The Return of the Khilafah

 The collapse of the Soviet Union was heralded as a landmark event in history as it proved the superiority of Capitalism over Communism and the emergence of a new world order. Although Communism won many to its ideology over a period of 70 years, it crumbled in the face of the arms race with the US and lost credibility amongst its adherents. Western intellectuals such as Francis Fukuyama labelled the collapse of communism as the end of the development of ideas, as Capitalism had triumphed against its only challenger.

The US launched the global war on terror soon after the events of  9/11. Afghanistan and then Iraq were both invaded and after 5 years such nations remain occupied with the US and coalition troops unable to subdue the resistance. Prior to the demise of Communism, the Islamic world was not even considered a threat to Capitalism but the intensity of the western intellectual, ideological and physical attack on the Muslim world has reversed this position. However, the Capitalist world in leading this war on terror assault, which their own populations have doubts upon, have inadvertently accelerated the process of change that has been gaining momentum for decades and is now about to reach its imminent end point.

The Muslim world: Past and Present

When the Khilafah was destroyed in Turkey in 1924, much of the Muslim world had been under occupation for decades. The British managed to turn the Arabs against the Turks with the help of the Saud family. The intellectual onslaught against the Khilafah and Islam and the inability of the scholars of the Khilafah in Turkey to address the industrial revolution and modern developments at the time led to many Muslims questioning the applicability of Islam. Such a view turned into a political movement (the young Turks) who eventually managed to rid themselves of Islam. North Africa was occupied for nearly a hundred years going back to the Napoleonic wars.  Support for the Khilafah in its dying days came from some Muslims such as the Khilafat Movement in India who sacrificed much but were unable to turn their call into a mass movement.

The situation at the time was summed up by David Fromkin, Professor, and expert on Economic History at the University of Chicago "Massive amounts of the wealth of the old Ottoman Empire were now claimed by the victors. But one must remember that the Islamic empire had tried for centuries to conquer Christian Europe and the power brokers deciding the fate of those defeated people were naturally determined that these countries should never be able to organize and threaten Western interests again. With centuries of mercantilist experience, Britain and France created small, unstable states whose rulers needed their support to stay in power. The development and trade of these states were controlled and they were meant never again to be a threat to the West. These external powers then made contracts with their puppets to buy Arab resources cheaply, making the feudal elite enormously wealthy while leaving most citizens in poverty"[1]

A scrutiny of these created nations shows that they were artificial constructs with no coherent value system. We see that Muslim societies in fact are fractured on what values should be the basis of society. In some cases, we find that some issues amongst people are settled according to Islamic concepts; in other cases, we see them settled upon Capitalist and even Nationalistic ideas. In fact, many of the problems such as poverty, unemployment, development, male and female relations etc are settled according to local customs and even tribal judgements. Hence, we find that the nations the colonialists artificially created cannot move forward (progress) since Muslims are attempting to deal with problems in multiple ways rather then a single agreed upon basis, this is what results in the mismanagement of resources. By not having a consistent reference point, the artificially created nations are disjointed and the nation as a whole fails to move in a unified direction.

This means that despite the colonialist onslaught, Muslims did not adopt Capitalism as a basis for their nations. This is particularly the case when the contradiction between these concepts and the Islamic Aqeedah became clear. One example of this is that despite the best efforts of the West in spreading her foreign culture, like the pursuit of freedom in life's' affairs in the Muslim lands we find that Muslims did not give up the social system of Islam, the fabric that held together Islamic societies was still Islam. In fact, the Ummah preserved her belief and took neither dialectic materialism nor secularism for their Aqeedah. Therefore, it can be argued that the Ummah maintained her identity as an Ummah and she did not give up her Islamic views about life, even though her understanding of Islam was not always clear.

In fact, despite lacking the ability to extract pristine concepts from the Islamic principles we find that today Muslims worldwide are yearning for a return to living their life by Islam. Take the example of Turkey, the only country to renounce Islam completely in its constitution. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk sought to destroy Islam in Turkey and he thought the Turkish people despised their Islamic heritage. However, after just a few decades, pressure on the regime mounted steadily and by the 1950's Turkish governments started to play up Islamic sentiments in order to maintain their grip on power. By the 1970's Turkey had politicians who were avowedly Islamic with the incorporation of Necmettin Erbakan in the cabinet.

Within the last 12 years, the people of Turkey voted for an 'Islamic' government twice. This proves that the Islamic feeling in Turkey was not temporary. This is what lead to then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1997 to lament the 'drift of Turkey away from secularism.' Such is the heightened sensitivity in the Turkish army today that it purges its ranks every year of any Islamic influence. So the Turkish people never adopted Capitalism which for so long had dominated Turkish politics and are now inclining towards Islam – a far cry from the events post 1924.

The Turkish example is just one of many; Islamic influence in Algeria was so great that the FIS managed to win a landslide victory. Similarly, the people's love of Islam in Afghanistan saw the establishment of an emirate, although not Khilafah, built upon Islam.

What we are witnessing currently is Muslims all over the world are reacting as one body to the onslaught against their brothers and sisters. Even the Muslims in Palestine, themselves under occupation, held marches and rallies in solidarity with the Muslims of Afghanistan and Iraq. Muslims feel revulsion when the concept of 'freedom of expression' is used to attack Islam, as can be seen by the case of the cartoons printed of the Prophet (saw) in Europe.

The question that needs to be asked is if the values the Ummah wants to live by are different to the values that are implemented over them then why do the Muslims continue to abide by these values and allow the rulers who implement them to rule over them? The answer to this is that the rulers in the Muslim world do not maintain their power by sharing a close affinity with their people, but rather through brutal methods of force and torture in order to subjugate the masses. This point is well established and does not need explanation. This has been the case for many years now and is not a new development.

The widening gulf between the Ummah and the rulers

If we look at the recent history of the Muslim world and the relationship between the people and the rulers, we can see that this relationship has become tenuous and now the Muslims hold concepts and sentiments that fundamentally contradict that of the Muslim rulers. We can see in Pakistan Pervez Musharraf's attempts to introduce western culture through 'enlightened moderation' has been largely discredited. We see Turkey on the eve of the second Gulf war was forced to turn down $20 billion in aid by the US as the Ummah considered such cooperation aiding the killing of Muslims in Iraq. We have also seen attempts by the Muslim rulers to normalise relations with Israel continually fail.

This gulf was not present for most of the last century. We have witnessed how Jamal Abdul Nasser enjoyed the strongest relationship with the people. He was seen as the Arab saviour due to his wresting of the Suez Canal from the British and his stand against Israel. The Muslims believed that Jamal Abdul Nasser was reflective of them. The Muslims hailed Yasser Arafat as one of the lions of Islam; Arafat managed to enlist hundreds of thousands of young Arab men to his rallying call for Jihad against the Israeli occupiers. The Muslim Ummah until the late 1980's were oblivious to the actions of King Fahd and the other Gulf rulers due to their economic prosperity and the influence of the Saudi backed scholars and movements. The same point can be seen around the Muslim world. The relationship between the rulers and the ruled in the Muslim world was always weak, people were apathetic to their failings for a +host of factors. The chasm was initially masked due to the relative strength of Arab nationalism and other ideas such as Ba'athism and Socialism. In some of the Gulf States, economic prosperity masked the underlying chasm. This was the case until the fall of Communism.

With the fall of Communism in 1990, there was a renewed focus on Islam due to its potential to  thwart Capitalism's hitherto unchecked advancement. The former secretary general of NATO Willie Claes stated; "The Alliance has placed Islam as a target for its hostility in place of the Soviet Union." The Muslims managed to resist the cultural onslaught and retained their Deen. This clash resulted in the destruction of Western civilisation in the minds of the Muslims.

Today, this destruction of Western civilisation has led to a new onslaught against Islam. America has realised that cultural colonialism has not worked against the Muslims and now what is required is the direct military colonisation. Paul Wolfowitz said in a press conference in Singapore, "It's true that our war against terrorism is a war against evil people, but it is also ultimately a battle for ideals as well as a battle of minds."[2]

Since the Muslim Ummah rejected the western viewpoint about life, she is naturally yearning for the Islamic way of life. However, this has exposed a gulf between the Muslims and their rulers. The rulers have rejected the Islamic culture and have adopted the western culture and the western agenda. So it is obvious to all that the rulers and the Muslims are diametrically opposed in their viewpoints. 

What makes this apparent is the number of events that have occurred over the last 20 years and the intensity of some of these incidents have exposed many of the rulers. These shocks in recent years have united the Ummah tremendously. Prior to the first Gulf war, the Muslim Ummah generally did not sense the American animosity against Muslims. Many thinkers and scholars in the Muslim world could not sense the treachery of the Muslim rulers, and did not see the West as their enemy. However, after the first Gulf war, which was prosecuted under the pretext of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, both the American animosity and the complicity of the Muslim rulers became evident. Not only did the Gulf regimes lose credibility for allowing the American troops bases in the Hijaz and other places, but so too the Islamic scholars who justified the war. Muslims could sense the gulf between themselves and the rulers.

Today we can see that the Muslim rulers are in political chains; trapped between subservience to America and the West and fear of removal by their own people. They are unable to send their armies to fight against Iraq because of the sentiments of the masses; their complicity in the war against Iraq is held in contempt and they are living in fear of change. Muslims worldwide are not accepting the American crusade against them, they now view America as an enemy, and they are fighting against her. They also view all their rulers with hatred and do not wish to be ruled by them as can be seen with Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

The beginning of the end for the traitors

The removal of the rulers who allow such a situation to prevail can be clearly seen by their desperate actions for survival. Yasser Arafat ordered the firing on his own people when they held rallies in support of Usama bin Laden and against the American war in Afghanistan. Jordanian troops crossed the border and began killing Israeli soldiers during the second Palestinian 'intifada.' Hamid Karzai insists on the use of American soldiers for his personal security rather then his own people and as a result has managed to live through numerous attempts to assassinate him. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan insists on clearing out all the streets when he travels in fear of being assassinated by his own people. Muslim opposition to the repression of the rulers results in the onslaught of the Lal Masjid by Pervez Musharraf to keep his grip on power. King Abdullah of Jordan obliterated the city of Ma'an because of the feelings and sentiments of the people who were undermining his authority. The Egyptian foreign minister was pelted with sandals when he entered the Al Aqsa mosque in 2005 after a meeting with Israel. We also continue to see the charade of the OIC and Arab summits where the rulers are forced to attack the US to keep their host populations happy. There was even an attempted coup in Qatar in October 2002 led by Pakistani and Yemeni army officers which was thwarted by the arrival of American troops – not an example that bodes well for the current Muslim rulers.

These are just some of the many examples that illustrate the weakening grip on power, which the Muslim rulers are now experiencing, and are an illustration that unless the rulers execute what the people wish to live by, then they are liable for eventual change. This has not gone unnoticed by the US and the rest of the world.

The West is defending its ideology

The subverting of foreign thoughts has historically been the approach Capitalism undertook to defend itself from challenges to its supremacy. The Cold War is the best example of this; the defence of the ideology included the McCarthyism purges, anti-communist propaganda which was termed the red scare, the space race and arms race. Britain today defends itself by concocting lies (subverting) all those who oppose 'British values' as dangerous, extremist, radical, fundamentalist, a potential terrorist and a national security threat. Thus, western States have no qualms in targeting their Muslim communities by bugging their phones, monitoring their histories, tracking their movements abroad and arresting them with mere suspicion even though they have not actually committed a crime.

Both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq proved to many thinkers that Capitalism gained no currency in the Muslims world, in fact stories of Iraqi's welcoming US troops where found to be lies concocted by the US spin machine. It is clearly no coincidence that the areas that are the ultimate targets of the so-called 'war on terror,' are countries where Islam is pre-eminent as majority populations and the basis for future Islamic governance, are the same countries and regions where strategic resources – most notably oil and natural gas are concentrated. It is also no coincidence that both the 2002 and 2006 versions of the Pentagon's Quadrennial Review demonized Muslims, Islamic countries and Islam, in various guises, as grave threats to US security. The highest US officials were convinced that America's greatest ideological challenge is what they call 'a highly politicized form of Islam', that Washington and its allies cannot afford to stand by, and watch Muslims realise their political destiny, the Khilafah.

As a result senior policy makers including George W Bush have 'warned' of the consequences of the Khilafahs' re-establishment. Bush, in a speech to the American nation in October 2005 stated: "The militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia." Donald Rumsfeld, during the invasion of Iraq confirmed, "Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic Caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East and which would threaten the legitimate governments in Europe, Africa, and Asia. This is their plan. They have said so. We make a terrible mistake if we fail to listen and learn. It is for these reasons America has imposed a Viceroy of the Middle East because the Muslim rulers cannot be propped up by an outside force for much longer.

The Muslim Ummah today is ready for change she has rejected the Capitalist viewpoint and wants to live by Islam in State and society.  Her sentiments have been in line with Islam as has been seen each time the West has attacked the Deen. Muslim globally can clearly see the rulers are not representative of her; in fact, a widening gulf exists between the rulers and the people. This realisation and the shocks that have occurred upon her in the last few years will eventually move her to change these rulers to those who are representative of her. The reality of change and the historic evidences show that we are on the verge of this change.

What will motivate those who can make this change a reality and take that extra step is the feeling of the general masses; since this will give them confidence and support. In the Muslim world, this is the armies. If we look to the recent past in the Muslim World, we can see that many of the coups and attempted coups were undertaken by army officers looking for change. Pakistan, Qatar, Tunisia, Iraq, and Afghanistan are just some examples of countries that have experienced attempted coups or changes in leadership instigated by the army/influential people in the last 12 years who have had enough of the rulers.

The actions of the West should remove any doubt in any Muslims mind that Capitalism has pulled out all its resources to divide the Ummah and reform Islam in order to put a halt to the winds of change that have galvanised the Ummah. In the West, Politicians and thinkers are openly slandering Islam; they also directly slander political Islam as political ideas always end with governance. In The Muslim world continued US intelligence estimates point towards long-term US military presence and the deployment of rapid mobile deployment forces that can be deployed at a moments notice. Such desperate actions only mean one thing as prophesised by Muhammad (saw) in his hadith:

"The Prophethood will last among you for as long as Allah wills, then Allah would take it away. Then it will be (followed by) a Khilafah Rashida (rightly guided) according to the ways of the Prophethood. It will remain for as long as Allah wills, then Allah would take it away. Afterwards there will be a hereditary leadership, which will remain for as long as Allah wills, and then He will lift it if He wishes. Afterwards, there will be biting oppression, and it will last for as long as Allah wishes, then He will lift it if He wishes. Then there will be a Khilafah Rashida according to the ways of the Prophethood." Then he kept silent. (Musnad Imam Ahmad (v/273))


[1] Fromkin D, A Peace to End All Peace, p 45, New York: Avon Books, 1989

[2] Transcript of Speech by Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz, Luncheon Press Event in Singapore, May 2002, retrieved October 26th 2007,