Saturday, November 7, 2009

Foreign Aid: The Path to Slavery

Foreign Aid: The Path to Slavery

Elite capitalist nations, such as America, UK and Canada, portray aid packages to Muslim countries as charity. But, in reality, this money is an investment that enables the colonial powers to maintain their influence in the Muslim lands. Foreign aid is a tool of control. We must call on the Ummah to reject the continued subordination of our affairs to these colonial nations. We must call on the people of influence in the Muslim lands to reject foreign aid and set a course that is subordinate to none but Allah (swt).

In October, US President Barack Obama signed into law the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009. The bill, also known as the Kerry-Lugar Bill, promises to send $7.5 billion in “aid” over a period of 5 years. However, the conditions attached to the bill are a cause of concern for many, including the Pakistani army, who see the bill as an infringement on national security.

Foreign Aid: “No Free Lunch”

When analyzing the actions of nations that adopt the capitalist ideology, such as America, it is important to recognize that they do not provide assistance – monetary or otherwise – for free. A closer look at the Kerry-Lugar Bill will reveal that the aid package comes with the following conditions:

1. US can inspect Pakistan’s nuclear programs on demand.

2. Washington must confirm military promotions and appointments made by the Pakistani civilian leaders.

3. Pakistan must accept American and British blame – without dispute – for their failures in Afghanistan.

4. Pakistani military must cease support for extremist and terrorist groups – which include Muslims who resist occupation in Kashmir and Afghanistan – and prevent them from undertaking any operations in neighboring countries.

5. “Pakistani national, regional, and local officials and members of Pakistani civil society and local private sector, civic, religious, and tribal leaders” must implement projects as dictated by the US.

6. Pakistan must change its curricula for Madrassas.

Pakistan is also expected to sacrifice its troops – the sons of this noble Ummah – for the sake of America’s brutal occupation of Afghanistan. This is in addition to the lives that will be lost from America’s bombing campaign conducted by its unmanned drones.

The Kerry-Lugar Bill is not the first foreign aid package sent to Pakistan. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the US alone has sent $16.7 billion from 1946-2007 in economic and military assistance. Despite this “aid” being sent, the situation in Pakistan has not improved.

Where does the money go?

The money sent by the US, UK, Canada and other capitalist nations mostly ends up in the pockets of the multi-national corporations. According to the New York Times, 45% of the aid sent by the Bush administration to Pakistan eventually reached the hands of American private contractors. A similar trend exists in Afghanistan. According to Action Aid, as much as 60% of aid is considered “phantom aid”, which does not even make it to Afghanistan. Instead, it is funneled directly to the bank accounts of American corporations. Aid is also a means to support the puppet government: it was reported in the Telegraph that the Karzai government depends on foreign countries for 90% of its revenues. The bulk of this comes from the US (who pledged about $10 billion in 2008). The article notes that without this money, the Karzai government would not be able to stand against the Taliban. The aid money is used to fund the local puppet government, who in turn implements the foreign policies of the sponsor country. In other words, this money is not intended to help the poor people of Afghanistan. Rather it is being used to prop up the puppet government that is a tool of America.

The arrangement of “paying-off” the local ruling class is routine amongst the colonial capitalist nations. Take, for example, the submarine deal between Pakistan and France. A French company was hired to build submarines for the Pakistani army. In 2002, 11 French engineers who worked for this company were killed in a bomb blast that occurred in Karachi, Pakistan. Initially, the blame was put on Al-Qaeda. However, an investigating judge from France claims that the bombing actually traced back to a deal-gone-sour between the French government and the Pakistani government. The judge alleged that the Pakistani army killed the French nationals because France stopped paying “commissions” to Pakistani army officials on the sale of submarines.

In Egypt, a comparable relationship exists between the country’s ruling elite and their American paymasters. A 2006 article in Al-Ahram Weekly noted that Egypt received $1.3 billion in foreign military financing and $1.2 billion in international military education and training. By paying the army directly, its dependence on America is ensured. Through its training initiatives, America can also recruit agents. The article noted that David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, saw Egypt as a key tool in America’s foreign policy in terms of exerting American influence in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, and Iran.

America is not alone in using aid to wield their influence in the Muslim lands. Canada partakes in this game as well. In Afghanistan, Canada funnels the aid through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including Oxfam and CARE Canada. The Canadian government does not want to give the aid money to the Karzai regime and prop-up America’s puppet. Furthermore, Karzai is mired in so much corruption that the money will be “diverted” before it is used in the manner that would achieve Canada’s interests in Afghanistan.

Colonialism: Emanating from the Capitalist Aqeedah

The Western nations vying for influence in the Muslim lands is colonialism in disguise. The colonial policy emanates from the capitalist aqeedah, which maintains that the sole criterion for action is “benefit and harm”. According to the capitalist formulation of foreign policy, nations conduct foreign policy by furthering their interests and protecting them abroad. Of course the main interest of the capitalist nations is economic. This means that these nations will compete with each other to access cheap natural resources at the expense of the weaker nations. The Ummah witnessed this policy with the American invasion of Iraq; the invading American army protected the oil ministry, but left the people to fend for themselves. Furthermore, the capitalist economic system depends on the procurement of cheap resources and cheap labor to pad the bottom line of its corporations and drive the stock prices and the stock market indices higher.

When comparing the rulers of Muslim lands and their supporters to the Sahaba (ra), we see a stark contrast. The Sahaba (ra) were loyal to Allah (swt) and RasulAllah (saw). For example, when Ka’ab Bin Malik (ra) was boycotted by the Ummah – by the command of Allah (swt) – he received a letter from a pro-Roman King of Ghassan (who had deep hatred for Islam), inviting him to leave Madinah and live in “comfort and consolation” with the Christians. After reading the letter, Ka’ab (ra) simply burned it. However, today is a different story. We see the rulers and their supporters running after America and Britain in a manner that is void of any izzah (dignity). One wonders how the Ummah fell from such heights of honor and dignity to the current pitiful state.

Intellectual Slavery: How did we get here?

Although the intellectual decline had been in progress for centuries, it was the fall of the Khilafah and the onset of the European occupation that led to the emergence of these tyrants and elites that rule the Ummah today. Through this direct occupation, the Europeans were able to secure the institutions of power. They were able to change the ruling system, the judicial system, the education system, the eco-nomic system and the social system throughout the occupied Muslim lands. These systems – along with the common emotions and common thoughts of the people – are what bind the society together, and, through them, the Europeans were able to corrupt the Ummah. Any Islamic alternatives that were offered by the Ummah during these times of colonial rule were eliminated. For example, in Algeria, scholars attempted to preserve the Islamic culture, heritage and language. However, they were continually harassed, arrested, and persecuted by the French occupation until they were silenced.

The present rulers and intellectuals (e.g. civil servants, educators, etc) grew up in this environment. They were immersed in European thoughts and concepts. They were taught about European history and European wars, but were not taught the Seerah of the Prophet (saw) or the history of the Khilafah. Consequently, they knew more about European philosophers than about Mus’ab ibn Umayr (ra), Saad ibn Mua’dh (ra) or the other Sahaba (ra). The colonized personality became the model of their thoughts through the European education system. This vision for engendering a colonized mentality was articulated in 1854 by Mountstuart Elphinstone, who said ”we must not dream of perpetual possession, but must apply ourselves to bring the natives into a state that will admit of their governing themselves in a manner that may be beneficial to our interests…”.

As a result of this process, the ruling class within the Muslim countries today looks solely to America and Europe for solutions – because that is all they are familiar with. It has become natural for these people to have cordial relations with the very enemies that once occupied them! By extension, it is natural for this segment of society to accept the continued intervention of America, Britain, France and other elite capitalist nations, in the affairs of the Ummah – be it through foreign aid, economic assistance or direct intervention.

Political Independence: A Vital Issue for the Ummah

As demonstrated above, “foreign aid” is really a means for the capitalist nations to enslave the Muslim countries, and more importantly, it is haram for Muslim countries to allow themselves to become colonized by other nations. Allah (swt) revealed:

وَلَنْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلًا

"And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers."

[TMQ 4:141]

It is important to link the issue to halal and haram, as this is the only criterion that is valid before Allah (swt). Connecting the issue of halal and haram to Allah (swt) and the akhira is a core aspect of dawah as the hukm (ruling) of Allah (swt) is the correct way to measure the issues we face – as opposed to the criterion of “benefit and harm” used by the capitalists.

Once the correct criterion is established, we must also convince the Ummah that such an approach is politically disastrous. We must lobby the people of power and influence them to make themselves independent of foreign aid. We must raise the points and evidences discussed above and demonstrate how this policy leads the country to become subordinate to the capitalist nations. Alhumdullilah, Allah (swt) has blessed the Ummah with the Qur’an and Sunnah, offering comprehensive Guidance in all of life’s affairs and for all times – we do not need their “theories” or “solutions”. Allah (swt) has blessed our Ummah with good people and blessed our lands with tremendous wealth – we do not need their paper dollars that steadily lose their value every day.

Islam was revealed to be a beacon of light for all of humanity. But this cannot happen until the Ummah becomes intellectually and politically independent of the secular-capitalist system, and establishes its thoughts and systems on the guidance of Islam.

May Allah (swt) guide this Ummah, restore our izzah, and grant us a righteous leadership that will implement upon us Islam and rid us of the interference of the colonial powers.

وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِين

“We revealed the Book to you in explanation of every thing, and as guidance, mercy, and good tidings to those who believe.”

[TMQ 16:89]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Death does not occur except with the end of Ajal (Life-term)

Many people think that though death is the same, the causes of death are numerous. So death could be because of detrimental disease, such as the plague. It could also be due to stab by a knife, or a gunshot or burning by fire of beheading or heart attack or others. In their view, all of these are direct causes that lead to death, ie death occurs because of them. That is why it became common on their mouth the phrase, “The causes are many but the death is the same.”

The truth is that death is the same and its cause (sabab) is also the same, which is the end of ajal (life-term), and nothing else. As regards to these matters, which take place and due to them death occurs, they are cases in which death occurs and are not causes of death.

This is because the cause (sabab) produces the effect (musabbab) definitely; and that the effect (musabbab) can’t result save from its cause (sabab) alone. This is different to the case (halah), it is a specific circumstance within certain surrounding conditions in which death usually takes place. However, death could fail to happen. Thus, the case might exist but the death does not occur; and the death might occur while the case did not happen.

The one who examines many of the things in which death occurs, and the one who examines the death itself, finds that these matters might take place but the death does not occur. Death might also occur while these cases did not take place. As an example, a person might be fatally stabbed by a knife, and the doctors agree unanimously that it is fatal, but the stabbed person did not die, rather he healed and recovered. Death could also occur without an apparent cause, such as when the heart of somebody stopped suddenly and he died immediately without all the doctors being able to discover a reason for this heart attack after the painstaking examination.The incidents about this are many and are known by the doctors. The hospitals have witnessed thousands of these incidents; where a cause that usually leads certainly to death occurs, then the person does not die; and death occurs suddenly without the appearance of any cause that lead to it.

Therefore, all the doctors say that the so and so sick man has no hope (of life) according to the instructions of medicine, but he might recover, and this is beyond our knowledge. They also say that so and so person is beyond the danger (on his life), and he is healthy, and he passed the point of danger, then he suddenly suffers a relapse and dies. All of this is tangible reality sensed by the people and doctors; and it clearly indicates that these matters from which death occurs are not causes for death. For it they were causes they would not fail (in bringing death) and death would have not occurred, by other than them. The fact that they failed (to cause death) even once, and that death occurred by other than them, even once, definitely indicates that they are not causes; they are rather cases. The true cause of death that produces the effect is other than them and not them.

This actual cause could not be discovered by the mind, for it does not fall under sensation. So it is necessary that Allah (swt) tells us about it; and that it is proved by an evidence that is definite in proof and definite in meaning. Allah (swt) has informed us, in many ayaat that it is the ajal (end of life-term); and that Allah (swt) is the One Who causes death. Thus death occurs because of the ajal and the one who causes death is Allah (swt).

There are many verses that mentioned this. Allah (swt) says:

“No soul can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at a term appointed.” [TMQ Al-Imran:145]

“Allah receives (men’s) souls at the time of their death.” [TMQ Az-Zumar: 42]

“My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death.” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 258]

“And Allah gives life and causes death.” [TMQ Ali-’Imran:156] “Wherever you are death reaches you, even if you were in lofty towers.” [TMQ An-Nisaa’: 78]

“Say (to them): ‘The angel of death, who has charge concerning you, will take you to death.’” [TMQ As-Sajda: 11]

“Say (to them): ‘The death which you are fleeing from will surely meet you.” [TMQ Al-Jumu’a: 8]

“We mete out death among you.’” [TMQ Al-Waqi’a: 60]

“Lo! The term of Allah when it comes can’t be delayed.” [TMQ Nuh: 4]

“When their term comes, then they can’t put it off an hour, not hasten (it).”

[TMQ Yunus: 49]

These and other verses are definite in proof that they are from Allah (swt), and definite in meaning that Allah is He Who causes death; and that cause of death is the end of life term (intihaa’ ul-’ajal), and not the case in which death occurred.Therefore, it is obligatory that the Muslim believes by mind and Shar’ that what he thinks of as causes to death are not causes, rather they are cases; and that the cause is other than them. It has been proved by Shar’ through the definite evidence that death is in the Hand of Allah, that Allah is He Who causes death and that the cause of death is intihaa’ ul-’ajal. Once the ajal came, it can’t be delayed or hastened; nor is there any person who can avert from death or to escape from it absolutely. Thus it will most certainly reach him.

As regards what man was ordered to avert and work to distance from himself, it is the cases from which death occurs. So, he must not submit himself to any of the cases from which death occurs usually. As for death, he should not be scared of, nor to flee from, because he can never save himself from it. This is because man does not die except after the end of his ajal, whether he died naturally, or by killing or burning or any other thing. So death is in the Hand of Allah (swt) and ajal is in the Hand of Allah (swt).

Understanding the subject of Al Qada wal Qadar (Fate and Destiny)

The subject of al Qada wal Qadar is a massive subject that engaged Muslims in a massive debate throughout the centuries, for this reason it is impossible to cover all aspects in this discussion.

The subject of al Qada wal Qadar is an important one, it is from the rational elements of the Aqeeda. It is a subject that many of the Ummah are confused upon to this day. It is a concept that is related to the relationship of this life with the hereafter, if we misunderstood this concept there would be a major vagueness in the relationship between this life and the afterlife in terms of accountability. We may even conclude as those in the past that there is no relationship and therefore can act as we please. Therefore it is important to understand the subject in depth including its origins in history, the different views regarding it and the correct position.

History of the subject of al Qada wal Qadar

The subject of al Qada wal Qadar was never explicitly discussed as a subject by the Prophet (saw) or any of the Sahaba. What they discussed were other issues related to the textual element of the Aqeeda such as al-Qadar referring to the knowledge of Allah (swt) or al-Qada in its linguistic meaning that can mean many things.

This discussion came about amongst the Muslims after the translation of the Greek philosophies into the Arabic language. It was the Greek philosophers who engaged in inquiry and controversy over this issue. They had put forward questions such as: Does man have free will or is he forced to carry out his actions?

There were two main schools of thought regarding the issue amongst the Greeks, the Stoics and the Epicureans.

The Epicureans believed that the will is free in choice and that man does all of his actions according to his will and without compulsion.

The Stoics on the other hand believed that the will compelled to take the path it takes and that it is incapable of departing from it. Man, they said, does nothing in accordance with his will; rather he is compelled to do whatever he does; to do or not to do is not within his control.

With the advent of Islam and the infiltration of the philosophical thoughts Muslims came into contact with these ideas they attempted to answer the same questions from the viewpoint of Islam. One of the major issues that the Muslims began to discuss was the attribute of justice on the with regard to Allah. Islam is based on the concept that Allah is just, and according to this justice we have reward and punishment. Accordingly, the Muslim thinkers attempted to reconcile this premise with the philosophical questions posed by the Greeks.

The most prominent of these was the discussion by the Mu’tazilah; it was the prototype in this matter; the discussion of the other scholastics was a response to repudiate the views of the Mu’tazilah. Thus the Mu’tazilah are considered the pioneers in discussing the issue of al-Qadaa’ wal Qadar, and even in all the topics of scholasticism that the Mutakallimeen engaged in. The head of the Mu’tazilah was Wasil Ibn Ataa’ who had been removed from the circle of the famous scholar Al-Hasan Al-Basri for his views.

The Mu’tazilah responded by first establishing the central role of Allah's justice in order to prevent anyone accusing Allah of oppression. They concluded that Allah's justice has no meaning unless man has free will. Thus, they said man created his actions and he if free to do what he likes because if he does something from his own will, by choice without coercion, then his reward and punishment are both rational and just. They maintained that if Allah creates human beings and also forces them into a certain path, such as making people sinners or believers, then to punish the sinners for being sinful and rewarding the obedient believers for believing would be unjust.

In their methodology they followed the Greek way of thinking. Muslims assumed, like Greek philosophers, that Allah follows laws and codes like man does. They made analogy between Allah (swt) and man. Commenting on the will, they said that the person who wants good is good in himself, and the person who wants bad is both bad and evil. Likewise, he who orders justice is just, and he who orders oppression is an oppressor. Accordingly, they maintained if we assume the will of Allah embraces every aspect of life, both good and bad, Allah would then be described as good and bad, just and oppressor; which is clearly impossible.

They were clearly influenced by Greek logic in their argument. They also said that if Allah wants the disbeliever to be a disbeliever (Kafir) and the sinner to be sinful then He should not warn and admonish them from sin and disbelief. How could it be possible that Allah wanted Abu Lahab to be a disbeliever and yet commanded him to believe and warned him from disbelief. If any man had done such a thing he would be called a fool and ignorant. Allah who never be accused of such things. If the disbelief of the disbeliever and the sin of the sinner were wanted by Allah then they should not be punished, because their actions were obedient to the will of Allah. The Mu'tazilah repeated such arguments, with proof derived from their mind.

The Mu’tazilah supported their opinions based on logic with verses from the Glorious Quran, such as, -in translation:

“But Allah never wishes injustice to His Servants.” (Ghafir:31).

“Say: "With Allah is the argument that reaches home: if it had been His Will, He could indeed have guided you all." (Al-an’aam:149)

“Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties.” (Al-Baqarah:185)

They concluded from this the opinion that man has the freedom of will to do an act or refrain from doing it; thus if he does, it is according to his will and if he refrains from doing, it is also according to his will. As regard the issue of the creation of acts, the Mu’tazilah said that the acts of people are created by them and they are of their own doing not of Allah’s; it is in their power to do these acts or refrain from them without any intervention of the power of Allah. The proof of this is the difference which man feels between the voluntary and the involuntary movement, such as the movement of a person who voluntarily moves his hand and the movement of a trembling person, and the difference between the movement of someone going up a lighthouse and another falling from it; thus the voluntary movement is in the power of man; it is he who creates it; but he has no role in the involuntary movement; also, if man was not the creator of his acts, the takliif (obligation to comply with Shari’a) would be invalid, since if he was not capable of doing or refraining from doing, it would not be rational to ask him to do or to refrain from doing, and this would not have been the subject of punishment and reward.

They used logic to prove their arguments, and then tried to quote many naqli (textual) proofs to support their argument such as:

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).”(Ar-Ra’d:11)

“That Day will every soul be requited for what it earned.”(Ghaafir:17)

In following the methodology of the Greeks they began to discuss the issue and the offshoots of the issue, one of the offshoots of the creation of actions which they discussed was the issue of results.

After the Mu’tazilah had determined that the acts of man are created by him, a question arose from this: What about the acts that result from his action? Is created by him as well? Or is it created by Allah, for example the taste that a thing comes to have as a result of the action of man, the cutting that occurs from a knife, pleasure, health, lust, heat, coldness, humidness, hardness, cowardice, courage, hunger, satisfaction, etc.. They said that all these are part of the action of man because it is man who causes them when he performs his acts. Thus they are resultant from his act and consequently they are created by him.

To summarise their view, they believed that due to Allah’s Justice which has been mentioned in the text it is impossible that Allah forced man to act and then punish or reward him as this would be unjust. Therefore people have free will in all of their actions and it is they who creates their actions and the attributes that occur in things as a result of their action.

Al Jabriyah

In the atmosphere created by the Mu’tazilah a new group emerged, known by the name AI Jabriyah; the most famous of whom was known as Al Jahm ibn Safwan. They held the opinion that man was compelled to carry out actions, man had no free will and no power to initiate his actions. In other words, man was like a feather in the wind or a log floating on the sea.

They argued, if man creates his own actions then Allah’s power does not extend to cover everything, i.e., man is a partner with Allah in creating things in this world. if it is held that Allah's power creates things, then, by definition, man has nothing to do with creating the actions; neither in part or in full.

AI-Jabriyah maintained that Allah is the creator of man's deeds and according to Allah's will the individual carries out the action. AI-Jabriyah believed that man was nothing more than a receiver compelled by Allah, like any object, to carry out actions without any will or influence. They brought verses. of Quran to support their opinions, such as: "You do not guide whom you like, rather Allah guides whom He likes." [al-Qasas] “Allah has created you and your handiwork.” [as-Saffat:96] “Allah is the creator of everything.” [as-Zumur]

As for man's organic needs and instincts, and the effects and attributes of the actions, such as: taste, joy, hunger, courage, the knives ability to cut, or the fires ability to burn, they said all these thing are from Allah.


The people of Sunnah (ahl-us-Sunnah) responded to the ideas of AI-Mu’tazilah and AI-Jabriyah. They came out with a compromise solution as they didn’t except the extremes of the other views so they attempted to bring together the views of the Mu’tazilah and Jabriyah in a synthesis. They said that their third opinion which has come out from the two opinions is 'the pure milk that is sweet to drink that comes out of the excrement and blood'. The most famous amongst them were Abul Hassan al Asharee and his student al-Maturdi.

They said all man's actions occur by the will of Allah. If Allah wants something He merely says "Be and it is.' They contented that Allah has bestowed on every creature certain qualities, like good and bad, and these qualities contain reward and punishment. Man's deeds, therefore, are the result of destiny. As for the sinful and disbelievers, they argued that Allah wants the sinners to be sinful and the disbelievers to be disbelievers, not by obligation but by their choice. Allah knew that they, by choice, would become sinners and disbelievers.

They were different to the Jabriyah in that they believed that man has free will but Allah creates mans actions, in order to explain this they came out with the concept of Kasb Iktiari. This concept is abstract and contradicts the reality and thus is difficult to understand.

Basically it means that man has free will but Allah knows mans will do and therefore creates mans actions in reality. So you have the free will to turn right or left, if you decide to turn left Allah knows this and makes you turn left. You have the free will to attempt to hit someone, if you decide to hit him, it is Allah that creates the action.

They used the same evidences as the Jabriyah in proving that Allah creates the actions of man. Some of the textual evidences they used for proving the concept of Kasb Iktiari are:

“Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” (Al-Kahf:29) and His (swt) saying, “It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.”(Al-Baqarah:286)

In reality their conclusion is the same as the Jabriyah’s as they believe that Allah knows what you are going to do before you do it and forces you to act to undertake what he knows your going to do, therefore he forces you to act even if you have free will.

Errors in the way the subject is approached

The Mu’tazilah took the issue of ‘al-Qada wal Qadar’ or ‘compulsion and free choice’ from the Greek philosophy under they discussed it using the logical method of the Greeks by viewing it from the perspective of their own view of the Justice of Allah. This led to the emergence of the Jabriyah and Ahl-us-Sunnah to refute the views of the Mu’tazilah, which they did according to the same precepts and on the same basis.

All of them discussed the issue from the perspective of the attributes of Allah not from the perspective of the actual subject of free will and choice. They all made the fundamental error of linking the texts to do with the attributes of Allah such as Iradatullah (The will of Allah), Ilmullah (The knowledge of Allah) and al Lawh al Mahfouz (The Protected Decree) which is an expression of the knowledge of Allah. So they approached the issue from a textual perspective although it is obviously a rational discussion.

By linking the texts related to the attributes of Allah one would definitely become confused on the subject as if you looked at the texts from this perspective they would look contradictory.

An example are the following texts:

In Surat Al-Tawba, He (swt) says in translation:

"Say: Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us. He is our Protector and in Allah, let the Believers place their trust." [9:51]

"If some good befalls them, they say: This is from Allah. But if evil, they say: This is from you (O Prophet). Say: All things are from Allah. But what has come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact?" [4:78]

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).”(Ar-Ra’d:11)

Some people in history even said that discussing Al-Qadaa’ wal Qadar was absolutely impermissible because the Prophet prohibited this, and they would quote the hadith that at-Tabarani recorded which is Hasan in Sanad (narration): “If the qadar was mentioned abstain from discussion”.

In fact it is a common error of many that they link the term Qadar when mentioned in the text to the subject of al-Qada wal Qadar which is completely unrelated.

Al-Qadar as a word is Mushtarak i.e. it can have more than one meaning, as an example it can mean estimated (taqdeer), Knowledge ('ilm), arrangement (tadbeer), the time (al-waqt), the preparation (tahi'yah) and making an attribute in the thing. Some of the different linguistic meanings of the term have been used in different text in the Quran and the Ahadith.

In many occasions the word Qadar or its derivatives have been mentioned in the text with the meaning of the Ilmullah (Knowledge of Allah).

From Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Adam argued with Mousa. Mousa said : Are you Adam, the one who brought your offspring out of Jannah? Adam said: Are you Mousa, the one whom Allah has bestowed upon you His messages and speech? Then you blame a mater which has been decreed for me (qudera ala'y) before I was born. Thus Adam convinced him". It means that it was decreed to me by the knowledge of Allah.

Tawoos said, I heard Abdullah ibn Omar say, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Everything is with qadar, even impotence and cleverness, or the cleverness and impotence". This means that everything is according to the knowledge ('ilm) of Allah, which means that Allah has written that in the Protected Tablet.

The word qadar has been mentioned in the hadith of Jibreel in some narrations. He said: ‘Believe in al-qadar whether good or bad’

The Messenger of Allah (saw) also said, " … If anything befell you don't say: Had I did (this), it would have been such and such, but rather say: Allah estimated (qaddara) and He did what He willed." This means that Allah recorded (Kataba) in the Protected Tablets (al-lawh al mahfoodh), i.e. He knew. All of these matters are related to the attributes of Allah, and that He knows the things before they happen, and they happen (occur) with qadar from him, i.e. with His knowledge. All of this has nothing

to do with the subject of al-qada wal qadar.

The term Qadar when used in the various texts is not used to mean what the Mutakilmeen (scholastics) differed over in reference to al-Qada wal Qadar.

The term Qada is also Mushtarak and has many meanings that have come in the text such as making a thing with precision, completing a matter, ordered, executed, etc. Again the use of the word al-Qada mentioned in the Ayat or Ahadith are not related to the discussion of al-Qada wal Qadar that the Mutakalimeen discussed.

The correct view

The basis of the discussion in al-Qada wa al-Qadar is not the action of man in terms of whether he created the action or Allah created it. Neither is it the will of Allah (SWT) in the sense that His will is conditional on the action of man so it must exist by this will. Neither is it the Knowledge of Allah in terms of Him knowing that man will do such and such action and that His Knowledge encompass that, nor that this action of man is written in the al-Lawh al-Mahfuz so he must act according to what has been written.

The basis of the discussion is definitely none of these things, because they have no relationship to the subject from the viewpoint of reward and punishment. The topic of discussion on whose basis the question of al-Qada wa al-Qadar is built is the issue of reward and punishment for an action i.e.: Is man obliged to perform an action, good or evil, or does he have a choice? And, does man have the choice to perform his action, or does he have no choice?

When we say the basis is reward and punishment, we mean this from the perspective of the origin of accountability i.e. free will. This is because without free will reward and punishment would be meaningless.

The person who scrutinises the actions of people sees that we live within two spheres: 1) one which we dominate, seen as the sphere that is present within the region of our conduct, and within which our actions happen absolutely by our choice; 2) the other sphere dominates us, we exist within its domain, and the that which occurs upon us within it happen without our choice, whether they originate from us or fall upon us.

The actions that fall within the sphere that dominates us, we have no choice in them or in their existence. They can be divided into two kinds: The first are those required by the law of the universe. The second are those actions which are not directly necessitated by the laws of the universe. We are not accounted for anything that occurs within this sphere and it is classified as fate (Qada) from Allah (swt).

The laws of the Universe being from Allah is fairly simple to grasp. However understanding how those things that fall upon us which are not necessitated by the universal law are Qada from Allah requires more thought.

The easiest examples for this are the accidental happenings such as the contracting of an illness, train accidents or tripping and spraining your ankle. However this area of the sphere which dominates us is not limited to accidents it also includes things we intend such as arriving at a destination, passing an exam or establishing the Khilafah. The key issue to grasp is that we only control our actions i.e. our limbs and not anything beyond this. When it comes to the examples that I mentioned such as reaching a destination, passing an exam or establishing the Khilafah we only control our actions and therefore make an attempt to achieve a goal, the result is definitively not in our control and involves complex interrelationships between people and matter, it includes many factors that are not in the control of people. When embarking upon a journey we may make an attempt to reach a destination but fail due to many factors such as the car breaking down or an accident on the motorway – so we do not definitively control whether we will arrive at our destination.

We attempt to re-establish the Khilafah but where and when we establish it is not in our control. Even though there were bloodless coup attempts in the past, the da’wa carriers not control the outcome.

Complex situations must be studied carefully to ascertain which aspects are actually Qada and which aspects are in peoples control, it is dangerous to generalise and label things as Qada without making this distinction. Take the example of marriage, often people label this as Qada, upon further scrutiny we would ascertain that there are elements which are in man’s control and elements outside of his control. Whether the man and the women initially meet or not is not in their control, once they have met the decision they make to agree to the marriage is their decision and is not forced upon them by Allah (swt). Even if they decide to marry whether they are able to make it to the actual wedding is not within their control.

If we do not control something then by definition it falls into the second sphere and therefore is from Allah (swt).

It is important to understand that when we say what is in man’s control and beyond man’s control we mean man as in mankind not an individual man. As something may not be in your control as an individual but is in someone else’s control and therefore cannot be Qada from Allah (swt), an example is if someone swears at you, it is in his control and so is not Qada. Rather it is an action that he will be accounted for.

If something occurs upon us which we don’t control such as winning a prize or tripping and breaking a leg we can conclude that this is from Allah (swt) but is beyond the role of our minds to understand how Allah (swt) ensured that this would happen to us. It is beyond our perception to discuss how Allah does things and ensures that certain things will occur upon us without our control.

As for the sphere that man dominates, it is the sphere in which he proceeds willingly according to the system he chooses, whether it is the divine law (shar'iyah) or any other. In this sphere, actions carried out by man or befalling him occur by his will. For example, he walks, eats, drinks and travels anytime he likes, likewise he refrains from doing any of these things when he likes; he also burns with fire and cuts with a knife when he chooses; and he satisfies the instincts of procreation and ownership and the hunger of the belly as he likes. All this he performs or abstains from willingly. Therefore, man is accounted for those deeds which occur within this sphere. Thus, he is rewarded for the action which is rewardable, and he is punished for it if it is punishable. These actions have nothing to do with al-Qada or vice versa. Because man is the one who undertook them with his own will and choice. Therefore, actions of choice do not come under the subject of al-Qada.

The issue of Qadar is to do with the attributes of things that Allah (swt) placed within the universe, man and life. In reality it is a subset of the discussion of Qada as it is related to the universal laws in the sphere which Allah dominates, however due to the controversy that existed over it during the centuries it was discussed as a topic on its own. It is clear from the observation of reality that all attributes of the universe, man and life are from Allah (swt) whether this is the weight of a stone, the sexual inclination in man or sharpness of a knife.

Although we are subject to al-Qada wal Qadar this does not mean that we become fatalistic and submit ourselves to whatever is going to happen to us as we have no knowledge of that. There is a difference between Aqeeda and Hukm Shari and in issues of action we must refer to the Shariah rules as Allah (swt) has ordered us regardless of whether we control the outcome or not.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why are you Muslim?

‘Why are you Muslim?’ It may sound like an obvious question, but often many of us don’t have a clear answer to it. The answer that most of us would give is that ‘Well, our family is Muslim’

Then if we ask  ‘If your family were Hindu or Christian, would you be as well?’. Most brothers and sisters would reply strongly to this, saying ‘No, Islam is the truth’. If asked 'How you can prove that it is the truth', then most of us might not be able to answer because most of us dont think, we just believe it emotionally or blindly. In fact Allah (swt) has condemned people for imitating their forefathers and adopting their belief without clear evidence.

In the Holy Qur’an, He (swt) says:

“And verily guess is no substitute for the truth.” [TMQ 53:28]

“They have no (certain) knowledge. They follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not (‘Isa).” [TMQ 4:157]

"These are nothing but names which you have devised, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow nothing but conjecture and what their Nafs desire. Even though there has already come to them the Guidance from their Rabb" [TMQ 53:23]

"Do you have Ilm (knowledge) for that which you claim so that you provide us with? You follow nothing but conjecture (Zann)." [TMQ 6:148]

The followers of other religions have no decisive proof for their belief, therefore they believe in their religions emotionally or through imitation. Some of them think that you just have to have faith without clear proof. However when it comes to normal things in life people apply a lot of thought such as buying a car, house, choosing a University course or which bank to join, so how can it be that when it comes to the most important questions about life; which define the purpose of our lives that we should just have ‘faith’ without being convinced absolutely.

It is therefore vital for a Muslim to believe in the existence of Allah (swt) without any doubt whatsoever and to believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad (saw) and that the Qur’an is the final revelation sent by Allah (swt) to humanity. Islam is unlike all the other religions as it has a decisive proof that convinces the mind.

Proof of the existence of God

Let us begin by discussing the proof of the existence of Allah (swt). Although we are taught theories regarding the origin of the Universe and origin of the Man such as the big bang theory and the theory of evolution, we should realise that they contradict the clear reality which everyone can sense.

The fundamental proof that God exists is that everything that we sense around us whether it is the mountains, the trees, the sun, the moon, the stars or animals and fellow human beings are limited things and are not eternal. By limited we mean that they have restrictions, a starting point and an ending point, and they have definable attributes i.e. they are all finite. Human beings are born and die. There is no-one alive who will not die. During their life span, they will grow to a certain height, weight and volume.

It is true that there are differences between the things that exist in the Universe however all of them share the quality of being limited and finite, the earth may be huge but it still has a certain shape, weight, volume by which it is limited, this applies to all planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies. Even though a galaxy may look huge to us as the earth looks huge to us and it is not eternal. Even if all of the galaxies and elements of the Universe are added together they do not become unlimited and therefore require an origin. No scientist could ever prove using hard facts that the universe has no bounds. In fact when they say that the universe arose from the Big Bang and is expanding they inherently admit it is finite in size, otherwise it could not expand! There is nothing in reality which is unlimited. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to find anything unlimited around us. All we can perceive is finite and limited.

It is a simple principle that something cannot come from nothing, therefore, where did the Universe come from? It cannot simply exist without having any cause as this contradicts the clear reality which everyone can sense, for example, if we see a car no one would ever think that it simply exists without any manufacturer, this can be applied to anything around us. The following example demonstrates this point well.

Imam Abu Hanifa was once asked by an atheist, "Is there any proof that God exists?" he replied, "Forget it! At the moment, I am busy thinking about this ship.People tell me there is a big ship; it contains different goods on board. There is no one to steer it, no one maintaining it. Yet, this ship keeps going back and forth; it even traverses big waves on the oceans; it stops at the locations that it is supposed to stop at; it continues in the direction that it is supposed to head. This ship has no captain and no one planning its trips." The atheist who posed the question interrupted and exclaimed, "What kind of strange and silly thought is this? How can any intelligent person think that some thing like this can occur?"

Imam Abu Hanifa said, "I feel sorry about your state! You cannot imagine one ship running without some one looking after its affairs. Yet you think that for this whole world, which runs exactly and precisely, there is no one who looks after it, and no one owns it."

The attribute of everything around us is that they are all needy and dependent in order to continue existing. They are not self-sustaining or independent. Man has needs he has to satisfy in order to survive. He has organic needs for example he must eat and drink if he is to survive. If he does not he will die. We see the need and dependency in plants and animals. They depend on other parts of the food chain for their existence. The water cycle is dependent on the sun, which is dependent on the laws of the galaxies and of burning mass, and so on... Nothing we can perceive is self-subsistent. So things exist, but do not have the power of existence. They cannot control when they die or when other bodies die. Thus what we see is that everything around us is limited and finite. Everything that is limited and finite is dependant and everything that is dependant is dependant upon something greater than itself. Applying this to everything we see will bring us to a conclusion. If everything in the universe is dependant because it has not the power of being in existence on its own accord, and is also finite and limited, then what is everything dependant upon for its existence? It must be an unlimited and independent creator.

Today the various theories that exist about the origin of the Universe such as the ‘Big bang theory’, ‘Big bang – Big crunch theory’ or ‘dialectic materialism’ they contradict the simple fact of the need for an unlimited creator.

One example that highlights this is that of the origin of life. Living things like plants, animals and human beings are different from inanimate or dead things as they have certain features such as independent growth, motion and reproduction. If people believe that the Universe has existed forever or that it evolved from single blast etc, this means that they believe that life also evolved from inanimate or dead matter such as gases, liquids or solids. If this is the case, then they should be able to show us one example at least of non-living things producing life, no such example exists. In fact some of them say that this happened by coincidence millions of years ago when certain amino acids and chemicals mixed together to produce the first life. If this is the case, then they should be able to reproduce this ‘coincidence’ with their billions of dollars worth of technology. But they are unable even to produce the most basic life form; an amoeba, which is a single celled organism. What scientists can do is manipulate the attributes that exist within living cells such as in genetic cloning; however this does not mean that they are creating life from dead matter. They are simply manipulating the attributes that Allah (swt) has placed within life, just as we manipulate metal to produce knives and cars.

Therefore, it is a simple fact that this universe must have a creator. The question remains is this creator like the universe i.e. limited or is the creator unlimited and eternal. If the creator was limited like the universe then He would also require a creator as this is the case with every limited thing. So if the universe was caused by a big bang as they claim, what was before the big bang? If it was something else like another universe then what was before that? This chain would continue until there would be a beginning or origin, this could only be caused by something which is uncaused or eternal, which we call God or Allah (swt).

Furthermore the amazing design of every part of the universe, man and life are testament to the fact that Allah (swt) exists. Imam Shaa'fi explained this when he said, "The leaves of Toot (berries) are all but one. Each leaf tastes exactly the same. Insects, honey bees, cows, goats, and deer live off of it. After eating these the insects produce silk; bees produce honey; deer give musk (a special kind of scent), cows and goats deliver off-springs. Is this not clear evidence that one kind of leaf has so many qualities, and who created these qualities? It is the Khaliq (Creator) who we call Allah (swt)) Who is the Inventor and the Creator."

We see that the Qur’an draws attention to everything around us and to conclude from this pondering the existence of Allah. There are hundreds of Qur’anic ayat expressing this meaning. Such as,

إنَّ فِي خَلْقِ ألسَمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ وَاخْتِلافِ ألَّيْلِ وَالنَّهــارِ لأََيــاتٍ لِأُوْلـــىالْبــَابِ

"Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alteration of night and day, these are indeed signs for men of understanding." [TMQ Al-Imran: 190]

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

"And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Behold! herein indeed are signs for men of knowledge." [TMQ Ar-Rum: 22]

أَفَلاَ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الإِبْلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ وَإِلَى السَّمَآءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ وَإِلَى الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ وَإِلَى الأَرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ

"Will they not look at the camels, how they are created! And the heaven, how it is raised! And the mountains, how they are set up! And the earth, how it is spread!" [TMQ Al-Ghashiya: 17-20]

فَلْيَنظُرِ الإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ خُلِقَ مِن مَّآءٍ دَافِقٍ يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَآئِبِ

"So let man reflect, from what he is created. He is created fom a gushing fluid, that is issued from between the loins and ribs." [TMQ At-Tariq: 5-7]

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِن مَّآءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

“Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and in the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth are signs (of Allah's sovereignty) for people who have sense." [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 164]

"Were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay they have not firm belief." [TMQ At-Tur 35-36]

Proof of the Qur’an

Once we have concluded definitively that Allah (swt) exists the next obvious question that arises is that has Allah (swt) sent a revelation for us to follow. It is clear that we are not able to communicate with God and therefore we are unable to know what He wants us to do, how He wants us to worship Him and how we should solve the problems we face in life. All of these questions would remain unresolved unless there the creator has communicated with us and given us a guidance to follow.

As Muslims we believe that throughout history, there have been messengers and prophets, men sent from the Creator, bringing laws or revelation on how man should conduct his life. They were given miracles which proved to mankind that they had a communication with God and a revelation from Him. A miracle is something which goes against the laws of nature which is impossible for anyone else to do; by miracles the Prophet’s were able to prove their direct relationship with God. For example prophet Musa (as) had a stick which parted the Red Sea, Prophet Isa (as) had the ability to cure the sick by just touching them.

But how do we know if these messengers existed? The miracles performed by the above prophets were only miracles for that specific period of time. But how do we know that they were not just legends or fables? So what miracle do we have right now to convince us and guide us through our lives?

The Qur’an itself is the main miracle that the Prophet (saw) brought which is different to the physical miracles of the other Prophet’s as they were limited to their times only. The Qur’an is an intellectual miracle that proves Islam. It was revealed to Muhammad (saw) in the 6th Century, it exists today and has been revealed for all times.

It is an established fact that the Qur’an was proclaimed by Muhammad (saw) in Arabia over fourteen hundred years ago. In order for us to prove decisively that it is from Allah (swt), we must first consider the possible sources of the Qur’an and then eliminate these to arrive at its true origin.

The only possible sources for the Qur’an are:

a) The Arabs

b) Muhammad (saw) himself

c) Allah (swt)

At the time it was revealed, the pagan Arabs were deeply into poetry. It was an indication of nobility in society. People used to go to the desert for days just to write poetry. The Arabic language has great fluidity and depth of expression, so it was held high in esteem by the Arabs. Allah (swt) in the Qur’an challenged the Arabs to produce something comparable to it in language and they failed to do so.

Initially Allah (swt) challenged them to produce ten chapters (surah’s) similar to it:

"They may say: He forged it (the Qur’an). Say: "Bring you then ten forged surah (chapters) like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than Allah (to your help), if you speak the truth!" [TMQ 11:13]

They failed to do so. Allah (swt) then reduced the challenge to something that at first glance may sound easy, He (swt) said:

“If you are in doubt of what we have revealed to our messenger, then produce one chapter like it. Call upon all your helpers, besides Allah, if you are truthful” [TMQ 2:23]

The smallest chapter in the Qur’an, Surah al-Kauthar is only three sentences long, surely someone in history must have matched this challenge? The Arabs at the time of Muhammad (saw) failed to do so, although they were the best in the Arabic language. Furthermore no piece of Arabic literature before them or after them until today has even come close to matching the language of the Qur’an.

For non-Arabs sometimes this may be difficult to perceive as they do not appreciate the language of the Qur’an directly. However, everyone can agree that any piece of literature written by human beings can be matched; people can copy its style and produce something comparable to it in quality. If we look at great English authors like Shakespear no one would claim that they were Prophet’s and that their works are miraculous in nature. Even though they may have been geniuses in language, people can easily write something similar in excellence to three sentences from their books. Despite having the Arabic language, its letters, grammar, syntax and dictionaries available today, the Arabic linguists cannot construct any piece of language that is comparable to the Qur’an. Therefore, it is impossible that the Qur’an was written by any of the Arabs.

It is also inconceivable that the Qur’an is the speech of Muhammad (saw). After all he was one of the Arabs. Also, whatever level of genius people may assign to him, he was still a human being and one of his tribe and nation. Since the Arabs failed to bring the like of the Qur’an, this equally applies to Muhammad (saw). Moreover, Muhammad (saw) has left saheeh ahaadeeth (sound narrations) and mutawaatir ahaadeeth (definitive narrations) whose authenticity is beyond doubt. If any of these ahaadeeth were to be compared with any verse of the Qur'an, there would be no similarity between them in style. He (saw) used to utter the revealed verse and say the hadeeth at the same time and yet there is a difference between them in style. Whenever any man attempts to diversify his speech, it will remain similar in style, because it is a part of him. Since there is no similarity between the hadeeth and the verse in style, the Qur'an is absolutely not Muhammad’s speech. It is important to point out that none of the Arabs, who despised Muhammad (saw), particularly at that time, were the most acquainted with the styles of Arabic speech yet never claimed that the Qur’an was Muhammad’s (saw) speech, or even similar to his speech.

Since it is proved that the Qur'an is neither the speech of the Arabs nor the speech of Muhammad (saw), it is definitely the speech of Allah as this is the only rational possibility we are left with.

The Qur’anic challenge is unique because the Creator, Allah (swt), pushes man to use his ability to undermine the authenticity of the Qur’an. It is such a profound yet simple challenge. Imagine throughout the history of Islam, all her enemies needed to defeat this challenge to destroy the whole basis of Islam. Yet not one, non-Muslim Arab or non-Arab has been able to do this even though all the tools of the Arabic language are at their disposal. The Western government’s hatred of Islam is well known. All they have to do in order to defeat Islam and to make over one billion Muslims apostatise from it, is not to spend billions of dollars in invading Afghanistan, Iraq and launching a mythical ‘war on terror’. They simply have to produce one chapter similar to the Qur’an.

To this day Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have not been able to find any contradiction or mistake in the Qur’an. Moreover, if one was to compare word by word a copy of the Qur’an published today to one of the first copies of the Qur’an available then one would find that not a single word has been omitted or added. Copies of the Qur’an dating back to the first century of Islam can be found in Istanbul and Tashkent. Allah (swt) says:

"Do they not ponder about the Qur’an? If it had come from other than God they would surely have found therein much contradictions." [T.M.Q 4:82]

There are many texts available today claiming divine status from God, like the Bible of the Christians and the Torah of the Jews etc. However, they have no proof that they have been revealed by God, if they are not miraculous in nature then there is no reason to believe in them.

As Muslims we believe that Allah (swt) revealed different books through history such as the original Injeel (Bible) and Torah, Allah (swt) informed us of this in the Qur’an this is why we believe these. However, we have also been informed that these books have been altered and therefore the versions that exist today are not that which was revealed by Allah (swt). Besides this, the Qur’an is the final revelation from Allah (swt) which abrogates all others.

Allah (swt) says, "Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and another of them: and we bow to Allah (in Islam)." [TMQ Al-Baqarah:136]

Once we have established through rational proof that Allah (Swt) exists and that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah, we must believe in everything that the Qur’an informs us of and commands us with, whether we can perceive them or not. Therefore, we must have Iman (belief) in the Day of Resurrection, in paradise (jannah) and hell, in reckoning and punishment, in angels, in jinn, in Shayaateen and all others that the Qur'an or hadeeth mutawaatir (definitive narrations) have mentioned. To believe in these things is therefore not irrational just because we cannot see them or sense them physically as we have conclusively proved the Qur’an being from Allah (swt) which informs us about all of these.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ آمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيداً

"O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger, and the Book which He sent to His Messenger and the Book which He sent to those before (him). Any who denies Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgement, has gone far, far astray." [An-Nisa: 136]

Once the Iman in Allah, His Messenger and the Qur’an has been proven, every Muslim is obliged to believe in the Islamic Shari’ah as a whole. We cannot pick and choose as we like. As the Shariah was revealed in the glorious Qur'an, and the Messenger (saw) conveyed it. If someone disbelieves in this he would be a (disbeliever) Kafir. Therefore, it is disbelief (Kufr) to deny the shariah rules as a whole, or any definite detailed rule amongst them. This is the case whether these ahkam (rules) are connected with worships (ibadaat), transactions (mu'amalaat), punishments (uqoobat), food, etc. So the rejection of the verse:

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ

"So establish regular prayer" [Al-Baqarah: 43]

Is the same as rejecting the following verses:

وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا

"But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury," [Al-Baqarah: 275]

وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُواْ أَيْدِيَهُمَا

"As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands," [Al-Ma’idah: 38]

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ

"Forbidden to you (for food) are dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of any other than Allah." [Al-Ma’idah: 3]

We must completely surrender to all the rules revealed by Allah (swt) whether we see rational reasons for them or not.

فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً

"But no, by your Lord, they can have no (real) faith, until they make you judge in all the disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest submission." [An-Nisa: 65]

Friday, September 25, 2009

The concept of State in Islam

The Islamic state

In Arabic, the word Al Dawlah means linguistically the “Ghalaba”, i.e. the supremacy, it is also a term used to indicate the change of time; it is also said: The days have alternated or rotated, i.e. they have changed; or Allah (swt) alternates it between people etc. States change and vary according to the change of concepts, the change of times and the change of peoples. The State is a word of terminology which refers to an authority that commands and prohibits a group of people who live in a certain piece of land. However, the definition of the state differs due to the difference of viewpoints and nations towards its reality.

The westerners for instance, despite the different viewpoints they hold towards the reality of the state and towards the type of rule within the state, whether this were religious, as was the case in the medieval times, or dictatorial or democratic, all agree that the state is reflected in the land, its peoples and its rulers, and that these three represent the cornerstones of the state. To them, the state is established over a specific peace of land, in which a specific group of people live permanently, and over whom a ruling authority presides.

As for the Islamic state, it is a ruling authority, and a political entity that looks after the citizens' affairs according to the Shari’ah rules; in other words, it is a Khaleefah ruling by what Allah (swt) has revealed and carrying Islam as a Message to the entire world. Allah (swt) has decreed that the Islamic state should be the method to implement the Shari’ah rules and to carry Islam by way of Da’awa and Jihad as a Message of guidance and light to the whole world.

The Islamic state does not consider its territory, nor its specific group of people as her cornerstones, although she has to have citizens for whom she runs their affairs, and a piece of land on which she is established; however, her citizens are growing in numbers at all times, and they include different races and colours; also the land over which she rules must not be confined within certain borders, but it must be expanding at all times. This is so because the Islamic state has a universal Message, and because Allah (swt) has ordered her to carry that Message to the whole world, and to invite all people, be they black, white, brown, yellow, Arab, non-Arab, European, American or Russian to Islam, and to enter into the Deen of Allah (swt). Therefore, any race and any people, who respond to the call, and believe in Islam, would become part of the state's subjects, and their land becomes part of her land. Also, any land which the Islamic state carries the Message to and conquers by way of Jihad, that land becomes part of her land and under her authority and her rule, even if its people did not embrace Islam.

The state as it stands, is born out of new thoughts on which it bases itself; the authority in the state changes when these thoughts change once power is seized. For when the thoughts turn into concepts and convictions, one's behaviour is affected, and he becomes fashioned by these concepts, thus his viewpoint vis-a-vis life would change, and consequently his viewpoint towards relationships and interests change as well. The authority is established in order to look after the people's affairs, relationships and interests.

The Islamic state was established by the Messenger of Allah (saw) as soon as he set foot in Madinah, after he had taken the second pledge (Baya'a) of Al-Aqaba from the Ansar, a pledge of protection and war, and a pledge to hand the authority in Madinah to the Messenger of Allah (saw). The birth of the Islamic state was the result of a new Aqeeda and a host of new concepts adopted by those who believed in him (saw); these concepts generated in his followers a new viewpoint about life, which in turn changed their viewpoint towards relationships and interests.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) built the Islamic state in Madinah on the basis of this Aqeeda, and on the concepts which emanated from it, despite the fact that the verses of legislation had not been revealed yet. She was therefore a new state, built on a new Aqeeda, and on a host of new thoughts and concepts.

The Islamic state is unique in her nature, her structure, what she stands for and the basis on which she is built. She is completely different from the nature and the structure of all the existing states in the world. She is a state founded on the Islamic Aqeeda, the Aqeeda of “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”, which is a comprehensive thought about life, and according to which and to the concepts which emanated from it, the Muslims viewpoint about life has been determined; this viewpoint leads to the belief that life is created by a Creator, and that it is conducted by the commands and prohibitions of the Creator. For the Muslims, it is a foregone conclusion that there is no legislator but Allah (swt),and that there is no sovereignty in this life and in this Islamic state except to the rule of Allah (swt), not to the Ummah, nor the people, nor the ruler. Sovereignty is rather to the law of Allah alone.

Therefore, the Ummah and the ruler alike, have no mandatory powers to legislate any rule or any system or any law other than that revealed by Allah (swt) upon His Messenger (saw). Even if the Ummah were to commonly consent on legislating any rule that contradicts one of the Islamic rules, her consent would have no value whatsoever. So, if for instance, the Ummah were to consent on legalising Usury, under the pretext that the economy and the trade could not prosper without it, or if the Ummah were to consent on legitimising sexual relationships outside marriage, under the pretext that it is personal freedom, or if she were to prohibit the killing of the apostate from Islam, under the pretext that his killing would violate human rights, or if the state was to consent to have more than one doctrine or belief as a state or the succession to power of Muslims or even secular parties under the pretext of democracy, all these types of common consensus, if they ever took place, wouldn't have any consideration whatsoever, for they contradict the Islamic rules, the sovereignty of Shari’ah, and the belief that Allah is The Only Legislator, and not humans.

The fact that the Islamic Aqeeda acts as the basis of the Islamic state, means that there is no place for anyone, be they rulers, judges, intellectuals, politicians, members of the Shura council, Ummahs council or parliamentarians to legislate any rule in order to organise people's relationships, nor to adopt a constitution, or to adopt a system, or enact a state law to be implemented by the rulers in the Islamic state, if these were other than what Allah (swt) has revealed. It is also forbidden for the rulers to force people or even give them a choice in following systems and laws laid down by humans in order to run their affairs.

When the Khaleefah according to his mandatory powers adopts a constitution or a system or a law, he must take these from the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw), by way of either his own Ijtihad (exertion) or that of the Muslim jurisprudents and learned scholars. This necessitates that the Islamic state's constitution, her systems and laws be taken from what Allah (swt) revealed to His Messenger (saw), i.e. taken from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and what they may guide to from the Qiyas (analogy made on Shari’ah texts) and the general consensus of the Sahaba.

It is therefore forbidden for the Islamic state to nurse any thought or to hold any concept, rule, constitution, law, or any criterion which does not emanate from the Islamic Aqeeda, and which is not derived from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, or from a legitimate Qiyas or from the general consensus of the Sahaba. So it is therefore forbidden for the Islamic state to adopt the democratic way of life and the ruling systems democracy calls for, such as a multiplicity of beliefs, the succession to power of Muslims or those of secular belief, or the various types of freedoms, for all these do not emanate from the Islamic Aqeeda, nor are they taken from the Shari’ah rules, apart from the fact that they all contradict the Islamic rules. It is forbidden as well to have in the Islamic state any consideration to the concepts of nationalism, patriotism or autonomy (separation), because these concepts do not emanate from the Islamic aqeeda, and they all contradict Shari’ah rules, apart from the fact that the Islamic rules have abhorred and prohibited them and warned against adopting them. Furthermore, it is forbidden for the Islamic state to hold any monarchical, republican, dictatorial imperial concepts, for these do not emanate from the Islamic Aqeeda, and they are not taken from the Shari’ah rules, beside the fact that they contradict the Shari’ah rules.

Allah (swt) has commanded all the Muslims, including the rulers, to abide by Islam and to comprehensively implement all of its rules exactly as they have been revealed; Allah (swt) says:

“Do take all that the Messenger of Allah has brought to you, and do refrain and keep away from all that he prohibited for you, and fear Allah for Allah is swift in punishment” [TMQ 59:7]

The Arabic word "Ma" in the verse is a form of generality, thus it indicates the obligation of acting upon all the duties, and to refrain from all the prohibitions. The request of taking and refraining in the verse is decisive and it is obligatory, because there is a conjunction acting as evidence about this at the end of the verse where Allah (swt) orders us to be pious and warns us against the severe punishment awaiting those who do not take all that the Messenger (saw) has brought and do not refrain from all that he (saw) prohibited.

Allah (swt) has also ordered His Messenger (saw) to rule by what He revealed; He (swt) says:

“And rule between them by what Allah has revealed” [TMQ 5:49]

This is a decisive command from Allah (swt) to His Messenger and to all the Muslim rulers after him, to rule by all the rules that He (swt) has revealed, whether these were commands or prohibitions, for again the word "Ma"" in the verse indicates the form of generality, thus it engulfs all the revealed rules.

Allah (swt) has also forbidden His Messenger, as well as all the Muslim rulers after him, from following people's whims and submitting to their desires, for He (swt) says:

“And do not follow their vain desires” [TMQ 5:49]

He (swt) has also warned His Messenger (saw) and all the rulers after him against falling for people's corruption and against being lured away from implementing what Allah (swt) has revealed to him. Allah (swt)has described he who rules by other than what He revealed as being a disbeliever if he were to believe in what he ruled by, or if he were to believe in the invalidity of what Allah (swt) has revealed. He (swt) says:

“And whoever does not rule by what Allah has revealed, they are the disbelievers” [TMQ 5:44]

He (swt) described he who rules by other than what He revealed, without believing in what he rules by, as a fasiq (rebel) and dhalim (wrongdoer).

The implementation of the Islamic rules must be complete, comprehensive and simultaneous, not gradual, for the gradual implementation flagrantly contradicts the Islamic rules, and this would render he who does not implement all of Allah's rules, or he who implements some and ignores some of the rules, a disbeliever if he did not believe in the validity of Islam, or if he did not believe in the validity of even some of the Shari’ah rules which he had ignored; it would also render him a rebel and a wrongdoer if he were not implementing all of the Islamic rules but he still believed in the validity of implementing Islam.

Therefore, there should be no complacency in the implementation of all the Shari’ah rules, nor should there be any gradual implementation of the rules, for there is no difference between one obligation and another, nor is there a difference between a prohibition and another, nor between a rule and another; the rules of Allah (swt) are equal and they must all be all implemented without any delay, postponement or graduation, otherwise the following verse would apply to those who do so. Allah (swt) says:

“So do you believe in some part of the Book and disbelieve in some. The penalty awaiting those who do this is nothing but humiliation in this life and the severest of punishment on the day of Judgement. For Allah is aware of all you do” [TMQ 2:85]

Therefore, there is no excuse for not implementing all of the rules of Islam; pretexts such as the inability to implement the Islamic rules, or the absence of the appropriate circumstances, or the fact that the world public opinion is against the implementation of Shari’ah, or that the superpowers do not allow us to implement it, or any other trivial excuses that have no value whatsoever, are unacceptable.

The Islamic state is a human state and not a holy one, and the Khulafa’ and Imams who run her are human beings, they have no holiness nor infallibility. It is the Ummah who appoints them and not Allah (swt), for Allah has ordained the authority i.e. the rule to the Ummah, and He (swt) has delegated the appointment of the Khaleefah to her by the Baya'a (pledge of allegiance), so that he undertakes the rule and the authority on her behalf. Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibnul A'as reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah(saw) say: “Whoso pledged allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as much as he can.” Abdullah Ibnu Omar reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say: “And whoso dies while there was no allegiance on his neck dies a death of the days of ignorance.” The Khaleefah implements the Shari’ah rules on behalf of the Ummah, and he who resumes the post of the Khaleefah would be entrusted with all the mandatory powers of rule and authority, and he would reserve the right to adopt the systems, laws and rules. He who undertakes the post of Khaleefah would merely be a human, it is possible that he could err, forget, lie, betray or rebel, he would not be infallible, for infallibility is exclusive to the Prophets and Messengers.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) has informed us that the Imam, who is the Khaleefah, can make mistakes, and he could commit an injustice or a sin, which would make people hate him for it, or curse him; he (saw) informed us that he may commit flagrant disbelief. All this contradicts infallibility and negates that the Imam and Khaleefah could be infallible. Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Behold, the Imam is but a shield from behind which people fight and by which they protect themselves”. Muslim also reported on the authority of Auf Ibnu Malik that the Messenger of Allah(saw) said: “The best of your Imams are those whom you love and they love you, and who pray for you and you pray for them, and the worst of your Imams are those whom you hate and they hate you and you curse them and they curse you”. Bukhari also reported on the authority of Ubada Ibnus-Samit who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) called upon us so we gave him the pledge of allegiance. We pledge ourselves to him in complete obedience, in well and woe, in ease and hardship in preference over ourselves, and that we would not dispute with the people in authority; and he (saw) said: “Unless you witness an act of flagrant disbelief of which you have proof from Allah.” These Ahadith serve as a clear indication that the Imam or the Khaleefah can make mistakes, and he can commit a sin, which indicates clearly that the Imam or the Khaleefah are not infallible.

Therefore, Allah (swt) has ordered the Muslims to hold the ruler accountable; this He (swt) made their right, for the ruler has no holiness, and no infallibility, and because he may make mistakes, and he may commit a sin and even acts of disbelief, despite the fact that he is their representative in rule and authority, and despite the fact that it is them who appoint him.

Allah (swt) says:

“And let there arise out of you a group calling to the Goodness, commanding what is right and forbidding what is evil.” [TMQ 3:104]

When the Messenger of Allah (saw) was asked: What is the best Jihad? He (saw) replied: “A word of truth uttered before a tyrant man of authority.” He (saw) also said: “The master of martyrs is Hamza Ibnu Abdul-Muttalib, and a man who stood up to a tyrant Imam to command him and prohibit him and was killed.” In the Sunan (book of Hadith) of Abu Dawood on the authority of Abdullah Ibnu Mas'ud, the Messenger of Allah (saw) is reported to have said: “No by Allah, you shall command what is right and forbid what is evil, and you shall hold the hand of the oppressor and you shall curb him and confine him to following the truth.” In another narration of Ibnu Mas'ud's Hadith he (saw) added: “Or Allah shall strike animosity between your hearts and then He shall curse you just like He cursed them.”

Islam commands us in some cases to go further than just holding the ruler accountable with our tongues, it commands us to take-up arms against the Khaleefah if he showed acts of flagrant disbelief that was not there in the first instance, as mentioned in the narration of Ubada Ibnus-Samit: “And that we shall not dispute with the people in authority”; and he (saw) said: “Unless you witness an act of flagrant disbelief of which you have proof from Allah.”

O Muslims, this is the Islamic state which Allah (swt) has commanded all the Muslims to establish, and which we invite you to work with us towards establishing, in order to bring about a "Khilafah Rashida" on the method of Prophethood, and realise the goodness in which the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “And then it will be a Khilafah Rashida on the method of Prophethood”

The Fardiyyah (obligation) of working for Khilafah

The revival of an obligation

The obligation we are about to discuss is something the Muslims took for granted, for well over a thousand years, much like the obligation of Salah (prayer) and fasting today which, al-hamdu lillah, are not open to discussion and debate. However the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) did warn us there would come a time when the Deen will become strange and unrecognizable to the people and those carrying its Call will be seen as strange due to the Message that they carry.

He (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

''Islam began strange and it shall return strange. So glad tiding to the Strangers.'' [Reported by Muslim]

This hadith holds a meaning that is especially reflective of our times, for in the last hundred years this noble Ummah has witnessed the destruction of her State and with that, due to the colonization of her lands by the colonialists, the crushing tidal wave of the western culture. The western culture completely engulfed her to the point of suffocation. It turned black into white and white into black. Never did the Ummah encounter such cultural strangulation, which left her bewildered and confused about the most basic and rudimentary tenets of her Deen. To cause maximum damage the colonialists chose their targets carefully when they unleashed their degenerate culture upon us: they attacked the notion of one Ummah by disseminating the idea of nationalism and nationhood. The Sharee'ah was depicted as barbaric, harking back to a medieval age but not suited to an age of reason and modernity. Whilst the ruling system of Islam, the Islamic Khilafah, was nothing short of despotism justified under the name of religion.

So what impact did this western polemic have upon the sons of this Ummah? First of all the effect was mostly noticeable amongst the scholars, authors and men of letters. Some answered back but with an apologetic tone – so the Khilafah was deemed to be a democratic system all along– whilst a handful who had succumbed to the western culture even denied it as having any Sharee'ah legitimacy, such as the likes of 'Ali Abd ar-Raaziq who, which will come as no surprise, was influenced by none other than the Kaafir orientalist Sir Thomas Arnold! For example in his book: 'al-Islam wa Usul al-Hukm' after attempting to prove that there is no daleel (evidence) for Khilafah in the Ayah:

''O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from amongst you'' [4:59]

he says on page 11: 'If you want to find out more on this discussion then please refer to the book 'The Caliphate' by the scholar Sir Thomas Arnold. The explanation in chapter two and three of that book is excellent and convincing' This book, quite opportunely it seems, was published a year after the Khilafah was destroyed in 1925. In it he went to great pains to argue that the above and other such hadith and ayat which command the obedience to a Khaleefah do not establish the obligation to appoint a Khaleefah because they apply only when an imam exists and if he does not exist then there is no obligation to appoint one. To prove this he adduced the following breathtaking argument: 'Are we not ordered by the Sharee'ah to be generous to beggars, respect the poor and treat them well and show kindness to them? So can anyone who has any intelligence say that this means the Sharee'ah has obliged us to bring about paupers and orphans?' [al-Islam wa Usul al-Hukm' pp.125-126, in edition published by al-Mu`assasa al-'Arabiyyah lid dirasaat wan nashr.]

In time a sense of apathy towards the issue of Khilafah reigned over the Ummah and in cases even embarrassment. Many saw the Khilafah as a relic of the past and which should remain in the past or simply impossible to implement in this day and age; hence there was no alternative but to make recourse to secularism. This was a time of great turmoil and change for the Ummah. This is the time when we witnessed the hadith of the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) unfolding before our eyes when he (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

''Verily, the knots of Islam will be undone one by one. Whenever one knot is lost then the people grabbed onto the one which came after it. The first of these knots will be the Ruling and the last will be the Salah.'' [Reported by At-Tabaraani]

And in another version:

''Verily, the knots of Islam will be undone and there shall be misguided rulers.'' [Authenticated by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak]

After losing the Khilafah, like people clutching at whatever they can on a sinking ship, the Ummah grabbed onto whatever remained of the Deen as poignantly depicted in the hadith above. However, the good is, and always will be, in this Ummah and it was not long before she started embarking on the path of awakening due to the work of the sincere Da'wah carriers. One by one she began to reclaim the knots she had lost and now she is poised to reclaim that final knot; the knot of Ruling by Islam.

Today, by Allah's Grace and Mercy, the notion of Khilafah is not strange to the Ummah, except to those of course who have been inebriated by the western culture. However, it is important to go beyond the recognition of this obligation and to familiarize ourselves with its detailed evidences. Like all other obligations it should be anchored deep within the hearts and minds of the Ummah such that it can never be expunged from her memory again.

The hadith of our times

The evidences for Khilafah are many. But the evidence I wish to discuss perfectly describes our reality today: which is that we live at a time when no Khaleefah exists. And that evidence is the hadith reported by Imam Muslim on the authority of Nafi' that the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

''The one who removes his hand from obedience he will meet Allah without a proof for himself' and Whosoever dies without a bay'ah on his neck dies the death of Jahiliyyah.''

This hadith provides the Hukm Shar'i for a situation when Muslims die without the presence of a Khaleefah to rule over them. Perhaps, this is what explains the Fuqahaa`s (jurists) relative silence over this hadith while the numerous other evidences which establish the obligation of Khilafah have received greater attention and scrutiny. In short, they could not imagine a situation when a Muslim would die without the presence of a Khaleefah; that was simply unthinkable! Hence the discussion tended to centre on the obligation of appointing a Khaleefah after the death of the previous Khaleefah. Or that it is obligatory to obey the existing Khaleefah and so having a Khaleefah must be obligatory.

However, one thing is for sure; the unthinkable has happened and the Khilafah has been destroyed and Muslims are dying while they have no Khaleefah over them. So what better evidence to start off with than the hadith which directly addresses our reality?

The process of extraction

What is the Manaat (reality) of the text?

The hadith is describing not one but two types of people since it came in two parts as indicated by the waw al-isti`naaf or ibtidaa` (in English the word 'and' is used) (ie the disjunctive syntax where the waw begins a new sentence) . In the first part it says 'The one who removes his hand from obedience he will meet Allah without a proof for himself' This is when the Khaleefah exists and someone withholds his obedience to the Khaleefah. As for the second part it is not describing the same person since the waw al- isti`naaf indicates it is beginning a new sentence to make a different point. This time he (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) says: And (waw al- isti`naaf) the one who dies without a bay'ah on his neck he dies the death of jahiliyyah' This is further confirmed by the fact that he repeats the personal pronoun 'man' (the one who or whosoever). This also indicates the hadith discusses two types of people in two different situations.

To appreciate this point better let us look at another hadith where exactly the same thing happens:

He (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: man maata fee sabeelillah fahuwa shaheed wa man maata bit-taa'oon fahuwa shaheed [sahih Muslim]

''The one who dies in the Path of Allah he is shaeed and (waw al- isti`naaf) the one who dies in a plague he is a shaeed''

The death here occurs in two states separated by the waw al- isti`naaf. So the first death is in the Path of Allah whilst the second death occurs in a plague. It would be absurd if someone claimed here that the hadith is talking about the same situation.

Thus the hadith in question is talking about two different situations. The first situation as we said is when someone withholds his obedience to the existing Khaleefah. But what about the second part? The second part begins by saying: 'the one who dies without a bay'ah on his neck..' The waw al-Haal (waw of condition) in wa laysa fi 'unuqihi bay'ah clarifies the state in which the person dies, and in this case it is when he dies 'without a bay'ah on his neck'.

So what is that state when someone does without a bay'ah on his neck. It can't mean giving the bay'ah because the hadith did not say 'wa lam yu'til bay'ah' (and he did not give the bay'ah) let alone the fact that giving the bay'ah (pledge) is a kifayah duty (sufficiency) and not an individual obligation in the first place as indicated by the Ijma' as-sahabah (consensus of the Sahabah).

What explains the meaning of bay'ah on the neck is the fact that the contractual bay'ah does not require every single person to physically give it, rather it is enough for the Ahlul Halli wal 'Aqd (those who represent the Muslims) to give the bay'ah on behalf of the people. This means that a person living even outside the Islamic authority has a bay'ah on his neck if a Khaleefah has been contracted to his post by the representatives of the Muslims. In fact this was the basic format in which all the Khulafaa' ar-Rashidoon were appointed. None of them were appointed by a bay'ah which was given by the whole of the population of the Islamic state, rather it was always the representatives of the Muslims who appointed them. For example when 'Umar b. al-Khattab was elected as Khaleefah by the ahlul halli wal a'qd in Madinah the people of ash-Sham and Egypt did not have to give the bay'ah because the bay'ah was on their neck by virtue of the fact that the contractual bay'ah had taken place through their representatives the ahlul halli wal aqd. Those who died in ash-Sham and Egypt during the Khilafah of 'Umar b. al-Khattab did not die the death of jahiliyyah because they had the bay'ah on their necks even though they did not come to Madinah and physically give the bay'ah themselves. This is the difference between giving the bay'ah and having the bay'ah on one's neck. If however the representatives of the Muslims in Madinah after 'Umar's death did not appoint a Khaleefah then the Muslims of ash-Sham and Egypt would not have the bay'ah on their necks because the contractual bay'ah had not taken place i.e. a Khaleefah had not been appointed.

Thus, the hadith is very accurate in its description; it is not talking about giving bay'ah to a Khaleefah but rather having a: 'Bay'ah on the neck for a Khaleefah' which describes a situation when someone dies without the presence of a Khaleefah. Hence it is wrong to argue that one cannot use this hadith to prove the obligation of Khilafah by claiming that it is talking about situation when the Khaleefah exists. Such an assertion is not established by the internal indications of the text which show that the Haal (condition) described is the death which occurs when a Khaleefah is not present.

As for Ali Abd ar-Raaziq's argument that Sharee'ah has obliged us to look after beggars and orphans so does that mean if they don't exist we have to bring them about to fulfill this command or the argument that we are obliged to obey parents so does that mean we are obliged to bring them back if they die?! Such arguments to say the least are highly fatuous and cannot be considered as scholarly opinions for they disregard the fact that the ahkaam (rules) come with their asbaab (causes). The sabab (cause) of obedience to parents is their existence and hence upon their death the sabab (cause) ceases which means the hukm of obedience also ceases. Also the same applies to beggars and orphans in respect to the ahkaams (rules) which came pertaining to them. But this is different when it comes to appointing a Khaleefah because the sabab (cause) of the presence of a Khaleefah is the presence of the Jama'ah i.e. Ummah or community which has to look after its affairs by Islam. So if the community exists then Khaleefah must exist to look after their affairs.

The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said in a hadith that has been narrated by Imam Ahmed in his Musnad;

''It is not allowed for three people to be in a fulaatin (journey) without appointing one of them as an Ameer.''

This hadith makes it clear that whenever a collection of Muslims exist i.e. jamaa'ah it is prohibited for them to exist except with an ameer i.e. therefore it is an obligation to appoint an Ameer WHEN there is any jama'ah i.e. the existence of jama'ah is the sabab (cause) of the obligation of appointing a Khaleefah.

In fact the term jama'ah in the Islamic text means State, authority, and Khaleefah. Let us look at the following hadith: Ibn 'Abbas narrated that Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

''The one who sees in his Ameer something which displeases him, let remain patient, for he who separates himself from the community (Jama'ah) by even so much as a hand span and dies (in this state), he will die the death of Jahiliyyah,'' (reported by Bukhari and Muslim.)

Here disobedience and rebellion against the Khaleefah is synonymous with separation from the Jama'ah. This is because it is obligatory on the Jama'ah to look after their affairs by Islam. Having a Khaleefah present means this duty is being fulfilled. But if he is disobeyed this means the obligation of looking after their affairs by Islam is being neglected since he is the one who undertakes this task. So the Jama'ah has to obey a Khaleefah so that their affairs can be looked after. The reason why a Khaleefah needs to exist is because the affairs cannot be looked after except by him. Thus, the sabab (cause) of the presence of a Khaleefah is the presence of Jamaa'ah which is obliged to look after its affairs by Islam. Hence, when the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) orders us to obey the Khaleefah this means by Ishaarah (alluded meaning) it is obligatory to appoint a Khaleefah for how can the Fard (obligation) of ruling by Islam be accomplished if he did not exist. So it is wrong to say a Khaleefah does not exist so we are not sinful for not appointing and obeying the Khaleefah. This is because the sabab (cause) is not his existence, rather the sabab (cause) of his presence is the presence of a Jamaa'ah which is obliged to look after its affairs by Islam.

We can see the same point much more clearly in another narration by Ibn 'Abbas which uses the word Sultan instead of Jamaa'ah:

''If anybody sees in his Ameer something which displeases him, he should remain patient, for he who separates himself from the authority (Sultan) by even so much as a hand span and dies thereupon, he would die the death of the days of ignorance,''[Reported by Muslim]

Here we can see that separation from Jamaa'ah and authority (sultan) are used synonymously. Authority (sultan) means the body which looks after the affairs. Jamaa'ah refers to the community whose affairs are looked after by the Khaleefah. The key thing in both is the obligation of looking after of the affairs which occasions the presence of a Khaleefah.

Also it is reported that 'Umar b. al-Khattab said:

''There is no Islam without Jamaa'ah and there is not Jamaa'ah without Imaarah (leadership). And there is no Imaarah (leadership) without obedience.'' (Reported by ad-Darimi in his Sunan)

i.e. there is no looking after of the affairs of the Jamaa'ah or authority (sultan) without an ameer (Imaarah) and naturally there can be no Ameer when there is no obedience to him. So the Jamaa'ah in order to exist ie for its affairs to be looked after must appoint an Ameer. And consequently obedience to this Ameer is obligatory because the obligation of looking after the affairs is not possible without an Ameer. Thus, when the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) ordered us to give allegiance (bay'ah) or obey the Khaleefah it has a greater meaning than when he orders us to feed the poor or look after our parents. We feed the poor because they are poor and we obey parents because they are parents. Thus when they cease to exist the hukm ceases. But our obedience to the Khaleefah is because he looks after the affairs of the Jamaa'ah which itself is an obligation. Thus when the Khaleefah dies the obligation of obedience to him does not cease because the sabab (cause) of the obedience still exists which is the looking after of the affairs. Hence, so as long as the cause of appointing a Khaleefah exists which is the presence of a Jamaa'ah whose affairs have to be looked after by Islam then the obligation of appointing him and obeying him remains even if he did not exist. This is the reason why the order to obey the Khaleefah by Ishaarah (alluded meaning) means the order to appoint him.

Let us consider the following ayah:

''O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from amongst you'' [4:59]

Here we are obliged to obey those in authority because they are the ones who look after the affairs. So obedience is due as long the ruler looks after the affairs by Islam. Since looking after affairs by Islam is Fard then the obedience to them indicates by Ihsraah that they need to exist. In another hadith this point is made even more clearer:

''Even if a slave was appointed over you who leads you with the Book of Allah then hear and obey.''[reported by Muslim]

Here to emphasis the obedience to the one who looks after the affairs we are commanded in the style of mubaalagha (exaggeration) to obey even if the ameer is a slave. I.e. obedience is due because he looks after the affairs which is an obligation. Hence the order to obey indicates by ishaarat an-nass (alluded meaning from the text) the obligation of his presence.

Otherwise we are saying the hukm does not have be fulfilled because something necessary for its fulfillment does not exist even the though the sabab (cause) of the hukm still exists! For example if we apply this type of erroneous thinking on other ahkams look what happens: Jihad for instance is an obligation whose sabab (cause) is the presence of Kuffar under the authority of Kufr. So if Kuffar exist under dar al-kufr then Jihad exists. However to fulfill the Jihad one requires an Ameer by Iqtidaa (required meaning). Without an Ameer jihad cannot be undertaken and hence appointment of an Ameer becomes obligatory in order to fulfill Jihad because that which is necessary to fulfill a wajib is itself a waajib. So by Iqtidaa the presence of an Ameer becomes waajib. But if we follow the silly logic mentioned above the conclusion would be Jihad is not Fard because an Ameer does not exist! Such a conclusion is completely wrong because the sabab (cause) which caused the obligation of Jihad to exist is not the presence of an Ameer but the presence of Kuffar in Dar al-kufr. So as long as kuffar exist the Fard of jihad exists regardless of an Ameer's presence. Rather what we take from the existence of the Fard is that a Ameer needs to be appointed in order to fulfill the obligation.

Finally, the use of the expression 'man maata' deserves a further comment. The reference to the point of death indicates that the hukm (rule) must exist throughout his life. There cannot be a point in his life when he is in a state without a bay'ah on his neck i.e. without the presence of a Khaleefah. So the hukm is continuous unlike the ahkam of obeying parents where the hukm ends upon their death or the hukm of giving to the poor which ends when poverty ceases. But the obligation of having a Khaleefah over you never ceases because text says 'the one who dies' indicating the continuity of the hukm throughout the life of a person for he is not allowed to die in situation where the Khaleefah is not present.

What is the Hukm Shar'i?

The legislative value of the above discussion is that it allows us to extract two hukms: that it is Fard 'ayni (individual obligation) to have a Khaleefah present and also that it is Fard Kifayah (obligation of sufficiency) to appoint a Khaleefah.

As for the first hukm it is deduced from the request (talab) in the hadith that a Muslim should not die without a Khaleefah present. As we said before 'bay'ah on the neck' is not possible to have without the presence of the Khaleefah. So if it is not allowed to die without a bay'ah on the neck, this means it is not allowed to die without the presence of a Khaleefah. This type of indication (dalaalah) in Usul al-Fiqh is known as dalaalat al-Iqtidaa (the required meaning of the text). I.e. this is when the truthfulness or correctness of a statement (sidq al-mutakallim wa sihhatul malfooz bihi) cannot be established unless one understands the lafz (expression) in a certain way.

For example:

''And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way over the believers.''[4:141]

Here the mantooq (pronounced meaning) is Allah will not allow the kaafir to have authority over the believers. However, is this permission in terms of the occurrence of authority or prohibition of authority? It cannot be the fist because we know the kuffar in actuality have authority over the believers in Palestine and Kashmir so the only meaning which will give truthfulness to the statement is prohibition. So we say the mafhoom (implicit meaning) of this ayah through dalalat al-iqtidaa (required meaning) is that Allah prohibits that Kuffar have authority over the believers.

In the same manner the mafhoom (implied meaning) of 'bayah on the neck' is the presence of the Khaleefah by the required meaning (dalalaatul iqtidaa). Thus for the expression 'bayah on the neck' to be truthful we must understand it to mean presence of the Khaleefah.

Thus, the one who dies without the presence of the Khaleefah would be sinful due to the qaraa'in which make the request decisive. For example the preposition 'fee unuqihi' actually means 'ala unuqihi ie obligation to have on one's neck much like when we say in English someone has 'a debt on his neck' i.e. he has a debt he has to pay. We can also see the use of the 'ala in the following hadith of Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

wa 'alayka bis sam'I wat taa'ah fee 'usrika wa yusrika wa manshitika wa makrahika wa atharatin 'alayk

''It is obligatory for you ('alayka) to hear and obey the ruler in adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure, and even when another person is given (rather undue) preference over you.'' [Reported by Muslim in his Sahih/num:1836]

In addition to this is the explicit qareenah (indication) 'dies the death of Jahiliiayh'. The attribution of a death occurring in the days of Ignorance establishes beyond any doubt the decisiveness of the request. This means the command is a Fard which if neglected would entail sin and punishment. Also, since the personal pronoun 'man' is general this means it includes every single Muslim i.e. every individual faces death and therefore the indefinite term 'maata' i.e. dies, coupled with the negation is clear that every single individual is addressed and hence it is a Fard 'ayni (individual obligation) to have a Khaleefah present.

As a further proof of the above understanding let us look at other narrations of the same hadith. It has been narrated on the authority of 'Umar that the Messenger (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

''The One who dies without an Imam he dies the death of Jahiliyyah''. [Reported on the authority of 'Umar by at-Tabarani and Abu Nu'aym. The latter declared the hadith as authentic]

Yet in another hadith narrated on the authority of Ibn 'Umar by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak we have the following version:

''He who abandons the Jamaa'ah by even so much as a hand span is as if he has taken the knot of Islam off his neck, until he returns.' And he (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: 'whoever dies while there was no Imaam of a Jamaa'ah ruling over him, his death would be that of the days of Jahiliyyah.''

It well known the scholars of hadith permitted the narration of hadith by meaning (riwayah bilma'na). So in the above hadiths the raawi (transmitter) narrated the meaning of the saying of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam). So whilst the extraction of the hukm from the man maata hadith in Sahih Muslim is from the implicit meaning (mafhoom), the above two hadiths however are even more explicit as they make the same point in the uttered meaning (manTooq). Incidentally, the hadith in Sahih Muslim and the one above from al-Hakim are both narrated by Ibn 'Umar. The first says 'bay'ah on the neck' while the second says 'while there was no Imaam of a Jamaa'ah ruling over him'. The meaning is same but the difference is that the former is understood from the implicit meaning (mafhoom) while the latter is taken from the uttered or pronounced meaning (mantooq).

As for the second hukm which is that it is Fard to appoint a Khaleefah, this is deduced from the dalalaatul Ishaarah (the alluded meaning of the text). The ishaarah is a hukm derived from the text which was not intended directly from the speech.

For example when Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) says:

''He were are commanded to ask those who know if we do not know.''

This cannot be done without the presence of Mujtahideen and hence the presence of mujtahideen in every age obligation in order to find out the sharee'ah rule on a matter. The ayah did not directly mention the obligation of having mujtahideen but it is understood from the ishaarah when it commanded us to ask those who know if we do not know. In the same manner the 'man maata' hadith establishes the obligation of having a Khaleefah present, this means by ishaarah that it is an obligation to appoint a Khaleefah. Therefore, when the text says it is Fard to have a Khaleefah present it also alludes to the obligation of appointing a Khaleefah such that he is present over us.

Thus, the above hadith clearly establishes the obligation of having a Khaleefah over us and the obligation of working to appoint a Khaleefah.

On WHOM does the Hukm shar'i apply? Is it an individual (Fard 'ayni) or collective obligation (Fard kifaa`i) and what does that mean for the Muslim ?

The obligation of having a Khaleefah present is an individual duty. This is because the personal pronoun 'man' ( which means whoever) is from the general expression (seeghatul 'umoom) and it encompasses all people. Its nature is such that if the Khaleefah is present then he is present for all and if he is absent then he is absent for all thus the obligation covers all people. It is well known in Usul that the general remains general until there is another evidence to specify it. Yes the insane, non-baligh are excluded from this generality but that is not from the mind but there is a text to say they are not legally responsible (ghayr mukallaf) and hence they cannot be held responsible for duties they did not have capacity for.

He (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

''Three types of people are exempted from accountability, the one who sleeps until he wakes up, a child until he reaches the age of puberty and the insane until he is cured.''[Reported by Abu Dawood]

Thus, the general remains in its generality unless another text comes to specify it. And in this case the obligation of having a Khaleefah present is on every legally responsible (mukallaf) Muslim whether man, woman, layman or scholar.

As for the obligation of appointing a Khaleefah this is Fard kifaayah (obligation of sufficiency). However this should not be taken as an excuse for inaction. This is because in terms of obligation (wujoob) and removal of the sin (isqaat) the Fard 'ayn and kifayah are the same. This is because Fard means the Legislator has demanded in a decisive form the performance of an action which if neglected will result in sin. Thus the obligation to fulfill the command is on all. Only if the command has been fulfilled by some then the sin is removed from the rest. This is because the consideration is for the accomplishment of the Fard and not the undertaking of the Fard. Until and unless the Fard is accomplished it continues to be an obligation on all no matter how many people undertook it. That is why the definition of Fard kifayah is: 'What some have accomplished then the rest are absolved from sin' (maa aqaamuhul ba'd saqata 'anil baaqeen) not 'what some have undertaken …' (maa qaama bihil ba'd). There is a big difference between undertaking an action and accomplishing it. So until the Fard is accomplished the obligation remains on all. That is why if the kifayah obligation neglected everyone is sinful and not just a few people.

For example it is Fard Kifayah for a group to respond when salam is given to them. The obligation remains on all of them until the obligation is fulfilled. If one responds with the salam and the Fard is accomplished then all are saved from sin because the consideration is the accomplishment of the Fard but if no one respond then all are sinful. Thus Fard kifayah and 'ayn are the same in obligation and removal of the sin.

So it is wrong for someone to say appointing a Khaleefah is Fard kifayah so let some people do it and we will be saved. This will not save that person on the Day of judgment because the Fard has not been accomplished and hence the obligation remains on every single neck. The Ummah has only three days and two nights to choose a Khaleefah, if they fail to do this after this time the obligation continues on all and those who undertake the Fard are saved from the sin. But those who neglect will be sinful for not fulfilling their Lord's command and they will have to explain themselves to Him on the Day when His Account (Hisab) is swift.