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The Political Revolution Brought about by the Prophet (pbuh) and its Significance in Planning for the Reestablishment of 'Khilaafah' in the Present Times


Question

If I may, I would like to draw your attention to an article written by a movement who regard the reestablishment 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 "How to Re-establish the Khilafah The Method of Muhammad (saw)?"

I have a few queries regarding the content of the article. It states:

"... And He (swt) made the Messenger (saw) the best example for the whole of mankind to emulate, by making the Messenger (saw) dearer to the believers than their own fathers, mothers, brothers and selves. Allah (swt) said, "Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have the best example" [Al-Ahzab: 21].

And anyone who took the Messenger (saw) as their example would see that Rasoolallah (saw) and his party of Sahaba (ra) struggled hard against all odds, and by overcoming all obstacles, to establish the supremacy of Allah's (swt) Deen on the earth by establishing the Islamic State in Madinah, so that dar al-kufr became dar al-Islam. Anyone who looks to the Seerah, and wanted to follow the Messenger (saw), would not have to look hard to see that in a matter of thirteen years, the Messenger (saw) and his political party, comprised of his Sahabah (ra) managed to establish the Islamic State. The method by which this result was achieved could be found in any of the books of the Seerah written by the sincere Muslims. This method, which Hizb ut-Tahrir adheres to both in the generality and the details, and which is the subject of this conference today, is the method by which Muhammad (saw) brought radical change to the jahil (ignorant) Arabian society. And it is this very method that is the only way by which the Muslims can re-establish the Khilafah 1400 years later. It is not the method of theory or fantasy but rather a method that will shake the thrones of the tyrannical kings, terrify the Presidents and stir the sincere masses to action that will return to them the izza (dignity) in this life and the izza in Akhirah. All those who seek the return of the Khilafah and the radical change that must accompany its return must dedicate themselves to studying this method and following it without the slightest deviation. So they would be required to obey Allah (swt) when he commanded them to collectively work together as an Islamic political party to bring radical change when He (swt) said, "Let there arise out of you a party, inviting to the good, ordering what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. And they are those who are successful" [Ale-Imran:103]"

If I may ask, what is the correct relevance and context of the above verse with regard to their comments? Was the aim of our beloved prophet and his "political party" really to establish a universal Islamic State?

"So let us consider how the Prophet (saw) built his political party, brought about the radical change of the society and seized the power. Yes! Bi idhnillah! The Messenger of Allah (saw) established a political party, and he shook the very foundations of society and he sought the power and he challenged the authority of the tyrants and he left no traces of their tyranny and indeed, politics is from the Sunnah of Rasoolallah (saw). Didn't Rasoolallah (saw) say to the Quraish "I will give you one statement that will make you the rulers of the Arabs and the non-Arabs". And when questioned as to what that statement was, he (saw) said "Say Lailaha illallahu, and you will be successful". If this is not politics and political work then what is?"

If I may ask, what is the correct context and relevance of the above cited saying of our beloved prophet?

"Building the Party

From the first day that the message of Islam was revealed to Muhammad (saw) it was a message that challenged the very foundations that Makkan society was built upon: "Read in the name of your Lord, who created you. Who created you from something which clings" [Al-Alaq:1-2] This ayah commanded Muhammad (saw) and all that follow him until Yawm al-Qiyama to read, and study and gain the Islamic culture in the name of their Lord, not in the name of the idols of Quraish, or the names of the idols of Western civilization like democracy and freedom, but rather in the name of the Creator and the Sustainer of mankind. After receiving the first revelation the Messenger (saw) understood what this message meant when he returned and told his wife, Umm al-Mumineen (the mother of the believers), Khadija (ra), "After today there will be no rest".

The Messenger of Allah (saw) at the start of his call would visit people in their homes, telling them that they had been commanded by Allah (swt) to worship Him and to associate none with Him. He (saw) openly invited people to Islam in Makkah, thus abiding by Allah's command: "O you wrapped up, arise and deliver the warning." [Al-Mudatthir: 1-2]

After this, the Messenger of Allah (saw) would contact people to teach them Islam. Every time someone embraced Islam, Allah's Messenger (saw) would send him or her someone from those who had embraced Islam earlier to teach them the Qur'an. The Messenger of Allah (saw) set up the house of al-Arqam ibn Abi al-Arqam as the centre of his call, a place from which he taught Muslims the Qur'an and perfected their knowledge of Islam, encouraging them to recite the Qur'an and understand it. Every time someone embraced Islam, Allah's Messenger (saw) would join him in the house of al-Arqam.

He (saw) pursued this task for three years, teaching this group of Muslims, leading them in prayers, and performing tahajjud at night, motivating their souls, strengthening their belief through prayer and recitation, helping them to improve their way of thinking and to reflect on the verses of the Qur'an and the creation of Allah (swt). He (saw) taught them how to endure all manner of hardships by submitting to Allah (swt). He built in them the firm Iman so that every trace of kufr and jahiliya was removed from them and they became purified with the Islamic 'Aqeeda. This prepared them to reject the twisted ways of their forefathers and to throw away the diseases of nationalism and tribalism. Anyone who wants to re-establish the Khilafah must build a party like the Prophet (saw) built his party such that all traces of capitalism, communism, nationalism and anything other than Islam are removed from the people so they would become people worthy of carrying this da'wa and capable of shouldering its burdens. The Messenger of Allah (saw) created a radical change within his Sahaba (ra) so that they were able to withstand the hardships to come. He (saw) changed Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) from the one who buried his daughter alive to the one about whom the Messenger (saw) said "When Umar walks on one side of the road, Shaytan walks on the other side". It is this building of the party that transformed Abdullah bin Masud (ra), whose legs used to be blown away in the wind, to the one whose legs became firmer than Mount Uhud. It is this that transformed the 8 year old boy, Ali (ra), to the one who said when asked how he had decided to accept Islam, "Allah did not consult my father when he created me, so why should I consult him to worship him". And it is this that led Abdullah bin Masud to believe that the Muslims would conquer the world when they were only six in number when Allah (swt) revealed the ayah, "This is but a reminder to all of mankind". And it was this building that led the Quraish to say about the Messenger (saw), "Here is the man that is going to remove the Caesar"."

Is the view that our beloved prophet was told to establish a political party correct with respect to the Qur'an and the Sunnah? Do the above citations support this view?

"Interacting with Society

After Muhammad (saw) had built his party of Sahaba (ra) and created a radical transformation Allah (swt) ordered him to go out and challenge the ideas which the people of Makkah held dear as well as the political elite of Makkah who ruled over the people with kufr. Allah (swt) said "Proclaim openly what you have been told and turn away from the Mushrikeen!" [Al-Hijr:94]. After this Ayah was revealed, the Muslims went out in two rows; one led by 'Umar bin al Khattab (ra) and the other led by Hamza Assadullah (ra) - they circumambulated around the Ka'ba. They headed for the mosque in broad daylight to challenge the practices of the rulers of Makkah, in the same way Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Uzbekistan distributed 100,000 leaflets in the same hour and on the same day challenging the practices of the corrupt and tyrannical rulers of Uzbekistan. The Makkan society was shocked since they had seen nothing like this before. The faces of their leaders became pale and resentful. The Quraish were shocked, since this was the first time that they had seen a group like that of Rasoolallah (saw). For the first time they saw white and black, slave and leader, rich and poor, united as brothers with a common purpose challenging the 'Aqeeda and the political authority of the Quraish. After this, Muhammad (saw) took every opportunity to highlight the falsehood of the way of life that Quraish were so accustomed to. He (saw) condemned the economic corruption, exposed the social problems and insulted the idols of Quraish. Anyone who desires the re-establishment of the Khilafah would need to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (saw) in highlighting the falsehood of the way of the life of the disbelievers, condemning the economic practices of the society and insulting the pillars of Western civilization that are propagated throughout the Muslim world. This is in order to perform the groundwork for the return of the Khilafah, in the same manner the Prophet (saw) and his Sahaba (ra) did.

The Muslims would recite the ayah of Qur'an, "Woe to those who cheat in the market" [Al-Mutaffifin:1], in their prayers in private and in public as a direct challenge to the economic practices of the society. Today, the Muslims need to challenge the corrupt economic practices such as the free market - as an example Hizb ut-Tahrir issued a booklet critiquing the Sudanese budget and a booklet explaining the reasons behind the turbulence on the Far Eastern stock markets."

If I may ask, is this "groundwork" consistent with our beloved prophets intention? What is the correct context and meaning of the verse cited from Surah Al-Hijr? Did our beloved prophet and the distinguish Sahabah indeed condemn the practice of the free market? Would the related verse testify to this?

"The political party of Muhammad (saw) would challenge the leaders of Quraish. For example, when Hamza (ra) embraced Islam he confronted Abu Jahl and asked him "Do you insult my nephew when I am a follower of his deen?" Indeed, Allah (swt) attacked the tyrant of the day when He (swt) said "Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!" [Al-Masad: 1]. Today, we must stand up against the tyrannical political authority of the rulers in the Muslim world, like Abdullah of Jordan and Karimov of Uzbekistan, and show the falsehood of their way of life and authority. Indeed to expose such rulers is one of the noblest actions in the sight of Allah (swt) since the Messenger of Allah (saw) said "The master of martyrs is Hamza, and a man who stands up to a tyrant ruler and gives him nasiha (advice). And so the ruler kills him." Many are the shuhadaa (martyrs) who stood up against the tyrants in the Muslim world in emulation of the master of martyrs, and the tyrant rulers of Uzbekistan, Jordan, Syria and Egypt spilt their blood."

We must also be at the forefront of confronting the idols of the West like democracy and freedom in the same way that the party of the Prophet (saw) confronted the idols of Latt, Uzza and Manat. The political elite of Makkah and their way of life were shaken by the struggle of Muhammad (saw) and his party such that they came offering him the world in return for him renouncing this call. After they failed in such an endeavor they chased the believers, tortured them, slandered them and boycotted them. Similarly, today, the sincere carriers of the da'wa, who made their sole reference the Messenger of Allah (saw), are pursued the world over in an attempt to extinguish the light of Islam. "They wish to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light is perfected even though the disbelievers may hate it" [At-Tauba: 32]

Alhamdulillah! The party of the Messenger (saw) was able to withstand the torture, tribulation, and boycott - had there not been a party then this da'wa would not have succeeded - since when Bilal (ra) was being tortured, Abu Bakr (ra) was there to carry the Islamic da'wa, and when Musab bin Umayr (ra) was imprisoned by his own mother, Uthman bin Affan (ra) was there to convey the call. So in essence the Messenger (saw) in a matter of a few years built a party that undermined the very foundations upon which the society was built, destroyed the confidence in the system, weakened the existing rulers, and was ready and able to assume power over it. Muhammad (saw) persisted in shattering the existing way of life and its systems no matter the hardship, struggle and sacrifice that was required. In the same way we cannot afford to sleep in the struggle against kufr, when we know that the disbelievers never sleep in their efforts to thwart the plans of the believers."

If I may ask, do the above evidences indeed testify to this opinion? What is their true context and meaning? For example, one group leaflet said: "Every one of you knows, that your brothers - members of the Hizb in Uzbekistan perform their obligations by saying the word of truth before tyrant rulers for the resumption of the Islamic way of life and the reestablishment of the Khilafah State. Their such position is rooted on the following hadiths of Prophet (saw): "The best jihad is the word of truth said before a tyrant ruler", and "The Sayyid (Master) of martyrs is Hamza and the one, killed for the word of truth before a tyrant ruler". "Would this and the above evidences justify such a stance? Furthermore, did our prophet really "shatter the existing way of life and systems"? Does history indeed testify to this?

The article continues to go on and say:

"Seeking the Power

Even after all of this, Muhammad (saw) had not established the Islamic State. There was still one missing piece in the jigsaw in order to place the final nails in the coffin of dar al-kufr and plant the mighty tree of the Islamic State over its grave. Building a political party was not enough to plant that mighty tree. Undermining the foundations upon which the society was built, destroying the confidence in the system and weakening the existing rulers, was not enough to plant that mighty tree. Rather the Messenger (saw) after building his party, and undermining the society exhausted all his efforts in seeking the reins of power.

Indeed without seeking power from those who have it, it would not be possible to establish the Khilafah, and by it Allah's (swt) Deen on the earth. Look at any book of Seerah and you would see that the Prophet (saw) spent three years going from one powerful faction to another, encouraging them to help him seize power, and implement Islam. In total he (saw) visited over forty tribes with a view to them entering this Deen and assisting him in seizing power, so that Islam could be implemented upon all and sundry.

This is clear from the discussions that Muhammad (saw) used to have with the tribes. After discussions with the tribe of Banu Amr bin Sasa'ah they asked him "who will have the authority after you" to which Muhammad (saw) replied "Allah gives authority to whoever He wills". This makes it clear that the Prophet (saw) had come to them seeking power to implement Islam, else why would they ask him about who would have authority?

He used to ask the tribes about their power and this was reflected in the reply of one tribe who said "if we left a plate of food uncovered in the desert nobody would touch it". Obviously Muhammad (saw) was seeking more from these tribes than just their acceptance of Islam. He was seeking their power so that he could seize power and implement Allah's (swt) Deen on this earth. Indeed there is no doubt that any regime in the world is maintained by the people of power. Seizing the authority by seeking the power from those who have it is central to the Sunnah of the Messenger (saw).

Following this Sunnah requires us to seek the power from those who have it in order to implement Islam, and without a doubt the people of power in the Muslim world are the armies, who are the sons, fathers and brothers of the Muslims."

Does history testify to this? Would this be supported by the Qur'an and the Sunnah? Did our beloved prophet really "seek the reins of power" when visiting tribes?

"They are the ones who are entitled to be the descendants of Khalid bin Walid and Usama bin Zaid, rather than having the banner of humiliation foistered over their heads, as they have done since the destruction of the Khilafah. If the Syrian army were to move against the Ba'thist regime, the Muslims would rejoice after years under Ba'thism. The Muslims of Jordan are fed up with the traitorous Sharif clan and its offspring, and if the people with power were to remove them, the Muslims would indeed rejoice. The very key to transferring these sentiments and this yearning to establish the Khilafah is the power - if the people of power moved against Karimov of Uzbekistan not a single Muslim in Uzbekistan would shed a tear, and indeed this Ummah would once again witness the days of happiness and tranquility that she was once so accustomed to. The seeking of the power is what allows power to be seized, Islam to be implemented upon all and sundry, and carried to the entire world. The reward for those with the power who respond to this call is immense. Indeed, it is narrated in the books of Seerah that when Sa'd bin Mu'adh (ra) died, that Jibreel (as) visited the Prophet (saw) and informed him that the recent death of one of his Sahaba (ra) had caused the throne of Allah (swt) to shake. It was further narrated that thousands of Mala'ika (angels) accompanied the funeral procession and offered the Janaza (funeral) prayer for Sa'd bin Mu'adh. Sa'd bin Mu'adh (ra) was one of the leaders of Banu Aus of Madinah who accepted Islam and then lent his support to the establishment of the Islamic State of Madinah. He was therefore at the forefront of the Ansar helping the Prophet (saw) seize power and implement Islam.

So to everyone who has power and influence in the Ummah and to everyone who cares about the affairs of this Ummah and strives for its revival we say to you would you like to die a death as one who supported this Deen with his power and influence, like Sa'd bin Mu'adh (ra) or would you prefer the death of humiliation to be suffered by the treacherous coward rulers?"

Where in the Qur'an and Sunnah does it say that power has to be "seized" from existing rulers? Do the above evidences support their opinion?

"Conclusion

This, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, is the method of Muhammad (saw) that we should adopt in order to reestablish the Khilafah. It is the method that removed the likes of Abu Jahl, Al-Walid and Abu Lahab from power and replaced them with leaders of the caliber of Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra), Uthman (ra) and Ali (ra). It is the method that established the State that within decades made the empires of the Romans and Persians crumble under its feet. My dear Muslim brothers and sisters, if you seek the return of the Khilafah and the radical change that must accompany its return you must dedicate yourselves to studying this method and following it without the slightest deviation. By Allah (swt) there will be no excuse on Yawm al-Qiyama for your failure to be an inheritor of the most pious of predecessors and the most pious of groups from this Ummah; the party of Muhammad (saw). This work that is required from you is political work not political integration. This method is the method of change not the method of compromise and stagnation and submission to the Kuffar. It is a method to please Allah (swt) not a method to please the rulers or the people.

We ask Allah (swt) to assist us in our endeavor to reestablish the Khilafah with His Help and His Strength, and to accept from us this effort, and to overlook our mistakes. We ask Him also to guide all Muslims to adhere to the Method of Muhammad (saw), to honor them with the reestablishment of the Khilafah, and restoring the rule with the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw).

"And say Do deeds! Soon Allah will see your deeds, and (so will) His Messenger and the believers." [At-Tauba:105]"

Is the conclusion that has been reached at all credible in the light of the evidences that have been provided above?

Thank you kindly...



Question from United Kingdom
Answer

The author writes:

"... And He (swt) made the Messenger (saw) the best example for the whole of mankind to emulate, by making the Messenger (saw) dearer to the believers than their own fathers, mothers, brothers and selves. Allah (swt) said, "Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have the best example" [Al-Ahzab: 21].

No Muslim can doubt the fact that the Prophet (pbuh) is indeed the example for him to emulate or, at least, aspire to emulate. However, there are certain aspects of the life of the Prophet (pbuh), which are not to be emulated. For instance, the Prophet's proclaiming his prophethood is one thing, which no Muslim, in his right frame of mind can even imagine emulating. In fact, this example should sufficiently clarify that emulation of certain aspects of the Prophet's life can even result in transgressing one's limits of being a follower of the Qur'an and that of the Prophet (pbuh). Thus, before propagating the emulation of the Prophet (pbuh) in any aspect of his life, it is extremely important that one should carefully determine whether or not the particular aspect of the Prophet's life, which he is promoting among the people to emulate, is actually one, which the Qur'an and the Sunnah require us to emulate.

Keeping this clarification in perspective, let us first summarize the author's opinion and then analyze it in the light of the Qur'an. The author, in the light of the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh), has made the following contentions:

  1. Within a period of thirteen years, the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions (Sahabah) brought about a political revolution and established an Islamic state (in Medinah);

  2. The method in which the Prophet (pbuh) brought about this political revolution is not just 'the best' but 'the only' method following which the Muslims can reestablish the 'Khilaafah'. The Hizb al-Tahrir adheres to this method 'in its generality as well as in its details'. No deviations should be made or proposed in this method[1];

  3. The first stage in the method was to teach people about the basic teachings and strengthening their faith in God; according to the author: "This prepared them to reject the twisted ways of their forefathers and to throw away the diseases of nationalism and tribalism". Thus, what the author seems to imply is that in this first stage, the 'recruits' are to be cleansed of the germs of 'nationalism', 'tribalism', 'capitalism', 'communism' etc. as only this would prepare them to shoulder the burden of creating the 'Khilaafah';

  4. After this basic training of the companions, the 'political party' starts to openly challenge the ways of the rulers. In retaliation, the rulers and their followers torture and try to dissuade the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers from proclaiming their message;

  5. At this stage, the Prophet (pbuh), seeking authority, power and rule, started presenting his message to other 'powerful factions', "encouraging them to help him seize power, and implement Islam". This is precisely what any movement for the reestablishment of Khilaafah will have to do in the present times;

  6. The author writes: "The seeking of the power is what allows power to be seized, Islam to be implemented upon all and sundry, and carried to the entire world."

If seen in the light of the Qur'an, we shall see that the whole set of arguments presented above is not only without any foundation, but is actually contrary to the clear stipulations of the Qur'an. Some of the important points of the Qur'an, which the author seems to have ignored in deriving his conclusions regarding the methodology of a 'political revolution' from the life of the Prophet (pbuh) are as follows:

The Qur'an has strongly stressed that Muhammad (pbuh) is in continuation of the chain of a select class called 'Messengers (Rasul) of God'. The Qur'an (Al-Ahqaaf 46: 9) directs the Prophet (pbuh) to declare:

Say to them: I am not an inventor in the chain of messengers and I do not know what shall happen to me or to you. I am only following that, which is being revealed to me; and I am nothing but a clear warner.

This verse is clear evidence to the effect that Muhammad (pbuh) is a continuation of the chain of prophets and messengers of God. It clearly follows that not only the mission and the objective of Muhammad (pbuh) was the same as that of the previous messengers of God but also that the Prophet (pbuh) and his addressees were subject to God's laws relating to His messengers and their addressees. Thus, to fully understand the mission, the objective and the various incidents in the life of the Prophet (pbuh), it is imperative that the stipulations of the Qur'an relating to the mission and the laws relating to the messengers of God be kept in mind.

Although there is an apparent distinction between the two designations of 'Nabi' (prophet) and 'Rasul' (messenger) as used in the Qur'an, yet it seems that the basic purpose for which God sends the two (prophets and messengers) is the same. The Qur'an (Al-Nisaa 4: 165) has stated this purpose in the following words:

We sent these prophets as givers of good news (to the believers) and of warning (to the rejecters); so that people have no excuse to present before God (for their disbelief), after these prophets.

Thus, the purpose for which God sent His prophets and messengers was to remove all excuse for the disbelief of mankind. To achieve this purpose, the sole duty of the prophets was to clearly deliver the revealed message to the people. The Qur'an (Al-Nahl 16: 35) says:

So, is there anything upon these prophets, except clearly delivering the message?

It was also repeatedly declared by the Qur'an that the sole duty of the Prophet (pbuh) was to clearly deliver the message, which was revealed upon him. The Qur'an (Al-`Ankaboot 29: 18) says:

The Prophet's responsibility is only to clearly deliver the message.

Thus, as far as the responsibility is concerned, there is not much of a difference between the prophets (Nabi) and messengers (Rasul) of God. The responsibility of both these designations is restricted to the clear deliverance of the message of God. However, the Qur'an informs us that the consequences, in the life of this world, of accepting or rejecting the call of a messenger (Rasul) are not the same as that of accepting or rejecting the call of a prophet (Nabi). According to the Qur'an, when a messenger (Rasul) is sent toward a people, God, Himself, supervises the deliverance of His message and ensures that there is absolutely no deficiency in the deliverance of this message. The Qur'an (Al-Jinn 72: 27 - 28) says:

As for those, whom He selects as a messenger, He surrounds them - from before them and behind them - with armies of watchers, to ascertain that they have adequately delivered the messages of their Lord...

As a result of this special care in the deliverance of the message, there comes a time when the messenger has delivered his message to the extent that no one is left with any excuse of rejecting it. At this stage, the rejecters join all their forces against the messengers and make their intention of turning them out of their town or even of killing them if they do not desist from proclaiming their message. However, this, according to the Qur'an, is not on. The Qur'an (Ibraheem 14: 13 - 14) says:

And the rejecters said to their messengers: 'We shall surely turn you out of our land or you will return to our ways'. Then their Lord revealed to them: 'We shall most definitely cause these unjust people to perish, and then We shall most definitely establish you in the land, after them...'.

At another instance, the Qur'an has declared that as a rule, the messengers of God and their followers shall always be triumphant against the rejecters. The Qur'an (Al-Mujaadilah 58: 20 - 21) says:

Indeed those, who oppose God and His messengers, shall be brought low. God has decreed: I and My messengers will surely triumph. God is indeed Most Powerful, Mighty.

At another instance, the consequence of rejecting the messengers are highlighted as under (Al-Room 30: 47):

And We have indeed sent before you messengers toward their nations. Thus, they came to them with obvious signs. Then We severely punished the transgressors [and helped the believers]. And indeed helping the believers was incumbent upon Us.

The Qur'an  tells us that the messengers of the Almighty, in contrast to Nabi's (prophets), are not merely deliverers of God's message. It tells us that a messenger of God is a sign of God's final justice. When God sends his messenger among a people, these people are left with no excuse of rejection. The truth becomes as apparent for them as the shining sun. Rejection of God's message, even after the truth has become as apparent renders the rejecters "themselves witnesses upon their own rejection"[2]. It is, in fact, a consequence of this special position of the messengers of God that their rejecters are subjected to the severe retribution from God. Two aspects of this retribution and punishment deserve special attention:

  • Firstly, if the addressees of the messenger are polytheists (Mushrik), they are then sentenced to death, as a punishment of their rejection of the messenger. The Qur'an has presented the people of `aad, Thamud, Nooh, Lut, Musa etc. as examples of this category; On the other hand, if the addressees of the messenger are not polytheists, they are then forced to become subservient to the followers of the messenger. The Banu Israeel, after their rejection of Jesus (pbuh) were subjected to this punishment[3].

  • Secondly, The implementation of this sentence may take any of the following two forms, depending on the condition of the believers:

  1. If the believers are very few in number and if an Islamic state has not been created, then this punishment is directly implemented by the Almighty. This implementation normally takes the form of a natural calamity, like a flood, an earthquake, a windstorm etc. This has generally been the case with the rejecters of the messengers of Allah. They were punished by nature unleashed.

  2. If a significant number of people accept the call of the messenger of God and the messenger also succeeds in forming an Islamic state, then this punishment is implemented through the believers. This serves two purposes. Firstly, the rejecters are punished and secondly, the believers are tested for their truthfulness and the genuineness of their faith.

Four Important Aspects of the Law Pertaining to the Messengers of God

a)      The Geographical Placement of the Messenger

The Qur'an tells us that in view of their future mission the messengers of God are placed in the chief towns of their particular nations. The Qur'an (Al-Qasas 28: 59) says:

And your Lord was not one to destroy a people, without first sending a messenger in its chief town.

All those who are aware of the political, religious and cultural significance of the central or the chief towns and the influence that the chief town had on its surrounding localities in the traditional societies, can easily understand the strategic importance of this placement of the messenger of God.

b)      The Overall Planning and Supervision of the Messengers' Mission

As has been cited earlier (Al-Jinn 72: 27 - 28), the Qur'an informs us that due to the potential consequences of the messengers' mission, he is under the close supervision of God and His armies. It is also apparent from the Qur'an that the whole strategy of the messengers' mission is devised and implemented by God, Himself. When is the message to be delivered in private (at an individual level)? When will it be proclaimed openly in public? How will the evil plots of the rejecters be countered? When shall it be decided about the people that they deserve no further attention and should be written off as staunch rejecters of God's message, even after its truthfulness has become apparent upon them? When shall the messenger turn away from the rejecters and seek to migrate from them? When and how shall the rejecters be subjected to the ultimate punishment? All these stages are decided by God alone. The messenger, is only required to deliver the message and to obey the Almighty in the implementation of His plans.

c)       The Significance of the Messengers' Migration

The migration of the messenger of God and his followers is not merely a migration of a group of people from one place to another. It is, in fact, the end of the immunity from punishment given to the addressees of the messengers. The Qur'an (Al-Anfaal 8: 32 - 33) says:

And when they said: 'Our Lord, if this be the truth from you, then shower upon us stones from the sky or subject us to a painful punishment'. But your Lord was not prepared to punish them, while you were among them; and your Lord was not going to punish them, while their was a chance of their seeking forgiveness.

In the same manner, if the addressees of the messenger become so averse toward the messenger that they force him out of their town or try to kill him, their aggression is followed by the same consequences. The Qur'an (Al-Israa 17: 76 - 77) says:

They were about to scare you away from the land, to expel you from there. If that were the case, they would not have lived long after you. This has been Our way in relation to the messengers, whom We sent before you. And you shall not find any deviation in Our way.

d)      The Decision Regarding the Messengers' Migration (Hijrah)

In view of the significance of the migration of the messenger and its consequences for the rejecters among his addressees, the decision regarding the timing of the migration, as is the case with each one of the stages in the deliverance of God's message, is decided solely by the All Knowing God, Himself. When God, according to His Absolute Knowledge decides that the addressees have been given adequate chance and deserve no further allowance, He directs His messenger to prepare for migration. The timing of this stage can vary according to the mental state of the addressees. For instance, in the life of the Noah (pbuh), this stage came after approximately nine and a half centuries of deliverance of God's message[4]. Thus, the messenger is strictly directed to concentrate in delivering God's message and not to leave the place at which God has sent him, till the time that God directs him to do so. The Qur'an (Al-Qalam 68: 48) says:

Therefore, wait patiently for the decision of your Lord and do not be like the companion of the fish[5].

This, according the clear indications of the Qur'an, is the unalterable law of God, relating to his messengers. The Qur'an has unequivocally declared that there shall be no change in this law of God. It is with reference to this law of God relating to His Messengers, that Al-Fatah 48: 23 says:

This has been the way of God, since times gone by. You shall never find any change in this way of God.

The Implementation of the Law on the Addressees of the Prophet (pbuh)

Now let us see how God's law relating to His messengers, as outlined in the foregoing paragraphs, was fulfilled during the life of the Prophet (pbuh).

At the very beginning of the Prophet's ministry, the Qur'an made it known that exactly like the previous messengers of God, Muhammad (pbuh) is the final testimony of God's truth upon his addressees and, therefore, if his addressees reject his message, then they shall also be dealt with in exactly the same way, as were those who rejected God's messengers before them. The Qur'an (Al-Muzzammil 73: 15 - 18) declares:

We have sent toward you a messenger, as a clear witness of the truth, just as we sent toward Pharaoh a messenger. Then, Pharaoh rejected the messenger and We seized him with a heavy punishment. Then, if you reject, how shall you save yourselves from a day (so grievous) that renders children, white haired (old people).

The Qur'an also declared in the beginning of the Prophet's ministry that just as the rejecters of the previous messengers, the addressees of Muhammad (pbuh) were now subject to God's law relating to His messengers. In Surah Al-Qamar, while addressing the polytheists of Arabia, the Qur'an referred to some of the more well known among the rejecters of the previous messengers of God and mentioned the consequences that they were subjected to face because of their rejection. At the end of the Surah, the Qur'an (Al-Qamar 54: 43 - 45) has asked the addressees of the Prophet (pbuh):

[Why O polytheists of Arabia, would you not be punished in the same way?] Are your unbelievers better than these [previous rejecters of our messengers]? Or are you given immunity [from this punishment] in the Holy Scriptures? Do they say: We are a strong army [of men]? [Nay,] the army shall surely be routed and they shall flee turning their backs.

Thus, the addressees of the Prophet (pbuh) were warned of the consequences of their rejection at the beginning of the Prophet's ministry. They were informed that if they persisted in their rejection, they shall face the same consequences as were faced by the rejecters of the previous messengers of God.

During the initial phase of his ministry, the Prophet (pbuh) was directed to concentrate all his efforts in warning the Polytheists of Arabia - especially the Qureish of the Chief Town of Mekkah - of the dire consequences of their rejection in the life of this world as well as the hereafter. Al-Shooraa 42: 7 declared the purpose of the revelation of the Qur'an on Muhammad (pbuh) in the following words:

And We have, similarly, revealed an Arabic Qur'an toward you so that you warn the inhabitants of the Chief Town - Mekkah - and its surrounding areas.

At another instance, the Qur'an (Al-An`aam 6: 92) declared:

And this is a blessed book that We have revealed upon you, confirming [the prophecies of] the previous books, [so that you may give glad tidings to the believers] and so that you may warn the inhabitants of the Chief Town and its surrounding areas.

As is evidenced by the Qur'an itself, during the thirteen years of the Prophet's stay at Mekkah, the message of the Qur'an was generally restricted to the following points:

  1. Call to adherence to the universally acknowledged moral and ethical values;

  2. Promotion and information about the correct beliefs and concepts relating to God, the Day of Judgment and His messengers and prophets and the clarification of the responsibilities incumbent in these beliefs; and

  3. Glad tidings of a blessed and rewarding life in this world as well as the hereafter, if the addressees believe in the messenger and warning of a painful punishment in this world as well as the hereafter, if the addressees reject the messenger.

After over a decade of hard word in oppressive circumstances, the Prophet (pbuh) was directed to explore the potential of migration to another land. It was after this time that the Prophet (pbuh) started presenting his message to the delegates of other tribes to Mekkah, during the Hajj days. In the process, the leaders of Medinah accepted Islam. This opened the doors of Medinah for the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers. The Prophet's migration to Medinah, as has been stated earlier, meant that the Qureish were now a target of God's promised retribution - as with the Prophet's migration, the Qureish were now deprived of the immunity against God's punishment - which was now only a matter of time.

After the establishment of the Islamic state in Medinah, God directed the Muslims to start preparation for fighting a war against the rejecters of the Prophet (pbuh). It was declared that if the rejecters persist in their rejection, the Muslims will have to fight against them. Al-Fatah 48: 16 declared:

You will fight them or they will accept Islam.

It was also declared that this war against the rejecters shall continue till the time that Islam becomes the only dominant religion of the Arabian Peninsula[6]. Al-Anfaal 8: 39 declared:

Fight them, till the end of persecution and religion becomes solely for God.

At another instance, the same end was declared in the following words (Al-Saff 61: 8 - 9):

They want to extinguish the light of God by the breath of their mouths, but God is going to complete His light, even though these rejecters detest it. He it is, Who sent His messenger with His guidance and the true religion so that He renders it dominant over all other religions, though these polytheists detest it.

It was declared that these wars were not fought between two normal adversaries. On the contrary, these wars were fought between God and His enemies[7]. Therefore, the outcome of these wars was predictably apparent. Al-Fatah 48: 22 - 23 declared:

And were the rejecters to fight you, they would definitely turn their backs, running. Then they would neither find a guardian nor a helper. This has been the way of God, since times gone by. You shall never find any change in this way of God.

On the other hand, the believers were promised victory and rule in the land. Al-Noor 24: 55 declared:

God has promised those among you, who believe and do good deeds that he shall grant them rule in the land, as was granted to those before them and that He shall stabilize for you your religion, which He has liked for you, and He shall change your present state of fear with that of peace.

It was declared that the punishment, which was to be delivered in retribution of their rejection of the messenger, would be delivered through the hands of the believers. Al-Taubah 9: 14 declares:

Fight them, God will punish them through your hands. He shall put them to shame and He shall grant you victory over them and thereby heal the hearts of a believing people.

One may ask why were not the rejecters of Muhammad (pbuh) punished in the manner in which the rejecters of the previous messengers were punished. The answer to this question is also given by the Qur'an. To fully understand this answer, it is important to understand that as Islam grew in political strength, after the establishment of the Muslim state in Medinah, a number of people apparently accepted Islam but were not true in their belief. Cleansing the Muslim group from such hypocrites was important for the future of the group. Thus, clarifying why did God not punish the Mekkans in the same manner as the addressees of the previous messengers and why God decided to punish them through the hands of the Muslims, the Qur'an (Al-Taubah 9: 16) says:

Do you think that you would be left alone, though God has not yet distinguished those among you, who fight [in His way], and do not take anyone besides God, His messenger and the true believers as friends. And God is fully aware of what you do.

Thus, it was primarily to cleanse the group of Muslims of the hypocrites that God decided to deliver His punishment through the hands of the believers. At another instance, while explaining why the Muslims were made to suffer a loss in the battle of Uhud, the Qur'an (Aal Imraan 3: 179) declared:

God was not to leave the believers in the state in which you are in, till He rendered the clean [of heart] and the unclean completely distinguished from each other.

The believers were told that the punishment of the rejecters would be implemented, whether the Muslims support and help the Prophet (pbuh) or not. The rejecters were bound to meet their fate, whether it be through the believers or through the unseen armies of the Almighty. Al-Taubah 9: 39 - 40 declared:

If you do not go out [to fight], God will subject you to a painful punishment and shall replace you with another people and you shall not be able to harm him [i.e. the Prophet (pbuh)] in the least. Indeed, God has power over all things. If you do not help him, then remember that God Himself helped him, when the rejecters turned him out, when he was only the second of the two, when they were in the cave, when he said to his companion: 'Do not worry, indeed God is with us'. Then God sent tranquility and peace upon him and strengthened him with armies that you could not see and, thereby, God humbled the word of the rejecters and His word is always exalted. And God is Powerful, Wise.

The above explanation should adequately clarify that the so-called 'political revolution' of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions was, in fact, the implementation of God's law relating to His messengers. Thus, from the collective change that took place through the Prophet (pbuh) no analogies can be drawn for any political reform. Whatever took place fourteen hundred years ago through the hands of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions was planned, produced, directed, supervised and implemented by the Almighty Himself. This aspect of the 'revolution' renders it beyond the scope of 'emulation' for ordinary human beings. No person, who is aware of this particular aspect of the 'revolution', in his right frame of mind, can aspire to 'emulate' the Prophet (pbuh), in bringing about any political change, for it was not the Prophet (pbuh) but the Lord of the worlds, Who brought about the referred revolution.

Keeping the foregoing explanation in perspective, one can easily see that the derivations of the author are clearly against the stipulations of the Qur'an. The Prophet (pbuh) did not even plan for any 'political revolution'. On the contrary, the sole target of the Prophet (pbuh) - like that of all the previous prophets of God - was to show the way of cleansing the hearts, minds and souls and, thereby, to show the way of eternal success. However, because Muhammad (pbuh) was not merely a prophet (Nabi), but was also a messenger (Rasul) of God, therefore, rejecting or accepting him was to have its respective consequences in the life of this world as well as in the hereafter. Whatever 'revolution' took place in Arabia, was actually the divine implementation of the reward and the punishment of the believers and the rejecters, respectively. During his stay at Mekkah, there was nothing revealed in the Qur'an (except a few verses immediately preceding the Hijrah) to suggest that any 'political revolution' was even being planned by the Almighty. It was only after God had directed the Prophet (pbuh) to start exploring the possibility of migration that indications of a universal collective change in the Arabian Peninsula were revealed. The directives relating to collective laws were revealed even after that, when the Muslim state in Medinah had actually been formed.

I am sure that if seen in the light of the foregoing explanation, none of the arguments presented by the author will seem relevant to his contentions. However, in case any question remains in your mind, please do let me know. I shall do my best to further clarify the issue.

I hope this helps.

March 10, 2001


[1] At this point, the author writes: "So they would be required to obey Allah (swt) when he commanded them to collectively work together as an Islamic political party to bring radical change when He (swt) said, "Let there arise out of you a party, inviting to the good, ordering what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. And they are those who are successful [Ale-Imran:103]". However, the important thing to note is that this 'command' was revealed only after the radical change had taken place - i.e. after the establishment of the Islamic state at Medinah. Obviously, for the author's opinion regarding the implication of the verse to be even considerable, it should have been revealed before (and for) the establishment of the Islamic state.

[2] Al-Taubah 9: 17.

[3] The same punishment was also administered upon the 'Ahl e Kitaab' (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) for their rejection of Muhammad (pbuh).

[4] See Al-Ankaboot 29: 14.

[5] The phrase 'companion of the fish' is a reference to Jonah - Yunus - (pbuh), who according to the Qur'an left his people before God had directed him to do so. Jonah (pbuh) was later brought back to his people and was directed to steadfastly deliver God's message till the time that God directs him to leave. According to the Qur'an (as well as the Bible), all the addressees of Jonah (pbuh) believed in his message, after God sent him back to them.

[6] This was also a natural consequence of the advent of the messenger of God in the Arabian Peninsula.

[7] This is also a clear implication of calling the army of the believers by the title 'Hizb Allah' (i.e. The Party/Group of God).




Answer published by Moiz Amjad