Establishing the Khilafah is not a dream

For some the idea that Muslims could unite together into one unified Islamic State under the banner of a Khilafah is a distant pipe dream. Recently a few so-called experts have stepped forward to rubbish the idea that in the 21st century Muslim unity is anything but possible. They cite examples of the current disunity and division plaguing the Muslim world as evidence to support their claims.

London-based anthropologist Madawi al-Rasheed said, “I can see the whole Arab world falling into sectarian violence, so I can’t see this caliphate happening…Today, in the 21st century, it’s a dream of Muslim activists.”

Saudi analyst Faris bin Houzam said, “Their big dream is to set up an Islamic state, but there’s nothing to suggest it could happen.”

Indian journalist and author Mubashar Akbar writing in Newsweek said, “‘Muslims want to revive the Caliphate,’ I hear pundits say. The idea is just preposterous.”

Some of the allegations against the return of a Khilafah are summarised below.

  1. The Muslim world is culturally too diverse
  2. Nationalism is too deeply rooted
  3. Sectarian differences prevent Sunni and Shia uniting
  4. Muslims prefer to live separately in nation states
  5. America will never allow it


  1. The Muslim world is culturally too diverse

It’s true that there are multitudes of languages, foods, clothing and other customs prevalent in the Muslim world. But this diversity is meaningless when it comes to the political system ruling the country. Political systems do not develop from people eating the same food or being the same colour skin. They develop from adopting economic, political and social legislation to govern the society. In most of the Muslim world today the political system derives from western constitutions such as the French constitution, which became a basis for many Muslim countries after their pseudo independence in the 20th Century.

Taking Iraq as an example, many Kurds long for an independent Kurdish state. Yet the problem in Iraq as elsewhere in the Muslim world is not one of ethnicity but rather the governing system. Saddam Hussein not only oppressed Kurds but he brutally tortured and murdered thousands of his own people whether Kurd, Arab, Sunni or Shia. He even executed his two son-in-laws!

The underlying culture of the Kurdish people is Islamic. They share the same Islamic culture as the rest of the Muslims whether in Turkey, Iraq or elsewhere. The most famous Kurd in history was Salahudeen Ayyubi (ra). He is honoured not just by Kurds but by all Muslims, from all ethnicities, because of his liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it.” [Bukhari]

Moreover is there anything in Shar’iah that cannot be implemented on a person due to his ethnicity? Muslims throughout the world of all colours pray five times a day, fast in Ramadan, give sadaqah and go for hajj to Makkah. They get married, educate their children, fight to defend their lands from occupation, pay taxes, establish companies and punish criminal behaviour.

  1. Nationalism is too deeply rooted

“Just try selling a Pakistani Caliph to a Bangladeshi,” said Mubashar Akbar.

The Khaleefah is not a Pakistani Khaleef or a Bengali Khaleef or an Arab Khaleef for that matter. He is a Muslim who is the leader of the Islamic State. The flaw of nationalism is that it can only unite people of a certain nationality temporarily when their is a real or perceived foe or aggressor; people from other nations will not follow a leader of another nationality as they cannot see beyond the person’s country of birth. The Khaleefah is a leader who will represent the interests of Islam, he does not represent any ethnic group, tribe, clan or nation and hence is not tied to or biased toward a particular tribe, clan or nationality. Therefore, the Khaleefah will be able to unite Muslims all around the world based on the Islamic Aqeedah.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Do hear and obey, even if you were ruled by an Abyssinian slave, whose hair is like the raisin.” [Bukhari]

For example, Bengali’s and Pakistani’s are all Muslim. During the devastating earthquake in Pakistan, Muslims in Bangladesh and throughout the world sent millions of dollars to help the victims. The majority of Muslims do not recognise these artificial borders drawn up by the western powers and enforced by corrupt rulers through national flags, independence days and border checkpoints. In fact it these rulers are the ones who sow the seeds of hatred between them. They are one people who share the same Islamic culture. The Islamic concept of Ummah runs deep. It’s also a major problem for western powers conducting their colonial foreign policy since support for the resistance to their occupation not only comes from the indigenous population but from all corners of the Muslim world.

Nationalism is an outdated concept that took root in the Muslim world during a period of intellectual decline in the 19th century. Nowadays with globalisation, increased travel and modern communications the message of Islam is able to travel to millions almost instantly. As the Ummah draws close the shackles of patriotism, nationalism and racism are being consigned to the dustbins of history.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “He is not one us who calls for ‘Asabiyah, (nationalism/tribalism) or who fights for ‘Asabiyah or who dies for ‘Asabiyah.” [Abu Dawood]

  1. Sectarian differences

There is much talk of a Shia crescent being formed in the Muslim world with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran uniting against the other Sunni states in the region. The civil war in Iraq is also painted as a Sunni Shia conflict.

The Sunni Shia schism has been hyped out of all proportions by those powers within the Muslim world and outside who are seeking to make political gain from it. There was never a problem between Sunni and Shia before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Now, as a result of the occupation, regrettably some from the Sunni and Shia have taken upon themselves to harm one another. The cause is clearly not the Sunni Shia schism but the government in Iraq that was set up along ethnic and sectarian lines. Each grouping has its own militias that are now fighting for their own selfish political interests not for any Sunni or Shia interests.

The victory of Hizbollah in Lebanon was not seen as a Shia victory but an Islamic victory supported by Sunni and Shia across the world. Whenever a leader plays the Sunni or Shia card he is doing so for his own selfish political interests. It has nothing to do with Islam. Stoking the sectarian flames by Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia is just one more example of their treachery and their complete disregard for the interests of their people and Islam. We should not be surprised therefore by claims that Saudi will arm Sunni militias in Iraq against the Shia if America leaves.

Narrated Al-Ahnaf bin Qais: While I was going to help this man (‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib), Abu Bakra met me and asked, “Where are you going?” I replied, “I am going to help that person.” He said, “Go back for I have heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘when two Muslims fight (meet) each other with their swords, both the murderer as well as the murdered will go to the Hell-fire.’ I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! It is all right for the murderer but what about the murdered one?’ Allah’s Messenger replied, “He surely had the intention to kill his companion.”

  1. Muslims prefer to live separately in nation states

Mubashar Akbar said, “The Arabs are united by a common language, culture and faith, and yet prefer to live in some 22 nations. They do not want to report to an Arab Caliph.”

A survey performed by the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan completely rubbishes Mr Akbar’s unsubstantiated claim. According to the survey entitled Revisiting the Arab Street, “Asked whether Shar’iah should be the only source of legislation, one of the sources of legislation, or not be a source of legislation, most Muslims believed it should at least be a source of legislation. Support was particularly strong in Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt, where approximately two-thirds of Muslim respondents stated that the Shar’iah must be the only source of legislation; while the remaining third believed that it must be ‘one of the sources of legislation’.

The aspirations and concerns of Muslim women in particular were revealed last year in a Gallop poll reported by the New York Times. Their main concerns were: the lack of unity among Muslim nations, violent extremism, and political and economic corruption. All concerns only a future Khilafah will resolve.

It’s not ordinary Muslims who want to live separately in 22 nations but their despicable rulers. The rulers in the Muslim world are some of the worst this world has ever seen. They are also some of the richest people the world has ever seen – having got rich on the backs of the Ummah’s wealth. Muslims would like nothing better than to be rid of them. Unfortunately, these rulers have friends in high places namely London and Washington and these rulers suppress their people with an iron fist.

Despite this the Muslim leaders are running scared. Their peoples no longer fear their brutal torture and imprisonment and are speaking openly against them. Demonstrations have been seen throughout the Muslim world. Egypt, traditionally the most oppressive country in the Middle East, has seen huge opposition among politiciansjudiciary and the media to Hosni Mubarak’s brutal rule.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The best of Jihad is to say a word of truth before a tyrant ruler.” [Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi]

  1. America will never allow it

In a speech on the Global War on Terror, US President George Bush said, “They hope to establish a violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call a “Caliphate” — where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology…I’m not going to allow this to happen – and no future American President can allow it either.”

Arrogant claims such as these just don’t fit the political reality of the Muslim world. The Iraq war has exposed the limits of American firepower. Despite claims after the Iraqi invasion that the demons of Vietnam were now exorcised, Iraq is quickly becoming Vietnam II. Around 100 US soldiers are dying each month and America has been forced out of much of the country due to heavy resistance. The occupation of Afghanistan isn’t going much better with America unable to secure the territory it has taken.

American politicians with greater understanding of the situation than Bush can clearly see the limits of American power. Pat Buchanan, co-founder of The American Conservative magazine and advisor to three former American presidents, Nixon, Ford and Reagan said, “If Islamic rule is an idea taking hold among the Islamic masses, how does even the best army on earth stop it?”

Ultimately Muslims believe that victory (nasr) comes from Allah سبحانه وتعالى not through numbers or material resources. Even a small number of Muslims can overcome a huge superpower if they hold fast to the rope of Allah and adhere to His سبحانه وتعالى Shar’iah. Israel’s humiliating defeat at the hands of a few in Lebanon last year is a clear example of this.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish.” Someone asked: “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied: “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and put wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked: “What is wahn?” Messenger of Allah ﷺ replied: “Love of the world and dislike of death.” [Abu Dawood]

Just 60 years ago Europe was involved in a brutal war amongst itself. Now they are united under the European Union with a single currency – something unimaginable just a few decades ago. If the EU with its strong nationalism, diverse languages and separate customs can unite, why can’t the Muslim world?

Is it really a fantasy for these brutal dictators in the Muslim world to be replaced by a Khilafah State when this represents the wishes of the Muslim masses? None of the Muslim leaders were elected by their people save one or two who manage to receive an ‘overwhelming electoral victory!’. Many assumed power through a coup d’état such as General Musharraf of Pakistan. No matter how hard the governments try to suppress Islamic political movements and their culture they cannot stop an idea. The idea of Shari’ah and ruling by Islam is now becoming deeply rooted among the Muslims, both the common persons as well as the influential. It’s slowly rising up through the officer class of the armed forces and it’s only a matter of time before one or more senior army officers in the Muslim world decide enough is enough and do the right thing – removing the current regimes and replacing them with a rightly guided Khaleefah who will implement the Qur’an and Sunnah.

The people of influence and those within the armed forces of the Muslim world should remember that if they facilitate the return of Islamic ruling through the rightful establishment of a Khaleefah then they would have the support of the whole Muslim Ummah eager to assist in any way.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The Prophethood will be among you as long as Allah wills, then he will eliminate it if he so wills. Then a khilafah on the model of Prophethood will prevail so long as Allah wills, then he will eliminate it if he so wills. Then there will be a biting monarchy as long as Allah wills, then he will eliminate it if he so wills. Then there will be an oppressive monarchy as long as Allah wills, then he will eliminate it if he so wills. Then a Khilafah on the way of Prophethood will prevail and he kept silent.” [Ahmed]

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