Bani Israel were ruled by their Prophets. When one died, there would follow another. There will be no Prophet after me, only Khulafaa’.’ They asked Rasoolallah, ‘What should we do?’ He said ‘Give them bay’ah, one after the other.’ [Sahīh Muslim]
The Madinah State of the Prophet (saw) was the highest model of governance that has ever existed – succeeded by the Khilafah Rashidah, on the model of Prophethood.
The Khulafaa’ that succeed the Khulafaa’ al Rashidun were of varying quality. The best – like Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Muhammad al Fatih, Suleiman al Qaanooni and Abdul Hameed II – were great rulers. The worst were better than the criminal rulers that rule the Muslim world today. Even until the Ottoman era, when it was indebted and weakened, the Khilafah was still a significant power on the world stage; not only because they adopted the Islamic system alone, but also because they struggled hard to preserve the unity of the state and Ummah.
Yet 89 years ago, on the 3rd March 1924, some years after it had been dismembered (after World War One) and after a long period of intellectual decline – the Khilafah state, the model of government established by Allah’s beloved Messenger (saw), was abolished by the criminal Mustafa Kemal in Ankara. The Muslim world reacted with shock. It was described as a ‘disaster to both Islam and civilization’. It was predicted the Muslim world would be thrown into ‘the ranks of revolution and disorder’. Sadly, these predictions proved true. The Ummah has been divided, oppressed, colonized, exploited and occupied ever since. Till now, Muslims are looking for a way to overcome this misery.
For decades Muslims have been looking at the Western capitalist system and nation state model – alternating between the oppression of dictators and the corruption of democratic politicians. Since the destruction of the Khilafah State, Islam has been confined to personal belief, Salah, Zakat, Fasting in Ramadhan and Hajj. We follow the Prophet’s (saw) Sunnah in these individual ibadat, yet we have abandoned his Sunnah in politics and government! It is through this great institution that the Prophet (saw) taught this Ummah how to do politics and run a society and state for Muslims and non-Muslims.
The Khilafah State represents the unity of the Ummah. The Khalifah is the Ameer of this Ummah. Allah (swt) said…’Hold fast to the rope of Allah and be not divided amongst yourselves’ [Surah Aal-‘Imran 3:103]. The Khilafah is the practical method by which the Shari’ah secured this unity. The tie that links people in the Khilafah is their citizenship. All of those who hold the citizenship of the Islamic State – Muslim and non-Muslim – have the full right to enjoy guardianship without fear of discrimination, just as they all obey the law, in line with the divine principle that states: “They have the same fairness enjoyed by Muslims; and they are also accountable like Muslims.” The Khilafah looks after the affairs of all citizens regardless of tribe or ethnicity – abiding by the Quranic order: “The best among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you”. [Surah Hujurat 49:13].
Without the Islamic system of unity the Ummah has been divided into nation states and the menace of nationalism and sectarianism has brought nothing but war, conflict, division and fitnah in our countries amongst our own people.
The Khilafah State is a political system where the Ummah holds the authority and has a duty to account the Khalīfah according to Islam. On assuming his position as Khalīfah, Sayidina Abu Bakr As Siddīq (ra) said: ‘O People! I have been put in authority over you and I am not the best of you. So if I do the right thing then help me and if I do wrong then put me straight… Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger, and if I do not obey Allah and His Messenger then obedience to me is not incumbent upon you.’
The Khilafah enshrines the accountability of the government because Allah (swt) ordered the Muslim Ummah to enjoin ma’roof and forbid munkar on the ruler. The Messenger (saw) said: “By He Who owns my soul, you must enjoin the Ma’roof and forbid the Munkar, or Allah may inflict upon you a punishment from Him, you would then supplicate Him and your supplication would go unanswered [Sunan Abu Dawud #4336]. So, there is a branch of the judiciary to judge between the ruler and the people, the Qadhi Madhalim – with the power to remove the Khalīfah if he breaks his contractual conditions of ruling. Islam encourages political parties to hold the ruler to account; a Majlis of elected representatives to account the ruler and be consulted by him; and an independent media to hold the government to account and scrutinise its actions. While democracy is claimed as the only way to ensure accountable government, the reality is that this so called democratic system in countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq and Afghanistan have produced politicians who are corrupt to the core, siphoning millions and billions of the Ummah’s wealth and have opened our countries to the ugly plans of the colonialists.
On the economic front our countries are submerged in a quagmire of debt, poverty, inequality and economic colonialism. This goes on, whilst our Ummah is blessed with some of the largest natural resources, vast fertile agricultural lands and abundant human resources. This state of affairs is because the secular politicians who are in charge of this ummah today are there to steal this wealth and help the colonial powers implement their IMF/World Bank policies to ensure our resources continue to be in Western hands. Only a sincere Islamic leadership implementing the clear economic rules from Islam can break this status quo. One of the roles of the Khalīfah is the collection of Zakat. Imam Tahawi narrated from Muslim bin Yasser that the Prophet (saw) said, “The (collection of) the Zakat, (implementation of) Hudood, (distribution of) the spoils and (the organising) of the Jumu’ah are for the Sultan.” The Khalifah’s role is to collect any revenues that Islam permits – Zakat, Ushr, Kharaaj, Jizya, as well as the revenues from state and public properties – and spend them on the things that are mandatory. For example, every citizen needs to have food clothing and shelter; every male and female child must be educated; and the state has a due to spend on health and the military.
The Muslim world is crying under the weight of its problems and needs an alternative – and that alternative is the Islamic Khilafah state. Following the Arab revolutions, Egypt and Tunisia are still engulfed in political crisis and mismanagement because, fundamentally, the secular man made system is still in place. It is the Khilafah system that can bring a government that is based upon our Aqeeda, agrees with our identity, history and culture and has the practical solutions for our various political, economic and social problems. And, more importantly, it is through this that we will attain the good pleasure of Allah (swt).
Today the Western capitalist system that has ruled the world for decades is not admired as it once was. It has created another global economic crisis. Western powers have overreached themselves in imperial warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their societies are filled with family breakdown and social problems. People view their politicians as increasingly corrupt, bowing down to banks and big business.
In desperation, Western politicians and their corporate-backed media slander the Prophet of Islam (saw) and portray the Khilafah system of governance as backward and as the aspiration of extremists. This is because they know it challenges their political, economic and military dominance of the Muslim world.
Brothers and Sisters: We as Muslims living in Britain have a duty to challenge these lies about Islam, about Allah’s Messenger (saw), about his system of governance, and about the Shari’ah of Islam. Indeed, we have a duty to offer people – who question the way the world is today – an alternative, by giving our neighbours, colleagues and others the da’wah to Islam, to show them how the Islamic Aqeedah convinces the mind, agrees with man’s nature and has the capacity to solve humanity’s problems.
It is the promise of Allah’s Messenger that the Khilafah on the way of Prophethood will return – after it had been abolished. He (saw) said after a period of biting oppression“there will be a Khilafah Rashida according to the ways of the Prophethood.’ Then he kept silent.” [Musnad Imam Ahmad]
And in anticipation of that return, isn’t it right that we redress the shameful misrepresentation of the Prophetic system of governance that we see today. It is our duty as Muslims to know this model of governance and to tell others about its reality – and not the media’s scaremongering.
Dear Brothers and Sisters: It is the Promise from your Lord, the glad tidings from your Prophet and the highest of obligations. (HTB)