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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Islamic

As anti-government protests sweep the Muslim world and tyrants begin to fall the question of who will replace them is now on the minds of the ummah.

If we look back to the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his struggle to establish the first IslamicState, we see he صلى الله عليه وسلم approached many tribes seeking the support (nussrah) for establishing the authority of Islam. He صلى الله عليه وسلم suffered persecution and difficulty in seeking the nussrah most notably in Ta'if where they hurled insults and stones at him until the whole of his body including his feet bled.
Whilst the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and sahaba were struggling in the dawah in Makkah, Allah سبحانه وتعالى was preparing two tribes with the honour of becoming the future Ansar who supported the establishment of the first Islamic State in Medina.

These two tribes were Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj and five years before the hijra a severe battle took place between them called the Battle of Bu'ath, which led them on the path to becoming Muslim and giving the final nussrah.

'Aisha (ra) narrates about this point: The day of Bu'ath was a day (i.e. battle) which Allah caused to take place just before the mission of His Messenger so that when Allah's Messenger came to Medina, they (the tribes) had divided (into hostile groups) and their nobles had been killed; and all of that facilitated their conversion to Islam. [Bukhari]

The Battle of Bu'ath was a defining moment in the history of Islam and the anti-government demonstrations today may also turn out to be such a turning point.

Today, the ummah is feeling the shocks of the regimes collapsing and martyrs falling in the streets and this will generate an intellectual process which seeks answers for a way forward.

This is mentioned by Taquideen an-Nabhani in the book Attakattul el-Hizbi (Structuring of a Party):
Vitality usually streams into the Ummah when severe shocks occur in the society and produce a common feeling. This collective feeling leads to an intellectual process, which in turn produces a host of propositions and ideas as a result of discussions about the causes and effects of the shock, as well as the direct and indirect means to save the Ummah.

The problems people face in life will naturally provoke thinking in the person as they search for a solution. Similarly, the severe problems and shocks faced by the ummah during the fall of the tyrants have provoked many elements of the society to question and debate the next steps. The scholars, politicians, media, political parties, army, Islamic groups and western governments are all involved in this debate to varying degrees of influence. Even if after the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and beyond a Khilafah does not emerge, this should not be a source of despair for the ummah and the dawah carriers in particular. Rather these demonstrations have achieved many positive outcomes for the Islamic revival and are a step closer to the victory of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the establishment of the Khilafah.

1. For any idea to become a concept that shapes people's behaviour it must have a reality that people can perceive and relate to. During the 1950's and 60's in the Arab world there was widespread support for the rulers even though they were dictators ruling by non-Islam who upheld the interests of their colonial masters. At this time Hizb ut-Tahrir exposed the rulers, their oppression and their subservience to the west but this was viewed as "strange" by many in the ummah. However, actions speak louder than words, and over time through decades of oppression the ummah has realised who their rulers truly are. The hatred of the tyrants, the destruction of their portraits and hounding them out the country shows the ummahs true feelings towards them.

2. The ummah were in fear of the rulers who tortured, abused and imprisoned them. Those few dawah carriers who stood up were dealt with brutally to the point where thousands languished in the dungeons of the tyrants. But these demonstrations removed the fear from the ummah who faced the tanks and live ammunition with their bare chests chanting Allahu Akbar!

3. The hypocrisy of western leaders who supported and armed these tyrants is now plain for the ummah to see, such as when the police use anti-riot weapons with "made in Britain" on them or when the British PM tours the Middle East with arms companies in tow.

4. The Hizb adopted a clear and precise method for establishing the Islamic State from the sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, which stressed the importance of building a public opinion for revival and gaining the physical support (nussrah) from those who prop up the rulers (primarily the armies). Many Islamic groups rejected this method in favour of compromise, gradualism and power sharing with the governments. Yet the millions protesting in Tunis and Cairo proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the power of public opinion in generating change.

5. Some Islamic movements condemned the Muslim armies as corrupt and began developing their own nussrah by creating armed groups to fight the governments directly, or ignored the armies completely in their dawah believing public opinion was enough. However, the pivotal role the armies played in propping up the regimes became clear when the armies removed their support for Ben Ali and then Mubarak. The army in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya refused to fire on demonstrators and many held their own demonstrations and joined the protestors. The days spent mingling with the armies has helped break down the barriers imposed by the tyrants and will lead to greater dialogue and trust in the future between the armies and the wider society.

6. Another positive outcome is an awakening of the scholars who may now begin to distance themselves from the corrupt regimes and take their place as leading figures in the Islamic revival.
A statement issued by 90 preachers and religious scholars from all over the Muslim world praised the revolutions that ousted the dictatorships of Tunisia and Egypt for defeating oppression and ushering in a new era of justice and freedom.

The statement, however, criticized the revolution's call for the installation of full democracies. Democracy, Muslim clerics argued, allows the people have the final say in their countries' affairs, which leads to the prevalence of several un-Islamic practices.

"In democracies, people might vote for things that are prohibited in Islam like establishing brothels, allowing homosexuality, drinking alcohol, and usury, and prohibiting the call for prayers or the veil."
Calling itself the Network of Free Ulema of Libya, the group of over 50 Muslim scholars said the government and its supporters "have demonstrated total arrogant impunity and continued, and even intensified, their bloody crimes against humanity."

"They have thereby demonstrated total infidelity to the guidance of God and his beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم," said the undated statement obtained by Reuters on Monday.

"This renders them undeserving of any obedience or support, and makes rebelling against them by all means possible a divinely ordained duty," said the scholars, who asked not to be named for security reasons.

7. In Tunisia Islam was suppressed for decades. The post "independence" leader Bourguiba calledthe hijab an "odious rag", seized properties held by Islamic trusts, closed their courts and enshrined secular family codes. He even went so far as arguing that fasting during Ramadan should not be observed for it reduces productivity! He then appeared on television with his cabinet, eating and drinking during Ramadan! His successor Ben Ali was no different. Women who wore hijab were denied access to education and jobs. Many say police used to stop them in the streets, strip them of their headscarves and force them to sign papers renouncing the hijab. Men with long beards were similarly treated.

A similar suppression occurred in Central Asia under the Soviets where they closed down mosques and drove Islam underground. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union Central Asia saw Muslims re-opening their mosques, women wearing hijab and people starting to learn their religion. Central Asia today has millions of supporters for Khilafah. Tunisia may go in a similar direction. The mosques are beginning to fill up, women openly wearing hijab and public protests calling for Islam.

The Muslims living in the future Khilafah may very well study these protests in their history books and see the part they played in reviving the ummah and establishing the Khilafah, just as the Battle of Bu'ath did in establishing the first Islamic State.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى tests the Muslim ummah out of love so they become purified and return to the straight path - sirat ul-mustaqim. These tests bring us closer to the victory of establishing the Khilafah and prepare the ummah for being the future rulers of the world.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "A man will continue to be tested until he walks upon the face of the earth with no sin on him." [Ahmed]

The dawah carriers now face a test to answer the ummah's questions that have arisen as a result of these shocks and explain the correct Islamic concepts and Islamic method for moving the Muslim world forward. Even if these protests bring no immediate change we shouldn't be disheartened or become defeated that we can never establish the Khilafah. Rather it means we need to work harder to gain Allah's سبحانه وتعالى pleasure and work righteous deeds so we are worthy of victory.

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
The English translation of the excellent Arabic book ‘Da’wah ilal Islam’ (Da’wah to Islam) by Sheikh Ahmad Mahmoud has finally been published in paperback. It is now available from Revival Publications

The 377 page book is a quality translation including the Arabic ayat and ahadith, the original Arabic book was published in Lebanon by Al-Waie Publications.

The following is the Introduction from the book:

Introduction

Praise be to the Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessing be upon the seal of the Prophets and Messengers, the one sent as a mercy to the worlds; Muhammad al-Ameen, and on his family, companions and those who followed him with Ihsaan until the Day of Judgement. As for what follows:

* This book, “The Da’wah to Islam”, deals with one of the most important subjects presented in theIslamic arena. This subject is wide, with many branches, and delicate. It is a subject whose terrain is rugged and not smooth. The Alimmah (scholors) and mujtahidoon from our past - may Allah be pleased with them - did not discuss it at great length as they did with other topics, such as the ‘ibadaat (ritual worships), mu’amalaat (societal transactions), marriage and inheritance etc. The major part they discussed in the subject of, “the call to Islam” revolved around “enjoining the ma’roof (good) and forbidding the munkar (evil)” and around the individual da’wah. This is because it did not occur to them that the Islamic Khilafah would be uprooted, the Islamic state would be destroyed, theIslamic Sharee’ah would be suspended and that the Islamic lands would be transformed from dar al-Islam (the domain of Islam) to dar al-kufr (domains of kufr). If any such thing did occur to them, then they would not be able to present answers and solutions to it, because the mujtahid solves real issues and not issues that are expected or assumed.

Therefore, this book merely contributes to the subject. We do not claim that it is complete and comprehensive. However, it is a serious attempt to relocate this subject from the whims, wilderness, extravagance and blind imitation of the Kuffar to the correct Islamic Shar’ee foundations.

* In discussing da’wah to Islam the book concentrates more on the methodology of da’wah than its obligations and mandubaat (recommended actions). This is because the need today to have knowledge of this methodology has become most pressing and important, superseding all other aspects.

The book concentrates more on the “method of da’wah to establish the Islamic Khilafah” because this aspect represents the backbone of the da’wah to Islam today. Today, under these circumstances where the Islamic state does not exist, every call that does not make the establishment of the Islamic state its pivot and the centre of its attention, is a partial or deviant call.

* When the book focuses only on the ‘da’wah to Islam’ and concentrates on the ‘method of the da’wah’, especially the ‘method of da’wah to establish the Islamic Khilafah’, it emanates from the fundamental Islamic premises which, although not the subject of discussion of this book, are, however, briefly presented. For example:

1- The Islamic ‘Aqeedah (creed) in its clarity and purity, is the most important issue in Islam.
2- In the pillars of the Islamic ‘Aqeedah, it is not enough to have zann (speculation) or least amount of zann, rather they must be qata’i (definite and decisive). It is not allowed to have taqleed (imitation) in it, otherwise the Muslims will end up taking superstition and follow those who practise deception.
3- In the thoughts relating to the ‘Aqeedah (peripheral branches to the pillars) it is sufficient to have the least amount of zann, and taqleed is allowed in this matter, the same as it is in the Shar’ee rules.
4- The Shar’ee rules are taken from their Shar’ee evidences only and they are: the Qur’an, Sunnah, ijmaa’ (consensus) of the Sahabah and qiyas (analogical deduction) based on a Shar’ee ‘illah (divine reason) which has come in a Shar’ee text. The one who deduces the Shar’ee rule from its evidence is the learned mujtahid only. The muqallid (follower) is obliged to make sure he has understood the statement of the mujtahid he follows properly.
5- When the obligations become numerous and difficult for the Muslim such that he is unable to undertake them all, he is required to give preference to the greatest obligation (according to the Shar’ee evidences and not according to whims and personal descretion).

* When the Muslims are in their natural situation, ie where the Islamic Khilafah exists, carrying of theIslamic da’wah internally would be represented in enjoining the ma’roof and forbidding the munkar and inviting the non-muslims who live inside the Islamic state to embrace Islam. Carrying the da’wah externally would be represented in inviting the non-muslims, with proof and decisive evidence, to embrace Islam; and this will be done through Jihaad when the Khaleefah deems it appropriate.

As for when the Muslims are in an unnatural situation, ie where the Khilafah does not exist, carrying the Islamic da’wah would be focused internally on the work to establish this Khilafah. As for enjoining the ma’roof and forbidding the munkar, which is a work of reform, and the da’wah to non-muslims to embrace Islam, this will continue but to a lesser degree. This is because when there is no Islamicstate in the Muslim lands implementing the Islamic Sharee’ah, then the lands become dar al-kufr. In such a case munkaraat become the norm, so the reformatory partial action becomes insufficient or ineffective. The obligation then becomes the radical transformative action, which destroys the system of kufr and establishes the system of Islam. As for carrying the Islamic da’wah outside the Muslim lands when the Islamic Khilafah does not exist, it is represented by the da’wah to non-muslims to enter into Islam. This manifests in attacking the non-islamic thoughts to demonstrate their fallacy, and mobilising the efforts of the Muslims living outside the Islamic lands to assist in the establishment of the Islamic Khilafah in the Islamic lands.

* Indeed, any book that addresses the subject of ‘da’wah to Islam’ is supposed to deal with the basic rules relating to this da’wah, such as the following:

1- The fact that the work to establish the Khilafah today is fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation), undertaken by expending the utmost energy and with the greatest speed.
2- The fact that this work must be in a group, and it is not enough to undertake it individually.
3- The fact that this group must have an ameer (leader) who is obeyed along with a clarification of the limits of his Shar’ee powers.
4- The fact that this group includes men and women, because carrying the da’wah is obligatory on both of them.
5- The fact that the bond in this group is the Islamic ‘Aqeedah and the Islamic thoughts.
6- The group is obliged to adopt from the Islamic thoughts, rules and opinions everything it needs to undertake its task, and to make allegiance to the thoughts and not to personalities.
7- The group must political, because its work is political, which is taking the power to establish theIslamic Khilafah.
8- The fact that the work of this group is intellectual; and is not the use of violence. This is because it is a work to take the power via the Ummah, after generating the public opinion based on general awareness.
9- The prohibition for this group to share power in the current kufr regimes.
10- The prohibition for this group to be dependent on any of the current kufr systems. Receiving financial assistance or other aid from such systems is a type of dependence.

* Similarly, it is incumbent on any book that embarks on discussing the subject of da’wah to Islam, to deal with the ahkaam (rules) which demonstrate the way this da’wah is undertaken, such as the following matters:

1- The practical principle; that is, the action should not be improvised, rather it has to be preceded by thought. This thought must not be hypothetical; rather it should result from sensation of the reality. This thought combined with this action must be for the purpose of achieving an objective. This objective, action and thought must all be derived from Islam. The ultimate goal is to attain the ridwan (pleasure) of Allah (swt) based on the belief in the Islamic ‘Aqeedah. This keeps the da’wah carrier in the atmosphere of Imaan. At the same time this gives him incentives and keeps him under control.
2- The distinction between the style and method. The tareeqah (method) is the Sharee’ah ahkaam (rules), which are constant until The Day of Judgement. As for the usloob (styles), they are mubah (permitted) actions selected by the da’wah carrier, which suit the circumstances and situation.
3- Knowledge of the political reality is necessary just like knowledge of the ahkaam shari’ah. That is because the application of the hukm Shar’ee requires knowledge of the hukm Shar’ee and of its manaat (the reality for which the rule has come). If we know the Shari’a rule but are ignorant of its manaat, then we will be unable to apply this rule. If we try to apply it, we would make a mistake because we would apply it to other than its reality. The one who works to demolish the system and take power must have sufficient comprehension of the political reality, not only locally but also regionally and internationally.
4- The work to take the authority and establish the Khilafah cannot be through the people of power and those who hold the authority alone, as some would think. Rather, the da’wah must be conveyed first amongst the people. Once the da’wah passed the cultural stage to the interaction stage and succeeded in the interaction with the Ummah, and a public opinion emanating from the general awarenes was generated in the Ummah, the kutlah (party) starts to seek the Nusrah from the people of power and those who hold authority.

5- The Shar’a allows more than one kutlah, group or party to work in carrying the da’wah. The condition is that they are established on the basis of Islam in terms of the ‘Aqeedah and Sharee’ah.

6- In the event that more than one Islamic group exists, they are obliged to adhere to the Shar’ee rules that explain adaab al-ikhtilaaf (the etiquette of disagreement). It is not allowed for a Muslim to accuse another Muslim of kufr or transgression simply because he disagreed with him regarding an opinion, as long as this disagreement was within the confines of legitimate Ijtihaad. Any opinion that has a Shar’ee evidence, strong or weak, or if it has shubhat ad-daleel (a semblance of an evidence) is a legitimate opinion. It is not allowed to discredit the opinion or the one who espouses it. Rather what should be said in the event of an evidence being weak or even having a semblance of an evidence, is that your opinion is mistaken or weak and the discussion with him should be in the best possible manner with proof and evidence. As for when the opinion has no Shar’ee evidence, or a semblance of an evidence, then it will be an unislamic opinion (ie an opinion of kufr). There is no option then other than to attack this opinion and warn the one whom espouses it of carrying a kufr opinion (though the one who carries a kufr opinion is not always a Kaafir).

7- The rulers who suspend the Islamic Sharee’ah and legislate other laws without being forced by anybody to do this, are mostly Kuffar, even if they fasted, prayed and performed Hajj and claimed to be Muslims. That is because they preferred the laws of kufr to the law of Islam. However, if they believe the Sharee’ah of Islam is the best law and they suspended it temporarily due to their own whim, they are transgressors and not disbelievers in this respect. That is why it is not allowed for the da’wah carriers or for any Muslim to declare his approval of them or support them or even to remain silent about them, acting upon the noble hadeeth; “Whosoever sees a munkar let him change it with his hand. If he is not able to do that then let him change it with his tongue, and if he is not able to do that then let him hate it with his heart. And that is the weakest of Imaan.”

*A book discussing the subject of da’wah to Islam is supposed to draw attention to the fact that emulating the Rasool of Allah (saw) in da’wah to Islam obliges that the following issues are observed:

1- The Messenger (saw) used to invite Kuffaar to enter Islam. As for today we are mostly calling the Muslims to adhere to Islam.
2- The Messenger (saw) used to make da’wah when the Shar’ee rules had not yet been completely revealed. As for now, we have all the rules before us. That means there were rules that the Messenger (saw) did not act upon in Makkah, because they had not been revealed, but we are obliged to act upon them. There are rules that he used to act upon, but later on were abrogated, so these rules are not required from us. For example, fighting was not lawful in Makkah and now it is lawful (the defensive fighting is fard today, even if there is no Islamic State, because it is not entrusted with the Khalifah only). Carrying the da’wah in Makkah was obligatory on the Messenger (saw) only, as for the Sahabah (r.a.) it was mandoob (recommended) only, for they had only pledged to him the bay’atun nisaa (the pledge of women). That situation continued until the Aws and the Kazraj tribes gave the second pledge of al-’Aqabah. Since that time carrying the da’wah became obligatory on the Muslims and not just on the Messenger (saw). As for what has been abrogated, it is like the Hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madinah, which was obligatory. After the conquest of Makkah it ceased to be obligatory.
3- Accordingly, the classification of actions into actions of the Makkan stage and actions of the Madinan stage, indicate the actions entrusted with the individuals and the actions entrusted with the ruler (the Khaleefah) respectively. There are certain actions that are specific to the ruler; neither the individuals nor the groups undertake actions such as executing the hudood (penal code), initiating the war for conquest or concluding ceasefire treaties. There are certain actions that the individuals undertake, whether in dar ul-Islam or in dar al-kufr such as ‘ibadaat (worships), akhlaaq (morals), mat’umaat (foodstuffs), malboosaat (clothing) and mu’amalaat (transactions). There are other types of action undertaken both by the individuals and the ruler (the Khaleefah), such as building mosques, enjoining the ma’roof, forbidding the munkar or carrying the da’wah through the decisive proofs.

* There is an issue that faces the carriers of the da’wah to Islam, when the matter relates to realising a specific aim such as the establishment of the Islamic Khilafah. That is: does the achievement of this aim have a defined time limit (ten, twenty or thirty years for example) or does it not have a time limit? Two issues arise from this. Firstly; is the nature of this work (ie establishment of a state based on the ‘Aqeedah and Sharee’ah) that it requires more than one, two or three decades? This is because the kutlah (block) does not work in an open-ended manner, rather it works on the basis of executing its plan within the timeframe demanded by the nature of this plan. Otherwise, the block is not serious or is working without guidance. Second, if the block fails to execute its plan and realise its aim within a reasonable amount of time, does this mean that it has made mistakes in some of its programmes and therefore, it must review these programmes to rectify them? Or does this mean that the block is not sincere to Allah and that is why Allah did not fulfill the victory at their hands? Such a book is supposed to answer these issues.

* The book of “The Da’wah to Islam” is supposed to answer some questions and dispel some doubts and correct the concepts relevant to them. For example:

1- There are those people who misunderstand the saying of Allah (swt); “O you who believe, guard your own souls; if you follow guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who went astray.” [TMQ 5:105]. Thus they understand from this that the Muslim is only responsible for himself and his family and not responsible for carrying the da’wah to people.

2- There are some who misunderstand the meaning of the sacred hadith: “It is not right that a believer should humiliate himself, and expose himself to an affliction, which he cannot bear.” Thus, he understands from this that every action which exposes him to hardship such as imprisonment, expulsion from work and the anger of the unjust rulers etc, he must avoid it even if he abandoned the da’wah and complied with the unjust rulers.

3- There are those who misunderstand the hadith of Huzayfah b. al-Yaman narrated from the Messenger (saw), “I said: ‘What if the Muslims have no jama‘ah nor an Imam?’ He said: ‘Then you abandon all those groups, even if you have to bite onto the trunk of a tree until death comes to you as such.’” So they understand from this that in the event that the Khaleefah of the Muslims does not exist, then it is not obligatory on the Muslims to work for the establishemnt of the Khilafah, rather what is required from someone is to isolate himself until he dies.

4- There are those who misunderstand the noble hadith: “There will not be a year or a day that will come upon you save that which follows it is worse than it, until you meet your Lord”, so the matter leads him to despair, hopelessness and abstention from action.

5- There are those who say that the change of affairs is the task of the Mahdi (peace be upon him) and it is not our job. The result would be to refrain from action.

* This book has dealt with most of the issues mentioned in this introduction, just as it has addressed many other issues. If it is deficient in any way then perfection lies with Allah (swt) alone. Perhaps, the second edition will be more exhaustive and complete with the help and aid of Allah (swt). We pray to Allah that He (swt) makes this book of benefit to the Muslims and that He (swt) rewards its author with the best reward.

Peace and blessings of Allah upon our Master Muhammad, his family and companions and those who followed his guidance until the Day of judgement, and all Praise is to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

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