News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

The Exploitation of Islam by our Rulers

Since his electoral campaign, Imran Khan has focused on the need for a ‘Naya Pakistan’ (new Pakistan) and linked his vision to Islam by emphasizing the need for Pakistan to be governed on the principles of Riyasate Madinah. He drew parallels between the persecution that the Muslims faced in the subcontinent at the hands of the Hindus and the persecution that the Muslims of Makkah faced at the hands of the Quraysh. He promised to redefine the image of the country into one that was corruption free. He also said that that he would turn Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state, one based on the model of the State of Madina and on the guiding principles of the Prophet. To help ‘revive’ the spirit of the covenant of Madina, he formed the National Rahmatul Lil ‘Alamin Authority (NRA) for the propagation of Islamic education and inspiring academic research on Islam.

He, like so many of the Muslim rulers, have made many promises in a bid to gain the loyalty of Muslims and ensure their continued support – and he, like so many of our rulers, have not delivered on those promises.

This trend dates back to when the Imperialist powers began to falter in the mid-20th century. When the focus shifted to a nations state to their own state, the powers came up against Muslim Ummah and their sincerity to Allah. They couldn’t erase our devotion to our Creator, or our understanding of the Quran and Sunnah. So, instead they worked to distort it. They tied the ideas of nationalism to religion, and gave us secular leaders to ensure that their Capitalist rule dominated and that Islam did not re-emerge as a system of ruling after the fall of the Khilafah (Caliphate) in the 1920’s.

Today, the rulers and regimes across the Muslim world continue to lead us down this path. They use Islam to ensure the Ummah’s continued support of the Capitalist system and they show a complete and utter lack of sincerity to Allah, even as they use His name and a few chosen Shariah laws when it serves their own ends.

They quote ayah and hadith, even as they turn to the United Nations to ‘solve’ the Palestinian issue or take interest based loans from the IMF and World Bank. They privatize the Ummah’s resources, selling them to capitalist companies who use the resources for profit rather than for the benefit of the Muslims. They sideline Islam, and teach children to do the same by adding Islamic studies to the education curriculum even as they introduce children to un-Islamic ideas and make Kufr their reference point rather than Islam. Imran Khan’s single national curriculum is an example of this- it’s focus is on aligning Pakistan’s education system with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to educate children and build their trust and allegiance in the liberal system.

As an example, it promotes the Western ruling system, Democracy, which makes laws on the basis of human whims and desires, as opposed to the Islamic ruling system, the Khilafah, which rules by all that Allah (swt) has revealed. In the Social Studies curriculum, in its section, “1.7 Themes of Social Studies – Grade IV-V,” it is stated that the students must cover “Definitions of state, government; democracy.” The Social Studies curriculum insists that students must “Describe the concept of democracy as the most popular system of government and describe why it is the preferred form.”

However, far from being the preferred form of ruling, Islam rejects Democracy in absolute terms. Democracy is a Taghut – an authority that does not rule by all that Allah (swt) has revealed. Allah (swt) not only forbade Muslims from ruling within Taghut, He (swt) ordered Muslims to disbelieve in it.

When the rulers refer to the UN and other international organisations to solve the Ummah’s problems, they break their pledge to Allah and fail to fulfill their duties to the Ummah. The sole aim of these organizations is to ensure the continued strength of the Capitalist system and thus a ruling that is not based on Allah’s laws.

Islam isn’t academic- it’s a way of life, and Muslims actions are shaped by his sincerity to Allah and understanding that we have an obligation to obey none but him. So, when regimes say that they are ‘researching Islam’ and teaching children hadith even as they are shaping their actions in accordance to liberal ideas, they are presenting children with contradictory ideas and confusing them as an Islamic personality demands a rejection of Kufr, just as a Liberal personality demands a rejection of Islam.

The superficial focus on Islam was largely a response to the discontent that arose in Pakistan, as a result of the economic conditions within the country. So, he promised us a rule based on the Prophet’s time and emphasizes the Islamic State’s ability to provide for its people and ensure that even the poor had access to food, shelter and clothing. The failure to implement this promise shows the flaws within the plan – he has not tried to change the actual system, instead he has made small ‘welfare plans’ in an attempt to appease the people. He launched the Naya Pakistan Card, which covers Ehsaas Ration Programme based on a food subsidy package for low-income families, Kisan Card, Sehat Card and scholarships for students, beneficiaries of various initiatives can avail all services on the same card.

These schemes came alongside increased taxes through IMF loans, and a recent agreement to award the development contract of the Reko Diq project (in Balochistan) to a Canadian company. This project targets one of the largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits globally, capable of producing 200,000 tons of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold a year for more than half a century. So he is effectively selling our mineral resources to a foreign company, instead of using them for the benefit of the Ummah.

Politicians in the current system have a habit of blaming others for the shortcomings of their policies. Whether this is true or not in the short term, it doesn’t change the fact that the problems that we are facing in every country across the Muslim world is a result of the allegiance that every regime has given to the Capitalist system and the West. They pay lip service to Islam by criticizing western policies, while they accept their money and support- both of which come with conditions that tie us to the Western powers and their will, taking us further away from Allah.

(إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ)

“The command (or judgement) is for none but Allah.” [Surah Yusuf 12:40]

(أَفَغَيْرَ اللّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنَزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلاً)

“Shall I seek other than Allah as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book which is fully detailed?” [Surah Al-Anam 6:114].

Islam is comprehensive. It has laws concerning our personal relationship with Allah as well as all the relationships that take place within a society, political, economic, judicial, social, and related to educational and foreign policy.

So when the rulers claim to be bringing us a rule that is close to that which the Prophet and the Sahaba gave their life to, they are lying. The only way to implement the Islamic system, and experience the economic and social benefits that it gave us, is through the rejection of Kufr. We must understand this and accept this or else we are allowing the rulers and their regimes to blindside us with false promises even as they break their pledge to obey none but Allah.

(وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ)

“Those who do not judge by the law which Allah has revealed, they are the oppressors.” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:45].

«أَعَاذَكَ اللَّهُ مِنْ إِمَارَةِ السُّفَهَاءِ» قَالَ: وَمَا إِمَارَةُ السُّفَهَاءِ؟ قَالَ: «أُمَرَاءُ يَكُونُونَ بَعْدِي لَا يَقْتَدُونَ بِهَدْيِي وَلَا يَسْتَنُّونَ بِسُنَّتِي فَمَنْ صَدَّقَهُمْ بِكَذِبِهِمْ وَأَعَانَهُمْ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ فَأُولَئِكَ لَيْسُوا مِنِّي وَلَسْتُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَا يَرِدُوا عَلَيَّ حَوْضِي»

“Allah save you from the leadership of the foolish ones.” The companion asked the Prophet, “Who are from the foolish leadership?” The Prophet replied, “Those rulers who will come after me and they will neither heed my guidance nor follow my Sunnah, so whosoever validated their lies and supported them in their treachery, will not be from me and I am not from them and they will not (be allowed to come near) my well, i.e. al-Kawthar.” [Ahmad]

Fatima Musab
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir