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ARTICLE 1: The broad lines of Islam’s theoretical and practical approach to politics and governance

The first preliminary aspect we would like to emphasize is that this is an age of decadence. As such, it cannot teach (and yet it does arrogantly pretend to teach) the earlier generations, who truly had and enacted Islam, what the pristine Dīn of Allah is. Therefore, given that a) emulation of the Salaf is the cornerstone of our path as Ahl as-Sunnah, and that b) only misguided nations groping in darkness can still believe in the thesis of humankind’s continuous progress to the higher and the better (serial killers?), whenever our past luminaries differ with the present-day scholars of the ummah, preference shall be granted by us in principle to the former: What we strongly believe in is that the closer to the source, the safer, the more accurate, and the more comprehensive the understanding and implementation of Islam was. [It has to be clarified without delay that this three-part article on this site of ours is not meant to provide a ruling on the current sordid political situation that prevails in the nation-states which the ummah has been politically fragmented into: From Tunisia to Syria, from Bahrain to Pakistan, from Turkmenistan to Indonesia. That political split is in itself an innovation which Islam, when it had a voice and was feared by the kuffār, did not envisage for itself, let alone experience. It is not for us to take sides between wrongs and deviations, or act as mouthpieces for any such encampment as opposed to another. Likewise, this introductory effort is not the apposite context for examining the thorny issue of what type of ruler is entitled to obedience, and under which circumstances he can be lawfully countered or deposed. The last article which the first two sections build up to, in fact, will relate to how you and I, as Muslims living isolated lives in any particular area of the globe, can legally organize themselves in Emirates at the grassroots level, and how we can ascend the ladder of self-empowerment thenceforth. We are interested in activating practical alternatives, not in armchair criticisms or analytical pastimes]. What is of significance, rather, is that, as one navigates through the waters of Islamic politics, its theory and its practice, he encounters the same dilemma which faces him when he traverses the expanses of fiqh, tafsīr, etc. The dilemma can be synthesized as follows: Does he take by what centuries of luminous classical scholarship from the traditional madhhabs has espoused and forcefully clung onto, or does he take by what modern doctors and professors are stating nowadays as they redesign our traditional Islamic fields of inquiry? Here we definitely descend into the arena and make a choice as The Islamic Community, that is, as the website we have launched. We have made our departure point utterly clear from the start: The truth is almost inevitably found with the classical scholars. They knew the Dīn. They acted it out. It was a living tradition with them. Modern doctors and professors’ approach is inductive. They ask themselves: “How can I justify “Islamically”, based on the sources (beginning with the interpretation of the Book and the Sunnah), whatever is prevalent in the present-age, be it usury and banking, democracy, universal taxation, revolutions and demonstrations, capillary state control systems”, and so on? We shall reserve the full exploration of the subject, however, to the second stage of this three-pronged writing. Secondly, as the great Grenadine star of beneficial knowledge, Imām ash-Shātibī, emphasized, ours is an Arabic sharī`ah. Accordingly, we cannot loosely refer to such terms as “politics”, “kingship”, “State”, “democracy”, etc, without ascertaining what the words given us by Allah, His Messenger, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam, our jurists, experts in the varied Islamic disciplines, etc, are which describes those phenomena and kindred ones; nay, without ascertaining whether such concepts ever had a word for them in Arabic, just as “bank” in contemporary standard Arabic = bank shows that it is not a word the Arabic language, and thus Islam, knew or used until modern times. The first question we need to tackle is: Muslims have spread all over the world, including many regions where they live under secular kuffār’s rule. Could they thus not go on with life as it is, confining Islam to private morality and a cluster of ‘ibādāt, and forgetting about any attempt to govern themselves and extend their “Islamic life” to the public sphere? Let us engage in hard self-evaluation as Muslims: The main project of life has become for most of us anything but the hoisting of the banner of Islamic leadership. One of the pinnacles of Islamic civilization was undoubtedly Spain under Muslims’ rule. One of the pinnacles of such a country’s achievement in the arena of acute and profound analysis of political phenomena is Ibn al-Azraq’s Badā’i` as-Silk fī Tabā’i` al-Mulk (= “The Wondrously Original Thread concerning the Innate Features of Sovereignty”). Interestingly, the word mulk in Arabic means sovereignty, kingdom, kingship, regal power, etc. We shall come back to the unacceptable modernist stereotype, identical to the view of the bloodthirsty French Jacobins, that the Islamic community cannot be ruled by a king. Plunging into the very first “introductory premise” to his large-sized, two-volume work on the said topic, Ibn alAzraq (d. 896 AH) stated the following:

who was. leadership over the social aggregate of humans who have consciously chosen to be Muslims.Such self-rule has been defined by our scholars from all the accepted madhhabs. it cannot be safe from its judgments being tampered with. supervised the superb edition. which some members of our Islamic nation must do at any given time for the sake of the whole. selected across all the canonical madhhabs: Al-Māwardī. the sages have said: ‘Man is a civic creature by inborn disposition. engrossed the best community ever produced for mankind away from the immediate burial of the apex of creation. TO RECAPITULATE . by which the Dīn is able to stand erect. just as the open manifestation of the Dīn is brought about by means of the king”. and to jihād or armed warfare aimed at visibly raising Allah’s Word the highest. Never mind us as Muslims. which is what populates the planet. humans cannot do without gathering together in a social aggregate. are reined in. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih. in order for the very existence of man to be safeguarded and for the perpetuation of his species to be ensured on the face of the earth. the Islamic community.The basis of a social aggregate is affiliation to a common clan. Ibn Qutaybah. and across . distorted and falsified”. therefore. My late teacher.Muslims cannot be governed by a force extraneous to the rightful members of such polity. Ibn Ridwān headed from Malaga in south-east Spain. and His shade which He stretches over His slaves. and others. Naturally. and the fearful ones among them are accorded safety”. may Allah have mercy on him. together with the noble Shaykh al-Ihkwah. Ibn Salām: “One of the matters which string together the good of this world and the good of the Next is the khilāfah. and the unjustly oppressed individuals are successfully granted relief. must be reserved only for those who are part and parcel of it: The mu’minūn. the one but for whom no one of us would have been originated into existence. of Ibn Ridwān’s Ash-Shuhub al-Lāmi`ah fī as-Siyāsah an-Nāfi`ah (“The Scintillating Flames on Beneficial Politics”). and the organized structure enabling people’s rights to be recognized and enforced in particular. one that is sufficiently established if a group of the ummah attends to the fulfillment of such a duty. the Iraqi al-Māwardī. and the king is gifted endurance by the Dīn. The Shāfi`ī master of political sciences. that is. He is the pole around which both the Dīn and this world revolve. He prefaces his work by a list of quotations from the cream of his predecessors. Ibn Salām again: “Know that the Dīn cannot stand upright without the Law. and yet attain the intermediate causes enabling him to earn his livelihood or ready that by which his self-defense can be actualized”. is an inescapable necessity.“Human society. It is again by him that the despotic slaves of Allah are curbed. and that the Law cannot be safeguarded save through the Sultan. as being grounded on affiliation to homogeneous clans. Ibn Salām.Man is a social creature as per the invariable nature in which Allah has fashioned him . Ibn al-Azraq then goes on to define human society as being differentiated between urban settlements and nomadic groupings. published in pre-civil war Libya. the precious pearl of traditional knowledge of fiqh and hadīth in North Africa. We cannot be humans and fail to come together as a social entity of which we are distinct yet interrelated members. It is by the Sultan that those who have been deprived of their rights find fortification. which is what the wise men define as a civic unit. and on leadership over homogeneous clans (ahl al-‘asabiyyah) having to be necessarily confined to the individuals making up any such clan. let us hear the tragically slain poet-Caliph of the Abbasids. Muslims have to govern themselves . on such affiliation being attributable to a common lineage. Indeed. As a result. He cannot possibly live in isolation. and that it should be classified as fard kifāyah. and he is the supporting prop of the behavioural boundaries and prescribed penalties (hudūd) which have been laid down by Allah. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih: “The Sultan is the bridle by which matters in general. stresses in his celebrated work Al-Ahkām asSultāniyyah that Imamate of political leadership by Muslims over Muslims is obligatory. Because it is such an invariable obligation for the human race. He is Allah’s protecting sanctuary in His lands. Finally. and by which the wholesome condition of the Muslims is secured. No great Muslim from the past has ever differed on this point. We can witness the full force of the actualization of such warning in our own times. if the Dīn is not guarded by the Sultan and reinforced by the Imams of knowledge. It is by the khilāfah that obedience to the Lord of all the worlds is completed”. may Allah send on him the prayer of blessing and mercy (= salāt) and the salutation of peace (salām). altered. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. The permanence of kingdom is accomplished by means of the open manifestation of the Dīn. with stronger force. The overall interaction of such clans makes up the social polity of Muslims . It is thus equated by him to seeking knowledge.’ In other words. Ibn al-Mu`tazz: “The Dīn is strengthened by the king (al-malik). The Hanbalī judge Abū Ya`lā al-Farrā’ made exactly the same point in his own text bearing the identical title as alMāwardī’s. it is such an important matter that the selection of a successor to the Prophet. Shaykh Muhammad ash-Shādhilī an-Nayfar.

wrote his famous manual. it is unwholesome. so did the rightly-guided Caliphs. Sultans. and as a fard kifāyah in Allah’s immutable Law = One part of the ummah must fulfill such obligation on behalf of its entirety . We have also seen that kingship has been deemed by Muslims. There was never a rule by a committee. the Ayyubids in Greater Syria. as the potent underpinning structure by whom the Dīn was erected. the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt or the Moghuls in India. and their concepts were capable of being easily identified. or Sultan. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. though Allah could have pointed the Muslims to such realities. the Dīn is turned crooked. . from the rightly-guided Caliphs and the noble Umayyad masters Mu`āwiyah and ‘Umar b.Without self-governance by the Muslims. Whereas the word dīmuqrātiyyah is clearly not Arabic. or king. millions of pages have been authored by our bastions of knowledge on how to advice and exhort “kings and sultans”. Malik Shāh. even though we all accept that Caliphate is the best exemplification of salutary Islamic rule. it cannot stand erect. It was tabled and rejected. ruled by themselves. The Hanafī Abū Zayd Ahmad b. protected and consolidated. the most likely person to have penned a treatise once erroneously ascribed to al-Māwardī. regaled us with Ādāb al-Mulūk (“The Etiquettes Demanded from Kings”). weak and debilitated. on Islamic politics. ‘Abdi’l-‘Azīz to the Ottoman Sultans. to be an acceptable form of leadership over the Islamic polity. that the Islamic society would be headed by a single political master from the date of his appointment until the moment of his death (save in those rare cases where he elects to renounce office and resign). Imam al-Ghazālī. after them. The examples in this regard are in truth countless. and thus democracy is not Islamic already as a term. developed and explored by their intellects. the Kings. incomplete. for centuries. How does one validly establish political authority by such a single leader in Islam? Elections were never held and mass balloting was never resorted to. a representative of either group governing the affairs of the Islamic community for 6 months in turn. and the issue of how many years or decades a political chief has been governing an Islamic community is irrelevant per se to the question of whether he is entitled in the sharī`ah to keep on exercising his power until he meets his Lord. peace be upon them. The Shāfi`ī al-Ghazālī bequeathed to us At-Tibr al-Masbūk fī Nasīhah al-Mulūk (“The Ore of Sincere Counseling of Kings”). Sahl al-Balkhī. known for his rigour and strictness in matters of the Dīn. distorted and transmogrified. to a single ruler. caved in and obscure. Though we said we were not going to deal here with the issue of present-day rulers in fragmented Muslim nationstates. it has been the uninterrupted practice of the ummah. through the Abbasids. the Adārisah and Marinids in Morocco or the Aghlabids in Tunisia. in short. which he personally dedicated to the then Sultan Muhammad b. etc. The Islamic correctness of such method has not suddenly changed now. the Almohads and the Nasrid dynasty in Spain. The fact he was not a “Caliph” did not detract from the Islamic legitimacy of his rule in the eyes of the Proof of Islam. titled his reference work in this field Nasīhah al-Mulūk (“The Sincere Advice to the Kings”). The Nishapur wonder of wonders. and a defeated skeleton We have garnered from the foregoing that our prominent guides referred to a Caliph. an unbridled and untamable beast. Emirs. Sirāj al-Mulūk (“The Guiding Lamp for Kings”). as an inescapable requirement of Islam. or a joint leadership by two or more individuals such as alternate consuls or an impersonal cabinet.the centuries. The Prophets. quoted and reproduced by all those who came after him. Abū Mansūr ath-Tha`ālibī. the idea was tabled of political rule being shared by the Emigrants and the Helpers. In the defining hours after the death of the best of creation. The Mālikī at-Turtūshī.

Abū Bakr. They are shaped by his Dīn. whenever that is the route traversed by the ummah in appointing the new Imam. Even after the Muslims. Jamā`ah. who were in constant contact with the Western world. by a naturally functioning Islamic society. fertility. iii) 3: iv) 1. appointed his successor ‘Umar. quoted ‘Alī. as the requirement of such universal support has been conclusively invalidated by the events leading to the appointment of Abū Bakr. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. and rather chose to preserve the Sultanate form of revered Ottoman rule. al-Māwardī enumerates the two root-ways by which a political Imamate is validly constituted in the Law: a) By the choice of the new ruler on the part of the people of binding and loosening. and the opposite is true as well. alone demonstrates their incongruity with Allah’s immutable fitrah of sound governance. being an elite group of naturally identified and empowered towers of insight. that is a task which is vested solely in the chieftains of the ummah. There is thus no space for universal suffrage. in Tahrīr al-Ahkām fī Tadbīr Ahl al-Islām (“The Precise Determination of Judgments relating to the Management of the Affairs of the Adherents to Islam”). or. acts of beneficence become diffuse all over. This is the unchangeable pattern of Allah in creation. Jamā`ah goes on to quote. alternatively. In Al-Ahkām as-Sultāniyyah. the son of al-Khattāb. the earth lets its treasured plants sprout forth in luxuriant abundance. No one among the prominent personalities from that best community refuted the lawfulness and healthiness of such twin selection methodologies. as Badrud-Dīn b. the now idolized un-Islamic method of democratic elections is a baneful plague which pollutes and poisons human society in multiple respects and at every possible level. when he was installed as Caliph by the people in attendance at the assembly deliberating on the matter of the successor to the Messenger. prosperity) on the members of such a polity. he mentioned the following possibilities. as the nations conquered by victors are wont to do as per Ibn Khaldūn’s famous analysis. and fruitful trade expands. because of war. democratic. may Allah be thoroughly pleased with him. trade. it has been asserted that no rank higher than that of a just ruler exists. and the vanquished and enervated Muslims began to ape their dominant masters. as being their chiefs and legitimate spokespersons. which had spread in the Abode of Kufr. since the wholesomeness of the land and its inhabitants depends on the wholesomeness of his person and his policies. may Allah show mercy to him. it was only at that point that attempts to “Islamicize” such political structures. so much so that.’ . i. I would have supplicated in favour of the Sultan. so that the rest of the ummah could follow him in that respect. Hanbal. sagaciousness. The essence is clear: It is the ruler who passes on the responsibility to his successor. the elite of Muslims commonly regarded. save for a Prophet sent by Allah to deliver His Message or an angel brought close to His Presence.e. ambassadorial exchanges. cultural cross-pollination and so forth. as stating that a just ruler was better than copious rainfall. “rationalize their concordance with the Dīn of truth”. b) By nomination on the part of the previous ruler. It was only after colonial brutality foisted Western seculars’ ideas upon their ravaged and rifted socio-political fabrics. heaven lets loose its generous gifts of goodness (rain. Ahmad b.The fact they never turned to them as a possibility to earnestly entertain. may Allah be well pleased with both of them. After discarding the view that all the Muslims should grant their assent to the new ruler. each one corroborated by cogent legal-historical proof: i) 5 such men. as evidenced by Ibn ‘Abbās’ stretching his hand in allegiance to ‘Alī. may Allah the Exalted be pleased with him. came to know of the systems of parliamentarian. If he acts by equity. for one of them to be favoured by the choice of the other 5. ii) 6.e. ‘Umar. since people follow the Dīn of their ruler. said: ‘Had I been granted just one supplication the Divine fulfillment of which was guaranteed to my person. they did not spontaneously adopt them or even contemplate their adoption. fairness cleaves firmly to the generality of his subjects. As our second article shall explicate in full. this being the view which according to al-Māwardī enjoyed the widest support among the learned people. Al-Māwardī then proceeds to discuss the different views of the leaders of knowledge as to the minimum number of people required to constitute what could be juristically termed an adequate “electorate” or “quorum” of persons of binding and loosening. without waiting at all for those who were away from such meeting. nominated a narrow group of the influential leaders of binding and loosening as the tool by which to select the ruler stepping in after his own death. may Allah be fully pleased with him. republican rules and whatever was akin to them. The versatile Shāfi`ī luminary Badrud-Dīn b. i. rights are protected throughout society and oppression disappears. It is not for us to encumber the users of this website with an academic particularization of such scholarly differences. Many tiny variants on this aspect have been detailed in centuries of literature on the subject. suddenly mushroomed. influence and congenital leadership qualities from among the People of the Qiblah.

by saying “no” to him you are truly “obeying” him. of course. The first pre-requisite of the former type of Imamate is Islam. It is a wise approach steeped in existential equilibrium. whenever news of the investiture by the people of binding and loosening has reached their knowledge. knowledgeable. its notables. as he is asking you to contravene the Law of Allah. as we underlined here above. so long as he meets the basic requirements for the post. The third and last legitimate possibility. one complying with those requirements or approximating them the most. not to hand over that share to his widow. I quoted the very words used by the polymath Badrud-Dīn b. which is a goal the Sultan has unilaterally demarcated. to demand that “I also need to participate. to go about our business of worshipping Allah. be an eligible candidate in terms of the basis requirements for the job. Jamā`ah (and with him a plenitude of scholars from Ahl asSunnah whenever Islam was a powerful experienced reality) goes on to conclude. the chieftains and the prominent members of the society. who is venerated by all and sundry within the perimeter of Ahl as-Sunnah = There is no democracy in Islam. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. as you are subordinating obedience to him to what Allah has subordinated it to. Jamā`ah. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. i. and in the meantime strife tears apart the believers who debate on the merits of their respective favoured choices for the post. then. endowed with bravery. As Badrud-Dīn b. but to have a qualified leader installed and being capable. and let us assume that the Sultan instructs you. a person qualified to fill that post imposes himself. Modern Muslim minds contaminated by decades of modernist propaganda will reject that idea. In fact.Appointment by the previous ruler. I am an equal to everyone else”. directly or through the intermediary of an elite consultative group of eminent personalities. Badrud-Dīn b. Universal agreement is nearimpossible to achieve on such a subjective value judgment. If. and that his surviving spouse has become entitled to a share of his inheritance. his Imamate is legally brought into being. . and the validity in the Law of such a man’s supervened establishment of his person as the ruler is not dependent on allegiance being given by the Muslims spread out in all the various regions and main centers within the Abode of Islam. Jamā`ah’s next step is to synthesize the three pathways by which the emergence of Imamate can materialize. and 2) enforced or coercive. Badrud-Dīn b. under his political protection. That is the near-unanimous approach followed by Ahl as-Sunnah. is that. Let us assume that a man has passed away. to wit. as the liquidator of the deceased estate. and no other properly constituted leader had previously been installed. if he meets those criteria. Allah thus made obedience to such leaders subordinate to the primary obedience demanded of a Muslim. The important thing is not to cast a vote. specifically those among them who have the capacity to attend at the meeting-place where the Imam to be selected happens to be. by Allah’s immutably established fixed lots of intestate succession. etc. an oath of allegiance has been sworn to such a Muslim.Public allegiance by the people of binding and loosening. Rather. by his sheer strength. a fact He wondrously reinforced by not premising the command to follow those in charge over the Muslims by the Arabic imperative meaning obey. What is owed to him? He is owed obedience in every thing that does not entail disobedience of Allah and of His Messenger. Badrud-Dīn b. Allah has in fact said: «O you who have īmān! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in command over you» [Sūrah an-Nisā’: 59]. with his bodily limbs and sensory organs all intact. no specific number of people of binding and loosening is demanded. if there is no Imam and.e. even a “noble” Islamic cause of financing a mosque or a madrasah. while at the same time they acquiesce in the fact that an unelected financial elite should rule every aspect of their societal . as when Sayyidunā ‘Uthmān was chosen. the local Emirs and the learned people. Jamā`ah comments. but to utilize it for some purpose. the Imamate of this person would be established. he is not to be ousted violently merely because an even better candidate might happen to exist. We cannot allow kuffār to govern us. which He exclusively reserved for Himself and for His chosen Prophet. Jamā`ah divides Imamate into two categories: 1) Selected or volitional. in conformity with the best and most consistently held view within the broad camp of Ahl as-Sunnah. The elected Imam must fulfill certain requirements: He must be a male. as defined by such a scholar in his said text.. Your obeying such a Sultan in that case cannot be countenanced by Islam. We are not Nazis who (allegedly) placed reliance on the argument that they were enjoined to carry out inhumane orders. You are duty bound by the Law to “disobey” Him. One cannot endlessly quarrel about who is better between two suitable candidates. As we are not idealists. the Muslims inhabiting the different Islamic lands are obliged to obey such new ruler. The two routes one can pursue to select a ruler are for him the ones we have already set out above: . of sound mind. The leader must be a Muslim.. i.The just ruler is thus the head of the body consisting in a just and orderly Islamic society. which is what took place at the time of constituting Abū Bakr as the first Caliph of Islam.e. The ruler thus appointed must.

It was because of it that their ‘ibādāt could acquire true meaning and concretely change their lives and those of their family members. unless a momentous change in his status (such as reverting to kufr) occurs. by the time they might finish squabbling with each other. leaders of revolutions. that was an essential project in life. led by a single ruler . the Imamate of such a person has been established. As the sagacious ‘Abdullāh b. the bay`ah is deemed to have been concluded. If a former slave like Baybars rose to power. As Badrud-Dīn b. and cannot but be. and obedience to him by the other Muslims has become obligatory. They did so because they acutely felt the imperative of an organized Islamic society which had been unified and muscled by an effective existing leadership. by defeating the Christian hordes in the Battle of ‘Ayn Jālūt. that they could soar to great heights spiritually. Jamā`ah explains. For them. They did not so due to the fact that they had not properly read the Book and the Sunnah through the magical lenses of “progressive humanism”. whether on the issue of the abolition of nuclear proliferation in the West or the restoration of the death penalty in South Africa or entry in the European Community in Turkey. Jamā`ah at the end of his juristic conspectus: ‘We are with the one who has the upper hand. We have already stated that Islam is the Dīn of realistic fitrah. Emirs. entrust dictatorial powers of final decisions to a single man or a cluster of men. They did not so because they believed in the Machiavellian idea that the end justifies the means. It was because such project was implemented. ‘Umar. and they might politically speak in unison. our percipient scholars such as Badrud-Dīn b. You do not choose the greater evil of anarchy and disruption.Caliphate is the ideal form such single-leader rule assumes. established himself as the ruler. and they assisted in its implementation. from the day he is installed until the one when he passes away. whichever such means and whichever that end. Our mentally reshaped and conditioned Muslim brothers stand up nowadays and remonstrate. Islamic societies have always been in our illustrious and successful past. etc. our classical jurists rejoiced and proclaimed. Badrud-Dīn b. who was the leader of the Muslims in fiqh in his age. does not invalidate his Imamate according to the sounder of the two juristic opinions on the issue. in so doing aided and abetted by vassal “fiscal” (= tax-collecting) states. These power elites. and effectively attract manifold new souls to the Dīn of truth. though not for us. let alone their endorsement of tyranny. who ride roughshod over the “will” of theallegedly empowered people whom they allegedly even the fact that such a self-establishing Imam might be ignorant or morally split-up.’ Let us dust off any mental cobwebs: These giants of pristine Islam did not unflinchingly adhere to the median way of realism (as distinct from cynical “realpolitik”) coupled with essential justice. ‘That is against the tenets of Islam. There is no fixed or indefinite temporal limitation to his political authority .’ Of course. and allowed us in this age to worship Allah. Jamā`ah then expressly reinforces the juristic ruling that there can be no two Imams. The same ruling applies if another. even more powerful leader.e. whether in the same country or in more than one: So much for nation-states.At the highest degree. Jamā`ah said: Though there has been no prior appointment or bay`ah by selection of the suitable candidate. so long as such leadership met the basic criteria for steering Muslims’ affairs within the boundaries of Allah’s Dīn. though preaching a ludicrous philosophy of “power to the people”. because they were backward and had not yet been “enlightened” by the political thinking of the last three to four centuries. and the emasculation of the Islamic community by voiding it of a political head. There has been no prior election or selection. They did not do so because of their apology of brute force. emerges and dislodges the one who had established himself by force as the ruler.Such ruler is in power. that he might act in certain respects as a fāsiq. so that the dispersed members of the ummah might unite under one banner. They did so because they wanted Allah’s Dīn to be the uppermost force. no battle. but kingship and sultanate have . there would be no battlefield. and we have already highlighted the crucial importance assigned in the Law to having a vigorous leadership. ‘That is legal and wonderful!’. TO RECAPITULATE . as quoted by Badrud-Dīn b. As Allah has forbidden the mu’min to bring about his own suicidal destruction. stated during the days of fighting in the stony area of al-Madīnah. and the proliferation of Muslim presidents. and no victory for Allah’s party. i. declare ourselves Muslims and discuss these issues over the magical web of the Net.

so that the . directly taught and moulded. bewilderingly. did not stop our Prophet. in order to prepare them for the responsibility they had to discharge. looking after the common good. and earning disgrace in the Hereafter . the public welfare.been accepted by the summits of true knowledge and correct action within the ummah. al-Khattāb.It is also possible for it to be brought into being by a powerful eligible candidate seizing power in a state of political void and protecting the Islamic society thereby . namely. Ibn Khaldūn maintained that the three fundamental layers of society comprised: 1) The ruling elite. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam.To hold otherwise is to assert. or is he also the ultimate voice in juristic debates and in matters which concern the realm of inward truths. the spiritual Path (tarīqah) and the Reality (Haqīqah)? Undoubtedly. As the borders of the Caliphate expanded. the different roles became more sharply defined. That explains why a rich assortment of rulings on the same masā’il have been transmitted from a number of foremost Companions. as being fully compatible with Islam . the ignorant fellow and the natural chieftain alike . from assigning a multitude of political.The ruler is owed obedience whenever doing so does not lead you to disobey the Lord What is the brief of a political leader in Islam? Is it to manage the outward affairs of the society of Muslims. when the choicest among them exercised power. however.Islamic leadership is established by succession from one ruler to the next. it was the practice of the generation he. even more relevantly to us. across barriers of time and space. to entrust the settlement of disputes to judges called upon to independently determine disputes. that better Muslims than us got it horribly wrong for more than a millennium. and pronounce themselves on them.There cannot be multiple rulers . before this age of devolution finally “led the ummah out of the tunnel of darkening ignorance into the light of correct discernment of truths” .Antagonizing rulers simply because their style of leadership is kingship or sultanate is a demonic rebellion which justifies the attraction of two ignominiously branding evils: Crushing down such unIslamic posture in this world. and no rule established by a vote cast by all and sundry. or by selection confined to a natural elite of people equipped to knot and unclasp the core matters of the ummah . a Nabī or a walī gathers all such functions in one person.There is in Islam no rule by impersonal institutions. That. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. who needed a particular kind of mentorship and training. as was the case with ‘Umar b. administrative and other tasks to his Companions. and to grant the most percipient legal minds in their midst free and ample room to reason out issues.

Even more unacceptable is rule by the masters of the inward. such as Mawlānā ‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Jīlānī’. even during face-to-face meetings with the potent rulers.Muslims could be set free to worship Allah at their best within a just ordering of societal affairs. Imām ash-Shāfi`ī and Ahmad b. and the Friends of Allah’s devotion to Him alone is secured by the protective shield provided by the king of the outward. 2) The noblemen. Fabulous books. the kingdom of the outward is propped up by the Friends of Allah. At the point when they were appointed to discharge such functions. and Ottoman governors. Judiciary is in fact a formal political-administrative office (wilāyah). al-Musayyib (far greater that Uways al-Qaranī. therefore. choose or depose the political heads. in later times. exhortations and admonitions from both the qualified jurists and the capable Sufis. As for the other members of the elite of fuqahā’ and ‘ulamā’. They did not frequent the Sultans’ parties or sit in the boards of directors of “Islamic” financial institutions. therefore. and each one knew his watering place. who intentionally sat in the Prophetic Mosque in al-Madīnāh where ‘Umar b. He laid out a catalogue of such reasons. etc. official Muftis and their likes. The fourth one which he mentioned in that context was the fact that kings (engrossed as they were in the most cumbersome duty of piloting the affairs of the larger society) were. etc. al-Khattāb used to sit. each one had his contributory mission to fulfill towards the extolment of Allah’s Word. The political masters. Hanbal did not seek to rule the affairs of the ummah. and the devotees of relinquishment of worldly superfluities. Sa`īd b. The greatest of the Followers. jurists. He purely advised the rulers. The sires of knowledge do not usurp the role of the political authorities. Nasīhah al-Mulūk (“The Sincere Advice to the Kings”). so that they could fearlessly and uncompromisingly speak the truth whenever that was required. They stayed away from the leaders and were not claimants of political mastery. They did not depend for their livelihood on the control of academic institutions such as universities. but endorsed their right to rule. after all. The Ghawth did not interfere with political rule. They did not urge the Muslims to go against the rulers simply because the latter were not 100% just or did not fare well when their moral degrees were compared to those of such Imams. and the most unlikely people to attend the gatherings of scholars. the nuqabā’ etc were under him. 3) The merchants. Still. Buwayid. Each one had his sphere. admonishing exhorters to goodness. There is no such thing as scholars being in charge of managing the politics of the Islamic community. to stage a revolt against the political heads and take over the reins of power themselves. and did not antagonize them either. The Ghawth. exactly what the Arabic word madhhab means]. was the pivotal axis of the inner dimension. who comprised the advisors to the rulers. He was disengaged from the world of politics. and as such under the rulers’ supervision. the rulers chose judges and official Muftis. the scholars of the outward. . lavishing salaries and accolades on them and asking them in return “to tread a certain way” in their researches and pronouncements [Treading a certain way is. of all people. avoided any interaction with the rulers. do not usurp the role of the leaders in knowledge. who were not judges. in spite of “esoteric” claims to the contrary). by as-Suyūtī. the Sufi masters. Anas. He did not nominate. The leaders respected the scholars precisely because the latter did not mix with them in their palaces and entourages. In the said work. they bravely and sincerely executed their mission of enlightening their fellow Muslims in a context of total independence from the rulers. which incidentally explains why many a scholar declined appointment to the judiciary. even to the extent of going into hiding to resist political overtures. judges did not use their status among the Muslims. have been written on the obligation resting on the Imams of knowledge to steer well clear of the Imams of political authority. ‘Alī al-Jamal. guidance. though the rulers have traditionally looked up to the sincere. According to the great gnostic from Fez in Morocco. The Muslims have never been ruled by committees of ‘ulamā’. Malik b. The leaders. the tribal chiefs. The aqtāb. True devotees of knowledge are disinterested in this dunyā: «Only those of His slaves with knowledge have fear of Allah» [Sūrah Fātir: 28]. were quite detached from the sires of knowledge and their likes. as revered people of knowledge and righteousness. Imām Abū Hanīfah. Let alone would arbitrary disposal of political functions be admissible of a lesser-degree Sufi. and asked Allah to bless them with noble traits and fair dealings. al-Balkhī debuted by justifying to his readers why kings would need advice in the first place. institutions like that of Shaykh al-Islām or the Head of the Prophetic descendants were formalized by such as the Abbasid. those men of knowledge would become part of assisting in running the political affairs of the ummah. the most distant ones from the ‘ulamā’. and. the abdāl. even stern advices. Ahmad Bābā at-Tinbuktī. Among the devotees of knowledge. the way governors and heads of governmental departments were subordinates of the political Imam.

It must be scrutinized in the light of the Qur’ān. whereas a spiritual state (hāl) is grounded on conceding its validity and on endorsing its truthfulness. Must the murīd go by his statement and stop at his declared position? . and that he has knowledge of the state out of which he pours out his statement. Balanced judgment is therefore dispersed amid a sea of extremes. had a shaykh used his influence to promote himself (or a nominee of his) as the new leader. so they do not break through each other» [Sūrah ar-Rahmān: 19-20]. he says something out of knowledge. they do not encroach upon each other. The Sufi master would have in fact attempted to smash the barrier which Allah has forever set up between the two seas. you must concede the fact that it is acceptable and conforms to correctness. while the other is the sweet ocean of the Reality. More precisely. converging together. In the Foundation number 39 of his masterwork Qawā`id at-Tasawwuf (“The Foundations of Sufism”). Shaykh ‘Abdullāh b.Yāsīn. One such inexpugnable fortress of resplendent light is Shaykh Ahmad Zarrūq. the Sunnah. They were known either as the “veiled men” or the Murābitūn (the Moravids as the Orientalists call them). by contrast. One of the greatest Sufis in their age. because this is a matter of the greatest importance. including moments of spiritual ecstasy. When. because of his contingent state. such gnostic speaks out of his contingent spiritual state (hāl). has said: «He has let loose the two seas. instead. For instance. as found in the Qur’ān or the Sunnah as well as in the reports that have been transmitted from our Predecessors (as ‐Salaf). the political head would have been authorized and in fact obligated by the Law to crush such a fitnah. a barzakh as the said āyah declares. may He be Exalted. let alone impose it as true on other murīds or propagate it to the rest of the Muslims as if it were the final say in the matter. This is a particularly key matter to understand in today’s age. or else his task and the task of those capable of governing his adepts and their progeny would have become mutually confused and defiled. since the last Caliphate is lost even to our memory. the Moravids defeated the Christians in the famous battle held at the locality of Zallāqah in Spain. it is agreed by our luminaries of Ahl as-Sunnah that one cannot concede that what he is uttering is correct. If. was slanderously denounced to their then Marrakesh-based Commander of the Believers as organizing rebellions against his rule. An illustration: Your Sufi master says that in his view three pronouncements of divorce folded in one should be legally viewed as counting for one. as he excelled in both sciences of the outward and the inward. If he says something out of his contingent spiritual state. with a barrier between them. When Spain was falling into the greedy hands of the Christians. How much we are then in need of the illumining torch of our predecessors’ fine understanding of the Dīn of truth. given that knowledge is gauged by its root source. because his tasting of gnosis at that moment. sees to the curative treatment of the maladies afflicting your self. Between them there is an isthmus. Ibn al-‘Arīf. where the Murābit ruler cleared him of any accusation. Spiritual guides are the most likely people to fulfill that role for them. which the scholars define and the ruler enforce. If. in the light of the fact that one does not attain understanding of such direct spiritual tasting of unseen matters save by the like of it. They were spiritually forged by a Sufi master. and thus the state that has descended upon him. Such state is thus gauged by its mere existence. like a doctor. instructs you to engage in a certain spiritual exercise. his statement has to be probingly scrutinized by resort to the yardstick of the root source of such utterance. The leaders of Ahl as-Sunnah concur on the fact that he has to be obeyed on that aspect. and reliance on knowledge of such state depends on the trustworthy integrity of the one who possesses it”. He did not set himself up as the Emir. it was saved for several centuries by nomadic tribes heading from West Africa. he might truthfully elect not to move a jug of water from the scorching heat to the shade of a tree nearby. He did not wear two hats. some time later. one has to concede to him his tasting of realities. He appointed an Emir for his followers. the expanse of the Sufis. If the master of gnosis (= the Sufi) verbalizes something in the field of knowledge. That is subject of course to the proviso that you know him to be a person of high spiritual caliber and that what he states does not evidently contradict the truths of Islam which every Muslim person is aware of. such as reading a regular formula of dhikr or addressing your spouse in terms of a prescribed etiquette. Let us stop here. once they were sufficiently purified. a Sufi master who moulds your inward and. nicknamed the “inspector of the jurists and the Sufis”. and the other recognized sources for attaining knowledge in outer matters. He was forcibly “shipped” to such Moroccan city. he said: “Knowledge (‘ilm) is built on searching investigation and precise ascertainment of the true position. they joined political control of al-Andalus to that of the Maghrib. One is the salty sea of the Law. what pervades his heart and tongue at the moment. Say for instance that a spiritual murshid. His pronouncement must be investigated. of ihsān. view that as an infringement of his own courteous etiquette with Allah.As Allah. and the disempowered Muslims are seeking certainty in following those people from whom they taste the effusion of some kind of perfection. Of course. the one which everyone ought to adhere to.

Such two-fold function is extraneous to the circle of the ‘ulamā’. Abū Dharr al-Ghifārī was explicitly distanced from the political arena by the Messenger of Allah. from the rulers down. Due to the aforesaid. e. As a brilliant Norwich-based contemporary jurist explained to me. collection and distribution of zakāt is. the issue lies totally outside his jurisdiction. Shaykh Abū Muhammad al-Marjānī. no say whatsoever. unless his truthful actualization of Sufism is recognized in his respect. since they were the first exemplars of their path. and their inward connection with Allah when implementing such obligation of the Law. be in charge of it. and who have indeed never attempted in the past to control the funds yielded by that tax. their sincerity. Political rule to the rulers. that zakāt on visible assets. Simply put. his trained independent reasoning in legal issues. for instance al-Māwardī in Al-Ahkām as-Sultāniyyah (of which. nor is a faqīh relied upon in Sufism. “the officer vested with the task of collecting the assets that are taxed in the Law has no [the underlining is mine] legal right to interfere with the determination and discharge of the zakāt on non-visible assets. unless his expertise in those two sciences is renowned. You have to follow him on that without reservations. every Sufi is a follower of the People of the Veranda. the Ahl as-Suffah loved by the Prophet. even though he was knowledgeable in that science. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. has to be forcibly taken by a ruler from the well-to-do merchants. If they willingly hand over the zakāt on such assets to the collector dispatched to them by the ruler. after mentioning that taxable assets fall into two categories. and instruct you on what you must do to avoid certain whisperings of the Shaytān. their intention. on how best to discharge such pillar of Islam. as it is bizarrely put these days. It is well-known that they had no involvement in the politics of the outward. What is the say reserved on that aspect to the head of your spiritual tarīqah or his representative? According to centuries of uninterrupted Ahl as-Sunnah’s scholarship. As all our jurists have emphasized.. The said twin function is even more extrinsic to the Sufis. By the way.Clearly not: The shaykh is not speaking out of his spiritual state. as well as the wholesomeness of his inward that is de-linked from what the fiqh ordains for him. the fiqh to the fuqahā’. Any such murīd only reverts to the people of the tarīqah or spiritual path in what concerns the wholesomeness of his inward in relation to what the fiqh (as taken by him from the fuqahā) prescribes to him. Indeed. a brilliant English edition translated by Asadullah Yates exists). outwardly apparent wealth and hidden wealth. His juristic view is to be critically examined as that of every one else. The same is true if he mentions that he trusts those scholars who contend that the “Islamic” banks’murābahah. He is speaking out of a knowledge based on legal sources which all devotees of the outward have access to. A Sufi is not relied upon when it comes to fiqh. All they can and should do is to enlighten their fellow Muslims. etc. and Sufism to the Sufis. Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. so understand”. the terrain of the political leaders of the ummah. He cannot however tell you. the basis for such differentiation in the fiqh is in order to avoid creating a police state ruled by a “Muslim” tax authority which terrorizes people by breaking into houses and searching for non-apparent assets under their mattresses. due to the plentiful grievous harms associated with such unions and their offspring at this stage. a muhaddith is relied upon neither with regard to fiqh nor with regard to Sufism. As Shaykh Zarrūq reminded us in Qawā`id at-Tasawwuf. or that he has vetoed plastic surgery other than one carried out for an empirically demonstrable genuine health-related reason. who at the most can teach their disciples how to perfect the purification of their wealth by the zakāt of the outward through further purification of theirniyyah. who cannot. by his ijtihād. Let us imagine that the leader. and he then assists their owners in distributing the levied amounts [first and foremost to their relatives and other individuals identified by the taxed owners of such surplus wealth]. It is thus incumbent to take the fiqh from the fuqahā’ as far as the murīd of Sufism is concerned. has resolved on imparting the order that. is lawful or. Zarrūq has this to say: “The knowledge of every thing is only taken from the masters of such a science [Indeed. . He can diagnose what is plaguing your self. The collector only has the discretion to determine the extent of the zakāt on visible property [such as cattle or grains]. silver and trade goods. one would not trust his murshid to design a plan for his house or build it if he did not have specific expertise in such a profession]. which is simply the financing of a commodity by installments. in the present age. In Foundation number 61. He commands the owners thereof to hand it over to him”. such as surplus gold coins. sharī`ahcompliant. The owners of such assets have a greater entitlement to take out the zakāt on them. the latter must accept it from such owners. which is to be ascertained by the issuing of a certificate on the part of the officer he has put in charge of all such matters. according to the Law. used to instruct his disciples to approach the fuqahā’ on the masā’il of the fiqh. fortunately. and has always been.g. the latter including such as gold. unless his assiduous devotion to fiqh is known concerning him specifically. etc. Muslims living in the West are temporarily disallowed from marrying Jewish or Christian women. by clarifying the most suitable legal judgments applicable to it. may Allah be pleased with him. Likewise.

including. and resort to the Sufis to purify their inward .Even the Czechs found at their expense that philosophy and sound political management do not necessarily coincide! As for the faqīh. viva voce. a contrary view expressed on advisory grounds.Muslims must obey the political leaders. he cannot instigate people looking up to him to violate such instruction. or settling cases between litigants in courts or similar forums .Islam always had a dynamic balance between outward and inward. as to his view on the subject. leaders of politics and leaders of knowledge . politely.Those who do so by using their influence over murīds and followers have set about destroying the natural barrier which Allah has forever elevated between the Law (Sharī`ah) and the Reality (Haqīqah) . in writing.The political leaders must rule over the social nexus of the Muslims. he is entitled to address the ruler and his subjects. take the fiqh from the jurists. however. etc. they assist the leaders in activating the Law by giving official pronouncements in debated issues (fatwas) if authorized to do so. by technological means. TO RECAPITULATE: .The Sufis do not usurp the prerogatives of the jurists to lead the Muslims in the field of outward judgments of the Law .Each group has a space and a mandate . At the most.Sufis are totally detached from the political arena . As it is a matter of outward judgment. ‘Ulamā’ or fuqahā’ do not rule.

Allah has said: «In this way We have made you a middlemost community» [Sūrah al-Baqarah: 143]. and give effect thereto to the extent that it accords with the sharī`ah. If they lead us in prayer while being sinful individuals (fasaqah) in the sense of carrying out peccant wrongdoings recognized as such in Islam. The Treasury. then. his father was the master of one of the Sufi paths (turuq) in the said redolent capital of Greater Syria. The Judiciary.’ Ibn Khuwayz Mindād [a noble usūlī and mufassir] said: ‘As regards obedience to the Sultan. 5. can a Sufi shaykh do so!]. 6. ‘Īsā b. though in the latter case you should then repeat any such prayer when you are back in the safety of your private residences’”. A nice short treatise on that was produced by the Algerian savant al-Wansharīsī. and the exigency of avoiding their contours to be blurred. and the two ‘Īds. Muhammad b. but is not obligatory in respect of what entails disobedience to Allah. tellingly a descendant of the Madinan Helpers. described a more elaborate network of Islamic governance in his work Hadā’iq al-Yasmīn fī Dhikr Qawānīn al-Khulafā’ wa as-Salātīn (“The Jasmine Gardens on the Mention of the Essential Rules Applying to Caliphs and Sultans”).’ Sahl also said: ‘If the Sultan forbids a knowledgeable person from issuing fatwasto people. obeying them is impermissible. abide by judicial decisions issued under their auspices. If he issues fatwascontrary to such interdiction. Nevertheless. he is not entitled to issue any fatwa [Let alone. ‘Abdillāh at-Tustarī [one of the greatest Sufis from the earlier generations] said: ‘Obey the Sultan in seven matters: 1. nor turn them into divinities. As late as 1809. and so is lending them assistance or publicly extolling their status. Because of the foregoing. The demarcation of weights and measures. The Dīn is flexible. if they are people who introduce and follow innovations in matters of the Dīn (mubtadi`ah). the Jum`ah prayer. The administration of the hajj. He came from the Sālihiyyah district in Damascus. praying behind them does not suffice you in discharging the obligation to perform the salāt. new departments are designed and set up. Our scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah have detailed the broad lines of political administration. We neither demolish and belittle political authorities. Abū ‘Abdillāh Muhammad al-Qurtubī. 2. he is a sinfully disobedient person. 3. we have stressed the following: When it comes to the political leaders of our age [which was an age of decadence and corruption among the ruling circles in the Iraq where such scholar lived and operated]. Shaykh ‘Uthmān Dan Fodio structured his triumphant Sokoto Caliphate in West Africa along similar lines: The Higher Imamate. By contrast. praying behind them is allowed. the Inspectorate of Sound Practices and Good Mores. unless their violent reprisal is feared and one then legitimately prays behind them as a self-protecting stratagem (taqiyyah). as is the prevailing habit in modern democracies. They are granted their due. concessions to mine deposits of mineral wealth. 4. A later scholar from Ottoman times. etc. the Army. it is compulsory to set out along them whenever they organize military expeditions. That is the correct position even if the leader happens to be an unjust Emir. You act as a single integrated structure . In his marvelous elucidation of Allah’s Book. Look at the fine balance or mīzān of our true scholars from the classical age when Islam was authentically alive and acted-out: You shun obedience to them if they call you to falsehood. had this to say on one mas’alahconnected with this āyah in his magisterial Al-Jāmi` li-Ahkām al-Qur’ān: “Sahl b. Let us turn our attention again to āyah 59 of Sūrah an-Nisā’: «O you who have īmān! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in command over you». The Wazirate. the Shaykh of the Qur’ānic commentators. Incidentally. The minting of gold and silver coins. As the Abode of Islam expands and life becomes more intricate. so Ibn Kannān was well aware of the diverse briefs conferred on the leaders of the outward and the inward realms. it is incumbent in respect of whatever entails obedience to Allah. and 7. stipends and grants to public servants.It is on the said basis that Islam has been governed for centuries and centuries. and what is due from them is demanded or if possible exacted from them. The Allotment of lands. We are not Shī`ah who believe in an “infallible” spiritual-cum-political head. The enforcement of legal judgments. and honour whoever they have appointed as Imams of the collective prayer or as monitors of societal compliance with good and eradication of evil. the waging of jihād. as countless civilizations among the bygone nations had done. Kannān (1074-1153 AH).

the Followers. the Followers of the Followers. or Emirate. dūlah. Allah willing. among many. . Kingship. in fact says: «[S]o that it does not become something which merely revolves (dūlah) between the rich among you». the linguists. is hard to push away. the philosophers. cumbersome structure that occupies the whole ground in a firmly entrenched manner. though the Salaf and the Khalaf alike would have looked at them bewildered. glory to Him. and so on and so forth. They knew of a similar one in the Qur’ān. It will prove. Is “State” a term which authentic Islamic knew? If we take up the books churned up by Muslim academics in the last 50 years. Modern writers who tell us that “monarchy” is un-Islamic have no qualms about writing books on the “State” or dawlah in Islam. the mutakallimūn (= the experts in the science of ‘aqīdah). the muhaddithūn. the litterateurs. the “Dawlah ‘Abbāsiyyah” (“Abbasid State”). we came to now about the “Dawlah Nabawiyyah”. we realize that they have used the word “Dawlah” for “State”. Fāris.behind them if they engage in good deeds. they never used that term for 1300 years and more. Sultanate. gobbles up resources around it. We cyclically end with an aspect we have adumbrated right at the start of this article. the historians. As for the Companions. such as protecting the frontiers. For the first time in our history. and “Dawlah Islāmiyyah” for “Islamic State”. and concentrates them in the hands of a tiny group of affluent beneficiaries. making the streets safe. peopling Allah’s impregnable sanctuaries of Makkah and al-Madīnah. the jurists. etc. One of Allah’s signs on earth in the field of Arabic linguistics was Ahmad b. The State is static. and cause it to circulate. energetically. unable to understand what they were trying to mean by using such a word. let alone for Muslims. the mufassirūn. the Sufis. In āyah 7 of Sūrah al-Hashr. Dūlah is the opposite: It is to take something that might be horded in motionlessness and monopolized. They spoke of Imamate. an excellent portal to our second article in this three-tier contribution: Dismantling the fallacy of democracy as being the preferable system of governance for mankind. It is a massive. therefore. Allah. the “Dawlah Umawiyyah” (“Umayyad State”). granting redress to the weak. Caliphate. the Imams of the madhhabs.

debilitating frailty and slackness devoid of any vigour is something we would not associate with the historical instances of our political dominion in the past." Often in phrase church and state. It is the same with all our classical writers of dictionaries or lexical works on technical terms in Islam. and nothing vaguely associated with “State” is mentioned in his exhaustively detailed list. hence stateside (1944). Mu`jam Maqāyīs al-Lughah. Fāris mentioned that some linguists considered dawlah and dūlah to be synonyms. Caliphate." 1530s. as there was no State in Islam [Arabic language academies chose that word.His fascinating etymological dictionary. tells us that dawlah and dūlahsignify the final outcome of ownership of wealth or a war. the British North American colonies occasionally were called states as far back as 1630s.S. military slang. he says: “The combination of the trilateral root dāl-wāw-lām has two root meanings in Arabic.It is thus an un-Islamic innovation from outside the Dīn.S. The sense of "semi-independent political entity under a federal authority" (as in the United States of America) is from 1856.The term State does not exist in Arabic. while the other indicates weakness and flaccidity”. 711 AH). that is. while others maintained thatdūlah specifically related to wealth. prosperity. The Online Etymology Dictionary sheds light on the term “State”: “[P]olitical organization of a country. Sultanate etc. etc. presumably. In a similar fashion. Hopefully. and thus rotates between them]. Ahmad b.1). the first operating bank emerged in the town of Siena in Tuscany. which is attested from 1580s. political sense is attested from 1798. exactly as the words bank and democracy are foreign to the language of the Qur’ān and the Sunnah . government. Therefore. it is only some 1000 years after the advent of Islam that even the English kuffār began to use “State” in the sense we have come to know it. The topmost African lexicographer Ibn Manzūr (d.It was unknown by our powerful predecessors . Imamate. supreme civil power. since the typical essence of military confrontations was that the balance of power would shift from one side to another in the course of it. (late 13c. The states has been short for "the United States of America" since 1777. Under the entry dāl-wāw-lām. form states rights is first recorded 1858. and that dawlahreferred to war in particular.The use of such a term is illegitimate. which apologetic and self-defeating modernist Muslims have adopted of late . Fāris died in 395 AH and knew nothing about the equation dawlah = State. from L. TO RECAPITULATE . from state (n. phrases such as status rei publicæ "condition of the republic. its functioning and that of its institutional “scions” was well-known to Muslim role-players in politics. as overwhelmingly demonstrated by a wealth of documentary material.). and dates from 1472. in Lisān al-‘Arab. As for the first such source meaning of the said combination of three Arabic letters. since political power is something that over time is transferred from one group of people to another. One of them indicates the shifting of a thing from one place to another. who ultimately gets to own an asset of wealth or triumph at the end of a war.Ours is an Arabic sharī`ah . this sense grew out of the meaning "condition of a country" with regard to government. Ahmad b. World War II U. State rights in U. are all legitimate Islamic definitions which we should studiously restore to our everyday vocabulary . Italy. represents a green pasture for those who love to graze in the lands of eloquent Arabic. and yet the Muslims refused to introduce it in their Dīn and bestow a name on it. He then listed all the important words derived from the root dāl-wāw-lām. wealth moving from some hands to other hands.