ISLAM WILL BE NUMBER ONE
Surah At-Tawbah 9.33: “He it is who hath sent his Messenger with the guidance and the religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, however much the disbelievers may averse.”
Muhammad (saw) said: “…Allah will establish this religion in every house, in every town, in every village, and in every desert…” (Imam Ahmad)
THE CONDITIONAL PROMISE
“Allaah has promised to those of you who believe and do righteous actions, that He will certainly grant them succession (khilaafah) upon the earth, as He granted it to those before them; and that He will grant them authority to practice their Religion, the one that He has chosen for them and He will change their state from one of fear in which they lived, to one of peace and security. They will worship Me alone, not associating any partner with Me. But whosoever disbelieves after this, then they are the rebellious ones.” [Soorah Noor 24:55]
‘Ubayy Ibn Ka’b relates that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Give glad-tidings to this Ummah of high position, establishment upon this earth, victory and a lofty status in this world and in the Hearafter.” 
Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.774H) (rahimahullaah) said:  “This is a promise from Allaah â€“ the Most High â€“ to His Messenger, may the Prayers of Allaah and the peace be upon him, that he will make this Ummah the khulafaa` (successors) upon the earth. Meaning that they will be the leaders and rulers over mankind, by whom nations will be corrected and to whom mankind will submit. And that He will replace their state of fear in which they lived, to one of security and dominion. Allaah the Blessed, the Most High has fulfilled His promise, and to Him belongs all praise and thanks. For the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not die until Allaah made him conquer Makkah, Khaybar, al-Bahrain, the remaining lands of the Arabian peninsula and the whole of Yemen. He took jizyah (protection tax) from the Magians of Hajar and from the people of the surrounding areas of Syria. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) received gifts from Heraclius, the king of Rome; the ruler of Egypt and Alexandria, the Mawqawqis; the kings of Oman; and Negus, the king of Ethiopia, who became king after Ashamah died, may Allaah have mercy upon him and grant him nobility.
After the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) died, Allaah having chosen for him the reward that is with Him, Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq was then established as his Khaleefah (successor), taking charge unwaveringly. Aboo Bakr took the Arabian peninsula and put it in order. He sent forth armies of Islaam to the lands of Persia, under the command of Khaalid Ibnul-Waleed (radiyallaahu ‘anhu). They conquered parts of these lands, slaying a number of it’s inhabitants. A second army was sent to the lands of Syria, under the leadership of Aboo ‘Ubaydah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) and those who followed him. A third army was sent to Egypt under the leadership of ‘Amr Ibnul-‘Aas (radiyallaahu ‘anhu). It was during his time that the armies sent to Syria conquered the cities of Busra, Damascus and it’s environs from the land of Hawraan and it’s surroundings.
Allaah the Mighty and Majestic took the soul of Aboo Bakr choosing for him the reward which is with Him. Allaah blessed the people of Islaam by inspiring asSiddeeq to chose ‘Umar al-Faarooq as a successor. ‘Umar then stood up, taking charge completely. The heavens will not witness after the Prophets anyone like ‘Umar, whether in the strength of his reign, or in the fulfillment of justice. It was during his time that the conquest of Syria was completed; as was that of Egypt to it’s farthest reaches, as well as the province of Persia. He destroyed Kisraa (Chosroes) and humiliated him to the utmost, forcing him to retreat back to the farthest reaches of his kingdom. Similarly, ‘Umar destroyed Qaysar (Caesar), wrestling from his hands the lands of Syria and bottling him up in Constantinople. He spent the wealth (conquered from them) in the path of Allaah as the Messenger of Allaah had informed and promised â€“ may the most complete salaam and most purest salaat be bestowed upon the Messenger from his Lord.
Then there was the rule of ‘Uthmaan, under whom the possessions of Islaam extended to the furthest eastern and western reaches of the earth. The lands of the west were conquered to the farthest reaches of what lies there Andulus, Cyprus, the lands of Qayrawaan and the lands of Ceuta â€“ which is next to the all encompassing ocean; and to the farthest lands of China. Kisraa was killed and his kingdom totally vanquished. The cities of al-‘Iraaq, Khuraasaan and Ahwaaz were conquered and the Muslims slew a large number of Turks. Allaah having humiliated the Turks and their great king Kha-Khaan. The wealth of the east and the west was collected and brought to the Ameerul-Mu`mineen (leader of the Believers) ‘Uthmaan Ibn’Affaan (radiyallaahu ‘anhu). All of this came about as a result of his recitation, study and gathering the Ummah upon the preservation of the Qur`aan.
It is confirmed in the Saheeh that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Indeed Allaah gathered up the earth for me, so that I saw it’s east and it’s west. Indeed the dominion of my Ummah will reach what was gathered up for me, from it.”  We fluctuate in what Allaah has promised us with and in what His Messenger has promised. Allaah and His Messenger have spoken the truth. We ask Allaah to grant us eemaan (faith) in Him and His Messenger, and that we establish gratitude of what Allaah has given us, in the matter that He is please with.
‘Umar related to us, that Sufyaan related to us from ‘Abdul-Malik Ibn ‘Umayr, from Jaabir Ibn Samurah who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: “The affair of the people will continue to be upright whilst twelve men are in charge in of them.” The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said something which I could not make not. So I asked my father: What did the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say? He replied: “They are all from Quraysh.” This narration is also narrated by al-Bukhaaree. 
In this narration there exists a clear evidence that all twelve of these man must be leaders from Quraysh. They are not the twelve imaams claimed by the Shaee’ah, because many of them had no leadership over the Muslims. As for these twelve, they will be from Quraysh and they will be just rulers. The glad-tidings of their appearance have also occurred in the previous scriptures. Furthermore, it is not necessary that they succeed one another. Rather, their appearance in the Ummah could be successive or separate. Four of them were in order, namely, Aboo Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Alee (radiyallaahu’anhum). After these four there was a gap. Others amongst the twelve appeared as and when Allaah willed. It is possible that some of them will appear during a time which only Allaah the Most High knows. Amongst them will be the Mahdee whose name will be that of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and his kunyaa (nickname) that of his kunyaa. He will fill the earth with justice as it is filled with tyranny and injustice.
Imaam Ahmad, Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee and an-Nisaa`ee have all reported from the hadeeth of Sa’eed Ibn Juhmaan, from Safeenah â€“ the mawlaa (master) of the Messenger of Allaah (sallalaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The Khilaafah (successorship) after me will last for thirty years. Then kingship will appear.” 
Indeed ar-Rabee’ Ibn Anas has said that Abul-‘Aaliyah has remarked concerning this aayah: “The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions were in Makkah for ten years afraid, secretly calling to Allaah and His worship alone, He has no partner. They remained in such a state that they were ordered to migrate to al- Madeenah. They were ordered by Allaah to fight. Whilst they were (in al-Madeenah) they were in constant fear (of attack). They would go to sleep armed and awake armed. They remained patient upon that state for as long as Allaah willed, until one day when one individual from amongst the Companions said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Will we remain in a state of fear until the end of time? Will there not come a time when we will be in a state of security, so that we may lay down our weapons?” The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said: “Be patient for a while, for there will come a time when any man from amongst you will sit in a crowd unharmed.”
Allaah sent down this aayah and made his Prophet victorious over the Arabian Peninsula. The Companions of the Prophet were now safe and they could lay down their weapons. Allaah â€“ the Most High â€“ then took the soul of His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the Muslims remained in such a state during the leadership of Aboo Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan; until the Muslims fell into what they fell into from discord. So fear entered into their hearts and they took armies and guards for protection. For they had changed, so Allaah changed their state. One of the Salaf has remarked that the khilaafah of both Aboo Bakr and ‘Uthmaan was true. He then recited this aayah, al-Baraa` Ibn ‘Aazib has said: “This aayah was revealed whilst we were in a state of extreme fear.” This noble aayah is similar in meaning to His statement the Most High: “And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He (i.e. Allaah) provided a safe place for you, and strengthened you with His help and provided you good things so that you might be grateful.” [Sooratul-Anfaal 8:26]
And the statement of Allaah the Most High: “As he granted that to those before them.” This aayah is similar to what Allaah said about Moosaa (‘alayhis-salaam) that he said to his people: “It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you succeed (the present rulers) upon earth, so that He may see how you act.” [Sooratul-A’raaf 7:129]
Allaah the Most High said: “And We wished to confer a favour upon those who were oppressed in the land; and to make them leaders and to make them heirs; and to establish them upon earth…” [Soorah Qasas 28:5-6]
And Allaah’s statement: “And that He will change their state after the fear in which they lived to one of security and peace.” This is similar to what the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to ‘Adee Ibn Haatim when ‘Adee came as a delegation to the Messenger. The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do you know Hira?” ‘Adee replied: `I have not seen it, but I have heard of it.” The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said: “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! Allaah will not complete this matter (i.e. Islaam) until a woman will be able to travel from Hira, until she goes around the House not needing the protection of anyone. And you will surely conquer the treasure of Kisraa Ibn Hurmuz.” I (i.e. ‘Adee) replied: “Kisraa Ibn Hurmuz!” The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: “Yes! Kisraa Ibn Hurmuz. Money will be spent until no one will accept it.” ‘Adee Ibn Haatim said: “Now here is the woman leaving from Hira until she goes around the House. And I was from amongst those who conquered the treasure of Kisraa. And by Him in Whose Hand is my soul! The third matter will come to pass because the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has said so.”
Ahmad reports upon ‘Ubayy Ibn Ka’b who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has said: “Give glad tidings to this Ummah of ease of life, exalted stature, establishment of their Religion, and victory and leaderhsip upon the earth. Whoever does acts of the Hereafter for this world, he will have no portion of the Hereafter.” 
And the statement of Allaah: “They worship Me alone and do not associate anything with Me.” Ahmad reports upon Mu’aadh who said: `I was sitting behind the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and I except the end of his saddle. The Prophet said to me: “O Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal!” I said: “Here I am O Messenger of Allaah in your service.” The Prophet said: “Do you know what is the Right of Allaah upon His servants?” I said: “Allaah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “The Right of Allaah upon the servants is that they worship Him and do not associate anything with Him.” The Prophet continued to ride on for some time and then he said to me: “O Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal!” I said: “Here I am O Messenger of Allaah at your service.” The Prophet said: “Do you know what is the right of the servants upon Allaah if they worship Him alone?” I said: “Allaah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “The right of the servants upon Allaah is that He does not punish whomsoever does not associate anything with Him.” This narration is also narrated in the two Saheehs. 
And the statement of Allaah: “But whoever disbelieved after this, and they are the rebellious ones.” Meaning, whoever steps outside my obedience after that promise, has stepped outside the Command of His Lord, and sufficient is that as a sin. Since the Companions of the Prophet (radiyallaahu ‘anhum) were the most upright and obedient of the people after the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in fulfilling the commands of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic their victory was accordingly. The Companions of the Prophet made the Word of Allaah supreme, so Allaah Himself aided them in such a manner that He subdued for them the rest of mankind, as well as their lands.
When the people after the Prophet’s Companions fell short in adhering to some of Allaah’s Commands, their victory accordingly fell short. It is, however, affirmed in both Saheehs (i.e. al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) in many ways from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he said: “There shall not cease to be a group from my Ummah, victorious upon the truth, not being harmed by those who abandoned them or go against them, until Allaah’s favour comes, and they are like that.”  And in a narration: “Until the last of them fights the Anti-Christ (Maseehud-Dajjaal).” All of these narrations are authentic and there is no contradiction between them.”
Imaam ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Naasir as-Sa’dee (d.1376H) said: “This is one of His true promises whose meaning and accomplishment has been witnessed. He promised those who came with eemaan (faith) and ‘amalus-saalih (righteous and correct actions) from this Ummah, that He will cause them to be successors upon this earth, so that they are the ones in authority and in charge of the affairs. Further, that He would establish their Religion that which He was pleased with for them, which is the Religion of Islaam, which gained ascendancy over all other religions. He was pleased with it for this Ummah, due to its excellence, nobility and favours upon it, in that He enabled them to establish it, and to establish it’s laws and prescriptions relating both to manifest and non-manifest matters upon themselves and upon others, so that the people of other religions and the rest of the disbelievers conquered and humbled.
And that He would change their condition of fear to one of security, since it was previously the case that one of them would not be able to manifest his Religion, andthey suffered harm and injury from the disbelievers. The united body of Muslims was very small in number, in comparison to the rest of the people of the earth, who combined to attack them and hope for their downfall. However, Allaah promised them these things when the aayah was sent down, at a time when they were not witnessing ascendancy and establishment upon this earth, nor the ability to fully establish the Religion of Islaam and full security such as would enable them to worship Allaah, not associating anything with Him in a state of not having to fear anyone besides Allaah.
So the first and foremost of this Ummah combined eemaan and righteous and correct action to a degree surpassing everyone else, so He established them in the land and gave them authority over the people, and granted them the conquest of the east and the west. They attained full security and complete authority and establishment and this is one of the astounding signs of Allaah. This applies until the Hour is established that whenever the Muslims combine eemaan (faith) and righteous and correct action then that which Allaah promises will certainly occur. Indeed Allaah only grants that they be overcome by the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and that they suffer humiliation when the Muslims neglect eemaan and righteous and correct action.” 
-  Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (5/134) and al-Haakim (4/311); and it was authenticated by al-Haafidh al-Mundhiree in Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/31).
-  Tafseer Qur`aanil-‘Adtheem (3/311-313)
-  Related by Muslim (8/171) and Aboo Daawood (no. 4252), from Thawbaan (radiyallaahu ‘anhu).
-  Related by al-Bukhaaree (6/416), Muslim (6/3-4) and Ahmad (5/101), the wording is from Ahmad.
-  Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4646), at-Tirmidhee (2/35) and others. It was authenticated by at-Tabaree in his I’tiqaad (p. 8), and by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in Fathul-Baaree (13/182).
-  Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/134) and al-Haakim (4/311) and it was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Ahkaamul-Janaa`iz (p. 52).
-  Related by al-Bukhaaree (6/58) and Muslim (1/232)
-  Related by Muslim (6/52-53) and at-Tirmidhee (2/36), from Thawbaan (radiyallaahu ‘anhu).
-  Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/492), Aboo Daawood (1/388-389) and al-Haakim (4/450), from ‘Imraan Ibn Husayn (radiyallaahu ‘anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 1959).
-  Tayseerul-Kareemir-Rahmaan (4/123)
THE RETURN OF ISLAM
The Return of Islam For those who feel overwhelmed with the disgraceful stateof the Muslim Ummah The Prophet Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said: “ALLAAH drew the ends of the world together for my sake, and I saw it from east to west. The supremacy of my Ummah (nation of Muslims) will stretch to cover all that I have seen” (Saheeh, Muslim)
And he (Sallaahu alahi wa sallam) is reported to have said: ” Surely as the night follows the day, ALLAAH will establish this religion in every house, in every town, in every village, and in every desert. Gloriously he grants his favour upon those who deserve it, and humiliates the ungrateful” (Imam Ahmad)
Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas narrated that once the Prophet (saw) was asked which city would fall first to the Muslims, Constantinople or Rome. The Prophet (saw) replied that Constantinople would be the first to fall (Imam Ahmad) . 800 years later, Muhammad al-Faatih opened Constantinople for the Muslims. Now we await the opening of Rome.
The Prophet (saw) said: ” The Prophet hood will be amongst you for all long as ALLAAH wills, then when ALLAAH wills, HE will remove it. Then you will have khulafaa (caliphs) following the example of the Prophet (saw), and when ALLAAH wills, HE will remove it. Then you will have rigid kings for as long as ALLAAH wishes. And when HE wishes, HE will remove them. Then you will have tyrants and dictators for as long as ALLAAH wishes, and when HE wills, HE will remove them from you. Then again you shall have khulafaa (caliphs) following the example of the Prophet (saw), who will follow his sunnah, and restore Islam to its rightful place on earth. Who will please ALLAAH in the sky, and the believers on earth. Then the sky will not hold back a drop of rain, and the earth will not hold back its riches and goodness. ” (Hasan Saheeh, Tirmidhee)
The rule of the rigid kings is over, and we are currently living under tyrants who have no care for the people, and control them with the barrel of a gun. Yet we must not forget that the Prophet (saw) promised us with the return of true Islam, and a bright future.
Islam has always appealed to a certain kind of person irrespective of his religious or cultural background – the sincere and open-minded human being who has not lost hope of eventually knowing the truth which will satisfy his soul.
Islam refuses to accept any form of creation whatsoever as a deity worthy of worship. Nothing is worthy of worship except Allah (the One True God) who created the heavens and the earth and all that is contained in it – not stone idols or fire, not heavenly bodies such as the sun and moon, not animals, not angels, and not other men (including prophets).
Islam is not a new religion but the continuation and culmination of preceding monotheistic religion – the same truth revealed by God to every prophet. Islam means submission to the will of God. Islam is not as it is represented in the popular media, nor is it Arab culture, nor is it a religion in the sense of mere private conviction or speculation concerning the state of existence.
Islam is the religion of peace: its meaning is peace; one of God’s names is peace; the daily greetings of Muslims and angels are peace; paradise is the house of peace, the adjective ‘Muslim’ means Peaceful. Peace is the nature, the meaning, the emblem and the objective of Islam. Every being is entitled to enjoy the peace of Islam and the kindness of the peaceful Muslims, regardless of religious or geographical or racial considerations, so long as there is no oppression against Islam or the Muslims. If non-Muslims are peaceful with the Muslims or even indifferent to Islam, there can be no justification to interfere in their affairs or declare war on them. There is no religion or constitution that guarantees peaceful freedom of religion and forbids compulsion in religion except Islam.
God is completely just and merciful, and His laws are just for all people regardless of nationality, color or social status. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, whether or not a person is Muslim.
There are few people on earth today who have not heard something about Islam. Yet, one is often surprised to learn that it is really quite different from his initial impression. For Islam is not as it is represented in the Western media, nor is it Arab culture, nor is it a religion in the sense of mere private conviction (or more often, speculation) concerning the state of existence.
Islam is a voluntary relationship between an individual and his Creator. The outstanding difference between this and other religions is that Islam refuses to accept any form of creation whatsoever as a deity worthy of worship. It emphasizes the exclusive worship of the One who created the heavens and the earth, to whom all creation will finally return. It is not a new religion but the continuation and culmination of preceding monotheistic religion – the same truth revealed by God to every prophet. Hence, it is for all peoples and all times.
Islam has always appealed to a certain kind of person irrespective of his religious or cultural background – the sincere and open-minded human being who has not lost hope of eventually knowing a truth which will satisfy his soul.
Who are the Muslims? One and a half billion people (more than one fifth of the world’s population) from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe – from the southern Philippines to the western coast of Africa – are united by the common Islamic faith. Of these, about eighteen percent live in the Arab world. The world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia, and substantial parts of Asia and much of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in what used to be called the Soviet Union, as well as China, North and South America, Europe and Oceania. For Muslims, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life.
What Do Muslims Believe?
Muslims believe in one, unique, incomparable God, in the angels created by Him, in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind, in the Day of judgement and individual accountability for actions, in God’s complete authority over human destiny, and in life after death.
Islam teaches that human diversity is a sign of the richness of God’s mercy. God has willed that human beings compete with each other in righteousness in order to test who is the best in deeds, and this Is the reason for the creation of the universe. God alone is the judge of human righteousness, and it is God alone who rewards and punishes in this life and in the Hereafter.
God (whose name is “Allah” in Arabic) is the creator and sustainer of this universe, Since man cannot know his Creator through the physical senses, God has revealed Himself through a series of messengers or prophets. We are familiar with some of them through earlier scriptures such as the Torah and the [Injeel] Gospel. Every people on earth was at some time sent a messenger from God, but with the passing of generations men tended to deviate from the true religion, often replacing it with alien ideas and practices. Each prophet was sent to reform his people and turn them back to the worship of God alone. The last of these prophets was Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), through whom God’s message was completed. God promised that this final message would be preserved for all mankind. And the words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel (pbuh) to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have indeed been passed down to us in their original Arabic text, unchanged since the time of revelation. This scripture is called the Qur’an.
The essence of God’s message through all of the prophets was: “O mankind, worship God. You have no other deity but Him.”[Qur’an: Surah al-A’raf 7:59, 65, 73, 85; Surah Hud 11:50, 61, 84; and Surah al-Muminun 23:23, 32]. Nothing is worthy of worship except Him who created you – not stone idols or fire, not heavenly bodies such as the sun and moon, not animals, not angels, and not other men (including prophets) – for all of these are His creations. God is one. His unity is evident in the order, arrangement and symmetry of the universe. He is all-knowing and all- powerful. He is completely just and merciful. God has revealed certain names and descriptions of Himself so that we may have a limited understanding of His qualities and therefore love, and at the same time, fear Him.
This universe was not formed by chance, nor is it left to chance. God created it for a purpose and subjected it to physical laws for an appointed period of time. Man was created for a purpose as well – to serve God on earth and live according to His law. This is the essence of Islam, a word which means literally: submission to the will of God.
It is God alone (who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves) who has the right to govern our lives. And His law means justice for all people regardless of nationality, color or social status. Human beings are judged only on the basis of righteousness.
Man has been given a free will and has been left the choice of whether or not he will follow the way of God. Furthermore, he has been given a mind with which he is able to reason and choose wisely. One may, by his own efforts, gain knowledge that enables him to recognize the evidence of God in His creation. By contemplation one may weigh, measure and learn from all situations. And finally, because the human mind and experience is limited, God has revealed the guidance we need through prophets.
After making available the information necessary for one to choose His way, God informs us in the Qur’an that after passing through a temporary stage of death man will bear the consequences of his choice in a greater life to come. Every individual is personally responsible for his own deeds – both good and evil. No one else can carry the burden of his sins. On the other hand, God is always prepared to accept and forgive any servant who has gone astray and then repents and turns back to Him. The compensation for evil will be exact justice, but the compensation for good will be much greater – complete satisfaction and happiness.
This last message revealed by God to mankind through Prophet Muhammad is the final and complete religion and legal code for mankind. Just as a new revised law supersedes and invalidates what came before it, Islam now nullifies all former religions on earth. It corrects the deviations that had crept into religion previously, in the realm of both belief and practice. The text of the Qur’an has been preserved by God in order that humanity may no longer have an excuse to deviate and that there may always be men who keep the true religion. The final prophet sent by the Creator to mankind was an example to be followed and obeyed. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) patterned his life on the teachings of the Qur’an, which were revealed to him by God. True Muslims try to follow this noble example. A high moral standard is clearly the goal of Islam. It is the duty of every Muslim to learn and put into practice all that he can of his religion in order to earn the pleasure of God before returning to Him.
Muslims have two distinct advantages to help them in the practice of Islam as their way of life: The sacred scripture, the Qur’an, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the seventh century, still remains authentic in its original Arabic text. This language is used and understood by millions of people in the world today. The Qur’an contains God’s guidance in teachings and commandments, which are valid for alltimes and places and which encompass all spheres of human life.
The example of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lives on as well. There is a complete and authentic record showing how he exemplified the teachings and commandments of God and elaborated the principles laid down in the Qur’an – all in order to provide sure guidance for their interpretation and application for all later times and societies.
What are the “Five Pillars” of Islam?
They are the framework of a Muslim’s life: the declaration of faith, prayer, zakah, fasting, and the pilgrimage to Makkah, which are described briefly in the following sections.
Shahadah (Declaration of Faith)
“There is no deity [worthy of worship] except God, and Muhammad is His messenger.” This declaration of faith is called the shahadah, a Simple formula which all of the faithful pronounce. The concept of “no deity except God” is always alive in the Muslim’s heart. He recognizes that God alone is the Creator, that He alone is the Provider and Sustainer, that He is the true Reality, the source of all things – of all benefit and harm. This requires that He be worshiped and obeyed.
Islam emphasizes the unity of divinity (tawheed) as opposed to the concept of trinity in Christianity and plurality of gods in other religions. God is the original source of all occurrences and actions. He is completely superior to and unlike anything He has created, He is not in any way a part of His creation, nor is it a part of Him. Therefore, although God has revealed to us certain qualities of His, they are not like those found in man. No one is able to imagine God because He is completely above and beyond His creation. This concept of the uniqueness of God the Creator is found only in Islam. The significance of that uniqueness is that He alone can rightfully be worshiped. In addition, no other creature or human being has the right of intercession between man and God. Instead, the Muslim’s relationship with Him is direct and personal.
“No deity except God” includes the question of authority. The right to governtman belongs to the One who created him. When one is guided to the true path of God, all other ways of life lose their place in his heart and are replaced by a desire to please Him alone in anticipation of the judgement and full compensation in the next life.
Belief in God’s Messenger means accepting Prophet Muhammad as the last messenger sent by Him. While previous messengers were sent to peoples at different times to guide and reform them, the “Seal of the Prophets,” Muhammad (peace be upon him and upon all of God’s messengers), was sent with the final revelation (i.e., the Qur’an) to all of mankind as guidance for humanity until the Day of Judgement.
Prophet Muhammad is the spokesman for God by His authority. Muhammad’s duty was not only to deliver the message which God revealed but also to explain it and put it into practice as an example to be followed by mankind. Thus, the Qur’an and the sunnah (the Prophet’s sayings and examples) are the two main sources of Islamic law.
In the Qur’an, God has made obedience to the Prophet incumbent upon the believers. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad are available today in the form of hadith, i.e., his sayings and traditions related and recorded by those who witnessed or heard them. Scholars have carefully scrutinized the reliability of the transmitters of these traditions, accepting only those hadiths whose chain of narrators is known to be completely reliable and sound.
Acceptance of Prophet Muhammad as the final messenger sent by God to complete His religion upon the earth eliminates belief in any claim to prophethood after him. Thus, a Muslim completely rejects the claims of all false prophets. The Qur’an states: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the Seal of the Prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things.” [Qur’an: Surah al-Ahzab 33:40].
A few examples of the prophet’s sayings are as follows: “God will not have mercy upon one who does not have mercy for others.” [Bukhari, Muslim and at-Tirmidhi].
“None of you [truly] believes until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself” [Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasai and Ibn Majah]
“He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbor remains hungry” [Al-Hakim, at-Tabarani and al-Bayhaqi]
“He is not strong who knocks the other down; but strong is the one who controls himself when angry” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“God does not look at your bodies and faces but He looks at your hearts.” [Muslim]
Salah (Establishment of Regular Prayer)
No other form of worship can be compared to prayer (salah), for it is the basis of religion, without which there is no religion. Prayer was practiced in some form by the earlier prophets and their followers as an essential part of the religion of God. Islam, which is the final stage, the completion and confirmation of monotheistic religion considers prayer essential, and its denial removes one from the ranks of Islam.
Obligatory prayers are performed five times a day and are a direct link between the worshiper and God. There is no hierarchical authority or priesthood in Islam, so group prayers are led by a person learned in the Qur’an. These prayers, whether performed in congregation or individually, contain verses from the Qur’an and are said in Arabic, the language of the revelation itself. Personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language.
Prayers are performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable for men to pray together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in the field, office, factory or university. In fact, visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.
Zakah (Required Expenditure)
One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakah means both purification and growth. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakah individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of the capital in excess of one’s basic needs. One may also give as much as he or she pleases in voluntary charity (sadaqah), seeking additional reward. This is preferably done in secret. Although the word “sadaqah” can be translated as charity, it has a wider meaning. For example, the Prophet said: “Every good deed is a sadaqah. And one who directs [others] toward good is like him who does it.” [Al-Bayhaqi]
Fasting, which involves abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking and marital intercourse, is observed throughout the daylight hours of the 29 or 30 days of the lunar month of Ramadhan in obedience to God’s command. This teaches the believers patience and self-control, as well as reminding them of their responsibility for the millions of human beings in the world who lack provisions or are victims of their unjust distribution.
The month of fasting is accompanied by increased efforts toward good manners and righteous deeds, along with additional worship at night. It is not a retreat from life, but rather, a supplement to one’s ordinary activities.
Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe, providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, their number increases in the twelfth month of the Islamic year, when hajj takes place. (Because the Islamic calendar is based upon lunar months, hajj and Ramadhan fall sometimes in summer and sometimes in winter.) Pilgrims wear special clothing – simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture – so that all stand equal before God.
In previous centuries hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modern transport and up-to-date health facilities.
Does Islam Tolerate Other Beliefs?
One function of Islamic law is to protect the rights and status of minorities. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths. For example, when the Caliph ‘Umar (ra), entered Jerusalem in the year 634, freedom of worship was granted to all religious communities in the city.
The Qur’an states: “God does not prohibit you regarding those who do not fight you or drive you out of your homes from dealing kindly and justly with them. Indeed, God loves those who are Just.” [Qur’an: Surah al-Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8]
Jesus in the Qur’an
The Qur’an provides the proper perspective concerning the person of Jesus – that he is a human prophet, like all of the others, to be held in honor and respect but not in worship. This view is consistent with the unity and exclusiveness of God. The virgin birth of Jesus is confirmed in the Qur’an and compared to the creation of Adam – without father or mother, by God’s will.
Like other prophets, Jesus was sent to confirm and renew the basic doctrine of belief in one God. The words of Jesus related in the Qur’an reveal: “[I have come] to confirm the law which came before me in the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you.” [Qur’an: Surah Ali ‘Imran, 3:50]
“O Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord. Verily he who associates others with God – He has forbidden him Paradise.” [Qur’an: Surah al-Ma’idah, 5:72]
And in the Qur’an, God denies the claims of those who attribute divinity to Jesus, saying: “Christ, the son of Mary we not but a messenger. Other messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a women of truth. [Qur’an: Surah al-Al-Ma’idah, 5:75]
“The Messiah would never disdain to be a servant of God nor would the angels close to Him.” [Qur’an: Surah an-Nisa, 4:172]
The Family in Islam
The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families. Children are treasured and rarely live outside the home until they marry.
Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage dowry is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband’s. Both men and women are expected to dress in a modest and dignified way and to remain chaste. Islam encourages the facilitation of marriage and allows a man to have more than one legal wife while strictly forbidding any extramarital relationships between the sexes. Because Islam was ordained for all societies and all times, it accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife, but the right is granted according to the Qur’an only on the condition that the husband is scrupulously fair in dealing with each. Islam is explicit about the rights and duties of both husbands and wives; therefore, divorce is not common. It is, however, permitted as a last resort its marriage fails.
In the Islamic world there are no homes for the elderly. Caring for one’s parents at this time is considered an honor and blessing and an opportunity for great spiritual growth. Mothers are particularly honored, and the Prophet taught that Paradise lies under the feet of mothers. Muslim parents are treated with kindness, mercy and selflessness, especially in old age. The Qur’an instructs: “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and [show] kindness to parents. If one or both of them attain old age while with you, do not say ‘uff to them but speak to them with honor and kindness. Treat them with humbleness and say ‘My Lord have mercy upon them, as they raised me when I was small.'” [Qur’an: Surah al-Isra’, 17:23-24]
How Do Muslims View Death?
Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed and wrapped in a clean, white cloth (usually by a family member) and buried after a special prayer, preferably the same day. Muslims consider this a final service that they can do for their relatives and an opportunity to remember that their own existence here on earth is brief. The Prophet taught that three things continue to benefit a person even after death – charity which he had given, knowledge which he had taught, and supplication on his behalf by a righteous child [Muslim].
A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed, and the dead will be resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the beginning of a life that will never end. And that day every person will be rewarded by God according to his or her good or evil deeds.
The explanation that the Qur’an gives about the necessity of life after death is exactly what the moral consciousness of man demands. If there were no life after death, the very belief in God would become meaningless, or even if one believed in God, it would then be an unjust and indifferent deity, having once created man and no longer being concerned with his fate. Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants, whose crimes are beyond count – having killed hundreds of innocent people, created great corruption in society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc. Because man has a very short life span in this world and because numerous individuals are affected by one’s actions, adequate punishments and rewards are not possible in this life. The Qur’an very emphatically states that the Day of Judgement must come and that God will decide the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds.
THE HELP OF ALLAH AND HIS VICTORY
Allah – the Most High said: “Indeed, Allah will help those who help His cause. Indeed Allah is all-powerful, all Mighty.” [Soorah al-Hajj 22:40]
Imam ash-Shanqeetee (d.1393H)- rahimahullah -said: ‘Allah-the Mighty and Majestic-explains in this noble Verse that He promised to help and give victory to those who help Him. And it is known that the help and victory of Allah comes by following what He has prescribed, obeying His command, avoiding His prohibitions, helping His Messengers and their followers,aiding His Religion and fighting against His enemies and overpowering them; until the word of Allah is made uppermost and the word of His enemies is debased. Then Allah – the Most High explains the characteristics of those whom He has promised would receive His help and victory, distinguishing them from others. So Allah said about those to whom He promised He would aid and grant victory to-for indeed He is the One to aid and grant victory: “Those who, if We establish them in the earth, establish the Prayer, give the zakaah, enjoin the good and forbid the evil.” [Soorah al-Hajj 22:41]
So this noble Verse points to the fact that whoever helps Allah, then Allah will help and aid them. This is clearly explained in Allah – the Most High’s sayings: “O you who Believe. If you help Allah, Allah will help you; and establish your feet firmly. But those who disbelieve, for them is destruction and Allah will make their deeds vain.” [Soorah Muhammad 47:7]
“Indeed, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our slaves, the Messengers, that they will certainly be victorious; and that Our forces will certainly be triumphant.” [Soorah as-Saaffaat 37:171-173].
“Allah has Decreed: It is I and My Messenger who will prevail.” [Soorah al-Mujaadaiah 58:21]
“Allah has promised to those amongst you who have eeman (certainty of belief) and do righteous actions, that He will grant you the Khilaafah(succession) in the land.” [Soorah an-Noor 24:55]
So in Allah – the Most High’s saying: ‘Those who, if We establish them in the earth, establish the Prayer, give the Zakaah, enjoin the good and forbid the evil.” [Soorah al-Hajj 22:41].
In this is a proof that there is no promise from Allah of His help, except by establishing Salaah (Prayer), paying Zakaah, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. So it is these whom Allah will establish upon the earth and through whom strengthen His Word. However, those who do not establish the Salaah (prayer), nor pay the Zakaah, nor enjoin the good, nor forbid the evil, then there is no promise from Allah that He will aid them victory. Such people are not from His party, nor are they His friends: those who have the promise of His Help and victory. Rather, such people are from the party of Shaytaan and his friends. So if they were to expect the help of Allah and the fulfillment of His promise upon them, then their example would be like that of a hired worker who refuses to do the job that he was hired for, yet he expects to be rewarded. So whosoever is like this, then he has no intellect.”
So the help that we so desperately await and the victory that we strongly desire will only come about by: “The Muslims returning and repenting to their Lord, correcting their ‘aqeedah (beliefs) and cultivating themselves and their families upon the pure and correct Islam: putting into effect Allah – the Most High’s saying: “Never will Allah change the condition of a people, until they change themselves.” [Soorah ar-Rad 13:11]
1. Adwaa ul-Bayaan (5/703) of Allaamah ash-Shanqeettee.
2. Al-Aqeedatul-Tahaawiyyah Sharh wat-Ta’leed (p.47) of Shaykh al-Albaanee
THE FUTURE IS FOR ISLAM
By the Shaykh the Scholar of Hadeeth – Muhammad Naasirud Deen al Albaanee 
Allah the Mighty and Majestic said: “It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all other religions, no matter how much the disbelievers detest it.” (Soorah as saff 61 : 9)
We are given the good tidings in this verse that the future is for Islaam, which will gain dominance, ascendancy and rule over all other religions. Some people may think that this was fulfilled in the time of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Rightly guided Khaleefahs ( successors) and the righteous kings but that is not the case. Rather, only a part of this true promise was fulfilled then as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam indicated in his saying: “Night and day will not pass away until al-Laat and al ‘Uzzaa are worshipped.” So ‘Aaishah radiallaahu ‘anhaa said: O Messenger of Allaah! I thought that when Allaah sent down: “It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all other religions, no matter how much the disbelievers detest it.” that it would be complete. He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “There will be of that what Allaah wishes .
There are other ahaadeeth which show how far Islaam will reach and dominate and how far it will spread, such that there is no doubt that the future is for islaam, by the permission and favour of Allaah. So I will quote what I am able to from these ahaadeeth and hopefully they will strengthen the determination of the workers for Islaam; and be a proof against those who are indifferent and those who have despaired!
Firstly: “Indeed Allaah gathered up the earth for me so that I saw its east and its west; and indeed the dominion of my Ummah will reach what was gathered up for me from it. “
And even clearer than it and more general is the hadeeth: Secondly: “This affair will reach what is reached by the night and the day; and Allaah will not leave a dwelling of brick, nor fur, except that Allaah will cause this Deen to enter it bringing honour or humiliation. Honour which Allaah gives to Islaam and humiliation which Allaah will give to disbelief .
[Therefore, it is upon the Muslims to prepare themselves, by turning to their Lord, holding on to His Book, following the Sunnah of His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, turning away from all that Allaah has made unlawful and uniting upon that which He the Most Perfect, Most High is pleased with.] .
Indeed, there is no doubt that fulfillment of this domination necessitates that the Muslims return to spiritual, material and armed strength, so that they are able to overcome the might of kufr (disbelief) and suppression. This good tiding is given to us in the hadeeth:
Thirdly: From Abu Qabeel who said: We were with ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘Aas and he was asked which city will be conquered first Constantinople or Rome? So ‘Abdullaah called for a sealed trunk and he said: Take out a book from it. Then ‘Abdullaah said: Whilst we were with the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam writing, The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked: Which city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Rome? So Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The city of Heracilius will be conquered first ” meaning Constantinople.
The first conquest mentioned, occurred at the hands of Muhammad al Fattaah al-Uthmaanee as is well known and it occurred more than eight hundred years after the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam foretold of the conquest. So the second conquest will take place, by the permission of Allaah the Most High and it is certain and you will hear of it after a time. There is also no doubt that the fulfillment of the second conquest necessitates the return of the rightly guided Khilaafah to the Muslim Ummah, which is what he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam foretold with his saying in the hadeeth:
Fourthly: “Prophethood will remain amongst you for as long as Allaah wishes it to, then Allaah will raise it up when He wishes to raise it up. Then there will be Khilaafah upon the manner of Prophethood and it will remain amongst you for as long as Allaah wishes it to, then Allaah will raise it up when He wishes to raise it up. Then there will be harsh kingship which will remain amongst you for as long as Allaah wishes it to, then Allaah will raise it up when He wishes to raise it up. Then there will be tyrannical kingship and it will remain amongst you for as long as Allaah wishes it to, then Allaah will raise it up when He wishes to raise it up. Then there will be Khilaafah upon the manner of Prophethood. Then he was silent .
From the good tidings of the return of strength to the Muslims, and their having the ability to utilize the earth to attain their goals, and that they have a bright future even in the economic and agricultural spheres, is his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s saying:
Fifthly: “The Hour will not be established until the land of the ‘Arabs returns to being pastures and rivers.”  The first signs of the fulfillment of this hadeeth have begun to appear in some parts of the Arab lands, upon which Allaah has poured forth His blessings and great favors such that plentiful water is extracted from the desert, and tomorrow is very near for the one who awaits it.
It must also be known that his sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s saying: “A time will not come upon you, except that which comes after it will be worse until you meet your Lord.”. Then this hadeeth must be understood in the light of the preceding ahaadeeth as well as in the light of others such as the ahaadeeth about the Mahdee and also the descent of Eesaa (Jesus) ‘alayhis salaam which show that this hadeeth is not to be understood as having no exceptions. Rather, it is general and has exceptions.
Thus, it is not permissible to cause the people to understand it to be unrestricted, so that they fall into despair which no Believer should have as an attribute: “Indeed, no one despairs of Allaah’s Mercy, except those who disbelieve.” (Soorah Yoosuf 12:87)
I ask that Allaah makes us all true Believers in Him ameen.
1. Silsilatul Ahaadeethus Saheehah (pp.6 8) of Shaykh al Albaanee. All the ahaadeeth authentication and checkings have been abridged and edited.
2. Related by Muslim (8/182) and AbuYa’laa in his Musnad (Q.216/2).
3. Related by Muslim (8/171) and Abu Daawood (no.4252), from Thawbaan radiallaahu anhu.
4. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/103) and Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (no.1631).
5. Added from Tahdheerus Saajid (p.119).
6. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (2/176), ad-Daarimee (1/126) and al Haakim (3/422).
7. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/273), from an Nu’maan ibn Basheer radiallaahu anhu.
8. Related by Muslim (3/84) and al Haakim (4/ 477) from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu anhu.
9. Related by al Bukhaaree from the hadeeth of Anas radiallaahu anhu.
THE RELIGION OF ISLAM
The Council of Muslim Communities of Canada
Unfortunately, most people in the western world have no true understanding of the Islamic religion. This lack of understanding has led to prejudice and misconception, and contributed to international conflict and discord.
Muslims, inspired by their religion, have played a major role in shaping human civilization, as we know it today. They preserved the best of all the ancient knowledge, adding to this their own original contribution and passing this rich knowledge on to other nations, particularly the nations of Europe.
Islam as a religion and a way of life must be understood on its own terms. Thus with the proceeding in mind, this publication has been prepared to provide the non-Muslim reader with authentic and accurate information concerning Islam. By so doing, it is hoped that a better appreciation and understanding of Islam will lead to friendlier relations between non-Muslims and Muslims, who constitute one fifth of the world’s population.
The Meaning of Islam
“Islam” is an Arabic word. Literally translated, it means: peace, purity, submission, obedience. In the truest sense of the word, it means belief in the One God, acceptance of His authority and commitment to His service. Those who follow Islam are called Muslims.
Thus all the prophets of God, from Adam to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad have been delivering the same message, and that is the message of “Islam”.
Islam is a Way of Life
Islam was never meant to be a once-a-week experience. It is not just a declaration of faith, or observance of a series of rituals. It encompasses every aspect of life: social, political, economic, legal, spiritual and personal.
The joining of both spiritual and moral philosophy, the peace of body and mind, the brotherhood of man and the ability to live in harmony with all of mankind – all these objectives can be reached only through belief in the Creator and His mercy, love, generosity and justice. The problems the world faces today are due to loss or lack of faith in God.
The Islamic code of life, covering all fields of human existence, from the private to the political, the material to the moral, the legal to the cultural was established and by God; thus it is not man-made. The significance of this fact is that man is limited in his capabilities; and the solutions he derives are only of temporary value. One can easily observe this just by reading the front page of a newspaper.
In contrast, God’s plans for mankind were revealed with a purpose. They are not temporary; they are permanent, fundamental and unchangeable and are meant for all mankind. Some of us tend to pass judgement on Islam by what we see in the press about the actions of certain Muslims. This is understandable, but regrettable because Islam is not a monopoly of present-day Muslims; it is the path chosen by God for all mankind in all ages and times.
Just what areas of life does Islam cover? Basically, the Qur’an discusses that which is permitted and prohibited. The “permitted” is good, the “prohibited is wrong. As a whole, each statement sets a standard, which affects all of society. Such things as drinking liquor, gambling, false worship, adultery, eating pork, stealing, cheating, telling lies and so on, are forbidden just as many of these are not allowed in other religions as well.
At the same time, certain types of conduct are applauded and emphasized. Charity, modesty, honesty, patience, self-control and justice are the most obvious; again, just as in many other religions. All these factors combine to determine the way in which a Muslim must conduct his everyday life in his relationship to all people, from family to society.
Knowing that God creates, sees and knows everything, and accepting this, it becomes very difficult for a person to sin. Of course, the struggle against “transgression” is constant. Because this struggle faces people in almost everything they do, principles of Islam must be applied continuously. As a result, Islam is more than ritual worship – it is a way of life.
Some Historical Background
Islam began when God first placed man upon the earth. Through the years, however, much of the original intent became forgotten and misrepresented. Thus it was not until the first revelation to Muhammad (about 6:0 A.D.) that God’s message was reinstated in its purest and final form.
Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca in Arabia in 570 A.D., to a noble Arab family. His first words from God came to him through the angel “Gabriel” when he was forty years old. As he accepted the life of a prophet and began to spread God’s word’s, he and his followers were ridiculed and outcast. Eventually, as his message spread and his followers grew he became a threat to the existing religions and to the chieftains of Arabia at that time. After enduring many hardships, Muhammad migrated to Medina: another city in Arabia. (This event marked the start of the Islamic calendar). Over the next 23 years until his death, Muhammad continued his mission, all of the people of Arabia became Muslims. There are many fascinating accounts in the Qur’an of the experiences encountered by Muhammad and the early Muslims during this time.
Muhammad’s Prophethood was carried out many years after Jesus. Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus and consider him to be one of the most distinguished prophets of God. At the same time, they do not regard Jesus as the son of God. It is an article of faith in Islam that Muhammad was the last prophet and his teaching are the last revelations of God.
The Qur’an (The Holy Book)
It is the revelations of God to Muhammad that eventually came to be recorded in one book, known as the Qur’an. The Qur’an contains only the words of God, as carefully memorized and recorded by the Muslims.
The Qur’an has been the basis of Islamic ideals and laws for the Muslim society since it was first revealed.
To Muslims, the reading, memorization and recitation of the Qur’an are beautiful experiences because the Qur’an is the very word of God, and its style defies comparison to anything the human mind is capable of conceiving.
Basic Articles of Faith
The belief in One God, the Creator, is a basic belief. Other articles of faith are the belief in God’s prophets, His holy books, His angels, the Day of Judgement, the fact that man is accountable for his own deeds and actions, and life after death.
Basic Islamic Principles
The relationship between faith and daily life is an important concept in Islam. There is no separation between the soul and the body. Religion is not assumed to be a personal affair, and Islam holds no credence in secularism. In line with this, there are certain to join the spirit with the activities of daily life. These are commonly referred to as the “Pillars of Islam”.
(1) The declarion of faith : to believe, that there is only one God and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. The messengership of Muhammad obliges the Muslims to follow the exemplary life of the Prophet in every way.
(2) Daily prayers five times a day : as a duty towards God. It is a means to strengthening and enlivening the belief in God. It inspires man to higher morality, purifies the heart and suppresses evil and indecent inclinations.
(3) The Observation of fasting during the month of Ramadan:(the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar). This is abstention from food, drink, and intercourse, from dawn to sunset, and all evil intentions and desires. It teaches man love, sincerity and devotion. It cultivates in man a sound conscience, patience, unselfishness and will power.
(4) The giving away annually of 21/2% of one’s net savings, and a portion of certain prescribed personal holdings, to be spent on, among other things, the needy.
(5) Pilgrimmage: Provided one has the means, to perform once in a lifetime, a pilgrimage to Ka’ba, in Mecca.
Islam is a much more involved way of life than we can possibly illustrate here. This information has, of necessity, been simplified and described in generalities. The point is simply to try and give the reader a better understanding of some of the basic concepts of Islam.
NO OTHER RELIGION ACCEPTED EXCEPT ISLAM
Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (raa) narrates that Rasulullah (saws) said, ‘(On the day of Judgment) The good deeds will come (to intercede). Salaat will come and it will say ‘Oh my Rabb! I am Salaat (performed by the person)’ Allah Ta’ala will reply, ‘Verily you are on virtue’. Charity will come and say, ‘Oh my Rabb! I am charity (given by the person)’. Allah will say, ‘Verily you are in virtue’. Then fast will come and say, ‘Oh my Rabb! I am fast (observed by the person).’ Allah Ta’ala will say, ‘Verily you are on virtue’.
The other virtuous deeds will follow up accordingly. Allah will say (to all), ‘Verily you are on virtue.’ Then, finally, Islam will come and say, ‘Oh my Rabb! You are Salaam (peace) and I am Islam (peace)’. Allah will say, ‘Verily you are virtue, today I will take (accept) through you and give (reward) through you.’ Allah Ta’ala says in His Kitaab (Noble Qur’aan), ‘And whosoever seeks any religion besides Islam, it will not be accepted from him and he will be among the losers in the hereafter.’ (Mishkaat pg.445;Me’raaj)
MUSLIM PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION AND SOLUTIONS
In The Name of Allah the Beneficent The Merciful. May Allah’s peace and prayers fall on the master of the messengers, the leader to the pious people, his family, and his companions and upon everyone who makes d’awa with his message, and who confines himself to his method, and follows his steps and takes the Islamic creed as the basis for his thoughts, and the divine rules as the standard for his actions and as a reference for his opinions and rules.
Dear brothers and sisters we greet you with the greeting of Islam: As-Salamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. We ask Allah (the Supreme) to ensure that our gathering is completely for His sake and to give us the good for Islam and Muslims. We ask Allah (the Supreme) to reveal to our sight the truth as truth, and give us the strength to follow it, and show us falsehood as falsehood, and give us the strength to avoid it.
Dear brothers, the vital issue for Muslims in the whole world is the re-establishment of the rule of Allah through establishing the Khilafah, and appointing a Khalifah for Muslims, who is given the pledge (bai’a) on the Book of Allah and the traditions (sunnah) of His Prophet (SAW), in order to demolish the rules of kufr and to replace it with the laws of Islam both in implementation and application, to transfer the Muslim lands to Dar-Al-Islam (Land of Islam), to make the Society in Muslim Lands an Islamic Society, and to carry the message of Islam to the world by invitation and Jihad.
By defining what is the vital issue for Muslims, the objective will also be defined, for which those who carry the Islamic call have to strive for achievement, as groups, parties and structures. Consequently the method which they have to follow to achieve their aim will also be defined. In order to understand all this we have to be aware of the present situation of Muslims and the reality of Muslim lands; and the situation of these lands, the reality of the society in which Muslims live nowadays, and the reality of the divine rules which are connected to all these things.
2. The Reality Of Muslims
Although there are Muslims, their lives are characterized and dominated by a mixture of Islamic, western, socialist, nationalist, partisan, regional and sectarian thoughts and emotions.
3. The Reality Of Muslim Lands
When we look at the Muslim lands, which are primarily the Arab areas, they are unfortunately all governed by the laws and systems of kufr except for some Islamic laws, such as the laws of marriage, divorce, wife’s financial support, inheritance, guardianship etc. All of which are implemented by specially appointed courts called divine courts (Mahkamah Shar’iy’ah). There are also some other divine rules which are applied in the courts of some Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
4. The Dar (Land) In Which Muslims Inhabit
These lands in which Muslims currently live throughout the world, their reality is that they are all Dar-Al-Kufr (land of disbelief) and not Dar-Al-Islam (land of Islam). In order to understand this situation we have to understand the reality of Dar-Al-Islam and the reality of Dar-Al-Kufr according to the viewpoint of Shar’ih’ah.
According to the divine terminology, Dar-Al-Islam is defined as the land which is governed by the laws of Islam and whose security (Aman) is maintained by the security of Islam i.e. by the authority and protection of Muslims inside and outside the land even if the majority of its inhabitants are non-Muslims.
According to the divine terminology Dar-Al-Kufr is the land which is governed by the laws of kufr, and whose security is not maintained by the security (Aman) of Islam i.e. by other than the authority and security of Muslims, even if the majority of its inhabitants are Muslims.
So what matters in determining whether the land is Dar-Al-Islam or Dar-Al-Kufr is not the land itself nor its inhabitants, rather it is the laws and the security (Aman). So if its laws are Islamic and its security is maintained by Muslims then it is Dar-Al-Islam. When its laws are the laws of kufr (disbelief) and its security (aman) is not maintained by Muslims then it is Dar-Al-Kufr or Dar-Al-Harb (land of disbelief or land of war). This understanding is taken from the tradition of the Prophet (SAW) narrated by Sulayman Bin Buraida. He reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Call them to Islam, and if they agree accept from them and refrain from fighting against them. then call them to move from their Land to the Land of Muhajireen (the emigrants), and tell them if they do so, then they will have the rights which the Muhajireen enjoy and they will have duties like the duties upon the Muhajireen”. What does this hadith indicate ? It is that if they did not move from their land to the land of the Muhajireen they would not enjoy what the Muhajireen enjoy i.e. the rights of those who are living in the Land of Islam. So this hadith clearly shows the difference between those who move to the Land of the Muhajireen and those who do not move to the Land of the Muhajireen. Dar-Al-Muhajireen was the Dar of Islam at the time of the Prophet (SAW), and all other lands outside were Dar-Al-Kufr.
It was from this Hadith that the term of Dar-Al-Islam and Dar-Al-Kufr or Dar-Al-Harb was derived. So relating the land (Dar) to Islam or to kufr, or to war is relating to the government and the authority.
It is clear then that the identification of the Dar (land) is determined through the identification of its sultan (authority). This authority cannot be verified except on two issues:
Firstly; Looking after the interests according to certain laws;
Secondly; the power which protects the citizens and implements the laws i.e. the aman (security). This is why the two previous conditions were required.
Furthermore the application of the law has other evidences. Allah (the supreme) says: “Those who do not govern with what Allah has revealed, they are the disbelievers” [5:44]
And also in the hadith of Auf ibn Malik regarding the bad Imams, in which was mentioned “O Prophet of Allah shouldn’t we declare war against them ?” He said, “No, as long as they establish the prayer among you”. and also from the hadith narrated by Ubadah As Samit regarding the bai’a (pledge) which stated: “And we have not to dispute the matter with its people unless we see clear kufr upon which you have proof from Allah”. And it was also narrated by Tabaran. He said: “Unless you see open kufr”.
So these texts indicate that to rule with anything other than the laws of Allah is a matter which makes it obligatory upon Muslims to declare war against the ruler and it is an evidence which indicates that implementing Islam is a condition for having Dar-Al-Islam, otherwise the ruler must be fought against.
7. The Security (Aman)
The security (aman) has to be with the security of Islam i.e. the authority of Muslims, the evidence for this comes from the saying of Allah (the Supreme)
“Allah will not allow the disbeliever to have an authority (sultan) over the believers”[4:141] i.e. it is not allowed for the disbelievers to have authority (sultan) over the believers, because giving them authority means that the security of Muslims is in the hands of kufr and not in the hands of Islam.
Furthermore, the Prophet (SAW) used to order the invasion of every land which did not submit to the sultan of Muslims, and he used to engage in war against them whether the inhabitants were Muslim or non- Muslims. Anas narrated that: “Wherever the Prophet (SAW) raided some people he would not raid except in the morning. If he heard the Adhan he would refrain, and if he did not he would invade after dawn”. And it was narrated by Essam Almusny, He said: The Prophet (SAW) used to tell to the expeditions that he sent: “If you have seen a mosque or heard a call for prayer, then don’t kill anybody”. The Adhan and the mosque are considered symbols of Islam, a matter which indicates that if the land is inhabited by Muslims this does not prevent it from being invaded and fought against as an act of war, but the important factor is that its people will not be killed, yet it will be invaded. This means that it is considered Dar-Al-Harb or Dar-Al-Kufr, because , though the symbols or rituals of Islam are present, it is not protected by the authority of the Prophet (SAW) i.e. the authority and security of Islam. So it would be considered Dar-Al- Harb, and like any land defined as Dar-Al-Harb it would be invaded.
From all these evidences, it is evident that all the current Muslim lands do not fulfil the condition of the laws of Islam. Though the security (aman) of most of them is maintained by the security and authority of Muslims. Yet, they are not unfortunately considered to be Dar-Al-Islam despite being Islamic lands and their inhabitants are Muslims. Because what matters concerning the land is the laws and aman (security), not the land and the inhabitants.
8. The Society In Muslim Lands Is Non-Islamic
Society is composed of individuals, thoughts, emotions and systems and not only individuals. So society, in its reality, is a group of people amongst whom there exists permanent relationships. So if they do not have permanent relationships then they would simply constitute a group and not a society. An example of this is the temporary association that exists between people on a journey, a ship, an aeroplane or a caravan.
In order for a permanent relationship to exist between people then there should exist amongst them a unity of thought, emotions and system. If the unity of these three elements amongst them is missing, then the permanent relationship will not exist, and consequently they would not constitute a society.
So, society is composed of individuals, thoughts, emotions and systems, and according to the identity of these elements the society will be identifiable. Human societies will therefore differ from each other based on the difference of the thoughts, emotions and systems amongst peoples.
The society in the Muslim lands is presently dominated by a mixture of thoughts, emotions and system, despite the fact that most of its inhabitants are Muslims. So it is not strange to find visible contradictions in the thoughts and emotions amongst Muslims. Consequently, at the time when they look to Islam as their deen, we find them agree to be governed by a ruler who is a kafir, as we find them remaining silent about the implementation of the systems of kufr upon them.
Furthermore, at the time we see them long for re-establishing Islam, we see them cling to nationalistic, local and sectarian aspects . And at the time they portray America, Britain and Russia as their enemies, you find them seeking the help of and befriending these countries, and turning to them to solve for them their problems. Also at the time they accept that the believers are brothers you find them clinging fanatically to their races and to their countries. So the Arab shows allegiance to Arabism, and the Turk to Turkish nationalism, and the Persian to Persia, the Iraqi to Iraq, the Syrian to Syria and the Egyptian to Egypt and so on, even though all these things contradict Islam. At the time they claim to believe in the laws of Islam, they call for democracy, liberties, the sovereignty of the people, socialism and other thoughts which entirely contradict the laws of Islam. This is in addition to the fact that the systems of government, economy, education, foreign policy and the civic canons which are implemented upon them in all the lands of Islam are but kufr systems and kufr canons. All this makes the society in all the Muslim lands a non-Islamic society.
From all that has been mentioned, it is clear that Muslims in every Muslim land, despite the fact that they are Muslims, are actually living in non-Islamic societies, and the lands in which they live are not Dar-Al-Islam. It is also clear that the vital issue concerning Muslims after the demolition of the Khilafah State and the removal of Islam from being applied in life, society and State, is implementing Islam in life, State and society through re-establishing the Khilafah and appointing a Khalifah for Muslims. The Khalifah is given a pledge to listen and obey, on condition that he governs among the people with the Book of Allah and the sunnah of his Prophet, and to demolish the laws of kufr and its systems, to be replaced by the laws and systems of Islam. Thereby transferring the Islamic lands to Dar-Al- Islam, transferring the society in the Islamic lands to an Islamic society, unifying the Muslim lands under the Khilafah State, and then carrying Islam to the rest of the world by invitation and Jihad.
9. The Vital Issue For Muslims
This question of what is the vital issue for Muslims is understood and derived from the divine rules, which oblige Muslims to work completely in accordance with the laws of Islam, and to apply and implement them in the life, State and society. Allah (the Supreme) says: “Whatever the messenger brought to you take it; and whatever he forbids you abstain from it” [59:7]
The word Ma (whatever) in the verse is general and includes the obligation to take everything that the Prophet (SAW) brought, and to obligation to abstain from everything the Prophet (SAW) prohibited.
Allah (the Supreme) also said: “And govern between them with what Allah has revealed and don’t follow their desires and beware that they might seduce you from some of what Allah has revealed upon you” [5:49]
This is a commandment from Allah to His messenger and to the Muslims, stressing the duty to govern with all that Allah has revealed, because the word Ma (what) is general, so it includes all the rules that Allah has revealed. And Allah also said: “Whoever governs with other than what Allah has revealed, they are disbelievers” [5:44]
So whoever does not govern with what Allah has revealed is of the disbelievers because the word Ma (what) again in this verse is general, so it includes everything that Allah has revealed.
So from these verses it is clear that there is an obligation to govern with everything that Allah has revealed, and since this does not exist nowadays in any of the Muslim lands, re-establishing Islam to exist in the life, state and society is the vital issue for Muslims.
Islam has decided that the measure which should be attached to this vital issue is the measure of life or death. Muslim has narrated in the hadith of Auf bin Malik that the Prophet (SAW) has said: “There will be Amirs, you will recognise some of what they do, and you will deny some. Whoever disliked them he will cure himself of the sin, and whoever denied he will be safe, but the one who agreed and followed (will not)”. And the Prophet (SAW) was asked “O Prophet of Allah shouldn’t we declare war against them ?” He said: “No as long as they establish amongst you the prayer”. And Bukhari narrated about Abada ibn As-Samet, he said “the Prophet (SAW) called us, so we gave him a pledge to listen and obey in our activity, and our dislike, in our hardship, and our ease and in the things which are dear to us, and not to dispute the authority with its people unless you see clear kufr upon which you have proof from Allah”. Tabarani narrated this as ‘open kufr’. So establishing the prayer according to the hadith of Auf bin Malik clearly means establishing the deen. Though the hadith mentions establishing the prayer, by implication it means the whole of Islam; this is an indirect expression which means governing by Islam. The ‘clear kufr’ which is mentioned in the hadith of Ubada ibn As-Samet is the clear kufr in the actions which the ruler performs, i.e. governing with the laws of kufr.
The meaning of the two hadiths is that war should be declared against the rulers if they don’t establish the rules of Islam and display its rituals, and that we should fight against them if they establish the rules of kufr, and we should dispute their authority if they showed clear kufr. Declaring war against them means fighting against them to remove them from the government and to re-establish the rules of Islam.
It is obvious from all these evidences that the importance of ruling with Islam and preventing the ruling with kufr laws, is a vital issue for Muslims.
Dear brothers and Sisters. The occurrence of severe agitation in society encourages the vigour and the vitality to move slowly amongst the ummah. The result of this is a common collective feeling among individuals in the ummah. This feeling leads to an intellectual process by which the reasons and the causes of the agitation are discussed, so as to find a solution to resolve the problem. The intellectual operation will cover the past, present and future of this nation, and also the history of other peoples and nations, and the methods of their revival, highlighting the comparisons and differences in order for the mind to be guided through this analysis and study to the solution and answer.
Regarding the Muslims, they have been exposed at the beginning of this century to the most severe agitation which shook their entity, divided their lands, separated their unity and demolished their Khilafah State. This killed their spirit and removed Islam from being implemented in life, state and society. The result of all this was the division of the Khilafah State into states and regimes which, at the beginning, submitted to the direct ruling of the disbelieving states. Later they were ruled by the hands of the puppet rulers who were controlled by the disbelieving states. This resulted also in the enactment and implementation of the systems and rules of kufr in all the Muslim lands.
This great agitation was followed by another one, which involved the conspiracy of the disbelieving countries and their agents (the rulers of Arab countries) to steal Palestine and establish on its land the state of Israel.
These two agitations had a great effect on the souls of Muslims, and so they started to work for their salvation. Consequently many Islamic and Non-Islamic movements were established to perform this task of salvation, but they could not save the Muslims from the results and consequences of these two horrible agitations.
After the second agitation Hizb ut-Tahrir came into existence, because some of the Muslims were disturbed by the situation they found Muslims turning to. So they started to study the reality of the Islamic Ummah, both in terms of the present and the past. They also studied all the events which occurred amongst the ummah, what it was exposed to and what it turned to and the causes of all that. They studied the reality of Muslims and the reality of the society in Muslim lands, the relationship of the ummah in these lands with the rulers and the relationship of these rulers with the ummah, and they studied what these rulers implement upon the ummah in terms of systems and canons, and they also studied the thoughts and emotions which dominated the Muslims in their society.
They compared all this with the rules of Islam after they had studied these rules accurately and understood their reality. They studied the movements which were established to bring salvation to Muslims, whether they were based upon Islam or upon other than Islam. From all this study, they came with a clear, crystallised, particular thought, upon which they established Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Hizb ut-Tahrir concluded from all this study that the vital issue for the Islamic ummah is re-establishing Islam in life, state and society, and carrying Islam as a message to the world through invitation and Jihad.
Based upon this understanding Hizb ut-Tahrir has defined its goal as resuming the Islamic way of life and carrying the Islamic da’wa. So it started to work with the ummah in order to achieve its goal.
10. The Islamic Way Of Life
What is meant by resuming the Islamic way of life is that Muslims should return to act according to all the rules of Islam. Whether they are creeds, worships, morals, transactions, systems of ruling, economy, social system, education, foreign policy with other nations and states, and also to transform the land of Muslims to Dar-al-Islam and change the society in these lands into an Islamic society.
Resuming the Islamic way of life would not be achieved except by establishing the Khilafah and appointing a Khalifah for Muslims, who should by given the pledge (bai’a) to listen and obey based upon the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Prophet (SAW). When Hizb ut- Tahrir, from this study, managed to define the vital issue for Muslims and consequently to define its aim, and the goal which it acts to achieve; through this, it was able to understand the method which it has to follow in order to achieve the goal. This is represented by the method which the Prophet (SAW) has followed in his activity from the moment Allah sent him as a messenger until he achieved the establishment of the Islamic state in Medina.
This action to resume the Islamic way of life should be undertaken collectively, it is not allowed to be an individual activity, because it would not be possible to achieve the goal through individual activity, no matter how exalted the thought and mind of the individuals, rather he must work within a group.
Therefore, the activity for re-establishing the Khilafah and re- establishing the rule of Allah is a collective activity. It should be done within a structure, party or group. This work in a group must be political and should not be other than political, because establishing the Khilafah and appointing a Khalifah is a political activity, and because ruling with what Allah has revealed is a political activity as well, and they would not be but political activity.
11. Non-Political Organisations
The organisations which were established to engage in non-political activities have no relationship with the vital issue of Muslims, and consequently they would be unable to achieve the goal which Muslims must work to achieve i.e. establishing the Khilafah and bringing back the rule with which Allah has revealed. Here are some examples of these organisations:
A. The organisations which are established for welfare activities; such as building schools, hospitals, helping the poor, the orphans and the needy. These welfare activities though they are of the things which Islam encourages Muslims to carry out, they do not have any relationship with the vital issue for Muslims and they would not achieve the goal which Muslims must work to achieve. At the same time carrying these activities would distract the group involved in them from the task of working to re-establish the rule of Allah. Moreover to permanently carry out these welfare activities is considered to be an activity which is part of the permanent caring for the affairs of the people. This permanent caring for the affairs is a duty which belongs to the state, it is not a duty of the groups nor of the individuals.
The temporary welfare actions are not considered to be of the permanent caring for the affairs of the people, so they are valid, and the divine rules commanded doing them. But this, again, has no relationship with the vital issue of Muslims.
B. The organisations which are established for making D’awa about the worships and about abiding to the Sunnah Mandoubs: Calling people to the worships (ibadat) and to observe the sunnah, is a matter which Islam commended, because it is part of Islam and part of the goodness which Allah (the supreme) made a duty upon Muslims to call for. Allah said: “Let there be from amongst you a group that call for goodness” [3:104]
Yet calling for goodness and observing the sunnah Mandoub is part of Islam, and the call should be to act with all of Islam as a whole, in its creeds, worships, morals, transactions, systems of government, economy, social system, education, and foreign policy and other divine rules. Limiting the activity to making d’awa about the worships and the sunnah Mandoub has no relationship with the vital issue for Muslims and it would not achieve the goal which Muslims must work to achieve. Similar to these organisations are the ones which have been established to take care of the traditions of the Prophet (SAW), in terms of scrutinising them.
Devotion to these types of actions and similar things would turn the established group away from the necessary work which Allah has made a duty upon Muslims to act upon, which is removing the rules of kufr and re-establishing the rules of Islam in life, society, and the state.
C. The organisations which are established or involved in writing and publishing Islamic books and Islamic culture, or involved in the activities of preaching and guiding people to the truth.
Writing and publishing Islamic books and Islamic culture and also preaching and guiding people to the truth, are all noble activities, but they are not the way to solve the vital issue of Muslims, nor are they the way to establish the Khilafah and bring back Islam to the reality of the life, state and society.
If the thoughts are not conveyed politically to act upon and to establish them in the reality of the life, it would remain as rational information and academic thoughts, which would remain inside the books and in the minds of the people. We are all aware that the Islamic library is full of hundreds of thousands of valuable Islamic books on Islamic culture, but they are stagnant. So if the thoughts are not conveyed politically by working with them and establishing them in the reality of the life then they would remain stagnant.
We see clearly that the universities which are specialised in teaching Islam and the culture of Islam such as Al Azhar, Az- Zaytoona, An-Najaf and others teach Islam as a theoretical and academic way of life, not as something which should be studied practically for implementation. Every year thousands of scholars are graduated from these universities, but they are actually not more than mobile books, because they have studied Islam theoretically and not as something which should be studied, acted upon, conveyed and established in the reality of life, state, and society.
Consequently, it is not strange to find that these graduates do not take the divine rules and the measure of Islam, which is the halal and haram, as the basis for their viewpoint towards life, and as the basis for conducting their actions, and as the basis for their opinions about the incidents and events in life.
D. The societies and organisations which work to enjoin m’arouf (goodness) and deny munkar (evil): Enjoining the m’arouf and denying the munkar are part of the duty which Allah obliged upon Muslims. Allah (SWT) says: “Let there be from amongst you a group which calls for good, enjoin m’arouf and forbid munkar” [3:104]
Enjoining m’arouf and denying munkar is a duty upon Muslims in every situation, whether there is a Khilafah state or not, and whether the rules of Islam are implemented in the government or not. Both enjoining m’arouf and forbidding munkar existed at the time of the Prophet (SAW) and at the time of the Khalifah after him, and other Khalifah who followed, and it will continue to exist until the end of Time.
Yet it is not the way to establish the Khilafah, and to bring back Islam to life, the state and society, although it is part of the work to resume the Islamic way of life, because it includes bringing the rulers to task and commanding them with m’arouf and forbidding them from munkar. Yet the work to resume the Islamic way of life is different from the activity of enjoining m’arouf and forbidding munkar.
We would like here to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that there is a difference between the activity of enjoining the m’arouf and denying the munkar, and the actions to remove the munkar. The actions of enjoining m’arouf and forbidding munkar are limited to the words only, but the actions of removing the munkar are not verbal only, rather they may exceed that to include using the hand, i.e. the material power. This is derived from what the Prophet (SAW) said, which was narrated by Muslim about Abu Said al Khudari. He said: “Whoever sees a munkar let him change it by his hand. If he could not, let it be by his tongue. If he could not let it be by his heart, and this is the weakest of Iman”.
Now using force to remove the munkar which is practised by individuals is dependant on the ability to remove it, as indicated by the words of the hadith, on condition that this would not lead to severe Fitna, or lead to killing or using arms. This is relevant to removing the munkar carried out by individuals, a matter which has no relationship with the activity to establish the Khilafah and to return Islam to life, state and society.
Now when we come to the question of the ruler, he is excluded from the hadith which mentions using the hand against him. This is because the hadith obliges Muslims to obey the ruler, even if he acted unjustly or took the rights of the ummah, unless he commands with a sin. Other hadith also forbid raising arms against him unless he shows clear kufr (kufr buah). Muslim has narrated about Nafi’ about Ibn Umar regarding what the Prophet (SAW) said: “Listening and obedience is a duty upon the Muslims in what he likes and dislikes unless he is commanded with disobedience” (m’asiyah), which means with a sin. If he is commanded with M’asiyah (disobedience) then there is no duty to listen and obey. and Al Bukhari narrated about Ibn Abbas, he said; The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever of you dislikes a matter from his Amir, let him be patient on that, because anyone of you who goes outside the authority of his Amir, even in the measure of a hand-span, and he died, therewith he would die the death of Jahaliya (ignorance)”. And Al Bukhari narrated about Abdullah. He said the Prophet (SAW) said: “You will see after me selfishness and matters which you deny”: they said: “What do you command us to do O’ Prophet of Allah ?” He said: “Give them their right, and ask Allah to give you your right.”
Inspite of the fact that the Prophet (SAW) commanded Muslims to obey the rulers even if they took the rights of the people, he also made it obligatory upon Muslims to take them to task and to deny their actions by speaking against them and to verbally attack them harshly, because Muslims have the authority to ensure the ruler observes his duty and they are obliged to deny him the prohibited things. Umm Salamah has narrated about the Prophet (SAW) He said: “Amirs will be imposed upon you, you will not recognise what they do, and you will deny some of what they do. So whoever disliked (that) he will relieve himself of the sin, and whoever denied (that) he will be saved, but the one who accepted and followed (will not be saved)”. So the one who dislikes the munkar has to change it, and whoever is unable to change it, will deny it by his heart, therefore he will be safe from the sin, but the one who agrees with what they do and follows them in their actions will not be exempt from the sin and will not be safe. The Prophet (SAW) said: “The master of the martyrs is Hamza and the man who stood to advise the unjust Imam and he killed him”. And he said; “The best Jihad is the word of truth which is said to an unjust ruler”.
In the issue of using the material power against the ruler and using arms to fight against him if he committed Munkar; Sharia has forbidden doing this except in one case, which is the case where the ruler shows clear kufr, i.e.. if he judged with the rules of kufr, or if he kept silent about the domination of kufr over the lands. In that case he should be fought against and arms should be raised against him. His power should be disputed until he refrains from using the rules of kufr. If he did not, then the arms are raised against him and he is fought against in order to remove him from the authority in order to bring back the divine rules in application and implementation.
In the hadith related by Umm Salamah They said: “O Prophet of Allah shouldn’t we then fight against them ? He said: No, as long as they prayed”. In another narration “….They said; Don’t we fight against them? He said; No as long as they prayed”. And in the hadith of Auf ibn Malik, “….They said: O Prophet of Allah, don’t we raise the arms against them ? He said: “No, as long as they established the prayer amongst you”. Establishing the prayer in this context means establishing all the rules of Islam, and although the prayer, which is a part of Islam was mentioned in the hadith, what is meant is all the rules of Islam. In the hadith of Ubadah ibn As-Samet he said: “And we should not dispute the authority of its people unless you see clear kufr upon which you have proof from Allah”. And
Tabarani mentioned: “Open kufr”. And in the narration by Ahmed, it said: “Unless you see he commanded you with clear Ithm (sin).” So all these hadiths indicate the duty to raise arms against the ruler and to fight against him if he showed clear kufr from which we have proof from Allah. i.e.. if he governed with rules of kufr.
But raising the arms against the ruler and attempting to dispute his authority only occurs if there exists most likely the capability of removing the ruler, because the subject of the hadith that allows the use of material power to remove the munkar, and the subject of the hadiths which oblige raising arms against the ruler when there is evidence of clear kufr, the subject of these hadiths is dependent (connected or related) with the capability. That is why the hadith mentions; “If they could not, then they have to use their words”. But in cases where they are unable they are not obliged to raise arms and fight against him; rather action should be taken to prepare the power and to seek the help from the people of power. And once this capability has been established, then raising arms against the ruler and fighting against him should be done.
But the duty to raise arms against the ruler and to fight against him if he showed clear kufr, this apples only if the Dar (land) is Dar-Al-Islam, and the rules of Islam were implemented and the ruler subsequently showed open kufr. This is because of what the hadith of Ubada Ibn As-Samet and Al Tabarani said: “Unless you see clear kufr,” or “Unless you see open kufr,” which you had never seen before, i.e.. if Islam was previously implemented and they, the ruler, replaced it by showing open and clear rules of kufr. But if the land was Land of kufr and the rules of Islam were not put in implementation, then removing the ruler who governs the Muslims would be through using the method of Nusrah i.e.. seeking the help. Which is the method the Prophet (SAW) adopted to establish the State of Islam and to implement the Islamic rules.
E. The groups and organisations which are established on the basis of calling for good morals in order to reform the society: This calling for good morals relates to calling for goodness which Allah commanded Muslims to call for; but this call for good morals is really a call to act with a part of the rules of Islam, while the call should be to act upon all the rules of Islam, and to establish the rules of Islam in the reality of life, state and society. This call is also addressed to the individual divine rules which are specific to the individual, and it is not a call to the general rules which relate to the community in the state, life and society.
This call for good morals would not lead to reform of the society nor to reviving the ummah. This is because reforming the society means reforming the thoughts and emotions which dominate it, and also reforming the system which is implemented upon it i.e.. reforming the public opinions prevalent in the society. This is because society is composed of individuals, emotions and systems, and its reform could only be achieved by reforming its elements i.e.. by reforming the individuals through reforming their thoughts and emotions, and reforming the system which is implemented in the society.
Also, this call for good morals would not lead to the revival of the ummah, because what leads to the revival is the intellectual elevation. When we look at Europe and America we will see that they are revived, but their revival is incorrect, because the correct revival is the intellectual elevation which has a spiritual basis. So though Europe and America are revived, from the ethical point of view they are in decay, and their revival is free from the ethical values, and they live in a society similar to the society inhabited by cattle and beasts.
Calling to these noble morals is not a call which will solve the vital issue of Muslims, nor is it a method to achieve the goal upon which Allah made a duty for Muslims to work for, i.e.. establishing the Khilafah and re-applying Islam in the life, state and society, and carrying it as a message to the world by D’awa and Jihad.
So solving the vital issue for Muslims, and arriving at the aim which they must seek, and the goal which they must work to achieve, is establishing the Khilafah in order to put the laws of Islam in application and implementation in life, state and society, and to carry Islam as a message to the world by d’awa and jihad. This task makes it a duty upon Muslims to establish political organisations based on the Islamic thought and act politically to establish the Khilafah and to bring back the rule of Allah.
A successful Islamic party must first understand vital issue concerning Muslims and realised the goal which Muslims must work to achieve.
One of the fundamental truths established by the sacred texts is that no one can be compelled to accept Islam. It is the duty of Muslims to establish the proof of Islam to the people so that truth can be made clear from falsehood. After that, whoever wishes to accept Islam may do so and whoever wishes to continue upon unbelief may do so. No one should be threatened or harmed in any way if he does not wish to accept Islam.
Among the many decisive pieces of evidence in this regard are the following:
Allah says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]
Allah says: “If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” [Sûrah Yûnus: 99]
Allah says: “So if they dispute with you, say `I have submitted my whole self to Allah, and so have those who follow me.’ And say to the People of the Scripture and to the unlearned: `Do you also submit yourselves?’ If they do, then they are on right guidance. But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. And in Allah’s sight are all of His servants.” [Sûrah آl `Imrân: 20]
Allah says: “The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 99]
It is important to note that these last two verses were revealed in Madinah. This is significant, since it shows that the ruling they gave was not just contingent on the Muslims being in Mecca in a state of weakness.
Some people might be wondering that if Islam indeed advocates such an approach, then what is all this we hear about jihad? How can we explain the warfare that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions waged against the pagans?
The answer to this is that jihad in Islamic Law can be waged for a number of reasons, but compelling people to accept Islam is simply not one of them.
The reason why jihad was first permitted in Islam was so the Muslims could defend themselves against persecution and expulsion from their homes.
Allah says: “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged – and verily Allah is Most Powerful for their aid – (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right – (for no cause) except that they say, `Our Lord is Allah’. Did Allah not check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his cause, for truly Allah is full of strength and might.” [Sûrah al-Hajj: 39-40]
Many of the earliest scholars mention that these were the first verses of the Qur’ân that was revealed regarding jihad. Thereafter the following verses were revealed: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them and drive them out from whence they drove you out, for oppression is worse than killing. But fight them not at the sacred mosque unless they fight you there. But if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 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.” [Sûrah al- Baqarah: 190-193]
From this point on, the scope of jihad was broadened from being purely for defense against direct attack to being inclusive of resistance against those who suppress the faith and deny people the freedom to choose their religion for themselves. This came later, because it is legislated for the Muslims only when they are capable of doing so. In times of weakness, Muslims may only fight against direct attack.
As for the spread of Islam, this is supposed to take place peacefully by disseminating the Message with the written and spoken word. There is no place for the use of weapons to compel people to accept Islam. Weapons can only be drawn against those who persecute and oppress others and prevent them from following their own consciences in matters of belief. The Muslims cannot just stand by while people are being denied the right to believe in Islam and their voices are being crushed. This is the meaning of Allah’s words: “And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.” [Sûrah al- Baqarah: 193]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in his letter to the Roman governor Heracles: “I invite you to accept Islam. If you accept Islam, you will find safety. If you accept Islam, Allah will give you a double reward. However, if you turn away, upon you will be the sin of your subjects.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
Once people have heard the Message without obstruction or hindrance and the proof has been established upon them, then the duty of the Muslims is done. Those who wish to believe are free to do so and those who prefer to disbelieve are likewise free to do so.
Even when the Muslims are compelled to fight and then, as a consequence, subdue the land, their duty thereafter is to establish Allah’s law in the land and uphold justice for all people, Muslim and non-Muslim. It is not their right to coerce their subjects to accept Islam against their will. Non-Muslims under Muslim rule must be allowed to remain on their own faith and must be allowed to practice the rights of their faith, though they will be expected to respect the laws of the land.
Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would never have commanded the Muslims to refrain from hostilities if the enemy relented. He would not have prohibited the killing of women and children. However, this is exactly what he did.
During a battle, the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw people gathered together. He dispatched a man to find out why they were gathered. The man returned and said: “They are gathered around a slain woman.” So Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “She should not have been attacked!” Khâlid b. al-Walîd was leading the forces, so he dispatched a man to him saying: “`Tell Khâlid not to kill women or laborers”. [Sunan Abî Dâwûd]
Therefore, even in the heat of battle against a hostile enemy, the only people who may be attacked are those who are actually participating in the fighting.
Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the rightly guided Caliphs would not have prohibited the killing of priests and monks who refrained from fighting. However, this is exactly what they did. When the first Caliph, Abû Bakr, sent an army to Syria to fight the aggressive Roman legions, he went out to give them words of encouragement. He said: “You are going to find a group of people who have devoted themselves to the worship of Allah (i.e. monks), so leave them to what they are doing.”
We have demonstrated that it is a principle in Islam that there is no compulsion in religion and we have discussed the objectives of jihad. Now, we shall turn our attentions to some texts that are often misunderstood.
One of these is the verse: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them and beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war). But if they repent and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them, for Allah is oft- forgiving, most merciful.” [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 5]
Some people – especially some contemporary non-Muslim critics of Islam – have tried to claim that this verse abrogates the verse “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” They argue that the generality of this statement implies that every unbeliever who refuses to accept Islam must be fought. They support their allegation by pointing out that this verse is one of the last verses to be revealed about fighting.
However, this verse in no way abrogates the principle in Islamic Law that there is no compulsion in religion. It may be general in wording, but its meaning is quite specific on account of other verses of the Qur’ân that are connected with it as well as on account of a number of pertinent hadîth. We will be discussing these texts shortly.
The people being referred to by this verse are the pagan Arabs who had been waging war against the Prophet (peace be upon him) and who had broken their covenant and treaties with him. This verse is not speaking about the other pagan Arabs who did not break their treaties and take up arms against the Muslims. It is also most definitely not speaking about the Jews or Christians, or, for that matter, the pagans who were living outside of Arabia.
If we look at the verses in Sûrah al-Tawbah immediately before and after the one under discussion, the context of the verse becomes clear.
A few verses before the one we are discussing, Allah says: “There is a declaration of immunity from Allah and His Messenger to those of the pagans with whom you have contracted mutual alliances. Go then, for four months, to and fro throughout the land. But know that you cannot frustrate Allah that Allah will cover with shame those who reject Him.” [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 1-2]
In these verses we see that the pagans were granted a four month amnesty with an indication that when the four months were over, fighting would resume. However, a following verse exempts some of them from the resumption of hostilities. It reads: “Except for those pagans with whom you have entered into a covenant and who then do not break their covenant at all nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill your engagements with them until the end of their term, for Allah loves the righteous.” [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 4]
So when Allah says: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them and beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)” we must know that it is not general, since the verse above has qualified it to refer to the pagan Arabs who were actually at war with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and those who broke their covenants of peace.
This is further emphasized a few verses later where Allah says: “Will you not fight people who broke their covenants and plotted to expel the Messenger and attacked you first?” [Sûrah al- Tawbah: 13]
Ibn al-`Arabî, in his commentary on the Qur’ân, writes: “It is clear from this that the meaning of this verse is to kill the pagans who are waging war against you.” [Ahkâm al-Qur’ân: (2/456)]
Allah also say right after the verse under discussion: “How can there be a covenant before Allah and His Messenger with the pagans except those with whom you have made a treaty near the Sacred Mosque? As long as they stand true to you, stand true to them, for Allah does love the righteous.” [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 7]
Another misunderstood text is the hadîth where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am Allah’s Messenger. If they do so, then there blood and their wealth are inviolable except in the dispensation of justice, and their affair is with Allah.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
There can be no qualms about this hadîth’s authenticity, since it is recorded in both Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim. However, this hadîth is also not to be taken generally, out of context, and in complete disregard to all the other textual evidence.
The term “people” here is not referring to all humanity. Ibn Taymiyah says: “It refers to fighting those who are waging war, whom Allah has permitted us to fight. It does not refer to those who have a covenant with us with whom Allah commands us to fulfill our covenant.” [Majmû` al-Fatâwâ (19/20)]
Islam commands the Muslims to be just with people of other faiths, whether they be Jews, Christians, or pagans. Islam calls us to treat them kindly and try to win their hearts as long as they do not take up arms against us. Allah says: “Allah forbids you not with regard to those who neither fight against you for your faith nor drive you out of your homes from dealing kindly and justly with them, for Allah loves those who are just.” [Sûrah al-Mumtahanah: 9-10]
Allah commands Muslims to respect their non-Muslim parents and to accompany them in this world in a good manner.
The Qur’ân commands us to argue with them in the best manner. Allah says: “Argue with the People of the Scripture in the best manner except those among them who act oppressively. Say: We believe in the revelation that has come down to us and in that which came down to you. Our God and your God is one, and it is to Him we submit ourselves as Muslims.” [Sûrah al-`Ankabût: 46]
We are ordered to uphold our covenants with the non-Muslims and not betray them or transgress against them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a stern warning to us against killing a non-Muslim with whom we are at peace. He said: “Whoever kills one with whom we have a covenant will not smell the scent of Paradise.” [Sahîh Muslim]
The faith of a Muslim is not acceptable unless he believes in all of the Prophets who were sent before (peace be upon them all). Allah says: “O you who believe! Believe in Allah, His Messenger, the scripture that He revealed to His messenger and the scripture that he revealed before. Whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the Last Day has gone far astray.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’].