Monday, December 31, 2007

Chapter 4 - The Leader Of Islamic Politic (Chaliph)

As mentioned before, the factor that helps in the establishment of the of Islamic Political system in the government is the presence of a leader (caliph) who is knowledgeable and who has the attributes of taqwa (fear of Allah). This is based upon the decree of Allah:

Meaning: “My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth.” (Al Anbiya: 105)

In another Surah, Allah SWT said:

Meaning: “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: I will create a vicegerent (caliph) on earth.” (Al Baqarah: 30)

In general, the meaning of caliph (vicegerent) in the above verse refer to all mankind either the pious or otherwise but this is only the literal meaning. Actually, there is also a hidden or esoteric meaning to this verse whereby the word ‘caliph’ here is referred to the appointed leader or the caliph chosen by Allah. This meaning is much clearer if this verse is read in conjunction with the first verse above. To prove this, let us look at the history of this world. In all the eras, the true and just Islamic rule only happen at certain times. For the rest of the time, which is very much longer, there is no true and just government although the ruler was a Muslim.

The just government or rule, whether at the level of party (jamaah), state, nation or empire only happened in the hands of leaders mentioned in the Quran or Hadith or both. Among them are:

1. The Apostles especially Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

2. The four caliphs (Khulafaur Rashidin)

3. Saul (Thalut), Alexander the Great (Zulkarnain) and Muhammad Al Fateh (in whose case is mentioned the attributes of his person, his soldiers and his peoples).

4. The mujaddids (reformers) whose names were not specifically mentioned, except the characteristics of their party (jamaah), group or toifah including the Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz.

It is in their hands that the excellence and resplendence of Islam occurred through the application of the true politics of Islam, whether at the level of empire (ummah), nation or group (toifah). For leaders other than those mentioned, their rules were not Islamic. Although there were leaders and Islamic fighters who had the aspiration to uphold Islam but they failed to establish the complete Islamic politics even the size and level of a party (jamaah).

By analysing this history, I can deduce and conclude that there are two types of Islamic leaders in the world:

a. Leaders of the truth who are promised

b. Leaders of the truth who are not promised


What is meant by ‘leaders of the truth who are promised’ are leaders who are pointed or signified by Allah through the divine revelations (Quran and Hadith) or through divine inspirations (which is the divine knowledge of the saints and pious people). The examples of leaders who were pointed and signified by divine revelations were the Apostles, Saul (Thalut) and Alexander the Great (Zulkarnain). The four caliphs (Khulafaur Rashidin) and all the mujaddids (reformers) including Muhammad Al Fateh were signified by the Hadiths (which in actual fact are also a form of divine revelations). On the other hand, leaders who were pointed and signified by divine inspirations were Umar Abdul Aziz (through the divine knowledge of his grandfather Sayidina Umar Al Khattab r.a. about his birth), Muhammad Al Fateh (the divine knowledge of his teacher Syamsuddin Al Wali concerning his leadership, the attributes of which were mentioned by the Hadiths), and Imam Syafie (the divine knowledge of his teacher Imam Malik on his student’s leadership abilities).

These promised leaders were the caliphs of Allah in this world concurrent with Allah’s promise to let them inherit this earth. They were successful in bringing the truth and justice in their rule according to their levels. And under their rule, they were able to conduct the complete Islamic way of life. They obtained success in this world and also in the Hereafter. The reason they obtained success was that they were supported and assisted by Allah the Almighty. Allah gave them knowledge (which they did not learn from teachers or books), the method of struggle, the way to defeat the enemies, sustenance from unexpected quarters (sources), mystical assistance from mystical forces and an array of divine miracles (mukjizat) or divine powers (karamah). No matter how severe and evil the efforts of the enemy to fail them, they were still given success by Allah the Almighty. They were the caliphs of Allah and they were the promised leaders. They were not many. Among them were the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the Apostles, the Four Caliphs (Khulafaur Rashidin), Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Al Fateh, the mujaddids (reformers) including the coming Al Mahdi and the Prince of Bani Tamim, and the second coming of Prophet Isa Al-Masih (Jesus). Their rules are at the levels of empire, nation or a group (jamaah). The rule of the Prince of Bani Tamim is at the level of a nation.

Following are several versus from the Quran and Hadiths showing about the birth and leadership of these promised leaders:

1. Meaning: “I will create a vicegerent (caliph) on earth.” (Al-Baqarah: 30)

2. Meaning: “O ye who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his Religion, Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him.” (Al-Maidah: 54)

3. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

From Zar, from Abdullah, quoted from the Prophet (pbuh) which means: “If this world has no more age except only for one more day, certainly Allah will lengthen that day until a man of my descendant or from my family is sent to the world, his name is the same as my name, and his father’s name is the same as my father’s name, he will fill this earth with justice and equality the way it was filled with tyranny and cruelty before that.” (Narrated by Abu Daud and At Tarmizi)

4. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

Meaning: From Abdullah bin Umar r.a. that the Prophet (pbuh) whilst holding the hand of Sayidina Ali, said: “It will emerge from this sulbi (basis of descendance), a man who fill the earth with justice. And so when you are convinced of such, you must endeavour to be with the Prince of Bani Tamim. Verily he comes from the East and he is the holder of the standards of Al Mahdi.” (Narrated by At Tabrani)

5. Generally the Prophet mentioned the time of their emergence:

Meaning: “Allah will send for this ummah in every 100 years a mujaddid (reformer) who will rejuvenate (this people) in their religion.”


Leaders of the truth who are not promised are leaders who are not pointed or signified by Allah either through the divine revelations, Hadith, or divine inspirations. Leaders such as these are numerous and are continually born. There are those who struggle at the level of empire, nation, state and group (toifah). They aspire to struggle for the truth and justice. Perhaps, among them are leaders of sufi groups and movements. Since they are not the caliph appointed or promised by Allah, Allah do not support them with spiritual knowledge, divine inspirations, sustenance from unknown sources, mystical help and assistance, protection from deceit, divine powers (karamah), divine help (maunah), mystical senses (kashaf), clairvoyance (firasat), true dreams, mystical hearing (hatif) and so on. In short, they cannot find the appropriate method of struggle, they are not guided by divine thoughts and they do not get direct support from Allah. That is why they are not successful in their leadership.

Some of them were defeated by their enemies before they were even able to lead successfully. There were those who get to become leaders but if in the beginning they were quite pious, when they became leaders their good traits and characters decline because they fail to overcome numerous problems and were unable to control their ill-desires (nafs) in facing the enticements of the world.

Normally, the leader who is not promised not only is unable to bring truth and justice to his community but he is also not able to conduct and uphold the complete Islamic teaching within himself and his family. When they are unable to lead their own selves, surely they cannot lead other people. If they try, they will drift along with the flow of ignorance of the community at large.

Historical examples of leaders who were not promised were the Kings of Islamic Kingdoms of the Bani Umaiyah. All of them failed to bring truth and justice in their leadership until the birth of Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz. Other examples could be analogised.

As a conclusion, I have to say that not every Islamic leader in the world is able to uphold justice in accordance to Islamic Politics either in the nation, state, party or even in their households. Such ability is the specialty of the caliphs of Allah whom Allah appoints, which is signified by the divine revelations, the Hadiths or divine inspirations. Only these people can succeed in applying Islamic politics and leadership in totality in their rule. Look at the Hadiths which present the special ability of the mujaddids (reformers) which is unattainable by leaders who are not mujaddids. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

Meaning: “There will always be a group (toifah) among my followers that will be able to manifest the truth until Allah gives them assistance and they appear in the midst of the community.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari)

The Prophet (pbuh) said again:

Meaning: “There will always be a group (toifah) among my followers which can uphold the laws of Allah, and they will be invincible before those who oppose them until Allah gives them assistance and they appear in the midst of the community.” (Narrated by Muslim)

We can witness at this time, that there are not many among the Islamic leaders who can lead their groups to closely abide by and fulfil the needs of the above Hadith? That is to manifest the truth by upholding and practising the complete Islamic way of life among their followers and they cannot be impaired by their enemies. There is almost none.

That being the case, please do not feel bad when I say that not all Islamic leaders could uphold truth and justice through the politics of Islam in their leadership. Perhaps there are those among them who are personally good but are not able to nurture and correct the community. They are safe but could not save other people. If they are sincere, undoubtedly their good efforts will be rewarded but their struggle will not culminate. The knowledge that they possess, the method that they employ and the approach that they take does not suit and is incompatible to the aim. Resources are insufficient to cater for the needs of the struggle. The strategy to deceive the enemy is not any better than the strategy of the enemy itself.

As a result, the Islamic ambition remains an ambition. The struggle fizzles and dies out without leaving any mark. Or it may just exist but contribute nothing to anyone. This may not be too bad because for most of them, if they attain power, they will become corrupt. They will be infatuated with the world, they will neglect their worship, they will cheat, they will commit adultery, they will become arrogant, cruel, oppressive and will do all sorts of sins and transgressions. Hopefully, Allah will send us the leader of the truth that He promised so we could have the chance to enjoy the peace and beauty of Islamic politics for the rest of our remaining lives.

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