[اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُواْ بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ]
“Remember My favours upon you. Fulfil your covenant and I will fulfil Mine, and stand in awe of Me alone.” [Al-Baqarah 40]
The month of Ramadan is a time to renew and refresh our covenant with our Rabb. Covenant (عهد) means both an oath and a firm promise. The oath (يَمِين) is directly related to faith (Iman-إِيمان) and constitutes the morality (ahlaq) of a Muslim. Iman is also a kind of contract. It means making a promise to stick to the Tawhid between the Creator and the servant, and to say “LA” (NO) to and make Jihad against all forms of Shaytan. Making a covenant with Allah – like any other covenant – can only occur by free will. Every promise and covenant, whether it is made with Allah or humans, means “to keep one’s promises, to stick to one’s promises, to be true in essence and word”; that is, to be faithful or to obey the covenant -wafa’ (وفاء)-, which the Qur’an has defined as one of the most important principles of Islamic morality. Moreover, truth (wafa’) is the key to removing humiliation and attaining dignity to achieving liberation from oppression and progress.
Wafa to the covenant (وفاء لِلعَهْدِ) or fulfilling the promise constitutes the basic principle of every contract. It is also the oldest principle of international law (Latin: Pacta Sunt Servanda – “agreements must be kept”), and without this principle, treaties would be neither binding nor enforceable. Pacta Sunt Servanda is based on the fact that states have voluntarily accepted the rules of the treaties they have signed, and it is at the top of the hierarchy of norms. In other words, all states consider in their general law that international conventions are the highest force. According to this principle, the parties to the contract abide by the provisions of the contract as if they had obeyed a provision of law.
In Islamic law, the term “aqd” (for contract, treaty) in the Quranic verses and the Sunnah comprises the covenant between Allah and His servants, among the servants themselves, the Islamic state and its subjects, as well as other nations and states. For example, the term “Ahlu’l-ahd” (أهل العَهْدِ) has often be used in place of the term ʾahl dhimmah (أهل الذمة) for non-Muslims living under the rule and legal protection of the Islamic state.
Allah (swt) orders in His Verse;
[يَٓا اَيُّهَا الَّذ۪ينَ اٰمَنُٓوا اَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ]
“O believers! Honour your obligations (Keep your promises)…” [Al-Ma’idah: 1].
The believer, who strives to be loyal to his Rabb, must of course also be loyal to His Messenger Muhammad (saw). Loyalty to our Lord without loyalty to the Messenger (saw) will never materialise. The Messenger’s (saw) clearly determined goal was to make the Message of Allah dominant over the world:,
«يَا عَمّ، وَاَللّهِ لَوْ وَضَعُوا الشّمْسَ فِي يَمِينِي، وَالْقَمَرَ فِي يَسَارِي عَلَى أَنْ أَتْرُكَ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ حَتّى يُظْهِرَهُ اللّهُ أَوْ أَهْلِكَ فِيهِ مَا تَرَكْتُهُ»
“O, Uncle! by Allah, even if they placed the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left, I will not abandon this work until either Allah makes this deen the dominant one or I perish on this path.”
So, without loyalty to the Messenger, there is no loyalty to the Rabb; thus there is nothing to expect from our Rabb! For Allah (swt), defines disloyalty as deception against the Lord, who is abundant in benevolence. In this case, our Lord will not fulfil His part to us, whereas our Rabb has promised to make us successors in the land, and to surely change our fear into security (see Surah An-Nur 55).
It was precisely this disloyalty that made Allah (swt) to curse the Jews and Christians. That is because they have not fulfilled their promise to Allah, broke their covenants, or forgot some of their promises, and embraced this behaviour as a habit.
Therefore, no matter how many loyal individuals are there in a society, it is impossible for the society to attain the peace, security, trust and dignity promised by Allah (swt), as long as those, responsible for the affairs of that society, are not loyal. That moment, where fulfilling the promise to Allah was invalidated, and instead agreements and contracts with the kuffar and their kufr systems were considered superior to the values, rules and laws of Islam and the lifestyle of the Muslims, that moment our Rabb ceased to respond to our invocations. Bowing to the international conventions of the Kuffar, their imposed governing systems, their national borders, ideas and ideologies are seen as ignoring the favor of our Lord, and not fearing Him anymore. In the end, this is exactly what secularism and democracy mean and aim at.
For this reason, the rulers who ignored their covenant with Allah (swt) and preferred covenants and agreements with others than Allah turned into intolerant and merciless puppets against Islam and the Ummah. From the Saudis at the Kaaba to the rulers in Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey, all of the rulers across our Islamic lands have adopted disloyalty as a basic principle for themselves and their policies. They not only divided the Ummah, but they distorted and destroyed all the values and concepts that constitute the identity of the Ummah, replaced them with Western values and concepts of unbelief, and declared the halal to haram and the haram to halal. They hocked our material wealth and income sources through institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, and doomed the Ummah to the sustainable poverty policies of the colonialists. They subcontracted the Anglo-American wars of exploitation and killed Muslims with their own hands. Instead of putting an end to the wars and occupations, they joined the policies that strengthened the invaders and condemned the Muslim people to a life of displacement. Instead of protecting the Muslims who asked for sanctity from them, they served them to the tables of racists and enemies of Islam, and extradited them to their henchmen in accordance with the international conventions they agreed on. For the sake of the survival of the colonialists, they sold the Islamic culture of our future generations, and eventually their faith and their morals through international conventions.
Alongside this, there occurred parties, communities and groups who promised to end oppression, using heroic slogans that excited the Islamic sentiments of the Muslims, whilst adopting non-Islamic ideologies and resorting to astray ways. These not only destroyed the natural unity of the Ummah, but also undermined its trust in Islam and in each other. They instilled despair towards Allah’s promise, disdain for death and love of worldly life in the hearts of the Muslims, thereby strengthening un-Islamic regimes, and further intensifying division and disorganization and helplessness in the face of the kuffar.
This is the reason why there is no end to our calamities, despite we value morality and sincerity so high! This is why our Ramadans still come and leave with pain and suffering, although over centuries they had been the time of greater gains and victories for the Muslims!
Yes, without a doubt, Ramadan is the month of Qur’an. That Qur’an is the written form of our covenant with our Rabb. Reciting the Qur’an means remembering and refreshing our covenant, not to line up its letters and verses in quick succession. Reciting the Qur’an is to implement the necessary formula for the guidance into light out of darkness. It is to work at the cost of our lives to make the Qur’an and Sunnah dominate the world. Yet, neglecting “enjoining the good and forbidding the evil” in face of the disloyalty of the rulers is another breach of the covenant. Wafa to the covenant (وفاء لِلعَهْدِ) is to our Lord, Who created us, not to the covenants of corruption invented by the kuffar.
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir