be worth enduring all types of hardship and should be worth sparing no effort for. One should rely on Allah’s help, seeking no reward for it except to gain the pleasure of Allah (swt).
Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil a’alameen.