The 3rd March 2010 was the 86th anniversary of the destruction of the Khilafah. After tasting the bitter fruits of socialism in the 1950’s and then the mirage of independence throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, the situation of the Ummah across the world remains the same if not worse. As a result, the problems the Ummah faces have ballooned into many other issues.
The Ummah faces a number of challenges since the destruction of the Khilafah that would need to be overcome for change. Challenges such as poverty, development, healthcare as well as sustainable economic growth, distribution of wealth and industrial development have for long been the centre of debate and discussion between policy makers, intellectuals and government ministers. Unfortunately such a debate has skewed the discussion of change, and whilst many material obstacles need to be overcome by the Ummah, change from some perspectives remains a physiological barrier rather than material i.e. do the Ummah believe change is possible.
The birth of any nation would require those who espoused change and those that participated in its emergence to ascertain the nation’s strengths and advantages. Those elements considered necessary but absent would need the development of policies so they can be overcome.
Otto Van Bismarck oversaw German unification which set the nation on the path to industrial supremacy. Beginning in 1884, Germany established several colonies outside of Europe in order to overcome its shortage of mineral resources. Bismarck managed to achieve unification of the German lands which many had attempted for nearly a thousand years. Such unification meant German resources and minerals could all follow one unified policy and for once Germany could be domestically developed without facing any secessionist calls.
Similarly Japan by the turn of the 20th century had managed to develop its industries. However the rapid growth of the economy had made Japan painfully aware of its limited natural resources. Japan overcame such disadvantages through a programme of aggressive territorial expansion through conquering the Korean peninsula and surging deep into China in order to exploit labour and resources. In a similar manner the British Empire conquered foreign territories for export markets and utilised slave labour to overcome small workforce.
These examples show that all nations need some very basic ingredients to emerge as a powerful states and ones that can very quickly establish a prosperous standard of living for its people with secure borders. The development of infrastructure, defence industries and energy are fundamental for any nation, the possession of mineral resources would therefore be a strategic strength and a huge advantage for the emergence of a nation. The examples of Germany and Japan are examples of societies – rightly or wrongly, who overcame shortages of the key building blocks for a new nation.
When one looks at the potential of the Muslim Ummah, the Muslim lands do not just posses the key building blocks for a new nation, but over a beyond this reality the Khilafah would emerge a very powerful state due to the many strengths it will inherit that are present in the Muslim lands.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
الَر كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
“Alif. Lam. Ra. This is a book which we have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that you might bring mankind out of darkness into the light by the permission of their Lord – to the path of the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy.” [Ibrahim, 14:1]
The propagation of Islam is achieved through projecting an image of strength globally, so that those who have designs on the Ummah should consider the existence of its deterrent force so powerful as to render success in an attack too doubtful to be worthwhile.
And Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدْوَّ اللّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تُظْلَمُونَ
“And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah’s way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [Al-Anfal: 60]
All of this makes it essential for the Khilafah to field an advanced military and have a strong manufacturing base.
The Muslim Ummah collectively possesses over 700 billion barrels of oil and half of the world’s gas. Both the worlds key energy sources. It is for this reason the Muslim countries produce half of the world’s daily oil requirement and 30% of the world’s gas needs. Alongside this Saudi Arabia posses the worlds largest oil field, whilst Qatar and Iran posses the worlds largest gas field.
The Ummah globally number 1.6 billion, more importantly over 60% of the Ummah is below the age of 28. The importance of a large population is critical for domestic economic development and defence. The absence of a large pool of labour means the nation cannot be constructed or in many cases would take decades before it was able to become self sufficient. On the emergence of the Khilafah for the defence of its borders the Khaleef will have the capability to deploy armed forces of over 4 million personnel.
Alongside this the Ummah will inherit many of advantages. The geographical distribution of the Ummah and the Muslim lands means some of the world’s key strategic waterways and airspace will be Islamic periphery. 40% of the world’s oil passes through the Straits of Hormuz waterway that straddles between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf in the southwest. This fact alone makes it the most important waterway in the world. The Suez Canal is considered one of the world’s most important waterways as it links Asian markets to the Mediterranean and Europe. 7.5% of global sea trade transits the canal. Similarly the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم ensured that key trade routes in the Hijaz were under Islamic control, which severely weakened the enemies of Islam to manoeuvre and weaken the Ummah.
Whilst many in the Ummah live in severe poverty, this by no means is due to the absence of agriculture in the Muslim lands. In fact the facts on ground, with the right polices will make the Khilafah the worlds bread basket. Egyptian agriculture takes place in some 6 million acres of fertile soil in the Nile Valley and Delta, It has made Egypt amongst the worlds largest agricultural producers and is the worlds largest producer of dates, second largest producer of geese meat and the worlds third largest producer of buffalo and camel meat. Pakistan’s not only irrigates more land than the whole of Europe combined, but Pakistan is also the world’s largest producer of ghee (Clarified Butter), the 2nd largest producer of chickpeas, buffalo meat and milk, the 3rd largest producer of Okra vegetables, the 4th largest producer of apricot, cotton, goat’s milk and mangos and the 5th largest producer of onion and sugar cane. At the same time Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnut, fig, apricot, cherry, quince and pomegranate. The Ummah already before the Khilafah is the world’s breadbasket.
The Muslim lands also posses the world’s largest aluminium smelter in Bahrain, critical for industrialisation, the worlds largest open pit Gold Mine in Uzbekistan’s Qizilqum Desert, the worlds largest aluminium plant in Tajikistan, the world largest coal field in the Thar dessert in Pakistan and the worlds largest producer of tin – Indonesia.
The real question that needs to be asked is how is it possible for a people so rich and so plentiful in resources, to be so poor in reality? There is only reason for this and that is the rulers over the Muslim lands have never had any intention of making the right use of such huge wealth for their people. The Muslim lands posses all the necessary ingredients to take its own destiny into its own hands; it now just needs a ruler who fulfils the destiny of the Ummah. The Ummah has no need to colonise other peoples or engage in territorial expansion as Germany and Japan and the British Empire did, as it has all the necessary ingredients within its own borders.