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Is the Islamic State a National State????

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    Is the Islamic State a National State????

    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.

    "Only for Allah and to gain His pleasure"