Objection # 4:
Islam commands its followers to create a government that supports it to bring all people on earth under the rule of Islamic law.
Every religion which commends itself widely to human beings and lasts through some space of time has a glimpse of Truth in it. But Islam being the perfect light of Truth is bound to prevail. As the greater Light, through its own strength, outshines all lesser lights, so will Islam outshine all else, in spite of the displeasure of those to whom light is an offence. Allah says: “He it is who has sent forth His Apostle with the [task of spreading] guidance and the religion of truth, to the end that He may cause it to prevail over all [false] religion- however hateful this may be to those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God.” (Qur’an; 9:33, also 48:28, 3:19). The divine disposition of events in the coming of Islam and its promulgation by the Prophet (pbuh) are themselves evidence of the truth of Islam and its all-reaching character; for there is nothing which it has not influenced. The fast growth of Islam has forced them to launch a new crusade, because ideologically they can not outshine Islam. There is no need to enforce Islam or Shari’a upon others, they are willingly accepting Islam after pragmatic analysis viz their existing beliefs and spiritual deprivation.
Lack of understanding of Islam is bound to raise disdainful perceptions. While Bible mentions about rule through kings [1 Samuel;8:20] Qur’an emphasize government based upon Shura [consultation, core of modern democracy] (Qur’an; 42:38). The success of Islam rests in its doctrines like strong conviction of life hereafter, the cardinal doctrine of Islam. The life in this world is not an end in itself; it has to be viewed in totality along with final reward in hereafter. Hence worldly power and authority may not necessarily be the only reward or goal for believers, their main thrust is on eternal life in hereafter. However asceticism and monasticism is not prescribed by Islam. Success in this life and hereafter is the balanced approach with inclination to hereafter. It is elucidated by Qur’an: “And verily the hereafter will be better for thee than the present.” (Qur’an;93:4),“Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter, and strive there for with all due striving, and have Faith,- They are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah.). Of the bounties of Thy Lord we bestow freely on all- these As well As those: the bounties of Thy Lord are not closed (to anyone).. See How we have bestowed more on some than on others; but Verily the Hereafter is more In Rank and gradation and more In excellence” (Qur’an;17:19-21). The acquisition of power or rule in Islam is not for worldly gains of glory, wealth and splendor but to free the people form the yokes of materialistic ideologies which subjugate people for exploitation and oppression for benefit of few. This motivated the people of Visigothic kingdom in Spain to liberate the masses from the tyrannical, suppressive and corrupt rule of King Roderick.
Allah Grants, Kingship, Rule and Authority on Land to Any One, Even Unbelievers: The Sovereignty belongs to Allah. God is not bound to grant Kingship and Rule on the land to some specific people only; it is totally at His discretion. Hence high status wealth and honor is not symbol of closeness to Allah. He grants rule and authority on land to unbelievers as well as believers (pious and sinners) according to His Wisdom and Plan: “Say: “O Allah! Maalik al-Mulk [Lord of power and Rule] , You give power to whom You please and strip off power from whomsoever You please; You give honor to whom You please and disgrace to whom You please; all the good is in Your hand; surely You have power over everything.”(Qur’an;3:26). Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary Christ warned Jews: “Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”(Matthew;21:43)., It was the death-knell of the Jewish nation with their hopes of political and religious world leadership, ultimately transferred to the Children of Ishmael (Arabs & Muslims):
He may grant Authority & Rule to His believing servants to check mischief on land: “Had not Allah repelled some people by the might of others, the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s praise is daily celebrated, would have been utterly demolished. Allah will certainly help those who help His cause; most surely Allah is Mighty, Powerful.”(Qur’an;22:40).“By Allah’s will they routed them: and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him power (al-Mulk) and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah check one set of people by means of another the earth would indeed be full of mischief but Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds.”(Qur’an;2:251). If believers as a community desert the cause of Allah and deviate from the straight path, He may punish them and replace with better people, [see Qur’an;4:133, 70:40-41;35:15-16]. It happened in destruction of Abbasids Arabs rulers through Mongols, who later converted to Islam, afterward Ottoman Turks took over the rule.
Rule and Power is not the sole domain of believers, it is also granted to Un-Believers:
As it is historically established fact that belief in One God or obedience to God is not the criteria for grant of rule and authority on the land. History is full of tyrants like Pharaoh, Alexander, Hitler and Stalin who built mighty empires despite being unbelievers. An example is quoted: “Remember how you were made successors (Khulafa) after ‘Ad and settled in the land, capable of building mansions in the valleys and carving out homes in the mountains. Therefore, remember the favors of Allah and do not spread mischief in the land. The arrogant leaders from his nation asked the oppressed among them who have believed: “Do you really believe that Salih is a Messenger from his Lord?” They replied: “We do indeed believe in the revelation which he has been sent.””(Qur’an;7:74-75). “Remember that he made you successors (Khulafa) after the people of Noh and gave you a tall stature as compared to other people. Therefore, remember the favors that you have received from Allah, so that you may prosper. They replied: “Have you come to us with the demand that we should worship Allah Alone and give up those whom our forefathers used to worship? Well, bring us what you are threatening us with if what you say is true!””(Qur’an;7:69-70).
Allah in His Mercy, grants prosperity and wealth to humanity as a whole. It is trial to check their gratefulness to God through obedience: “That it is He Who gives wealth and satisfaction”(Qur’an;53:48).“When they neglected the warning they had received, then, instead of punishment, We opened the gates of every kind of prosperity for them; but just as they were rejoicing in what they were given, We suddenly seized them; lo! They were plunged into despair! ;”(Qur’an;6:44 also 7:95 17:18, 21.35, 18:7).
Allah bestows His grace freely, but He never withdraws it arbitrarily. Before He changes their state and circumstances, an actual state of rebellion and contumacy has arisen in their own souls, which brings about its inevitable punishment: “Allah has never changed the blessings which He has bestowed on a people until they themselves changed the condition of their souls; verily Allah hears all and knows all.”(Qur’an;8:53).“Allah never changes the condition of a people until they intend to change it themselves.”(Qur’an;13:11)
Allah is not intent on punishment. He created man virtuous and pure; he gave him intelligence and knowledge; he surrounded him with all sorts of instruments of His grace and mercy. If, in spite of all this, man distorts his own will and goes against Allah’s Will, yet is Allah’s forgiveness open to him if he will take it. It is only when he has made his own self blind and changed his own nature or soul away from the beautiful mould in which Allah formed it, that Allah’s Wrath will descend on him and the favorable position in which Allah placed him will be changed. When once the punishment comes, there is no turning it back. None of the things which he relied upon- other than Allah-can possibly protect him.
Power to Believers:
The concept of Khilafat is has been adopted as a maxim by some organizations and groups in Muslim countries to seek support form the masses to gain power. Some of them believe in peaceful struggle while the extremist justify use of violence and terrorism to get in to power. It is claimed that through establishment of Khilafat they will be able to implement Shari’a, get rid of corrupt rulers, provide quick justice, end oppression of Muslims and exploitation of their resource by super powers. Hence they will regain the lost glory of Muslim Ummah by uniting them under a Khalifah. Some even think of extending to global level. They derive support form verse 55, of Surah Nur (24), commonly known as ‘Ayah Ishtikhlaf’ [The Verse for Khilafat]:
“Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), (yasta-khlif-anna -hum fe-al-‘ard) As He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their Religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (Their state), after the fear In which They (lived), to one of security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. ‘If any do reject Faith after this, They are rebellious and wicked.”(Qur’an;24:55).
Instead of taking this one verse in isolation, it may be appropriate that it may be read and interpreted against the background of the Qur’an as a whole. The general divine policy for grant of Khilafat in the sense of power, rule, and kingship has been outlined in the verses of Qur’an mentioned above.[Qur’an;3:26, 2:251, 22:40, 5:40, 48:14. 47:38, 4:133, 70:40-41, 35:15-16, 7:69, 7:74, 8:53, 13:11].
Majority of scholars including Syed Abul Ala Moududi and Moulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi through Ibn Kathir, agree that the direct addressees of this promise of Allah, were the Muslims living in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However indirectly it may also apply to the future generations of Muslims under identical conditions. The promise of Allah for bestowal of successorship (Khalifah) in the land is ONLY for those believers, who are true in faith, pious in character, sincere in devotion and who follow Allah’s religion in letter and spirit eschewing every tinge of shirk (polytheism). Allah warn the hypocrites that this promise is not meant for those people who are Muslims in name only, lacking above mentioned qualities and pay mere lip service to Islam, they are neither worthy of this promise nor its addressees. Therefore they should entertain no hope of having any share in Khalifah (successorship) in the land.
Muslims believe that Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary (peace be upon him), will return before end of the world. He will prove that he was only a messenger of God and a human being, nothing more. He will kill the swine, break the cross, and abolish Jazyah [a tax taken from the non-Muslims who are in the protection of the Muslim government]. He will establish the Kingdom of God, all submitting to the will of God (Islam). He will rule as just ruler for 40 years, kill anti Christ (Shahi-Bukhari:3:425, 656,4:657, Abu-Dawud, Hadith:2025). Hence any one else trying to under take the mission of Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary (peace be upon him) can himself find his place!