This is an extract from the book ‘The Islamic Khilafah: A Manifesto for Change’ by Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain.
PART V: REALISTIC AND PRACTICAL – Transition to an Islamic state
1. NO VIOLATION OF SHARI’AH IN TRANSITION TO ISLAMIC STATE
In any transition process the Shari’ah cannot be violated and a transition process has to be fast. In particular power sharing with a regime, that does not rule by the Islamic System or pays some form of lip service (e.g. the current Egyptian or Saudi regime), is not permitted even as a means to an end.
History has shown the futility of disobeying Allah(swt) in this way. There is not a single instance of an Islamist Party achieving anything but total failure in attempting to power share with an existing regime.
2. A 3 PHASED APPROACH – PRIORITISATION AND REUTILISATION
We will look at the evolution of the Islamic Khilafah from Day 1 of power in 3 phases:
Phase 1: Setting up structures and stabilisation – e.g. 30 days
Phase 2: Setting up long term plans – e.g. from 30 days to 1 year
Phase 3: Executing long term plans – e.g. 1 year plus
We are going to concentrate on Phase 1 here, setting up structures and achieving a degree of stabilisation which allows the government to move on to Phase 2.
In Phase 1 certain areas will need mandatory attention and others can be left for further deliberation to the second phase.
To illustrate by example, it would be inconceivable not to tackle the subject of government finances immediately – how is the government going to collect money, leveraging Shari’ah methods and how is it going to spend it. This is an issue of survival and a key to stability.
On the other hand the details of the education system whilst of huge strategic significance can afford to be deliberated on until Phase 2 as it is something that will be rolled out over years.
Retain as much existing infrastructure and administrative staff and experts as possible.
Another principle would be that of not reinventing the wheel. For example this comes down to the technical expertise in the civil service department. It would be prudent to keep as many existing technocrats and bureaucrats as possible and to induce a change of culture by embedding trusted ideologically motivated staff in the key departments and tasking them to ensure that planning happens along Islamic lines. This allows the Khaleefah to keep the sort of detailed knowledge that exists in this class of professionals and leverage it appropriately. Similar principles apply to other experts such as legal professionals etc.
3. PHASE 1 CRITICAL REFORM
The Khaleefah will take immediate and direct control of the armed and security forces, appointing senior commanders as he deems fit.
The Khaleefah will immediately publish a constitution derived from the Islamic Shari’ah – reflecting its subordinate status to the Shari’ah itself. This will provide clarity on what is and isn’t up for discussion and provide an explanatory backdrop to the reforms that will have to take place.
The implementation of the new constitution and the policies of the Khaleefah will be achieved by the immediate appointment of governors and mayors to all areas. To overcome impediments, inefficiencies and corruption in existing structures the Khaleefah can exercise his right to appoint a parallel structure of executives to deal with the finances and tax collection for each governorate and mayoralty.
b. FINANCE & ECONOMY
The transition approach can be summarised as follow:
1. Large reduction in expenditure
- Ceasing the interest based debt payments
- Ceasing Shari’ah prohibited spending
2. Establishing alternate government revenue streams designated by the Shari’ah
- All forms of indirect taxation will be immediately abolished
- Government tax revenue will consist primarily of zakat, kharaj/ushr (land tax)
- A land review for kharaj assessment will be commenced with the first amount to be collected within 12 months
- Private owners of the vast quantities of unused arable land that exist in our countries will be given immediate notice of the requirement to either start using that land or to face confiscation within 3 months.
- It is envisaged that it will take 3 months to rebuild government revenue streams in accordance with Shari’ah taxation policies.
- Public ownership and government control (a variant of nationalisation) of the mineral and energy sector will also transfer gas, coal and oil revenue directly to the Khilafah treasury as well as other mineral wealth.
3. Expenditure reformation in line with priorities
4. Transitioning the State currency from fiat to full gold/silver backing
- The currency will be linked to gold and silver, the price will be determined based on gold/silver reserve levels and nominal prices in labour and product markets.
5. Keeping the State finances going while transition is being undertaken
- The Khaleefah will also have recourse to substantial gold and foreign currency reserves sufficient (in the case of Egypt) to cover over a year of emergency expenditure.
6. Immediate boost in wealth circulation ‐ the following measures will result in an immediate increase in the circulation of wealth
- Debt payment elimination leading to more spending power
- Removal of the incentive to invest for interest payment, thus increased direct business investment
- More spending power due to highly reduced taxation
c. POLITICAL REPRESENTATION
- A process will be put in place to set up local and national Councils of the Ummah which are elected.
- Any party compatible with the Islamic constitution will have permission to be formed.
- Retain and equip existing judges with a set of punishment guidelines for crimes classified by the Shari’ah.
- Resume court processes by the end of Phase 1.
- Mechanism for judges enabling speedy access to Shari’ah expertise to facilitate the judicial process.
- Independent media organisations will have the right to carry out their duties providing they do not promote views undermining the constitution.
- The Khaleefah will take an official TV channel for the purposes of laying out policy, transparency and informing the population. The channel will be taken overtly and its purposes stated clearly. It will be a key tool from the beginning of Phase 1 for the Khaleefah to connect with and make himself known to the Muslim masses.
- The same principles and patterns will apply to all other technological and print media.
f. APPEAL TO MUSLIMS LIVING IN THE WEST AND REST OF THE WORLD
- An appeal will be issued to Muslims living outside the State, particularly those with specialist skills in technology, policy making, management and administration etc. It is hoped that the resulting influx of talent will be invaluable in building infrastructure in the early days of the State.
4. PHASE 2 & PHASE 3 REFORM
Phase 2 committees would need to be setup in Phase 1 so that they could deliver a series of potential plans to the Khaleefah in order to move from the stabilisation and survival phase to a grassroots change in the characteristics and structures of the state.
For the following and other areas departmental committees would be formed to align these areas in the best interest of the state: education, culture, infrastructure, commercial reform, public safety, social reform.