Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Chapter 11 : Who Is The Upholder Of Islamic Politics

Before this, I have explained that there is truth which is promised and that there is truth which is not. Which means the Islamic struggle can be one that is promised by Allah and one that is not. The struggle that is promised has its leader appointed and promised by Allah whereas the one which is not, its leader is not appointed or promised by Him or His Apostle.

I also explained that some leaders of the truth who are promised are indicated by divine revelations (wahyu), some by the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) and some by divine inspiration (ilham). Examples of leaders of the truth indicated by divine revelations include the Prophet peace be upon him (pbuh) himself, all the other Apostles, Thalut (Saul) and Alexander the Great. While leaders revealed by the Hadith were all the four Caliphs (Khulafaur Rashidin), all mujaddids (reformers), Muhammad Al Fateh, the Prince of Bani Tamim and Imamul Mahdi. And divine inspirations of the saints indicated and confirmed the mujaddids, the Prince of Bani Tamim, Imamul Mahdi and Muhammad Al Fateh whom the Prophet said was the good leader, with the good army and good citizens, who will conquer Constantinople. Good leaders are those who bring about love, brotherhood and fraternity. I would like to stress here that leaders indicated by divine revelations, the Hadith or divine inspirations, or in other words, leaders promised by Allah, fall into three categories.

1. Leaders of groups (toifah or jamaah)

2. Leaders of states and nations

3. Leaders of the Islamic empire (ummah)

Leaders of groups (toifah or jamaah) are equipped to lead and to administer or to uphold the truth and justice (Islam) only at the level of their group or jamaah. They cannot go as far as a nation, let alone an empire.

As said by the Prophet, if all the three categories of leaders truly practice Islamic politics, they can foster love, brotherhood and fraternity at the levels that they lead. If all the three categories of leaders do not foster love, brotherhood and fraternity, then they are not Islamic leaders, much less leaders who are promised by Allah.

Whereas leaders destined to lead at the level of state or nation, can uphold the truth and justice within his group (jamaah) and continue his true Islamic leadership to the level of a nation. But he will not be able to extend it further to the level of an empire.

Lastly leaders destined to lead the Islamic empire (ummah) are those who are able to lead and uphold the truth from the level of his group (jamaah), his nation and onwards to an Islamic empire (ummah). This means they can uphold the true Islamic governing system throughout a major part of the world that is under Islamic influence.

In the era of the promised leader (whether at the level of a group, nation or empire), there will rise a society at the appropriate levels that Allah described as follows:

Meaning: “A fair land (peaceful and prosperous) and blessed by an Oft-Forgiving Allah.” (Saba: 15)

But true prosperity is love, fraternity and brotherhood. From it will arise other forms of prosperity like amenities of life, food and drinks, clothing, transport, place of dwelling and so on.

These leaders are able to educate and nurture their followers to have faith in Allah, to do the solah, pay the tithes, to be obedient to Allah and His Apostle in accordance to their various levels. This is done not through directives, compulsion or punishment but purely out of their love for the Hereafter which overrides their love for the worldly. Allah and His Apostle are their highest love, above all their love for the created. Their society are forgiving, peaceful, loving, compromising, they help each other, cooperate, they do not cheat or oppress, they do not topple or down-trod other people but are tolerant and complimentary to each other in making their society prosperous. Allah loves and forgives them. They live by the Islamic system, Islamic education, Islamic social codes, culture, economy, health service, agriculture, international relations, and at the national level, Islamic military and judicial systems. Non Muslims (zimmies) accept the truth and justice that ensue. They become loyal citizens. In short, they truly adopt the system of Islamic politics.

Under the rule of the promised leader, people can truly uphold the rules of Allah in all aspects of their lives. The laws of hudud and qisas are also carried out except at the level of group or jamaah because at this level they are not empowered to do so. Anyhow such laws are not very popular compared to other obligatory rules concerning individuals (ain) or concerning the community (kifayah). The application and implimentation of hudud and qisas laws are few and far between. In a truly Islamic society, there are not many bad hats and evil doers who need to be punished under the laws of hudud or qisas. It happens once in a while and even then only among a small section of the community that is obstinate and ill disciplined. There are also no prisons or sanatoriums (mental hospitals) in a true Islamic society.

It must be known that through the leadership of the promised leader, people’s minds and hearts will shift from ignorance and wickedness to knowledge and virtue. From not knowing Allah, they will know Him and be obedient to Him. They will perform the solah, pay the tithes, fast, struggle and sacrifice in the way of Allah. They will abstain from sins and transgressions and will do good. They will be forgiving, loving, generous, full of humiliation and they will love the Hereafter more than the worldly life.

All these changes are the result of their faith and their taqwa (fear of Allah). They love, fear, obey, long for, are patient, thankful and they accept and put their trust in Allah. They worship Allah without end, from dusk to dawn, night and day, through their solah and zikr (contemplations in the remembrance of Allah). In times of hardship like war, drought or other calamities, the people are willing to do sacrifice to stabilize the nation without having to seek help from their enemies.

The promised leader is able to change his society as mentioned above in accordance to their levels. This is achieved not through the use of power, acts of law, jurisprudence, threats, or the fear of punishment. If punishment is used at all, it is minimal and always applied to those who really need to be disciplined. And it is not done at the level of a group or jamaah because at that level, they are not empowered to draft acts and laws. There is also no police or the military to enforce them.

People change due to motivation, education, knowledge, through being nurtured and through leadership that is full of wisdom and love which is carried out persistently and systematically. They do good and conduct worship with diligence and out of the goodness of their hearts. The leader is the role model. People do these things not because they are asked by anyone to do so or because it is their work or hobby or out of any personal interest. They do so purely to prove their subservience to Allah and to fulfil their pledge to live and die for the sake of Allah.

Unlike Muslim leaders who are not promised, leaders who are promised are successful in their leadership. They are safe and they bring salvation to their people. Leaders who are not promised, if at all they can save themselves, they are not able to save others or their people, although they have the power and authority. What are the factors that create this difference? Among them are:

1. Leaders appointed and chosen by Allah are bestowed with knowledge through divine revelations (wahyu) if they are Prophets or Apostles, or through divine inspirations (ilham) if they are saints. This especially involves knowledge on how to educate and nurture people, on leadership, problem solving, development, how to deal with the enemy, techniques and methods of the struggle, strategy and others. Such knowledge are of a quality most effective for the times and era of the leader. Leaders who are not promised are not given these special knowledge by Allah. Thus, they find it difficult to change and nurture people and to make plans and form strategies.

2. For leaders who are promised, Allah bestows them with sustenance from unknown sources (i.e. from God Himself) whether for their own requirements, their families and their struggle. Allah provides for such sustenance at exactly the right time in ways that Allah has ordained, so much so, money and finance is never a big problem to the struggle. Whereas, leaders who are not promised do not enjoy such special livelihood and assistance.

3. Leaders who are promised are nurtured and looked after (protected) by Allah Himself. So much so they attain taqwa (fear of Allah), character, mind, feelings, attitudes and thoughts, that are the highest and the best in their era and actions that are the most appropriate. They are guided congruent to their status and levels. For the Apostles, it is called maksum (those whose past, current and future sins are pardoned by Allah). For the Saints, it is called mahfuz (those who are guided by Allah). Allah corrects their mistakes whether directly or indirectly. Their good traits are encouraged and flourished by Allah. They are given resilience of heart. These things do not happen to leaders who are not promised.

4. Promised leaders are bestowed mystical help by Allah. Such help come in various forms such as mukjizat (divine miracle) for the Prophets and Apostles, karamah (divine power) for the saints, maunah (mystical help) for the good servants of Allah (soleh), and also mystical sight (kashaf), divine inspiration, mystical voices (hatif) and so on. When all physical efforts cease to work, Allah will provide the appropriate divine and mystical assistance to help fighters of the truth and leaders who are promised. Leaders who are not promised are not given this sort of assistance.

5. The emergence of leaders who are promised do not depend upon the support of the people. They are appointed by Allah Himself in His own way which means, the promised leader do not rely upon the help of mankind whether to elect or to topple him. He has his own way, and he has the power and strength to ascend on his own accord. That is why, leaders who are promised are successful in their leadership and they remain leaders as long as they live. They are accepted at heart by the people. They are not elected by the show of hands or by votes, or by money politics or as a result of being lobbied. Whereas leaders who are not promised are elected by the people. Those who elect him can also reject him. Therefore his position is insecure and is always threatened and he can be easily toppled even before he can implement the rules of Allah.

6. Leaders who are promised by Allah are usually poor but are unattached to the worldly (zuhud). Before they become leaders, they are usually rich. But after they become leaders, they become poor. All their wealth and assets are sacrificed for the people and the state. The Prophet (pbuh) spent all his wealth presented to him by his wife. Sayidina Abu Bakar r.a too spent all his wealth. Sayidina Umar Al Khattab r.a sacrificed 75% of his riches. Sayidina Usman Ibnu Affan r.a sacrificed 50% of his wealth for Islam. Sayidina Ali k.w. was poor from the beginning. Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz and his wife gave all their wealth to the state.

7. Promised leaders do not control the people by using the police, the military, imprisonment, laws of hudud and qisas, by acts and jurisprudence and the like. If at all they resort to such things, it is very minimal. They actually are able to control and tame the hearts of mankind to be inclined towards good and virtue and to despise evil. When the hearts of mankind is good, it will by itself reject evil and will refrain from doing it. Only a small portion of the people will remain obstinate and ill disciplined and are inclined towards evil and transgression. It is this small group of people that require to be punished under the hudud and qisas laws as a corrective measure. Hopefully through such punishments, they will realise the futility in committing crimes and acts of sin. With this extraordinary style of leadership, leaders who are promised can truly build a society that is peaceful, prosperous and blessed by an Oft-Forgiving Allah.

8. The promised leaders do not aspire or ask to be a leader. Let alone to strive and struggle to be one. They in actual fact are afraid to become leaders. You cannot see in them the enthusiasm to be a leader. They are not power crazy. Sayidina Abu Bakar As Siddiq, when he became the first Caliph, he crawled up the pulpit to make a speech. He could not walk because if he did, he would fall. He trembled out of fear for having been given such a heavy responsibility. When he referred to Sayidina Umar Al Khattab, Umar said: “We have no other options”. Those who accept to be a leader with fear and apprehension, he will carry out his task with honesty and responsibility. A leader who is too enthusiastic usually is not prepared mentally and spiritually to lead. That is why they commit mistakes and they fail. Above all that, they blame others including the enemy for their failures.

9. The promised leaders are loved by the people. People obey them with all their hearts. The people do not disobey or revile the promised leaders behind their backs but they uphold their honour and feelings. That is why such leaders are successful. It is also for the same reason they are hated by their enemies. Their enemies cannot hide or suppress their hatred and they show their adverse and hostile reactions. Thus, their enemies are readily exposed and this makes it easier to deal with them. That is why the promised leaders are always a few steps ahead of their enemies and they can easily deceive and out manoeuvre the enemies before they can do them any harm. That is also why the promised leaders can always free themselves out of tight situations in their struggles. This does not happen to other leaders who are not promised. They are never loved too much nor hated too much.

10. The promised leaders not only can save the Muslims but under their leadership, non Muslims (zimmies) can also be saved albeit in the world (not so in the Hereafter). Because non Muslims who are friendly (not hostile) are treated well. In fact many among them embrace Islam at the hands of such leaders. The zimmies are never compelled to obey. They are obedient at heart because they love the justice and the truth brought about by these leaders. This is what makes it possible for the promised leaders to uphold justice peacefully and safely. Leaders who are not promised by Allah are not able to capture the hearts of non Muslims so much so such groups protest and offer resistance and are regarded as a problem.

Those are my contentions to show the difference between leaders of the truth promised by Allah and those who are not. And in so doing, I show too why the promised leaders are able to uphold the truth and justice while the others cannot even do justice to themself let alone to the society and their people.

Throughout the history of the world, the number of promised leaders are few compared to leaders who are not promised. That is the reason we do not see many leaders throughout history who can truly and practically uphold justice although many can talk and shout about it.

This is a historical fact. We cannot feel hurt nor can we question Allah why the promised leaders are few and far between. And on top of that, they do not rule for long. What we must believe and understand is that only the promised leaders can uphold justice in a truly and wholly Islamic administration at their various levels (whether group, state or empire). Such is the command and wish of Allah. Other than the promised leaders, although they adopt the same practical methods, they will still fail because they are too weak to fight against their nafs (ill desires) and to face risks, trials and tribulations. They are easily depressed and frustrated and are unable to face difficulties and resistance.

This is proven by history. There were no leaders in history other than those mentioned by divine revelations, (wahyu) the Hadith or by divine inspirations (ilham), who were able to uphold justice in their rule or leadership. Those destined to lead at the level of their group (jamaah or toifah), their ability to be just and to uphold the truth is only confined to such a level. They cannot do more than that. If they try, they will surely fail. Those destined to lead a nation or state, their ability too is confined to such a level. They cannot achieve anything above that.

Muslims must understand this fact. It will help us determine what era we are in. Whether we are in the promised era or otherwise. If we are not in the promised era, then suffice we do what is necessary in relation to the era. We must accept that our leader, whoever he is, is not the promised one. We should be patient with all his weaknesses and failures. We have no other alternative. If we elect another leader including ourselves to replace him, it will be about the same or it may even be worse.

Leaders must be there. There cannot be a situation where society is without a leader. It is obligatory for the community (fard kifayah) to have a leader. But we as leaders should not plan and aspire too highly. A leader who is not promised can never build a society which is truly just, peaceful, prosperous and blessed with the forgiveness of Allah.

But if we live in a promised era, which form part of Allah’s schedule and plans, we should be thankful. We have the chance to live in truth and justice whether at the level of a group (jamaah or toifah), a nation or an empire. It is also obligatory for us to seek the promised leader. It is obligatory for us to be part of the group or jamaah, the nation or the empire that he leads.

I am happy to mention that we are now in the early part of the Hijriah century. This is the promised era. The schedule or plan of Allah is under way. It is in this era a mujaddid (reformer) is born and now it is the mujaddid of the 15th Hijriah century. Fifteen centuries have passed in the Hijriah calendar. We are now in year 1427 Hijriah. That mujaddid or reformer has surely been born and has begun to play his role. We can see the Islamic revival within the last 15 years. This is surely the work of the mujaddid. This revival has the potential to culminate into an Islamic nation or even and Islamic empire. This may be the century chosen by Allah whereby a pair of mujaddids will be born at once that is the Prince of Bani Tamim and the Imamul Mahdi.

The Prophet (pbuh) has said:

Which means: From Ibnu Umar r.a. that Rasulullah whilst holding the hand of Sayidina Ali said, “Will emerge from this sulbi (basis of descendance) a man who will 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) The Prophet also said :

Which means: From Abdullah Bin Al Haris bin Juz Az Zubaidi, he said, Rasulullah SAW said: “There will appear people from the East (Bani Tamim), they prepare the foundation for the reign of Al Mahdi.” (Narrated by Ibnu Majah and Al Baihaqi)

We are lucky to be born in the early part of the century. In fact this century is somewhat special because it promises the birth of the grand mujaddid and before that his second (helper) who will both bring forth justice to the level of an Islamic nation and hence to an Islamic empire. This is the second revival of Islam from the East, promised for the Prince of Bani Tamim and Imamul Mahdi.

I believe this is the era because the characteristics of this era are totally different from the eras before this. The Islamic revival is spreading out of control. The more it is contained or opposed, the faster it spreads. Communism fell in this era. America is becoming weak and distrusted if not hated. This is proof that the world will change hands.

I would like to suggest that we seek the leader with the characteristics of the Prince of Bani Tamim as outlined by the various Hadiths. So too the Imamul Mahdi. The major characteristic of the Prince of Bani Tamim is he will lead an Islamic nation in the East. He will then hand over this nation to the Imamul Mahdi.

Let us wait for the emergence of the Islamic leader who will lead an Islamic nation in the East with truth and justice, that is similar to the government of the salafussoleh (the pious Muslims of early Islam). He is the Prince of Bani Tamim. The person to whom he will hand over the Islamic nation is the Imamul Mahdi.

Leaders other than the Prince of Bani Tamim and Imamul Mahdi cannot uphold the truth and justice as Allah wants it because they are not promised. Although it is not wrong for us to endeavour to become leaders but we must realize the fact that we cannot and will not succeed to uphold the truth and justice. That being the case, we should not fight and contest to become leaders because that is something only Allah shall decide. Even if we succeed in the fight to become leaders, we will only ruin ourselves and others. We should do things in accordance to our ability and sincerity. Hopefully Allah will reward us. Above all we must realise our limitations as one who is not promised by Allah. Our weakness is not out of our own doing nor is it not caused by anyone else but purely because we are not the chosen one.

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