Working towards establishing the Islamic State that rules by what Allah (SWT) has revealed is in essence a duty of sufficiency (Fardhu Kifayah). However, since the sufficiency is not fulfilled despite the efforts of those who work towards it, the duty expands until it includes every Muslim. This is the case in every duty of sufficiency.
The evidence about the obligation of working towards the establishment of the Islamic State is conclusive in text and in meaning, hence, whoever denies it is a Kafir. As for he who acknowledges this fact but does not work towards it, he is sinful. This evidence is reflected in the text which commands the Muslims to abide by and refer their affairs to the Islamic Shari’ah. It is also reflected in the texts which forbid the Muslims from referring their affairs to other than the Islamic Shari’ah: Allah (SWT) says: ‘As for the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands.’ [5 - 38] T.M.Q. He (SWT) says: ‘The woman and the man guilty of fornication lash each of them a hundred lashes.’ [24 - 2] T.M.Q.
Allah (SWT) says: ‘They wish to refer in judgement to Taghut (the evil one) and they had been ordered to reject him…’ [4 - 60] T.M.Q. Allah (SWT) also says: ‘No by your God, they shall not have total belief until they make you judge in what is in dispute between them.’ [4 - 65] T.M.Q. And there are many other Shari’ah text to that effect. Hence, the largest part of the Shari’ah rules would be suspended in the absence of an Islamic State, and the Ummah is responsible for this.
As for the fact that this action must be undertaken by every Muslim and with his utmost capability, this is also conclusive in text and in meaning, and whoever denies it would be Kafir, and he who neglects it would be sinful. The evidence is obtained from the text which have come to confirm and establish this meaning; Allah (SWT) says: ‘So fear Allah as much as you can.’ [27 - 93] T.M.Q.
He (SWT) also says: ‘On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear.’ [2 - 86] T.M.Q. This means that a person should give the utmost of his ability, not the half, nor the minimum. And when He (SWT) says: ‘So fear Allah as much as you can.’ [22 - 73] T.M.Q. i.e. one should fear and obey Allah (SWT) to the maximum of his ability, not half of it. When a Muslim witnesses the Munkarat (evil deeds) around him, he is ordered to change them by the utmost of his ability, not part of his ability, for the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘He who witnesses a Munkar, let him change it by his hand, if he could not, then by his tongue, and if he could not, then by his heart, and this would be the least amount of Iman.’ The phrase of ‘if he could not’ indicates that if he used the utmost of his ability and could not change the Munkar.
Some people may fail to differentiate between the work towards establishing the Khilafah and establishing it immediately. They may say: ‘We cannot remove the existing regime and establish the Khilafah State in its place’, and since we cannot, we are therefore not commissioned with this duty because Allah (SWT) does not burden a soul with more than it could bear. This saying could only result from ignorance or from malice and deception. In order to dissipate this misunderstanding, we say: If the group working towards establishing the Khilafah could achieve this immediately, it would not be allowed to delay it. If it could not achieve this immediately, then it should work, multiply its efforts and strengthen itself further in order to fulfill this task even after a while. Hence, he who could not achieve a task immediately, he should thrive with his utmost ability to achieve it whenever he could.
Furthermore, why do we say: ‘we cannot ?’ This matter is not requested from one single person, nor is it requested from one single party, nor a single group, nor a single country. It is by Shari’ah, demanded from the whole of the Islamic Ummah, Arabs and non Arabs alike, and it is at present an individual duty upon every Muslim. Hence, is the Islamic Ummah really unable to fulfill this duty ? or is she slack, neglectful and sinful due to the influence of the Western culture and the influence of the governments’ scholars, the hypocrites?
Also, when we say that it is at present an individual duty upon every Muslim to work towards establishing the Islamic State with the utmost capability, this means that he should forsake many of the permitted actions and many of the recommended (Mandoub) actions if these distracted him from performing this duty. A Muslim should work to earn his living and to support his dependents. This is an individual duty upon him. Carrying the da’awah in order to establish the Khilafah is also an individual duty upon him at present. So which of the two duties takes precedence over the other? Shari’ah also demands of the Muslim to perform all the duties. However when these duties throng together, so that if he performed some of them he would not have time to perform the other duties, in this case it is Shari’ah itself that decides which of the duties he should put forward and which duties he should defer. Hence, the issue is a Shari’ah one and not down to whim and desire. The people of knowledge and Ijtihad are capable and competent when it comes to understanding the priorities. In this context, to earn a living takes precedence over working towards establishing Khilafah when the two duties clash. However, the earning of one’s living that takes precedence over the work towards establishing the Khilafah would be the earning of the basic needs, not the luxuries. Hence, if the Muslim were working and earning enough to cover his basic needs, he would not after that be allowed to take another work to secure the luxuries if this work would prevent him from carrying the da’awah to establish the Khilafah.
Most of the time, work does not prevent the Muslim from carrying the da’awah, for as long as he works amongst people, he could carry the da’awah to them while working.
It is not a valid Shari’ah excuse for the Muslim to say: I cannot work towards establishing the Khilafah because this would lead to my dismissal from work, or my imprisonment: this is so because the Muslim should not continue in the work that lands him into sin. Just as the Muslim is forbidden from earning from intoxicants, usury, bribery or cheating. Likewise, he is forbidden from earning a living by supporting a system of Kufr or by keeping silent over a system of Kufr.
As for the work towards establishing the Khilafah with utmost speed, this also is conclusive in text and in meaning. This is so because the Shari’ah rules revealed by Allah (SWT) became applicable the moment they are conveyed; when the rule of shifting the direction of the Qiblah from Bayt-ul-Maqdis to the Sacred Mosque was revealed, those who were praying at the time did turn immediately towards the Ka’abah. Hence, the rules are in principle for immediate implementation unless they were an evidence allowing relaxation in implementing a certain rule. Hence, when Allah (SWT) says: ‘O you people fear your God’ [4 - 1] T.M.Q. and when the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘He who witnesses a Munkar, let him change it…’, these commands are for immediate implementation, and so are the commands related to the establishment of the Hudud (penal code), the judiciary system, carrying the da’awah to the world by way of Jihad, protecting the frontiers and implementing the Shari’ah rules upon the subjects. All these commands must be implemented immediately. Furthermore, the Muslims are forbidden from remaining for more than three days without a Khalifah who implements the Shari’ah. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘And he who dies without a baya’a (pledge of allegiance) on his neck dies a death of Jahiliyyah.’
Therefore, there is no excuse whatsoever for he who says: ‘I shall work towards establishing the Islamic State, but only after I graduate from University’ or says: ‘After I finish the project I am working on at present.’ Or anything similar, because carrying the da’awah must be undertaken immediately if this were possible: to neglect it would be sinful.
What is most important when working towards establishing the Khilafah is explaining this concept to the Muslims and making them perceive it until it becomes part of the axioms known from Islam by necessity. While explaining this to them, the hearts of the Muslims should be also charged with the Islamic emotions which drive them to work, persevere and sacrifice. Allah (SWT) says: ‘O you who believe answer the call of Allah and His Messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life.’ [8 - 24] T.M.Q.
The following is a translation of an Arabic leaflet issued some years ago.