If I may, I would like to draw your attention to an article written by a movement who regard the establishment of a universal Islamic state as obligatory (fard) upon every Muslim. To them, universal Islamic State is the meaning of Khilafah.
The actual article is available online at http://www.khilafah.com entitled “The Changing of the Corrupt State of Affairs is Fard on the Muslims”.
I have a few queries regarding the content of the article. It states:
Ever since the Khilafah was destroyed and the situation of the Muslims began to decline from bad to worse, after being an Ummah that had held together like one body – if a part were to hurt then the entire body would call out to the part with sleeplessness and fever, and being of the same blood, as one hand against the rest- (despite this) they became divided and disunited. When the Kuffar attacked some of them the rest stood as bystanders as if the problem did not concern them. And after possessing a single powerful state which the world used to regard with fear and apprehension they came to live as numerous statelets, as weak, dependent and hired entities, sought after by those who desire (to use them) and their resources exploited by the Kafir colonialists.
Most certainly the corrupt situation and weakness of the Muslims is due to their abandonment of Islam as a system of life and thereafter their silence concerning the rule of secular/man made systems over their relationships. Indeed, changing the corrupt situation of the Muslims is not a miracle but a (distinct) possibility within the ability of Muslims to undertake. Allah ta’ala has legislated a method and rules for this objective and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him and his family) and his companions proceeded according to its guidance until they changed the jahili society to an Islamic society by establishing the Islamic state which at that time transformed most of the inhabited world from dar al-kufr to dar al-Islam.
There are many Shari`ah texts which demonstrate that changing the corrupt and munkar situation is fard on the Muslims. Allah ta’ala said: ‘The believers, men and women, are Awliya (helpers) of one another, they enjoin the good (ma’ruf) and forbid the evil (munkar)‘. [9:71] And the Prophet (saw) said: ‘Whoever of you sees a munkar let him change it by his hand, and if he could not then let him do that by his tongue, and if he could not do that let him deny it by his heart (i.e. hate it), and this is the weakest (degree of) Iman.’ And he (saw) said: ‘There will be leaders (Ameers) where you acknowledge true some of their actions and deny some others whosoever hated (the wrong) he will free himself (of the sin), and whosoever denied he will be safe but what of the one who accepted (their wrong) and followed!’ (i.e. they will not be free of the sin). And he (saw) said: ‘O people! Verily, Allah ‘azza wa jalla says Enjoin the good and forbid the evil before you supplicate to me or I will not answer your call, before you ask of me for something and I will not grant it, before you turn to me for assistance and I will not help you.’
These texts decisively request the Muslims to change any munkar, which they see: by hand and action, by the tongue and speech, and by the heart and aversion depending on their ability. However there are some, which are of the greatest munkars the corruption of the life of the Muslims resulting from the rule of non-Islam. Allah ta’ala has ordered the Muslims to work to change it and He has made the work for change an obligation of sufficiency (fard ‘ala al-kifaya). He ta’ala said: ‘Verily! Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change what is within themselves’. [13:11] It is a request, which has come in the form of a statement to indicate its certainty and importance. Thus, it has become one of the laws of the universe, which Allah ta’ala has created. This law demands that people work for change as a community until Allah changes what is within themselves. This is indicated by the wording of the ayah, which has come in the plural: ‘people, they change, themselves’. And he (saw) said: ‘Any people amongst whom sins are committed, and they could change them but they did not (change), Allah will be about to bring a punishment which envelopes all.’ It is a decisive request for the community to change the corrupt reality in which it lives. If they do not do that Allah will punish them all irrespective of whether they were amongst those who committed the transgressions or not since they did not involve themselves with the obligation of sufficiency despite their ability to engage in change. Thus, the changing of the munkar is fard on the Muslims. And there is a munkar which no individual on his own or separate individuals can change and that is the reality such as the one we live today, which is due to the absence of the Khilafah state. Thus, Allah has legislated a method for the community to change this munkar by obliging on the Muslims to form a group from amongst them, which will work for the return of the Khilafah state. He ta’ala said: ‘Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to the good (khayr), enjoining the good (ma’ruf) and forbidding the evil (munkar). And it is they who are the successful’. [3:104] The definite order in this verse is directed towards the forming of a group from amongst the Muslims, which will invite the people to Islam and enjoin the good (ma’ruf) and forbid the evil (munkar). The call to Islam requires that Islam is brought into the reality of life in terms of its creed and system, and this cannot take place without a state, which will implement and carry Islam to the rest of the people. So the obligation of this group which is required (by the text) is to work to bring about this state, the Khilafah state.”
If I may ask, has the group provided the correct exposition of the basis of the verses that they have used? What is the correct meaning and context of those verses?
There are hadiths of the Prophet (saw) which decisively require the Muslims to enjoin the good and forbid the evil as a community otherwise Allah will punish them in this life and in the Hereafter. He (saw) said: ‘By the One in Whose hands my soul rests, you have to enjoin right and forbid the wrong, other wise Allah will be about to send upon you a punishment from Him, then you would pray to Him but He would not answer you’. He (saw) said: ‘Any people amongst whom sins are committed, and they could change them but they did not (change), Allah will be about to bring a punishment which will reach everybody’. And he (saw) said : ‘Nay, by Allah, you have to enjoin the good and forbid the wrong, and to hold against the hand of the tyrant, and to force him on the truth and restrict him to the truth, otherwise Allah will strike the hearts of some of you against others, then He will curse you as He cursed them.’
So it is incumbent on the Muslims who wish to be saved from the punishment of Allah in this dunya and in the Hereafter to embark upon the work to change the evil situation in which they live, following the lawful path towards change, to re-establish Islam in life as a state and system.”
Is their basis sufficient to make the above opinion credible?
And this method which Allah ta’ala has made obligatory and clarified to His Messenger cannot be accomplished by the building of mosques and Qur’an memorization classes and nor by increasing the number of times one performs the hajj, Umra or gives in charity even though these actions are required by the Shari’ah from the state and individuals. Rather it should be according to the method Allah ta’ala has obliged and clarified to His Messenger (saw), which is the structuring of a bloc/group from amongst the Muslims, which will work to resume the Islamic way of life by establishing the Khilafah state. And that is undertaken by the intellectual and political struggle. By intellectual struggle is meant the challenge to all non-Islamic creeds, thoughts and concepts and as well to the existing relationships in society, which are based on anything other than Islam. And then the clarification of the thoughts, concepts and rules of Islam, which should prevail in the society in order for it to become an Islamic society. And by political struggle is meant the challenge to the rulers who do not implement Islam in all spheres of life and the exposing of the plans and conspiracies, which they weave against the Islamic Ummah, and fearlessly accounting them without compromise or partiality/favoritism. And this is so that Ummah gains awareness of Islam and embraces the group, which works to re-establish Islam in life by the establishment of the Khilafah state. So just as Allah ta’ala addressed His messenger (saw) by His saying: ‘Read!’ He has addressed him by saying: ‘ O you (Muhammad [saw]) enveloped (in garments) ! Arise and warn’. [74:1-2]. And by His saying: ‘Therefore proclaim openly that which you are commanded, and turn away from the Mushrikin‘. The address to the Messenger (saw) in these verses is an address to the Muslims for all time. So it is incumbent on them to undertake the actions which the Messenger (saw) undertook until he established the state. So that they can reclaim their authority which was usurped from them and then give bay’a to a Khalifah to rule by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.
Would you kindly confirm whether the “structuring of a bloc/group” to establish the Khilafah is more important than the individual practices that they have outlined at the beginning of this excerpt? Did the beloved prophet consider the establishment of such a group to be more important than these individual practices? Has the correct context and meaning of the cited verses been applied here?
And despite the presence of an aware party – Hizb-ut-Tahrir – which has responded to the decisive request in His ta’ala’s saying: ‘ Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to the good (khayr), enjoining the good (ma’ruf) and forbidding the evil (munkar)…’ [3:104] Thus, it has structured itself on the Islamic thought and has passed through the stages in the method which Allah ta’ala has made obligatory and clarified to His Messenger. However, the realization of the objective for which it works has not been completed the re-establishment of the Khilafah state, which means that the decisive request on the Muslims still stands. Thus, they should hasten to respond to it and structure themselves with a group which satisfies the Shari`ah requirements in order to change, together, the corrupt reality in which they live or else they will be sinful and deserve the punishment of Allah in this life and in the Hereafter.
And in spite of the fact that it is obligatory to follow this method, those who followed a path other than it have clearly failed which has made the Ummah to suspect every movement and dismiss the possibility of change occurring at their hands, even at the hands of the sincere movements amongst them, without realizing that the sincere movement is a part, which cannot be separated from the Ummah. And without realizing that the Ummah is not able to engender radical change or revive without a sincere ideological movement which the Ummah embraces and to which she grants her leadership, in order to work together to change the corrupt reality by establishing the Khilafah state.
As for the fear of losing the possessions of the dunya in terms of the rizq (provision) and other such things resulting from the work for change. Indeed Allah is the one who provides: ‘To Him belongs the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges the provision for whom He wills’. [42:12] There is no provider (raziq) except Him: ‘Who is he that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision?’. [67:21] And He has divided the provision (rizq) between His servants: ‘It is We, Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world’. [43:32] And He ordered them to have taqwa (God fearing): ‘ And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way out for him (from his difficulty) and He will grant him provision from whence he could never imagine’. [65:2-3] So let us fear Allah ta’ala and let us begin the serious work to change the corrupt situation in which we live by joining forces with the sincere and aware carriers of the da’wah to re-establish the Khilafah, until we attain the honor and dignity in this world and the reward of the Hereafter. And we are from those Allah ta’ala has intended in the hadith of His Messenger (saw): Verily, the deen began strange and it will return strange. So, blessed are the strangers who make good what the people after me have corrupted of my Sunnah‘.
Is their conclusion credible in the light of the basis they have provided?
Thank you kindly…
The basis cited in the referred writing are analyzed in the following paragraphs:
The first cited verse is Al-Tawbah 9:71:
The believing men and women are helpers one of the other, they enjoin good (ma’ruf) and forbid evil (munkar).
This verse, as is apparent from the words, implies the general spirit of promoting mutual moral and spiritual well being that exists among the Muslims, in contrast to the Hypocrites and the rejecters, who prompt each other to do evil and dissuade them from doing pious deeds.
An important point that should remain clear is that the Arabic words “Amr” and “Nahee”, are both used for varying degrees of authority. Thus, “Amr bi al-Ma`roof” can be used to imply promoting good through ‘advice’, ‘suggestion’, ‘counsel’, ‘guidance’, ‘persuasion’ as well as through ‘order’, ‘enforcement’ and ‘direction’. Similarly, the phrase “Nahee `an al-Munkar” can be used to imply prevention from doing evil through ‘dissuasion’, ‘guiding against’, ‘hindering’, ‘impeding’, ‘obstructing’, ‘barring’ and ‘banning’.
Thus, when the phrases “Amr bi al-Ma`roof” and “Nahee `an al-Munkar” are used in relation to authority (as, for instance, the state authority), its meaning entails not only the promotion of good and the prevention of evil through advice, counsel and persuasion, but also through enforcement by law and punishment etc. On the contrary, when used relative to the mutual relations of the Muslims, as is the case in the cited verse, these phrases imply the promotion of good and the prevention of evil through advice, suggestion and giving pious counsel.
Seen in the correct perspective, the verse entails reference to the same quality of the true believers, which is referred to in Surah Al-‘Asr (103:3) in the following words:
إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ (٢﴾ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
Indeed this man shall surely be in a loss, except for those, who [truly] believe and do good deeds and mutually promote the [acceptance of] truth and mutually promote perseverance [on the truth].
And in Surah Al-Maidah (5: 2) in the following words:
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ۚ
And cooperate with each other in matters of faithfulness and piety; Do not cooperate with each other in sin and transgression.
Some people have incorrectly interpreted Al-Tawbah 9: 71 to imply that every Muslim is directed by the Qur’an to force the other into doing good and to forcefully pervent the other from doing evil. However, if seen in the perspective of the other stipulations of the Qur’an, it is clear that the phrases “Amr bi al-Ma`roof” and “Nahee `an al-Munkar”, as used in Al-Tawbah 9: 71, do not imply ‘enforcement’ of good and ‘banning’ of evil, but actually imply mutual promotion (through persuasion and advice) of doing good and mutual prevention (through dissuasion and counsel) from doing evil. However, within the scope of one’s legal and moral authority1, one is not only supposed to promote good and prevent evil merely through advice and counsel, but is also given the authority to extract obedience toward such ‘advice’ and ‘counsel’2. If seen in the light of the above-cited Qur’anic directives, it is within this scope of one’s legal and moral authority that the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said:
من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده ، فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه ، فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه ، وذلك أضعف الإيمان (مسلم، كتاب الإيمان، باب بيان كون النهي عن النكر من الإيمان وأن ال‘يمان يزيد وينقص وأن الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر واجبان، رقم الحديث ٧٠)
Whoever, from amongst you, observes a wrong, he should alter it by hand [i.e. by using force], but if he cannot do so, then he should alter it through word of mouth, but if he cannot even do that, then, at least, his heart should consider it to be a wrong – and this is the weakest degree of faith.
As has been stated earlier, this narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh), which, incidentally is also cited by the author, refers to a person’s scope of moral and legal authority. It does not include evil that is being done outside one’s scope of moral and legal authority. The following points may be considered as the basis of restricting the implications of the said narrative only to one’s scope of moral and legal authority:
- The Qur’an clearly and unequivocally informs us that the responsibility of the pious regarding evil is restricted to:
- ‘mutually promote the truth’ and ‘mutually promote patient perseverance on this truth’;
- not to extend cooperation in the carrying out of deeds entailing sin and transgression toward the Almighty;
- A close look at the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh) will show that the Prophet (pbuh) never resorted to forcefully stopping evil, till the time that he became the head of the Muslim state in Medinah. While living in Mekkah, the Prophet (pbuh) only delivered the message that was being revealed to him. During those days, the Ka`bah was filled with idols. What, after all, could have been more ‘evil’ than idolatry and polytheism in the House, which was made for the worship of the One God. Yet, there is not a single instance, where the Prophet (pbuh) used any force to stop the idolaters and the polytheists from their false worship practices. Similarly, the Prophet (pbuh) did not use any force to stop the Qureish from persecuting the Muslims. Though lives were lost during this period, yet the Prophet (pbuh) neither used any force in stopping the Qureish from their persecutions nor prompted his followers to do so; on the contrary, the Prophet (pbuh) only prompted the persecuted to patiently persevere with the truth and promised them the everlasting bliss of the hereafter, in return for their perseverance. Obviously, this does not mean that the Prophet (pbuh) settled for a lesser degree of Imaan. No. On the contrary, the implication is quite clear. The referred narrative of the Prophet (pbuh) relates specifically to one’s scope of moral and legal authority only.
Thus, in view of the stated points, it is clear that the referred narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) does not refer to the behavior of the Muslims in relation to their neighbors or their friends or their rulers; it is only with reference to the behavior of the Muslims within their scope of moral and legal authority.
The third cited basis is the following narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh):
‘There will be leaders (Ameers) where you acknowledge true some of their actions and deny some others whosoever hated (the wrong) he will free himself (of the sin), and whosoever denied he will be safe but what of the one who accepted (their wrong) and followed!’ (i.e. they will not be free of the sin).
The referred narrative has been reported in almost all the major compilations of Hadith. However, there are slight variations in the reporting of the various books. According to one of the narratives reported by Muslim, Umm Salamah (ra) is reported to have said that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
ستكون أمراء فتعرفون وتنكرون فمن عرف برئ ومن أنكر سلم ولكن من رضي وتابع قالوا أفلا نقاتلهم قال لا ما صلوا (مسلم، كتاب الإمارة، باب وجوب الإنكار على الأمراء فيما يخالف الشرع وترك قتالهم ما صلوا ونحو ذلك، رقم الحديث ٣٤٤٥)
There shall soon be leaders, who shall act in ways that you recognize to be good and also in ways that you know to be abhorrent (Munkar). Whoever recognizes the wrong and remains clear of it, will remain clear of the sin involved in it. Whoever declares it to be abhorrent, saves himself; but whoever is satisfied with the wrong and follows it [shall face punishment]. They asked the Prophet (pbuh): ‘Should we not fight these leaders?’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘No. Do not fight them, as long as they offer their prayers’.
As should be clear that even in the face of the ‘wrong’ that their hands wrought, the Prophet (pbuh) did not allow mutiny against such rulers. On the contrary, the Prophet (pbuh) has only directed the Muslims to avoid following their ‘wrongs’.
The same narrative is also reported by Muslim (also on the authority of Umm Salamah) with slight variations as follows:
أنه قال إنه يستعمل عليكم أمراء فتعرفون وتنكرون فمن كره فقد برئ ومن أنكر فقد سلم ولكن من رضي وتابع قالوا يا رسول الله ألا نقاتلهم قال لا ما صلوا أي من كره بقلبه وأنكر بقلبه وحدثني أبو الربيع العتكي حدثنا حماد يعني ابن زيد حدثنا المعلى بن زياد وهشام عن الحسن عن ضبة بن محصن عن أم سلمة قالت قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بنحو ذلك غير أنه قال فمن أنكر فقد برئ ومن كره فقد سلم وحدثناه حسن بن الربيع البجلي حدثنا ابن المبارك عن هشام عن الحسن عن ضبة بن محصن عن أم سلمة قالت قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فذكر مثله إلا قوله ولكن من رضي وتابع لم يذكره (صحيح مسلم، كتاب الإمارة، باب وجوب الإنكار على الأمراء فيما يخالف الشرع وترك قتالهم ما صلوا ونحو ذلك، رقم الحديث ٣٤٤٦)
Different Leaders will take charge of your affairs. You shall see them doing things which you recognize to be good and things which you recognize to be abhorrent. Thus, whoever dislikes the abhorrent things that they wrought, shall be clear of the sin involved in them; whoever declares these things to be abhorrent shall save himself, but whoever is satisfied with these abhorrent things and follows them [shall face punishment]. They asked: ‘O Prophet, should we not fight these leaders?’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘No. Do not fight them, as long as they offer their prayers’. According to Muslim: the implication is to dislike such deeds from the heart and to declare them to be abhorrent in his heart. According to another chain, the Prophet (pbuh) said as reported above, except that he said: ‘Whoever declares them to be abhorrent shall be clear of the sin involved in these deeds and whoever dislikes these deeds shall save himself from the sin involved in them’. According to yet another chain, the Prophet (pbuh) said the same reported above, except that this chain does not mention the words ‘whoever is satisfied with these abhorrent things and follows them [shall face punishment]’.
According to a reporting of Bukhari, the Prophet (pbuh) said:
ستكون أثرة وأمور تنكرونها قالوا يا رسول الله فما تأمرنا قل تؤدون الحق الذي عليكوم وتسألون الله الذي لكم (البخاري، كتاب المناقب، باب علامات النبوة في الاسلام، رقم الحديث ٣٣٣٥)
There shall soon be preferential treatment [by the rulers] and other deeds, which you will find abhorrent. They asked: ‘O Prophet, what do you direct us to do, under such circumstances?’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘You must fulfill the duties that lie upon you’ and ask God for your rights’.
Clarifying ‘the duties that lie upon you’, Bukhari has reported the following narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) in the chapter titled: “The chapter regarding the saying of the Prophet (pbuh): ‘You shall soon see matters that you find abhorrent (Munkar) [at the hands of your rulers]’ and Abd Allah ibn Zayed said that the Prophet said: ‘Persevere with them patiently, till you meet me on the blessed fountain [on the Day of Judgment]'”:
إنكم سترون بعدي أثرة وأمورا تنكرونها قالوا فما تأمرنا يا رسول الله قال أدوا إليهم حقهم وسلوا الله حقكم (البخاري، كتاب الفتن، باب قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم سترون بعدي أمورا تنكرونها وقال عبدالله بن زيد قل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم اصبروا حتى تلقوني عالى الحوض، رقم الحديث ٦٥٢٩)
‘After me, you shall see preferential treatment [at the hands of the rulers] and other abhorrent deeds’. They said: ‘Messenger of God, what do you direct us to do, under such circumstances?’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Give these rulers their rights and ask God for your own rights’.
Imaam Nawawiy, in his commentary on Sahih Muslim writes:
وفيه الحث على السمع والطاعة وإن كان المتولي ظا« عسوفأ فيعطي حقه من الطاعة ولا يخرج عليه ولا يخلع بل يتضرع إل الق تعالى في كشف أذاه ودفع شره واصلاحه (ج: ١٢ ص: ٢٣٢)
In these narratives the Prophet (pbuh) has prompted the Muslims to remain obedient to the rulers. Even if the ruler is extremely unjust, a Muslim should steadfastly give to him his right of obedience and not try to overthrow him and neither go back on his word of allegiance for him. For his own rights, he should pray to God that He may relieve him from the pain and suffering that the ruler has subjected him to and also to correct the ruler from his wrongs.
Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Shawkaaniy writes:
وطاعة الأئمة واجبة إلا في معصية الله ، ولا يجوز الخروج عليهم ما أقاموا الصلاة ، ولم يُظهرُوا كفراً بواحاً ، ويجب الضبّرُ على جورهم ، وبذل النصيحة لهم… وقد ذهب إلى ما ذكرناه : جمهور أهل العلم. وذهب بعض أهل العلم إلى جواز الخروج على الظلمة (الدراري المضية ج 1، ص ٥٠٥ – ٥٠٦)
And obedience toward the rulers is obligatory, except where a ruler gives an order which necessitates disobedience toward God. And it is not allowed to try to overthrow them, as long as they offer their prayers and as long as they are not guilty of clear rejection of faith. And it is necessary to patiently persevere in the face of their injustices and to be a sincere well wisher for them… The majority of the Muslim scholars ascribe to the given opinion, however there are a few others, who consider it allowable to try to overthrow an unjust ruler.
As should be clear from the foregoing details, the referred narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) is, in fact, a directive to remain obedient to the rulers, except in the case where obedience toward a ruler necessitates disobedience toward God. It should also be noted that under no circumstances does the Shari`ah make it obligatory upon the Muslims to try to overthrow their rulers or to declare mutiny against them. Even in the referred narrative, the Muslims have been directed to remain steadfast in their obedience to the ruler, as long as he offers his prayers. This means that it is a religious obligation of the Muslims to remain obedient toward their rulers as long as they remain Muslims3. This, however, does not mean that if the rulers do not offer their prayers, then it becomes necessary to remove them from power. On the contrary, it only means that as long as the rulers offer their prayers (remain Muslims), it is religiously prohibited for the Muslims to try to remove them from power. This religious prohibition is removed, if the rulers do not offer their prayers (do not remain Muslims).
Explaining this point, I had written in one of my earlier responses:
… let us now turn our attention to the position of those leaders and rulers, who even after being bestowed with rule and authority, do not decide according to the stipulations of the Shari`ah. This position needs to be considered from two separate perspectives: Firstly, from the perspective of the individual (ruler) who does not judge according to the stipulations of the Shari`ah (revelations of God) and secondly from the perspective of others (the subjects or the led).
From the perspective of the individual (ruler), it is clear that if he is guilty of openly and manifestly rejecting the stipulations of the Shari`ah, then he is guilty of a clear and manifest ‘Kufr’ (i.e. rejection). The repercussions of such an action are both from the perspective of the life of this world as well as from that of the hereafter. In the life of this world, such a person loses the religious right4 0f commanding obedience of his followers and his Muslim subjects. The Qur’an has clearly directed the Muslims to obey their rulers, as long as they remain ‘from among them’ (i.e. Muslims)5 The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said that as long as the ruler is not guilty of manifest and unequivocal rejection (kufr), he must be obeyed in all matter6 (unless obedience to any of his directives, clearly results in the disobedience toward any of the directives of the Almighty7. In the hereafter, such a ruler shall obviously meet the end of those, who rejected God’s directives and consciously refused to submit to His commandments8.
From the perspective of the followers, the Qur’an has ordained the Muslims to patiently persevere in obeying their Muslim rulers and not to refuse obedience toward them. It is clear from Al-Nisa 4: 59 that obedience toward the rulers, as long as they remain Muslims, is a religious obligation upon Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) has also been ascribed to have said that even though the ruler is guilty of acting against the clear directives of the Shari`ah, as long as he is not guilty of manifest and unequivocal rejection of faith, all Muslims must remain obedient toward him9. The Prophet (pbuh) has also been reported to have said that it is the responsibility of the rulers to decide among their subjects according to the Shari`ah, while it is the responsibility of the subjects to steadfastly persevere in being obedient toward them. On the Day of Judgment, the leaders as well as the subjects shall be held answerable for their own respective responsibilities. Thus, even though the leaders to not fulfill their responsibilities, the subjects should steadfastly fulfill their responsibilities and, thereby, secure their own success in the hereafter10.
The fourth cited basis is the following narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh):
O people! Verily, Allah ‘azza wa jalla says Enjoin the good and forbid the evil before you supplicate to me or I will not answer your call, before you ask of me for something and I will not grant it, before you turn to me for assistance and I will not help you (as translated by the author).
This narrative is self-explanatory. The only aspect that should be kept in mind is the implication of ‘Amr bi al-Ma`roof’ and ‘Nahee `an al-Munkar’, as has already been explained in the initial part of this response.
The fifth cited basis is the following verse of the Qur’an:
Indeed, God will not change what is with a people until they change themselves. (Al-Ra’d 13:11)
The above verse relates to the fact that God does not punish a people, until they change themselves and, thereby, render themselves deserving of God’s punishments. The same information has also been given in almost similar words in Al-Anfal 8:53. The Qur’an says:
This is so because God does not alter a blessing upon a people until they change themselves.
The cited verses relate to one of God’s rules regarding the punishment of a nation. It has no relation with the establishment of ‘Khilafah’ or rule. It relates to the general collective morality of a nation.
The sixth cited basis is the following verse of the Qur’an:
There should be a group among you, which calls to virtue – enjoining good and forbidding evil – and [whoever makes this arrangement,] it is they who shall be successful (Aal Imran 3:104)
The correct implication of this verse has already been given in my one of my previous responses.
The following citations relate once again to the concept of ‘Amr bi al-Ma`roof‘ and ‘Nahee `an al-Munkar‘. These should be seen in the light of the explanation already given for the two concepts.
Regarding the method of the fulfillment of the duty of the Muslims, the author writes:
Rather it should be according to the method Allah ta’ala has obliged and clarified to His Messenger (saw), which is the structuring of a bloc/group from amongst the Muslims, which will work to resume the Islamic way of life by establishing the Khilafah state.
The author, however, has failed to mention the source of his contention. If God has prescribed the stated method, the author is kindly requested to kindly cite the exact source of this prescription.
The author writes:
And by political struggle is meant the challenge to the rulers who do not implement Islam in all spheres of life and the exposing of the plans and conspiracies, which they weave against the Islamic Ummah, and fearlessly accounting them without compromise or partiality/favoritism. And this is so that Ummah gains awareness of Islam and embraces the group, which works to re-establish Islam in life by the establishment of the Khilafah state.
A group may take up such a ‘political struggle’, within the framework allowed by Islam. However, to consider such a struggle ‘an obligation’ is a clear case of ‘crossing one’s limits’, because the Qur’an and the Prophet (pbuh) has not made such a struggle obligatory upon the Muslims. On the contrary, when one of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) – Hudhaifah (ra) – asked the Prophet (pbuh) about his personal duties and obligations, in a situation of non-existence of an organized rule of the Muslims, the Prophet (pbuh) replied:
فاعتزل تلك الفرق كلها ولو أن تعض بأصل شجرة حتى يدركك الموت وأنت على ذلك (البجاري، كتاب المناقب، رقم ٣٣٣٨)
Then you must stay clear of these groups, even if you have to take shelter under a tree for the rest of your life.
The Prophet (pbuh), it may be noted, did not mention undertaking the ‘political struggle’, which according to the author is ‘obligatory’.
You have asked:
Would you kindly confirm whether the “structuring of a bloc/group” to establish the Khilafah is more important than the individual practices that they have outlined at the beginning of this excerpt? Did the beloved prophet consider the establishment of such a group to be more important than these individual practices?
You should find my answer to your question in the foregoing paragraph.
Finally, you have asked:
Is their conclusion credible in the light of the basis they have provided?
After all that has been said in my foregoing analysis, my answer to your question should be obvious. The stated conclusion completely lacks foundations and basis in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).
I hope this helps.
February 24, 2001
- As parents have over their children or as a teacher has over his pupil or as the ruler and his representatives have over the subjects. [↩]
- In other words, within the scope of one’s legal and moral authority, one can ‘direct’ and ‘order’ or ‘bar’ and ‘ban’. [↩]
- Offering prayers, according to the Qur’an is an essential element of being considered a Muslim. [↩]
- It should, however, remain clear that obedience toward the Muslim rulers is a relgious obligation of the subjects. This obedience is no longer a religious obligation, if the ruler clearly forsakes Islam. This, however, does not mean that disobeying a non-Muslim ruler or raising mutiny against a manifest rejecter is a religious obligation. It only means that obedience toward a non-Muslim ruler (or one who is a manifest rejecter) is NOT a religious obligation. [↩]
- Reference is to Al-Nisa 4: 59. [↩]
- Bukhari, Kitaab al-Fitan, No. 6532. [↩]
- Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, Pg. 517. [↩]
- Al-Maidah 5: 44, 45 and 47. [↩]
- Reference is to those narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh), in which he is reported to have directed Muslims to remain obedient toward their rulers even if they do not follow the directives of the Shari`ah. The Muslims have been directed to remain obedient toward their ruler even if they do not like him, even if he unjustly prefers others over them, even if he is guilty of general injustice, even if he refuses the legal and moral rights of the subjects, even if he does not offer prayers at their prescribed timings and even if he is a Faajir (disobedient). Obviously, all these qualities are clearly against the stipulations of the Shari`ah, yet the Prophet (pbuh) has directed the Muslims to steadfastly remain obedient toward their rulers. [↩]
- Muslim, Kitab al-Imarah, No. 3433. [↩]