Islamic Culture

The Ummah: On the Path to Revival

Throughout the Muslim world, the Ummah is breaking out from the shackles of colonialism and is actively seeking the implementation of shariah. For example, the Ummah no longer supports parties that raise the banner of nationalism. Instead the only parties that are seen by the Ummah as a credible source of opposition to the Western-backed dictators are those that promise to implement Islam.

Recently, the media widely reported a demonstration carried in Afghanistan by 100-300 “young women” who were protesting the infamous shi’te family law. Some media outlets also reported on the counter-protests, where between 800-1000 men and women came out to show their support for the law. Many at the counter-protest voiced their opposition to interference from the colonial powers. One student from the counter-protest summarized the sentiment as follows: “We must trust Allah, instead of listening to the Western countries and the European countries who come here to meddle and interfere.”

Regardless of one’s opinion about the specific law, the larger issue is that the Ummah is turning to Islam and rejecting ideas that are foreign to it. In the case of Afghanistan, the Muslims have been resisting foreign occupation for over 20 years – first against the Soviets and now against the US-led NATO forces. Despite these challenges, the Ummah has not given up its resolve in returning to shariah.

The Call for Shariah: From Morocco to Indonesia

Throughout the Muslim world, the Ummah is breaking out from the shackles of colonialism and is actively seeking the implementation of shariah. For example, the Ummah no longer supports parties that raise the banner of nationalism. Instead the only parties that are seen by the Ummah as a credible source of opposition to the Western-backed dictators are those that promise to implement Islam.

In Algeria, the Ummah actively sought the implementation of Islam. This transformation reflected the changes in the thoughts and emotions of the society. For example, in the 1970s it was considered civilized for women to abandon the hijab and to adopt European fashion. By the 1990s, the thoughts and emotions in the society had not only accepted the hijab, but saw dressing any other way as “jahil” (ignorant). Furthermore, the Muslims supported the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) with the hopes that they would implement Islam. During the run-up to the 1992 election, hundreds of thousands of supporters filled stadiums to show their support for Islam.

In Turkey, the Ummah has also struggled tirelessly to retain its Islamic character. Mustafa Kemal did his best to purge the former seat of the Khilafah from any traces of Islam. He banned the hijab, forced the adhan to be made in Turkish instead of Arabic, and replaced the Arabic script with the Latin alphabet. At odds with the Western-backed and openly secular military, the Ummah sought to return to Islam by continually supporting parties with the hopes that they would repeal the ban on the hijab and implement shariah. During the Gaza Massacre of 2009, thousands of Muslims demonstrated in support of their brothers and sisters in Palestine. In addition, when the Prime Minister of Turkey showed an inkling of dignity by exchanging heated words with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Davos conference, the Ummah in Turkey was again on its feet demonstrating its support for Islam.

In Palestine, the Ummah turned to the Islamic groups as a means to resist the occupation – shifting support away from the secular groups. In addition, a growing number of Muslims in Palestine are openly calling for the re-establishment of Khilafah as they realize this is the only way to reverse the occupation. This is despite the violence meted out to them by the treacherous Palestinian Authority who has shamelessly acted as Israel’s attack dog.

In Pakistan, the Ummah ardently wants the implementation of shariah. Throughout the years the Ummah has supported political parties who promised to rule by the book of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Most recently the Muslims living in the Swat region were able to get the government to apply shariah – although only to a limited extent.

In Rajab 1428 (August 2007), thousands of Muslims around the world attended conferences to remember the obligation of Khilafah. In Indonesia, 100,000 Muslims attended such a conference to openly call for the re-establishment of Khilafah and the comprehensive implementation of Islam.

Turning Point: The Ummah seeks Islam

For over 80 years, the Ummah has witnessed some of the darkest moments of its entire history. However, by Allah’s سبحانه وتعالى leave, this period of darkness will end. As narrated in the following hadith, this era of tyrannical rule will be replaced by a Khilafah on the method of the Prophethood صلى الله عليه وسلم:

“Then there will be a tyrannical rule (i.e. all the current regimes) for as long as Allah wills, then he will lift it when he so wills, then there will be a Khilafah Rashidah on the method of the Prophethood” [Ahmad]

We must remember that for decades after the destruction of the Khilafah, the Ummah had become enchanted with concepts emanating from secular-Capitalism and Socialism. In addition, the seeds of nationalism implanted by the colonial powers during the years of occupation had also taken root within the Ummah. When the above events are witnessed individually, they may seem isolated. However, reviewing the events together – across time and geography – we see that the Ummah is shifting away from foreign ideologies and placing its trust in the Deen of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. By Allah’s سبحانه وتعالى leave, the Ummah is on the path to revival.

Khilafah: The only way to implement Shariah

The paradigm shift away from jahiliyah to Islam is significant. However, we must work with the Ummah to refine its vision and set its sights upon the Khilafah Rashidah – the only legitimate authority to implement the Quran and Sunnah at a state level.

The Khaleefah is the single leadership over all Muslims in the world. Its responsibility is to implement the laws of Islam in the state and convey the Islamic Message to the rest of the world. The Khaleefah is not a king or dictator, but an elected leader whose authority to rule must be given willingly by the Muslims through the ruling contract of bayah (i.e. just as the Ummah gave it to Abu Bakr (ra) after the death of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم). Without this bayah he cannot be the head of state. This contract of bayah stipulates that the Khaleefah must rule the people by shariah and cannot legislate from his own mind or adopt laws from other systems. All laws must be derived from the Islamic legal sources of Quran, Sunnah, Ijma as-Sahabah (consensus of the campanions) and Qiyas (analogy).

The concept of Khilafah is an integral part of Islam as evidenced by the Sunnah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Rightly Guided Khulafah who succeeded him. It was narrated that RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“Whoso takes off his hand from allegience (bayah) to Allah will meet Him on the resurrection day without having any proof for himself, and whoso dies while there was no allegiance on his neck dies a death of the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah).” [Muslim]

The Islamic State – the Islamic authority for all Muslims – was established by RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم in Madinah. It lasted for over 1300 years: from the hijrah of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم until 1342 Hijri (1924). When RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم passed away, the issue of leadership in Islam was so important that the Sahabah delayed the burial of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم until they had appointed a khaleefah over their affairs.

The Khilafah is the Islamic system of government that oversees all affairs of the Ummah. The Khaleefah is responsible to ensure that all the systems of Islam including the social system, economic system, education, foreign relations and judiciary are implemented. These systems work in unison to build a coherent legal framework that covers all aspects of life. Only the Khilafah can pool together all the resources of the Ummah to protect its citizens and propagate Islam to other nations. For example, the disbelieving colonial powers were only able to invade Iraq because the treacherous rulers allowed these colonial powers to use their lands and airspaces to attack on the Ummah living in Iraq. If these lands were united under a Khilafah, the invasion of Iraq would not have been possible.

Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم Method: The Only Way for Change

Islam is a complete way of life that does not need to borrow from any other system. Through the Quran and Sunnah, Allah سبحانه وتعالى has provided us guidance on how to work for change. RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم did not seek change through the parliamentary system of the day, which was known as Dar-ul-Nadwa – the place that the leaders of Quraish would gather, consult one another, and decide on how to settle their affairs. Furthermore, when the leaders of Quraish offered RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم kingship, he refused. That is, he did not become the ruler of the society based on a kufr system to later implement Islam once he was “on the inside”. As a result, the Ummah cannot work through the democratic system to change it once they are “on the inside”. RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم also did not use violence to establish the Islamic State. Rather he restricted his actions to those in the political and intellectual realm.

RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم followed three specific steps to attain authority and apply Islam comprehensively:

1. First, he built the Sahabah through an intense culturing process, in Dar Al-Arqam Ibn-Abi-Al-Arqam, where the Sahabahs’ thoughts and concepts were transformed. Through intense study of the ayat of Quran, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم changed their measures of success and failure from those that were used by the Quraish to those defined by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. For example, the Sahabah abandoned the concept of the tribal bond and embraced the bond of Islamic brotherhood.

2. Second, RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم interacted with the society around him through the ayat revealed to him by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. For example, he صلى الله عليه وسلم would recite the ayat attacking the corrupt practices of Quraish, such as worshipping idols, burying their new born daughters alive, and dealing in riba (interest).

3. Finally, he sought nusrah (i.e. the support) from the people of power. Ibn Kathir writing about the Seerah, narrated that Ali bin Abi Talib (ra) said, “When Allah commanded His messenger to present himself to the Arab tribes he went out to Mina accompanied by myself and Abu Bakr where we came to a gathering of Arab tribes.”

Hizb-ut-Tahrir works with the Ummah throughout the Muslim world on this method: building an Islamic culture that rejects all non-Islamic (i.e. Capitalistic) measures of life, interacting with the Ummah through leaflets, weekly halaqas, and conferences, and calling the Ahl Al-Hal Wa Al-Aqd (People of Power and Influence) to yield the authority to Islam, by establishing the Islamic State, appointing the khaleefah, and giving him the authority to implement Islam.

Ultimately, the success of this effort is with Allah سبحانه وتعالى. May Allah سبحانه وتعالى guide this Ummah and the hearts of those with the authority to replace the current corrupt rulers with a Khaleefah Rashid.

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

“You are the best Ummah brought forth to mankind – enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and believing in Allah.”
[Al-Imran, 3:110]