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**Misconceptions regarding the Islamic State**

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    **Misconceptions regarding the Islamic State**

    Misconceptions regarding the Islamic State


    When the term “Islamic State” is mentioned, many things come to mind. Unfortunately, much of what Muslims think to be an Islamic State is either a negative image or a gross misconception. To add to the confusion, some countries in the Muslim World have proclaimed themselves to be model Islamic States. However, these societies are characterized by oppression, iron-fisted ruling, backwardness, and an utter bankruptcy of any solutions to the existing problems of society. As a result, the picture of the Islamic State that exists in the minds of many Muslims is a police-style theocracy that is unable to address the issues of contemporary life in a meaningful way. Furthermore, the notion of Islam being implemented as a political force has been tainted with many misconceptions, all of which collectively lead to a generally dismal perception of life under Islamic rule.

    At the same time, Muslims have a desire to return to Islam and to live under the Islamic system. And more Muslims are beginning to realize that the Islamic State is a vital issue because the Islamic State is the mechanism which defends Islam and Muslims, applies the Islamic system, and propagates Islam to the world. However, this desire and momentum must be guided by a clear, untainted picture of what the Islamic State is. In order to construct a clear picture of life under Islamic rule, some of these misconceptions must be addressed and clarified.


    Is the Islamic State a Religious Theocracy?

    One of the most common misconceptions is that the Islamic State is a theocratic state where the mullah is considered the Shade of God on earth and the ruling of the mullahs is absolute. This is a very dangerous concept which the West propagated to the Muslims. During the Middle Ages, the Church ruled the West in an iron-fisted manner which resulted in stifling of progress and widespread oppression. After adopting Capitalism and formally detaching the authority of the Church from the political life under the banner of Secularism, the West experienced a revival in science, arts, and technology. This history which the West experienced caused the Western intellectuals and philosophers to believe that the mixture of religion and politics is what resulted in the backwardness, the oppression, and the miserable conditions that characterized the Middle Ages. Therefore, according to them, any society must adopt Secularism and marginalize the role of the Church to the individual sphere for progress to materialize.

    In order to promote the idea of Secularism in the Muslim World, the West propagated the false notion that the formula of separating Church and State can and should be generalized to include separation of any belief in the Creator from the life affairs. In addition, the West portrayed the historical transition that they underwent from Christian rule to Secularism as a universal phenomenon that any society will ultimately undergo and not as something unique to Western historical experiences. The Muslims began to mistakenly believe that because Islam, like Christianity, is a religion, then “Islamic rule” would produce the same results as “Christian rule.” As a result, Muslims began to believe that the reason for their decline was the ruling of Islam, much like the ruling of Christianity was the cause of the decline in the West. Furthermore, Muslims began to think that the way to revive themselves was to duplicate what the West did, which is to adopt Secularism and to marginalize the scope of Islam to the realm of the individual.

    Clarifying this misconception begins by realizing that Islam and Christianity are very different from one another. This distinction becomes very noticeable when one scrutinizes the history of the West and compares it with the history of the Muslim Ummah. While the West revived when abandoning Christianity, the Muslims actually declined when they abandoned Islam. In fact, the more strongly the Muslims adhered to Islam, the more powerful they were, and their strength and power waned when their adherence and understanding towards Islam was weakened. It was Islam that uplifted the Arabs from backward, nomadic tribes into the superpower of the known world within a generation. And while Europe and the West remained in a state of backwardness under the rule of the Church, the societies in the Muslim world attained their zenith of technological and scientific advancement under Islamic rule.

    The question that comes is: What difference between Islam and Christianity or any other religion caused the success of one and not the other? One crucial difference was that Islam is not a religion that was built upon rituals. Rather, Islam was a comprehensive ideology that came as a solution for human problems. Because the Christian doctrine was tampered with, the new doctrine was unable to address the reality. As a result, the Church did not even refer to the Christian doctrine in governing the affairs of the society. Rather, it was the opinions of the priesthood and clergymen which ruled the society. In order to justify this stance, the Church concocted the notion that only certain people were qualified to understand the Christian doctrine and their opinions were considered the opinions of God. Hence, the concept of the “clergy” took root in the West, and any opinion that challenged the opinions of the clergy was fought under the pretense that such opinions went against the “Will of God.”

    However, in Islam, such a conflict never occurred because the Islamic doctrine is intellectually proven to be consistent with the reality. Furthermore, Islam mandates its adherents to submit to Islam and to make Islam as the reference for life. No human being, regardless of his level of knowledge, can claim to be the representative of God’s Will or the spokesperson for Islam. Any opinion or rule issued by anyone could be referenced to the ideology of Islam. Thus, the Islamic State was never a theocratic state in which the ruler was considered God’s Shade on earth. Rather, the Islamic State was an ideological state in which Islam ruled, and all the people – whether rulers, scholars, or people in general – submitted to the Islamic ideology as their reference and standard.

    Furthermore, Islam was a comprehensive system that addressed the human beings in a practical and relevant way, and not in an abstract, religious way that was far removed from their problems and issues. From the onset of its revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (saaw), it was clear that Islam came to address the problems that human beings were facing in a relevant manner. While the verses that were revealed to Muhammad (saaw) in Mecca were general in their implications, the examples that were mentioned directly addressed the practices, customs, and way of thinking of the people of Arabia at the time. For example, the concept of polytheism was attacked in Islam; however, the specific example that was mentioned was the idol worship that existed in Arabia at the time. Therefore, when Islam was applied upon the people, the implementation of Islam addressed the problems of the people and provided a comprehensive solution. The Islamic State always assumed an active role in attempting to resolve the problems of society. And under the tutelage of the Islamic State, many scholars and intellectuals produced books of Islamic Fiqh (Law/jurisprudence), Usul-ul-Fiqh (Basis of jurisprudence), and other works which testify that the Islamic State encouraged a rich intellectual atmosphere.

    On the other hand, the theocracies of Europe failed to address the problems and issues that the people faced. When confronted with issues such as the widespread poverty, disease, gross inequalities in wealth, and intellectual backwardness, the Church, rather than attempting to undertake any concrete measures to resolve them, justified their existence that such societal diseases and inequalities were either “God’s Will” God’s punishment upon the sinful human race.

    Is the Islamic State based on the principles of
    “Democracy, Freedom, and Human Rights”?

    Because of the absence of any Islamic State that applies the Islamic system, the Muslims cannot comprehend what life under the Islamic system truly consists of. Thus, it is natural for Muslims to try and think of the Islamic system in terms of systems that they feel being applied upon them. Furthermore, the regimes in the Muslim world are among the most corrupted regimes in the world, including those that have proclaimed themselves as “Islamic.” When Muslims are exposed to life in the West and realize that quality of life, concern for the human being, and the accessibility of services and rights, are better than what exists in the Muslim world on a relative scale, many Muslims become attached to the Western way of life.

    To complicate matters, the West, in its plan to spread its way of life and culture throughout the Muslim world, propagates the notion that the ideals of Democracy, Freedom, and Human Rights are universal values. The West purposefully spreads these concepts detached from the Western outlook so that Muslims would not view them as Western ideas but rather universal ideas and norms. The end result of all of these factors caused the Muslims to believe that the Islamic State is a state modeled after Western principles of Democracy, Freedom, and Human Rights. And if the Islamic State is not based upon these principles, then it would degenerate into a dictatorial state that would be marked by oppression and iron-fisted rule.

    In actuality, these ideas are not universal ideas but Western ideas that emanate from the Western way of life. Not only do these ideas contradict Islam, but they also contradict reality and fail to correctly address the human being. Democracy, which is derived from the Greek term Demos Cratus (“people power”), is based upon the notion that sovereignty and authority belong to the people. In other words, Democracy appoints the human being as the source of laws and rules for other human beings, and is based on the notion that the people should be left to rule themselves and implement any system of their choosing upon themselves. This concept contradicts the very basic notion in Islam that sovereignty belongs to Allah in the sense that Allah is the only source of laws and rules, and the people have only the authority to understand these laws and implement them. Furthermore, in Democracy, the people choose the frame or structure by which they will implement these laws and rules, whereas in Islam the laws and rules can only be implemented using the Islamic political system that was defined by Allah and applied by the Messenger of Allah.

    Aside from this conflict with Islam, Democracy as an idea cannot be applied in reality because every society has a ruling structure that is charged with implementing the rules. Even in the Democratic societies of the West, there exists a ruling body that implements the rules upon the rest of the people. Thus, the idea that everybody rules his or her own self has no basis in real life.

    As for Freedom and Human Rights, they are related in the sense that freedom is the basis from which human rights emanates. The Western intellectuals espoused the notion that human beings have certain freedoms, the most important being freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom of ownership, and personal freedom. This notion came from the idea that the human being is born naturally good, and only by restricting his freedoms does he commit evil. Thus, the securing of these freedoms and liberties is the basis of the call for human rights. According to the Western outlook, the source of evils in the society are the restrictions that are imposed upon the human being that limit his freedoms; thus, only by securing the freedom of the human being and enabling his inherently good nature to manifest itself will the problems of society be minimized.

    Such terms were sold to the Muslims as very attractive slogans, which appealed to many given the oppressive conditions imposed upon the Muslims by the regimes. In reality, these terms not only contradict Islam, but like Democracy, failed to address the reality as well. First, the West was incorrect in its description of the human being as naturally good or evil because the human being is neither good nor evil by nature. Rather, the human being has certain instincts and needs, and a mind to choose which path to satisfy these needs. If he chooses to satisfy them according to Allah’s rules, then he does good; and if he chooses to satisfy them according to any other way, then he will do evil. Therefore, the concept of good or evil is used to describe the actions of the human being to address his natural instincts and needs; good and evil cannot be used to describe the human being’s natural state. And the idea of Freedom conflicts directly with the fundamental notion in Islam that all human beings are slaves to Allah. Furthermore, this idea of freedom conflicts directly with reality because in the real world, all societies, even the “free” societies, are governed by systems of laws and rules that restrict the actions and behavior of human beings. When the U.S. Constitution says that all human beings have the right to free speech, religion, press, and assembly, it is the law of the land, and not “freedom,” which gives the citizens these freedoms, and the law can revoke, suspend, or modify these freedom when it sees fit to do so.

    As for the four freedoms that collectively form the basis of human rights, they all contradict Islam because the Muslim does not have the freedom to renounce Islam. And while freedom of speech may allow someone to insult the prophets or ridicule Allah, Islam does not allow the uttering of such statements. Also, the Muslim does not have the right to own whatever he wants in any way he wants, nor does he have the right to exercise his sexual desires freely in the name of personal freedom. Islam regulates how the human being satisfies his sexual needs in addition to regulating what the human being can own and how he acquires this ownership in such a way that guarantees that his needs are satisfied and the high standard of society is maintained.

    Furthermore, the West misunderstood the impact of allowing the human being to live freely like the animals in the jungle. The Western intellectuals mistakenly diagnosed the roots of the existing evils in the society as the restrictions imposed upon the human being, which limit his freedom. What they failed to realize is that all societies, by their nature, have restrictions, and the issue is not the presence or absence of restrictions but whether the restrictions are man-made or made by Allah. Thus, while the West believed that securing the freedom of human beings will result in good, in actuality the expression of these freedoms has caused so much evil in the society that even some Western thinkers and intellectuals themselves begun to doubt the validity of this idea. In the name of freedom of ownership, the wealthy nations have given themselves the freedom to exploit the world’s resources and to keep the rest of the world in a state of poverty. And within each nation, the elite have consolidated virtually all the wealth of the society while the masses struggle among themselves for the few crumbs that the elite have left behind. And in the name of personal freedom, vices such as homosexuality, prostitution, and pornography, have reached epidemic proportions.

    Therefore, the Muslims should be aware that the ideas of Democracy, Freedom, and Human Rights are specific ideas that emanate from a unique outlook and are not universal ideas. As a result of being man-made, such ideas are inferior to Islam and fail to address the reality, and the misery and suffering that they have resulted in attests to their inferiority. The question comes: If the Islamic State is not based on Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights, then what is the Islamic State based upon? The Islamic State is based upon the notion that sovereignty belongs only to Allah (swt). Such an idea is consistent with the reality because, if Allah is the Creator of human beings, then Allah (swt) is the only one fit to design a system of laws and rules for the human being to live by. In reality, the human being can never be free because, wherever he lives, he is subjected by the laws of the society. The human being will either be a slave to other human beings or a slave to Allah, depending upon whose laws he will submit to. The Islamic State provides the correct solution to this dilemma by subjecting the human beings to the justice of Allah’s system. By correctly addressing the human being’s relationship to Allah in this manner, Islam saves humanity from being slaves to other human beings and man-made system, as in the Democratic system. Therefore, the Islamic State is the state where all human beings are slaves to Allah and no human being is the slave of another human being.

    Lastly, the Muslims should detach themselves from the concept of “human rights.” As illustrated, the notion of human rights is specific to the Western outlook, and is based upon an incorrect assessment of the nature of the human being. Furthermore, the concept of human rights is a subjective term, and as such, it is used as a political tool used by certain powers to consolidate their interests in the international scene. On the other hand, Islam correctly defines the rights of the human being, which are the Shariah rights given by the Creator of humanity. These Shariah rights and fixed and permanent, and they apply upon everyone at all times and places.

    Is the Islamic State “anti-science/anti-technology”?

    The prevailing image is that the Islamic state is a state governed by simple-minded, camel-riding nomads who have a revulsion towards any kind of scientific or technological advancement. Some Muslims have a tendency to distance themselves from science or technology, not realizing that science and technology are universal and have no relation to any point of view. This revulsion stems from the way in which the West portrays the relationship between its outlook to science and technology. When the West adopted Capitalism, it experienced a tremendous explosion in scientific and technological advancement. In order to facilitate the spread of Western culture, the West propagated the notion that the scientific and technological progress that it experienced was a natural byproduct of Western culture. The intertwining of Western culture with science was so effective that, in the minds of many, the terms “science and technology” became synonymous with Western culture. In response, many Muslims believed that by rejecting science and technology, they are in fact rejecting Western culture.

    Such a position is a false one because it fails to distinguish between culture and the material aspects of a civilization. Culture, or hadarah, is a set of values, concepts, and ideas that define a unique outlook towards life, whereas the material aspects of a civilization, or madaniyah, are universal and are not related to any particular viewpoint in life. For example, the observation that water boils at a certain pressure and temperature is a scientific observation. This phenomenon is universal because, given the same conditions, water will boil at the same temperature and pressure for a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian, or a Capitalist. Similarly, a rocket is an object of technology that operates according to certain principles. The rocket will function according to the same principles for everyone, regardless of his belief. Thus, there is no such thing as a “Muslim rocket” as opposed to a “Christian rocket” or “Jewish rocket.”

    Therefore, what differentiates each nation from the other is not the sciences or the technological aspects but the culture and way of life that each nation adopts. The claim upheld by the West that science and technology are a unique aspect of Western culture is a false claim because science and technology are universal. This fact is proven by the history of nations. When the Arabs adopted Islam as a way of life, they advanced in the material sciences and technology. Furthermore, when the Russians adopted Communism, they also advanced in science and technology. If science and technology are unique to the Western culture, then why did Islam and Communism, which are distinct from Western culture, also result in the advancement of science and technology for their respective people?

    Every nation adheres to a specific set of thoughts which defines a particular viewpoint of life, and based upon this viewpoint, the nation will proceed along a specific course of action. Each nation will use the available scientific knowledge and technology in order to implement, protect, and advance its culture. Today, we are witnessing the Western powers making tremendous strides in science and technology. However, what must be known is that this advancement is driven by a momentum, and this momentum stems from the belief that the Western people have in their culture and way of life. This belief is so strong that many in the West believe that Capitalism should be the way of life for all people of the world, including Muslims. It is this belief that is pushing the people in the West to utilize whatever knowledge of science and technology exists, in addition to encouraging the advancement of thesefields, for the purpose of establishing the supremacy of their ideology and way of life in the world.

    Similarly, the Muslims should look to science and technology in the same way – as tools that will be, and should be, used to establish the supremacy of Islam. In light of this, we witnessed the Prophet (saaw) incorporate the concept of the trench from the Persians and send some of his Companions to Yemen to learn how to manufacture swords. In addition, we noticed Umar ibn al Khattab utilizing the administrative system used by the Romans to maintain records of the military.

    Thus, contrary to popular belief, the Islamic State will strive to be at the cutting edge of scientific research and technology. Assuming that the Islamic State is born today, if the West has already succeeded in landing men on the moon, then the Islamic State should strive to be the first to land men on Mars. If the West was the first to build cities on the water, then the Islamic State should be the first to build cities under the ocean. One only needs to be reminded of all the scientific and technological achievements that were made during Islamic rule – achievements that provided the seeds and momentum of the European Renaissance – to realize that there is no conflict between science and technology on the one hand, and Islam on the other.

    Is the Islamic State a Police State?

    The experiences that many Muslims have encountered with the regimes in the Muslim World have led many to believe that the Islamic State would resemble a police state in which the rules of Islam would be applied in an iron-fisted manner. In order to clarify this misconception, one must comprehend understand the nature of societies and the nature of Islam itself. It is a common notion among some individuals that the mere application of Islam amounts to iron-fisted rule. However, this is a false notion because of two reasons. First, the nature of any society is that they are governed by systems, and any system must be imposed upon the people. In other world, the people in any society are required by compulsion to obey the law; if they choose to disobey the law, then they are reprimanded and must be held accountable before the law. In this regard, the Islamic State would be no different than any other state. Like in any country, the Islamic State has rules and regulations that the citizens are expected to abide by once they are sworn as citizens of the state.

    Similarly, the Islamic State is a state that is based upon a system of thoughts that emanate from a unique foundation, and this foundation must be protected. In the West, the regimes pay special attention to maintaining the integrity of their Capitalist foundation and the system of thoughts that shape their respective societies. Therefore, it would be expected for the Islamic State to have restrictions and to take measures in order to guard its foundation and the integrity of its system of thoughts. This aspect is characteristic of any state, particularly when it comes to the vital issues, which every nation has. The nation resembles the body, and like the body, there are parts which, if affected or damaged, will not result in the death of the body, such as losing a finger or even a hand. However, organs such as the heart and the brain, if affected, will result in the death of the body, which means that the body must ensure that these vital organs remain functioning. The protection of such organs is no longer a matter of convenience, but a matter of life and death. Similarly, every nation is faced with issues, some of which, if unresolved, will result in the death of that nation. The abortion issue is not considered by the United States to be a vital issue; therefore, the debate over abortion can rage on endlessly without taking a drastic toll on the nation. However, one issue that is considered a vital issue is the unity of the Federation. When this unity was threatened and some states seceded from the union, the rest of the country was willing to fight an entire civil war in order to bring the renegade states back into the union. Had the United States not fought the Civil War, the US today may have resembled Africa. While an outside observer may consider this a harsh measure on the part of the US government – to launch a civil war that consumed over a million lives – to any American, it was a necessary action taken to preserve the integrity of the country.

    Likewise, the Islamic State has certain issues that are deemed a matter of life and death. The only difference between the Islamic State and other states is that, in other states, the vital issues are determined by the prevailing interests of the society and are therefore subject to change. For example, the Middle East was not considered a vital issue for the United States, until the Eisenhower Doctrine made it into a vital issue. However, in Islam, the vital issues are determined by the Islamic ideology and are fixed. In light of this, it should come to no surprise that the murtad (the one who openly renounces Islam and reverts to disbelief) is executed in Islam because somebody who renounces Islam is in fact rebelling against the Islamic State and is a cancerous threat that must be eradicated immediately. To an outside observer, this may seem like a harsh measure that only a police state would undertake; however, it is known to any Muslim that those who have renounced Islam and have become murtads have always been the greatest threat to the Islamic State and to the Muslim Ummah. It was the murtads who brought the Islamic State on the verge of collapse during the time of Abu Bakr, and it was a murtad, by the name of Mustafa Kemal, who collaborated with the British to destroy the Khilafah and worked to ensure that the Islamic State would never arise again.

    Therefore, the very nature of societies and states will force the Islamic State to behave in a certain manner. Nobody would expect from a soldier to protect his arms and legs with armor while leaving his chest and head exposed before going to the battlefield. Therefore, the Muslims should not be asking for an Islamic State that will not pay attention to the vital issues and will not be willing to take serious measures to preserve its integrity and its system of thoughts. As for the nature of Islam itself, it is false to conclude that Islam must be implemented in an iron-fisted manner. The implementation of Islam will be done in a natural way. Before reaching to the stage of implementation, the society must be shaped in such a manner that the Islamic ideas are accepted and rooted and the people accept to live under Islamic rule. Only when this public opinion is prepared can the implementation of Islam be conducted in a smooth manner. The idea that the Islamic State will resemble a police state is a Western-style tactic used to frighten people from the implementation of Islam.


    Is the Khalifah a Dictator?

    The Muslim world today is essentially run by regimes who govern the society in a dictatorial fashion with no regard for the well-being of the people. Unfortunately, those regimes that have claimed themselves as Islamic are no exception to this phenomenon. In fact, these regimes are among the most authoritarian that exist in the world. The existence of these regimes has caused many to mistakenly perceive the Islamic State as a dictatorship with the Khalifah as some sort of totalitarian figurehead. To complicate matters further, the only other existing alternative available to the people are the Democratic societies that exist in the West, which comparatively offer a much better life than what exists in the Muslim world. As a result, many Muslims believe that the models of Democracy and Dictatorship are the only types of political systems that exist. This misconception has caused many Muslims to believe that, unless the Islamic State is modeled after the Democracies of the West, then it will resemble a dictatorial regime no different than what exists in the Muslim world today.

    The reality is that both the Democratic and Dictatorial systems are man-made systems in which the sovereignty belongs to the human being. The only difference between the two systems is the relative concentration of power; in a democracy, power is more dispersed among several branches that comprise the elite ranks of society, whereas in a dictatorship, the power is typically concentrated in the hands of one individual. However, the common denominator between the two is that, regardless of the concentration of power, the sovereignty still resides with human beings, whether one individual as in a dictatorship or in a group of elite as in a democracy (In theory, democracy states that power is in the hands of the people; however, such a theory has no practical reality because the very nature of society will prohibit such a chaotic distribution of power. Therefore, democracy is best described as an “Elitist” society). Islam is unique from both systems in that the sovereignty belongs to Allah. In the Islamic State, the Khalifah, like the people, is a slave and servant of Allah, and he is confined by the Islamic rules. Although the Khalifah has the authority, he does not possess the sovereignty. And the sovereign, who is Allah, has determined conditions for the Khalifah’s authority, including how this authority is given to him and when this authority can be taken away from him. The Khalifah is given the authority by the Muslim Ummah to implement the Islamic system, and obeying him is obligatory only if he exercises his authority for this purpose. However, once he begins to implement non-Islamic rules or he becomes unable to carry out this position, then he must be disobeyed. Furthermore, implementing non-Islamic rules is grounds for the Khalifah to be removed, and Islam outlines the procedures for selecting and removing the Khalifah.

    Therefore, the Khalifah is far from the concept of dictatorship because the very basis of Islam, which establishes Allah (swt) and His Shariah as the sovereign, eliminates the source of dictators, which is the concept of designating sovereignty to human beings. Furthermore, the Islamic system, like any other system, has checks and balances to further ensure that the rulers do not overstep their boundaries. The most important of these checks and balances is the taqwa of the individual, which instills within the Muslims the Fear of Allah. This taqwa will motivate the individuals to continuously monitor the Islamic State’s policies and hold the rulers accountable for their actions. In addition, there are many other checks and balances, such as the Islamic political parties, which serve as the eyes and ears of the Ummah; the Majlis as-Shura, which continuously advises the Khalifah and addresses the grievances of the masses; and the Madhalim courts, which have the power to judge cases between the citizens and the State and can remove a ruler from his post. With all of these checks and balances in place, the Khalifah will think one thousand times before attempting to enact any policy or engage in any action that defies the limits of the sovereign.


    Is the Islamic State a National State?

    When the Prophet (saaw) migrated to Medina and established the first Islamic State, he began the Islamic State’s first constitution with the following statement: “This Ummah is one Ummah, distinguished from all others.” This statement set the tone for the structure of the Islamic State to come by declaring, first, that the Islamic State is a unique state and, secondly, that the Muslim Ummah is one Ummah. Islam does not recognize any borders between the Muslims on the basis of race, nationality, or ethnicity. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:

    “Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, and do not be divided.” [Al-Imran: 103]

    “And those who disbelieve are allies to one another. And if you (Muslims) do not do so (become united), there will be Fitnah and oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption.” [Al-Anfal: 73]

    The second ayah is a clear warning to the Muslims of the consequences of allowing any division to emerge among themselves. From the onset of the Daw’ah, the Prophet (saaw) made it clear that Islam is a universal message that was not restricted by nationality. He incorporated into his group Shuaib, who was of Roman descent; Salman, who was of Persian descent; Bilal, a Black man from Abyssina; and Arabs from both the poor and elite sectors of society. This is a clear indication that Islam recognizes no nationality or ethnic divisions. The universality of Islam was also illustrated in the actions and policies of the Islamic State during both the time of the Prophet (saaw) and throughout its history. In choosing the location of the Islamic State, the concept of “national homeland” was not a factor. He chose to establish the Islamic State in Madinah, which was a different region altogether, and those who migrated with him were called Muhajiroon, or “immigrants.” After he established the Islamic State, the Prophet (saaw) worked to consolidate his position among the Arabs by undermining Quraysh. Had his vision been formulated along nationalistic tendencies, he would have relocated his capital to Mecca. However, he maintained the capital of the Islamic State in Madinah. Furthermore, the Prophet (saaw) would have ceased his efforts once he consolidated himself among the Arabs. However, towards the latter part of his life, the reason for him consolidating his position among the Arabs became clear. It was not to become the leader of the Arabs, but to establish the Islamic State as a strong enough power to confront the superpowers of the world and to carry Islam to the far regions of the world. In light of this, he sent delegations to the Romans, the Persians, and the Egyptians. And before he passed away, he initiated the Army of Usama in order to fight the Romans, which he did during the Khilafah of Abu Bakr. By the time of Umar, the Islamic State expanded to include many non-Arab countries, such as Egypt, Persia, and the territories of the Romans, and even some parts of central Asia. The people who lived in these newly liberated territories no longer associated themselves with their national or ethnic background but became Muslims united under one flag, one constitution, one central authority, and one capital.

    Throughout its history, the Islamic State manifested the capacity of Islam to dissolve all types of borders. Today, people who reside in areas that were once non-Arab and were distinct from one another, such as the Berbers of North Africa, the Blacks of central and southern Africa, and the Turks of Central Asia, all embrace the same way of life and adhere to the same culture. These areas all adopted the Arabic language, which is the language of Islam, as their language, and many of the great scholars of Arabic were non-Arabs. This bond, which Islam produced, was so powerful that it took centuries of concentrated effort by the West to inject concepts such as Nationalism and Patriotism, which resulted in the artificial divisions that exist today. Even the capital city of the Islamic State moved at least four times throughout its history. From Madinah, the capital moved to Al-Kufa during the time of Ali, and then to Damascus during the Umayyad Era, which was a conquered territory inhabited by non-Arabs. From Damascus, the Abbasids moved the capital to Baghdad in present-day Iraq, and later the Uthmanis, who were Turks, moved the capital to Istanbul. Those who were conquered by the Islamic State, such as the Abbasids and the Uthmanis, became the rulers of all the Muslims worldwide.

    Therefore, the Islamic State is not a national state that is confined to a certain territory. The Islamic State is a global state for all human beings. The Islamic State’s jurisdiction is not based upon nationalism but is rather based upon who is a citizen of the state. And the citizenship of the Islamic State is not determined by the person’s nationality or ethnicity, but is determined by his willingness to live under the rules of Islam and to accept the duties and responsibilities that this entails.

    The idea of a global Islamic State sounds somewhat far-fetched because the concept of nationalism was injected into the Muslims, to the extent that many Muslims are unable to fathom the idea of removing the borders that exist between them. As a result, the notion of establishing an Islamic state within each Muslim country sounds more appealing and plausible to some. However, this scenario will strengthen the existing status quo because it will pacify the Muslims. The end result will be a strengthening of the existing nationalism that is keeping the Muslims in a state of perpetual weakness. The correct solution is for the Islamic State to open its borders and call the Muslims to annex themselves to its body. If the Prophet (saaw) was able to annex the territories around him which were inhabited by Kuffar at such a rapid rate, then the Islamic State would be able to easily unify the Muslims because the people around the Islamic State would already have Islam in their minds and hearts.


    Did the Islamic State have a “Bloody” History?


    After the West colonized the Muslim world, it utilized many means and styles to distance the Muslims away from the Islamic State in order to prevent its reemergence as a global power. Chief among these styles was to incorporate cultural and educational curricula into the Muslim lands, which had the net effect of creating personalities loyal to the Western culture and outlook among the Muslims, particularly among the educated class and elite. One of the most potent features of this curricula was the manner in which it presented the Islamic history. The Islamic State was depicted as being characterized by turmoil, bloody wars and internal strife, where the Khalifah was a ruthless tyrant who indulged in womanizing, drinking, and all sorts of vices. This type of history has been passed down through the generations and is now firmly entrenched, to the point that many Muslims ardently believe that the Islamic history is indeed a bloody history that should be put behind them and forgotten. When the Muslims do refer to their history, they do so with an eye of shame and regret, as something that should never be repeated or relived. And since the Islamic State was a part of this history, then the Islamic State, according to many Muslims, is a relic of history which the people can gloss over as historians but should be disregarded as a practical solution to the problems that Muslims face.

    One extremely vital issue that Muslims cannot overlook is that history is simply an account of the actions of people. Therefore, history cannot be used as a standard to determine the correctness of the Islamic ideology or system, nor can it be used as a source for determining the obligations that Islam mandated upon the Muslims. Today, one witnesses that there is a gap between Islam and the behavior of Muslims; however, the fact remains that the behavior of Muslims cannot be used to determine the correctness of Islam. Similarly, the behavior of Muslims of the past -- which is what history essentially is -- cannot be used to determine whether or not Islam is correct. The correctness of the Islamic Aqeedah proves the correctness of Islam, in addition to everything that is built upon Islam, and this includes the political system that is designated with the task of implementing the system and conveying the message to the world. Therefore, the Islamic system, because it emanates from this correct Aqeedah, is the correct system for humanity. If there exists a gap between Islam and its application, then the fault lay in the mistakes that were made by those who applied Islam and not in the ideology itself.

    Then the question remains: What kind of history does characterize the Islamic State? If history is the account of human beings, then the history of the Islamic State is an account of human beings who implemented Islam. Therefore, the Islamic State’s history is not a “bloody history” but a human history, with all the characteristic features that a historical record of human beings would have.

    One tactic that the Western-style educational curricula relied upon was to portray the application of Islam as a ruthless, bloody application that created civil unrest and problems. At the same time, they glorified the individual Muslim to such an extreme that many Muslims believed that the ideal Muslim individual should be almost angelic in character. What the Muslims did NOT realize was that this hypothetical angelic character – which was flawless and, therefore, unattainable by any human being – was incompatible with a system that was designed for human beings, because any system that is applied by human being will invariably result in mistakes being committed and, as a result, the emergence of problems of various sorts. As a result, this had the effect of keeping the Muslims attached to Islam as an individualistic religion while simultaneously distancing the Muslims away from the implementation of Islam as a system.

    Therefore, it is incumbent for the Muslims to realize that the Islamic State will be applied by human beings and not by angels. The Islamic society will be a human society and not a hypothetical utopian society. Similarly, the Islamic State will be a state administered by human beings where the Khalifah is just another man who will implement the Shariah in a human manner and not in a godly manner. The mere fact that the Islamic system has a penal code to punish those who transgress the law and a judicial system to settle disputes is indicative that Allah (swt) created the Islamic system to accommodate the imperfect nature of human beings. If human beings were sinless, and the Islamic State were a utopian society, then there would be no crime and no disputes, and hence no need for a penal code and a court system.

    In conclusion, one should not expect for the history of the Islamic State to be a perfect history without problems. Otherwise, if this were the case, then one would question: If the Islamic State’s history were problem-free, then is the Islamic State truly compatible with the imperfect nature of human beings and human societies? The fact that problems did occur during the Islamic State’s history indicates that the Islamic State was a human history and is very much compatible with the nature of human beings. At the same time, the Islamic State’s problems were not as epidemic and widespread as depicted in the history that is administered to Muslims. The amount of faulty information and exaggerated accounts which surround the Islamic history is so tremendous that an extensive amount of filtering must take place in order to reach the truth. The Muslims should be intelligent enough to realize this and should approach their history in a careful manner in order to avoid being misled. Therefore, the Muslims should have in place some framework by which to study history. The details of this framework are beyond the scope of this article, but certain points should be mentioned.

    First, history should not be taken from the non-Muslims because those non-Muslims, in particular the Orientalists, who have devoted themselves to writing about Islam and Islamic history, have demonstrated that they harbor hatred towards Islam. It would not be expected for Capitalists to view the history of Western civilization from the accounts of Communists. Therefore, it should not be expected for Muslims to depend upon non-Muslims for their history. Secondly, even when examining history written my Muslims, the quality and accuracy of the information must be scrutinized. It is a common misconception that by questioning the information transmitted by Muslims, one is doubting their sincerity or good intentions. However, the clear distinction between sincerity and accuracy must be maintained. The qualities of sincerity are different than the qualities which make an individual accurate. A person can be the most sincere Muslim and have the purest of intentions; however, this does not guarantee that he is accurate. A person who has the fear of Allah and the willingness to obey the rules of Allah makes that individual a sincere Muslim. Yet if this same individual is unable to sort information clearly, or he is not careful in verifying the information that he receives from others, or he has a tendency to forget easily, then this will affect his accuracy.

    Lastly, when analyzing history, the Muslims should also incorporate some common sense, which can at times be a very powerful tool in filtering the historical information. An example which illustrates this is the description of many of the Khulafah, in particular those who existed during the Umayyad Era. The Ummayyad rulers are often depicted as the most ruthless, bloodthirsty, and tyrannical collection of rulers that ever presided over the Muslim world. And the society that is described is one of constant turmoil, strife, and chaos. However, at the same time, it is also known that most of the expansion of Islam occurred during the Ummayyad Era. It is also known that the Islamic State at the time of the Ummayyad Era was the superpower of the world, and it was leading the other nations in all aspects of life. People in general would not be attracted to ruthless, bloodthirsty tyrants. If the Ummayyad rulers were so tyrannical, then why did so many nations willingly embrace Islam and accept for themselves to be part of the Islamic State? Furthermore, how could the leading state of the world at the time maintain such a status and be plagued with internal strife and turmoil of such epidemic proportions? Therefore, common sense and some knowledge of certain basic realities is sufficient to rule out such stories as gross exaggerations of both the rulers and the society which existed at the time.


    The Khilafah Was Practically Dead During its Final Stages.
    What Difference Would It Have Made Not To Have One?

    While the Islamic State, or the Khilafah, was in its prime, it was the guiding light of civilization and the superpower of the world. However, towards its final stages, which began after Napolean’s invasion of Egypt, the Khilafah’s status underwent a precipitous decline. During the latter part of the 19th century until World War I, the Khilafah was but a mere skeleton. Thus, while the official death certificate was issued when Mustafa Kemal abolished the Khilafah in 1924, the real death of the Islamic State happened, according to many historians, during the mid-19th century when the Muslims began to refer to sources other than Islam for rules and regulations. This declined status would naturally lead one to ask the following question: If the Khilafah was weakened to such a degree during its final stages and its international status was so ineffective towards its end, did abolishing the Khilafah truly make a difference?

    Even in spite of the Khilafah’s weakened status, abolishing the Khilafah made a tremendous impact upon the Muslim Ummah for two important reasons. First, it is the nature of any state to have periods of decline. Sometimes, a state or a nation may be in such a declined status that it approaches death. This happened even to the United States, when a large region of the nation split away from the central government and formed a renegade state. As a result of this, the United States was engulfed in a civil war which could have collapsed the entire nation had the events shifted the war in a different direction. The impact of the Civil War was so tremendous that, for the next several decades, the US was recuperating from its effects. However, eventually, with time the nation revitalized itself and emerged in the next century as the unparalleled superpower of the world.

    Thus, as long as the system remains, be it in a declined or weakened state, the state has a chance to revive itself. There was a time when the Khilafah was in a tremendous state of decline. During this time, large regions of the State were controlled by renegade groups who were threatening to destroy the State. And the Ismailis, who later became the Fatimids and were not even Muslim, established a renegade Khilafah in Egypt that later assisted the Crusades in their invasion. When the Crusade Wars and the occupation of Jerusalem was added later on, the accumulation of these factors threatened to collapse the entire Islamic Ummah. However, the Muslims eventually dismantled the rebellious groups, repelled the renegade Khilafah established by the Fatimids, and emerged again as the superpower of the world. While the Uthmanis were never able to revive the Muslim Ummah to their previous glory, they did manage to maintain the title of superpower for several centuries, to the point that they were able to spread their influence into vast territories in Europe.

    Secondly, and most importantly, Muslims must be aware of one fact of life: It is far more difficult to build a new system than to repair an existing system. Had Muslims been aware of this fact, they would not have allowed the destruction of the Khilafah to happen. The reason for this has to do with a fundamental reality of Allah’s creation – there exists no vacuum. While the Islamic State remained, as weak as it was, it occupied a space. When the Islamic State was removed, a vacuum was created, and this vacuum was immediately filled by the Kufr systems imposed upon the Muslims by the West. Therefore, reestablishing the Islamic System now must come at the expense of removing these existing systems, and removing a system is a Herculean task. It is so difficult of a task that, when discussing the idea of changing the system, most people dismiss such an idea as impossible. It is no surprise that the Prophet (saaw) himself spent most of his time as a Messenger of Allah preoccupied with this task. By repairing the existing Khilafah, the Muslims would have saved themselves the agony of struggling with the Kufr systems and their apparatus that Muslims must now undergo in order to reestablish the Islamic State once more.

    Thus, the Muslims must realize that the Islamic State is their state and is not something that is imposed upon them. The relationship of the Muslims to the Islamic State is like the relationship of the house to its inhabitants. Even if the structure of the house is damaged by a fire, repairing the house is far easier than having to demolish another house and rebuild the house and its foundation. The Islamic State is supposed to protect the Muslims in the same manner that the house is supposed to shelter its inhabitants and provide them with a place to live. And if the house is threatened or damaged, or it is suffering from a defect, then this puts greater responsibility upon its inhabitants to remedy the problem. Ignoring the problem and losing hope will only cause matters to deteriorate further. Similarly, if the Islamic State is in a state of decline or is not performing its duties, then the responsibility of the Muslims is to work to repair the Islamic State. The situation of Muslims with a weakened Khilafah as opposed to having no Khilafah can be likened to living in a shoddy house as opposed to living in the street. The one who owns a house still has property that he can call his own.


    How Would the New Islamic State Survive?

    Such a question is pressing in the minds of every Muslim. Given the status of the current world order, which is further entrenched by the hegemonic grip of the United States in the international arena, including the Muslim world, a question may arise: How can a newly-formed Islamic state survive its initial stages in such an environment. Many Muslims have a tendency to magnify the obstacles standing before them and the Islamic State, or they become so overwhelmed by the obstacles that they resign themselves to accepting the Islamic State as something that will never materialize. Others continue to reminisce over previous and current attempts at establishing an Islamic entity – all of which have failed – and come to the conclusion that creating a global Islamic State for the Muslims is a mission impossible.

    Such a position is incorrect because the creation of a new state, while difficult, is not impossible. Throughout time, even during the last century, history has witnessed on several occasions the birth of a new state. The most striking recent examples were the Soviet Union and the State of Israel, both of which emerged in the 20th century. The most important elements in the creation of a new state are a favorable climate and an independent political movement that possesses the motivation and a certain level of awareness of its surroundings. The Islamic movement has a source of motivation that no other ideology has, which is Islam itself. The mere fact that Islam is the correct ideology, and that the Promise and Support of Allah is behind the Believers, are sufficient to abolish any doubt that Muslims may harbor regarding the inevitable success of this Deen.

    What the Muslims require are a clear understanding of their objectives and the method to achieve these objectives, as well as a sharp political mentality to equip them with the necessary awareness that the new Islamic entity would depend upon to guide it through the task of establishing itself in a hostile environment. Whether the international climate is favorable or not for the creation of a new state, such an issue is subject to debate and is beyond the scope of this article. However, two points should be kept clear. First, the Islamic State not going to be a camel-riding state governed by simple-minded people who will have to depend upon others to sustain themselves. The Islamic State will be a state that is governed by sincere Muslims who possess a crystallized understanding of their Deen and a sharp political mentality which will enable them to carry out their responsibilities to the world. Secondly, the international climate is not a static climate that is fixed and perpetual but is a dynamic environment which is always subject to continuous change. It is a matter of finding the right combination of favorable elements in order to time the birth of the Islamic State to occur at the right moment.

    No one is claiming that establishing the Islamic State is an easy task, and maintaining its existence, especially during the initial stages, will be even more difficult. However, like any other project, with serious planning, dedication, and preparation, the Islamic State will become a reality.


    Conclusion

    The Islamic State is as much a part of Islam as prayer and fasting. It is a very important and essential part for the simple reason that the State is the mechanism that protects and safeguards the ideology, implements the ideology as a practical system of life, and conveys the ideology to the world. Without the Islamic State, Islam will only exist in the minds and hearts of the Muslims and in the text of the Qur’an and the hadith, but will remain absent as a living system and a solution to the problems of humanity. It is for this reason that the West labored for centuries to facilitate the collapse of the Islamic State and, after its demise, dedicated tremendous effort towards preventing its reemergence.

    Today, the Islamic State and the Islamic System are theoretical ideas that are taught more for academic consumption than for purposes of application. The Muslims must break from this spiral of looking towards the Islamic State as just another relic of history to be glossed over or a theoretical idea to be studied in the university halls. The issue of the Islamic State should be discussed as a practical solution to the problems that human beings face. Whenever the Muslims discuss Islamic rules – whether they are related to individual aspects such as prayer and zakat, or rules related to the life affairs such as jihad or the economic and social systems – they should begin to develop the habit of connecting these issues to the practical method of applying these rules, which is the Islamic State. This will instill within the Muslims the need for the Islamic State’s existence, which will translate into a stronger and stronger momentum that will push the Muslims to work for the Islamic State’s reestablishment.

    Lastly, the Muslims must work to reestablish their confidence in the Islamic State and the Islamic System. There are many misconceptions and faulty information surrounding the issue of the Islamic State, and the existence of such misconceptions distance the Muslims away from Islam as a complete system of life. Allah (swt) has ordered the Muslims to implement the Islamic system in its totality and to convey this system to humanity. Such a task can only be achieved with the Islamic State; however, the existence of these misconceptions has created a gap between the Muslims and their obligation towards reestablishing the Islamic State. In order for the Muslim Ummah to fulfill its duties and responsibilities, they must make an effort to dispel any misconceptions that they may harbor towards any aspect of their deen, and this includes their perception of the Islamic State.

    (soldiersofallah.com)


    [This message has been edited by dirty_dawg (edited March 23, 2002).]

    #2
    quote the source please.
    unless u wrote it urself.

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      #3
      I m sure that many muslims arent gona spend their time to read something this long.. This is a very important topic and we need to read it. so plz brothers and siss do read it or may be save it in word for later.. but this is very imp..

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