Abid Ullah Jan: The Voice of an Honest MuslimVia Human Rights Service: Abid Ullah Jan is the author of the very popular (in Islamic circles) book The End of Democracy and is involved in the website Independent Centre for Strategic Studies and Analysis (ICSSA):
Islam, faith and power
Given the recent radicalization of secularists on a global scale, it is hardly surprising to find prominently featured articles, belittling the concept of power in Islam, in leading dailies of a Muslim country called Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The bottom line of circuitous arguments in such write ups is that there is "no concrete evidence either in the Qur'an or in Sunnah that the Prophet (PBUH) ever made conscious efforts to acquire political power." The secularists are not taking the message of the Qur'an beyond its face value. It proves nothing to argue that all Makkan surahs (chapters) of the Qur'an talk generally of creation, day of judgement, good deeds, and of destruction of universe. All these concepts are stepping stones for achieving the higher purpose of human existence, achieving which is impossible with considering the Qur'an just a moral guide. The Qur'an clearly instructs to punish those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land "except those who repent before you have them in your power..." (5:34). The point to ponder is: How would Muslims get the enemies of Allah in their power if they do not have power? Can they do so only through using the Qur'an as a moral guide without striving to have political and military power? It is abundantly clear that Muslims can never overcome the enemies of Allah simply by using the Qur'an as a manual for living an ethical life alone. It is either that the enemies of Allah do not exist any more or no distinction remains between the friends and foes of Allah.
If the Prophet (PBUH) went to Madina to escape persecution, there was no need for him to initiate wars after reaching there. Why did he not peacefully show the right path to people? There were eight strategically planned expeditions of surveillance against Makkans before the first battle of Badr. Here the secularists miss the crux of the message: the goal was to establish the right, rather than showing merely the right path. Establishing from roots always needs power and takes sacrifices.
We must not forget that only accepting Islam is voluntary. Volunteerism ends with surrendering oneself to Allah. Going to or financing war was a matter of free will for a short period of time. Later on, it was made obligatory. Armies are not needed for preaching a religion or enforcing the Qur'an as a moral guide. Armed forces are a strategic component of the over all power structure of Islam. The circuitous secular arguments cannot absolve Muslim from the clear responsibility of establishing the Deen (3:85, 5:3, 2:208, 42:13) and the struggle to make it prevail over all other Deen (religion) (48:28, 9:33 and 61:9). Then Allah says: "Faint not nor grieve, for ye will overcome them if ye are (indeed) believers." (3:139). It shows that for establishing Islam, Muslims have to "overcome," which is not possible without having the power of faith and associated military and political powers.
The whole confusion stems from deliberately concealing the concept of power in Islam. Those who are looking for modern terminologies, such as system and state, may never find these in the Qur’an as such. The literal meanings of Deen are to: obey, become obedient, become abased and submissive and serve. All this, however, is impossible without the presence of some authority to be obeyed. However, what makes Islam different is that the submission according to the Islam is sincere and total submission to Allah’s will and this is enacted willingly as absolute obedience to the law revealed by Him. Establishing the Deen is actually establishing an order, a state that guarantees living a life under a complete politico-socio-economic order. The primary meanings of Islam are: submission and obedience to Allah not any pact designed by Bush and company; humility, submissiveness and conformance to the Laws of Allah, not the standards of rights and accountability set by advocates of cultural-uniformity sitting in the UN.
A holistic approach to the words Deen , Islam, Iqaamat-e-Deen, Al-Hukm, Mulk and their meanings lead us to the conclusion that Deen is not just about some rituals but it is about obedience of Allah, submission to the Laws of Allah, and establishment of the sovereignty, kingship and the rule of Allah throughout the world. If unable to establish at global scale, Muslims are obliged, at the very least, to struggle for the establishment of an Islamic state/Deen where they are in majority but still living under an order based on principle and ways that are in total contradiction to the Qur'an and Sunnah. All those, Muslims or non-Muslims, who are denying Muslims to live by Islam are making a serious blunder. Islamic State’s coming into being would not hurt them, but hating it and holding it from becoming will have serious consequences of what the values and systems they have embraced so dearly.