Concepts, General Concepts, Side Feature

The COVID-19 pandemic: An Islamic perspective

Public health problems are political problems

Often, a nation’s most common health problems are a reflection of its societal and cultural dynamics. Doctors frequently witness the medical limitations associated with treating individual patients when some health issues transcend beyond the individual. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are caused, or worsened, by smoking and poor diet. Mental health issues can be caused or worsened by alcohol and drug use but can also be linked to external factors such as job pressures and family breakdowns. Research also suggests that poor health is exacerbated by poverty and social status.

It, therefore, becomes apparent that common health issues require more than an individual approach or a simple policy change. The root of the issue must be assessed to address why these issues arise in the first place. By assessing these issues at a societal level, one will quickly conclude that the real solution is much more profound than just changing the party of government at any one time.

This societal approach can be well illustrated in the developed world with a successful history in overcoming significant health problems. Past infectious diseases such as dysentery, typhoid and cholera were not resolved through vaccines or antibiotics, but by clean water and better sanitation. More recently, the ban on smoking in public places have been deemed to have a significant impact upon improving public health especially in the fight against cancer.

As the decades pass, economic progress and globalisation have helped to improve diets to protect lives from an illness such as rickets which were once major killers. A simple political policy of free milk for school children had significant health benefits in preventing some nutritional deficiencies.

All of these are examples that health care is a political matter that goes beyond the basics of providing sufficient doctors, nurses and hospitals to treat individuals. They illustrate that many health-related issues require action at a societal, or even global level, to be addressed adequately.

The COVID-19 Crisis

The global pandemic of the new coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARS-CoV2, is first and foremost a political problem, more than a ‘medical’ problem, because like so many health problems it requires solutions at a political level. It is a political problem because it is a significant infection, which transmits at a very significant rate.

The rate of the transmission of infection is described by the basic reproduction number R0.

  • If R0 < 1, each existing infection causes less than one new infection. In this case, the disease will decline and eventually disappear.
  • If R0 = 1, each existing infection causes one new infection. The disease will stay alive and stable, but there won’t be an outbreak or an epidemic.
  • If R0 > 1, each existing infection causes more than one new infection. The disease will spread between people, and there may be an outbreak or epidemic.

For COVID-19, scientists have estimated R0 to range from 2 and 5.7.

In comparison to other illnesses, the R0 for:

  • the common flu = 1.3
  • SARS = 2.
  • Smallpox (a devastating virulent disease) = between 3.5 and 6.

In light of the above, it has been suggested that COVID-19 could affect over 60% of any given nation’s population to some extent.

Initial estimates are that it has significant morbidity (sickness level) and mortality (death rate). It is estimated that between 0.67% and 3.4% of those affected die; that 5% became unwell enough to be admitted to hospital; and 20% get a very significant illness with fever, cough and breathlessness such that they wouldn’t be able to work or function on a daily level.

If the figures are accurate, nearly 40 million people in the UK will be struck by COVID-19 in some form: 32 million people would experience mild symptoms;

  • 8 million would have a significant illness
  • 2 million would need hospital treatment
  • and between 268,000 and 800,000 people might die from the disease.

These deaths would occur disproportionately amongst an older age group or those with chronic diseases – which means the overall mortality rate would depend on the demographic of any particular society (i.e. the older the average age of the population, the higher the mortality rate).

Furthermore, the majority of deaths are expected to be clustered in a short timeframe i.e. within a few months. As it stands the NHS is understaffed and under-funded. Medical equipment is in short supply and funeral homes are operating at full capacity.

The knock-on effects of the disease and the policies implemented to manage it are dramatic. Sickness absence has an impact on the functioning of businesses and organisations. This exacerbated by the closure of schools causing childcare issues. The economic effects of the lockdown policies implemented in so many countries have caused a marked decline in economic growth and fears of a global recession. The social impact is significant, causing isolation, loneliness and domestic violence. The political impact is yet to be realised, with countries competing for resources and not cooperating – and governments and systems are being compared for the competency of how they deal with the problem.

Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a geopolitical problem on a scale that has not been seen since the world wars – and potentially an ideological matter if the issues were being managed according to differing ways of life. It can only be resolved through political solutions.

Human problems are addressed according to a viewpoint in life

Experts might advise, but it is the politicians who are responsible for resolving these issues. They address these problems according to the political viewpoint that underpins their decision making.

Politicians may act according to a viewpoint that prioritises the interests of big business, as is the case in Britain, the USA and elsewhere. This might have led to the British government’s initial policy of targeting ‘herd immunity’ by means of mass infection of the population – which might have been considered to be better for the economy but damaging for its vulnerable citizens. Certainly, there is no evidence that adequate preparations were made for those who were most vulnerable towards COVID-19. (It should be noted that in the context of COVID-19 this policy is questionable from a health perspective. Herd immunity usually relies on effective vaccination for a potentially serious virus like influenza, measles or polio – and there is none for COVID-19 at present – and the actual incidence of immunity following infection appears to be quite low, based on initial findings.)

Politicians may act in a way that promotes the liberal freedoms of people above the health of the population, like in Sweden, whose current policy of seeking herd immunity is very similar to Britain’s initial proposal.

Politicians may act to prioritise the interests of a regime – like that in China, who initially tried to suppress the issue, – perhaps fearing a repeat of the SARS outbreak of 2002 that had such a significant effect on China’s economy.

Islam is a way of life: it is a fikra (thought) and tareeqah (method). As such, politicians in Islam will act according to this viewpoint in life.

The matters of fikra embrace the aqeedah, including matters such as life and death; fear of loss of life and loved ones and economic hardship; fear of disease and hope for a cure. A strong understanding of these at an individual and societal level – as well as leadership from the ruler reminding the people of such matters – could have a profound impact on how a society copes with this sort of crisis (including issues such as the panic hoarding of food and toilet paper etc). The correct understanding of these ideas helps people overcome understandable fear regarding matters that are not in their control – like death, sickness and rizq (provision) – and instead focus on matters that are in their control, like not being reckless about spreading the harm of the virus to others, or to how to share their provisions with others.

The matters of fikra also include many matters about how to live a life according to the laws of Allah and Sunnah of His Messenger ﷺ – such as a diet that is halal (lawful) and tayyib (wholesome), good personal hygiene, helping families and neighbours, cooperating in society – all help to prevent unwholesome conditions that allow diseases to flourish.

The matters of tareeqah relate to the implementation of the deen (as well as propagation and protection of the deen). So these include the need for an Islamic government that looks after the affairs of people according to Islam. This entails implementing some specific rules defined by Islam as well as a general responsibility to look after the affairs of people according to Islam. The latter would include healthcare, securing the food, clothing and shelter that people cannot secure by themselves or with the help of family. The responsibility of an Islamic government is to propagate this deen around the world through its foreign policy.

Hence, politicians in an Islamic system don’t only need to consider which treatments work for a disease. They need to consider preventing disease; controlling its spread; managing the dissemination of treatments; building capacity to meet the demands; how to finance their policies; what the emotional, economic, social and global impact of disease might be. A statesman would also consider the geopolitical aspect of this pandemic, as competing powers seek to project their leadership at an international level in tackling this crisis. Certainly, the failure to address this crisis competently in many developed countries has tarnished the reputation for competence often admired in parts of the world that have dysfunctional systems of government.

Politics in Islam is to look after the affairs of people. It means considering all of the above in relation to looking after the affairs of the people. Politics under capitalism is a Machiavellian exercise in achieving power and sustaining power, which is then largely used to serve the interests of those with the greatest wealth. It is not wholly correct to say that politicians in capitalist states do ‘nothing’ to serve the interests of their citizens. It is just that they do as much or as little as is necessary to meet the aims of politicians and parties in achieving and sustaining power, as well as serving those with the greatest wealth. So, whether it is their previous failure to prepare for a pandemic, whilst now mobilising every effort to find a solution; or previous failing to secure adequate protective equipment, whilst now trying hard to source it; or having insufficient critical care or ICU beds, but now building new hospitals; or forcing people to live under ten years of austerity, yet now spending billions to pay up to 80% of peoples’ salaries and to provide bridging loans to the self-employed – all of these seemingly contradictory approaches are motivated by the desire to do as little or as much as necessary to secure or sustain power for politicians, or to serve the interests of the capitalists.

Addressing the pandemic through Islam

In the remainder of this article, we will look in general terms at how a future Khilafah might management such a pandemic. We will look briefly at preventative measures; controlling the spread of the disease; treating patients adequately; the economic management of the crisis; the attempt to manage the collective emotions of the society; and the need for global leadership during such as a crisis. Where necessary, we will contrast Islam’s solution to the current handling of the crisis.

We should not think that dealing with such a matter will be easy for any state. These sorts of matters would be complex and challenging for the Khilafah, which may be re-established in an under-resourced part of the world, inheriting poor infrastructure to deal with such problems. Khilafah is by no means a utopia. It will have to wrestle with complex human problems caused by this disease whilst ensuring adequate measures are in place to prevent the spread of this modern ‘plague’.

Islam, however, has a distinct approach based on divine revelation, and it is important for Muslims to appreciate Islam’s approach to a pandemic such as COVID-19.

Firstly, the nature of Islam is such that rulers are actually accountable to their people on top of being accountable to Allah ﷻ. Fulfilling this duty is a heavy responsibility for which any ruler will be questioned. As the Prophet ﷺ said:

أَلَا كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالْإِمَامُ الَّذِي عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects” (Bukhari & Muslim).

The matters of adequate preparation, resource utilisation and responses to crises are undertaken under the context of accountability.

Containing the pandemic in Islam

In general, three factors must be considered in managing a pandemic.

1. Containing the disease

Once an outbreak is identified, Islam prescribes a strict policy of quarantining locations where an outbreak is present. Bukhari narrated from Usama ibn Zaid that the Prophet ﷺ said:

إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِالطَّاعُونِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلَا تَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا

“If you hear of the outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it breaks out in a land in which you are, do not leave it.”

China managed to get a grip on the spread of COVID-19 by isolating the regions where the disease outbreak started, after an initial period of suppression of the information. Reports suggest that officials in China hid evidence of serious infectious disease from as early as mid-December 2019. By 3rd January 2020, China had 44 patients with a mysterious disease. The new virus was finally acknowledged on 7th January 2020. However, the city of Wuhan was not placed under a lockdown until 23rd January 2020 – and international flights were only restricted even later. So the policy might have helped China but did not stop the spread globally. By mid-January 2020, there were cases across South East Asia, but even those countries were not advised by the WHO to restrict travel.

A further example of how complacent countries acted in not preventing the spread of the virus, one week after Wuhan was placed on lockdown, Britain’s Foreign Secretary called on British citizens in China to return to Britain. Britain continued to have 15,000 passengers per day flying into the UK from across the world until the time of publication of this article at the end of April 2020 – without any significant virus testing or quarantining of travellers.

By contrast, Taiwan, which has a very low rate of infection, took more stringent measures in preventing travel from affected countries, banning travel to and from Wuhan as early as 31st December 2019.

2. Controlling the spread

Separating the healthy from the infected

Regarding the diseased, they must be separated from the healthy effectively. The Prophet ﷺ said,

 لاَ تُورِدُوا المُمْرِضَ عَلَى المُصِحِّ

“Do not put the diseased with the healthy” (Bukhari).

Under Islam, great care is taken in dealing in ensuring the infected do not infect the healthy. An infected person has to be isolated from the rest of the population.

Preventing the harm from the silent carriers of the coronavirus.

A distinguishing factor of the COVID-19 pandemic is the existence of what are known as “silent carriers.” Some infected people are not even aware that they are carrying the virus as they show no symptoms of the disease. This is one of the main causes for the increasing number of infections.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

 أَلَا كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالْإِمَامُ الَّذِي عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects” (Bukhari & Muslim).

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ has also advised to:

لَا ضَرَرَ وَلَا ضِرَارَ مَنْ ضَارَّ ضَرَّهُ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ شَاقَّ شَقَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْه

“Do not cause harm or return harm. Whoever harms others, Allah will harm him. Whoever is harsh with others, Allah will be harsh with him” (Al-Sunan al-Kubra 11070).

The current consensus is that it is very difficult to protect those not affected by the virus without identifying who has the virus. This can only be done by testing populations at a mass scale. The only alternatives, otherwise, would be to shut down society, which carries the risk of social and economic hardship – or to allow a free spread of the disease.

Professor Anthony Costello, former director of maternal and child health at the WHO, wrote:

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasised the crucial importance of testing. Speed is of the essence, and three things are crucial:

  • Tracking down cases with symptoms.
  • Identifying their household cluster and tracing people they’ve contacted.
  • Quarantining them until they are no longer infectious.

Testing is the basis of public health detective work to shut down an epidemic.”

South Korea and Hong Kong both learned from outbreaks of SARS and MERS in previous decades. They avoided lockdown but managed the disease better than other places. By 8th April 2020, South Korea saw 200 deaths due to the virus and the number of new cases had been suppressed. The USA, on the other hand, has suffered over 50,000 deaths with new cases continuing to rise.

South Korea managed to avoid a complete national lockdown, by undertaking a programme to test large numbers for the virus, encouraging those who fell with viral illnesses to come forwards for testing and identify all those who came into contact with the virus. In addition, it encouraged precautions such as wearing masks, cleaning hands and maintaining distance and sterilising public spaces where infected individuals had passed. Through a targeted and dynamic approach, it was able to reduce the burden of the illness upon the health care system, without the need for the disruptive complete lockdown and its accompanying harms.

Taiwan did even better with avoiding disruption to the society by preventing travel from Wuhan very early as well as being quick to introduce strict quarantine measures, health monitoring and contact tracing of infected individuals.

This is a very important matter – because lockdowns deny citizens their ability to worship Allah ﷻ as is obliged in normal circumstances, as well as their ability to seek their rizq and so fulfil the duty to try to provide for themselves and their families.

In an Islamic system, the Khalifah does not have an unrestricted right to close down peoples’ legitimate activity – such as trade, seeking their rizq and obligatory worships. Such restrictions can only be implemented once certainty is sought as to whether it is necessary. Normal daily life is a right of the citizens and should not be restricted unless absolutely required – and even then it should be considered as to whether such restrictions can be limited by time, location or degree of incursion on peoples’ lives.

However, if it were deemed necessary to prevent the spread of the virus by undertaking measures in order to look after the affairs of the people, these may have to be done in addition to the aforementioned measures.

The evidence for the degree of ‘social distancing’, wearing masks and other measures are subject to debate.

On the one hand, mathematical modelling suggests that creating physical space between people reduces spread. The most famous studies cited today, like those from Imperial College London, suggest that the spread of disease can be reduced such that cases emerge in a controlled way to avoid overloading the health services, so reducing the death rate.

However, these studies have not been without criticism as they were originally modelled for influenza – which is a disease with a different pattern of spread.

Later, the scientific opinion that studied data from the UK experience, suggested that measures more modest than a ‘lockdown’ of society – such as handwashing and modest social distancing – were more responsible for the control of the spread of the disease.

At best it could be argued that the timing and extent of social distancing measures are to allow the healthcare systems to cope; though some argue the damage caused by the lockdown may outweigh the effect of the disease itself.

So, whilst measures to reduce the contact between people may have a role in reducing the spread of the virus, the evidence of whether they are absolutely necessary for every scenario is highly questionable.

Many Muslim countries, however, under the cloth of capitalism, have mimicked the West’s approach blindly. Rather than following the preferred route of mass testing – or looking at less intrusive measures like making face-masks mandatory, regimes in the Muslim world have sought to simply to follow, rather than use their own initiative and consider their own realities.

The policy of social distancing is not a luxury that many outside the West can afford. Often, families in the developing world live in overcrowded homes and rely on income where interaction with society is necessary. The decision to follow measures implemented by the West give little consideration to such societal dynamics – whether economic or spiritual.

3. Optimising healthcare resources

Healthcare also comes under looking after the affairs of the people based on the noble hadith of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ

 أَلَا كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالْإِمَامُ الَّذِي عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects” (Bukhari & Muslim).

In this regard, there are general on-going responsibilities of a government (see Article 164 of the Draft Constitution of the Khilafah below). Some are relevant matters pertaining to healthcare and looking after the people’s affairs include:

Islam’s general approach that is distinct to the capitalist way of life

General rules relating to health include implementing the Islamic way of life, which is distinct from the capitalist way of life which fuels health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease. There is strong evidence that these are affected by poor diets, which in turn are heavily influenced by big food companies and large restaurant chains being allowed to sell unhealthy processed food and so prioritising profits while society picks up the health costs. All of this establishes a platform for a consumerist society. It encourages people to buy in excess.

Moreover, Islam determines that food needs to be ‘halal’ (lawful) and ‘tayyib’ (pure and wholesome). It is highly probable this virus was transmitted from an animal source (bats or pangolins) to humans – and then human to human.

This is not the first time that we have seen problems in the food chain. Mad cow disease (BSE – Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) was thought to be caused by prions which originated from contaminated offal derived from bovine nervous tissue being fed to animals as cheap fodder. E. Coli and salmonella infections in the UK have been linked to poor food hygiene standards.

Decentralised administration

A decentralised healthcare system may be better suited to cope with pandemics such as COVID-19 – as long as there is effective communication with the centre. This is because local systems can respond faster presuming they are adequately resourced. However, data has emerged from Italy suggesting that poor central leadership and poor communication between local and national health services caused significant delays in managing the outbreak. In short, local healthcare administration should not wait for central approval before mobilising their response. The Khilafah has a decentralised administration – and the responsibility of the Wali (Governor) is to look after the affairs of the people locally, so the opportunity to act fast and locally is more possible than if all matters were centralised. However, as a unified state, there must be a strong connection between the regional administration and the central government, in order that resources can be mobilised effectively from one region to another (see Article No 17 of the Draft Constitution of the Khilafah below – ‘The ruling is centralised and the administration is decentralised’).

Maintaining an adequate health service
This is part of the duties of a government in Islam. Of course, any state can be limited by resources but it should not follow the philosophy of the capitalist states that makes people go through austerity, for the sake of protecting corporate interests; or systemically under-resourcing health needs; or not differentiating between ‘wants’ and expectations that play such a role in getting politicians elected every few years, and needs, that are its duty towards the people.

Responding to specific health challenges

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَنْزَلَ الدَّاءَ وَالدَّوَاءَ وَجَعَلَ لِكُلِّ دَاءٍ دَوَاءً فَتَدَاوَوْا وَلَا تَدَاوَوْا بِحَرَامٍ

“Verily, Allah sent down the disease and the cure, and for every disease he made a cure. Seek treatment, but do not seek treatment by the unlawful” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

This includes trying to find remedies or vaccines – whether looking at existing treatments (maybe possible in weeks or months) or new treatments (months or years). This could either be in state-funded laboratories/hospitals or the private sector, encouraged and mobilised for the purpose (See Article 162 of the Draft Constitution of the Khilafah below).

In the capitalist system research and development is motivated by the pharmaceutical industry who do not see much profit in vaccines, in particular those that wipe out a disease, because once the disease is gone, the vaccine no longer provides profits. The exceptions are vaccines for children – which have an almost consistent demand; or recurring vaccines for diseases like influenza, where the annual production of the vaccine depends on the predominant strain that year. Hence, there is an emphasis on finding treatments for mitigating the effects of a disease. In the Khilafah, research and development (R&D) would have to be motivated by the needs of the people and is unaffected by patent rules. Responding to challenges would also include determining the origin of the infective agent to prevent further outbreaks and record epidemiological data to manage future outbreaks.

Scaling up services to meet the demands of an emergency

Scaling up the health service is about converting hospital theatres to intensive care unit (ICU) beds, building emergency ICU hospitals and using the private sector. China built new hospitals and Britain converted public exhibition halls into massive hospitals with increased intensive care beds. It will help but still may not meet the demand, particularly because it is not simply beds that are needed but staff and equipment.

Preparedness for emergencies

If the Islamic state is a mature state that has encountered epidemics in the past (much as South Korea and Hong Kong have experienced SARS, or the Middle East experienced MERS), it must have contingencies to deal with such eventualities. The Prophet ﷺ said,

‏ لاَ يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ وَاحِدٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ

“A believer is not stung twice (by something) out of one and the same hole” (Bukhari).

Preparedness in such matters is not preparing for something wholly unexpected. SARS in 2002-4, MERS in 2012, Ebola in 2014, and Zika in 2016 were all matters for concern.

Firstly, Britain has been on alert for a pandemic since SARS in 2002-4 (which was eventually confined to South Asia) and the government had serious discussions about the possibility as recently as 2019 and still seems to have been slow to act in 2020. Despite these concerns, public health in the UK has been systematically neglected. What was once a well-established set of local networks was paired with a centralised body with links to the WHO (who have had the responsibility to coordinate responses globally). In addition, the British government made poor choices in its preparation, including deciding not to have the best quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Secondly, people who look out for such geopolitical threats have been conscious of the possibility for many years. In 2015, Bill Gates chose pandemic threats as a subject for a TED talk after the concerns about the Ebola outbreak in Africa in 2014. If Gates, philanthropist and tech-businessman were conscious of this, it is not credible that governments were not aware – and so not acceptable that they seem so under-prepared.

Thirdly, on 3rd February 2020, Boris Johnson made a speech in which he addressed the coronavirus outbreak in China, saying “There’s a risk that new diseases such as the coronavirus will trigger panic and a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage.” It is not unreasonable to suppose that this desire to avoid economic damage may have informed the light-touch policy proposed at the outset of the outbreak in the UK.

The key aspects of preparedness for such an eventuality include:

A good public health infrastructure, that monitors for outbreaks, feedback to a centralised hub, which in turn feeds back to the government.
The infrastructure should also be used to organise testing and vaccination in localities; to help facilitate isolation if necessary. (In Muslims countries there is a mosque in every locality, which may make it a possible place in the community to be utilised as a part of this infrastructure.)
Planning for what resources would be needed for testing; for protection; for linking to national laboratories; for how to mobilise things from other parts of the state.

Other matters

In addition to these healthcare-related matters, the following also need to be considered:

How would the economic impact be managed?
The government has a responsibility to feed, clothe, shelter citizens that cannot do so themselves, or that cannot be helped by extended family who bear a responsibility if they are capable of doing so after meeting their own needs. (See Article 124 and Article 125 of the draft constitution of the Khilafah below.)

How is the above to be financed?
The government can raise revenue from taking an extraordinary percentage from peoples’ unutilised wealth to meet the demand for essential health care, or to provide for this. (See Article 146 and Article 147 of the draft constitution of the Khilafah below.)

How can the world work together to address this global problem?
The Islamic State has a duty to use all its relationships with the outside world in order to promote the message of Islam, so that people can hear it. In regard to dealing with other states, it may actively help people in nations that it has treaties with. Or it may choose to help a nation that is suffering, showing its humanitarian concern from Islam (like the Ottoman state helped the people in Ireland during a famine). (See Article 189 of the draft constitution of the Khilafah below.)

The Islamic state can and should engage in the world with other nations to solve global issues, trying to lead with the intellectual leadership of Islam. It should not be bound by global institutions that seek to impose their way on the Khilafah but engage in dialogue and cooperation whereby it is not constrained or controlled.,


The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مِنْكُمْ مُعَافًى فِي جَسَدِهِ آمِنًا فِي سِرْبِهِ عِنْدَهُ قُوتُ يَوْمِهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا حِيزَتْ لَهُ الدُّنْيَا

‘Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world” (Ibn Majah).

This and other evidences indicate the obligation of guaranteeing the fulfilment of all the basic needs for all of the citizens individually, in terms of food, clothing and shelter. The same applied to the provision of the essential services for the Ummah such as healthcare. The ruler who falls short in this matter is accountable by the people and by Allah ﷻ.

Until Islam exists as a complete way of life, humanity will be condemned to suffer under a system which prioritises big business over human life; where politicians fear the loss of their own careers rather than fearing Allah ﷻ; where healthcare is about profit for giant companies and not finding ways to help people.

Without Islam, this Ummah cannot undertake its responsibility for mankind to be the best Ummah, that enjoins good and forbids evil.

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم ۚ مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient” [Ale-Imran: 110].

We pray that Allah ﷻ allows us to continue to work for this monumental aim and that He ﷻ brings His victory soon.

Completed, by the Permission of Allah ﷻ on 3rd Ramadhan 1441 (26/4/2020 CE)

A further appendix to this article can be found here, where a number of relevant articles from the Draft Constitution can be found.


Notes and references for this article can be found below.

  7. smokers down-by-19million-since-the-ban
  20.   Note: All statistics relating to this subject are by nature speculative. Firstly, this is a new virus, so they evolve day by day as the understanding is developing. Secondly, statistics all require rigorous data for their reliability – and as we have seen in the UK the collection of data is patchy; and different things are being measured in different parts of the world meaning interpretation is questionable.
  60. In the book ‘Political Thoughts’ – by Hizb ut-Tahrir – Chapter 6 ‘Understanding the International Situation’ it mentions: ‘A state functions on the international scene to establish and protect its interests… Some of its interests are ideological, such as creating an atmosphere conducive for the spread of its ideology. Some are moral, such as keeping its status, dignity and international position. Some of its interests are materialistic, such as issues related to security like the need for strategic locations, raw materials, and markets to export its surplus industrial and agricultural products’.
  61. Also in ‘Political Thoughts’ (Hizb ut-Tahrir) – Chapter The International Community, its Norms and Laws’ it mentions: ‘They (i.e. the UN Security Council) should be replaced with a new international organisation that the superpowers have no control or authority over, and which does not act as a global state. The new organisation should be an international entity that removes injustice and helps those who are oppressed, to dominate over injustice and works to spread justice amongst mankind. Such goals would be achieved through the moral status it enjoys and the international opinion that supports it, and respects it and trusts it for it would be an organisation that serves the interests of no particular state or states, but serves all mankind. This would be similar to the covenant of al Fudhul (favours) held prior to the mission of Muhammad ﷺ before he became a messenger. After he ﷺ became a Messenger, he ﷺ said about it: I witnessed a covenant in the tribe of Abdullah ibn Jadaan that I like more than the red (meaning expensive) camels. If I were invited to it after Islam, I would have accepted it.’