The recent sit in by thousands of Muslims in Faizabad, Pakistan has been viewed by some as an outpouring of rage against a government that has little, if any commitment to Islam. Over the last few weeks protests throughout Pakistan broke out in sympathy to the one in Faizabad. It seemed that the situation was spiralling out of the government’s control. To quell the protests the government asked the army to use physical force to clear the crowds- the military refused to do so.
Analysis by some suggested the protests were a way for of the military pressurising the civilian government. Others viewed the statements of the military stating that they would not employ force against their own people as laughable, considering the blood on their hands of their own people in the Frontier, Waziristan and other places. Whilst those of a more superficial understanding believed the military was simply acting in the best interests of the nation. The weakness of the government became apparent and illustrated the fact that it is not built upon the true sentiments of its people.
What is unequivocally clear is that the Muslims of Pakistan have a deep love for Islam, Allah (swt) and His Prophet ﷺ.
What Happened at Faizabad?
The whole crisis was sparked by moves to change the oath that is sworn by parliamentarians. The issue being the removal of reference to belief in the finality of the Prophet ﷺ. The movement Tehreek –e-Labbayk Ya Rasool Allah headed by Khadim Hussain Rizvi called a sit-in protest known as a dharna on November 6th 2017 to have this law revoked. Matters came to a conclusion on the 27th of November 2017. After 22 days, an agreement was made between the protestors and the government.
After initial attempts to pass the issue off as a “clerical” error, Zahid Hamid the Law Minister caved in to the protester’s demands and tendered his resignation. The government also agreed to retain the oath in its existing format in order to diffuse the crisis. There were a number of other clauses in the agreement including the need for a public enquiry headed by Raja Zafar ul Haq that would report within 30 days. Those that are named by the enquiry for bringing the changes to the oath would be held responsible and prosecuted under the existing laws.
Love for the Prophet ﷺ means following his way,
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Say if you love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.”
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا
“Whatever the Messenger gives you take it, and whatever he forbids you abstain from it.”
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
“Surely, in the Messenger of Allah, is the best example for those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah often.”
What the sit in at Faizabad proved was that many Muslims in Pakistan would sacrifice all for the Prophet ﷺ. Muslims need to be clear that not only is the finality of the prophethood of Rasool Allah ﷺ a life and death issue. The system of government he brought is an issue of the same gravity.
Abu Said Al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:«إِذَا بُويِعَ لِخَلِيفَتَيْنِ، فَاقْتُلُوا الْآخَرَ مِنْهُمَا» “If a Baya has been taken for two Khalifahs, kill the latter of them.”
This hadith indicates that the establishment of an Imam is life and death issue. If this is understood clearly then Muslims not only in Pakistan but the world over would call for the overthrow of regimes that are forced upon them. To be replaced by the form of government based upon the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.
Democracy is not the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ
Democracy is not from Islam; rather it is a system that is applied upon the Muslims by the colonial powers through their surrogates and stooges. It is democracy that has led to the change in the laws about blasephemy in Pakistan.
On 17th Sept 2017, the Pakistani government proudly stated how it promoted human rights based on liberal Western values in Pakistan.
“..As an example, it may be underscored that no sentence of a lower court in blasphemy laws (which are non-discriminatory) has been upheld by the higher courts and no one has been punished under these laws.” The US mission to the UN in Geneva on 13th Nov 2017 said: “The United States welcomes the Pakistani delegation to the UPR Working Group and recommends that Pakistan: 1-Repeal blasphemy laws and restrictions and end their use against Ahmadi Muslims and others and grant the visit request of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.”
It is democracy that empowers those who wish to implement other than the sunnah and therefore Muslims must not accept it as a system of government in their lands.
Authority Belongs to the Muslims in Pakistan
Some Muslims in Pakistan think that they are powerless to bring any change to their circumstances. The sit-in at Faizabad shows that this is clearly not the case. No government can resist the power of the public that it rules over. Its legitimacy is based upon acceptance by the people. This is why governments often attempt to manage the information that is given to the public. During the last days of the Faizabad protest the government imposed a media blackout and even blocked mobile phone networks so that the public were kept in the dark about what was happening – in case the resentment grew out of control and led the fall of the government.
The Shariah stipulated appointing a Khaleefah by the Ummah through the bay’ah, and also from the fact that the Khaleefah takes the authority by the bay’ah and he governs the Ummah on its behalf. And the fact that the Khaleefah takes the bay’ah is a clear proof that the actual authority is from the Ummah, who gives it to whom it sees fit.
To take charge of the situation and improve the poor condition that Muslims find themselves facing throughout the world, they must fortify their will to establish a state built upon the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ. Due to the overwhelming opinion that would exist the regimes would give way and the establishment of the Khilafah would become inevitable.
The Khilafah is the System of Government of the Prophet ﷺ
The current system in Pakistan is very far from the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ. The demand from the protesters in Faizabad needed to call for a far more meaningful change. The Pakistani system of government is based upon the legacy of British Colonialists with some flavouring from Islam. The finality of the Prophet ﷺ in the oath being one of these flavourings. Muslims must understand that they should feel that the whole system is an affront to the sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ. The following ahadith prove, if proof is needed, that the Khilafah system was the system of government that was left behind by our beloved Nabi ﷺ as the system of government.
Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hazim that he said: I accompanied Abu Hurayrah for five years, and heard him informing about the Prophet ﷺ, he said; «كَانَتْ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ تَسُوسُهُمُ الْأَنْبِيَاءُ كُلَّمَا هَلَكَ نَبِيُّ خَلَفَهُ نَبِيٌّ وَإِنَّهُ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي، وَسَيَكُونُ خُلَفَاءُ فَيَكْثُرُونَ» قَالُوا: فَمَا تَأْمُرُنَا؟ قَالَ: «فُوا بَيْعَةَ الْأَوَّلِ فَالْأَوَّلِ، أَعْطُوهُمْ حَقَّهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَائِلُهُمْ عَمَّا اسْتَرْعَاهُمْ» “‘The prophets ruled over the children of Israel, whenever a prophet died another prophet succeeded him, but there will be no prophet after me. There will soon be Khulafaa’ and they will number many.” They asked; “what then do you order us?” He said: “Fulfill the Bay’ah to them, one after the other and give them their dues for Allah will verily account them about what he entrusted them with.”
Muslim narrated from Al-Araj from Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet ﷺ that he ﷺ said: «إنَّمَا الْإِمَامُ جُنَّةٌ يُقَاتَلُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ وَيُتَّقَى بِهِ» “Indeed the Imam is a shield, from whose behind (one) would fight, and by whom one would protect oneself.”
These hadith clearly indicate that government according to Sunnah is the Khilafah.
Muslims must Demand the Khilafah System
The denial of the finality of the prophethood is a very serious and grievous matter. It however is not the root of the problem. Muslims across the world feel deep discontent over many issues. The inaction over the murder of many thousands of our Rohingya brothers and sisters. The complicity of Turkey, Saudi, Jordan and other states in the destruction of the Muslims of Syria. Indeed, in Pakistan the ongoing issue of Kashmir and the American inspired terrorism throughout the country. Numerous other problems are acutely felt.
When Muslims like those in Faizabad and elsewhere in Pakistan make demands, the demands must not be partial they must be for the total change that is required. The demand must be for the application of Islam, as a comprehensive system. The call must be for a system that will truly represent the Islamic views of Muslims. The demand for the resignation of a politician or the changing of law will have no real lasting effect. It is time that Muslims understood exactly what change they want to bring with all its details and demand that. It is then that Allah (swt) will answer their dua for the victory of Islam, open the gates of mercy and re-establish the system of the Prophet ﷺ – the Khilafah state.