بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Capitalism has Imposed Upon Us the Choice of Either Coronavirus Disease or Hunger through Lock Down, yet Muslim Rulers Persist in its Implementation, Rather than Ruling by Islam
Even with concessions for some industries, the complete national lock down in Pakistan, as a response to the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, has itself become a huge burden upon the masses. It is being said that Muslims now face a choice of either hunger, through lock down, or the disease, through its rapid spread. So, on the one hand Muslims are witnessing the rapid spread of the infection. However, on the other hand, Muslims are suffering from increased poverty, hardship, collapse of businesses, closing of factories and unemployment.
Indeed, choosing between hunger and the virus is now a world-wide dilemma. Western states face pressure to end, or lessen, the national lock downs, to ease economic suffering of the people. Globally, the lock downs have shut down entire sectors of economies, thrown millions of people out of work, cost trillions of dollars in losses and forced capitalist states to provide massive bail out packages, to steady the crumbling economy. On the other hand, the cases of Coronavirus disease have reached nearly two million, whilst deaths have surged passed 100,000, creating fear and panic throughout the world.
Globally, the confidence in Capitalism, as an ideology that can take care of humankind, has been shaken around the world. Even within the Western capitalist states, people are shaken by the failure of capitalist states to protect them from disease and hunger.
Regarding the viral outbreak, Islam itself has provided clear guidance on how to effectively minimize both the medical harm and the economic hardship. Moreover, strict adherence to Islam ensures that the disease outbreak is controlled, without ever having to take the drastic step of national lock down.
Islam obliges quarantine of the geographical area where the outbreak begins. RasulAllah ﷺ, «إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِالطَّاعُونِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلَا تَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا» “If you get wind of the outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it breaks out in a land in which you are, do not leave it.” [Bukhari] Indeed, failure to quarantine, is a cause of great harm. In an attempt to hide the outbreak, China did not initially quarantine the region of the outbreak, Wuhan, allowing the virus to spread within China, as well as to many countries through international travel, including Iran, from where it spread to Pakistan. In the case of Pakistan, the local area of outbreak was Taftan, a border station for those who had visited the city of Qom in Iran, which had Chinese personnel from the Chinese Railways Corporation. Pakistan’s regime did not quarantine the Taftan area strictly, releasing the infected prematurely, thus allowing the disease to spread to all corners of the country. They also left air travel open for too long, as a route for the virus to enter into the country.
Moreover, around the world, capitalist states, that did not quarantine strictly and immediately, have suffered from large numbers of infected, diseased and dead. 430,000 traveled into the US from China, including from the area of the original outbreak, Wuhan, after China finally revealed the crisis. The United States had the world’s highest number of deaths from Covid-19, of at least 25,000, as of 14 April 2020, with 603,694 confirmed cases, close to a third of the world’s total.
Islam’s guidance regarding contagious disease is that the sick must be separated from the healthy. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «لاَ تُورِدُوا المُمْرِضَ عَلَى المُصِحِّ» “Do not put the diseased with the healthy.” [Bukhari]. The diseased must be kept far away from the healthy, or there must be physical barriers between them, or both. The state must provide assistance for effective isolation in homes, in isolation centers in localities and in hospitals. It is also upon the state to provide personal protective equipment for those dealing with the infected, wherever they are. Already Pakistan’s rulers are negligent, which has led to the spread of the virus within the communities, as well as within the medical staff.
Moreover, around the world, the capitalist states were neglectful in effectively isolating the diseased, allowing rapid spread within cities, as well as within hospitals, leading to the death of many health care workers.
Islam has also given guidance about the large numbers of silent carriers, who have the infection but not the disease, which led to the rapid and large outbreak. Islam obliges the state to be a caring guardian for the affairs of the people. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ، وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، فَالأَمِيرُ الَّذِي عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ» “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. The Amir of a people is a shepherd and he is responsible for his flock.” [Bukhari, Muslim] So, the state can undertake mass testing, to the order of millions of tests in a country the size of Pakistan, so as to detect the silent carriers in time. The state can then isolate the infectious and effectively trace their contacts, paying particular attention to those with weak immunity, such as the elderly, or those with certain diseases, such as asthma and diabetes. The state can also provide masks and anti-viral cleaning materials to reduce the spread. The state can educate the people about maintaining safe distances between each other, when it is needed, to prevent the spread of the disease, rather than using force or inducing panic.
In this way, Islam ensures that the state minimizes the outbreak from the beginning, controlling it as it rises and preventing it from overwhelming the country, to the point that it forces a complete lock down, as has occurred in many capitalist states, including the United States. Indeed, the complete lock down only adds to the problem of the virus, by creating the problem of worsening hunger. So, adhering to Islam ensures that life can continue, allowing Muslims to fulfill all the Islamic obligations, with precautions in place, such as earning, providing for the family, seeking education and performing Salah in congregation in the Masajid.
As for the matter of providing sufficient funds to manage such outbreaks, Islam is superior to Capitalism, the current man-made system that dominates the world. Indeed, the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak has exposed the flawed and fragile nature of the capitalist economies. Capitalism has ensured that the majority of the wealth of the country is concentrated in the hands of a small minority. It is this fact that made even the Western capitalist states fall short of their obligations to their citizens, with the situation being far worse in Pakistan. Indeed, Capitalism itself is a burden upon humanity, forcing it to choose between hunger and the virus.
Allah (swt) said, كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاء مِنكُمْ “so that it (wealth) may not merely circulate between the rich among you” [Al-Hashr 59:7]. Uniquely, Islam rejects the capitalist growth based economic model, which focuses on production, through an economic model, which focuses on distribution and circulation of wealth.
So as not to compromise on essentials, such as health spending, Islam ensures plentiful revenues for the state, by the state’s dominance of the capital intensive industries, including large scale manufacturing. The blessed Sunnah of RasulAllah ﷺ established the ‘Inaan, Abdaan and Mudarabah company structures that naturally limit the scale of capital available to the private sector, limiting its ability to own the capital intensive industries that need massive bailouts, in times of crisis. Islam ensures that the revenue generated by the energy sector and minerals is spent upon the entire public, rather than benefiting a few, through privatization. Indeed, the blessed Sunnah of RasulAllah ﷺ mandated that energy and mineral resources are public property, whose benefit is for the affairs of the public. Islam also rejects the sin of interest based debt, whether in the form of foreign loans or domestic treasury bonds. The grave sin of interest is the origin of the huge national debts around the world and, in the ca se of Pakistan, most of its budget is spent on interest based debt.
So instead of wasting revenues on paying interest based debt, the state is capable to fulfil the obligations of the people, both in crisis and in normal times. Indeed, Islam did not leave hunger or disease as a choice, for it is an obligation on the state to address both the disease and the hunger. The blessed Sunnah of RasulAllah ﷺ established both health care and provision of needs as duties of the state. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مِنْكُمْ آمِنًا فِي سِرْبِهِ، مُعَافًى فِي جَسَدِهِ، عِنْدَهُ قُوتُ يَوْمِهِ، فَكَأَنَّمَا حِيزَتْ لَهُ الدُّنْيَا» “Whoever begins his day feeling family security and good health; and possessing provision for his day is as though he possessed the world.” [At-Tirmidhi]
As for providing robust healthcare, with large reserve capacities for emergencies, the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak has exposed the fragile nature of the capitalist health systems. Capitalism has imposed limitations on the capacity of healthcare, by insisting on large profits and no losses, both in private and state health care. However, Islam regards the state as a guardian and securing the health of the citizens as an obligation that it must fulfill. Muslim reported from Jabir (ra) who said«بَعَثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم إِلَى أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ طَبِيبًا فَقَطَعَ مِنْهُ عِرْقًا ثُمَّ كَوَاهُ عَلَيْهِ» “Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent a physician to Ubay b. Ka’b. He cut the vein and then cauterized it.” In his capacity as a ruler, RasulAllah ﷺ sent a doctor to Ubay, which is an evidence that health and medical care are from the essential needs of the citizens, that the State must make sure are readily available for whoever needs them, free of cost.
So in Islam, the state must provide sufficient volumes of locally produced medical equipment, including ventilators and protective equipment. The state must establish research institutions, to examine all means to improve the immunity to infection, whether through nutrition, exercise or medicine, in all its forms, including herbs and vitamin supplements. The state must also study the likelihood of populations developing natural herd immunity to particular infectious outbreaks, as well as the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
Islam did not only provide guidance for minimizing the harm to health and the financial hardship from infectious outbreaks, it also gave guidance as to how Muslims are to regard any loss of life, during such outbreaks. Bukhari narrated from the Mother of the Believers, Aisha (ra), the wife of RasulAllah ﷺ, that she said “I asked Allah’s Messenger ﷺ about the plague. He told me that: «أَنَّهُ عَذَابٌ يَبْعَثُهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ جَعَلَهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَقَعُ الطَّاعُونُ فَيَمْكُثُ فِي بَلَدِهِ صَابِراً مُحْتَسِباً يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ لَا يُصِيبُهُ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ شَهِيدٍ» “It was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom He wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his area patiently hoping for Allah’s Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr.’” So far from drowning in panic and fear, Muslims are patient in their trial, expectant of reward and constant in Dua to the Lord of the Worlds, Allah (swt), for His (swt) Help to relieve the trial.
O Muslims of Pakistan in General and Our Noble Sons in the Armed Forces in Particular!
Through one of the smallest of His (swt) creations, Allah (swt) has exposed to all of humanity the failings and falsehood of the man-made law of Capitalism, whether it is adopted in the East, by China, or in the West, by the United States. The stage is set for the best Ummah brought forwards to humankind, the Islamic Ummah, to provide guidance to humankind, by implementing all that Allah (swt) has revealed.
RasulAllah ﷺ said, «اَلْإِسْلَامِ يَعْلُو وَلَا يُعْلَى» “Islam is superior and can never be surpassed.” [Ad-Daraqutni]. Indeed, our great Deen, the Deen of Truth, Islam, is superior to all man-made ways of life, including Capitalism, which has had its day. Islam is revealed from Allah (swt) and provides superior guidance and clarification for every human problem. The world has seen the failure of Capitalism practically, even within its standard bearers, the Western states, including the United States. The world is more than ready to see Islam implemented, practically by the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood.
However, rather than implementing Islam, the rulers of Pakistan merely imitate what they see their Western allies do, without consideration of the flaws and frailty of the man-made systems, compared to the perfection and strength of the divine laws. Allah (swt) said, مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ كَمَثَلِ الْعَنكَبُوتِ اتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنْكَبُوتِ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ “The likeness of those who take (false deities as) Auliyâ’ (protectors, helpers) other than Allâh is the likeness of a spider who builds (for itself) a house; but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider’s house – if they but knew.” [Surah al-Ankabut 29:41] The bankrupt rulers of Muslims blindly follow the rulings, values and policies of the kufr system, Capitalism, even though RasulAllah ﷺ warned, «لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سُنَّةَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بَاعًا بِبَاعٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ وَشِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ حَتَّى لَوْ دَخَلُوا فِي جُحْرِ ضَبٍّ لَدَخَلْتُمْ فِيهِ» “You will most certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, arm’s length by arm’s length, forearm’s length by forearm’s length, hand span by hand span, until even if they entered a hole of a mastigure (lizard) you will enter it too.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He ﷺ said, «فَمَنْ إِذًا؟» “Who else?” [Ibn Majah].
There is no hope in the rulers of Pakistan, to either lead us or present the shining example of Islam to humanity in its hour of need. The blessed month of Ramadhan, with its abundant favors, is indeed the time for us all to strive for the re-establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood, by calling for it, in the case of the common Muslim, and by granting the Nussrah to Hizb ut Tahrir for its immediate implementation, in the case of the Muslims in the armed forces. Let us strive for the pleasure of Allah (swt), seeking His (swt) Victory, so that the superiority of the Deen of Allah (swt) is established clearly and practically for every soul to see, paving the way for humanity’s acceptance of Islam in huge numbers, as occurred after the Conquest of Makkah by the Islamic State of Madinah, during the blessed month of Ramadhan. Allah (swt) said, إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ * وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا * فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا “When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest- And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes- Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance.” [Surah an-Nasr 110: 1-3]
Hizb ut Tahrir Wilayah Pakistan
22 Sha’ban 1441 AH
15 April 2020 CE