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Islamic Ruling Systems
The Islamic ruling system is a unique system of unity ordained by Allah (swt). It is not a federal, democratic, republican, monarchic or dictatorial system at all. It has no similarity to any man-made ideology.
The Islamic state considers people under its authority as citizens, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. All have their rights guaranteed by Islam. There is no concept of 'ethnic minority' as people are not discriminated against at all for their colour, race or religion.
Al-Qurafi and Ibn Hazm (prominent scholars of Islam) reported that: "It would be our duty to protect the people of dhimma (non-Muslim citizens) if aggressors attacked our land, and we should die protecting them if necessary. Any neglect of such a duty would be a breach of the rights of the dhimma."
The standing army of the 'Uthmani Khilafah was at one stage 60 million strong. The mentality of the Muslim soldier (mujahid) makes him undefeatable. If he is killed in battle he achieves martyrdom, and if he wins, his army is victorious. This is why in the battle of Mu'tah, 3000 Muslims were prepared to face 200,000 better equipped Roman soldiers. The battle cry of the Muslims was, 'Oh Allah! I am coming to you!'
When the Crusaders attacked Al-Sham (Syria), they were fought by the army of the Islamic State, where 80% of the country's Christians were fighting alongside their fellow Muslim citizens.
Islam imposes discipline upon soldiers even in times of war. The purpose of Jihad is not to kill people or to force them to change their belief. Nor does it aim to humiliate, to exploit, to plunder resources or to punish the enemy. Rather it is a means of removing the physical barriers which prevent the people from having access to the call of Islam. This includes exploitative and corrupt leaders as well as the privileged few who have vested interests, and their supporters.
There are no borders within the Islamic State. All people regardless of race or colour are united under the banner of one leader.
The Khilafah is not an empire, like the old British or French colonialists who stole the wealth of other nations and returned it to their capitals. In all the places that were occupied by non-Muslims, the inhabitants curse their occupiers, while in areas that were opened to Islam, the people still long for its return, and are prepared even to die to achieve it.
The job of managing the affairs of the Ummah is restricted to the Khaleefah (head of state). No group, individual or organisation can involve themselves in this issue.
Non-Muslims cannot be mistreated. Nor can their places of worship (e.g. Churches, Synagogues etc.) be attacked or destroyed. This is why we see areas in the Muslim world with Churches and temples that have lasted for centuries under Islamic rule, such as those seen in Egypt, Iraq, the Balkans etc.
No groups, organisations or opposition parties based on non-Islamic principles can exist or be propagated in the Islamic State. However, those based on Islam need no permission to exist, and can be many in number.
The centre for decision making, strategy and consultation is the capital city of the Khilafah. Throughout the history of Islam there have been five main capitals :
Muhammad (saw) - Madinah
'Ali (ra) - Kufah
Ummayads - Damascus
Abbasids - Baghdad
'Uthmanis - Istanbul
The leadership of the Khilafah changed from place to place and was held by Muslims of different racial origins throughout Islamic history. This bears testimony to the fact that the Khilafah is not an imperialistic entity, which steals wealth from other nations to return it to its capital. Its purpose is to convey the deen (way of life) of Allah (swt) to all mankind.
Governing and ruling in an Islamic state is centralised, whereas administration is decentralised. The state is made up of a number of provinces (wilayaat) headed by governors (walis).The main officials of the state are appointed by the Khaleefah. Every decision must emanate from the head of state. This negates any corruption or confusion within the ruling system. The Khaleefah is ultimately responsible.
The method of appointing a Khaleefah is through the process of bay'ah (contract between the people and ruler), where the people are to obey the ruler as long as he implements Islam. The bay'ah may be contracted after either :
- a general vote of the Muslims, or
- by appointment from the representatives of the Ummah and influential people.
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Behold, the Imam is but a shield from behind which the people fight and by which they protect themselves." (Muslim)
Khaleefah 'Umar ibn 'Abdul Aziz was once found by his wife weeping after his prayers; asked if anything had happened to cause him grief, he replied: "O Fatimah, I have been made the ruler over the Muslims and the strangers and I was thinking of the poor that are starving, and the sick that are destitute, and the naked that are in distress, and the oppressed that are stricken, and the stranger that is in prison, and the venerable elder, and he that has a large family and small means, and those of them in the countries of the earth and the distant provinces, and I felt that my Lord would ask me to account for them on the day of resurrection, and I feared that no defence would avail me and I wept."
The Ummah elects representatives from among itself to stand on the Majlis al-Ummah (Council of the Ummah), which observes the Khaleefah in his implementation of Islam, and advises him on the affairs of the Ummah.
There is no country existing in the world today that implements the system of government ordered by Islam. Rather, all the Muslim countries in the world are ruled by laws of kufr (non-Islam) even though the majority of their population are Muslims.
Relationship to the Khaleefah
Do you think it is the teacher who is to blame if funding in schools is not sufficient to give your child a decent education? Do you think it is the fault of the ambulance service if they don't get to your house quickly in an emergency? Do you feel that the thousands of people who are homeless and hungry on the streets choose to live the way they do? If the answer to these questions is no, who do you think is to blame? In the West, you are living in a society which governs your affairs by so-called 'Parliamentary Democracy' where laws are made up by members of parliament. Every few years you have the opportunity to select who will represent your interests in the parliament. These people belong to one of several political parties, and the party with the most candidates assumes leadership of the country. It is these people who decide how to tax your wages, select who is eligible for housing or not, and who are responsible for issues like those mentioned before.
However, this system is fraught with fundamental problems, all of which add difficulty to you functioning in it. Thus whether you are a Muslim or not, the way your affairs are governed is almost entirely independent of your concerns. Effectively, you have no choice in what laws you are subject to, and have little means of doing anything about them when they are enacted.
Some of these problems are :
•The laws are subject to the whims and fancies of a handful of fallible human beings. Human beings are limited in knowledge, prone to error and subject to prejudice. Any system of government devised by them will reflect these problems. After all, if your next-door neighbour started telling you what you can and cannot do, would you listen to him? Even worse, what if he was racist or sexist?
•Once a government is elected, there is no way you can remove it before its term has finished, regardless of how many mistakes it makes or how corrupted it becomes.
•The individual MPs often act according to their own personal interests. Many leading MPs have been caught with their 'fingers in the till', or have admitted to adulterous affairs and other sexual malpractices. If their own wives can't trust them, can you?
Bearing this in mind, do you have confidence that your affairs are being administered well? If you feel dissatisfied do you think that any complaints you have will be acknowledged? Probably not!
The Islamic Ruling System is Different
In Islam you will not be subject to man-made laws. The Ruling System of the Islamic State is based upon four pillars:
Sovereignty is for Allah alone. Allah says, "The rule is to none but Allah." [TMQ 6:57] This means the laws governing over you are free from the fanciful desires of people who are no better than you.
Authority is for the Ummah. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'A'as narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Whosoever pledges allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him, strike the neck of that man." (Muslim). Thus, the rulers are actually accountable to you, as opposed to themselves.
Appointing one Khaleefah is an obligation upon all. Abu Said al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "When the oath of allegiance has been given for two Khulafa'a kill the latter of them." (Muslim) In Islam, all the Muslims throughout the world are united behind one leader. And because he implements only Allah's law, the people are not constantly bickering amongst themselves over what he will rule by.
The Khaleefah alone has the exclusive power to adopt the divine laws - he alone enacts the constitution and various laws.
Allah (swt) says, "O you who believe, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority." [TMQ 4:59] Muslims carry out the orders of the Khaleefah without reservation or dispute, as long as they fall within the bounds of Islam as verified by the Majlis al-Ummah, which is the Ummah's representative.
From this, you can see that only the law of the Creator will be applied. The job of the Khaleefah and his assistants is merely to extract from the Islamic sources the hukm (Divine Rule) for any situation which may arise and to apply it. The issue here then becomes not who rules, but what he rules by.
Thus, you as a Muslim and as a citizen of the Islamic State are the one who appoints who is to be in authority over you. You make sure that the laws governing over you are only those that the Creator has defined for you. It is only under this law that your rights will be secured, and you won't be subject to the whims and desires of ignorant human beings.
Similarly, it is your responsibility as a Muslim to make sure that there actually exists a Khaleefah who will undertake this role. If one does not exist, as is the situation today, then you and the whole Muslim Ummah are sinful, unless you work hard to establish it.
'Abdullah ibn 'Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Whoso takes off his hand from allegiance to Allah will meet Him on the resurrection day without having any proof for him, and whoso dies without a pledge of allegiance on his neck dies a death of the days of jahiliyyah (ignorance)."
Appointing the Leader
When the Khaleefah of the Muslims retires, dies or is displaced for any reason, there is no concept of automatic succession or 'Royal Family.' Rather, leadership in Islam is a contract between the Muslims and the Khaleefah. His authority depends entirely on his acceptance by the Ummah, which is represented by their giving him the bay'ah (pledge of allegiance). You are involved in appointing the new Khaleefah. These are the steps taken : Any candidates who wish to take the post make an application to the Majlis al-Ummah (Council of the Ummah). You may propose any candidate yourself, if you know someone suitable for the post. The members of the Majlis will consider all the applicants, and evaluate whether they meet the conditions required by Islam for the Khaleefah. The Khaleefah must be :
Free (i.e. not a slave)
Able to rule
Islam also recommends other conditions, such as that he should be a mujtahid (scholar), experienced in politics, brave, pious etc.
You will hear about the candidates once the Majlis has assessed them all and publicly announced who they are, along with a resume of their respective achievements or abilities.
After this, you will go to the nearest polling station, one of which will be available in every locality. Here you will cast a vote for the candidate you prefer. The state will order counting of the votes as quickly as possible so that the new Khaleefah may be appointed within 3 days - the maximum time that Islam allows for the Ummah to be without an Amir.
The candidate who has received the largest proportion of the vote will be the winner, regardless of whether he had more than half of the citizens of the state or not. Thus, if you had chosen someone who had the vote of 20% of the Ummah, he will win as long as no other candidates superseded this figure. Once the successor to the leadership of the Khilafah has thus been nominated by the Muslims, the members of the Majlis al-Ummah, along with the other candidates and those who hold key positions, such as the army officials and governors, will publicly give their bay'ah. This stage is the bay'ah of in'iqad (pledge of selection), which is given by the ahl al halli wal 'aqd (people of influence and authority).
You will be well informed about this selection from the media and other channels of government communication, such as the juma' khutbah.
Remember : Sovereignty lies with Allah (swt) alone, but the authority is held by the Muslim Ummah. Thus, the Ummah must give their consent to the new Khaleefah for his rule to be valid. Accordingly he will present himself to the Ummah and invite them to give their bay'ah. This second pledge is the bay'ah of ta'aa (obedience). Obedience to the Khaleefah is a duty upon all Muslims, and you become sinful if you neglect it.
You may give this pledge in person to the new Khaleefah, but as this is often impractical, you can represent your bay'ah by other means such as telegram or fax. It is recommended for you to do this, but the principle of 'silence is consent', means that if you took no action after hearing of the invitation for your bay'ah, you would not be sinful and would be regarded as having given it and accepted the Khaleefah.
Once you have given this pledge, you have entered a contract to obey the Khaleefah for as long as he implements Allah's Law, whether you are in public or in the privacy of your home. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Whoever obeyed me he obeyed Allah; whoever disobeyed me he disobeyed Allah; whoever obeyed the Amir, he obeyed me, and whoever disobeyed him he disobeyed me." (Bukhari and Muslim)
In Britain for example, it is well known that as soon as the new Prime Minister is elected, he and his party throw all of the promises they made to you in the bin, and proceed with the personal agenda they never told you about before. Now that you have appointed the Khaleefah, how can you make sure that he does not renege on his promise to obey Allah's Law?
Would I be able to speak to the Khaleefah? In Britain once the appointment of the new leader is complete, your input to the running of the country's affairs is effectively finished for the next five years. In the Islamic Ruling System, your opinion is not only valued by the leadership, but in some circumstances you may be obliged to voice it. Imagine you as a citizen of the Islamic State had a complaint. What can you do?
It may happen that the Khaleefah neglects his duty. Instead of Allah's law, he rules as he pleases according to his own whims and fancies - i.e. becoming a dictator . He could for example allow the state to ally with organisations based on taghut (disbelief) like the UN, or permit trading by riba (interest) in the banks. Or he may become corrupted himself by being a thief or an adulterer. These kind of things often happen in the West, but we find ourselves in no position to do anything about it.
As a citizen of the Islamic State, whether male or female, Muslim or non-Muslim, you can approach the Khaleefah. This may be done for any reason, be it to encourage him to fear Allah, or to ask him for your rights. However, your reasons can be broadly divided into two categories:
Advice : You might inform the Khaleefah of any news or information that may be of the public interest, such as the necessity of a school or hospital in your community.
Accounting : If you feel that the Khaleefah is neglecting his duties in any way, it is your duty to account him for it and advise him to correct his wrong actions. This may be in cases where he has failed to implement any Islamic law, like neglecting the duty of Jihad, or if he has implemented laws which contradict Islam, such as allowing the sale of alcohol. You may also voice your concerns if he is unjust in his dealings with the people such as not providing the basic necessities.
How Can You Approach the Khaleefah ?
In the first instance, you would write a letter to the Khaleefah. This would be read by one of his assistants (hajib) involved in administration, and would be dealt with by him, or brought to the attention of the Khaleefah himself if necessary. You could go to your local representative of the Majlis al-Ummah, particularly if it was regarding a local issue. You and every citizen of the Islamic State have access to a member of the Majlis. He would take your complaint and represent it at the next meeting of the council for consideration by the other members. If they decided the matter was grave enough to be taken further, they would advise the Khaleefah.
If the matter is of a more pressing nature, you could arrange to meet one of the Khaleefah's delegated assistants. He has similar authority to the Khaleefah, although he is finally accountable to him, so he may be able to deal with your problem himself. Otherwise, he is in constant communication with the Khaleefah and could represent your views to him.
If you are not satisfied with any of these, you have the right to meet the Khaleefah in person. At the court of the Khaleefah you would be received by his hajib (secretary), who could either pass on your message or arrange for you to meet the Khaleefah if you required.
Taking the Khaleefah to Court
If the Khaleefah fails to consider your problem as a valid argument and resolve any mistakes he has made, or you feel you have not been dealt with fairly, it is your right to take the matter to the Mahkamat al-Madhaalim (court of unjust acts). This court is concerned with disputes between the people and those in authority. The Qadi Madhaalim will study your complaint. If he finds that the Khaleefah has lost his sense of accountability to Allah (swt), is ignoring the Shari'ah (Divine Law), and is ruling by his own desires - he has the authority to order the Khaleefah to conform to Islam. Should the Khaleefah refuse, then he may be subject to dismissal from office by the Qadi Madhaalim and replaced by someone who is just. If your problem is legitimate, it will be solved immediately, not after 5 years!
Thus we can see that the Ruling System of the Islamic State gives you full license to account and advise the leader so far as his conformity to Allah's laws are concerned. It is forbidden for the Khaleefah to become a dictator - ruling by his own whims and desires, and it is your job to make sure he does not become one. In the history of Islam, it is only when the Muslims themselves neglected the duty of accounting those in authority that the state of affairs in the Muslim world declined. This is one of the elements which ensures that Allah's deen is preserved in its implementation, and demonstrates that final authority lies with the Muslim Ummah.
The Islamic Ruling System
As Muslims, it is part of our belief that Islam is a complete way of life which provides systems to govern each and every aspect of a human beings life, be they Muslims or non-Muslims. Unfortunately nowadays, due to the infiltration of certain corrupt ideas, Muslims have started to question the fact of whether Islam has provided a ruling system, not only applicable to the Muslims but to the whole of mankind.
The Islamic Ruling System is binding upon the entire Muslim Ummah. Meaning that it is an obligation to follow it. This is substantiated by the evidences provided in the description of the Islamic Ruling System.
Principles Of Ruling In Islam
It is of the utmost importance that all in the Ummah understand clearly the principles of ruling and its evidences in the same way in which we work to understand fully all other obligations (furood). However, a few guidelines need to be established before studying the principles of ruling in Islam. For instance, the absence of any single principle will make the system a non-Islamic system. Thus, all the principles have to exist in order for it to be considered an Islamic Ruling System, e.g. if the authority does not belong to the Ummah and the leader forces himself on the people, then the state can no longer be considered an Islamic state. Simply put, there must be proper conditions laid down that qualify a state to become an Islamic State, otherwise any state could claim illegitimately to be so, as is currently the case with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan etc.
The First Principle: Sovereignty belongs to the Shari'ah.
An individual does not run the affairs of the nation (Ummah) or those of another individual as he pleases; nor can the Ummah run her affairs as she pleases. The individual and the Ummah's actions and initiations are subject to Allah's (swt) commands and prohibitions. Thus, sovereignty belongs to the Shari'ah, i.e. the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Messenger (saw), and not to the Ummah. In other words, no human being has the right to legislate in Islam. Consequently, no law-making body exists in the Islamic ruling system. Evidence of this is abundant from the Qur'an, the Sunnah and Ijma' of the Sahabah (Consensus of the companions of the Messenger).
Evidence from the Qurian: Allah (swt) has said, "The rule is to none but Allah." [TMQ 6:57] "If anyone rules by other than what Allah has revealed they are kafiroon (unbelievers)." [TMQ 5:44] This clearly proves that the rule, judgement and supremacy are all to Allah (swt) alone.
Evidence from the Sunnah: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "No one among you becomes a believer until his feelings (emotions) are in harmony with what I have brought." The actions of Allah's Messenger (saw) since the day he was sent, to his death, clearly demonstrate that supremacy is to the Shari'ah of Allah (swt).
Evidence from Ijma' of the Sahabah: The actions of the Khulafa'a Rashidoon (the first four Khulafa'a) have indicated that supremacy is to the Shari'ah and not the people. The Sahabah did not object to this and consented. Their consensus is proof that supremacy is indeed to the Shari'ah and nothing else.
Therefore the supremacy is to the Shari'ah; for the Khaleefah is not given the pledge by the Ummah merely to be a hired man executing just what the Ummah decides - as is the case in the democratic system - he is given the pledge or allegiance by the Ummah to execute the rules of the Qurian and the Sunnah of the Messenger (saw), i.e. to execute the Shari'ah Laws and not just what people want; and if the people deviate and disobey the Shari'ah he should fight them until they repent (return).
The Second Principle: The Authority belongs to the Ummah.
Evidence of this principle can be looked at from two sides:
Firstly: The Shari'ah has given the right of appointing the Khaleefah to the Ummah; in other words it is the Ummah who chooses the Khaleefah and gives him the pledge of allegiance. This is accomplished by the pledge of allegiance given to him by the Muslims. This is backed by many ahadith from which we list the following: Ubada ibn al-Samit reported, "We pledged ourselves in complete obedience to the Messenger of Allah in wealth and woe..." Jarir ibn 'Abdullah reported, "I pledge myself in complete obedience to the Messenger of Allah." Abu Hurayrah (ra) reported, "The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: There are three types of people who Allah will not talk to on the Day of Reckoning, nor will he forgive them; they will be severely punished: A man who has water to spare and does not give it to the traveller, a man who gives his pledge to an Imam but not for his deen - he will only obey him if he gives him what he wants, otherwise he will not obey, and a man who strikes a deal with another man after 'Asr, swearing by Allah that he was given so much for the goods but this is not so."
Secondly: The Shari'ah allows the Khaleefah to take the authority from the Ummah once she gives him the pledge of allegiance then the Ummah is obliged to obey him for he is a Khaleefah with a pledge (bay'ah). So the authority is handed over to the Khaleefah by the Ummah by giving him a pledge of allegiance (bay'ah) to obey him. This indicates that the authority is to the Ummah.
Evidence about the Khaleefah taking the authority by a pledge can be deduced from the following: 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'A'as reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying, "Whosoever pledges allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can, and if another comes to dispute with him strike the neck of that man." (Muslim)
Nafi'a reported that 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar told him that he heard Allah's Messenger (saw) saying, "Whosoever takes his hand from allegiance to Allah will meet him on the Day of Resurrection without any evidence supporting him and whosoever dies while there was no allegiance on his neck dies a death of the days of ignorance." (Muslim)
Many other ahadith indicate that the authority is with the Ummah for she chooses a man from among herself, gives him the authority and gives him the pledge of allegiance according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw).
The Third Principle Appointing One Khaleefah is an Obligation
The Shari'ah has made it an obligation on every Muslim to have a bay'ah for a Khaleefah; the obligation is to fulfil the pledge. Every Muslim should have a bay'ah on his/her neck. This can only be achieved if a Khaleefah is appointed. The evidence for this principle is derived from the Sunnah and Ijma' of the Sahabah.
1. The Sunnah :
Many ahadith confirm that Muslims are forbidden from having more than one state and from having more than one ruler (Amir) in the whole world. The following are two ahadith related to this issue:
a. Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Said al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "When the bay'ah has been given for two Khaleefahs kill the latter of them." (Muslim)
b. Imam Muslim reported on the authority of 'Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'A'as that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Whosoever pledges allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart should obey him as long as he can and if another comes to dispute him you must strike the neck of that man." (Muslim)
2. The Ijma' of the Sahabah
In the book of Al-Fasil-fi-al Milal by Ibn Hazim, the Tarikh of al-Tabari, Al-'Aqd al-Fareed of Al-Waqidi, Al-Seerah of Ibn Kathir, Al-Sunan al-Kubra'a of Bayhaqi and Al-Seerah of Ibn Hisham it is reported that Al-Habbab ibn al-Mundhir said when the Sahabah met in the wake of the death of the Messenger of Allah (saw) at the saqifa (hall) of bani Sa'ida, "One Amir from us and one Amir from you (meaning one from the Ansar and one from the Muhajireen)." Upon this Abu Bakr replied, "It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs (rulers)..."
The Sahabah heard him, approved and consented; no one disputed the verdict, but submitted to it and accepted it as law (an indication of evidence from the Sunnah). The Ansar then conceded their claim to the Khilafah and al-Habbab ibn al-Mundhir was the first to give his pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr (ra). The Ijma' of the Sahabah then took effect on the day of al-saqifa that it is an obligation for all Muslims to have only one ruler.
The Fourth Principle
The Khaleefah Has the Exclusive Power to Adopt The Divine Laws - He Alone Enacts The Constitution and Various Laws
This principle, derived from the Qur'an, the Sunnah and Ijma' of the Sahabah, can be extracted from two different angles:
a. Obedience to the head of the Islamic State is an obligation on Muslims.
b. Managing the affairs of the Muslims is an obligation on the head of State.
The first point: Obeying the head of the Islamic State is an obligation on Muslims.
This has been clearly confirmed in many Qur'anic verses and ahadith to the point where the Shari'ah considered obedience to the ruler as part of obedience to Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw). Therefore obeying the ruler entails a reward and disobedience entails punishment.
The following is an evidence from the Qur'an: "O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority." [TMQ 4:59]
Evidence from the Sunnah:
Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, al-Nisa'i and Ibn Majah reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (ra) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, "Whoever obeyed me he obeyed Allah; whoever disobeyed me he disobeyed Allah, whoever obeyed the Amir he obeyed me and whoever disobeyed him disobeyed me."
Bukhari, Abu Daud, Ibn Majah and Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported on the authority of 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "The Muslim should hear and obey in whatever he liked or disliked as long as he is not ordered to commit a sin. If he were ordered to commit a sin he should neither hear or obey."
Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported on Ubada ibn al-Samit's authority that he said, "We pledged ourselves to the Messenger of Allah in complete obedience in wealth and woe, in ease and hardship and evil circumstances that we would not dispute with the people in authority unless a flagrant disbelief (kufr bu'ah) for which we have clear evidence from the Shari'ah is witnessed."
These Qur'anic verses and ahadith from the Sunnah indicate clearly that obedience to the head of state is an obligation, whether his title were the Khaleefah, the Imam, the Amir of the believers or the person in authority. He must be obeyed for he is the one in authority over the Muslim Ummah.
If the Shari'ah obliges Muslims to obey the people in authority with the Khaleefah as their supreme ruler his obedience would then be in matters he commands according to the Shari'ah. He is not to be obeyed in matters that are sinful nor in the event of his changing of the divine laws in any way.
The second point: Looking after Muslim's affairs is the duty of the head of the State
The head of the State is the guardian of the Ummah and the trustee of her affairs. He is, by Shari'ah, entrusted with protecting and looking after the Ummah's interests. That is why the Ummah gives him the authority to rule by what Allah (swt) has revealed so he works towards enforcing Islam in society and within the state as well as conveying the Islamic Message to the world.
Evidence from the Sunnah:
Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud and Tirmidhi reported on the authority of 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Each one of you is a guardian and you are all responsible about your guardianship, the Imam is a guardian of the people and he is responsible for his guardianship of the people."
The Structure Of the Ruling System of Islam
In Islam, the ruling system (and its other systems for that matter) is not designed by man, but rather by the Creator of all things, Allah (swt). Therefore, as Muslims we must abide by this ruling system. The ruling system Islam has given is one of unity. This is because the divine evidence has brought nothing else and forbidden us to adopt anything else. This ruling system of unity puts the power of ruling in one man's hands, i.e., the Khaleefah. No other person is allowed to share power with the Khaleefah. It is narrated by 'Abdullah ibn Amr ibn 'A'as, "Whoever gives allegiance to an Imam giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart shall obey him as long as he can. If another comes to dispute with the Imam, strike the head of the other." (Muslim and Bukhari).
Also, the Prophet (saw) said, "If two Khaleefahs are given the allegiance, kill the latter of them." (Muslim and Bukhari)
This proves that Islam prohibits having two rulers for the Muslims. Therefore, it is haram to form nation states with different rulers upon the Muslim lands. Therefore, the Islamic ruling system is one of unity and not of a federate structure.
In Islam, the ruling system is based wholly and solely on the divine text, i.e. the Qur'an, Sunnah and Ijma' of the Sahabah. The lives of the Sahabah should be an area of study, for a Muslim is obliged to take laws from the Ijma' of the Sahabah.
Unlike all other forms of ruling systems, Islam does not allow man to legislate rules within this system by utilising his own mind. Legislation is left only to Allah (swt). Man only has to recognise, understand, and implement these laws. We, therefore, disregard anyone who suggests ideas, concepts, and theories alien to the Islamic ruling system such as Democracy, Islamic Socialism, Islamic Republic (as in Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, etc.), and so on. It is totally inappropriate, and may even be kufr, to say that Islam did not give us a definite, detailed, clear picture of what the ruling system of Islam is. This would lead one to be implicitly stating that Islam is incomplete. Also, those who claim that the Islamic form of ruling system is not applicable in today's world are delving in the cauldron of kufr ideas. Islam is a deen applicable for all times and places!
Allah (swt) through the Qur'an, Sunnah and the Ijma' has given us a clear picture of what the Islamic form of ruling system is.
Departments of Ruling
Simply put, the Islamic ruling system consists of the following departments:
Delegated Assistants (Mu'awin Tafweedh)
Executive Assistants (Mu'awin Tanfeedh)
Amir of Jihad
Administrative System (Jihaas Idaari)
Majlis al-Ummah (Council of the Ummah)
It should be noted that of these bodies, three are actual rulers. A ruler is one who maintains the responsibility of implementing Islam, within the state and has the authority of executing Islamic punishments upon those who have violated any Islamic law. The other bodies have no authority to enforce Islamic laws on the people without the permission of the rulers.
The three bodies of rulers are the Khaleefah, Delegated Assistants and Governors. As for the judges, they incorporate two positions of actual ruling which are the Chief of Judges (Qadi al-Quda) and the Judge of Madhaalim (complaints against the State); while the other bodies of people are responsible for carrying out the orders of these rulers. Of course, the head of state is the Khaleefah. This distinction places restrictions on where, when, and how the Delegated Assistants, Governors, Head of Judges and Judge of Madhaalim may execute their rule upon the people. As such, the rulers within the Islamic State must be Muslims, males, just, free, able, adult, and sane.
The Khaleefah - Head of State
The word Khaleefah linguistically means 'successor' in the Arabic language. But, the Shari'ah of Islam has given us another, more comprehensive definition of the word Khaleefah. The Prophet of Allah (saw) said, "...there will be no more prophets after me, only Khulafa'a." (Bukhari) In this hadith the word Khulafa'a is not referring to successors, but to heads of the Islamic State. The word Khaleefah is, therefore, taken to mean 'that man who rules over a people by Islam,' acting as the head of the State. The same Shari'ah definition would apply if we used the word Imam, instead of Khaleefah, to indicate the head of State. And since in Islam, the bay'ah is given only to a head of the State, both the words Khaleefah and Imam are pertaining to the head of the State.
The Process of Bay'ah The method of installing the Khaleefah is through the process of bay'ah. The power to rule by Islam is given by the Ummah to the Khaleefah. Authority belongs to the Ummah and it deputises the Khaleefah to enact the Shari'ah. This is done through a contract between the Khaleefah and the Ummah. The Ummah must obey as long as the Khaleefah implements Islam on them. The process of bay'ah may occur after a general vote given by all the Muslims of the Islamic State or it may occur after a vote among the Leaders of the Ummah (ahl-al-halli-wal-'aqd). Voting is merely a means to determine the choice of the Ummah, it does not substitute the bay'ah. Non-Muslims, children, and Muslims residing out of the State do not have the right to vote. If all the Muslims of the Islamic State are voting then the bay'ah of in'iqad (pledge of acceptance, by which he becomes Khaleefah) is given to the man elected. However, if the vote occurs through the representatives, then a bay'ah of in'iqad is first given by the representatives, after which a second bay'ah of obedience (ta'aa) is given by the Ummah, to the person elected. The silence of the Ummah over the elected Khaleefah can be considered as the bay'ah of obedience (ta'aa). It is through this bay'ah process that a person attains his position as Khaleefah. The candidates for the position of Khaleefah may, in addition to self nomination, e chosen by the Majlis al-Ummah. It is from these candidates that the Ummah chooses for itself a ruler.
Once the appointment is made, the Ummah then has no right to dismiss the Khaleefah, as long as he upholds the Shari'ah and fulfils the conditions to be a Khaleefah. Since the contract made between the Ummah and the Khaleefah is for the Khaleefah to rule upon them with Islam, the Ummah has no right to dissolve the contract, as long as he maintains his part of the contract. Therefore, a Khaleefah has no term of office. He remains the head of State, as long as he is able to uphold the contract or until he tenders his resignation.
On the other hand, a Khaleefah may be dismissed for the following Islamic reasons:
If he becomes an apostate (i.e. becomes a non-Muslim).
If he neglects the prayers and proposes for others to do the same.
If he becomes physically incompetent to handle the duties assigned to him in his contract, such as losing sight, hands, both legs, etc. However, losing one ear or his nose or his sexual organs does not impair his ability to perform his duties.
If he persists in debauchery and immoral behaviour (fisq), injustice in public behaviour, and negligence of the Islamic laws.
If he changes his sex, since women are not allowed to assume positions of ruling.
If he becomes a captive, under the kuffar, from where he can not enforce his rulings upon the citizens of the State and freely maintain the operation of the State in addition to the absence of any possibility for his return.
If another person dominates him in his opinions and the Khaleefah is unable to exert his own opinion in the process of running the State. Here, the case would be that a second person is running the State, while the Khaleefah becomes symbolic.
In each of these situations, the case is brought to the highest court of the Islamic State i.e., the Court of Madhaalim (complaints against the State). The court arbitrates, of course, according to the Qur'an and Sunnah. The decision made by the Court of Madhaalim is binding on both parties.
The Delegated and Executive Assistants to the Khaleefah
The delegated assistants (Mu'awin Tafweedh) are appointed by the Khaleefah to assist him in ruling the State. The evidence for this appointment is derived from the hadith of the Prophet (saw) in which he said, "My two ministers (wazirs) from the people are Abu Bakr and 'Umar." (Tirmidhi).
Islam, on the other hand, allows these ministers to go beyond a specific function. The ministers whom the Prophet (saw) appointed were not specialised or assigned restrictively to a specific function. We, therefore, prefer to use the word Mu'awin (assistant) instead of ministers, so as not to confuse it with the Western terminology of minister.
The delegated assistant is one whom the Khaleefah delegates to perform all functions in the way of general delegations. In the appointment of the Delegated assistant it is necessary for the Khaleefah to cite both the aspects of general ruling and being his assistant in the contract, because appointing him in only one aspect restricts his function as a Mu'awin.
Such was the case when Abu Bakr appointed 'Umar as his assistant, and when 'Umar took 'Uthman and "Ali as his assistants, and when 'Uthman took Marwan ibn al-Hakam and 'Ali as his assistants. These delegated assistants are responsible to the Khaleefah and they inform the Khaleefah of the matters surrounding them.
The delegated assistants, therefore, have a general responsibility in ruling the state and must be appointed by the Khaleefah for this general responsibility. They are responsible to the Khaleefah for their actions and the Khaleefah must examine the delegated actions and disposals of these delegated assistants. We must remember that the contract for ruling is between the Ummah and the Khaleefah alone. It is the Khaleefah who is finally responsible for the proper implementation of Islam on the people.
The Khaleefah is allowed to engage himself in administrative matters. The Prophet (saw) did engage in administrative matters when he broke idols, organised the Jihad, and erased his title from the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. To facilitate matters, he may appoint executing assistants (Mu'awin Tanfeedh) to help him manage the administration of the state. Unlike delegated assistants, the executive assistants are only executors of the directives of the Khaleefah. They are not rulers. They may, also, be assigned to one specific area of work or administration.
Just as the authority of the Mu'awin Tanfeedh is limited so are the conditions for his appointment. The executive assistant carries out the orders and rules of the Khaleefah which are to be implemented, and then brings feedback to the
Khaleefah, regarding the execution.
The Wali and the 'Aamel of the Provinces Subdivisions of the wilayas or Provinces are called 'amalat or districts. Supervision and responsibility for these 'amalat is assigned to an 'aamel or sub-governor.
Having previously discussed the position of Khaleefah, we will contemplate here on the role of wali and 'aamel who implement Islam upon their residents. This general jurisdiction of the wali obliges us to consider him as a ruler. He, therefore, has the responsibilities which are assigned to the Khaleefah for the efficient operation of the state. However areas that might make him autonomous, such as finances of the state, the army, and the judiciary, as well as adopting laws other than those adopted by the Khaleefah, are not within his control since they might pose a threat to the unity of the state.
The wali may further subdivide his region into 'amalat and appoint 'aamels to them. These subdivisions and appointments each assist in the implementation of Islam and the resultant tranquillity of the state. The Prophet (saw) said, to his appointees, "Make it easy not difficult, make the people optimistic not pessimistic, do not make the people go away but make them come closer, and consult one another."
This is an indication for us to administer the Islamic State in a manner which will cause the people to come closer to Islam. The appointment of the wali is carried out by the Khaleefah. The appointment is given by the Khaleefah on the provision that the wali rules within his jurisdiction by Islam and does not venture, at anytime, to usurp the power of the Khaleefah. The qualifications for both the wali and the 'aamel are the same, since both have similar responsibilities. They are rulers and must therefore qualify for the conditions of rulers. They must be Muslim, male, mature, sane, 'adl (just), free, and able to handle their responsibility. The wali and the 'aamel have full command in their region of appointment. In their respective regions they are responsible for all the various departments of administration. However, they are ultimately responsible to the Khaleefah, who can oversee their decisions, and dismiss them if their conduct is incorrect. The Police of the Islamic State are at the disposal of the wali or 'aamel, in their efforts to establish the Shari'ah upon the people.
The Amir of Jihad
The directorates of the Amir of Jihad consist of four departments. These are :
1. The External Affairs (Foreign Policy)
2. The Military
3. The Internal Security
The Amir of Jihad is the director and supervisor of all four departments. The Khaleefah may delegate this position to a suitably qualified Muslim, or he may take on the role himself.
1. The External affairs (Foreign Policy)
The Foreign Policy of the Islamic State The foreign policy of the Islamic State covers the external policies of the state and its relationship with other nations and countries. The foreign policy in Islam serves three objectives:
1. To protect the entity of the state and the Ummah.
2. To facilitate the da'wah to other people and nations. 3. To organise the relationship of the Islamic State with other states.
When one considers these aims it becomes clearly apparent that the foreign policy of the Islamic State is not merely an obligation (fard) upon the Muslims to implement, but with the existing bloodshed, rape and destruction of Muslims around the world, like Bosnia, Kashmir, Palestine etc., it is a necessity.
It is an utmost duty upon the Muslim Ummah to convey the message of Islam to humanity. On His arrival from Khaybar, the Messenger of Allah (saw), addressing his companions (ra), said, "Oh people, Allah has sent me as a mercy to all mankind; do not dispute with me like the disciples disputed with Isa (as) son of Maryam. The companions exclaimed : And how did the disciples dispute, O Prophet of Allah? He (saw) answered : He (Isa) called them to that which I called you; he who was sent to a near place was pleased and satisfied, but he who was sent to a far place became displeased and heavy footed." And Allah (swt) says, "It is He who has sent the Messenger with the guidance and the deen of truth, that it may prevail over all other deens." [TMQ 9:33]
The duty to spread Islam necessitates that the Muslims be in contact with what is happening all over the world. This contact requires an awareness of the many differing states, peoples and thoughts, because all of them are essential to the goal, i.e. the spreading of Islam.
Our goal as an Islamic Ummah is to spread Islam to all corners of the globe and this means we are compelled to work on an international level. In other words we must know the situation and major problems of the world, understand the motives and public opinion of the people, the various political actions and manoeuvres and above all, we must be aware of what is happening in the international arena. This political awareness is of primary importance to the major states and is what politicians all over the world mainly concern themselves with.
The people of the Islamic State should have political awareness as one of their characteristics. If it is their duty to spread the Islamic call (da'wah), then this awareness must be made commonplace. We cannot begin to organise our relationships with the other states unless we achieve this awareness.
Hence, conveying the Islamic call is the axis around which the Foreign Policy of the Islamic State revolves, and is the basis upon which relationships with other states are built.
The Relationship of the Islamic State with Other States
The relationship of the Islamic State with other states should be built upon four approaches:
Firstly, the states of the Muslim world are to be considered as being part of one country. Hence, these countries are not considered in the sphere of foreign policy. Instead the procedure will be to unify them all into one state. For example, if the state was established in Egypt, then all the other Muslim countries would be considered - not as foreign states - but as part of the Muslim Ummah. We would not recognise them as separate states. Therefore, we would not establish our embassies in them or vice versa. Instead we should call the Muslims in those countries to their duty which is to unite themselves to the Islamic State.
Those states with whom the Islamic State has economic, commercial, good neighbouring and/or cultural treaties; they are treated in accordance to the terms of the treaties. However, the economic and commercial relations with them must be confined to certain items that benefit the Ummah. It must not lead to the strengthening of those states on our account.
Those states with whom we do not have treaties; the actual Imperialist states like America, France and Britain; and those states that have ambitions in the Islamic State, such as Russia. All these states are considered as potential enemies of war and invasion. All precautions should be taken with them.
Finally, those states that are actual enemies of war, such as Israel. These states must be treated as in a state of war and this must be the basis of all transactions.
The Basis and the Method for the Foreign Policy The root of interaction between the Islamic State and the other states is the duty to propagate the call of Islam (da'wah). The method by which to achieve this is the declaration of Jihad. This was the method of Muhammad (saw) as soon as the Islamic State was established in Madinah. It must be stressed that the Muslims do not and did not start fighting with the enemy without first presenting them with the opportunity to accept and embrace Islam, thereby becoming part of the Islamic State. This is the first process of the three stage method of delivering the call of Islam through Jihad.
If this offer is turned down, they are asked to pay jizyah (head tax) and to be part of the State. They would be treated as dhimma, i.e. the State would be responsible for their security and protection. They would be ruled by the Islamic Shari'ah and their land would become Muslim land and part of the Islamic State.
If the enemy on the other hand refused both of these options, namely to reject the Islamic Belief and System or reject the System and the payment of jizyah, the Muslims would proceed to the third stage and declare war upon them. Allah (swt) says: "And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah, altogether and everywhere."" [TMQ 8:39]
This third and final stage of Jihad has various implications that should expose many of the misconceptions held about Jihad
a. Jihad, contrary to the slander propagated by the West, is not barbaric. In fact, when the Muslims declare war, as offensive Jihad, the purpose is to remove any obstacle in the way of implementing Allah's (swt) deen, and the fighting is regulated by the rules of the Shari'ah. Therefore, in the third stage of Jihad after the first two options have failed, the Islamic army, when they enter and fight, are not allowed to kill women, children or the elderly. Nor will they fight civilians who are not supporting or participating in the fighting. Indeed, Islam defines a specific code of conduct for the Muslim army, that ensures justice even in the battle field. These rules include : no destruction of trees or buildings unnecessarily, no 'civilian targets', no mutilation of dead bodies, no raping of women, no torturing prisoners of war, etc. This lies in stark contrast with the practices of the kuffar in war, where every conceivable act of barbarity and transgression is perpetrated against the people.
b. By principle, Jihad is offensive, i.e. the Muslims initiate it to spread the boundary and domain of Islam, and offensive Jihad is the responsibility of the state. The foreign policies of all the existing Muslim regimes, such as Sudan, Iran or Saudi Arabia are clearly in contradiction to this fundamental principle of Islam, for they recognise and accept the national borders and their integrity, as laid down by the 'International Law.'
c. Jihad linguistically means to exert oneself to the utmost. Therefore, the word 'jihad' can be used to describe the effort put into studying, working or looking after children etc., but the Shari'ah definition of Jihad is very specific and is defined by the classical scholars as, "To fight the disbelievers (kafir) to the utmost, to make the word of Allah (swt) the highest in all the lands (i.e. sovereign)." Therefore, Jihad is linked by the Islamic Shari'ah to the physical fighting.
d. Since Jihad by principle is offensive and requires the state, that which is associated with it, i.e. defensive Jihad, is also integral to Islam. However, defensive Jihad, i.e. the repelling of kuffar who fight the Ummah or take her land, is not part of the foreign policy. Thus it is a duty that must be performed by the Ummah, whether they have a state or not.
2. The Military
The Army of the Islamic State
The issues of internal security, the ability to spread da'wah, and repel foreign attacks are taken care of by the army.
Allah (swt) has obligated us to spread Islam to the world and has specified the method as da'wah and Jihad, and that Jihad is fard. So every male Muslim who reaches the age of 15 is obliged to enlist in the army and undergo military training to prepare for Jihad. Allah (swt) says, "And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah, altogether and everywhere." [TMQ 8:39] The Prophet (saw) said, "And fight the people who associate (things) with Allah with your wealth, your hand and your tongue."
The Structure of the Army
The army is divided into two sections. Firstly, there are the 'regulars', who are employed as soldiers of the State's army and who are paid salaries from the State's budget. Secondly, there are the 'reservists', who comprise all the Muslims that are capable of fighting, and are mobilised when the demand for soldiers requires it.
The Khaleefah is the leader of the army; he appoints the commander-in-chief, a general for each brigade and a commander for each division. The brigadiers and commanders appoint the remaining ranks of the army. Members of the general staff are appointed according to their military culture by the general chief of staff.
The army comprises of one army, which is located in specific camps. Some of these camps must be located in different provinces (wilayaat) and strategic locations, and some must remain permanently mobile fighting forces. The camps are organised in numerous groups, each one of which is given a number to accompany its name, such as the 1st Army, the 3rd Army, or it can be named after a province (wilayah) or district ('imala).
The Function of the Army
One of the functions of the army, in Islam, is to fulfil the obligation of Jihad - the physical fighting (in the field of battle) against the kafiroon (rejecters), be it offensive or defensive, in order to make the Name (deen) of Allah (swt) dominant. Allah (swt) ordered Jihad in the ayah: "Make ready for them (the unbelievers) all you can of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby you may strike fear into the hearts of the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom you know not. Allah knows them. Whatsoever you spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid for you in full, and will not be wronged." [TMQ 8:60]
The Prophet (saw) showed the power of the state by marching the Muslim army inside Madinah before they went to Tabuk for war. This action frightened the enemy. As he (saw) said, "I have been given the victory by the terror thrown in the hearts of my enemies even from the distance of one month travelling." These functions of the army are all related to maintaining the external security of the state.
The Islamic state's foreign policy is to spread Islam throughout the world. The method employed by the state to deliver Islam is through da'wah and Jihad. Therefore, since the Ummah has given the authority to the Imam or Khaleefah to carry this Jihad, it is imperative that the leader of the army be the head of state. The Prophet (saw) established relationships with others on the basis of spreading Islam. He formalised the Treaty of Hudaybiyah in order to allow himself the opportunity to spread Islam throughout the Arabian peninsula. The Prophet (saw) was the head of state in Madinah and he (saw) directed the army to all the battles that took place, during his time. After that, the Khulafa'a Rashidoon also were always the ones to give the orders for where and when the army should fight. It becomes clear from these points that the head of state is the person responsible for the leadership of the army.
Giving the Army Islamic and Military Culture The army is usually the tool that opens up other countries to the da'wah of Islam. Thus, the army personnel have to be intellectually elevated. Meaning, that they have to be well educated about Islam and be able to convey the message to other people. Furthermore, the personnel have to be politically aware so that they remain focused and are not manipulated by the opponents.
Iman of the Army Personnel The army is an integral part of delivering the message of Islam to the world. Its people must, therefore, be highly educated in Islam, and with firm iman. The army must place emphasis on building people with these characteristics within its ranks. An army with strong iman will surely be able to defeat its opponents. We find this to be the case in the time of the Prophet (saw). Muslims were outnumbered in many of the early battles, but with the help of Allah (swt) still achieved victory. In the battle of Badr there was a 3 to 1 ratio. In Uhud, there was a 4 to 1 ratio. In the battle of Ahzab, there was a 4 to 1 ratio.
3. The Internal Security
The department of Internal Security oversees everything connected with security inside the Islamic State, utilising the military forces for this purpose. The internal security, as well as the external security, is preserved by the army. The functions of 'police' (al-shurta') are under the control of the army. The Prophet (saw) appointed Qays ibn Sa'ad as the head of security. He was there to protect the Prophet (saw) when he was in Majlis. It is preferable for the internal security force to maintain the procedures of the regular army, so that it will remain organised, efficient, and co-ordinated as in a regular army. The internal security force has the function of surveillance, preserving law and order, and to execute the laws adopted by the state. The Prophet (saw) appointed 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud as the leader of surveillance (assas). Surveillance, by this part of the army, does not mean to invade the privacy of others. Rather, its usage is for general surveillance. Since maintaining the internal security is an action the state is responsible for, it has no right to levy payments on the citizens of the state for executing this function.
4. The Industry Preparation for the foreign policy will require a strongly equipped army. Therefore, the Islamic State will endeavour to obtain the latest technology in warfare, including nuclear capability, space programmes and computer technology, to be ready to fight the enemy in a like way as she is fought. The economy and industry in the Islamic State will be similarly geared towards sustaining the army and the effort of Jihad.
The department of industry directs all affairs connected with industry, including heavy industry, such as the production of motors engines and car bodies; metallurgical industries, electronics and light industries; and factories of private and public ownership connected with the military industry. All factories of whatever type should be established on the basis of the military policy.
It is under the guidance of the department of the Amir of Jihad that the Islamic State will implement its foreign policy and propagate the deen of Islam to the rest of mankind. By these means, and the help of Allah (swt), the state will be able to achieve the dominance of the word of Allah (swt) throughout the world.
The judicial system in Islam is solely based on the Shari'ah. We must be mindful of the fact that Justice can not be fully served until and unless Islam is applied in its totality. To do otherwise, would mean leaving parts of Allah's commandments and accepting the rule of man as better able to cope with the issue at hand. This not only leads to the disruption of the society's well-being but is also an acknowledgement that Allah (swt) is not truly the Sovereign. We find in the Qur'an, Allah (swt) says to the Prophet (saw): "But no by your Lord they can have no (real) faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them and in their souls find no resistance against your decisions but accept them with the fullest conviction." [TMQ 4:65]
The details of the Islamic judicial system are discussed elsewhere, but it is useful to discuss here the relationship of the ruling system with the courts. The Judge of The Court for Unjust Acts (Qadi al-Madhaalim) This category of judges within the ruling system of Islam consists of judges who settle disputes arising among the people and the state. This judge has jurisdiction within a court called 'Mahkamat al Madhaalimi (The Court for Unjust Acts) in the Islamic State. In essence, this judge of The Court for Unjust Acts is appointed to remove all unjust acts within the Islamic State, whether they are committed by the Khaleefah, Governors (walis), or any other official of the state. In cases of disputes between the people and the officials of the Islamic State, the judge of this court has the right to dismiss the official of the state once his negligence of the Shari'ah or injustice committed upon the people is established. As examples, this court may investigate all matters executed by the Islamic State involving discrimination upon citizens, improper application of the Shari'ah, improper interpretation of the Shari'ah or the Constitution of the Islamic State, negligence by the Khaleefah of the opinions given to him, forcing a tax unduly upon the citizens of the Islamic State, etc.
An interesting situation arises when a case is studied involving the Khaleefah's negligence of the Shari'ah. The judge of The Court for Unjust Acts (Mahkamat al Madhaalim) will have to either pass a judgement in favour of the actions of the Khaleefah or against him. If it is in favour of the Khaleefah, then the Khaleefah's mandate will remain, and will, in fact, render the case as being proper and not negligence. If, on the other hand, the judge decides against the Khaleefah, which entails negligence of the Shari'ah, the Khaleefah must abide by the judgement of the judge. If he fails to do so, the judge will be authorised to remove the Khaleefah from his position on the grounds of negligence of Shari'ah.
The Administrative System
The administrative system is that body of people which executes the Islamic State's orders upon the citizens and manages the Islamic State's affairs. Since the Islamic State must implement the Shari'ah upon all of its citizens, it becomes necessary to have an administrative system to accomplish this. Many rules in Islam compel the Islamic State to have an administrative body for their implementation. As such, the rule for collection of zakat, which necessitates the Islamic State to employ personnel for its proper implementation, is one example. Any style or tactic used would be permissible. But, the important point is that 'the job gets done'. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Islamic State to use the most efficient style to implement the rule of Islam, as long as they fall within the bounds of the Shari'ah.
We know that the Prophet (saw) managed the affairs of the Ummah, during his period in Madinah. He (saw) appointed many administrators to carry out various functions so that the Islamic State would run efficiently. As an example, he appointed 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) as a scribe for treaties which the Prophet (saw) concluded with other nations.
The Prophet (saw) gave the management of his Seal (the one he used to imprint his signature on official documents of the State) to Al-Harith ibn Auf al-Mazi. Ibn Abi Fatimah was designated to compile the statistics of the ghanima (spoils of war). Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman was the writer for the numbers of cultivated fruits in the Hijaz area of the Arabian peninsula. 'Abdullah ibn Arqam was appointed to calculate the number of people in the tribes and was further assigned the task of management of water in the Islamic State. In the twentieth year of the Hijrah, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, as the second Khaleefah, initiated the deewan as a list of names of soldiers and other essential facts. This method of keeping a deewan was borrowed from the Persians who had adopted this style for keeping records of their soldiers, battle gear, and other essential information. A similar technique was employed by 'Umar (ra), since it was a permissible (mubah) means.
Regarding the appointments to these administrative departments, it is permitted to have any citizen of the Islamic State, male or female, Muslim or non-Muslim, as long as he or she is suitably competent to be a part of this administrative system. It would be important to have a suitable management structure to run the administrative system. We may recall here that the Khaleefah has an entourage of assistants which carry out administrative functions. As discussed previously, they are the Executive Assistants (Mu'awin Tafweedh). The difference between the general administrative body and the Executive Assistants is that the latter is a caretaker of the Khaleefah's administrative tasks. The former is dealing with administration of the larger Islamic State. It was therefore proved that the Executive Assistants must be Muslims, whereas the general administrators may be Muslims or non-Muslims.
We now have a general idea of the functions of the administrative body of the Islamic State. Its task is to execute the ruler's command in a competent and efficient manner. It aids the Islamic State in applying the laws of Allah (swt) upon this earth. Of course, one can only theorise on paper the advantages of an administrative system when there is no Islamic State.
Shura It is of utmost necessity to comprehend the concept of shura, as used in Islam, and what it actually means before indulging in a detailed discussion on Majlis al-Ummah. Allah (swt) states in the Qur'an: "Pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs, and when you have decided (upon a course of action), place your trust in Allah." [TMQ 3:159] "And those who answer the call of their Lord and establish worship, and whose affairs are a matter of counsel.Ë [TMQ 42:38]
The last two ayat are directly related to the issue of consultation. Shura denotes engaging in mutual consultation or mutual discussions regarding a particular matter i.e. taking people's opinion. Taking opinions occurs on the part of the Khaleefah or any Amir or responsible person be it a ruler or a leader. As for the declaration of the opinion to the person in charge, be it a ruler or a leader, it is just a naseeha (advice).
Before addressing the application of shura, as taken by the Messenger of Allah (saw) in relation to our affairs nowadays, we need to study the idea of taking an opinion, and remove any ambiguity existing in the minds of the Muslims. Realistically, an opinion can be taken regarding :
1. Matters of Shari'ah (legislative matters).
2. Matters of Intellect or Technicalities.
3. Opinions Which Directly Lead to Actions.
1. Matters of Shari'ah (legislative matters) :
As for matters of Shari'ah, there is no shura at all. In order to reach the Islamic opinion in any Shari'ah matter, proper ijtihad must be conducted, meaning no one's opinion should be taken in matters related to wahi, i.e. haram and halal. This can be seen in the action of the Messenger (saw) in the treaty of Hudaybiyah. In that incident he (saw) did not consult the companions and refused to listen to their complaints regarding the terms of the treaty, saying, "...and I will not disobey His (swt) commands."
2. Matters of Intellect or Technicalities:
For matters of intellect or technicalities only those with the knowledge of that specific field would be consulted. For example, in the Battle of Ahzab, the Prophet (saw) received news of a dangerous confederacy, consisting of 10,000 people, aiming to besiege Madinah. The Muslims in Madinah decided to fight against the invading enemy from inside their town, and they manned all the buildings surrounding Madinah. Howeer, there was one area left open, where Salman al-Faresi suggested that a trench be dug in that place, as the Persians used to do in similar situations. The Prophet (saw) accepted the advice, and he himself took part in digging that trench.
3. Opinions Which Directly Lead to Actions in the Mubah Issues :
Finally, opinions which directly lead to actions in the mubah (permissible) affairs of Islam where no expertise is required to arrive at a conclusion, and are apart from the commands of Qur'an and Sunnah, may have the Ummah's input. This is the domain of the Majlis al-Ummah. In this case, the Ummah's wishes would be sought so that the Ummah's involvement remains active. Allah (swt) states in the Qur'an: "Pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs, and when you have decided (upon a course of action), place your trust in Allah." [TMQ 3:159]
This final area, in which shura may be sought, is the area in which the Majlis al-Ummah plays an active role, i.e. in the mubah issues. At this point, when this opinion is sought, it becomes mashura. Thus, mashura means taking the opinion of the majority in Majlis al-Ummah concerning mubah matters, which becomes binding upon the ruling apparatus to implement. An example in which the Majlis al-Ummah would play a role could be choosing the place of where a school or hospital should be built in a community.
Majlis al-Ummah (Council of the Ummah)
The Majlis al-Ummah is part of the ruling structure of Islam. It deals with matters which are mubah and do not require an expert to arrive at the correct conclusion. These matters of the Majlis al-Ummah are termed as 'mashura'. The majority's opinion is the binding opinion, in this case, since there is no set right or wrong in the mubah matters. The Khaleefah is therefore obliged to uphold the opinions of the Majlis al-Ummah, as long as the opinions are in the legal area of opinion for the Majlis al-Ummah. This is substantiated by the hadith of the Prophet (saw) : "If both of you (referring to 'Umar and Abu Bakr) agree on a mashura, I would not go against it.."
Structure and Functionality of Majlis al-Ummah The persons who represent the Muslims in voicing their opinions to the head of the state are called to the Majlis al-Ummah. It is allowed for the non-Muslims to be in certain sessions of the Majlis, for the purpose of presenting complaints about oppression by the hand of the ruling apparatus or to complain about any problems, which they encounter with regards to the implementation of Islam upon them.
These members of the Majlis al-Ummah are elected by the people, and there is no gender distinction in who can be a member. As long as the candidate carries the citizenship, is sane and is in his/her post-puberty years, then he or she qualifies.
Pertaining to the structure of the Majlis al-Ummah, there can be two main committees. One to oversee the central government and one for the provincial government. Within these main committees exist sub-committees which are assigned specific tasks based on the ability of the individuals.
Checks and Balances
The nature of Islam is to preserve justice and societal harmony, and to uproot and eliminate institutional oppression if and when it presents itself. Sovereignty belongs to Islam's legislative sources, and the aim of Islam's legislative sources is to secure and uphold the societal ideals, while satisfying the individual needs of each human being in the society. Islam granted the people the authority to implement the Shari'ah rules whereby these aims and objectives would be maintained. The people in turn appoint one person (The Khaleefah) to rule them by Islam, and permitted the people to use force to remove the Khaleefah, in case he clearly went against the Shari'ah.
One of the branches of the judicial system is called Mahkamat al Madhaalim (Court of Oppressive Acts). The primary role or function of this judicial branch is to settle disputes between the people and the Khaleefah. The order or finding of a judge in the judicial branch cannot be stayed, but rather it must be implemented, even if the order was to remove the Khaleefah himself, or anyone that he deputised. Failure to implement the order or finding of a judge in Mahkamat al Madhaalim, provides a license to the people to remove the Khaleefah, even by force.
One of the functions of the Majlis al-Ummah is to create a platform whereby the people can voice either their satisfaction or their dissatisfaction and complaints to the government. The Mahkamat al Madhaalim would be presented with the complaints from the Majlis al-Ummah or the individual in the state could take his complaint to Mahkamat al Madhaalim directly. Everyone is subject to Islam's legislative sources and as such there is no elite class in the Islamic society, and anyone who is under the jurisdiction of the Islamic State, be they Muslim or non-Muslim, must have their rights protected. Therefore, Islam's method of preserving justice and social harmony, and uprooting and eliminating oppression is realistic and practical. Another method of establishing 'checks and balances' on the government is the process of nominating the Khaleefah. The Khaleefah, as one option, may be elected from the choices presented by the Majlis al-Ummah. Thus, the Majlis al-Ummah makes sure that the individual elected to the pst of the Khaleefah is a practising Muslim who fulfils the requirements. Consequently, an individual looking to serve his own interests cannot become the Khaleefah.
Furthermore, another element that is an integral part of establishing a mechanism of checks and balances within the system is taqwa (fear of Allah). The ruler carries out every action based on the concept of being questioned by Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement. Thus, the ruler would make sure that he fulfils his part of the contract as ruler of the Muslim Ummah so that he may face Allah (swt) without fearing His (swt) punishment, due to negligence or serving his own interests.
Thus, we can see that Islam provides a system of government which is just, because it implements only Allah's (swt) laws rather than man-made laws. Only when Muslims understand the mechanisms of ruling which Islam provides will they have confidence in it, and realise the flaws and weaknesses of other systems. May Allah (swt) help us in our duty to establish it!
Ruling in Islam The situation of those in authority is of utmost importance for the people of any society. This is because every decision they make and every rule they implement has repercussions which affect the whole population. So, when those in authority have failings, the whole society becomes characterised by these failings. Today, the whole world is subject to man-made laws. Man who is limited in his knowledge, prone to errors and subject to prejudice and greed. As a result of this, the rules which govern the world reflect these aspects of man's character - leading to oppression of the weak, injustice and corruption. People in one part of the world are allowed to starve, while in another, surplus produce is burnt or dumped in the sea. We are subject to taxes we do not want and cannot afford to pay. And we are told what we can and cannot do by a handful of politicians who are no better than and usually much worse than ourselves.
The Islamic ruling system is the only one which gives a way out from these problems. Instead of being subject to man-made laws, where one person is made to bow before another, our lives and society are governed by the law of Allah (swt) the Supreme. Here, it is the people who have authority to ensure that the ruler implements Allah's law, solely and in its entirety, and that he never follows his own whims and desires, so becoming a dictator.
It is the job of the Ruling System of the state to make sure that all the administrative matters within its boundaries run smoothly and facilitate the easy living of the subjects, whether Muslim or not, within the Islamic framework.
As well, the state will be the effective means of delivering the call to Islam to all the nations of the world. It has a powerful army to facilitate this task, and also to defend its frontiers from the likes of the aggressors who currently plague the Muslim world; the problems in Bosnia, India and Israel will be no more than a painful, but distant memory. All the systems of Islam that are collected here are tied together to form a perfectly balanced and co-ordinated whole. Each is dependent for its functioning on the others, and none would be complete if considered on its own. You can see therefore how the Ruling System of Islam ties them all together to give a way of life that is unsurpassed in the history of humanity.