In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
21st Century Islamic State
21st Century Islamic State
November 27th, 2009
Dedicated to You Allah, with all my love and all my worship
And to my Mother who raised me with her love
And to Allama Iqbal, Alija Izetbegovic, Muhammad Asad and Marmaduke Pickthall
This book is written for Muslims who have woken up to the need for Islam, not as a passive force, but an active force that can transform society and deal with the present extreme circumstances of our peoples. It is written for those who seek to understand where we stand in history and how to make a workable and achievable plan to solve the problems that we face today.
The book is not targeted at non-Muslims, "progressive" style Muslims or extremists and those who condone violence against innocents. Nor is this book a PR or propaganda effort intend to showcase Islam to the world. It does not represent an inter-religious dialog nor an inter-civilizational one.
The ideas and thoughts expressed are intended solely - and solely - for our planning and analysis, in dealing with the difficult and extreme circumstances that we Muslims face today in the world. The ideas and thoughts that this book follows are not completely unique or original but represent a synthesis of thought. The line of thinking that this book follows, as much as this author would wish, is neither completely new nor totally original in all its contents; this line of thinking has been expressed in various forms throughout the Muslim world with increasing frequency over the last couple of hundred years. More specifically, this author's thoughts are built on the foundations of such thinkers as Allama Iqbal, Muhammad Asad and Alija Izetbegovic.
Islam today has over 1.5 billion adherents with enormous wealth of resources and a near perfect geo-strategic location. More than any of these, our greatest strength is Islam, the values and guidance from the One True Creator, Allah.
Our Creator gave us Islam, as a Mercy to mankind. Islam represents a shift in religious thinking and differs from all other belief systems, doctrines and philosophies preceding it, in that it advocates simultaneous living in the material world and the spiritual, and provides a synthesis of relating the two. While, for instance, Buddhism and Catholicism are inclined to the interior life, in rejection of the exterior, and on the other hand, Confucianism and Calvinism (or its many intellectual offspring) are focused on the exterior life or political systems such as Marxism and Capitalism are belief systems that are focused on the external and the material world in complete exclusion of the spiritual, Islam provides an understanding and a solution in a complete and comprehensive understanding of the human paradigm. Islam can thus be explained as “religion without mysticism and learning without atheism”.
The success of this paradigm was exemplified in the rapid rise of Islam, morally, economically, politically and militarily; as the central driving force in the world. Islam towered as the dominant civilization and political empire for over a thousand years. Yet today, Muslims have been in a steep political and economic decline. The world has been in a state of great turmoil and change and Muslims are at a final crossroad to either fade away as a political force, or re-energize and rejuvenate. The Uthman Empire is no more, and its tiny fragments are now weak and subjugated by various foreign powers.
Beyond armies and the force of arms, these foreign powers are using their ideologies and world views to secure themselves in our lands and to keep us economically, politically, militarily and spiritually starved and dependent.
Today's state of subservience is a highly unnatural position for the Muslim world, given our history, and to correct such a position is not outside the realms of possibility, but rather one that would represent a natural progression of events, and correction of balance.
Islam has been and continues to be the most powerful and dynamic force in the Muslim World and the only pragmatic solution to our present crisis. What galvanized Muslim India to seek freedom as Pakistan? What inspired the Chechens? Bosnia? Afghanistan under Soviet occupation? Mahathir's Malaysia? The Hezbollah in Lebanon? The answer remains the same throughout.
The contention here that this primary force within us can best be articulated, and come to its full expression in the embodiment of an Islamic state. This book attempts to define how such an Islamic state can be created and sustained. And what are the major issues that the Islamic state needs resolved.
Islam is a complete way of life and it is vital for Muslims to deal with all that takes place around them. Islam is not merely a passive religion that we keep in our personal lives. That for every Muslim, there is a political component and where appropriate, even a military component in the way of Islam, above and beyond the basic tenets of faith. This is particularly true when we see oppression against Muslims. In such circumstances, a true Muslim is not only a passive preacher but has to have a more holistic approach to life. And this is reflected in the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions, all of whose lives are exemplified by social and political struggle as much as a spiritual struggle illustrated in prayer and fasting.
Yet Muslims today mostly ignore the need to strive socially and politically.
Where we stand today, Islam is being attacked, Muslims are being persecuted, and Muslim states are being dissected and neutered. This is a process that did not start now, but one that has steadily flowed through history, whenever our enemies found the opportunity; Spain in the 15th century, Africa, Muslim India, Uthman Europe after World War I, Palestine, to name a few. And in more recent times in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, amongst others. Islam today, without doubt, is threatened.
From Morocco to Philippines, From Chechnya to Somalia. We are facing internal divisions and external threats that seem beyond the ability of the ummah to coup. How things stand today is visible to everyone. The vivid images of the mass murder and imprisonment in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan and more brings tears to the collective Muslim eyes. Yet, somehow the need is to hold our emotions and think clearly to fight back and regain our faith, strength and unity. The perennial question is, what can a Muslim do? Is it that Muslims must live under oppression and endure and hope that Allah will save the Muslims somehow? That this is Allah's Will? Yet, Islam does not appear to be a passive religion:
And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.
(سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #193)
A doctrine of passivity and fatalism does not seem to hold. If one takes this principle of fighting oppression, and sees oppressors in powerful countries like the United States and Israel, which as individuals we Muslims cannot fight, one is faced with a moral quandary. Clearly, as individuals, Muslims are quite helpless today. As individuals Muslims can be locked up, tortured or simply eliminated. But as a people, united in faith to the idea of Islam, we can fight them. To do so, we need our collective strength. We need to be organized. We need to create a movement to establish a Muslim state that can project our collective will.
Yet, if we look at any map, we see a host of Muslim states. One may wonder, why establish one when there are so many that profess to be Muslim states? Is not Saudi Arabia or Iran Muslim states? But what is a Muslim state? I say that there is no Islamic state because I do not see any country today that reflects the Islamic state in the spirit of Medina. Or remotely so. No, it is not an ideal that we are seeking to run after. Broadly, a state that practices one of the four accepted madhabs, a state who's government is not oppressive, a state that does not provide lip service to Islam but also practices it in its laws and policies. A state that is not a client state of the United States.
The long and short of it is that, today, there is no state that comes remotely towards the ideal of a Muslim state as was established in Medina-tun-Nabyi. In some ways, perhaps Sweden is closer to a Muslim state than most professedly Muslim states; It is plain to everyone with how much dignity Sweden treats its citizens, how it conducts itself in international affairs, and how it combines welfare and a free market, production and environmental consciousness, justice and freedom of speech to name a few instances.
As we see, there is no place on earth today were an Islamic state exists, as in the spirit of the state of Medina during the Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) time. Iran under the clergy, does not seem to reflect the spirit of Medina. Nor is there any other Muslim country that does. It appears we do not have an Islamic state ready-made for us. We would need to do the hard work, with our sweat and blood, to create this Islamic state and choose a place and country to do this in.
And such a state would need to be established while being besieged by our enemies, countries that today control the world and would do anything to stop us. If we attempted to create such a state at a random location in the Muslim worlds, and let us suppose, by the Grace of Allah, that we succeeded: it is more likely than not that the United States or Israel or whoever else, would find some pretext to label us terrorists, without evidence or by fabrication. We have seen this in Somalia recently as well as many times elsewhere. If Muslims attempted to, with the Grace of Allah, create an Islamic state, they would face the greatest military, political and economic might collected by the enemies of Islam today.
Now, like ants we would labor away, toiling away at a colony, only to see it destroyed. Clearly, even if such a state can attain massive economies of scale and scope with respect to a host of issues, creating such a state seems impossible and hopeless, in relation to the reaction we will face against us.
Thus, our choice would have to be careful indeed. Would we create an Islamic State only to have it bombed to oblivion on trumped up charges? Further, to fight oppression against Islam, this Islamic State would need to have the wherewithal of doing so. That is, the ability to project conventional military might. There are few countries in the world that have this, and few Muslim countries that can compete, given the might of our enemies.
We are today at a crossroads and we have three choices before us. One road will take us to assimilating into the Western civilization and relegating Islam to the role that Christianity today plays in the West or that the religion of the Romans played in their age. The second road leads us to reviving Islam in its true spirit and meaning. The third choice is to decay and die were we stand.
What is certain is that if we are to take the second road, to revive Islam in its true spirit and meaning, it is clear that the way forward is together – as the entire Muslim Ummah rather than in separate nationalisms. Divided into different nationalisms and along our petty differences, races, indigenous cultures, we will fail as we did in Spain. The similarities are most striking - the politics of Muslim Spain to the politics of Muslims today. Each little principality was worried about their own, with each its own proud "Me First" slogan. Each of these states were taken down one at a time. Once Spain was conquered, Islam was razed out of every nook and corner of her. In contrast, consider contemporary history; From Ataturk's "Turkey First", we now have "Pakistan First", "Bangladesh First", "Iraq First", "Egypt First" and more. Spanish Muslims allied themselves with Christians to fight fellow Muslims to guard their narrow and myopic interests. How different is what we are doing today? See the Pakistan Army fight the Mujahideen and aid Western Allies in Afghanistan. Remember that without Pakistan's strategic, political and logistic support, NATO and the US would be hard pressed to maintain the presence there.
Come see the Muslims of the United States. Visit us, each in our own little petty masjid – the Arab Masjid, the Pakistani Masjid, the Afghan Masjid, the Bangladeshi Masjid, all lined up and ready to make their own nationalisms at home, while making the other feel alien. Unless we change the condition of ourselves, Allah knows best, but I do not see our Creator changing the conditions of our historical progression.
Purity, Piety and Dedication without Talibanism, Education, Technology & Industry without Secularism.
There are broadly two kinds of people that will stand in the way of an Islamic state and in Islam as not merely a religion. There will be, what we can describe as Conservatives and Secularists/Progressives/Modernists. Conservatives are those that would want to pull Muslims back to the past while Secularists would want to move Muslims to a secularized future with Islam relegated to the mosque. They may consider each other as opponents, but they share an important idea - that Islam is a religion.
Islam is not merely a religion. It is a complete way of life, centered on the belief in One God. Islam is the only belief system that does not enjoin blind faith; it combines faith with knowledge. Truth and evidence go together, as they should. Islam melds the spiritual and the natural worlds, in harmony and balance.
The Conservative banner is held high by a class of people, that strange as it may sound, are not supposed to exist in Islam - the clergy. Mullahs, Muftis, Sheikhs, etc are not sanctioned by any verse of the Quran or by any authentic hadith. Yet, they exist today, and have convoluted Islam to define themselves as the middlemen between Muslims and the Quran. On any question of Islam, Muslims are now told to get the nod from the local Imam, Sheikh, Mullah, Mufti, etc. These career theologians make their living by these same means and yet stand by socially and politically silent to our disintegration. This class has shown itself to be completely incompetent at addressing any of the issues that the Muslim body-politic faces today, beyond slogans and sooth-sayings.
Islam is not a religion of theologians. Islam is universal, and reaches out to all, and is able to do so because its concepts are easy to understand for those who seek Allah. One does not need to read obtuse works of scholars; The Egyptian Ulema asked Marmaduke Pickthall to translate Tabari instead of the Quran, yet you do not need to read Tabari to know Islam.
The Progressive-Secularist approach, on the other hand, is an extreme reaction to the Conservative paradigm and to the dazzle of the Western civilization. Their approach is built on the ascendancy of the latter and in seeing all solutions to our problems in reflection to the West. Replication over reinvention is their sign qua non. They see before them, the greatness of the West and in America and see solutions in transplanting these values over a culture that to them is backward. A culture that they do not understand. They believe that the root cause of the backwardness is the Islamic heritage and the panacea in replacing this culture.
The aim of this book is to focus on innovative approaches to the emerging challenges of the Islamic world outside the paradigms of these two ideological groups. We seek to bring a third paradigm that broadly lies between these two positions, yet is not a compromise of the two, nor placed in a two dimensional plane between them, but rather a synthesis of thought and ideas built on an independent foundation.
The establishment of “The” Khilaafa and the establishment of an Islamic State are not necessarily one and the same. Muslim states were justice reigned, and that were able to defend themselves against non-Muslim powers have existed before. Perhaps famously for instance, during Salahdin's reign. It is not contingent upon even believing in the Mahdi prophecies to want to work towards an Islamic state. What is best here is convergence, rather than divergence; There are Muslims who do not consider the Mahdi prophecies as even valid. They may still agree in the importance of having an Islamic state.
For those of us who believe in the Mahdi prophecies, there is a wide spectrum of opinion as to:
1)What hadith can be considered relevant
2)How they can be interpreted
These range from the fantastic to the cautious. From those that attempt to find supporting evidence to ones that would have you rely on the theorist's reputation.
Amongst the many theories and interpretations, some for instance, believe that the Mahdi will be part of an army that will come from the direction of Khurasan, that will retake Iraq and march all the way to Palestine. That there would be great turmoil in Arabia and calls for a Khalifa. At a point, were the Mahdi (still undeclared) would be on pilgrimage to the Kaaba, a group of people will attempt to convince him that he, in fact, is the prophesied Mahdi. That he will not be convinced of it but will eventually be convinced.
The internet has a million places with a million interpretations. The relevant hadith are also readily available for a person to judge by themselves.
It is my contention that, whatever the different theories are, the army that will march from the direction of Khurasan to Iraq and Palestine, and from which the Khalifa will emerge, has some connection to Pakistan. This is because any student of military affairs will tell you that a military force that has to take and hold territory, in other words, fight conventionally as opposed to hit and run, and one that has to do so against a modern (Western) force, would need to have, at the bare minimum, the basic wherewithal of doing so. Those who understand today's warfare, who have studied warfare as a science in-depth, will tell you that wars are fought today as much because of logistics, military production and technology as strategy and tactics.
The Uthman Empire lost World War I not because of a lack of men and will, but because of a lack in these aforementioned elements. When Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria attacked Israel in the Yom Kippur War, the Americans did not send their greatest generals, or foot soldiers, they sent exactly these – massive airlift of military supplies of the finest quality available. That on the other hand, the Arabs were dependent on the Soviets, who were controlled to a great extent by the Ashkenazim, and were unable to find the quality or quantity of weaponry to defeat Israel.
All the arsenals that are there today in the Arab world is largely from foreign, non-Muslim sources. As long as we do not have the industrial capacity, the technology, and the invested effort to build our own military industrial capability, militarily, zero plus zero, will continue to equal zero.
That for the first time since the collapse of the Uthman Empire are we at a point where this is remotely possible. Consider the question: When did Islam start falling behind the West militarily? Amongst other things, with the advent of industrialization that enabled weapons in scale and quality that could not be built previously. Technologies coupled with production enmass that enabled Western armies to overwhelm Muslim ones.
The last "Muslim" power that could match the West conventionally was the Uthman Empire. After this ended, no Muslim country has been able to build or produce weapons that can qualitatively and quantitatively match Western weapons. The arsenals today, whether you look at Saudi Arabia, Eqypt or Syria or any other country are largely from non-Muslim sources. Iran today is somewhat of an exception, as they received massive technologies during the Shah's era but thereafter have been able to merely stay at that technological standard. That is, there weapons are built on (broadly) 1960s-1970s technology and outdated by 21st Century standards.
So, unless we can find a Muslim country that has the industrial capability to withstand the West, even if we somehow, with all our effort and toil, create a Muslim state, it will either be overwhelmed and destroyed based on one pretext or other, or like Cuba, become an island of isolation with little impact on the world.
Coming back to the point at hand, there has been no country worldwide where Muslims are the majority where weapons such as tanks, aircraft, ships, etc have been built that could even approximately rival Western weapons. Industrialization has been minimal or virtually non-existent. Or is there such a country? Is there in fact, such a country?
Two countries in the Muslim world have emerged, which have built a viable military-industrial complex – Turkey and Pakistan. Turkey has forsaken Islam since Ataturk, and is unlikely to return to our fold, from a broad politically pragmatic point of view as well as from the prophecy of Istanbul being liberated by the Mahdi's men.
One Muslim country, without oil and petro-dollars, without a clear plan or even political stability, has somehow, almost miraculously achieved this feat: Pakistan. Today, Pakistan can build everything from nuclear warheads to combat aircraft to tanks to cruise missiles and a whole host of other items some of which has not yet been revealed. These are not crude weapons that are "monkey versions" of other weapons, as is sometimes the case with Iran. Pakistani nuclear weapons are significantly sophisticated and built on research and investment in-country. Pakistan's Heavy Industries Taxila, can build tanks that incorporate local technologies derived originally from France, Ukraine and China. Pakistan has recently opened a production facility for combat aircraft that rival US F-16s. Pakistan is one of 5 powers in the world that produces its own cruise missiles. It is in the process of launching communication satellites that would enable true netcentric warfare. It has ballistic missiles that has a CEP of less than 50m, that, in simpler words are extremely accurate.
Beyond weapons, tactics and training play a key role. Pakistan has one of the world's best trained air forces. While Arab air forces where devastated by Israel, small numbers of Pakistani pilots have held a 4-0 score against Israel on deputation to Jordan, Iraq and Syria . That is, Pakistani pilots shot down four Israeli aircraft without losing a single pilot to date to Israel. This is in the backdrop of Arab pilots being resoundingly thrashed by their Israeli counterparts. Here is an excerpt of how the US values Pakistani pilots (US Commander during Gulf War I):
On one or two occasions, I had the opportunity to talk with Pakistani instructor pilots, who had served in Iraq. These discussions, didn’t give me great cause to worry. The Russian domination of training prevented the Pakistanis from having any real influence on the Iraqi aircrew training program.
Still, there had to be a few Iraqi pilots, who had observed and listened to their mentors from France and Pakistan and not the useless guidance of their inept leaders. It was those few, I was concerned about - the ones with great situational awareness and good eyesight, who had figured out how to effectively use their aircraft and its weapons to defend their nation.”
(General Chuck Horner (retd) and Tom Clancey. General Chuck commanded the US and allied air assets during Desert shield and desert storm, and was responsible for the design and execution of one of the most devastating air campaigns in history. He also served as Commander 9th Air Force, Commander US Central Command Air Forces, and Commander in chief, SpaceCom. Book: Every Man A Tiger).
In fact, when on training in the United States, PAF pilots have been assessed to be a shade better than Israeli Air Force pilots they trained with by their USAF IPs (instructor pilots). And Israeli pilots are widely considered "the best in the world". Pakistani armed forces, along with the military-industrial complex and, the incredibly well trained air force today, unlike Arab armies of today or yester-years, can actually match Western military might conventionally. The significance of this can be understood in the context that this has not happened since Uthman times. How this has come about is truly miraculous. Anyone with insight of Pakistan's political history will know that the country has had little long-term planning and resource allocation. Further, Pakistan is an impoverished country that has far less resources than many other Muslim countries. Yet, incredibly, it has come to be.
Thus coincidentally, the only plausible Muslim state with the military-industrial capacity that could have the remotest chance against the West, has somehow come to sprout-up in the neighborhood of, what can broadly be described as Khurasan.
We already see Allah's blessing upon Pakistan, at least until her 2001 u-turn. A country that has had the same level of corrupt rulers as the rest of the Muslim world, today somehow appears to have nuclear weapons, the finest air force in the Muslim world, and one of the best trained Muslim armies. The most innovative and competent military-industrial complex in the Muslim world that can churn out tanks, cruise missiles, combat aircraft, all of which are globally competitive. Surely there is a miracle in this; A country that is perpetually on the verge of bankruptcy, has not in recent history had consistent long-term plans has managed to do what far more resource-rich Muslim countries have failed at. Clearly there is the hand of Allah here in this. And in this is perhaps a sign, but Allah knows best.
For now, it suffices that we arrive at the conclusion that we need to establish an Islamic Movement / State, and that the best location for this is Pakistan, or inclusive of Pakistan. Yet, now we encounter a minefield of problems:
1. That, by and large, the people who rule Pakistan pay lip service to Islam while serving Western interests
2. Nobody can agree on what an Islamic state should be
3. The average Pakistani Muslim's faith is weak and understanding of Islam is second-hand, dependent on what other people tell them it is.
People who rule Pakistan pay lip service to Islam:
While in their hearts they doubt in putting their well being in the hands of Allah. Instead, they profess a policy where they are actively supporting the United States, acting as the key logistics line, intelligence support and conducting joint military operations. If ever the blessing of Allah is lifted from them, it may be because of this transgression. In essence, putting their faith in the United States over and against what is clearly written in the Quran and Commanded by Allah. In public they will raise the slogan of Islam, to satisfy the masses. However, this is far from their position. Islam is a tool for them to energize the masses when needed (as against India), or a sedative as to show that there are no other options. Hypocrites and disbelievers, no better than any of the governments in the Middle East. So much potential lost in the tragedy they represent.
That We Cannot Agree on What an Islamic State Should be:
This represents our intellectual weakness. A mental handicap. To even begin to discuss an Islamic state, we need men of learning, not only of the affairs of today's world, but a deep understanding of Islam. This author certainly is well short of the type of men we need. The difficulty is in finding such men and creating a consensus. However, we can perhaps find a way around this. Perhaps we can define how we can get to a consensus of what an Islamic state should be. We can find true Muslims who meet a high standard of learning and ability, create a council from amongst them, and have them define what an Islamic state should look like. Here is my list of what such Momins would need to meet:
1. Extensive knowledge of Islam, the Quran and Sunnah at the deepest levels.
2. Strong and real Imaan - faith in Allah and not just scholarly knowledge of Islam.
3. Extensive understanding of modern worldly knowledge in areas of Economics, Industry and Technology
4. Active life experience of living and struggling with life
All five points are vital. For each decision maker has to have a internal balance of judgment. One may wonder at the fourth point. It is because we need the common sense that is only instilled when a man faces the real struggle of living.
Rather than men living in ivory towers, we need men who have this well grounded common sense. We can only remember with embarrassment too often how our religious scholars lose touch with reality. One case being how the Egyptian Ulema dealt with Marmaduke Pickthall. This is clearly a tall order for anyone, for we need momins who has mastered all of these five aspects. Nevertheless, amongst the 1.5 billion Muslims, we could Insha'Allah find such excellent examples of men.
Perhaps one place to look would be amongst Western converts to Islam. These are people who had the strength of mind, the faith, and the blessing of Allah to find Islam amongst all the misinformation and propaganda against Islam. Most such men and women go on to study Islam in such great depth that they make many of us born into the faith embarrassed as to the lack of our knowledge. Their Imaan show in their faces; the noor in their faces is testament to their belief and of their tassawuf. Many such men often have prior experience and expertise in modern worldly knowledge.
If we can create such a council of men then we can reach out to the many political questions that vex us. Whether there would be elections. What aspects of Islam will be enforced by the state and what aspects left to the individual to choose to enforce. Whether Ijtehad should be opened since it was closed when Islam was fighting the Mongol hordes. The million other questions that vex us can be raised. Just as the founders of the United States, a group of the greatest men amongst them established a superior state, we can look to such men to create excellence, in their example of an Islamic state.
Yet, before we can build any councils, we must understand that Pakistan has to be won over. We cannot strut into Pakistan tomorrow and inform them that we are creating an Islamic state. It has to be an initiative originating from Pakistan and Pakistanis, the most we can do is attempt to convince them. This has to be not only from the Pakistani public, but more vitally, from within the Pakistani ruling elite. As such, we would need to hope that one of the people that this author here has so liberally labeled as hypocrites agrees with us. Ideally, such a group of renegades and reverts would need to be from the Pakistani military as that is the institution that truly runs Pakistan. Only the Pakistan army can effect such a change, peacefully and without destroying the state.
The Pakistan Army, the organization that actually runs the show even now, can broadly be seen to be split between two groups of people. People who are inclined to stop cooperating with the Americans and go towards an Islamic state, and people who are secular in their outlook and, essentially, weak in their faith. That is, Islam is more of a cultural aspect to them, and their belief in Islam is highly hypocritical. Secularism and pro-Western views are dominant in the Pakistan army, in my view, because of the weakness of faith amongst its officers. They gaze at the might of America and their eyes are stoned with awe. On the other hand, they look at the Al-Qaeda and Taliban and are revolted at the twisted interpretations of our faith. Being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, they feel there is no way for them but to accept servitude.
Yet, if in some way, these officers were to have a stronger belief in Allah, that they could see the glory of Islam. If they could see that they need not fear anyone but Him. And the weakness in their hearts was strengthened. Then, we'd be in business. The entire political landscape of Pakistan could change. In one move, we could out-maneuver both the United States and the external enemies of Islam on the one hand, and Al-Qaeda, and all other internal enemies of Islam on the other; exploit the political and ideological gap between the two perfectly through the middle.
But if Allah's Will is to happen, if Palestine and Kashmir will in fact be liberated, if we can someday in fact stand up to the United States and Israel conventionally, then the fight begins in Pakistan. Not a fight to overthrow Pakistan, but to win the hearts and minds of the military establishment there. That appears to be the only realistic way to reach our goals without spilling Muslim blood and weakening the only Islamic country that can fight and win conventional wars against modern Western armies. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) too engaged in strategic dawah, exemplified most effectively in Yathrib.
Such a Pakistan, with an influx of highly educated and skilled Muslims from around the globe, will be a far stronger Pakistan than the emaciated shadow that Pakistan represents today. If it took 3,000 dedicated Jewish Bolsheviks to establish the Soviet Union, and if we could inject 3,000 true Muslims into Pakistan, the possibilities for dramatic and cascading changes are endless.
Benefits for Pakistan
The TTP and other parasites will have lost their argument, and as such would become ineffective against such a state. The extremists and misguided Muslims will see the straight path that Pakistan would offer and hopefully see the light. That Muslim politics would move from that which represents a Mekkan era to one that represents the era of Medina - a position of strength rather than oppression.
Economically, Pakistan would benefit as well. Pakistan would not face bankruptcy as it does today, as skilled Muslim immigrants from around the world would provide that vital link that the Pakistani economy lacks - link to foreign markets and technology. Wholesale looting of Pakistan's wealth would also be brought to an end, as the old elites will be eliminated.
Clearly, there would be many benefits to Pakistan. But the biggest benefit would be to live in obedience of Allah, and to fear Him and Him alone, for He is our Maker, our Sustainer and there is nobody that can compare with Him. That as long as we fear the United States more, or even pursue a policy of Pakistan First, we are moving away from this fundamental principal of Islam and going towards kufr and shirk. There is nothing more important than to obey Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. And if you have faith, there is no one else you need fear.
146 How many of the prophets fought (in Allah's way), and with them (fought) Large bands of godly men? but they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah's way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast.
147 All that they said was: "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty: Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith."
148 And Allah gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For Allah Loveth those who do good.
149 O ye who believe! If ye obey the Unbelievers, they will drive you back on your heels, and ye will turn back (from Faith) to your own loss.
150 Nay, Allah is your Protector, and He is the best of helpers.
AL Quran, The Family of Imran, versus 146-150
So we see in the broader picture, a first Muslim state from which a veritable "stand" can be made, possibly since the end of the Uthman Empire. We see a seemingly resource-less country achieve technological feats far beyond what the massive spending by Arab countries have failed to achieve. We see a military that is trained beyond the pale of a Third World army. I do see a miracle in this.
Allah has promised us victory if we strive in His Way. The Mahdi prophecy says that an army is to come from the direction of Khurasan. It would seem, world events are matching Iraq and Afghanistan closely to what has been prophesied, and even if one takes them with a bit of salt, clearly, the possibility exists that this is a critical juncture, and as Muslims we should strive for that possibility. Even if these prophecies are false, their mere existence means that we need to guard against the possibility of them being true.
And what if we lose Pakistan to a balkanized group of states? If we lose Pakistan, we Muslims, throughout the world, for generations to come, will be condemned to live in persecution, injustice and as the lowest class of people in the global village. If Pakistan is destroyed, we may not get another opportunity for at least another 100 years.
There is an immense movement for an Islamic state going on as you read. Today, there is a huge political momentum building up for this, around what can be considered as the "Zaid Hamid Consensus" in Pakistan. A broad spectrum of people converging upon some basic premise of what is needed. My book attempts to galvanize and internationalize these ideas, for much of what is going on in Pakistan is not in the English language or viewable in the international media. Muslims globally need to reinforce these efforts, for their future is at stake as much as Pakistan's.
The attempt will be to develop a comprehensive framework within which a new consensus can be reached. The purpose here is to find a viable solution to the perennial question of how we can have a viable Islamic state in the postmodern context. As we have noted earlier, the Secularists/Modernists want to relegate Islam to the mosque and transplant themselves to the western Weltgeist. Conversely, on the other side of the spectrum, we have people who want to reject the present world and recreate the period when Islam was ascendant.
While these two groups of people have hijacked the debate and become two colossus fighting a battle to the death against each other, the common man on the street does not necessarily agree with either side. The common man seems to know instinctively that the answer lies in between the ideologies of the two groups, yet have not articulated and rationalized a path in between the two. After all, an ideological compromise built only around the premise of moderation and taking the middle path is at best weak. What is in fact needed, is a synthesis of ideas, rather than a compromise. Such a model is of essence to the present political situation within the Muslim World.
This model cannot be a closed system, in that we cannot hope to create the "perfect solution". In these thoughts and ideas, there is no permanent cure for poverty, inequality, or a whole host of other evils. To attempt to create such a system is clearly beyond what has so far been achievable. If one attempts such a system and fails, it often results in a far worse result, as is amply exemplified in the former Soviet Union. I will venture to say that there is in fact, perhaps no perfect solution, and one must aim to design a system that takes this into effect, that can adapt and has adequate "safety valves" and a mechanism to bring in emerging factors as they develop.
While this synthesis is a wider work and will involve a considerable amount of thought and time, and will perhaps need to be written in a far more comprehensive piece or work, I will attempt to first build a skeletal structure for others to build on. The areas I am going to address includes the political system, the economic system, the legal system, the military and various policies in general. Each of these, however, are not independent of each other and cannot stand effectively on their own but rather, act together in balance. Further, within each subsystem, adequate checks and balances are required.
While the dominant view of Islamic scholars is that we are not to discuss the differences of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), it is imperative that we set this ruling aside if we are to understand and develop a political model of an Islamic state.
When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was on his death bed and in high fever, he at one point wanted to give some indication of what was to be the future politically, after he passed away. It was insisted that he took his rest. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed away, a split evolved as to who and by what mechanism a successor was to be chosen. Rifts and disagreements developed even amongst the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Hazrat Ali (one of this 10 companions and his nephew) felt that they should have let him speak. This rift continued to widen thereafter. Many questions remained unanswered. Should the Islamic state be a monarchy? elected? If elected by what method? How long should the Khalifa (leader's) term be? If Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) didn't give out clear guidelines, then is Islam really complete?
These are important questions, and the last one is blasphemous. And Allah knows best. To be brief, my belief is that what the Prophet (peace be upon him) meant when he said that our religion was complete and that Islam was a complete way of life, is not that all possible actions and issues have been cataloged like an encyclopedia or a computer program. Rather, that all the principles needed to address every action has been given. Applications of those principles are also given, in the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Just as a student when he is working on his arithmetic, looks at the relevant formula, and then if he has further trouble, looks at an example on how the formula is used, Islam gives us the principles and then an example on how it is to be used. It does not mean that every time we are given a new problem to solve, our answer will be the same as the example, but we will look at the "formula" (Islamic principles) and fashion our answer on the same pattern as the "example" (the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him).
This represents a break from the present hard line approach taken where every problem has to come up with the same solution as the example or the secular approach where instead, they reject the formula itself and take one out of the western book. This is one of the central corners of the model.
The Quran and Sunnah define the relationship between Muslims and with the individual and the community, and a whole range of other relationships ranging from dealing with non-Muslims to the rules and responsibilities of war. What Islam does not provide is a fixed economic, social and political system. This world we live in is a test for Man, and while Islam guides us, it still gives us many challenges. Allah knows best, but perhaps this too is a form of intellectual challenge for Muslims to negotiate. And perhaps Muslims of each age would find different solutions to these as the circumstances around them change.
Muslims of our Age and time must rise up to the challenge, while understanding that these solutions can only be imperfect. They can also be of great value nonetheless, for these solutions would be built on those eternal truths and guidelines that Allah, in His Infinite Grace, has provided us.
Merit & Voting
The Islamic state is meant to be run on the principles of merit; knowledge, wisdom and experience. Islamic knowledge as well as knowledge of worldly affairs. The Islamic state must also be inclusive of all citizens. However, while all men are equal in Islam, they are not equal in their knowledge and wisdom, and this principle of the importance of gaining knowledge and wisdom, in this being a differentiating criteria between men, is well documented.
Now this concept comes in fundamental clash with modern ideas such as democracy. One person, one vote sounds great on paper and on slogans but has shown time and time again to lead to a whole host of problems and manipulations that in the end, do much harm. Even one of the earliest Western thinkers, Socrates, openly considered democracy as a flawed concept; that it required the wisdom of its leaders to be based on the opinions of all citizens held in equal weight.
We instead look to develop a system that addresses our Islamic principles - both that all men (and women) are created equal and thus have a say in government, and that there should be a differentiating criteria for those who are more learned. The political system will look to thus create a balance between universal participation, and appropriately value quality over quantity.
The Islamic State will do this by having a "voting system" that has different weights for each voter. Universal suffrage will exist in that every individual over the age of 16 can vote. However, if the voter holds a high school diploma he gets an extra vote (and public schools will be maintained by the state to make sure all children have access to free education to this level). Individuals typically become more responsible and care more about the future when they get married. Therefore, getting married would earn them another vote. Individuals graduating from college will also gain an extra vote. And so will individuals above the age of 35, based on wisdom through experience. Individuals above the age of 60 will lose a vote, because age beyond a point has shown to deteriorate mental faculties. Individuals who have spent a minimum of 2 years in the armed forces will also gain an extra vote. Thus an individual who has graduated from high school and college (or above) and is married, will have 4 votes to his or her name.
Voting systems today rely on what operations research professionals call the "batch process"; a whole batch of votes are selected and counted, gaining the elected representatives a term until the next batch comes about (typically between 2-6 years). Today, this system is fatally flawed; With the electorate only able to influence the elected around election time, while other interest groups do so 24/7/365, power is wrested from the populace. As has been seen in the US, this results in a great degree, the disenfranchisement of the electorate. In a truly Islamic state, a leader must be held accountable at all times, rather than just during the time corridors of elections.
Simultaneously, we also need to address the sheer logistics of the election system, often outside the logistical capacities of today's Islamic countries.
The method here would be to use a continuous flow process, one where voting takes place continuously. At first glance this may seem to present two issues - a logistical and practical impossibility and a problem of governance - how would there be continuity in government policies if the government changes every week?
However, if we took the voting process to involve one (or a few) voting district per month, then an entire country could be covered in a 6 year period, with each voting district getting an election once every 6 years. The electorate would in essence be able to influence and indicate approval continuously while greatly simplifying the logistic process (which could be handled by a much smaller administrative system). Governments would also not constantly be changing as marginally, one (or a few) voting districts would not be enough to topple a government typically, unless the majority was marginal.
The presidential election would still need to be on a batch-process basis, given that we want the president to be directly elected by the electorate. Possible presidential term could be 8 years. A preferential run-off voting system could be used in this case, ranking and simulating the preferences of the voters.
The voting system is decidedly longer than what is prevalent in the West. The idea behind this is to firstly, deal with the controversy and difficulty of holding elections in the Third World (where our Islamic state will be located) and in also giving continuity and purpose to the government, where particularly in the Third World, government never has enough time in 4 year terms to do what they were elected to, and often the next government would reverse policies. Further, the cost and controversy is a significant cost to elections, and this also needs to be weighed in terms the opportunity cost to the elections.
Checks & Balances
The executive and the legislative arms of the government are important as a check and balance on each other. Along with an independent Judiciary, independent Central Bank, independent Central Statistics and finally, an independent Government Audit arm (which we will go into greater detail below), the government checks and balances would ensure that none of the arms of government overpower the others, despite the lengthy term of the presidency.
A separate arm of government will ensure government audit. This arm will again be independent of the other arms of government. The central purpose is to ensure that government does not overstep its boundaries, that checks and balances are not ignored, that government corruption is effectively punished and that the government budget execution tallies. The Audit arm will have powers of not only investigation and search but also arrest, so as not to be dependent on the police force to act upon its investigations. The powers of this arm of the constitution will extend only to the government and government related agencies.
The fundamental viability of any state is its economic system. The inability of the Muslim world in creating viable economic models that are not cheap replicas of Western economies is perhaps the biggest challenge that we face. Riba (interest) is central to the western economy and for Muslims this is unacceptable. Any models we develop on the lines of their system is therefore fundamentally unislamic. We have to be brave in breaking new ground, in finding a viable alternative framework rather than finding the latest trick in the book to put another name for riba, and somehow guise it as “rent” or “fee” or the many other terms we play with. Riba is wrong, there is no going around this.
Impact of Interest
If one looks at economies where banking dominates to a greater extent, it is my hypothesis that you will find that economic cycles are more volatile. Banking is responsible for much of the money supply in the economy and this money supply tends to fluctuate to a greater extent precisely because of its connection to banks; they accentuate the volatility of the money supply, which in turn emphasize the volatility in demand.
Removing fractional reserve banking and an interest-based economy - this is likely to make booms and busts far less of a problem as the money supply in the economy is less likely to fluctuate. Research could conclusively prove or disprove this thesis by doing a comparative study of economies where banking plays a greater role against economies where banking plays a lesser role and matching this to see how it correlates with the volatility of booms and busts in each group. Of course, holding everything else constant in an absolute, puritanical sense, and will be difficult but this exercise may still be useful.
Not only is interest (or riba) wrong, but it is also not the be all and end all of a discussion of Islamic economics. There are many other fundamental issues that are intrinsically linked and are of equally greater importance. For instance, fractional reserve banking as well as the concept of limited liability are also key elements of the Western economic model, but are again essentially unislamic. Fractional reserve banking allows money to be created out of no real economic activity, but virtually out of thin air. Limited liability allows businesses to exist without proper assignment of risk to the constituents of the business. We cannot be blind to these elephants in the room.
The fundamental question for an Islamic economy, or perhaps any economy for that matter, is in defining how savings-investment will work in an alternative framework. That is, how would savings in the economy be turned into effective investments? By taking out both interest-based banking and limited liability (thus corporations as we know them, stock flotations and leverage) we seem to be taking out this important link between savings and investment. In the Islamic state, this function can be taken over by creating an alternative venture capital based investment economy and by redesigning the corporation as we know it to incorporate liability.
Today western economies subsidize loans over investment in equity because interest payments are not taxable while dividends are. This puts investors at a disadvantage and gives banking a leg up. There does not seem to be any real rationalization for this without going into a conspiracy theory, but suffice it to say for intended or unintended reasons, this is the case. Within investments in equity, corporations created in limited liability (and the concept of the corporation as a legal entity) and by extension the stock market, dominate.
In addition, restrictions on investors in private equity and venture capital are also stringent and constricting. As a result, venture capital and other forms of private investing suffer a double jeopardy. we see that venture capital is greatly marginalized in western economies both in quantity and in quality, focusing narrowly on the highest yield opportunities which also involve the highest risk.
Our savings-investment vehicles would include:
1. Venture capital firms
2. Investment banks
3. Restructured corporations
4. Restructured stock market
Corporations would be restructured to include liability. However, it would be the responsibility of the top management to make sure that information is provided accurately. If the company fails because the management was hiding information in any way then the shareholders will not be held liable for the losses beyond the value of the stocks. Any stocks that are showing poor balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements could be de-listed from the stock exchange mechanism and moved to pink sheets.
Investors investing in these pink sheet companies will be fully cognizant that they are dealing with companies that could default and fail, resulting in them being held liable for losses.
Derivatives need to be severely restricted and regulated by the markets to ensure that speculation does not reign. This is important to ensure that the financial system is subservient to the "real economy". Only derivatives allowed will be forwards and swaps of real assets, rather than fiat paper. The Islamic state would need Muslim thinkers and economists who can further analyze where else and how else this can be applied.
Foreign exchange for instance, comes to mind as a point where forwards and swaps may need to be applicable for the smooth operation of international trade, although they fail our benchmark of being real assets. Derivatives inherently do not appear to be wrong when connected with real assets rather than paper assets and provides fundamental value for economic activity. They are particularly important in today's times when production activities are highly synchronized and dependent on a vast network of supply activity, all of which have to be made available within complex long-term planning and procurement.
Venture capital firms would need to play a key role in the economy, a role that will be far less restricted by regulation and the opportunity costs created by interest (riba) in Western countries. They will therefore need to be structured differently from the VC firms in western markets. They will be larger, more “bank-like” in their investment decisions and willing to take on lower yield investments.
This should be a natural adaptation and evolution for them given that there will be no competing interest-based system to take the lower yield and lower risk side of the market, the financial system will not subsidize interest based lending (as in the west and discussed earlier) and there will be no "risk-less interest" to artificially raise yield requirements for risk-sharing investing.
Money supply should be maintained at a rate that would approximately keep prices constant. Some leeway that is practical should be allowable. However, the aim of the Islamic State would be to maintain the value of money to its best ability. We have seen the negative impact of inflation, coupled with loose government spending and an exploitative banking system, a sure recipe for disaster.
That the value of money should be maintained does not also somehow mean that a gold standard should be sought. A gold standard implies that the value of the currency remain constant to the value of gold, which has its own negative implications, as the value of gold can fluctuate independently to that of the goods and services bought and sold in an economy. Gold prices today can also be highly fluctuating. Instead, the value of the currency will be dependent on a basket of goods and services that is reflective of the economy as well as the value of a basket of currencies that would be represented by their level of trade with the Islamic state. Of these two factors, the former (a basket of goods and services reflective of the economy) should be weighted more than the latter (basket of currencies being traded with), given the importance of the Islamic state's own real assets and value to its citizens. This ratio of decision-weighting would need to be determined and could perhaps be in the region of a 80:20 ratio, heavily in favor of maintaining the value of the currency for the local consumers.
Alternatively, the ratio could perhaps be equal to the proportion of foreign trade to domestic consumption, a more classical way to address the issue.
For this to work in practice, a completely independent monetary authority would be needed. If the US constitution has three branches that are independent of each other, the Islamic State will need many more than three. The central bank will be one such independent authority that will be in charge of maintaining the value of the currency. Another independent institution will deal with statistical data and this will also need to be completely independent of the other arms of the state. This is important and is mentioned here because it would be less useful to have an independent central bank if it depended on data that was manipulated by governments as a means to sway the central bank.
We have seen how Western governments have played with key statistics such as inflation and unemployment. The Islamic State should not repeat that mistake. An independent statistical arm of the state will provide statistics for all other parts of the government to base there decisions on, including data needed by the independent monetary authority of the state.
Money Supply Expansion with Population
There is still the problem that a naturally increasing population would mean that keeping money supply per person constant would require a natural increase in the money supply. In the Western economy, monetary expansion principally and in its first incidence benefits the banking institution and the government rather than the people, who are only benefited indirectly.
One possible alternative is for each individual that comes of age, he/she would be given an endowment equal to the amount that would result in keeping the economy in equilibrium (a value dependent on the consumption rate). This could also simultaneously be a source of financing for young men and women entering the economy needing an initial investment to get them going (i.e. for education, buying a starter home, etc). In addition, such an endowment would strengthen the meritocratic nature of the state, evening the playing field for all future generations to.
The nature of the state, however, must remain fundamentally that of an open economy based on private enterprise and competition, we must not take the route of ever increasing government regulation and government supported welfare projects that take on a political power-base of their own. The low tax rate of an Islamic economy will perhaps prove to be a counter to such state-creep. Regulatory creep however, needs to be watched and guarded against far more extensively. The importance of having a financial regulatory body, completely independent from the government of the day, is thus of vital import to the model we are attempting to develop.
In the event of the establishment of an Islamic state, abolishing banking outright would be catastrophic. Money supply would shrink rapidly. Demand and investment would collapse, spiraling the economy into a recession. The knee-jerk reaction from the populace would be to increase savings, further reducing consumption, compounding the problem even further.
The correct solution perhaps would be to gradually impair banking. Just as the Communists created a socialist state to achieve Communism, so too must the Islamic state act in staging itself through a transition. Staggered increase in the reserve ratio of banks and changing the regulatory framework can go hand-in-hand in transforming today's banks from caterpillars to butterflies.
The aim, eventually, is to move banking towards a theoretical 100% reserve ratio; depositors would have to give the bank consent to invest their money. One option would be that such banks would offer liquidity options with time horizons such as 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, etc. Investments would not have a fixed guaranteed return but rather a risk sharing return. Because of the nature of the investments, greater liquidity options would still generally yield lower returns and thus still maintain those natural patterns of investment that economists have come to consider almost equal to the law of gravity.
For those depositors seeking 100% reserve and complete liquidity, the banks should be allowed to charge a service fee for holding the money in safety. After all, such a service would represent a clear service to the bank's customers with clearly identifiable costs to the bank.
Monetary and Fiscal Impact of Transition
We have already touched upon how liquidity would dry up in transition. Even with the most gradual transition would result in recession, and the more gradual it would be the longer the recession would last and the worse would be its consequence. Let us consider three possible policy options: increasing the reserve ratio, curtailing interest-based banking through regulation and restricting and regulating the stock market. All would result in a rapid reduction in the money supply, and a rapid downward projection of the economy towards an inevitable crash; ceteris paribus, deflationary pressures would reduce investment and consumption expenditures and reduce national income.
Is this a necessary pain to create an Islamic state? One, impoverished and destitute already, would he or she be willing to dip even deeper into unimaginable poverty and hopelessness? No. For sure there is a solution. It may in fact, be an ideal opportunity. Let us consider the possibilities.
Keynesian economics dictates that an (read non-Islamic) economy can be revived by public spending to boost consumption and thus inject the system with new demand and new money.
C▼ and I▼ is counteracted by G▲
Y is National Income
C is Consumption
I is Investment
G is Government Expenditure
X is Exports
M is Imports
Because an interest-based Western economy is inherently cyclical and dependent on an ever increasing GDP & Money Supply, the Keynesian solution is often the last resort when all monetary and information options have failed. That is, for instance, when simply expanding credit and the money supply either becomes ineffective or becomes untenable.
The great downside of Keynesian fiscal expansion is inflation. Yet, this may not be a downside in deflationary times. Here is the opportunity within our framework of a transitioning Islamic state: If we attempted fiscal expansion during our earlier described banking and stock market transition, we would be ideally placed to carry out our expansionary fiscal policies without paying the price of Inflation!
However, as with anything in life, timing and proportion is crucial. A cricketer (or a baseball player) perhaps understands this better than an economist. Yet for the economist, that mis-timed ball would result in far more damage than the cricketer (or baseball player) can fathom. Neither is it for no reason that Alan Greenspan played the violin; dreamers must be good and timely executioners, if their dreams are to succeed.
This period of fiscal expansion should not however go beyond the period of transition. Governments should not be allowed foot-loose monetary and fiscal policies. Balanced budgets would be hardwired into the constitution. As we shall see in the section on the constitution, division of powers would ensure that monetary policy is conducted by an independent arm of the government that is autonomous of the political and administrative authority. This will ensure that the money supply is not abused and inflation is kept at or near zero percent. Combined with a hardwired balanced budget, this will ensure the stability of macroeconomic conditions in the country.
On the surface, such a setup appears grossly flawed. When a Western economy faces recession, not only does consumption decrease, but so does government revenue. As a result, balanced budgets would do great harm in actually advocating reduced government spending during a recession. However, in our economic model, we believe that the economy will be far less cyclic, given the elimination of interest and fractional-reserve banking. Secondly, We can add a provision that the monetary authority will have the final say as to the amount and extent of any fiscal intervention in the case of a recession.
This solution effectively eliminates perhaps the greatest quandary of Western economies - the conflict of interest between political government and vested interests on the one hand, and the higher intellectual goals of managing booms and busts.
Meritocracy as the Central Theme of our Model
Let us consider the central principles of our Economic Model. Centrally, we seek free enterprise within the constraints of Islam, making it philosophically an effort towards a meritocracy. A welfare state within that which has been prescribed in Islam given the Muslim obligations of zakat and alms giving.
Removal of riba, fractional reserve banking and inflation as a tax imposed by government. A defanged savings-investment system built around equity investing and freed from the injustices of regulation, double taxation and unfair competition that equity investments face today in the West. An independent state bank to have complete control over the money supply, with the central purpose of maintaining the money supply.
A central theme of meritocracy inevitably plays out, given Muslim requirements for alms giving and zakat (which incidentally is a wealth tax) Islamic redistribution laws on death, and if we are to pursue an endowment policy for the young. Linking with free education and a meritocratic political model, we see that the theme for meritocracy would become intrinsic to the Islamic state, politically, economically and spiritually.
The Day of Judgment too will be meritocratic, each soul being rewarded by what it earned. That will be a Day of perfect Justice. Our meritocracy on the other hand, is a human meritocracy and flawed by our human limits.
Economic Modeling & a New Science of Muslim Economics
Economic modeling will need to be rethought as many of the key models have interest (riba) as a key element in the models. Perhaps Tobin's Q could be a replacement for riba. We would need pioneers to create the building blocks of Islamic econometrics. Thus far, “Islamic Economics” has largely meant Microeconomic discussions of interest-free banking. This is a poor picture of what we need and perhaps reflective only of where we stand today.
There are three kinds of education that is being handed out to Muslims today - one created for the elite and involves foreign-language, often English or French based system mirroring a Western education system. This education lacks any real substance in Islam, but instead replace this with a History, Philosophy and Social Science that propagates a world-view centered on the ascendancy of Western civilization, to a secular view of the world and to the subservience and abject inferiority of our own civilization.
From being dressed in Western attire in a young age, our children are / have been brainwashed into accepting an alien culture and serve to be transformed into an elite that neither understands nor respects its culture and roots, and instead, is in awe of the Western civilization. This elite then serves as the agents of the foreign power in keeping control over the country, a new and sophisticated form of vassalage, yet a vassalage to the same, or greater degree than ever before.
The second form of education is the diametric opposite – madrasah education given to the lower classes where the Quran is recited and memorized but without any comprehension or understanding. People still are devoted to the Quran, but their love of the book is not one of reflection and understanding, but of formalistic and ritualistic reading, learning by heart and a complicated science of pronunciation. What is produced are people who can recite, memorize and obey commands, but neither understand Islam, their active role in Islam, or their position in the greater scheme of things.
The third form of education is the government provided education and involves a blend of rout learning similar to the madrasahs, but just enough practical curriculum to be able to function in various jobs and roles that any state and economy inevitably needs. These typically serve the middle classes.
Our educational system is broken, and astoundingly, there is no Muslim government that is willing to fix it. How can we create an improved state of affairs when the fundamental building blocks of the system, the Muslim Individual, is not educated, aware and enlightened but brainwashed to believe their inferiority? As with any system, garbage in, garbage out.
An Islamic education must be built, an education on the basis of which we can build sound citizens. Such an education can be seen in the various Islamic school systems established throughout the world including by Yusuf Islam, whose highly successful chain of Islamic schools in the United Kingdom has been a model of excellence. An Islamic state would need to bring men like him together, and let them build what they have successfully built without the resources of a state and in a hostile environment. We do not need to reinvent the wheel, this task before us, although of the greatest importance, is not beyond the capabilities already present today.
The legal system will be run according to the Shariah. The legal system will be an independent arm of the constitution. The system will be tied in with the educational system of the country, and have a meritocratic basis on the level of Islamic education one has. Thus, a citizen who has taken Islam as a subject at the high school level will receive one vote, a citizen having done the same at a college level will receive 5 votes, and a citizen that has studied Islam at the graduate level will receive 10 votes. And these votes will go to electing the Legal institution of the country.
This will include a general body and council that will discuss and implement legal developments and will also be responsible for running the judiciary. This voting mechanism (and other similar secondary voting mechanisms) could run simultaneously with the political continuous flow elections.
The police force has to be directly subservient to the Judiciary. As such, the Judiciary will be able to fire and replace any officer of the law. Officers will maintain the Muslim equivalent of habeas corpus, which, while a western term, is easily supplanted into the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Citizens of Medina were not unlawfully detained. Further, examples of the importance for the writ of the law abounds in the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Examples of impartiality and fairness in the courts of Medina are also well documented.
The Islamic Council and the Judiciary will form an organization that will stand as one of the pillars of the Islamic State, and should be independent of the other arms of the constitution.
And she, in whose house he was, asked of him an evil act. She bolted the doors and said: Come! He said: I seek refuge in Allah! Lo! he is my lord, who hath treated me honorably. Lo! wrong-doers never prosper.
She verily desired him, and he would have desired her if it had not been that he saw the argument of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewdness. Lo! he was of Our chosen slaves.
(Surah Yusuf, Verses 23-24)
Problems related to sexuality are one of the biggest problems faced by society, whether Islamic or otherwise. Whether our young men and teenagers are sitting in front of the computer or mixing with the opposite gender in manner that is inappropriate. The above quote indicates that even Prophet Yusuf (pbuh), a Messenger of Allah, he too had those basic urges and desire. When we leave our children at the mercy of these desires, we would do well to remember that.
The Islamic State would need to address this major problem of sexual desire, in line with the guidance of the Quran and Hadith. Women covering themselves appropriately is an often discussed topic in the mass media, yet the issues are far deeper and more vital.
The human physiology is no different from the natural world's animal kingdom. Our basic physical configuration, with bones, muscles, tissues, blood, nervous system, etc is not unique in this planet. We too need to eat, sleep and drink, like all other creatures on God's Earth. Should sex then be held to a different standard? There is no reason to believe so. When a horse, a camel, a dog or cattle comes of age, they are not restricted by man-made laws on when and if they can copulate. Man should not impose upon himself standards of when his own kind can come of age. These are set by Allah, and relate to the natural biological process of menstrual cycles for women, and the awareness of sex for men.
This was no different than what was practiced before industrialization took place and the complexity of the world required ever increasing amount of training and schooling, and the needs of labor and controlling population growth caused the employment of an ever increasing age limit for the coming of age of Man's children. But what has been the adverse side effects of this? For when you change the variables in any equation, the changes can have wide ranging effects on the results.
The first impact has been a fixation on sex, prizing it as one of the central concepts in society. The laws of Economics dictate that when supply is restricted, demand does not go down, but the value society attaches to the item increases. Thus are our teenage children and young adults disproportionately focus on sexuality above all else. It is perhaps the issue that is most in their minds and central to many of their other wants and aspirations.
In addition to this unnatural and artificial imposition of law, society bombards these young adults with all forms of obscenities and shamelessness. As a result, man today is centrally focused on sex, and is led around the world like a donkey is led, with a carrot dangled in front of him.
The second impact is that of fornication and masturbation. When an essential and natural element is restricted unnaturally by the laws and norms of an artificial society such that sexuality is repressed from anywhere between a decade or two decades after the initialization of our natural inclinations, man will develop pathologies to channel his natural urges.
Masturbation attempts to simulate the basic mechanism of a natural sexual release, but does not have the necessary level of stimuli to recreate the experience completely. As a result, other aids become prevalent, psychological and visual such as pornography. But the worst impact is perhaps that the mind takes over part of the stimulus function. This brings the mind to seek fantasies and, since the stimuli can never be as good as the real thing, man consequently compensates by making those fantasies ever more extreme. This results in sexual perversion.
This impact is possibly key in understanding the ever increasing number of gays and sexually perverted individuals. Thus are the most natural and innocent of feelings turned into the most grotesque and hideous elements in man.
One possible study that could be conducted would be to look at the level of perversion as measured by the number of gays and other perverted individuals, and to measure this against the average age of the initiation of actual sexual intercourse. A longitudinal study or a cross-societal study would involve seeing how changes in the latter effect the former.
Suppression of sexuality is perhaps understandable from Christianity's perspective, where the concept of the Original Sin play a central doctrinal role. It is less understandable for us Muslims, where Islam can be considered to have encouraged marriage at a young age, and elevated marriage to an essential and integral part of being a Muslim.
So then, what is the solution? How can we get to a point where men and women can have sexual relations within marriage from an early age without restrictions from society, economics and the legal system? We can change laws, but to change norms is far more difficult. Only through an understanding of how Islam attaches importance to marriage, and does not attempt to artificially restrict the age of participants, can people begin to change their norms.
But the problem of economics remains, particularly combined with norms; a young couple is expected to live independently, or to have room within the larger family. Many parts of the Muslim world require massive financial expenditures to get married. Somehow, the Islamic state would need to delink economic and cultural expectations from marriage, allowing young individuals sexual freedom within marriage as a practical and acceptable option.
Agism within matrimony is also a major source of friction and barriers to marriage. The Prophet (pbuh) married Aisha, a woman much younger than him. He also married Khadija, a woman much older than him. Yet age has become a major taboo in society as concerns marriage. In an age when Muslims are struggling to get married, and today's society has imposed major obstacles for young people to fulfill a major and essential human need, we do not need to burden ourselves further with agism. We must be willing to marry our young women to older men, as much as to young men, and our young men to older women, as much as to young women.
He sees a long, dark line of horsemen emerge from behind a rise in the ground and charge galloping at a body of Roman troops. The cloaks of the warriors fly behind them and the hooves of their horses pound the earth pitilessly. Some carry lances; others brandish swords; and the Romans standing in the path of the charge tremble at the sight of the oncoming terror, for they are standing in the way of the Mobile Guard, whom none may resist and survive to tell the tale. The line of charging horsemen is not straight, for it is impossible to keep it straight at such a mad, reckless pace. Every man strives to get ahead of his comrades and be the first to clash with the infidel; strives to get ahead of all but the Leader, for no one may, or possibly could, overtake the Leader.
The Leader gallops ahead of the Muslims. A large, broad-shouldered, powerfully-built man, he is mounted on a magnificent Arab stallion and rides it as if he were part of the horse. The loose end of his turban and his cloak flutter behind him and his large, full beard is pressed against his chest by the wind. His fierce eyes shine with excitement-with the promise of battle and blood and glory- the glory of victory or martyrdom. His coat of mail and the iron tip of his long lance glint in the clear sunlight, and the earth trembles under the thundering hooves of his fiery charger.
I am the noble warrior;
I am the Sword of Allah
Khalid bin Al Waleed!
Extract from The Sword of Allah, Lieutenant-General A.I. Akram of the Pakistan Army
The Islamic state expects all Muslims to take part in defending their state. This is an obligation upon Muslims, as it was upon Muslims of Medina, during the Prophet's (pbuh) era. However, a country like Pakistan, with over 170 million people, would find compulsory military service a difficult organizational problem and of doubtful marginal utility at war. Today's wars are not fought with extreme numbers, but rather by investments in capital, training and technology.
Respect for Muslim lives must be shown and the Islamic State cannot use lives of its citizens as cannon fodder. Instead, military conscription could be randomly selected. This would allow a sizable conscript force that could supplement the professional army, presuming that a professional army would need to be maintained given the specializations and investments in training needed for key technical elements. A professional army supplemented by a conscript force, appears to be a healthy compromise in today's circumstances.
A third possible category of forces would be volunteers. That is, those that do not wish to play the role of a conscript and have enough resources and organization to build effective combat units on their own. These could be an essential outlet for those Muslims seeking Jihad and have the organizational and entrepreneurial skills to run their own outfits. Such forces would need to be monitored closely, so that they do not turn their guns on the Islamic state on any point that they disagree. Instead, they would need to be channeled to various lands where Islam is threatened or facing occupation. Unstable and politically controversial figures must be kept out of these outfits.
Role of Non-Muslims
Non-Muslims will pay the jizya, as a payment for protection received, unless they volunteer to be part of the pool of conscripts, or are part of the professional army. Those that have not served in the army, whether Muslim or Non-Muslim, due to non-selection and are sufficiently well-off, will be required to pay a defense tax.
Air Defense as critical to Modern Warfare
Air defense is of vital importance to modern warfare. Wars lost in the air are wars lost on the ground. Muslim armies have been most negligent in this key aspect of warfare and have lacked the technologies, the training and the sustained investments needed. The most effective way to counter an enemy in the air, is by air combat. Although a layered and integrated air defense with SAMs is also necessary, historically, the most successful method of air defense has been, and in the foreseeable future is likely to continue to be, through a viable air force.
The Pakistan Air Force, of course stands head-and-shoulders above the other Muslim air arms and in the event that the Islamic state is established in Pakistan, will be the first and most crucial line of defense for the Islamic state.
With the development of a first competent Muslim combat aircraft in the JF-17, the PAF has brought a new era of Muslim capability. Not even did the Uthman Empire manage to build its own combat aircraft. This capability must be expanded and sustained to the utmost and developments investments made for the next generation of combat aircraft.
A Viable Military-Industrial Complex
The focus of the Islamic State, as concerns defense, will be to build a viable military-industrial complex. Sustained investments are needed in not only weapons development, but in primary industries such as steel and metallurgy in general. The budding military-industrial complex in Pakistan, hampered at every step and sabotaged by the present pro-western government, must receive sustained investment by the Islamic state.
21st Century Combined Arms Operations: Integrating an Air Component
Following is the development of some ideas on strategy and tactics of the Muslim army. We must be innovators and leaders in the field rather than followers. The ideas expressed below are qualified by necessitating an effective air defense first and foremost, without which they would be most ineffective.
Today’s battlefields heavily rely on an air-component and combined arms philosophy that has significant gaps both in theory and when applied in practice. CAS (Combat Air Support) aircraft and attack helicopters have shown themselves as highly critical in the modern battlefield, clearly demonstrated over Iraq during the two Gulf Wars.
However, they have been a major issue of concern on a number of fronts, from being too expensive, having separate logistic chains from other combined arms components, and having a fundamental de-link in tactical communications because of differing operational radii. Another issue is that the role of CAS aircraft have tend to be a reactive rather than proactive, – the controller calls in air support, rather than CAS aircraft proactively fighting the battle. The attempt is to bridge and define the doctrine, and design an aircraft that can fulfill that doctrine.
For the last 60 years, we have not moved much further than Rommel's North Africa campaigns. Even with network centric warfare, the basic doctrine has not changed, the employment of armor, infantry, artillery and air-power are essentially the same. The goal should be to attempt to build beyond this - beyond the combined arms operational concepts rehashed for the last 60 years to a new standard. The key salient is that air-power will not be seen as a reactive support force. In fact, the word "Combat Air Support" is inherently flawed – the air-war should be an arm onto itself of a combined arms military force, and a proactive force rather than 'support'.
We must understand that when Rommel galvanized the air components of his various divisions and employed it as a unitary command, he emphasized the importance of air-to-air combat over close air support. He lamented this later, but the tactic was effective for him at that point in time. At that time however, technologies were such that CAS and air-to-air combat could be effected by similar aircraft. However, this convergence of technologies and combat role is steadily becoming divergent.
To an extent, the West has been blind to this, focused on multi-role aircraft that can do everything. But what the logic is of providing CAS with multimillion dollar sophisticated platforms like the F-35 or previously, the F-16, is beyond what this author can understand. The answers are often political rather than built on sound military principles. To the benefit of Muslim resisters in Afghanistan and Iraq this has been the case, for if they had better coordination between their CAS and their ground forces, the freedom fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq would be far more restricted.
To conceptualize how close air support should truly be, we must consider 4 elements - armor, motorized infantry, artillery and CA-AC (Combined Arms Air Component. NOTE: I shall continue to use the term CAS interchangeably for the sake of familiarity, but will be meaning CA-AC, emphasizing proactive engagement over the reactive). Now to explain the fundamental dynamics between the forces at the simplest level, consider a medieval army - one with:
1. Foot soldiers
2. Heavy armored knights / war elephants / Roman cataphracts
4. Light cavalry
For the last 60 years we have assumed that the tank played the role of the cavalry, without distinguishing between the light and the heavy cavalry, creating a triad rather than a quartet. Yet, light cavalry was employed differently from heavy cavalry for most of known military history.
Consider the employment of the medieval heavily armored knight – always moving in closed formation; often employed to charge and break enemy lines. Can be susceptible to well disciplined and well-formed infantry with pikes. Countering such infantry, heavy cavalry moved on to incorporate ever greater ranged assault and ever greater armor. Consider how well this fits the role that tanks have played and how they have evolved. How tanks, like their erstwhile predecessors, also are best employed en mass and not individually or small groups. How they are used to drive a wedge into enemy lines, but can be devastated when well trained and well formed infantry can effectively deploy their anti-tank arsenal (i.e. pikes).
Consider how ranged attack and greater armor have increasingly become important with the increasing lethality of anti-tank weapons.
However, if modern armor equates with heavy cavalry, then what can be considered as the light cavalry component? What can optimize mobility and surprise rather than firepower and armor? Clearly, not the modern MBT. Perhaps the combined sequel of weapons in the modern battlefield made light cavalry obsolete. Or perhaps there is such a weapon system that is merely waiting to be found. I believe the latter, and equate traditional light cavalry with what can be called Combined Arms Air Component 'CA-AC'.
The four components should, ideally be part of one integrated army and work with seamless operational unity. To be truly effective, they would need to be employed organically, and share the as close a possible, a logistics base and operational deployment.
But the importance of CAS is paramount, as it can be the game changer, air-power must not be neglected, as given modern technologies, they are extremely effective. We Muslims must understand the importance of CAS, as light cavalry was our forte. Khalid bin Waleed was unsurpassed in his mastery of light cavalry, and the Romans and Persians never had an answer to our light cavalry. Perhaps some day soon, this will be the same again, against our modern Roman equivalents.
The Modern Compromise
Today's multi-role aircraft attempt to compromise between a fighter, a deep strike and a CAS aircraft. The disconnect between them is particularly stark vis-a-vis CAS, where a cheap, slow flying but agile aircraft is needed, which does not need to fly at anywhere near the sound barrier, or have a sophisticated radar. What is need is an aircraft that can fly low, maneuver at below tree top height, retain an ability to 'hang in the air' when needed, and land on the shortest strips or gravel or paddy field. Instead of this, what we see is that combat aircraft are increasingly becoming more complex, larger, poor performers at low altitudes and low speeds and able to land only on specialized runways. Focus then has turned to dropping JDAMs from altitude, negating proactive engagements, and being employed only because no one wants to risk the multimillion dollar combat aircraft, nor the pilot, leaving the foot soldiers on the ground with the proverbial buck.
Further, while in an overly mismatched battlefield, one side can dedicate a portion of its air force assets to CAS, in a more even battle, airforces focus almost all of their assets in winning the air-war first. Given the cost and value of fighter aircraft, this makes sense. However, given the need for a truly combined arms operation and a cheap CAS aircraft, it makes less sense to have the ground forces commander left without CAS, when CAS can be the difference between a defeat and a victory.
The present response to fill this widening gap is to increase the component of attack helicopters. However, helicopters fundamentally are more complex, have far less range and are more expensive to build and maintain on a payload delivered basis. Moreover, todays helicopters cannot fulfill a complete vision of a seamless combined arms operation. They have separate logistics chains, separate tactical deployment requirements and are very low on endurance.
In addition, the cost of an Apache AH-64D is exorbitant – Greece paid as much as $56.25 million per piece. Whether this includes training, logistics and support or not, it illustrates an ever increasing cost of creating a platform that can, in essence, deliver an anti-tank missile to the battlefield. The best candidates out there for such platforms today are the A-10, the Su-25, and the AH-1 Cobra. The A-10 cannot be employed organically with a battalion because of the complex logistics and necessity of a landing strip. The Su-25 is less complex and can land on worse terrain but again, it would be a stretch to consider it to be deployed organically with a brigade size force; consider the simple question of finding jet fuel or supplying it to a brigade.
If we look at finding an easy solution such as a smaller aircraft like the Tucano and arm it with missiles, some armor and optimize it for short takeoffs and landings, we would have something like the ALX. We would still need to build an engine to run on either diesel or at least petrol. We would be essentially better off designing a new aircraft.
Defining the Role of the Combined Arms Air Component, CA-AC
True Combined arms operation is not about calling in air support. In my opinion, it is about having a military force, one arm of which is CAS aircraft. Thus we would have Armor, Motorized Infantry, Artillery and "Air Cavalry". All shall share one logistics base and one tactical deployment basis. In other words, an aircraft designed for this role will run on diesel, take-off and land from ordinary fields and road strips, and fire largely the same ammunition that the logistics supply chain provides to the other components. This at least is the doctrinal ideal that we wish to reach or work towards.
To further elaborate, flight endurance, flying nap of the earth, the ability to fly slow when necessary and maneuver rapidly are also key characteristics. Flight endurance is necessary because, if the air arm is to stay with a rapidly moving armored force, constant preparation of landing and refueling is not possible. Flight endurance must approximately be aimed at between 5-6 hours at cruise speeds.
Low flight profiles will help evade enemy fire as well as keep the battle ground-bound rather than attracting enemy fighters. A slow and low flying small aircraft is unlikely to even show up on a fighter aircaft's radar. This will be key in staying out of the air campaign. The ability to fly slow will help on a number of fronts: enable short take-offs and landings, help stay with the pace of the armor and other ground components, identify and attack enemy units, and help with endurance by being a more fuel efficient method of staying up in the air. The aircraft must also be able to maneuver rapidly and be nimble enough to evade enemy fire. Designing such an aircraft should not be beyond the realm of possibility.
The evidence that the gap exists is beyond doubt; with all the "lookers" and satellites and even boots on the ground, modern armies (and the modernest army the US) still have very poor situational awareness as exemplified in Iraq and Afghanistan. Afghanistan particularly, where US and NATO forces have come to a point where they are close to clueless. The primary problem roots from attempting to substitute direct "human" situational awareness. Either flying away in jets and watching the countryside go by as a blur or traveling in APCs and tanks with eyes elsewhere than the surroundings. The fallback then is to "there being no substitute to boots on the ground" which to me, is the truth but only half of the truth. The critical element is having "eyes" on the ground rather than "boots" - in essence, true "human", real time, actionable, situational awareness. Truly organic CAS can solve this problem, at least for the Muslim army.
Our Improvisation is a Strength
A truly remarkable feature of the FC-1, the joint fighter project between Pakistan and China, has been the willingness of its development team to improvise. Significant changes have been made mid-program and even at the very end of the program timetable.
This is in contrast to Western design houses where original frameworks are strictly maintained – notice the F-22 and the Eurofighter, where certain design parameters where doggedly followed when they could have clearly done better by changing course midway.
The Western style of planning is culturally different from the eastern style – objectives are fixed at the beginning while in the East, we are willing to move the objective around a bit. Obviously, neither is “better” than the other, but each has its benefits and costs. However, I think the JF-17 benefited from this immeasurably. Otherwise Pakistan would be taking delivery of the original Super 7 airframe at perhaps $20 million per plane. We must be willing to continue doing things our way in all future weapons developments. We only have to see the handling of the F-22 and F-35 programs to see how the West is losing competence.
Contributed by Joshim Uddin
“A man's worth depends upon the nobility of his aspirations.”
- Ali ibn Abu Talib
For Muslims living in the West, the issue of hijra is something of an elephant in the room. Do we belong here, do we not? Reactions to the issue vary from mild indifference to secret embarrassment and tentative agreement. The question is irrelevant to some, as we are here whether we like it or not, whether by our own choice or not, so we must proceed to make the most of it. Surely the Earth belongs to Allah, and as His slaves we can choose wherever we want to live? Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Qur’an,
And Allah hath made the earth a wide expanse for you.
We perhaps convince ourselves that we are indeed here on a noble cause - dawah. The da’ee within us, whether dormant or active, becomes the prime justification for residing in darul kufr, despite the undoubted reality that the vast majority of Muslims in the West not only do not actively give dawah, but do not practice the religion anyway. But migrate to where? Where is darul Islam nowadays? What reasoning do we present to leave the lands where we can practise Islam with relative ease to nations with crippling corruption and infinite social ills? Living in France is no different to living in Tunisia, as both are void of the shari’ah. The picture painted has resulted in first and second generation of Muslims in the West turning into third and soon fourth and fifth, with no change in sight.
It was the superficial understanding of Islam of our parents which led them to abandon the lands where the azaan is heard without fail fives times a day to settle in countries bereft of spirituality and religion. They came for their piece ofdunya, perhaps with the intention to go back, but instead settled for segregation and discrimination over the corruption and deprivation of their home lands. It is clear from the shari’ah evidences that our presence in the West should leave us worried indeed:
Lo! As for those whom the Angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the Angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The Angels) will say: Was not Allah's earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell, an evil journey's end.
And the hadith of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم,
“I am not responsible for any Muslim who stays among the Mushrikeen. They asked: Why, Apostle of Allah? He said: Do not take light from their fire.”
Narrated by Jareer bin Abdullah, in Abu Dawood: No. 1530 and 2274
It is clear that the hijra is recommended for all Muslims who have the means to do so. The wisdom of the words of Prophet Muhammad is manifest when we see the declining quality of Islam with each emerging generation born in the West. The mixtures of culture, economics and education have a profound effect on the adab of every Muslim, with an overwhelmingly negative one on Western Believers. Set aside the negative perception of Islam prevalent in Western psyche and the failure of Muslims to rectify this; there is a distinct feeling of helplessness engraved in the minds of Western Muslims confronted with the injustices perpetrated by their governments on the Muslim world. Our citizenships are strained as we see our brothers and sisters under the foot of oppression. We are with them, but we are not.
Have we turned into an Ummah who would seemingly win with the wrong side than lose with the right side? Of course, those in tune with their fitrah will know that there is no winning when you choose the side of kufr. The talent of the Muslims reside in the West, working for their paymasters who on the one hand feed them but with the other hand snatch away the lives of countless Muslims in far-off lands. Our silence is a form of complicity. Our refusal to makehijra is a betrayal. Our parents came here for dunya, leaving us searching akhira. The irony!
There are many who consider the educated and skilled Muslims of the West to be instrumental in re-establishing a unified Ummah. Politically astute, with academia and media expertise, they are but gems of hope we have from an otherwise poor, downtrodden corner of Western society.
One of the biggest travesties and perpetual problems of the Muslim world is the loss of talent via migration to the West. Indian doctors, Pakistani lawyers and Arab engineers are a few examples of talent being drained from the Ummahinto the gutter of the West. After being here for three or more generations, Muslims have made negligible headway in influencing politics, media or anything else in the public sphere. This is in stark contrast with the Jews, who over the years have excelled to occupy positions of great influence in the highest echelons of Western life. But, they are of course, helpers of each other, as made clear in the Qur’an. This is clearly not a strategy for Western Muslims to emulate.
O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.
And what if this trend was reversed? Muslims with education and entrepreneurial skills swam against the tide back to the Muslim lands? Islam is not an elitist religion, but does not deny the necessity of knowledge to attain success in this world and the hereafter. The famous hadith of Prophet Muhammad
"The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim."
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74
All knowledge is sacred, whether it be secular (as long as it is useful) or religious. To have such knowledge attained in the West, where the education systems (in secular knowledge) are categorically superior to their Muslim counter-parts could be used to great potency in the Muslim countries. Doctors, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, lawyers and politicians who return to darul Islam will no doubt have the effect of re-kindling the thirst for knowledge amongst Muslims. Strategies for change could be coherently devised, with an intimate knowledge of Western reactions. If such Muslims are welcomed in the Muslim world, their achievements will command great respect, and have the ability to mobilise Muslims in a way their indigenous brothers and sisters could not.
Whoso migrateth for the cause of Allah will find much refuge and abundance in the Earth, and whoso forsaketh his home, a fugitive unto Allah and His messenger, and death overtaketh him, his reward is then incumbent on Allah. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
What worth, do we Muslims living in the West have? It is a fallacy to say we can do much good from here. We do not have the most powerful banking dynasties, or the most influential media companies, nor have influence over the political elite in the West. Anything Islam or Muslim related provokes a reaction of hostility, or suspicion in the collective opinions of the whole Western social order. No, our work cannot be done from here. Our aspirations for a unifiedUmmah under the shari’ah are the same as Muslims all over the world. We are one Ummah, albeit scattered and weak for now. But that can be changed with the educated, determined and willing of the Western Muslims who makehijra for the pleasure of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. One could argue that hijra will make little or no difference, considering Muslims make up only 3-4% of Europe and even less of North America. However, it is not the numbers which make Western Muslims so important – it is the effect they can potentially have on the Muslims in darul Islam. And even if they have no influence at all, it is for the betterment of us and our children to live with the Muslims. If our aspirations are noble, Allah سبحانه وتعالى will reveal our worth.
Tala'al Badru 'alayna,
Min thaniyyatil Wada
Wajaba al shukru 'alayna
Ma da'a lillahi da'
O the White Moon rose over us
From the Valley of Wada
And we owe it to show gratefulness
Where the call is to Allah
Ayyuha al mab'uthu fina
Ji'ta bi al amri al-muta
Ji'ta sharrafta al Madinah
Marhaban ya khayra da
O you who were raised amongst us
Coming with a work to be obeyed
You have brought to this city nobleness
Welcome! best call to God's way
This song is over 1400 years old and was writen and sung by the people of Medina when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated to there. Medina was one of the key turning points and perhaps marks the changing of the political landscape for Muslims from one of oppression to one of ascendancy. Perhaps some day, Allah will grant us our Medina and we can sing the same to our migrants from across the world. A genuine Islamic revolution, so to speak.
What follows are some ideas on how such a state would react in the immediate aftermath, politically and both and internally and externally.
If and when, by the Grace of Allah, a revolution takes place and people come to power who will, with the Grace of Allah implement an Islamic state, drastic measures and policies will need to be adopted. Internal and external forces would attempt their best to sabotage such a state. We have seen this time and again by not only the United States, but also by Europe, Israel and others. It is imperative that such saboteurs are preempted.
It is also of utmost importance to change the fundamental power equilibrium in the country. The first and most important measure would be to eliminate the power base of the old secular elite. With their corruption and their Swiss bank accounts, they have robbed the common Muslims enough. It is imperative to take drastic and tough measures to ensure this elite, entrenched over ages, chooses subservience and flight rather than their fight instincts.
The biggest robber barons that have looted the country, having the biggest overseas bank accounts will need to answer for their deeds. They will have to return the money. Those that escape to their master foreign countries could possibly be renditioned, just as the Mossad renditioned Nazis that escaped WWII. Big or small robber, our secular elites will have to compensate for their deeds in some appropriate manner, including perhaps having to serve labor time, building roads, canals and planting trees for the country, as payment for their robbery of the common Muslim.
Nationalization & Privatization
Much of the industry is owned mainly by local elites and multinational corporations. This needs to be changed. At face, a rather Marxist argument of gaining control of the means of production. At the same time, we do not want to hand these over to cronies of the new administration, nor do we want the government to keep ownership of all industry, which would go against our free market principle and would result in great inefficiency.
One possible solution is to redistribute half of the equity to the employees of the company, in accordance with each employees salary as a proportion of net company salary. A rather large equity bonus if you will. The other half of the company can by floated in the stock exchange, staggered over a few years so as not to flood the market. A small percentage, for instance 2%, can be kept by the government to diversify its source of revenue.
The major companies as they stand today, are often subsidiaries of foreign multinationals. As such they are not companies as we would understand them, but rather neutered and genetically modified beasts that lack essential elements like R&D, certain elements of manufacturing, branding, product development and marketing assets. All such companies must be made aware of these deficiencies, and they can learn by trial and error on their own to fix these issues. The government cannot and should not fix these for them.
All foreign companies that seek to participate in the local economy beyond direct export, would need to conclusively prove that their funding sources do not include riba. This is nearly impossible as virtually all foreign companies are geared with interest financing. However, that is not the fault of the Islamic state, one must play by the rules of the Islamic state to do business there.
Everyone gets a fresh start and all debts are considered null and void. Interest will be banned from the economy. As concerns our foreign trading partners, they can take back their loans from the beloved elite that siphoned off the money to Switzerland and other such places. We wish them luck in recovering their debts from our little Ataturks. The IMF and World Bank will also not receive any of their money back from us. The Islamic State will not be a member of these organizations. All foreign NGOs will have to pack their bags. All local NGOs with foreign funding will have to seek funding from elsewhere. The only foreign nations that can legitimately seek their debt back will be those that have given honest and sincere funds for the benefit of the country, and have remained friends and trading partners post-revolution. This could prominently include China.
It is vital as Muslims to defend Islam. It is a duty upon us. But most Muslims feel helpless because they see themselves in a Mekkan era; that is, where we are in effect powerless. Our rulers are corrupt and often client states of non-Muslim powers. We are technologically, militarily and economically backward and dependent.
While it is true that little actions from over 1.5 billion people can have enormous impact, little actions must build up to bigger actions. If we look back to the generation of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), we see that they went from little actions to bigger actions, from struggle to greater struggle, until the point where Muslims established themselves in Yathrib (Madina), from whence the struggle was on its way up to a positive. The Prophet (peace be upon him) strove and increasingly moved up the tempo until we Muslims moved from an era of oppression in Mekkah to an era of strength in Medina. And if we can reach such a point, it would make all else that we do.
Imagine if we had an Islamic state that was not backward, not secular, nor controlled by the US, how much more would we be able to achieve? If we can find a possible way to create an Islamic state, that struggle should theoretically be of the highest priority for what it would allow us to achieve; for such a state would enable a far greater scale of dawah, charity and jihad. It would allow us to fight honorably and conventionally as the Prophet (peace be upon him fought), without going into such desperate tactics, that are against traditional shariah law, acts as killing civilians and using suicide bombings. Acts that are bida (innovations).
A nation state would galvanize us, synergize our efforts, and unite us in our will and resolve.
Prophecy after prophecy is coming true, and while we cannot agree whether the Black Banners we await will come tomorrow or 200 years from now, there is clearly at least a possibility that it will be sometime soon. As Muslims, we must guard against that possibility, particularly since so many of the signs are being rehearsed before us.
We know of the struggle in Afghanistan. There is little practicality in attempting to create a viable Islamic state with global reach from Afghanistan. Further, any battle that we fight to win, rather than to irritate, would need industrial strength and a viable state, rather than a guerrilla struggle. We must think strategically and understand these issues. We must be willing to think with our brains, as much as struggle with our hearts.
We cannot be indecisive, we cannot be uncaring, we cannot be hypocrites. We must struggle, we must struggle now, we must struggle smart and we must struggle in the Name of Allah. It is He that grants victory, and it is He that owns history.
And Allah knows best.
This book has been written with certain central principles. The present discussion and dialogue on the Islamic state must follow some general guidelines that we need to make explicit and agree upon. The following section will provide general guidelines for us to start with and add to, subtract from and modify as we go along.
Sahih Muslim & Bukhari
The general attempt will be to use only hadith from Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari as the basis for any discussion of the Islamic state. Using only the most authentic sources would enable us to keep the discussion from controversy and make obtuse arguments less likely. This in no way implies that the other books of hadith are not relevant or to lessen their importance or authenticity.
Example of the Sahaba
We will not take the example of the Sahaba blindly, noting that their interpretations may or may not be appropriate for all ages. Also noting that many decisions were made on the basis of pragmatism and political expedience. More controversially, noting that the Sahaba disagreed with each other on many points as to the nature of the state.
Reason over Blind Faith
We must be able and willing to take up the intellectual challenge of creating an Islamic state and not be afraid of fatwa's and opinions of the traditional ulema and accept these blindly.
Open Over Closed Society
We must accept that the state in Medina was not an authoritarian regime. Rather, it was an open society where differing opinions were tolerated, people where not arrested without charges and people where not forced to pray. Many people from the Quraish and Makkah accepted Islam when they saw the model state of Medina and how it was governed, with peace, justice and respect for all citizens, Muslim, non-Muslim and even the hypocritical.
Mechanism to Agree & Understanding Devolution
What is most important is not whether everyone agrees, but rather, it is finding a mechanism by which people can compromise. This has to be understood at different levels – at the level of the state, a province, a district, a city or village. Again, the main problem is not what I think or what you think, it is finding a mechanism by which each community can galvanize the collective thought and implement them. Thus, a community in X location may agree to certain policies and implement them, but one in Y location may think differently and implement their own interpretations and thoughts. We must be willing to accept that flexibility without being at each other’s throats.
The key element is to figure out what the mechanism is for agreeing (i.e. voting) and how the decision making levels are to be rationed.
Fatalism needs to be addressed for it can - and is - used by the Muslim clergy to create paralysis and inactivity amongst the Muslim people. The intricacies of fate, makes fate a tricky subject to handle. The concept of Fate and what is foretold, does not call us to inaction. It presupposes our actions, not necessarily because we believe in the prophecies, but because, as good Muslims, witnessing now and openly before us, Palestine, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Philippines, Thailand and many more places, we need to act if we are to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) never believed in fate in such a way as to sit back and relax, but rather the opposite: he actively and in great earnest went about fighting against all the problems and issues that he came across. We must follow that example.
Japan Vs Turkey
Japan and Turkey provide two contrasting and diametric models of how to react to the rapid advancement of the Western civilization. Historically, both Japan and Turkey faced the West and had to make a number of hard decisions as to how they can react, what to take and what to reject. They provide a classic case of comparison - ancient empires, facing a stark choice of change in a similar period in history - and yet made completely different choices.
Japan combined its tradition and progress in a way that reinvented its culture while Attaturk's Turkey threw out their culture and belief system to transplant a Western imitation instead.
Our discussion and dialogue concerning the Islamic state will be set within finding the Japan Route for the Muslim world, rather than the Turkey Route.
Dialogue with Civility
This dialogue must be held with the utmost civility. We do not want to be dishonorable in our conduct, nor do we want to put a sword to the neck of those who disagree.
Free Market Over Planned Economy
While the free market will be restricted by Islamic laws and regulations and with welfare obligations that are ordained, the essential nature of the economic system must be that of a free market.
Non-Muslims Not Part of this Dialogue
No matter how well intentioned, we would rather keep this discussion, so close to our hearts and so close to our religion, exclusively a Muslim affair. We thank all Non-Muslims for their interest, but respectfully decline your contribution. Please allow us this space as a sign of mutual respect. As someone once memorably said, talking to a non-Muslim about an Islamic state would be like trying to convince someone that chocolate pudding is better than chocolate cake, when they dislike chocolate to begin with.
Following is a list of Muslim leaders that is based on sincerity, piety, scholarship, tasawuf, relevance and in terms of their actions. It remains incomplete and a work in progress. It is in no way meant to belittle others who may be authentic leaders of the Muslim world. Any names amiss could easily be due to my ignorance or due to this analysis being incomplete. And Allah knows best who the real leaders are of our Muslim world today.
Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Mauritania
Abdul Hakim Murad, West
Abu Bakar Bashir, Indonesia
Ahmed Errachidi, Morocco
Ata Abu Rashta, Jordan
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Afghanistan
Hamza Yusuf, West
Harith al-Dhari, Iraq
Hassan Nasrallah, Lebanon
Imran Hossein, Trinidad
Imran Khan, Pakistan
Khaled Mashaal, Palestine
Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia
Mohammad Mahdi Akef, Egypt
Mullah Umar, Afghanistan
Nuh Ha Mim Keller, West
Yusuf Al Qaradawi, Egypt
Zaid Hamid, Pakistan
Zakir Naik, India
I have held from the beginning that I do not have the scholarship or wisdom to write this book. I have written it nevertheless as no one else appears to be stepping up to the plate. Within these pages I've placed the best that I know, the best of me. Yet, this book can be better written, and more worthy ideas included, or better ideas replacing those that I have come up with. I would rather that this book be added to, modified, by those that have something to contribute to the great intellectual task before us.
As such I have removed copyright restrictions by using Creative Commons. Effectively, any Muslim intellectual can create his or her own version of the book. It is my hope that this would facilitate a dialogue between Muslim intellectuals. If software can be best developed open source, perhaps this book too can be best developed under a Creative Commons license. I will attempt to maintain to the best of my ability any future versions, but I leave it equally upon anyone interested in doing so. May Allah bless us all and help us in these dark days of oppression.
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 In fact, employment of German ground attack aircraft was far more organic for a period of time within WWII.