The scarcity of Statesmen in the Islamic world cannot be separated from its loss of political identity Islamic civilization. Where since the collapse of political institutions – the Khilafah (Caliphate) – Muslims countries lapsed into a secular political system that gave birth to comprador political animals who sell their loyalty to Western invaders.
Since the collapse of the institution of the Khilafah (Caliphate) in 1924, the Muslim Ummah have deteriorated more and more within colonialism and disunity. Educational curriculum of the Islamic world has been oriented to the West and the Ummah have abandoned the heritage of Islamic civilization. Therefore, the Muslim Ummah have been more familiar with definition of politics in secular Western terminology, where politics is often defined as an attempt to gain power, enlarge or expand and maintain power by constitutional and unconstitutional ways. Such secular political concept necessitates the emergence of transactional political practices that give birth to pragmatic individuals who no longer have a noble call to serve the state, but everything is calculated. It is like, “What I have spent, and what can be returned by the state for me. In this nature, people don’t serve for politics, but live from politics.”
The Machiavelli-style secular political practices have eventually become the basis of transactional political practices perpetrated by “the political animals” in Muslims world. It is reasonable. Naturally, in such a secular dirty political environment, statesmen are difficult to grow. These political animals prefer to serve the colonialists instead of serving the people, they allow them to rob and plunder their own country’s natural wealth, regardless of the people’s lives who are suffering and ensnared with poverty. They are the heads of apostasy, followers of lust and carnal desires. They are supported by the hypocrites, the extremists, the ignorant of Islam, and the negligent people. Sometimes they look knowledgeable and right, but in fact they sell their religion for a piece of the world. They use their knowledge to justify the damage and the Kufr system. They are mixing the truth with falsehood. As a result, halal and haram, makruh and munkar, have become blurred in the eyes of the Ummah.
On the other hand, these political animals are also trying – conceitedly and cruelly – to silence and deprive the influence of Islam ideology from its roots, for fear of their power is threatened and the coffers of their properties will vanish. Therefore, the existence of Muslim statesmen is even more difficult and least in number, unless they are within a sincere group with strong thoughts. This reminds us of a quote from an Indonesian Muslim warrior figure:
“Islamic rituals will be allowed, Islamic economy will be controlled, Islamic politics will be deprived from its roots.” (Muhammad Natsir)
Qualities of Muslim Statesmen
Faced with this kind of real damage, it would be good for us to return to Islam. Iqra. Read and review all Islam’s views with sincere intentions. Unfortunately, it is rare for people who try to see and explore how the treasure of Islamic political thought as it is held firmly by Hizb ut Tahrir. Indeed, Hizb ut Tahrir exists in Islamic countries to offer a political concept derived from the sublime treasures of Islamic political thought. Islamic political thought is reflected in Ibn Taymiyya’s expression that political power is the min a’zam wajibat al-din (a major religious duty), since the meaning of politics (siyâsah) in Islam is the regulation of the affairs of the Ummah at home and abroad. Politics is carried out by the state and the Ummah, because it is the state that directly implements this regulation practically, while the Ummah oversees the State in the implementation. This definition is taken from the hadiths that indicate the activities of the rulers, the obligation to correct them, and the importance of looking after the affairs of the Ummah. The Prophet ﷺ said, «من لا يهتم بأمر المسلمين فليس منهم» “Whoever does not care about the affairs of the Muslims is not one of them.”
The above-mentioned definition would necessitate the figure of politicians in Islam to focus on the Ummah’s affairs, instead of pursuing a power rating. At this point alone, the concept of Islamic politics has prevented the profile of Muslim politicians from becoming political animals. So that in Islam being a statesman is part of the great ideals rooted in responsibility towards al-Khaliq and the Ummah. Statesmanship is an important qualification to be able to carry the great role and ideals of leadership over the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ. The figure of statesman is only born from the Islamic political environment that is strongly influenced by atmosphere of faith (jawwul iman), in which politics is understood as part of worship (ibaadah) activities. Anyone can live, even be obliged to, in this political environment, either in the role as ruler or ordinary people.
In the book entitled Islamic Political Thought, Abdul Qadim Zallum (the second Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir) clearly illustrated that the figure of statesman is the highest political leader, but the Statesman is not always an official, and not all officials are statesmen. A Statesman is a cultural leader who is ready to take office, though not necessarily in office. A Statesman is a creative and innovative leader. He dares to act resolutely when others do not, and he has these following characteristics:
(1) Has leadership mentality
(2) Capable to manage the affairs of state
(3) Capable to solve problems
(4) Capable to control personal relationships and general affairs.
The statesman is a person who is able to translate or transfer books and the minds of scholars into the reality of life, for the establishment of political thinking requires political leadership. Ummah will enjoy the thoughts of statesmen in the affairs of their lives, even the ummah will feel their responsibility to the entire people that go beyond the boundaries of the region. The abundance of political thought in the books and minds of the Ulamas, will not be useful without political leadership that applies it in life. In order for a political leadership manifested in the midst of the people, it takes someone who understands it in a creative variety of political ideas and implement them without hypocrisy.
Muslim statesmen will be born if they are planted with three provisions which are derived only from Islamic Aqeedah, namely:
(1) a holistic and unique view of life,
(2) a certain point of view of true happiness for society,
(3) the belief in a civilization (hadharah) to be realized.
The consequence of these three provisions is the sensitivity and sharpness of ihsas (sensing) formed within the statesman’s figure, because he has a sharp point of view and a distinctive Islamic perspective that make him able to realize the damage around him and able to lead a major change in his day.
So, if we want to recreate a Muslim statemen the first step is educating the ummah with Islamic political thoughts and how their affairs are addressed by Islamic rules. Then forge ourselves to fulfill the qualifications of a dedicated statesman in the struggle for ultimate change, leading a great change in the midst of the Ummah. The great change in thinking through ideas by fikriyah and non-violent ways, just like the method of the Prophet ﷺ in the da’wah to make changes.
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الأرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.” [An- Nuur: 55]