Some believe that our collective pain and suffering around the world is not just inevitable, but an acceptable position for a believer. Our situation has made us believe that our honour and power only waits for us in the Akhirah and that strength and authority belongs to the disbelievers in this Dunya. This false perception is legitimised by distorting and misapplying the meanings of some Islamic texts from our tradition. This is a critical mistake. Power is indeed for the Muslims.
In Surah Nur, Allah ﷻ unequivocally tells us:
وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ كَمَا ٱسْتَخْلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ ٱلَّذِى ٱرْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًۭا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِى لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِى شَيْـًۭٔا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْفَـٰسِقُونَ
“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.”[TMQ al-Nur 24:55]
Here, Allah ﷻ explains that authority and relief from pain and suffering in the Dunya is a Promise of Allah contingent on fulfilling the requirements, in line with the Shari’ah of our Prophet ﷺ.
The relationship, the arrangement of power, between the Muslims and disbelievers is further clarified in Surah an Nisa:
وَلَن يَجْعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِلْكَـٰفِرِينَ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلًا
“And Allah will never grant the disbelievers a way over the believers.”[TMQ an-Nisa 4:141]
On the surface the above Ayah may come across as a contradiction, as we know that disbelievers have gained dominance over the Muslims – it happened even during the time of revelation. We also find that the Western secular world order dominates the world today. However, the scholars of tafsir explained that the Ayah is emphasising that “Allah will never” accept the believers to be satisfied with this arrangement. Authority, prestige, honour and power are for the believers and we must not accept anything less. We cannot be fatalistic and suspend the mechanisms of divine justice that Allah has ordained for us in this world and rely only on the justice of the Akhirah.
Before we ask what are the righteous deeds that lead to authority and liberation, we have to ask, what is this authority that Allah has revealed to us? It is nothing more than the implementation of the Qur’an and Sunnah, a system of governance that is the Khilafah. It is a unique system that has carried the Islamic civilisation for 1400 years, beginning with the Prophet’s ﷺ state in Madinah up until the demise of the Ottomans. Despite decades of post-colonial strategies against this Ummah, the call for Islamic governance is only getting louder.
Adopting any other systems or –isms is to simply forsake what our Creator has revealed. Secularism and its global world order we have today was, from its very inception, designed to keep Allah out of all significant matters. This is not the type of authority Allah has promised for us, neither should one take any pride in participating in it.
وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ
“And whosoever does not rule by what Allah has revealed, such are the Kâfirûn”[TMQ al-Maidah 5:44]
وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
“And whosoever does not rule by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zâlimûn” [TMQ al-Maidah 5:45]
It is an absolute necessity to discard all pragmatic failed solutions and invalid methods, and work for the transfer of authority from colonial proxy regimes to a sincere Islamic leadership. Only then can we establish an Islamic world order that will challenge the existing global order.
We cannot let this task overwhelm us. The Prophetic way is to challenge the existing ideological unislamic ideas and practices that dominate our thoughts today and to posit Islamic concepts and solutions. It is to build the noise to remove the evil gatekeepers of corrupting ideas in our lands and to demand for gatekeepers of Islam.
In a hadith of our noble Prophet ﷺ “…And then there will be a tyrannical rule (mulkan jabriyyatan) and it will continue as long as Allah wills it to continue and then he will remove it when He intends to remove it. Then there will be the Khilafah upon the way of the Prophethood (‘ala minhaj al-nabuwwah)…” [Musnad Ahmad, 4/273 #18596]
Muslims have been damaged by unislamic ideas that are preventing the return of our unique authority. These ideas are not just surface level and obvious ones we see around us but deep-rooted, fundamental concepts of nationalism, secularism, liberalism, feminism and democracy among others; all designed to ensure we are perpetually confused, divided and prevented from referring to our sacred texts for guidance.
تَٱللَّهِ لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَىٰٓ أُمَمٍۢ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ أَعْمَـٰلَهُمْ فَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمُ ٱلْيَوْمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ
“By Allah, We did certainly send [messengers] to nations before you, but Iblis made their deeds fair seeming to them.”[TMQ an-Nahl 16:63]
But we are a resilient Ummah, with one struggle and one solution. Muslims in the West must be advocates for Islamic civilisation and connect with the global Ummah to support the global struggle against false beliefs and their advocates who benefit from it. This struggle is an obligation upon us all – it is also is the righteous deed that Allah demands as a condition to His Promise.