Independent Islamic Entity: A Threat or a Blessing

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“The State of Islam is not intended for political administration only nor for the fulfilment through it of the collective will of any particular set of people; rather, Islam places a high ideal before the state for the achievement of which it must use all the means at its disposal. And this purpose is that the qualities of purity, beauty, goodness, virtue, success and prosperity which God wants to flourish in the life of His people should be engendered and developed and that all kinds of exploitation, injustice and disorder which, in the sight of God, are ruinous for the world and detrimental to the life of His creatures, are suppressed and prevented.”[245]

BESIDES THE nauseous compliance of the media and academia, capitalism’s puppets on the highest levels of a political offensive are, under the guise of a threat from Islam, actively engaged in promoting a new colonialism. This, in effect, denies Muslims the right to self-determination and true independence. In an historic speech on October 6, 2005, Bush expressed this in words of fear when he discussed the objectives of the war in these words:

“Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; still others, Islamo-fascism. Whatever it is called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent, political vision: the establishment, by terrorism and subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom. These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews–”and also against Muslims from other traditions, whom they regard as heretics.”

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke repeated the same fear of Khilafah on October 5, 2005:

“What drive these people on are ideas. And unlike the liberation movements of the post World War II era in many parts of the world, these are not in pursuit of political ideas like national independence from colonial rule, or equality for all citizens without regard for race or creed, or freedom of expression without totalitarian repression. Such ambitions are, at least in principle, negotiable and in many cases have actually been negotiated. However there can be no negotiation about the re-creation of the Caliphate; there can be no negotiation about the imposition of Shari’ah law; there can be no negotiation about the suppression of equality between the sexes; there can be no negotiation about the ending of free speech. These values are fundamental to our civilizations and are simply not up for negotiation.”[246]

On September 30, 2005, Rumsfeld said:

“Those voters are demonstrating again today that there exists no conflict between Western values and Muslim values. What exists is a conflict within the Muslim faith–”between majorities in every country who desire freedom, and a lethal minority intent on denying freedom to others and re-establishing a caliphate.”

Rumsfeld has been constantly repeating this idea for quite some time by using the word ‘caliphate.’ In an interview with Der Spiegel, he repeated the same theme on October 31, 2005,[247] and specifically mentioned it in his briefing before the Department of Defense on November 1, 2005.[248 ]On November 20, he said on CNN’s Late Edition, “Think of that country being turned over to the Zarqawis, the people who behead people, the people who kill innocent men, women and children, the people who are determined to reestablish a caliphate around the world.”[249]

Therefore, the only justification left for the United States’ invasions and occupation of Muslim countries is to save humanity from the curse of Khilafah. Is the United States only now awakening to the ‘curse’ of Khilafah after invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq under other hollow pretexts? No, it has only now become obvious that waging a war on Khilafah was always the primary motives of the power-brokers in the West, particularly the United States. This led to the demonization of the Taliban and engaging in pre-9/11 planning for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan because the Taliban’s presence and policies were considered a threat to the world order envisioned by totalitarians interested only in safeguarding their economic interests.

To counter the exaggerated threat about the emergence of an Islamic entity we need to understand the objectives of an Islamic state to illustrate two points: first, that a true Islamic entity is not going to be a threat to world peace and secondly that Muslims already have a blue-print for comprehensive governance. It is the people who have subjugated themselves to the dying capitalist system who have to think of an alternative. The existing capitalist order is the direct result of the colonial powers’ joining hands for systematically controlling their people at home and a continued exploitation of the former colonies abroad. The façade of democracy has already unraveled. It is just a matter of time before the exploitative system and order that worked behind this façade collapses. The non-Muslim world must brace itself for that collapse. Part of this preparation is to understand an Islamic alternative which will save Muslims from total chaos and confusion.

There are some basic differences between the objectives of a state along the lines of Western thought and the purpose of social, political and economic organization (Khilafah) in Islam. Once the basic concepts are clear it is not difficult to understand the requirements and outcomes of the two different governing mechanisms and their respective threat levels to global peace and security.

It is clear to almost everyone without any doubt that Islam has a value-system applicable to government and politics. This raises opposition from the West due to its own historical experience of the Reformation and Renaissance when State and Church were painfully separated. However, human experience with different forms of governance shows that there are a number of valid reasons which compel the world today to consider Islam as the most appropriate source of guidance for liberating humanity from a bloodsoaked capitalist system and for refining social, political and economic systems for an exploitation-free regulation of human life.

Islam’s Unitarian principle is not limited to the oneness of the Creator alone. According to Islam’s philosophy, the existence of life in a classless, oppression and discrimination-free society is the same program of worship in various fields–”economics, politics, etc–”covering aspects, private and public. Therefore, Unitarianism is the fundamental principle that explains almost every aspect of doctrinal and practical Islam, leaving no room for oppression, empire building and endless exploitation for infinite growth.
Human nature, however, tends to cross moral limits. According to the Qur’an, there is always a tendency for human beings to bifurcate and restrain religion in the sense that they pick whatever supports their whim and caprice and reject what is considered as a barrier in fulfilling their animal instincts and material greed. The Western form of government is the product of an attitude of human mind whereby people become oblivious to the spiritual dimension of existence and concentrate on the material world for ever more material gains. On the other hand, the philosophy of life in Islam does not allow the various pursuits of life to become autonomous, totally independent, and to become separate from the ultimate Divine end. This nips the evil bud of the poor becoming poorer and the rich becoming ever richer.

Relations between Islam and the West have been shaped by two concepts of the State, each with different constitutional assumptions, irreconcilably opposed to each other for the above-mentioned reasons. Besides its roots in mercantilism as described in earlier chapters, the battle cry for the Western position is “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.”[250] Islam responds with the slogan: Din way Dewlap (Islam is religion and State). Even if this formula is not found in the Qur’an in those exact words, the entire Qur’anic revelation is integrative in that it sees Muslims as moral beings who should think and act in a theocentric manner at all times, i.e. in their capacity as members of a society as well as State citizens. Islam takes hold of man in his entirety. Indeed, it is a much-researched question whether there exists at all a definitive Islamic theory of State.[251] German orientalists, such as Gustav von Grunebaum[252] and Tilman Nagel,[253] tend to confirm this. In fact, the Qur’an does not refer to a State in the contemporary sense at all. Rather it assumes a moral community, the Islamic Ummah, which guarantees the right physical and spiritual environment for the successful implementation of its principles and norms, leading towards a just social, political and economic order–free from exploitation and discrimination of all sorts.

The reason that the focus of the Qur’an is more on individual and family life–the basic unit of a society–than governance is simply because Allah does not want human beings to pursue mere economic life, just seeking profit, material well-being and to ignore the Divine purpose of their creation.[254] Under the well-developed Western set up of governance, power becomes the end in itself and people are dedicated to political power rather than its use in the service of a greater objective. Contrary to Islam’s basic philosophy of life sectors of Western society are distanced, even alienated, from each other.

Along with its Western champions many Muslims have embraced secularism as a basic component of governance. Many have joined ranks to impose it on Muslim societies by force. Muslims are reminded of the Western experience whereby there was a bifurcation and then a confrontation between Church and State, each vying for supremacy and for ultimate legitimacy. Ultimately, religion was kicked out of the ring and relegated to private life. Economics was emancipated, sciences and politics followed. However, behind all this remained the real forces which consolidated monopoly capitalism in the absence of any alternative standards and norms.

Islam does not separate the secular from the spiritual. In this comprehensive way of life everyone is accountable for his words and deeds both in the secular and spiritual spheres of life. To this effect, it provides man with theoretical and practical guidance covering all aspects of life in which the political aspect is but one. The world, in its view, is a place for the preparation of the soul for the Hereafter and that this preparation fulfills the purpose of man’s creation. One cannot therefore consider parts of worldly life as having no meaning with regard to that final purpose.

Based on the above-mentioned principle, the Qur’an explicitly says that the government has an important role in governing according to what Allah has revealed and law making subject to the Shari’ah. There is not much to do except develop flexible systems according to revealed values and principles. The Qur’an considers all those who do not govern with the revealed standards for ensuring social and economic justice as oppressors and transgressors .255 Such rulers become authoritarian and autocratic despite their extravagant claims of being democratic with a concern for human rights.

The majority of Islamic injunctions apply to the Islamic Ummah[256] rather than the individual. The importance of society and laws governing social interaction in Islam therefore becomes obvious. The governance of such a society requires Islam to provide guidelines for the establishment of a just government.

The broad lines of the civil, military, criminal, political and social legislation of Islam, evident in hundreds of the Qur’anic verses and in numerous authentic sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), are there for implementation. The rules of Islam require the existence of an organized nucleus, the State, with the authority to manage the myriad of relationships that characterize a society and the resources for producing a favorable environment for the Ummah to live their lives to fulfill the overall objective of human creation. These values and principles and the spiritual aspect of governance were effectively implemented in the lifetimes of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the times of the orthodox Caliphs, as well as some Muslim rulers who came after them.

Establishing the Deen–Islam as a way of life–in every single aspect of life is an obligation proven through authentic and conclusive evidences. Achieving this objective is only possible if a governing mechanism based on the revealed principles and values is in place. Therefore, in this context, the principle of fiqh states: “Verily any action which is necessary to accomplish a duty becomes in itself a duty.”[257]

Islam does not limit belief (Aqeedah) to a set of philosophical ideas or consider the five pillars of the utmost priority at the expense of the rest of the principles and values enunciated by the Qur’an and Sunnah. Aqeedah is, in fact, the basis, the engine that runs the Islamic social, political and economic entity. Therefore, all injunctions of the Qur’an along with the Sunnah need simultaneous implementation without any discrimination. Thus, the role of the State revolves around the implementation of the Qur’an in all aspect of individual and collective life.

Al-Mawardi maintains that the establishment of the Khilafah is a religious obligation for Muslims, because its main object is the defense of the Faith and the preservation of order in the world through the implementation of Revealed Law. In support of his argument, he quotes the Qur’an in which Prophet David was appointed Khalifah on Earth by Allah (Al Qur’an 38:27). He is of the view that a secular State is based on the principles derived through human reasoning and therefore it promotes only the material advancement of its citizens. However, since the Khilafah is based on Revealed Law, it promotes the material as well as the spiritual advancement of the people.[258]

As for the responsibility of establishing the Deen, an “Islamic State seeks to mould every aspect of life and activity in consonance with its moral norms and program of social reform. In such a State no one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private.”[259] However, this concept does not make the Islamic entity an authoritarian or fascist regime because, “despite its all-inclusiveness, it is something vastly and basically different from the modern totalitarian and authoritarian states.”[260] Maudoodi further elaborates: “Individual liberty is not suppressed under it nor is there any trace of dictatorship in it. It presents the middle course and embodies the best that the human society has ever evolved.”261 Unfortunately, many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars are bent on proving that the establishment of an Islamic government would unleash the worst kind of nightmare on humanity. Are their motives those of deception or do they honestly have a different understanding of the concept of Muslims governing their lives according to Islam? If it is the second then there is great misconception that needs to be dealt with and disposed of.

Contrary to the prevailing misconception that the ruler and the government are unaccountable in an Islamic entity, what we have in recorded history is the fact that an Islamic government is limited not only in function but in power too. There can never be an absolute government because the Shari’ah is always there above. There can never be monopoly or pressure groups and corporate interests pushing their agenda from behind the scenes through bribes of different sorts.

The misconception of unaccountability under an Islamic system is widely held in the West today. There, accountability is known as the separation of powers referring to the fact that the founders of the U.S. constitution scattered each type of national power (legislative, judicial, and executive) among the various branches of government. For example, the President has the legislative power of the veto (Article I, Section 7), the Senate has the executive power of confirming certain appointments made by the President (Article II, Section 2), and the Congress and President are checked by judicial review (Article III, Section 2).[262]

The separation of powers under a democratic set up accomplishes several things. First, we see that it is a continuation of checks. Some of the checks are upon the other branches as well. One reason for this is that the founders, as elites within the private economy, sought mainly to protect their individual freedom as property owners from state intrusion. Therefore, they checked the legislative branch as well as the other branches through the separation of powers to ensure protection from a ‘misguided’ executive (which might well be an executive responding to the demands of the people). The point is that as the national government was purposely made inefficient, it would leave private power or the power of business or corporate elites untouched. As Charles Beard points out, “None of the powers conferred by the Constitution on Congress permits a direct attack on property.” Thus Madison argued in Federalist No. 51, “The constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other–”that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights.”[263]

According to Jerry Fresia: “The check upon the executive branch by the legislative branch is not like the check by the other branches upon the legislative. It is not distrust or an indictment of the virtue and wisdom of a class of poor people. It is a simple distrust of the government or public power and a belief that private or what we today would call corporate power or business is virtuous. Clearly, fear of the ability of common people to work their way through the legislature was far greater than the potential tyranny of the President.”[264]

In contrast, it is the right of the common people to censure the head of the State and all the officials and governors under an Islamic form of governance. It is an important function of the shura to ensure that the ruler conforms to the Book of Allah. The nation must remain conscious that it has to obey Allah, not the whims and fancies of the men in top positions. The essential dictum being that there is “no loyalty unto the created which involves disloyalty unto the Creator” (Bukhari).

This is personified in the behavior of the Caliphs (Khulufa)’. Abu Bakr in his first speech as the Caliph (Khalifah) said: “If I behave well support me, if I falter straighten me.” Umar ibn al Khattab, in his capacity as Khilafah, said, “Those of you who see in me crookedness must straighten it.” One amongst the audience replied, “By God, if we see in you crookedness, we will straighten it with our swords.” Umar said, “Thank God, He has created someone in the community of Muhammad who can straighten Omar with his sword.” Caliph Umar later appointed the same man to the court for addressing the cases of injustice, called “mahkamat ul-madhalim,” as a qadi (judge).

It clearly indicates the existence of a certain reciprocity in the relation between rulers and ruled. Abu Bakr’s successor, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was always concerned about overstepping his authority.

Salman said that Umar asked him, “Am I a king or a khalifah?” Salman answered, “If you have taxed the lands of the Muslims one dirham, or more or less, and applied it to unlawful purposes, then you are a king, not a khalifah.” And Umar wept.[265] It shows there is no room for empire building, kingdoms or autocracies in Islam. There is no basis for taxing the masses and to use that money for expanding the empire, engaging in illegitimate wars and killing thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians.

It is natural to think that Allah’s sovereignty and obedience to the Prophet leaves no room for freedom and human legislation in an Islamic entity. In fact, Islam “does not totally exclude human legislation. It only limits its scope and guides it on right lines.”[266] In an Islamic model of governance, a priestly class exercising unchecked domination and enforcing laws of its own making in the name of God is satanic rather than Divine. The government built up by Islam “is not ruled by any particular religious class but by the whole community of Muslims including the rank and file. The entire Muslim population runs the State in accordance with the Book of Allah and the practice of His Prophet.”[267]

Muslim governments were de-Islamized, when Muslims were deprived of the Shari’ah under colonial rule. For the first time, Muslims were exposed to absolutism for the first time because prior to that the Shari’ah provided an absolute limitation on government. That is why in Islamic history, despite deviations from the basic principles and transformation into monarchies, because governments were limited one does not find so many oppressive governments and human rights abuses as we witness today under the label of democracy. Moreover, the judiciary remained very powerful. It could evoke the Shari’ah directly and check government.

The Shari’ah protected people, and governments were limited. However, under colonialism the Shari’ah was restricted and Muslims were left with materialist laws that removed the limitations set on government. Post-independence governments became very absolute. Even the so-called democracies have actually become democracies of the elite. Just like the democracy of the French Revolution, it is a democracy of one class of people who decide issues amongst themselves and, although there are formal elections, the people are actually not represented in any sense. They are completely left out.

In short, the purpose of government in Islam is the facilitation of worship which in Islam encompasses all deeds that are defined as good, thus affecting man’s salvation and producing a morally upright God-fearing society. Only such a society clearly and effectively engenders a just government in a symbiotic relationship. The philosophy of Islam does not view government or its themes as ends in themselves.

Although Islamic entity is opposed to popular sovereignty, it has within it many of the themes of real democracy. However, there is a far greater emphasis on human duties than human rights, public and communal welfare over individualism and morality is far more integrated into law than in the prevailing secular states. The basis of just government in Islam is its ethics.

Islam persistently demands its followers to observe the principles of morality at all costs in all walks of life and the administration at the top is not exempt. Hence, it lays down an unalterable policy for the State to base its politics on justice, truth, and honesty. It is not prepared, under any circumstances whatsoever, to tolerate fraud, falsehood and injustice for the sake of any political, administrative or national expediency as we witness in the words and deeds of the mock-democracies in the world today. Whether it is relations between the rulers and the ruled within the Islamic entity, or the relations of the entity with other states, truth, honesty and justice always take precedence over material considerations.

Islamic philosophy further imposes similar obligations on the government (state) and the individual. They have to respect all contracts and obligations irrespective of the strength or weakness of the other party. Irrespective of any justification to the contrary, Islam does not allow its adherents to bow down unconditionally to “with us or against us” threats from the powerful. Islam does not allow aggression against other people or states on the basis of lies and deceptions. It does not allow torture and detentions without any recourse to justice and fairness. States as well as individuals are obliged to have uniform standards for dealings, such as remembering duties along with rights; using power and authority for the establishment of justice (not for the perpetration of injustice as we witness in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, etc.); and using power with the belief that one has to render an account of one’s actions to God in the Hereafter.

According to Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Monarchy preserves liberty far better than does democracy. Other classical liberals, such as Murray Rothbard, have gone to the extent of looking at the State with suspicion and wish to do away with it altogether based on convincing arguments for private-property anarchism. In Hoppe’s view, democracy has led to the increase in State power that: “I will explain the rapid growth of state power in the twentieth century lamented by Mises and Rothbard as the systematic outcome of democracy and the democratic mindset, i.e. the (erroneous) belief in the efficiency and/or justice of public property and popular (majority) rule.” Though Mises and Rothbard “were aware of the economic and ethical deficiencies of democracy,” they “had a soft spot for democracy and tended to view the transition from monarchy to democracy as progress.”[268]

Proponents of democracy may argue that a king rules to benefit himself and that he is accountable to no one. By contrast, people can replace a democratic government if they are not satisfied with it. They may ask: does the knowledge that people can turn it out at the next election not act to restrain the government in power? Probably the greatest commonly held misconception of the last two centuries is that the fear of getting thrown out in the next election restrains the government in power. The way presidents have acted in the second term in the United States in particular is enough to dispel this myth. Public opinion is worth only for making a decision about who has to rule. Once that decision is made, the people’s will loses its worth. They are hardly consulted or their opinion is hardly respected when it is time for lying and the launching of further wars of aggression. Furthermore, a short collective memory and the corporate media’s daily obscuring of the truth and facts are other factors that leave people totally bewildered and unable to make the right decision.

Undoubtedly, a king or a life long Khalifah regards the government as his personal possession, but this is exactly what David Gordon believes will induce him to act with good judgment.269 Rather than squandering his nation’s resources a king would manage them prudently and all the more so if he expects to pass on the realm to his heirs. “Assuming no more than self-interest, the ruler tries to maximize his total wealth, i.e. the present value of his estate and his current income. He would not want to increase current income at the expense of a more than proportional drop in the present value of his assets.”[270]

The pro-sham-democracy elite might argue that this argument proves too little. The ruler may well conserve his own estate; but what about the rest of the country? What stops him from plundering the property of his subjects? To this, Hoppe has an ingenious response. A prosperous and secure society will raise the value of the king’s estate; hence, the ruler will have a strong incentive to limit his depredations on the public. “[T]o preserve or even enhance the value of his personal property, he [the king] would systematically restrain himself in his taxing policies, for the lower the degree of taxation, the more productive the subject population will be, and the more productive the population, the higher the value of the ruler’s parasitic monopoly of expropriation will be.”[271]

This logic makes more sense when looked at from the perspective of Islamic values, basic principles and responsibilities of the ruler and the ruled. Islam eliminates the likelihood of the rulers’ tendency to transfer as much as possible to his private estate. There is no possibility of direct seizure by the Islamic head of State. Imagine the extent of limited government in an Islamic model when Hoppe has shown a powerful incentive that limits the growth of government in a monarchy. Even Jean Bodin, the great French theorist of absolutism, maintained that the king should, if possible, support himself entirely from his own estates. History shows that earlier Khulufa refused or took less than their actual requirement of basic necessities from the bait-ul-mal (an Islamic treasury intended for the benefit of the Muslims and the Islamic state and not for the leaders or the wealthy).

By contrast, in the sham democracies around us today the government grabs as much as it can without regard to the future. Precisely because the holders of power do not own the government they lack the incentive to look to the long run. “A democratic ruler can use the government apparatus to his personal advantage, but he does not own it . . . [h]e owns the current use of government resources, but not their capital value. In distinct contrast to a king, a president will want to maximize not total government wealth (capital values and current income), but current income (regardless and at the expense of capital values).”[272]

Gordon further explains the argument in response to this observation. Of course, people will remove a democratic government if it does not perform well. Fear of removal, undoubtedly is a check on the government’s predation. However, a sham-democratic government can render the supposed check inoperative. The rulers buy votes by promising to the poor extravagant welfare benefits. The rich pay the price for these but their dissatisfaction cannot overturn the government. They number but a few compared with the poor whom the government enlists in its support. Thus, predation proceeds unhindered to the government’s own advantage.

It is interesting to note that Hoppe admits in the beginning of his book that the choice between monarchy and democracy “concerns a choice between two defective social orders.”[273] In an interview, Professor Hoppe concluded: “More importantly, however, theory contradicts this interpretation; whereas both monarchies and democracies are deficient as states, democracy is worse than monarchy.”[274] Similarly, Gordon also asks, “What about systems that combine monarchical and democratic features?”[275] Here again Islam comes to the rescue. The only condition is to understand the core of its philosophy and the real objectives behind its values and principles.

It is very unfortunate that too many forces are out there determined to limit Islam and the Qur’an to mere “sources of morality and ethics.” They believe that the “laws of the state should be based on rational deliberation and reformed and corrected in light of growing knowledge about the social and natural worlds”276 and that Islam should not play any role in politics. On the subjects of philosophy of the Islamic governance and politics Professor Yusuf al Qaradawi writes:

“According to Al-Mawardi from his book Al-Ahkam Al-Sultaniyyah, it is hirasatud din wa siasatud dunya–to uphold the religion and administer the world. Politics is not munkar–is not a depravity–real politics is noble virtuous because it administers the affairs of all creatures, bringing man closer to good and away from fasad–evil. According to Ibn al-Qayyim, politics is really the justice of Allah the Almighty and His Prophet (peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him). It became common to label and describe committed Muslims as ‘political’ so that they are regarded warily and wickedly for the purpose of disassociating and furthering apart the people from them, intending that society will shun and hate what is called ‘political Islam’. It is a blatant lie for those who say that there is no religion in politics and that there is no politics in religion.”[277]

Islam provides an integrated homogenous whole. Once one understands its basic concepts, objectives and framework, one cannot but conclude that it is capable of creating a humane and just society, a peace and a blessing for humankind. Difficulties only arise when critics try to measure the ocean of Divine knowledge, wisdom and justice with their own thimble of pedestrian criteria and standards.

Note:

The above is an exerpt from "The Ultimate Tragedy: Colonialists rushing to global war to save the crumbling empire."

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