Friday, 12 February 2010

Global Governance by Divine Rule (The Hukm Shar'ai)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُم لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ
"Oh you who believe, answer the call of Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life". [Al-Anfaal, 8:24]

In the tafseer of Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir it says about the above verse, "Respond to what is good for you and what makes you better and that is obeying Allah and following the Qur'an and [what is in it] from the obligations. Doing this will result in success and eternal life". In other words, we are required to obey the commands of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. This includes fulfilling the fardh (obligatory) actions that Allah سبحانه وتعالى has prescribed for us and not doing that which He has made haram (prohibited) for us. Fulfilling one's fardh and steering clear of the haram is the only way to attain success in this life and in the akhira (Hereafter).

The Hukm Shari'i: The Guidance from Allah سبحانه وتعالى

The criterion of what is lawful (halal) and unlawful (haram) are set by the Qur'an and Sunnah and is referred to as Hukm Shari'i (the Divine Law). The Ahkam Shariah (plural of Hukm Shari'i) is a source of joy for the believers Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed:

فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشْقَى
"Whoever follows My guidance, he shall not go astray nor be unhappy." [Ta Ha, 20:123]

Through the Shariah, Allah سبحانه وتعالى has guided us in our thoughts and actions. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has also assured us in the following ayat that any obligation that he has prescribed for the believer is within his or her reach. Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed:

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ
"Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that which he has earned, and he is punished for that [evil] which he has earned." [Al-Baqara, 2:286]

Wahy: The Believers' Sole Reference

The Muslims are commanded, in regard to their actions, to refer to the wahy (revelation) from Allah سبحانه وتعالى alone and to conduct their affairs in accordance with the commandments within this legislation. This guidance is all the believer needs as it is a comprehensive guidance for all matters - nothing is left out. Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed:

وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
"We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit." [An-Nahl, 16:89]

Allah سبحانه وتعالى has also commanded us to take what the Messenger of Allah has ordered and to abstain from what he has prohibited. Allah سبحانه وتعالى also commanded us to refer our judgement to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, namely to what the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم has brought:

فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىَ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ
''No by your Lord, they shall not become true believers until they make you judge in all disputes amongst them.'' [An-Nisaa, 4: 65]

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا
''And take whatever the Messenger has brought to you and refrain from whatever he has forbidden you.'' [Al-Hashr, 59:7]

Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم has explicitly forbidden us from taking anything (e.g. prayers, political system, economic system, etc) other than what he brought.

Aisha (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
"He who introduces in our order something that is alien to it, must be rejected." [Muslim]
This makes it clear that we cannot adopt ideas, actions and laws that are alien to Islam.

Consequently, when we as Muslims approach an issue that is new to us, we should first ask ourselves: "What is the hukm (ruling) by Allah سبحانه وتعالى on this matter?" Once we have sufficient evidence indicating that the action is allowable - based on Qur'an, Sunnah, Ijma As-Sahabah and Qiyas - then, and only then, should we proceed to perform the action. In other words, we cannot assume that an action is mubah or halal by default or conversely assume an action is haram by default. Rather we can only know its status when examining it in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Furthermore, if we are unsure about the ruling on a specific action, we must abstain from that action until we know whether it is halal or haram to conduct that action.

Ahkam Shariah: Categories of Actions

Allah سبحانه وتعالى has given us the tools in the Ahkam Shariah to determine which actions are of a higher priority than others (e.g. a fardh action is higher priority than a mandoub action), as well as which actions should be avoided altogether. Every action can be categorized into one of the following five categories:

01. Fardh (obligatory): The one who performs the action will be rewarded by Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the one who neglects it will be punished. Example: the five daily prayers, fasting in the month of Ramadan and paying the Zakat.

02. Mandoob (recommended): The one who does the action will be rewarded and the one who neglects it will not be punished. Example: praying the Sunnah before Dhuhr or fasting on Mondays and Thursdays.

03. Makrooh (undesirable): The one who refrains from the action will be rewarded and the one who does it will not be punished. Example: drinking water while standing and eating onion before coming to the masjid.

04. Mubah (permisable): An action that does not incur a punishment or earn a reward. It is neither encouraged, nor is it discouraged. Example: sitting, standing, walking, and so on.

05. Haram (prohibited): The one who performs the action will be punished and the one who refrains from doing it will be rewarded. Example: murder, dealing in riba (interest), adultery, drinking alcohol and gambling.

Being grateful to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for the Guidance

When reflecting on the categories of actions, we should glorify and praise Allah سبحانه وتعالى and be grateful to Him for granting us this guidance. Without it, there would be no way for us to know what actions to undertake and the relative importance of each action. Only Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the Creator of all things, has the ability to determine how to categorize what actions are obligatory, recommended, permissible, not recommended or prohibited. Human beings, on the other hand, have a limited understanding of reality, vary in their abilities to assess reality, are prone to influences from their environment and can make different conclusions about reality (even if they have the same abilities). Consequently, when human beings try themselves to categorize actions in a similar manner, they end up with legal systems that are contradictory, flawed, and unjust.

However, following the guidance of Allah سبحانه وتعالى does not mean that we will have a carefree life without any hardship.

It is apparent that adhering to the ahkam these days is a test for Muslims living anywhere in the world. Despite these challenges, we must abide by the commandments of Allah سبحانه وتعالى regardless of the consequences. During the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم when the Ayat prohibiting Khamr (intoxicants) were revealed, the Muslims stopped drinking at once. Some of the Muslims went so far as to induce vomit. They also drained all the containers of alcohol - regardless of the money it cost them. This is a clear indication of how Muslims should follow the ahkam regardless of the results and consequences. We, as Muslims, should be strong and patient and adhere to His ahkam. For us life is a test, hence we should live it according to the orders of Allah سبحانه وتعالى by following his ahkam. Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed:

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested?" [Al-Ankaboot, 29:2]

Living without the Hukm being implemented

Indeed, the Ummah continues to face disastrous situations as a result of not implementing the ahkam of Islam. We must work to resume the Islamic way of life in the Muslim lands and implement all the ahkam of Islam by working to re-establish the Khilafah Rashidah, which will implement the Deen based on the method of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. As noted earlier, the adherence to the ahkam of Islam is the key.

We must work for the implementation of this Deen and the adherence of Allah's سبحانه وتعالى command and implement His ahkam so that we will be rewarded with Jannah (Paradise) and the pleasure of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and saved from Jahnnam (Hell Fire) and the wrath of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

Indeed, Paradise is the reward for exerting ourselves in the path of Allah سبحانه وتعالى by implementing Islam and following His ahkam the way they were revealed:

وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
"And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqûn" [Al-Imran, 3:133]

May Allah سبحانه وتعالى make us from those who fear Him most and follow his commands and imitate the steps of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم by implementing the Fardh, performing as much as we can of the Mandoob, staying away from the Haram and avoiding the Makrooh. May Allah سبحانه وتعالى reward us with the highest reward and, in the Akhira, quench our thirst with a drink that will remove our thirst forever. Ameen.


A United Muslim world

When one thinks of the Muslim world, it conjures up images of poverty, corruption and war. Many negative connotations exist about the state of the Muslim world which continues to occupy news space and newspapers. The global media tends to neglect the achievements of the Muslim world and the contributions it made to humanity. The Muslim world has a rich history of development and discovery, the results of which are being reaped today.

Over the last decade, the call for a united Islamic world i.e. the Khilafah has gained momentum and this momentum continues to grow. The possibility of a united Muslim world behind one ruler (Khaleefah) is something that the Muslim Ummah can achieve as this was achieved in the past and even western historians have testified to this fact. The Muslim lands currently posses:

• The Largest population in the world, 1.6 billion
• Largest army in the world
• Control of half of the world's oil and many other natural resources
• Control key strategic naval straits (A third of the world's oil travels through the straits of Hormuz which is between Iran and UAE) and airspace
• Largest land mass
• Nuclear weapons

The golden period of the Ummah saw many technological developments. Muslims utilised technology which Europe at that time could not even dream of. For example, some of the technology we take for granted today would not have existed if mathematical concepts such as algebra did not develop during the golden period of Islam. Computers which are used today would not have been possible if mathematical concepts such as algorithms did not exist. Many scholars such as Donald Routledge Hill express the view that Islam was the driving force behind the Muslim achievements while Robert Briffault even sees Islamic science as the foundation of modern science.

Oliver Joseph Lodge wrote in the Pioneers of Science: "The only effective link between the old and the new science is afforded by the Arabs (Muslims). The dark ages come as an utter gap in the scientific history of Europe, and for more than a thousand years there was not a scientific man of note except in Arabia"

Through the application of Islam, the Ummah was bound by the Islamic systems, this allowed Muslims and non-Muslims to live in peace and security. The Muslim Ummah has to return to its previous position, the one of leadership and honour as this is the only position that will save the Muslim Ummah from the crisis it is currently facing.

If the Khilafah existed today, it would embrace technology, develop an economy that distributes wealth efficiently and establish law and order. The key to a successful state is to have a government that actually takes care of its citizens, as this will allow the Ummah to make advances since their basic needs are being taken care of. Islam makes it an obligation upon the ruler to fulfil the rights of its citizens and this is the reason why the Khilafah was successful in the past. The Khilafah will make use of its resources so that the needs of its citizens are met. Whereas today, the Ummah with its great reserves of mineral resources labours in poverty. No individual or company will have a monopoly over basic utilities that are essential to the Khilafah such as the water sources and oil wells because the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم said in a hadith narrated by Abu Dawud:

"The people are partners in three things: water, green pastures and fire (energy)."

The Muslim lands have no shortage of energy resources; however most of the Muslim lands suffer from load shedding and crumbling infrastructure. The majority of the Muslim world faces an energy crisis. The root problem of the energy crisis within the Muslim world is the attempts by many governments in privatising such resources. Privatisation has lead to increased prices of such basic commodities which ensures the masses labour in poverty. The Khilafah brings its assets together and develops the necessary infrastructure so that the citizens of the Khilafah can benefit from them. The large oil reserves (56% of world oil reserves are in the Middle East, Source: EIA) which exist in the Middle East will be used to fulfil the basic energy requirements of the citizens of the Khilafah as energy commodities will be transferred to all parts of the state. This energy policy is one example of what the Khilafah can do to develop

A number of Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey have developed aspects of their industry that has allowed them to make technological advancements, especially in their military industries.

Pakistan has been successful in developing defence hardware such as cruise missiles which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, aircrafts and the famous Al - Khalid tank (ranked 7th amongst tanks). If the Muslim armies were to unite under one leader, this army would be the largest army in the world with a force of over 3 million personnel.

The Muslim lands have many strengths and advantages. One key advantage that a united Muslim world has, is control over strategic international airspace and naval straits. During the time of Sultan Muhammad Al Fatih, the Muslims had control over the straits of Bosphorus and ships of other nations could only pass through the Bosphorus if the Islamic state gave permission. In the same way the Khilafah will have control over key strategic straits such as the Bosphorus and Hormuz and control over the airspace that comes under the lands it controls; hence the Khilafah will decide which nation can travel through its straits and fly over its airspace. As a result countries such as the US will find it hard to launch attacks on the Muslim world as the Khilafah will restrict American manoeuvrability.

If the US was not allowed to pass through the straits of Hormuz and use the airspace of Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, it would have been very difficult for the US to attack Iraq and Afghanistan. Fighter Jets cannot fly non-stop from the US to Iraq or Afghanistan, hence the US requires local air bases and aircraft carriers for its operations.

The Khilafah will face many challenges on its emergence and this cannot be underestimated. Due to this, achieving technological development and improving the current situation of the Muslim world will take time, however the key issue is that a united Muslim world has the potential to become a super power. In the current climate the Muslim world has achieved certain milestones and if a sincere Islamic leadership arises, this leadership will guide the Muslim world to new heights and the Khilafah will become the beacon of light for the whole of mankind InshAllah.

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Indeed Allah gathered up the earth for me so that I saw its eastern and western parts, and indeed the dominion of my Ummah will reach what was gathered up for me from it." [Sahih Muslim]

By: Amar Khan
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