Concepts, Featured, Islamic Culture, Rajab 1442, Side Feature

Debunking Myths About the Khilafah Myth Three: “It’s a Barbaric State!”

“They established great traditions of just tolerance. They inspire people with a spirit of generosity and tolerance, and are humanitarian and practical. They created a humane community in which it was rare to see cruelty and social injustice, unlike any community that came before it.” English writer, H. G. Wells, writing on the application of justice by the Khilafah

• Justice, mercy and compassion are fundamental principles of Islamic governance under the Khilafah, as well as uprooting all forms of oppression. This is manifest in the Islamic laws, and its domestic and foreign policy.

• The Qur’an states:

(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ لِلّهِ شُهَدَاء بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ)

“O you who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to God and witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to being God conscious. Be mindful of God: Indeed God is well acquainted with all that you do.” [Al-Maeda: 8].

• The Qur’an states:

(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقَيرًا فَاللّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا)

“O you who believe, be persistent in standing firm in justice and bear witness to Allah, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, lest you not be just. And if you distort (your testimony) or refuse (to give it), then Allah is fully aware of what you do.” [An-Nisa: 135].

• Khalifah Ali ibn Abu Talib (ra) took a Jewish man to court when he found him with his armour which he had lost. Ali (ra) said to the judge – “This is my armor and I have not sold it nor given it away.” The judge said to Ali, “O leader of the believers, do you have proof?” Ali (ra) replied that he did not have proof. So the judge ruled in favour of the Jew. The Jewish man was astonished and responded, “As for me, I testify that this is the judgment of the Prophets. The leader of the believers himself takes me to his judge and the judge rules against him! I testify that there is no God except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” …becoming Muslim, and saying, “By Allah, the armor is yours, O leader of the believers. I followed the army when you were on your way to the Battle of Siffin and the armor fell from your equipment.” (Al-Bidayah wa-Nihayah 11/107-Ibn Kathir)

• Abu Bakrah reported: Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA), the Khalifah of the Muslims, passed by the door of some people, over which was an old blind man asking for charity. Umar tapped him on the shoulder from behind and he said, “From which people of the Book are you?” The man said, “I am a Jew.” Umar said, “What has forced you into what I see here?” The man said, “I am begging so I can pay tribute, for my needs and my old age.” Umar took him by the hand, lead him to his house, and offered him something from his own house. Then, he sent him to the public treasury and he said, “Look at this man and his tribute! By Allah, we have not been fair to him that we have taken tribute from him in his youth and then abandoned him in old age, (إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ) ‘Verily, charity is for the poor and the needy’ [At-Taubah: 60]. The poor are the Muslims and this man is among the needy from the people of the Book.” And Umar exempted him from paying tribute. (From al-Kharraj li-Abi Yusuf 1/139)

• In 1492, under the Khilafah, Sultan Bayezid II sent his entire naval fleet to rescue 150,000 European Jews who were being persecuted by the Christian rulers of Spain during the Spanish Inquisition and settled them in the lands of the Khilafah, treating them as equal citizens, and allowing them to prosper under Islamic rule. He also sent out edicts throughout the state that the refugees were to be welcomed. In his proclamation, the Khalifah told the Jews that it was Allah (swt)’s Command to take care of them, to see that they had food to eat and to take them under his protection.

• ‘Bernard the Wise’, a Christian pilgrim monk, visited Egypt and Palestine in the reign of the Abbasid Khalifah al-Mu’tazz (866-9 CE), and he had the following to say: “…the Christians and the Pagans [i.e. Muslims] have this kind of peace between them there that if I was going on a journey, and on the way the camel or donkey which bore my poor luggage were to die, and I was to abandon all my goods without any guardian, and go to the city for another pack animal, when I came back, I would find all my property uninjured: such is the peace there.” (Christopher J. Walker, Islam and the West)

• How the Khilafah aided the Irish during the famine of 1845: In 1845, the onset of the Great Irish Famine resulted in over a million deaths. Ottoman Sultan Khaleefah Abdul-Majid I declared his intention to send 10,000 sterling to Irish farmers but Queen Victoria requested that the Sultan send only 1,000 sterling, because she had sent only 2,000 sterling herself. The Sultan sent the 1,000 sterling but also secretly sent 3 ships full of food. The English courts tried to block the ships, but the food arrived in Drogheda harbour and was left there by Ottoman Sailors. This was a purely humanitarian act performed by the Khilafah to help those in need, driven by devotion to God, for it asked for nothing in return. (Note: In 1845, the 10,000 pounds dedicated to the Irish from the Sultan would be worth approximately 800,000 pounds today, that is $1,683,280 US Dollars.)

• Article 164 of Hizb ut Tahrir’s Draft Constitution of the Khilafah State, states that the Khilafah must, “provide all health services free of charge to all”. In its Introduction to the Constitution, Hizb ut Tahrir has adopted the following: “Health and medical care is from the obligations of the State such that they must be readily available for the citizens, from the angle of clinics and hospitals, and public utilities…in accordance with the words of the Messenger:

«الإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ» “The Imam (ruler) is a guardian, and responsible (and will be questioned) for his subjects.” (reported by Al-Bukhari from Abdullah Bin Umar). This text is general regarding the responsibility of the State for health and medical care since it is part of the obligatory responsibilities of the State… In his capacity as a ruler, the Messenger sent a doctor to Ubay, and Umar (ra), the second righteous Khalifah, called a doctor for Aslam to treat him, which are two evidences that health and medical care is from the essential needs of the citizens that the State must make sure is readily available for whoever needs them.”

• The constitution of the al-Mansuri Hospital in Egypt, completed in 1248CE, under the rule of the Khilafah read: “It’s [the hospital’s] duty is to give care to the ill, poor, men and women until they recover. It is at the service of the powerful and the weak, the poor and the rich, of the subject and the prince, of the citizen and the brigand, without demand for any form of payment, but only for the sake of God, the Provider.” “The constitution upon which al-Mansuri Hospital was established” – From “1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World”

• “Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and cooperation. No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of mankind…Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both.” (Hamilton A. R. Gibb, Scottish Historian on Orientalism in his book ‘Whither Islam’)


Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir