PREFACE: ISLAM, AND MUSLIM RESPONSIBILITY
Islam is not and can never be, by definition, in crisis or need of revisionist change, Islam, Kitab wa Sunna, is immutable in all places until the end of time. It is itself a critique and balance-principle against which all human ventures must be measured and themselves revised and changed.
The mizan of Islam adheres in every case, personal and social. At no time and in no place do the moral and political limits become altered to suit the latest fantasies and ambitions of men. Limits of human behaviour remain decreed by the revelation until the end of the human situation. This involves the delineation of kufr, shirk, and the hadd punishments, as well as hijra and jihad. The limits set on trading transactions and monetary systems have been decreed. Just as warfare has obligations, so too do commodity trading, coinage, marriage, sexual mores, and the maintenance of the public good. Thus, al ijtihad and al analogical extension of these basic elements must derive from the basic Islamic model of Madinah, during its phase when it functioned as the primary model for the future of mankind. The Madinah of the Salafi community was neither a primitive nor a formative society but a complete blueprint pattern for Islamic societies from then on.
It is clear that in Madinah at the time of the Salafi communities man was at his greatest and the social contract at its healthiest and most balanced. The myth of development and progress, an unscientific extension of victorian biological speculation into the realm of sociology, is not tenable. Al the evidence points to social devolution, diminishment of and travel, freedom, the increasing inhibition of personal life invasion of privacy, moral degeneration, sexual deviation, the end of the marriage contract, and so on and so on.
Today we find that the Muslims have been polarised into two camps, in a dialectic that backs the establishment of anti-Islamic regimes on the one hand and forces men into antithetical opposition and subversive resistance on the other. It is our contention that the Sirat al-Mustaqim is, between these two alternatives, a middle-way, an interface and a sunna.
Further we would propose that much of the confusion among the false ‘ulama has been their misreading of the nature of modern ‘technique’, of technological process, due to their having been indoctrinated by the outmoded ‘modernism’ of men who had themselves been seconded to kafir ideas and organisations in Egypt and the Middle East. To place the demands of a machine culture over the survival of man, and to prefer systems control over human transactions, is against the Kitab wa Sunna in a clear and demonstrable way. The Messenger of Allah, blessings of Allah and peace be on him, did not create machines, but rather he left behind men who were in their time, and have been ever since, lights to inspire and demand following by men of heart and intellect. We would indicate, therefore, that the cause itself of the false dialectic above is the false dialectic which sets the rules of ‘system technique’ over and against ‘basic technique’ or primitive technology, while aligning Salafi Islam with that world of primitive or basic technique. It has been this trick which embarrassed and deceived educated-in this technical sense-Muslims to ‘buy the modernist dismantling of Islamic governance, transposing, in the process, the true pattern of Islamic society-amirate ruling the people and fuqaha’ ruling the amir, by defining sharia limits, not by cult of personality with the myth of an Islamic ‘state’, which is a systems concept deriving from recent and jewish subversion of existing western modes that preceded the industrial revolution. For the industrial revolution was a christian achievement (of dubious worth) but its monetary system have both been its political ideology and and computer revolution has been jewish, while the nuclear almost entirely theirs.
It is our conviction that the key to an authentic Islam, salafi wa madani, lies in a powerful, uncompromising ‘aqida, an activated fiqh knowledge of sources, judgement, execution of sentence), and an arabic tongue. Equally, we see that the survival from destructivist jewish control-systems and technique-enslaving politics lies simply with the rejection of the credit system on which present monetary theory works, the refusal of promissory notes (paper money), and the end to the banking system completely. It may well collapse before we ourselves destroy it, which would expose certainly, the myth of ‘Islamic’ banking. A return to a bi-metal and commodity exchange economy is probably on its way, and only the greedy and the short-sighted fail to see that, in any event, such was the system in use in Salafi Madinah.
Now let us look at these groupings in more detail.
Opposition to Islam has always, basically, taken one form, or, if you like you could say two forms, two extremes which themselves lap over into each other. The extremities meet, as it is said. The two deviations from the Sirat al-Mustaqim are defined in the Fatiha.
In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Utterly Merciful
Praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds,
All-Merciful, Utterly Merciful.
King of the Day of Repayment,
You alone we worship;
You alone we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those You have blessed,
not of those with anger upon them nor of those gone astray.
That is to say, those who have gone astray, and those who have incurred the anger of Allah, glory be to Him. In its first and unchanging meaning our mufassirin are agreed that this refers to the christians and the jews. The christians are astray in failing to recognise the last Messenger through deviation of making their prophet, ‘Issa, peace be upon him, into a redemptive ‘god’. The jews’ error is more insidious. They not only turned from their own prophets but they failed to recognise ‘Issa, peace be upon him, and then in turn the final Messenger, blessings of Allah and peace be upon him. As a result they are cursed, scattered on the face of the earth, never to be united again as a people. We could therefore say that the christian error was metaphysical, or to do with ibada, while the jewish error was political, or to do with the law.
In this context we can refer to Ibn Taymiyya’s Kitab Iqtida’ as-Sirat al-Mustagim Mukhalafat As-hab al-Jahim :
“To be precise: the source of the jews’ kufr is that they do not act according to the knowledge they have got, for although they know the truth they do not follow its words or its deeds, together or separately. The source of the christians’ kufr is that they act without knowledge, for they practise various rites without an authority from Allah, and they claim for Him without knowledge. That is why the Salaf like Sufyan ibn ‘Uyayna and others used to say: ‘If one of our scholars goes wrong he goes wrong like a jew, and if one of our worshippers goes wrong he goes wrong like a christian.'”
Thus these primary deviations can be found to contain all secondary deviations, so that in that phase a man may have adopted a heresy which, while it does not make him a jew or a christian, it gives his viewpoint that particular quality, and indeed, behaviour.
In their secondary form we note two divisions in the Muslim community: the Mu’tazila and the Khawarij. The first make sects and divisions while the second cut off and reject the body, that is, are an elite (just as the jews fight among themselves as they rewrite the law of Musa, peace be upon him, while the christians claim they alone are ‘redeemed’ and so civilised.) The first introduce the rationalist spirit into subject matter that is beyond its scope, while the second insist that only they are right-in the former viewpoint nobody is right. What with the Mu’tazila is right is to be the enquirer, that is an end in itself.
Historically, the Mutazila come out of the Khawarij. The Khawarij make takfir of the main body of believers. Then they in turn split from their original allegiance and set up a further, more extreme ‘correctness’. At that instant they become Mu’tazili, and indeed, it was from their ranks that the movement emerged.
So, by their nature these two impulses to deviation and sectarianism are forced to cross-connect one with the other in a doomed dialectic, one which is rarely if ever recognised by its practitioners, lacking as they do the furqan of full Islam.
The first pillar of Islam is the double shahada, ‘I confirm that there is no god but Allah, and I confirm that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’ (May Allah bless him and grant him peace.) Why we say Kitab wa Sunna is to confirm that what was brought was not the first shahada alone but also the second. When Islam is in crisis, men arise who wish to purify it, and since the teaching about Allah, glory be to Him, calls for a rigorous avoidance of shirk, they call to purify the deen of shirk, making that the whole of the deen, and not just that pertaining to the first shahada. The limits of this are, of course, to denigrate not only Madinah, but the Messenger himself, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and may Allah protect us from such error. In turn this becomes a denial of the second shahada for it can be denied politically and by behaviour, while confirmed on the tongue. Confirmation of the second shahada is confirmation of the Shari’a itself, so if it disappears from a society and its ‘amal then it is gone. The kafir will accept one who believes in God, even His oneness, but they cannot and will not accept the full splendour of the second shahada which is by definition, ‘amal, living within the hudud, and jihad fisabilillah.
In this split we would designate those who uphold the first shahada and lose the second, muwahhidun. And we confirm: ‘La tawhid bi-dunir-rasul’, no tawhid without the Messenger, for, without him we could not know of tawhid. It is this correct tawhid that leads us to the second shahada. The muwahhidun want a tawhid, simple. Thus they declare their thesis with a Kitab at-Tawhid in every case. Historically we find they end up opposing the Sharia itself, and denying love of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.