Concepts, Featured, Islamic Culture

Islam is a Thought (فكرة) and a Method (طريقة)

Allah (swt) said, الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا “This day I have perfected for you your Deen and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” [Surah al-Baqrah 5:3] During the decline of Muslims, the concept of Deen amongst the Muslims took on the Western understanding, which is priesthood.

This is because the secularism brought by the Western philosophers revolted against the priests, specifically the Christian clergy. After a compromise solution between the clergy and the philosophers, they came to separate the priesthood or the clergy from life. Thus, they separated the laws, which the clergy falsely enacted in the name of God from taking care of the affairs of the people. Hence, secularism separated the laws of the priesthood from the life of people. However, the concept of the Deen (الدين) in Islam is completely different from that in the rest of religions, which were distorted by the priests in the favor of kings, who were enslaving people in the name of religion. Hence the Islamic Deen does not have priesthood; indeed, it is far from it. Islam is an ideology based on a Creed ( عقيدةAqeedah) which convinces the mind and is compatible with the innate nature of man (Fitrah). It is based on a set of Islamic Legal Rulings (احكام شرعية Ahkam Shariah) that treat the problems of the humans in their capacity as human beings. These Islamic Legal Rulings (احكام شرعية Ahkam Shariah) are comprehensive, covering all aspects of life, which are a panacea and correct treatments for all people’s problems, regardless of the place or the age.

The description of Islam being an ideology based on a Creed from which emanate a system of life means that Islam is a Thought (فكرة) and a Method (طريقة). Islam is not a rigid set of laws, do’s and don’ts, which precede the era or lag behind it. Instead, Islam has practical rulings that are applicable for all eras and places and upon every human lineage, be it Arab or non-Arab, black or white, olive or ruddy. Thus, Islam was revealed to humans in their characteristic of being human and this ideology was revealed by the Creator (swt) of humans, Allah (swt). Allah (swt) knows both what is appropriate and inappropriate for humanity. Allah (swt) said,  أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ Does He who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted?” [Surah al-Mulk 67:14]

Thus Islam is a Thought (فكرة), a Creed ( عقيدةAqeedah)  and Islamic Legal Rulings (احكام شرعية Ahkam Shariah). And Islam is a Method (طريقة), which comprises of Islamic Legal Rulings (احكام شرعية Ahkam Shariah) that clarify how to implement the Aqeedah and Islamic Legal Rulings (احكام شرعية Ahkam Shariah). Thus, Allah (swt) commanded to have belief in His being Wajib ul Wujood (Indispensable for Existence واجبُ الوجـودِ) and in the Prophethood of Muhammed ﷺ, which are Rulings from Thought (فكرة).  He (swt) prohibited the Apostasy from Islam and commanded the carrying the Call of Islam to the world. Hence the Rulings that clarify the Manner (كيفية) of Implementation (تنفيذ) of the Commands (أوامر) and Prohibitions (نواهي) are of the Method (طريقة), such as the rulings of Apostasy, the Rulings of Jihad and the Rulings regarding the Arab and non-Arab Mushrikeen. Allah (swt) commanded Chastity (عفة) and forbade Adultery (زنا Zina), He (swt) commanded protection of private property and forbade stealing and He (swt) commanded protection of the soul and forbade killing, which are Rulings of Thought (فكرة). Hence the Rulings that clarify Manner of Implementation of the Commands and Prohibitions are of the Method, such as the punishment for Zina, the punishment for stealing and the execution of the killer. Allah (swt) commanded the establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) and forbade the Muslims to remain without establishing the Khilafah for more than three days. He (swt) commanded to establish judges who settle the disputes. He (swt) commanded to take care of the affairs of the Muslims and prohibited injustice, cheating in trade, monopoly and oppression. Thus the Rulings of the Method, that clarify the Manner of the Implementation of the Commands and Prohibitions are the Rulings of trading, judiciary, State Treasury (Bayt ul-Maal), Injustice in Ruling (Mudhalim) and Hisba (Prevention of fraud upon the public). Allah (swt) commanded to feed the poor and needy and prohibited allowing anyone to be hungry through need, which are Rulings from Thought (فكرة). Thus Rulings of the Method are those Rulings that provide wealth to the poor and prevent anyone from being hungry through poverty, such as the Rulings of Maintenance (Nafaqah), the Rulings of Zakat and the Rulings related to Bayt ul-Mal. This is how every Ruling that clarifies the Manner of Implementation of each Command from the Commands of Allah (swt), as well as each Prohibition form the Prohibitions of Allah (swt), is from the Method.

Thus, the Method comprises of Legal Rulings. It cannot be said that there is no specific Daleel (دليل) for the Decisive Request (طلب جازم) from the Legislator (الشارع) regarding the Obligation (وجوب) of Abiding (تقيد) to the Method (طريقة). The evidence for it are the evidences indicating the obligation of abiding to the known Legal Rulings. These evidences include the speech of Allah (swt), فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission”. [Surah an-Nisa’a 4:67]. And His saying,وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا  “And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from” [Surah Hashr 59:7] amongst other well-known evidences.

Allah (swt) did not reveal the Legal Rulings to treat problems just so that a man to implement these rulings as he wishes. Allah (swt) did not order, ‘Don’t steal,’ ‘Don’t do Zina’, ‘Don’t eat the food of others,’ ‘Don’t drink wine’ without specifying how to implement them. So, Allah (swt) ordered not to steal and also provided the Rulings that clarify how to implement this prohibition, which are the Rulings regarding stealing, plundering, robbery and usurping. Thus Allah (swt) has not only clarified all the Rulings that are necessary for a man in his life, but also clarified all the Rulings that are necessary to implement these rulings. Allah (swt) did not provide any Ruling, whether to treat the problems or how to implement these treatments, except that He (swt) has clarified them all. Hence, Islam is a Thought and Method; its Thought includes the Creed and Rulings that treat life’s problems, such as believing in the validity of Islam, Quran and Sunnah, and the invalidity of Disbelief (Kufr), as well as the rulings of trade, marriage, lease and Salah. As for the Method, it is comprised of Rulings that clarify on how to implement this Thought i.e. how to implement the Aqeedah and Legal Rulings, such as rulings of Jihad, spoils of war, al-Faie and apostasy, the rulings of punishments like Hudud, Janayat and Ta’zeer, and the rulings of Dawah, accounting the ruler, enjoining the Good and forbidding the Evil.

Adherence to the Method is an Obligation and non-adherence to it is a sin. And whoever does not adhere to the Method and takes another Method, whilst believing the non-validity of the other Method, this action is an action of disbelief, (may Allah protect us). So, whoever does not adhere to the rulings of Islam in its characteristic of being a Method for implementation, while believing in the non-validity of not adhering, such as the amputation of the hand of the thief, for instance, then he commits disbelief (Kufr). If he does not adhere to it out of laziness or leniency or similar, then this action of his is disobedience. And from here the rulings for rulers and judges come in terms of whether it is disbelief (Kufr) or disobedience, since ruling and judiciary are Methods. A judge who gives the verdict of detaining a thief and not amputating the hand should be looked at. If he gives that verdict without believing the correctness of amputating the hand of thief and its validity, then he commits disbelief (kufr) and apostatizes from Islam. If he gives that verdict due to submitting under to the wish of a ruler, while believing the correctness of amputating the hand of thief and its validity, then he commits sin. In both cases, he commits sin. The case is also similar for the rulers. Hence, Adherence to the Method i.e. the Rulings that clarify how to implement Rulings reaches the level of severity due to the saying of Allah (swt), فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge” [4:65]. It reaches the level of severity such that whoever does not believe, commits disbelief (Kufr) (May Allah protect us).

The propagation of Islam at a State level through a specific Method is Jihad, subduing the people by force to adhere to the Rulings of Islam after the land comes under the Islamic Rule. It is therefore the conflict of Muslims with other nations that is within the nature of Islam and consequently it is within the nature of Muslims. Moreover, the existence of the Sultan (Authority) or state represents the soul of a body, in the issue of Islam. The issue of Islam neither exists nor survives without authority. Without authority, neither will the light of Islam enlighten life, nor will Islam exist. The conflict which the Muslims enter with the other nations is an intellectual conflict, whose tool is material, whether it is in Jihad or subduing the people to the Rulings. Indeed, people will be called to Islam prominently during Jihad before the fighting starts. In the subjugation of people to the Rulings of Islam, punishment will be given only over obligations and prohibitions, and only after the declaration of the Rulings to the people and their familiarization of the Rulings. In either case, the authority itself leads the Ummah for Jihad and establishes the Hudood of Allah as an authority based on a Thought and proceeding according to the Thought. This authority proceeds by blending with the Thought, such that any distinction or separation from Thought is incorrect. Therefore, it is not easy for those who confront the Islamic authority to stand against it, as their confrontation is purely materialistic and their authority is a materialistic authority, whereas the Islamic struggle is an intellectual struggle whose tool is material and whose authority is an authority based on the Islamic Thought. This is the reason why Muslims always won the wars, though they lost in many battles. Perhaps, this reveals the secret of Muslims being commanded to stand against a force of that is ten times greater than their strength, which was eased for the Muslims by commanding them to stand against the force that is twice their greater strength. In fact, it is not permitted for the Muslims to be routed by a force that is double their strength. This is because the strength of Thought, upon which the authority is based and upon which the life of the individual is based is ten times greater and stronger than material strength. Hence the most important thing in this conflict of Muslims, which they must enter with the people, is the intellectual aspect upon which material strength is based, or in other words, the establishing the material strength upon Thought.

The people who entered into bloody conflict with the Muslims did not realize the extent of the power of Islamic Aqeedah i.e. the Thought in the material force. So they relied upon increasing their materialistic strength against the Muslim force to defeat the Muslims. However, despite their increasing strength, Muslims were victorious over them although Muslims were weak and small in numbers. Increasing material strength did not benefit these people in battlefields, and victory remained for the Muslims alone. This was the case of the Mushrikeen with RasulAllah ﷺ and his Companions (ra). This was also the case of the Romans and Persians with the Companions (ra) of the RasulAllah ﷺ. This was the case of all the disbelievers who entered into war with the Muslims throughout the era of Islamic ruling. Muslims lost in no more than twice during the Islamic era. Once was during the crusader war, where Muslims lost, although they returned to war, resumed fighting and finally were victorious. The second occasion was during the Nineteenth Century, where they were ultimately defeated in the First World War.

Today the whole world is trying to emancipate itself from Western hegemony. It is only natural for Muslims to try eradicate Western hegemony and challenge the Western interests in their lands.  However, will the world achieve the end of the Western hegemony? Will the Muslims eradicate the Western influence? What makes Muslims proceed in the correct path is their realization that their fundamental issue is not emancipation from Western hegemony alone. That in itself, is only a natural reaction, for man to resist hegemony and can never be content with slavery. The issue of Muslims is the issue of Islam alone, which is the propagation of Islam through Jihad and subduing the people by force to the Legal Rulings. The correct Method is to enter into conflict with all nations in terms of material conflict, bloody conflict, in order to spread Islam and subjugate the people to its Rulings. This is the correct Method and there is no Method for the Muslims other than this Method. There can be no Method for Muslims other than this, as they are Muslims. Therefore, there is no option for Muslims in this progression. Muslims are compelled to proceed in this if they want to remain as Muslims and to remain as an Islamic Ummah. This is because this conflict is not only within the nature of Muslims; it is in the nature of Islam itself.

However, entering into this conflict for the sake of the issue of Muslims will only come into being with an authority and it is not any authority, but only an Islamic authority. Thus, the Islamic authority must exist first to be followed by an immediate entry into material conflict with nations. Thus the work to establish the Islamic authority is an action for which the effort must be focused upon. This is because there is no issue of Muslims before its existence. There is no way to work for the issue or within the issue before its existence. In order to start work, rather to be able to work, it is necessary to restrict all efforts towards establishing this particular authority, the authority of Islam. The reality is that establishing the authority of Islam in the Muslim World is easier than establishing any authority, whether it is the nature of the authority as an authority, or the nature of an Islamic authority as an Islamic authority. As for the nature of the authority, the authority lies in the Ummah or in the strongest faction within it. Most people in the Islamic land are Muslims, so establishing an Islamic authority amongst them is easier than establishing any authority. As for the nature of the Islamic Authority, it is obligatory for a Muslim to stand before ten times greater force at the initiation of the authority, and then to stand before a twice greater force in any other prevailing case. If those who establish the authority are the minority in a land, then they are able to prevail over ten times their number. They are far more capable to establish an Islamic authority, than others who want to establish any other authority. Indeed, establishing the Islamic authority in the Islamic world is far more imminent than establishing any other authority. Therefore, we should remember the saying of Allah (swt),  وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّائَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفًا And if there are among you one hundred [who are]  steadfast, they will overcome a thousand ” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:65]. And His (swt) saying, إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ “If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred.” [Surah al-Anfaal 8:65].

In this way, Islam is based on the Aqeedah, from which a unique comprehensive system emanates that brings happiness to humankind and solves its problems. The great Islam has a Method of implementation, which is the Islamic State that rules by Islam. This great Islam will remain merely as a great ideology, unless it is implemented as a state by the Islamic Ummah, which is led by a political party that is knowledgeable of the Rulings of Islam. However, this party is in need of material strength to reach the position of ruling. The people of this strength are the people of Nussrah from amongst the armies of the Islamic world. These are the ones who realize the issue of Islam is the implementation of Islam in the affairs of the people and propagating Islam through a particular Method which is Jihad and subduing the people by force to abide by its rulings. The the material conflict with the people is through the Islamic authority. Without this Method, Muslims will neither liberate themselves from Western hegemony nor remove its interests amongst them. Furthermore, they will not remain as an Islamic Ummah. The people of power do not have the right to claim themselves as an Islamic force, whilst they turn their backs upon the Ummah and do not support the Deen of Allah (swt) by granting Nussrah to the party which holds the project of reviving the Ummah. Whilst turning their backs, they would have denied the cause of their existence in this life as servants of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) said, وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Surah adh-Dhariyaat 51:56]. Worshipping Allah (swt) is indivisible and so it is not permissible for an officer and soldier to worship Allah (swt) just by performing Salah, Fasting, Umrah, Hajj and Zakah, while he does not perform what is more obligatory than these, which is granting Nussrah to Islam, raising the banners of Islam and marching upon the face of the Earth through Jihad in the Path of Allah. Therefore, the responsibility has become attached to the shoulders of the people of Nussrah, until they perform Jihad in the Path of Allah (swt), by establishing Islam in ruling and carrying Islam as message, guidance and mercy to all of humankind. Allah (swt) said, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ تَنْصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنْصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ “O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.” [Surah Muhammad 47:7]


Bilal al-Muhajir – Pakistan