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History of the Islamic State’s Institutions – Volume 1

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The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ established the first Islamic State in Medina with a distinct structure (ajhizaat) that continued with its main pillars until 1924. Although the styles (usloob) and means (waseelah) related to each of the institutions evolved over time, the hukm (rule) remained fixed. In the beginning the Prophet ﷺ took charge of most of these ajhizaat himself. As the state expanded, he ﷺ assigned different sahaba to specific roles.

The main elements (jihaz) of this structure must be implemented because they form a fixed method (tareeqa) and not simply optional subsidiary rules or styles (usloob) which change according to the circumstances.

As with all Islamic rules the general rules are specified in the Holy Qur’an and elaborated in the sunnah through the actions, sayings and silence of the Messenger ﷺ. Allah (Most High) says,

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.[1]

No value should be given to the words of Ali Abd ar-Raziq who was ex-communicated from Al-Azhar for his claim in 1925 that, “God has left the field of civil government and worldly interests for the exercise of human reason.”[2] Nor should value be given to modern day academics who make claims outside the well-established methodology of ijtihad and usul ul-fiqh, which clearly contradict the sunnah such as Abdelwahab El-Affendi who says, “the political authority which the Prophet established was a voluntary association,”[3] and “sharia can never be imposed.”[4]

After the death of the Prophet ﷺ the rightly guided Caliphs continued implementing this structure. Then after them the Umayyads, Abbasids and finally Ottomans all implemented Islam and the main pillars of the state until the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924.

As the state expanded and the complexities of ruling increased, various styles and means related to each institution were created. For example, the hukm in Islam is that the currency of the state must be gold and silver. In the beginning the Islamic State didn’t mint its own currency but used existing gold and silver coins (dinars and dirhams). It was during the Caliphate of Umar bin Al-Khattab that the state first minted its own coins. Similar examples can be seen throughout the institutions of the Islamic State.

There are a multitude of history books on Islam, the life of the Prophet ﷺ and the Islamic State. This book is not intended to repeat what has already been elaborated upon by the great scholars of Islam. Its purpose is simply to detail the institutions of the state during the different periods of Islamic history. It is hoped this will become a reference guide showing Muslims that this unique institution of the Caliphate (Khilafah) is not a theory based in books but was a practical reality for 1300 years.

This book is split in to a number of volumes each covering one aspect of the Islamic State’s history. The first volume deals with the Prophet ﷺ who established the first Islamic State in Medina and the Rightly Guided Caliphs after him. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The Khilafah in my Ummah will be for thirty years. Then there will be Mulk (kingdom) after that.”[6]

AK Newell

25 Dhuʻl-Hijjah, 1441 AH

15 Aug 2020

[1] Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 21

[2] Albert Hourani, ‘Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 1798- 1939,’ Cambridge University Press, p.187

[3] Abdelwahab El-Affendi, ‘Who needs an Islamic State?,’ Second Edition, Malaysia Think Tank London, 2008, p. 60

[4] Ibid, p. 140

[5] Hizb ut-Tahrir, ‘Institutions of State in the Khilafah,’ translation of ‘Ajhizat Dawlat-al-Khilafah,’

[6] at-Tirmidhi 2226,