Sloganeering Islam is not enough
AS WE HAVE indicated before, there is no doubt that the issue of Tawhid of Uluhiyyah is indeed a plain matter. Be that as it may, the issue of Tawhid and the declaration There is no God except Allah is not, however, an empty slogan which is shouted. It is rather a truth which is actually lived. Those who attack the callers to Islam today on the pretext that they are raising slogans to which they are hostages, they know very well that the ones who really raise slogans are the rulers who promised their people paradise on earth, united, and victory over the enemy; yet all of these sweetened promise did eventually evaporate into smoke.
When the empty slogans dissipated and the people finally knew who were the real bearers of truth â the supporters of the Islamic causes and callers to faith â they drifted towards them in all lands without exception. And to the same degree that Tawhid is not a slogan which is raised, it is also not simply a word which is uttered only devoid of any intent to act. For had this been the case, the polytheists would have hastened to accept it. They pointed this out to the Prophet when he requested from them the Tawhid declaration word: âBy your father, [had it been one mere word that does not entail action] we would give a thousand words!â
Surely, the act of merely uttering the Tawhid declaration: âthere is no god except Allahâ is an easy matter. The Arabs as well as the non-Arabs can proclaim it, and so too can the big and small, for it requires no great exertion. Yet the matter goes much further than this since this declaration demands the fashioning of all lifeâs activities according to Allahâs law. It demands that the individual should not devote his prayers, Zakat, or worship to any other than Allah Almighty. Say (O Muhammad); Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of (mankind, jinns and all that exists). He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims. (Surah Al-Anam: 162-3) So whoever declares âThat there is no God except Allahâ then supplicates to, or seeks assistance from a prophet, righteous man or the like, would have contradicted this great pronouncement.
In the same manner, the declaration that âthere is no God except Allahâ also demands the formation of economic systems according to Allahâs commands, far removed from the Eastern communist systems and the interest oriented systems of the West. For even though the eastern communist collapsed, the Western systems continue to execute their crimes in all parts of the world. Indeed all indications are that the interest-ridden systems of the West would continue to entrench itself, contrary to the laws of Allah.
Still further, the declaration âthere is no God except Allahâ also demands that all rules, laws, and systems should not be taken from sources other than the Qurâan and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad - the Sunnah. For in reality there are two programs and two systems of life. The system or religion of Allah on the one side, and the system of kings on the other side. The religion of Allah implies the worship of Allah only with all that monotheism stipulates in human affairs. Hence Allah Almighty says in the story of Prophet Yusuf: He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that Allah willed it. (Surah Yusuf: 76) Therefore, the religion of Allah is clear, it is not the religion of the kings, and it is not the religion of the transgressors.
That there is no God except Allah determines that Allah alone, should specify what is lawful and what is unlawful, what is right and wrong, what is truth and falsehood, and what is virtuous andcorrupt. Consequently, the rule by what Allah has revealed is, indeed, an integral part of âThere is no God except Allahâ. Conversely, the rule by other than what Allah has revealed is a form of polytheism which not only contradicts the great declaration, but also amounts to a contention with Allah in His affair, and a challenge to Him in His realm. Thus Allah Almighty declares: They have no Helper or Disposer of affairs other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule. (Surah Al-Kahf: 26).
In another verse of the Glorious Qurâan Allah states: Or have they partners with Allah (false gods), who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed. (Surah Al-Shura: 21) And so no one, whoever he might be, has the right to legislate in lieu of Allah, not even the greatest scholar. For the scholar when he says this is lawful and this is unlawful, he does not come with anything from himself. Instead he is only articulating the verdict of Allah and His Prophet and translating the Qurâan and Prophetic traditions. If, therefore, this is the position of a scholar in this matter, the person who is not learned is even more constrained by this principle. And if any of them should say: âVerily I am a god besides Him (Allah)â such a person We would be recompensed with Hell. (Surah Al-Anbiyya: 29).
Those who consider the Call for the rule of Allahâs law a kind of âpoliticization of religionâ â meaning that religion has been subjected to political cravings and personal glory â who catalogue accusations in their newspapers and books against the callers to monotheism, obviously these detractors are only repeating what the enemies of the Prophets said in earlier times.
We must, accordingly, address the masses who have confidence in our words. And thanks to Allah there are many. We say by Allah, we are not in pursuit of personal gain and neither are all sincere callers to truth. And they, by Allahâs grace, have become numerous in all parts of the world. They are not hankering after personal goals and benefit. For had been the case, they are well aware of the way to achieve them.
On the contrary, the callers to faith aspire to reform. Hence they adopted the difficult path of the Prophets in which there is ridicule, animosity, the outpouring of slanderous accusations against them, and every kind of physical and psychological persecution. Verily, many Messengers were denied before you (O Muhammad), but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt, till Our Help reached them. (Surah al-Anam: 34)
And many a prophet fought in Allahâs cause and along with him large bands of religious learned men. (Surah al-Imran: 146)
Allah Almighty also says concerning the Children of Israel: That is because they used to disbelieve in the signs and evidence of Allah and killed the Prophets wrongfully. (Surah Al-Baqarah: 61).
This is the way of the Prophets, filled as it is with dangers. Many of them were killed, many wounded, some were isolated and others denied the right to leave their lands. They were persecuted but remained patient. Furthermore, they never cowed to the cheap delights of this world. Indeed, it has become well known who are the ones that hanker after temporal gains. They are the ones pursuing these gains even if it is on the ruins of the Muslim nation and destruction of its interests.
Where are the secularist parties that used to fill the air with national cries? Have they not sold our countries with all their wealth to the disbelievers? Where are the sponsors of liberalization, are they not dying for the sake of the âNew World Orderâ â which is itself a cover hiding the desire to imitate the miserable West. Where are the callers to democracy who seize by force the will of millions when it is not consistent with their desires?
Surely the reformers and callers to faith have turned their backs on the delights of this world, and chosen what is with Allah. They were pleased if circumstances dictated, even to leave their homes and children and face the hardships of living in strange lands in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah.
Indeed their master and leader, the Seal of the Prophets was himself wounded in the battle of Uhud, receiving injuries to his head and suffering a broken tooth. On that occasion he remarked: âHow can a people prosper when they have shed the blood of their Prophet.â (related by Al-Bukhari). Moreover, the greatest goal of the Prophets and Messengers was always either victory or martyrdom. Prophet Muhammad eloquently expressed this when he said: âI wish that I would die in the way of Allah, then I would be brought back to life and killed again, then brought back to life and killed again.â (related by Al-Bukhari).
Accordingly, the Prophets of Allah never craved after this world and they never nursed ambitions for rank and positions. On the contrary, they were the furthest people from these aims. And Allah knows that the sincere callers to faith are also the most disinterested in the things which the worldly people compete for. They are the most disinterested with the things that their accusers strain their necks to gain.
One of these guided callers once declared: âI would much prefer to be postman in a country ruled by Islam rather than to be a ruler or minister in a land that is not governed by the laws revealed by Allah.â In the light of this example and many similar ones the empty claims leveled against the callers to Islam that they aspire to political power are wholly destroyed. The truth of the matter is that they all have a profound concern for the affairs of the Muslim nation. What there is no doubt about is that we worship Allah and remain devoted to His religion by considering politics to be an integral part of religion and the doctrine of separating politics from religion is tantamount to disbelief and defection from the Islamic faith.
The reform of political corruption was one of the tasks which the Prophets were raised to carry out. Allah Almighty says in His Book which can never be approached with falsehood from any angle: They who do not judge in accordance with what Allah has bestowed from on high are, indeed, deniers of the truth! (Surah Al-Maidah: 44)
They who do not judge in the light of what Allah has bestowed from on high â it is they, they who are truly iniquitous! (Surah Al-Maidah: 47)
And they who do not judge in accordance with what God has revealed â they, they are the evildoers! (Surah Al-Maidah: 45).
In this same context Allah Almighty also says: For clearly, most clearly, have We spelt out everything! (Surah Al-Isra: 12)
We have bestowed from on high upon you (O Muhammad) step by step, this divine writ, to make everything clear. (Surah Al-Nahl: 89)
Verily, this Qurâan shows the way to all that is most upright. (Surah Al-Isra: 9)
Meaning, of course, in every aspect of life, it guides the way to all that is upright; in economics, politics, social affairs, media, and administration.
During the Makkan period certain Qurâanic verses were revealed to the Prophet rebuking the polytheists for their governance by laws other than the law of Allah. This is one form of the polytheism into which they have fallen, and from which the Prophet had come to rescue them. And this is one of the meanings of âThere is no God except Allah.â Allah says: he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of the firmest bond. (Surah Al-Baqarah: 256) And for every affair to Allah and His Prophet there is a ruling; likewise, the forces of evil also have an opinion. For this is the religion of Allah; and this is the religion of evil, and it is necessary to counter the call of the religion of evil and tyranny, which pervades all environments through the advance of communications technology and its influences.
It is vitally necessary to confront these media distortions with clear explanations of Allahâs law, which the human soul naturally accepts. This is the long and difficult road which the Prophets chose. Their followers are obliged to choose this path also, regardless of the efforts, hardship, and inconvenience it may cause them. They should know, moreover, that had the Prophets or the reformers fought the various forms of polytheism manifested in social conditions only, which contradict the declaration âThere is no God except Allahâ, then no one would have opposed them. Indeed only a few would have stood up to them. But the Prophets did not call to one aspect of religion only, instead they tried to reform all affairs of life. As the Prophet Muhammad said: âNo one will be able to arise with this religion except he who embraces it from all its sides.â There is no doubt, therefore, that among the demands of the declaration of âThere is no God except Allahâ is the surrender to Allah Almighty only and recognition of His right to legislate and rule.