Partial change is no change at all"
It is sometime in the latter part of the 21st Century. The Caliph has just finished a high level meeting of his space exploration committee in a room deep within the capital of the Caliphate. His special advisor takes this opportunity to pick up on their earlier discussions about what came after the fall of the tyrant regimes in the Muslim world in the early part of the 21st Century.
Adviser: I found an old You Tube video the other day on the SuperNet, I mean the old Internet, of the demonstrations that thousands of Muslims were on in the years 2011 and after. It showed them calling for Islam and Shari'ah against the tyrants of the time, really quite inspiring. Do you remember them?
Caliph: Oh Yes. How could I forget although I was very young in those days. These were the times before the Caliphate was established.
Adviser: Did these demonstrations and the removal of the tyrants bring about the Caliphate?
Caliph: Well, Yes and No. Yes, in that it inspired millions more to strive harder for a total and complete transformation of the Islamic world by implementing Allah سبحانه وتعالى deen in full. No, in the sense that simply changing the face of the leader and partaking in elections meant some people were content with this small victory.
Advisor: What followed after the removal of these rulers?
Caliph: In the years following 2011 and 2012 a series of elections to parliaments and assemblies were held with different parties contesting; Islamic, secular, nationalist and many others.
Adviser: So some of these Islamic parties also contested.
Caliph: Yes, and in some countries the Islamic parties won a majority of seats like in Tunisia and Egypt; but it was their methodology that was the problem-trying to implement Islam through a gradual or partial manner. No-one doubted that they wanted an Islamic system, full implementation of Shari'ah and application of Hadood. However, these Islamic parties generally fell under the following categories:
1. The 'we are the really, really moderate Islamic party and the West should not be afraid'
2. The 'we are very keen on Shari'ah but don't have a clue as to how to run an Islamic state party' (also known as the "we have big beards and jalabiyahs but not many details party")
3. Not to be confused with the 'let's not frighten the horses with all this Shari'ah talk, brother, we will worry about implementing Islam at a later stage' party
4. Lastly, there was the' we are actually really western and capitalist; Shari'ah and Islam are just like capitalism, freedom and democracy aren't they?' party
Advisor: Sounds incredible that they thought this gradual approach would work. I guess they thought the more seats held in the parliament or the assembly the more chance of eventually implementing Shari'ah.
Caliph: Yes, but at the rate of Islamic politicians getting elected, every few years, it would take about 300 years before all of the Shari'ah rules could be implemented!. Many of these Islamic parties totally missed the point about how the Muslim world was carved up and controlled after the Uthmani Caliphate was destroyed in 1924.
Advisor: You mean the western designed constitutions and systems of these countries. I studied this in my first year of High school.
Caliph: Yes, exactly. Even a first grader would understand how rules and laws are governed by the framework of a constitution; which in the case of the Muslim world at this time were secular and un-Islamic. Even if there were a majority of Islamic politicians able to win a vote and pass a new law, if it went against the secular constitution it was simply labelled as 'unconstitutional' and rejected.
For years, farcical debates would take place between the Islamic politicians, secularists and nationalists about whether Islam was the source, basis, reference or official religion of the State. It consumed everyone's time and energy; but nothing actually changed or improved.
Advisor: So did they actually implement Shari'ah at the end of this?
Caliph: What do you think?
Advisor: No, sorry, silly question.
Caliph: In the years following the removal of the tyrants there was the constant horse trading between the Islamic parties and others as to what parts of Islam could be implemented based on the strength of their voting power; as if you can decide which Islamic rules are more important than others or which laws should be applied first. I mean, it's nonsensical to think Riba could be outlawed before the Hadood was applied; does Jizya take precedence over the distribution of Zakah and so on.
As laws required a 2/3 majority in parliament there was often excitement followed by bitter disappointment when it was thought some Shari'ah rulings would be passed. There was the time the law on cutting the hand of the thief was defeated by one single vote as the one of the politicians overslept on the morning of the crucial vote!. By the time the motion came around again a few months later there was only sufficient support to fine thieves and not cut off their hands. It was that ridiculous!
Advisor: And because of this gradual approach I'm sure the Islamic parties had to give up things and accept secular laws and rules instead.
Caliph: Quid pro quo brother. I remember vividly this one occasion when the Islamic parties in order to get a certain Shari'ah law passed had to accept something in return from the secularists.
Advisor: Give me an example?
Caliph: Well, in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak, the secular groups got the Islamic parties and politicians to agree to the staging of the 'Annual Miss Muslim World' beauty competition for the best looking hijab.
Advisor: No way, that's unbelievable!
Caliph [now in fits of giggles]: It was worse than that; the secularists also demanded that the chief Mufti had to be the judge at the final contest. That must have been an alarming sight!.
There were other really unpalatable compromises; in one country just to agree to the Ahzaan being recited aloud from the masajid the secular parties extracted in return that the latest western pop song be played out five times a day in areas where they had support.
And it didn't stop there. The nationalist parties which after the fall of the despotic regimes gained some seats also wanted their share of the hummus. In return for their support 'Independence' day from former British colonial rule had to be celebrated and declared a national holiday.
This nature of decision making and legislation meant Islamic laws were regularly diluted simply to get any law resembling or similar to Islam agreed. So, when the Islamic parties proposed that marriage is only lawful between a Muslim man and woman the secularists countered that marriage between the same sexes be permitted. Of course, there was no way that this would be accepted but in the final compromise marriage between a man and a woman, regardless of their belief, became the law.
Advisor: It's all coming back to me. I studied the seerah [life of Muhammed صلى الله عليه وسلم] by Ibn Ishaq at school as did my classmates. We were taught the correct Prophetic manner of change.
Caliph: I knew there was a reason you were my advisor; not just a pretty beard eh! The main lesson from this period was that partial change is not any change at all.
Advisor: So whilst all this was going on the Ummah were just as far away from the full implementation of Shari'ah. I wonder what the armies of the Muslim world were thinking.
Caliph: Yes, it's a good point. They initially kept a low profile and allowed these elections to take place. In some areas the secular Generals clung onto power for years such as in Egypt after the removal of Mubarak. But things were changing.
Advisor: How so?
Caliph: There were Islamic groups who all the while were giving Nasiyah [advice] to the army and Generals; reminding them of their role as the true power brokers; explaining to them their duty under Islam; giving them confidence in the Islamic solutions and highlighting the constitution of a future Islamic state. These sons of Khalid bin Walid and Salahudeen Al Ayubi shared the frustration of the Ummah in not seeing Shari'ah truly implemented.
Advisor: Tell me about the days leading up to the establishment of the Caliphate.
Caliph: It all happened by the grace of Allah سبحانه وتعالى; America which was the number 1 enemy to the Muslim world at the time had close contact with many of the army elites and leaders; in fact the US Secretary of State would convene a yearly gathering of her most pro-western supporters forcing them to fly out to the USA.
Advisor [laughing]: Like an Annual General Meeting; only for army Generals and Commanders!
Caliph: The very same. Only the gathering was not so much a meeting, rather a telling what to do. Anyway, it meant that some of the biggest opponents to Islam from amongst the army leaders were out of the country for a few days; others were fanatical about golf and never missed playing each week so their movements were well known; whilst another group had a particular liking of khamr[intoxicants] which often left them in a drunken stupor for days at an end.
Advisor: Sorry to interrupt, this may not be relevant, but what is 'golf'?
Caliph: Don't worry it's not important. But a few sincere middle and senior ranking officers who wanted a radical change took this opportunity and made their move by securing the main centres of power; barracks, military installations, media outlets, governmental offices and the like. This was followed with simultaneous demonstrations of tens of thousands of people on to the streets in the major cities. With the main buildings secure most of the remaining centres of power were taken over and there was minimal opposition to the declaration of the Caliphate. The Ummah rejoiced; the West were stunned and the supporters of the secular system wept.
Advisor: Some of my wife's family always reminisce that their country was instrumental in the establishment of the Caliphate.
Caliph: Where are they from?
Advisor: Pakistan. Where was Pakistan when the caliphate was established?
Caliph: You need to brush up on your history. I was talking about the land formerly known as Pakistan!
At that moment a 3D image of a large man with a beard appears in the corner of the room.
"This is Sheikh Armstrong, captain of the Caliphate Explorer, I bring Salams from the planet Mars. Our expedition has just landed. Praise be to Allah سبحانه وتعالى, Lord of all the Worlds. There is an abundance of water here. I am off to make my ablutions and I pray all is well in the Caliphate"