Concepts, Islamic Culture, Side Feature

What Is an Islamic Government Like?

Up until the mid-eighteenth century, Islam was like a magnificent tree with strong, lush green branches that bore fruits all year long. The Islamic doctrine was the seed from which this tree was born, while the Islamic thoughts and rules about life were its roots. The law and authority of Islam was the lofty stem that emanated from these roots. The resulting prosperity, progress and strength in society were the fresh, vibrant branches that maintained the Islamic way of life and spread the call of Islam to the rest of the world.

However, the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the middle of the eighteenth century resulted in a change in the global landscape. The Islamic State lost its status as the leading state and its decline became apparent. Furthermore, Muslims became so intimidated by European progress that they began rethinking and revisiting Islamic viewpoints. Some even went so far as to see weaknesses within the Islamic thought. All of these doubts resulted in a weakening implementation of Islam, which, in turn, accelerated the decline of the Islamic State. This ideological weakness in Muslims, compounded by their defeat in World War I, with the help of Mustafa Kemal, allowed Britain to abolish the Islamic State. After the destruction of the Islamic State, all that remained with the Muslims were their Islamic thoughts and viewpoints. However, once Western colonial powers started occupying Muslim lands, they employed any and all means possible to weaken the very foundation of Islam. As a result of these colonial efforts, many of the fundamental concepts of Islam were completely erased from amongst Muslims, many of the thoughts were shoved away out of the public discourse, and others were replaced or tainted with new ideas that were completely alien to Islam. As the generations that remembered the Islamic Caliphate faded away in time, they were replaced by new generations of Muslims, who, although they had heard of the Islamic State, did not know anything about its structures, laws and systems. In fact, they considered the Islamic State to be a mere fantasy. Thus, the once magnificent and glorious tree of Islamic civilization had been confined merely to its roots.

Considering the destruction of the Islamic Caliphate, which protected Muslims and Islam for centuries, as its unprecedented, greatest victory, Western powers decided to divide Muslim lands. Eventually, Western civilization began to dominate Muslim lands that were now the battlegrounds of global powers such as Europe, Russia, and the United States. In order to impose the ideas of Western civilization, they introduced their education, media, culture and systems via their agent rulers. If Muslims in any region rejected and rebelled against this Western agenda, they were compelled via military and economic means. Today, in the 21st century, however, the Muslim world is fed up with the devastating and tragic consequences of the Western system. However, they lack the ideas and thoughts needed to return back to an Islamic civilization. Hence, the need of the hour is to culture Muslims about the concepts of Islam which can restore the Islamic civilization. It is through these concepts that Muslims will be able to finally conceptualize the Islamic state, the establishment of which is necessary for the resumption of the Islamic way of life. Since many Islamic movements around the world are working for the return of the Islamic system to Muslim countries, it is more important than ever before to clarify and explain to people the true Islamic concepts lest, in spite of their sincere efforts for change, the West take advantage of the intellectual weakness amongst Muslims to distance them from a real Islamic State. Below are some of the many basic attributes of an Islamic state that are essential for any state to become an Islamic state.

1. For any state to be an Islamic state, it must solely be based on the Islamic aqeedah, which must be the basis of all of its actions, i.e. the supreme sovereignty in the State must belong to the Islamic Shariah.

The reason for the establishment of any State is to protect the thoughts and beliefs of its people and to take care of their needs according to these thoughts. Therefore, it is essential that the State is based upon the same thoughts and beliefs that the people it governs, subscribe to. The aqeedah of the Muslim Ummah is the aqeedah of Islam, and the concepts, criteria and conviction that the Ummah subscribes to are the ones that are derived from the Islamic aqeedah. Furthermore, the viewpoint of Muslims towards life is also based upon Islam, and so is their viewpoint about their benefits. Therefore, from an Islamic, natural and rational perspective, the Muslim Ummah must then be ruled in accordance with Islam.

The foundations of the first Islamic State that the Prophet (saw) founded had a specific basis, which was Islamic aqeedah. Hence, it is obligatory upon Muslims to ensure that the State they live under must too be based upon Islam, for all times and places. The Prophet (saw) ensured that the State he created in Madinah was based upon the Islamic aqeedah from its very inception. Furthermore, he also began carrying out Jihad to propagate Islam to the rest of humankind and made it obligatory upon the rest of the Muslims to do the same. The Prophet (saw) said, «أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَشْهَدُوا أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ، فَإِذَا فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ عَصَمُوا مِنِّي دِمَاءَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلا بِحَقِّ الإِسْلامِ، وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ» “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.” [Agreed Upon]. Furthermore, the Prophet (saw) ordered Muslims to openly fight against a ruler who openly implements kufr. It is narrated from Ubada b. Samit that the Prophet (saw) said, «وَأَنْ لا نُنَازِعَ الأمْرَ أَهْلَهُ إِلا أَنْ تَرَوْا كُفْرًا بَوَاحًا» “And we took an oath of allegiance that we will not fight an Amir (ruler) except when we have clear signs of his disbelief.” [Agreed Upon]. At-Tabarani has used the words «كفراً صُراحاً» “open disbelief” in his narration, whereas Ibn Hibban has used the words «إِلاَّ أَنْ تَكُونَ مَعْصِيَةُ اللَّهِ بَوَاحَاً» “except when you have clear signs of his disobedience to Allah.” Similarly, Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

﴿فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُـوْنَ حَتّـٰى يُحَكِّمُوْكَ فِيْمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَـهُـمْ

“But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves.” [An-Nisa: 65]. All these evidences point out to the fact that the Islmaic aqeedah must only be the foundations of any state, and that all matters must be resolved in accordance with the Islamic Shariah. Any alternative source – whether it’s from a non-Islamic civilization, or derived from the mind – will be considered kufr.

Therefore, any though that is not derived from the Islamic aqeedah has no place in an Islamic society, whether it is democracy, nationalism, patriotism, monarchy, dictatorship, liberalism or nation-state. Not only are all of these thoughts not derived from Islam, they actually contradict clear, explicit Islamic injunctions. Furthermore, the assertion that the Islamic aqeedah will be the basis of an Islamic society also implies that all laws will be restricted to Allah (swt)’s commandments and that no other system or thought will be referred to in this matter. Therefore, under an Islamic government, all matters including those related to judiciary, economics, social, internal and foreign policies, education, industry, health, army, treasury will only be organized on the basis of the Islamic aqeedah.

2. For any state to be an Islamic State, it is mandatory that the implemented laws are only Islamic and its protection should entirely be based on Muslims’ power

A state will be an Islamic state only when its internal and external security is completely controlled by Muslims, and only the laws of Islam are implemented there. If any one of these conditions is violated then the State cannot be considered to be an Islamic State, like if the external and internal security is controlled by non-Muslims or ruling is from other than laws of Islam. This does not require both conditions to be violated, instead violating only one of the two conditions is also sufficient for the state to be a non-Islamic state.

The first state that the Prophet (saw) established fulfilled both of these conditions. Al-Bayhaqi reported on the authority of Ubadah ibn al-Samit who said: «إِنَّا بَايَعْنَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ عَلَى السَّمْعِ وَالطَّاعَةِ فِي النَّشَاطِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالنَّفَقَةِ فِي الْعُسْرِ وَالْيُسْرِ، وَعَلَى الأَمْرِ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّهْيِ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ، وَعَلَى أَنْ نَقُولَ فِي اللَّهِ لاَ تَأْخُذُنَا فِيهِ لَوْمَةُ لاَئِمٍ. وَعَلَى أَنْ نَنْصُرَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ إِذَا قَدِمَ عَلَيْنَا يَثْرِبَ مِمَّا نَمْنَعُ أَنْفُسَنَا وَأَزوَاجنَا وَأَبْنَاءَنَا وَلَنَا الجَّنَّةَ. فَهَذِهِ بَيْعَةُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ الَّتِي بَايَعْنَاهُ عَلَيْهَا» “We pledged to the Messenger of Allah to hear and obey, in times of strength and weakness, in ease and hardship, to enjoin good and forbid evil, that we will not fear the blame of the blamers, and that when the Prophet (saw) comes to Madinah we will give him Nussrah, and we will protect him as we protect our wives and children, and that in return we will get Paradise. This is the pledge that we gave to the Prophet (saw).” This and other evidence point to the fact that the Prophet (saw) took the Second Pledge at al-Aqabah, on the conditions of both obedience and security.

Similarly, those tribes that refused to establish the Islamic State, refused on one or both of these two grounds. Al Bayhaqi reports on the authority of Ali (ra) that the Prophet (saw) told Banu Shayban: «مَا أَسَأْتُمْ فِي الرَّدِّ إَذْ أَفْصَحْتُمْ بِالصِّدْقِ، وَإِنَّ دِينَ اللَّهِ لَنْ يَنْصُرَهُ إِلاَّ مَنْ حَاطَهُ مِنْ جَمِيعِ جَوَانِبِهِ» “You have not given a bad response, rather you told the truth, but only someone who supports Allah’s Deen from all sides (can give Nussrah.)” These people had originally proposed to support and help the Prophet (saw) only in Arabia, and not against the Persian Empire.

Therefore, for any state to be an Islamic state, it is necessary that it fulfills these two conditions, which the Prophet (saw) demanded when creating the first Islamic State. A violation of any one of these conditions will render that state non-Islamic.

3. For any state to be an Islamic State, it is necessary that its system of governance is based on centrality and unity, and that the State takes responsibility of the entire Muslim Ummah and lead it.

In an Islamic state, authority is not collective but individual. Therefore, in an Islamic government, governance is not based on the collective wisdom of human beings, but on the basis of Revelation based on the infinite wisdom of Allah (swt), which can only be enforced by the head of state, the Caliph. In an Islamic government, legal opinions are preferred based on the strength of their thinking, whilst in a collective government, legal opinions are preferred based on public acceptance and interests. Islam denies collective governance and does not allow more than one ruler of a state. The Caliph is the person to whom the Muslim citizens of the state entrust the authority to enforce and spread Islam through allegiance, so the contract of responsibility for governing is fulfilled only by the person who is the Caliph and the head of state. Therefore, an Islamic state is one in which governance is based on centrality. In addition, after assuming the office of Caliph, it becomes obligatory for all Muslims to obey him. The Prophet (saw) said: «وَمَنْ مَاتَ وَلَيْسَ فِي عُنُقِهِ بَيْعَةٌ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً» “Whoever dies without the pledge of allegiance around his neck, has died a death of ignorance.” Due to the necessity of obeying the Caliph, all areas of the Muslim world are considered as part of the Islamic State, and they must submit to the authority of the Caliph. If they refuse to do so, they will be considered as rebels. Therefore, an Islamic state is one in which the governance is based on the unity of the Muslim world.

It is narrated from Abu Saeed Khudri (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said: «إِذَا بُويِعَ لِخَلِيفَتَـيْنِ فَاقْتُلُوا الآخَرَ مِنْهُمَا» “When two caliphs are given the pledge of allegiance, kill the latter one.” Ahmed reports that Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, «لا یحل لثلاثۃ نفریکونون بأَرض فلاۃ إِلا أَمّروا علیھم أَحدھم» “It is not permitted for three people to live on open land, and for them to not appoint a leader over themselves.” Abu Daud reports from Abu Saeed that the Prophet (saw) said, «إِذا خرج ثلاثۃفی سفر فلیؤ مروا أَحدھم» “When three people embark on a journey, then they should choose a leader from amongst themselves.” In both of these hadith, the word احد means a single individual, which indicates that only one person can be appointed as a leader. The Prophet (saw)’s own actions also confirm that there cannot be more than one leader, since he never appointed more than one person as a leader for any mission.

Therefore, in an Islamic government, the real authority to rule rests with the person whom the Ummah appoints as the Caliph. All other rulers, who are assistants or deputies of the Caliph in the governing structure, are appointed by the Caliph and they take their ruling powers from him as Caliph. Therefore, in the Islamic state, all the rulers under the Caliph, including his aides, guardians and agents, do not have the real authority to rule. Instead their authority is derived from the authority of the Caliph, who can take it back whenever he wants. Even though Islam urges the Caliph to consult the people in their affairs, the final decisions and ruling is the sole prerogative of the Caliph and no one else shares that with him. So a state with more than one ruler cannot be an Islamic state.

4. In order for a state to become an Islamic state, it is necessary for the Ummah to have the right to choose and appoint a ruler i.e. the Ummah should have the right to appoint a Caliph as the head of state through contract.

In an Islamic government, the right to appoint a ruler rests with the Ummah. The Ummah swears allegiance to the elected ruler and makes him their Caliph, on the condition that he implements the Islamic system and spreads the message of Islam throughout the rest of the world. Islam has given the Ummah the right to voluntarily appoint someone as the Caliph and pledge their allegiance to him. Therefore, a state can only be an Islamic state when the Ummah has the right to appoint the ruler there.

The Prophet (saw) became the ruler of Madinah when the Second Pledge at al-Aqabah took place in the valley of Aqaba in the month of Muharram. Muslims from the tribes of both Aus and Khazraj pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (saw) and promised to obey and protect him. Similarly, immediately after the death of the Prophet (saw), the leaders and representatives of the Muhajireen and Ansar gathered at Saqifa Bani Sa’ida and after discussing amongst themselves, voluntarily pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) and made him their Caliph. Then, during his last few days, the Muslims of Madinah asked Abu Bakar (ra) to name a successor and he subsequently chose Umar (ra). After Abu-Bakr’s death, the people of Madinah pledged their allegiance to Umar (ra) and gave him the position of Caliph. Then after Umar’s death, the people of Madinah went through a comprehensive process of selecting the next Caliph from amongst six candidates. They finally chose Uthman (ra) and pledged their allegiance to him. Similarly, a few days after Uthman’s death, the people came to Ali (ra) and persuaded him to assume the position of the ruler. Ali (ra) accepted and became the Caliph and the people pledged their allegiance to him. In the periods following this, the Islamic method of appointing a Caliph by pledging allegiance to him, continued. However, the Ummah more or less lost interest in the process of the selection of the Caliph. While this itself was a weakness within the Ummah, nevertheless the right to appoint the Caliph still remained with the Ummah. During the time of the Prophet (saw) and the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Ummah consistently, and without exception, chose the ruler by her own consent, and made their allegiance as the basis for the appointment of the ruler. In an Islamic government, the authority to choose the Caliph rests with the Ummah, which appoints him voluntarily by pledging their allegiance. The pledge of allegiance is the Islamic legal procedure of transferring power (authority) from the Ummah to the Caliph. Therefore, a state cannot be an Islamic state, if the right to appoint the ruler is taken away from the Ummah and given to a particular class or group, or if the appointment of the ruler is not done through the pledge of allegiance (bayah).

Abu-Hurairah narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, «كَانَتْ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ تَسُوسُهُمُ الأَنْبِيَاءُ، كُلَّمَا هَلَكَ نَبِيٌّ خَلَفَهُ نَبِيٌّ، وَإِنَّهُ لا نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي، وَسَيَكُونُ خُلَفَاءُ فَيَكْثُرُونَ، قَالُوا: فَمَا تَأْمُرُنَا؟ قَالَ: فُوا بِبَيْعَةِ الأَوَّلِ فَالأَوَّلِ، أَعْطُوهُمْ حَقَّهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَائِلُهُمْ عَمَّا اسْتَرْعَاهُمْ» “The politics of the Children of Israel were carried out by their prophets. When one prophet died, another would take his place. But there will be no prophets after me. Instead, there will be a lot of Caliphs. The Companions asked: What do you order us to do? The Prophet (SAW) replied: Fulfill the pledge of allegiance to them one after the other and give them their due. Because Allah Almighty will ask them about their subjects, which He has given them.” [Muslim]. Nafay reported that he heard from Abdullah bin Amr that the Prophet (saw) said, «مَنْ خَلَعَ يَدًا مِنْ طَاعَةٍ لَقِيَ اللَّهَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لا حُجَّةَ لَهُ، وَمَنْ مَاتَ وَلَيْسَ فِي عُنُقِهِ بَيْعَةٌ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً»“Whoever withdraws from his pledge of obedience will meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection in a state where he will have no excuse, and whoever dies without the pledge of allegiance on his neck, has died in a state of ignorance.” [Muslim]. These ahaadeeth indicate that the authority and power of the Caliph is derived from the allegiance given to him, because Allah (swt) has made it obligatory for him to be obeyed once he has been pledged allegiance. Thus, anyone who pledges his allegiance to the Caliph must obey him. Hence, a person only becomes a Caliph because of the pledge of allegiance that he takes and his obedience becomes obligatory because he is the Caliph who was pledged allegiance to by the Ummah. In other words, the Caliph takes power (authority) from the Ummah through the pledge of allegiance.

5. For a state to be an Islamic state, only the Caliph must have the authority to adopt any Islamic legal opinion to make it the law, in the matters having different opinions.

Islam has a method for resolving differences and adopting a single opinion in order to legislate. Islam’s method, however, is radically different from that in democracy. When there are multiple views on a matter, in an Islamic state, the head of the state, the Caliph, has the authority to adopt any one opinion that he deems the strongest. In Islam, opinions are ranked on the basis of the strength of their Shar’i evidence. By adopting an opinion, the Caliph makes it the law and it becomes obligatory for the Ummah to follow it. The evidence for this is the Consensus of the Companions (Ijmaah as-Sahaba) whereby they all agreed that if the Caliph adopts a certain Shariah ruling, then it becomes obligatory for everyone else to follow it. For example, Abu Bakr (ra) once declared that if a man divorces his wife three times in one sitting, then the three divorces should only be counted as one. Similarly, he also ordered the booty from wars to be distributed equally among Muslims and did not differentiate between old and new reverts in this matter. All Muslims, then, followed him in these matters. Even the judges and governors made their decisions in accordance with his adoptions. Similarly, when Umar (ra) became the Caliph, he adopted opinions on these matters contrary to Abu Bakr’s. So, for example, he declared that three divorces given in a single sitting should be considered to be three. He also distinguished between old and new reverts when distributing wealth, and gave the former precedence over the latter. The Muslims followed him and the judges and governors made decisions in accordance with his opinions. Similarly, Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) asserted that land acquired as booty from wars will not be divided among the soldiers, but instead the right to dispose them off would be off the state’s treasury. Furthermore, he ordered that these lands would remain with their original owners before the conquest. The Muslims and the soldiers did not dispute or disobey Umar in this and the judges and governors made their decisions according to his adoptions. Therefore, all of the Rightly Guided Caliphs made it obligatory upon the people to leave their own opinions in favor of the adoptions made by the Caliph. So, from this discussion we have established two things. One is that the Caliph has the right to adopt, and the second is that it is obligatory to follow the Caliph’s adoptions. Following famous Shar’i rules were deduced from this Consensus of Companions: للسلطان أن يحدث من الأقضية بقدر ما يحدث من مشكلات “The Caliph (Sultan) has the authority to order the implementation of a particular solution for any new issue,” أمر الإمام يرفع الخلاف“The order of the Caliph (Imam) eliminate discord” and أمر الإمام نافذ“The order of the Imam (Caliph) must always be implemented.”

Therefore, despite the different opinions amongst the Companions regarding Shar’i matters because of the different ways in which each of them understood the evidences, all of them agreed that the Caliph can resolve any differences by adopting any one opinion that he deems the strongest and making it the law. So although Islam recommends the Caliph to consult with the people in matters of dispute, this act of adopting opinions throughout centuries of Islamic rule, during the period of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and after them, proves that the Islamic method of adopting laws based on Shariah is the sole prerogative of the Caliph. Any other way of making laws is a sign of non-Islamic state.

6. For a state to be an Islamic state, it is necessary that its constitution, laws and policies are all based solely on revelation (Wahy).

Following the Revelation of Allah (swt) is the only way for any man to achieve salvation on the Day of Resurrection. Islam orders its believers to make Allah (swt)’s Revelation the sole basis for resolving all matters in life and for seeking guidance. The Revelation is the only source of the Deen and it is only through it that one can understand the orders and prohibitions of Allah (swt). Therefore, it is mandatory for a state seeking to be an Islamic state to its constitution, laws and policies on these revelations and to not rely on any other source. Here Revelation refers to the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw). Therefore, the basis of laws for governance and system should only be the Qur’an and Sunnah, and the sources which are based on the Qur’an and Sunnah only.

Allah (swt) says:

﴿وَمَن لَّمۡ يَحۡكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرُونَ

“And those who do not rule according to what God has sent down are unbelievers.” [TMQ Surah Al-Maidah 5:44]. And He (swt) says,

﴿وَمَن لَّمۡ يَحۡڪُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ

“And those who do not rule according to what God has sent down are tyrants.” [TMQ Surah Al-Maidah 5:45]. And He says (swt),

﴿وَمَن لَّمۡ يَحۡڪُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقُونَ

“And those who do not rule according to what Allah has revealed are wrongdoers.” [TMQ Surah Al-Maidah 5:47]. And He (swt) says,

﴿وَأَنِ ٱحۡكُم بَيۡنَہُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعۡ أَهۡوَآءَهُمۡ

“And rule among them according to what God has revealed, and do not follow their whims.” [TMQ Surah Al-Maidah 5:49]. These and many other verses like them are conclusive evidence that it is incumbent upon Muslims to rule by what Allah (swt) has revealed to His Messenger (saw), that is, the Revelation in the form of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Therefore, a state can only be an Islamic state if its rule is based on Shariah. Allah (swt) has perfected Islam by providing guidance on all of the issues that people all around the world might face until the Day of Resurrection. Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

﴿ٱلۡيَوۡمَ أَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِينَكُمۡ وَأَتۡمَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعۡمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلۡإِسۡلَـٰمَ دِينً۬ا

“Today, We have perfected your religion for you, and completed Our favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your Deen.” [TMQ Surah Al-Maidah 5:3]. Therefore, Islam already has all of the details and injunctions that a ruler might require at any time or place. Therefore, adopting ideas, laws or policies not derived from what Allah (swt) has revealed is not permissible in Islam, and instead are derived from other source. There is a huge difference between extracting laws from Islam deriving them from other sources and trying to justify them through Islam. In the first case the laws will be Islamic while in the second case they will be not. In an agreed upon hadith, the Prophet (saw) said, «مَنْ أَحْدَثَ فِي أَمْرِنَا هَذَا مَا لَيْسَ فِيهِ فَهُوَ رَدٌّ»“Whoever brings a new thing in our matter (Deen) which is not in it (this Deen), then that (work) is rejected.” These are the words in Bukhari whereas in Muslim the words «ما ليس منه»“which is not from it” are reported. Also, Ibne-Hazm and Ibne Abdul Bar report the words, «كُلُّ عَمَلٍ لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَدٌّ» “Any action that is not in accordance with our matter is rejected.” These ahaadeeth prove that every command that is taken from something other than what was revealed is not acceptable in Islam. It does not matter whether the ruling taken from some other source favors Islam or is against it. Therefore, a state can only be an Islamic state when its entire constitution, laws and systems are exclusively based upon Islam.

7. For a state to be an Islamic state, it is necessary for it to establish relations with other states on the basis of Islam only and carry the message of Islam to the rest of the world.

The pledge of allegiance that Muslims give to a Caliph has two subjects. The first is that the Caliph will enforce Shariah by the authority transferred to him by the Ummah, that is, he will rule by Islam, and the second is that the Caliph will spread the message of Islam to the rest of the world. Fulfilling the second requirement also entails waging physical war (Jihad) in order to remove any obstacles in the way of this Da’wah. Therefore, in Islam, the ruler is responsible for both of these matters, namely, the implementation of Islam internally and Da’wah and Jihad externally. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: «أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَشْهَدُوا أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ، فَإِذَا فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ عَصَمُوا مِنِّي دِمَاءَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلا بِحَقِّ الإِسْلامِ، وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ» “I have been commanded to fight against the people till they testify La ilaha illAllah (There is no true god except Allah) and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and to establish As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and to pay Zakat; and if they do this, then their blood and property are secured except by the rights of Islam, and their accountability is left to Allah.” [Agreed Upon].

Another evidence for it is that despite knowing that Muslims were far weaker militarily than the Quraish of Makkah, the Prophet (saw) still insisted on making his relationship with the Quraish on the basis of Islam. He continued to pursue the policy of conquering Makkah, and eventually succeeded. Furthermore, the Prophet (saw) sent out various letters to the kings and rulers of the global superpowers of his time, not to establish relations based on mutual interests, but instead to ask them to accept Islam and recognize its sovereignty. Similarly, the Prophet (saw) prepared an army under Osama before his death, and insisted on sending it, even though he was seriously ill at that time, to fight the Roman Empire and bring it under the authority of Islam. After his death, the Islamic state continued to expand and Muslims continued to wage jihad, challenging the existing systems in the rest of the world.

The purpose for which Allah (swt) sent Islam to this world was to establish the authority of Islam over the whole world. Allah (swt) says:

﴿هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ

“It is Allah Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all other ways of life.” [TMQ Surah Al-Fath:28]. The existence of systems other than Islam is indeed a reminder that the mission that Allah (swt) gave to the Muslims is still unfinished fulfilling this mission, after the death of Prophet (saw), the Ummah swears allegiance to Caliphs.

Therefore, there is no concept of a state in Islam that does not try to spread Islam to the rest of the world and to overcome other religions and ideologies. Similarly, Islam does not recognize a state that internally claims to enforce the precepts of Islam but continues to recognize the existing world order, determined to seek the approval of the major powers. Furthermore, there is no concept of a state that abides by Western international law, recognizing or joining Western bodies such as the United Nations, its Security Council, the IMF or the International Court of Justice. Nor is there any concept of a nation-state in Islam, where the state recognizes and restricts itself to nationalistic, artificial borders instead of trying to liberate occupied Muslim territories from its kafir occupiers. Any such state does not carry any evidence from Islam, for its existence.

By studying the above principles, it becomes apparent that a state cannot be an Islamic state if it only adopts some of the basic principles of Islam for ruling, but its overall system of government, its economic, social, judicial, educational and industrial formations, and its internal and external affairs and security are based on Western principles. Nor can a state be an Islamic state if it decides to abandon the mission spreading Islam to the rest of world through Da’wah and jihad, instead only striving to guard its own national borders. Similarly, a state will not be an Islamic state if it starts joining international organizations such as the United Nations, or establishes relations with the United States based upon compromises and the philosophy of give-and-take, or puts national interests over Islam, or adopts Western thoughts and ideas regarding issues such as Western human rights, women’s rights, fundamental rights and international law. It is imperative that in the present times, when the West wants to completely erase Islamic ideas and thoughts from the minds of Muslims via massive cultural and intellectual attacks, Muslims must strive to understand the fundamental ideas that underpin the Islamic culture, so that they can resist these attacks by external powers, and so that they are also not deceived by their agents who rule Muslim lands. Indeed, it will be this correct understanding of Islamic concepts that will help Muslims recognize the soon-to-be-established Khilafah state, in shaa Allah. On that day, the believers will rejoice and the whole world will be a witness to the real implementation of the Islam and the fruits that results in.

Mun’im Ahmed – Wilayah Pakistan