Daughters A Blessing From Allah! :)

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I wonder why there is no bond between father and daughter, now a days…. ???
In the Muslim community especially, this is an issue which has been overlooked, ignored, and generally treated with a sense of discomfort. Particularly amongst immigrant families, the relationship between a father and his daughter(s) is often a distant one; girls are encouraged to spend the most of their time with their mothers and other womenfolk.

A girl might be “Daddy’s Little Princess” as a baby, a toddler, a child, but as she grows closer to puberty she will often find herself left at home instead of taken to the Masjid, attention deflected from her and turned towards her brothers instead (if she has any). Unfortunately, this is a practice which has extremely negative repercussions… for the fathers, the daughters, and indeed the Ummah at large.
The role of a father in his daughter’s life is pivotal: he is the first man in her life; the one who teaches her what he, a male, thinks of her, a female; and thus shapes her sense of self-worth in the eyes of other men; the one whose behaviour and mannerisms will influence her mental image of “the perfect man” and her choice of life partner (i.e. husband).
In Islam as well as in psychology, the father is meant to be the daughter’s guardian, protecting her from harm, teaching her life skills and strong values. Yet despite all this, far too many fathers play a distant, secondary role in their daughter’s lives. There is a misconception that a father is merely the breadwinner, the supporter of the household, that his role is primarily that of financial provider rather than nurturer. After all, isn’t it the mother’s job to raise the children? Isn’t it the mother’s job to teach her daughters what it is to be a girl, a woman?

Yes, it is – but the mother is not a child’s only parent. She is equally the man’s progeny. His genes are present in her DNA, his flesh and blood are hers. When she looks at him, he is seeing a part of himself; in her behaviour is a reflection of his own attitude and mannerisms. How then can any father willingly minimize his role in his daughter’s life.
The greatest, most perfect example of father-daughter relationships can be found in the history of Islam. Has there ever been a father more devoted, a daughter more adoring, than our beloved Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and Sayyidah Faatimah az-Zahraa’ (radhiAllahu anha)?
We all know the stories:

Young Faatimah, scarcely ten years old, wiping filth off of her father’s back and furiously berating the leaders of Quraysh for their behaviour.

Faatimah, who used to weep at the sight of dust that was thrown upon her father’s head, and would be comforted with the words “Do not cry, my daughter, for Allah shall protect your father!”

Faatimah, the apple of her father’s eye, of whom he said: “Whoever pleased Fatimah has indeed pleased God and whoever has caused her to be angry has indeed angered God. Fatimah is a part of me. Whatever pleases her pleases me and whatever angers her angers me.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3437; Muslim, 4483)

Noble Faatimah, one of the four greatest women in the world: “The best women in all the world are four: the Virgin Mary, Aasiyaa the wife of Pharoah, Khadijah Mother of the Believers, and Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad.”
Faatimah, of whom A’isha (radhiAllahu anha) commented, “I have not seen any one of God’s creation resemble the Messenger of God more in speech, conversation and manner of sitting than Fatimah, may God be pleased with her. When the Prophet saw her approaching, he would welcome her, stand up and kiss her, take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting

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Hijab is for men first!

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We men are always most likely to point out things what a female has to do (like Hijab, dress modesty), while we (mens) usually dont follow whats written for us.

Or it seems we are not even aware of the correct ruling of the dress. 

How many of us (men) wear their trousers above the ankle ?

How many of us (men) sport a beard & trim their mustache ? 

Hijab And Clothing for Men

People usually only discuss Hijab in the context of women. However in the Holy Quran, Allah (swt) first mentions Hijab for men before Hijab for the women.

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: That will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do”
(Surah Noor, chapter 24, verse 30)

The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze. 

1: Men are also required to cover their body parts that reveal body

For men, its compulsory for them to cover their body from navel to knees.

This has been confirmed in the narration of Abu Said al-Khudri who said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “A mans awrah is between his navel and his knees.”

Messenger of Allah (saw) said to Jabir, “Cover your thighs, for the thigh is the awrah.”

The Messenger of Allah (saw) also said to Hudhayfah when he had his thigh uncovered, “Do not reveal your thigh nor look at anybody elses thigh, whether he is alive or dead.”

And he said to Mumar when he passed him by with both his (Mumar’s) thighs uncovered, “O Mumar! Cover your thighs; the thigh is awrah.” 

2: Mens are required to lower their gaze strictly and not look up to women in public places intentionally.

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: That will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do”
(Surah Noor, chapter # 24, verse #30) 

3: Gold and Pure Silk are Haram for Men

A man by the ruling of Allah is not allowed to wear either silk or gold.
Islam has forbidden men from wearing silk and gold but has allowed it for women, as well as for men who have a skin problem and need to wear silk.

Ahmed, al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisai reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Gold and silk are allowed for the women of my Ummah and forbidden for the men.” ‘

Umar ibn al-Khattab reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, ‘Do not wear silk, for one who wears it in this world will not wear it in the Hereafter.

Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.693, Narrated Uqba bin Amir ….A silken Farruj was presented to Allahs Apostle and he put it on and offered the prayer in it. When he finished the prayer, he took it off violently as if he disliked it and said,”This (garment) does not befit those who fear Allah!”

”Men are only allowed to wear silk if it does not exceed three or four fingers in lying next to each other in width. 

Ahmed, Abu Dawud, al-Nisai, al-Tirmidhi and Muslim have reported on Umars authority that the Messenger of Allah (saw) had forbidden men from wearing silk except to the extent of two middle and index fingers joined together, as demonstrated by the Messenger of Allah (saw). 

In another narration, he (saw) forbade silk except to the extent of two, three or four fingers.

Islam has allowed the wearing of silk for sick male Muslims without any limit to the width. 

Al-Nisai, Abu Dawud, al-Bukhari, Ahmed and Ibn Majah reported on the authority of Anas that the Messenger of Allah (saw) permitted Abd al-Rahman ibn Auf and al-Zubayr to wear silk because they suffered from the problem of skin irritation. Some scholars have used silk as analogous to the wearing of gold for medical purposes.

As for the evidence regarding the forbidding of the wearing of gold for Muslim males, al-Tirmidhi reported on the authority of Imran ibn Hassin, as did Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, that the Messenger of Allah (saw) forbade them from wearing gold rings

All reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) took some silk in his right hand and some gold in his left, declaring, “These two are haram for the males among my followers.”(Reported by Ahmad, Abu Daoud, al-Nisai, Ibn Hayyan, and lbn Majah, who reports the additional phrase, “but halal for the females.”) ‘

On another occasion, referring to a silken garment, he said, “This is the dress of a man who has no character.”(Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

The Prophet (peace be on him) once saw a gold ring on a mans hand. He immediately took it from him and threw it down saying, Does a person pick up a piece of burning coal and hold it in his hand?
After the Prophet (peace be on him) had left the place, someone asked the man, Why do you not pick it up and benefit from it? 
He replied, No, by Allah! I shall not pick it up after the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) has thrown it away.
(Reported by Muslim.) 

4:Patterns/Marks In the Clothing: Simple Clothing Preferred

Hadith – Sunan of Abu Dawood, #4041, Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin, r.a.
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) once prayed wearing a garment having marks. He looked at its marks. When he saluted, he said: Take this garment of mine to Abu Jahm, for it turned my attention just now in my prayer, and bring a simple garment without marks. 

Hadith – Muwatta 3.72 – Looking in the Prayer at What Distracts You From It
Yahya related to me from Malik from AIqama ibn Abi AIqama from his mother that Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Abu Jahm ibn Hudhayfa gave the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, a fine striped garment from Syria and he did the prayer in it. When he had finished he said, Give this garment back to Abu Jahm. I looked at its stripes in the prayer and they almost distracted me.’ ” 

5: The clothes should be loose enough (not tight) that they do not disclose the figure.

I asked Jabir bin Abdullah about praying in a single garment. He said, “I traveled with the Prophet during some of his journeys, and I came to him at night for some purpose and I found him praying. At that time, I was wearing a single garment with which I covered my shoulders and prayed by his side. When he finished the prayer, he asked, O Jabir! What has brought you here?’ I told him what I wanted. When I finished, he asked, O Jabir! What is this garment which I have seen and with which you covered your shoulders?’ I replied, It is a (tight) garment.
He said, If the garment is large enough, wrap it round the body (covering the shoulders) and if it is tight (too short) then use it as an Izar (tie it around your waist only. –
Hadith – Sahih Bukhari 1.357, Narrated Said bin Al Harith 

6: The clothes should not be see-through such that one can see through them. 

7: The clothes should not be fashionable so that it will attract the opposite sex.

In this criteria avoid wearing bright colors like red, orange and so on.

The clothes should not look like that of the opposite sex.
Al-Bukhari, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisai, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas that he said,“Allahs Messenger has cursed the women acting like men and the men acting like women.”

The Prophet (peace be on him) declared that a woman should not wear a mans clothing nor a man a woman’s. He cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men. 
(Reported by al-Bukhari and others.) 

Aspects of such imitation include the manner of speaking, walking, dressing, moving and so on. 

8: The clothes should not give the impression that of the non-believer

(like wearing cross or other religious symbol)

Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever acts like a people becomes one of them.” This is related to anything linked to their creed or dress, such as the garment or hats of the priests, bishops, cardinals, nuns etc, or like Jewish garments or anything that distinguishes them from other people. 

9 : Wearing White 

Hadith – Al-Tirmidhi 4623, Narrated Aisha, r.a. 
Allahs Messenger (peace be upon him) was questioned about Waraqah and Khadijah said to him, “He believed in you, but died before you appeared as a prophet.” Allahs Messenger (peace be upon him) then said, “I was shown him in a dream, wearing white clothes, and if he had been one of the inhabitants of Hell he would have been wearing different clothing.” [Ahmad and Tirmidhi transmitted it] 
Narrated Abu Dharr, r.a. I came to the Prophet while he was wearing white clothes and sleeping…. –
Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.717,

10: Wearing Green 
Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.705, Narrated Aisha, r.a.
When Allah’s Apostle died, he was covered with a Hibra Burd (green square decorated garment).
Hadith – Sunan of Abu Dawood, Narrated Abu Rimthah, r.a.
I went with my father to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and saw two green garments over him. 

11: Wearing Plain Red NOT Allowed
It is permissible to wear red clothes if the red is combined with another colour; it is NOT permissible to wear plain red, because the Prophet (saws) forbade doing so.

The hadith which forbid wearing plain red

1. From al-Baraa ibn Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (saws) forbade us to use soft red mattresses and qasiy – garments with woven stripes of silk.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5390)

2. From Ibn Abbaas, who said: “I was forbidden (to wear) red garments and gold rings, and to recite Quran in rukoo’.” 
(Narrated by al-Nasaai, no. 5171. Imam Albaani said: its isnaad is sahih. Saheeh Sunan al-Nasaai, 1068).

3. From Abd-Allaah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas (may Allaah be pleased with them both), who said: “A man passed by the Prophet SAWS wearing two red garments and greeted him with salaam, but he SAWS did not return the greeting.” 
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2731; Abu Dawood, no. 3574. Al-Tirmidhi said: this hadeeth is hasan ghareeb with this isnaad).

Hadith which may be understood to mean that it is permissible to wear red if it is mixed with another colour

1. From Hilaal ibn Aamir from his father, who said: “I saw the Messenger of Allaah SAWS in Mina, giving a khutbah sitting on his mule, wearing a red cloak, and Ali was in front of him, repeating what he said (in a loud voice, so that the people could hear).” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, no. 3551; classed as sahih by al-Albaani – Sahih Sunan Abi Dawood, 767).

2. The hadeeth of al-Baraa ibn Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah SAWS was of average build. I saw him in a red hullah, and I never saw anyone more handsome than him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 5400; Muslim, 4308).

[Red Hullah is a suit of two Yemeni garments which are woven with red and black stripes, or red and green stripes. It is described as red because of the red stripes in it.]

3. From al-Baraa, who said: “I never saw anyone who has hair wearing a red hullah and looking more handsome than the Messenger of Allah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He had hair down to his shoulders, he was broad-shouldered and was neither short nor tall.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 1646. He said: in this chapter there is a report from Jaabir ibn Samurah and Abu Rimthah and Abu Juhayfah. This hadeeth is hasan saheeh…)

4. From al-Baraa who said: “The Messenger of Allaah SAWS had hair down to his earlobes. I saw him wearing a red hullah, and I have never seen anyone more handsome than him.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, no. 4072; Ibn Maajah, no. 3599. Classed as sahih by Albaani – Saheeh Sunan Abi dawood, 768).

5. Al-Bayhaqi narrated in al-Sunan: “[The Prophet] SAWS used to wear a red cloak on Eid.” 

This is the view of a number of scholars, such as al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (Fath al-Baari Sharh ala Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 5400) and Ibn al-Qayyim (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1-137). And Allah knows bestl.

Hadith – Bukhari 7.695 (Also 7.744) Narrated Ibn Abbas, r.a.
The Prophet (saaws) said, “Whoever cannot get an Izar, can wear trousers, and whoever cannot wear sandals can wear Khuffs.” 

12 : Garment Should Not Hang Past Ankles 
Hadith – Al-Muwatta 48.12, Similar narration in Abu Dawood #4082 
Yahya related to me from Malik from al Ala ibn Abd ar-Rahman that his father said, “I asked Abu Said al-Khudri about the lower garment. He said that he would inform me with knowledge and that he had heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘The lower garment of the mumin should reach to the middle of his calves. There is no harm in what is between that and the ankles. What is lower than that is in the Fire. What is lower than that is in the Fire. On the Day of Rising, Allah will not look at a person who trails his lower garment in arrogance.’ ” 

Hadith – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.678, Narrated Abu Huraira, r.a. 
The Prophet (saaws) said, “The part of an Izar which hangs below the ankles is in the Fire.” 
Hadith – Sunan of Abu Dawood, Narrated AbuJurayy Jabir ibn Salim al-Hujaymi 

The Prophet saaws said, “Have your lower garment halfway down your shin; if you cannot do it, have it up to the ankles. Beware of trailing the lower garment, for it is conceit and Allah does not like conceit.” 

13: Do Not wear images

Like humans, animals, or insects on your cloth

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The Crude Facts!!!

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In May 2008 the price of oil reached an unprecedented $125 a barrel, Oil has continued to hit record levels since January 2008 as the price of Oil passed the $100 mark when a single trader in search of market fame pushed through a small trade. It has risen by 25% in the last four months and by nearly 400% in the last seven years. The importance the black stuff plays in the modern economy is so crucial that slight changes in prices can affect economies.

Oil past and present

It was British naval power that brought Oil to the international scene. In 1882, Oil had little commercial interest. The development of the internal combustion engine had not yet revolutionised world industry. It was Britain’s Admiral Lord Fisher, who argued that Britain must convert its naval fleet from bulky coal-fired propulsion to the new oil fuel. With Germany on the verge of shifting the global balance of power by developing its own oil propelled ship from that point, oil conversion of the British fleet dictated national security priority to secure large oil reserves outside Britain.

WW1 brought to the international scene the importance of oil; it came to be seen globally as the key to military success. In an age of air warfare, mobile tank warfare, and naval warfare bulky coal-fired propulsion gave way to oil. Oil required only 30 minutes for ships to reach top speed compared to 4-9 hours when coal was used, battleships powered by coal emitted smoke which could be visible 10 kilometres away whilst oil had no tell-tale signs. The strategic advantage it gave was insurmountable and the British empires control of oil supplies become became even more important given the fact that Great Britain had no oil supplies at the time. It was the capturing of the rich oil fields of Baku on the Caspian Sea denying vital supplies to Germany that resulted in the end of WW1 and German surrender. William Engdahl geopolitical expert outlined the importance of oil ‘rarely discussed, however is the fact that the strategic geopolitical objectives of Britain well before 1914 included not merely the crushing defeat of Germany, but, through the conquest of war, the securing of unchallenged British control over the precious resource which by 1919, had proved itself as a strategic raw material of future economic development – petroleum. This was part of the ‘great game’ – the creation of a new global empire, whose hegemony would be unchallenged for the rest of the century, a British – led new world order.’ Britain and France concluded a secret oil bargain agreeing in effect to monopolise the whole future output of Middle Eastern oil between them.

Today oil is used for numerous everyday products across the world, most commonly for powering combustion engines such as fuel oil, diesel oil and petrol. Oil is also used as fuel for heating and lighting (e.g. kerosene lamp). The petrochemicals industry produces many by-products such as plastics and lubricants. It also manufacturers solvents (alcohols) through oil, without which there would be no chemicals industry. The free flowing hydrocarbons allow many farming implements and fertilizers.

Oil Markets explained

Crude oil, also known as petroleum, is the world’s most actively traded commodity. The largest markets are in London, New York and Singapore but crude oil and refined products – such as gasoline (petrol) and heating oil – are bought and sold all over the world. Crude oil comes in many varieties and qualities, depending on its specific gravity and sulphur content which depend on where it has been pumped from.

Because there are so many different varieties and grades of crude oil, buyers and sellers have found it easier to refer to a limited number of reference, or benchmark, crude oils. Other varieties are then priced around this, according to their quality. Brent is generally accepted to be the world benchmark, although sales volumes of Brent itself are far below those of Saudi Arabian crude oils. Brent is used to price 66% of the world’s internationally traded crude oil supplies.
In the Gulf, Dubai crude is used as a benchmark to price sales of other regional crudes into Asia.

In the United States, the benchmark is West Texas Intermediate (WTI). This means that crude oil sales into the US are usually priced in relation to WTI. However, crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange generally refer to ‘light, sweet crude’. This may be any of a number of US domestic or foreign crudes but all will have a specific gravity and sulphur content within a certain range.

Slightly confusingly, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – a cartel of some of the world’s leading producers – has its own reference. Known as the Opec basket price, this is an average of seven – always the same seven – crudes. Six of these are produced by Opec members while the seventh, Isthmus, is from Mexico. Opec aims to control the amount of oil it pumps into the marketplace to keep the basket price within a predetermined range. In practice, the price differences between Brent, WTI and the Opec basket are not large. Crude prices also correlate closely with each other.

Oil contracts are brought and sold on international exchanges with the largest being Nymex (New York Mercantile Exchange) in New York and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures in London, who today control global benchmark oil prices which in turn set most of the freely traded oil cargo. They do so via oil futures contracts on two grades of crude oil – West Texas Intermediate and North Sea Brent. A third rather new oil exchange, the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), trading Dubai crude, is more or less a daughter of Nymex, with Nymex president James Newsome sitting on the board of DME. All exchanges use the US dollar as the standard to price oil.

Due to the nature of oil requiring extracting and refining participants commonly use futures contracts for delivery in the following month. In this type of transaction, the buyer agrees to take delivery and the seller agrees to provide a fixed amount of oil at a pre-arranged price at a specified location. Futures contracts are traded on regulated exchanges and are settled (paid) daily, based on their current value in the marketplace. The minimum purchase is 1,000 barrels.

Oil prices

So what is it that moves oil prices up and down? Most analysts and experts continue to interpret the price of oil price movements due to fundamentals – in the oil industry the fundamentals are factors that influence the supply of, and demand for, oil. Things such as the increasing demand from China and India, as well as fears that a stand-off between the US and Iran could interrupt supplies; have a bearing on oil prices. Alternatively, financial factors may be at work, such as a hedge fund having to sell a particular oil contract so it does not end up receiving a tanker-load of oil – or a trader deciding it would be fun to be the first to trade oil above $100 a barrel. However most fundamental information is not freely available. Mark Lewis from Energy Market Consultants explained in a BBC interview “We really don’t know what the fundamentals are doing at any point in time, the markets are looking for signals from the fundamentals. Some of them are irrelevant, some of them are wrong, some of them are meaningless, but they affect prices nevertheless.” Sean Cronin, editor of Argus Global Markets explained “When the New York oil price broke through $100 a barrel for the first time at the start of 2008, one of the factors cited as being behind it was the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan on 27 December 2007, that didn’t strike us as making any sense at the time.”

Hence there needs to be a distinction between the factors that raise the oil price because they affect sentiment and the ones that genuinely affect supply and demand for oil. The dotcom boom in the 1990s was over inflated, but as long as everyone believed in it, the price of internet companies continued to rise. Once speculators stopped believing in internet stocks rising, the price went down. Thus Speculators trade on rumour, not fact.

Speculation driving oil price hike

A variety of reasons have been presented for why the price of a barrel of Oil continues to rise. For the study of Oil prices many consultants are paid elaborate rates to predict trend in oil. Many politicians continue to cite China and India as the chief reasons for the current price of oil. Many analysts have cited geopolitics as the chief reason such as conflict in Nigeria, oil peak and the rise of bio fuel. Although these factors have had some bearing on Oil prices they are not the actual causes for the price of oil to reach the current historical level. Speculation by traders is at the heart of the current hike.

Today’s oil prices are really determined by a process so opaque only a handful of major oil trading banks, such as Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley, have any idea who is buying and who is selling oil futures or derivative contracts that set physical oil prices in this strange new world of ‘paper oil.’ Today 60% of crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds and with the development of unregulated international derivatives trading in oil futures over the past decade, the way has opened for the present speculative bubble in oil prices.

A June 2006 US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on “The Role of Market Speculation in rising oil and gas prices” noted, “… there is substantial evidence supporting the conclusion that the large amount of speculation in the current market has significantly increased prices”.

A common speculation strategy amid a declining US economy and a falling US dollar is for speculators and ordinary investment funds desperate for more profitable investments amid the US sub-prime disaster to take futures positions selling the dollar “short” and oil “long.” This is where one borrows dollars and sells them for a short period, betting the price of the dollar will fall. Then such a trader would purchase the same dollars at the new fallen price and return the borrowed money taking the profit from the new fallen price to the original higher price. Lehman Brothers, the investment bank, has estimated that fuel is 30% overpriced because of an influx of money into the oil market from investment funds. It believes that hot money accounts for between $20 to $30 of the recent increase in oil prices and that about $40 billion has been invested in the sector so far this year — equal to all the money pumped into oil last year.

Energy Geopolitics

Although the current crisis has in large part been due to speculators moving out of the sub-prime crisis and into commodities there are however a number of Geopolitical factors and trends and we should be aware of that will shape the global situation. The age of oil, produced its own technology, its balance of power, its own economy and its pattern of society. The future of energy security will play a key role on the global balance of power.

These factors are four:

1. The Eastern threat – The Middle East is gradually shifting from being a unipolar region in which the US enjoys uncontested hegemony to a multipolar region. The US will face more competition from China and India over access to Middle East oil. Soaring global demand for oil is being led by China’s continuing economic boom and, to a lesser extent, by India’s rapid economic expansion. Both are now increasingly competing with the US, the European Union and Japan for the lion’s share of global oil production.

This additional demand comes at a time of continuing production problems in a number of oil-producing nations. Production is down in Nigeria after continues attacks on pipelines by anti-government militants, while Iraqi exports through the north of the country have been hit by renewed cross-border raids by Turkish forces against Kurdish insurgents.

Economists warn that continuing high oil prices will impact on the global economy, hitting growth and fuelling inflation. More importantly it will impact America’s ability to fuel its own economic growth and in turn become more reliant on China for cheap goods. The American economy used to be the world’s powerhouse, but today it is being left behind by emerging economies. To compound its problems, The demand for greater oil is affecting America’s ability to pull itself out of its downturn and is creating inflation across the Western world. If China at any time in the future should develop its political will and ambition, it is in a relatively strong economic position to substantially weaken America.

2. The Russian threat – Russia, the leading producer of natural gas and one of the leading oil producers, is the global winner. The relationship between the European Union and Russia is now dominated by Russia and will in the future make Europe dependent on Russian oil and gas. The oil shocks of the 1970s had different effects on different European countries. Britain had some North Sea oil and the prospect of more, as did Norway. Germany and France had little or no oil of their own. Differential shocks in the coming period of oil shortage will make it harder to maintain the Euro-zone.

Vladimir Putin has already used oil and gas as a diplomatic weapon against the European states, which have had to fall into line in June 2007 after making grandiose demands against Russia. Russia even made veiled threats against Britain during the famous spy poisoning case. Russia has also in the last year stopped supplying energy to its neighbours to quell dissent and ensure political allegiances.

Unlike China and India, Russia has a history of political strength and maturity, and the evidence over the last two years is that Russia has begun re-inventing itself as a regional power, after winning back Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from the American grip and managing the stop the influence of the three revolutions in that region. America is becoming increasingly worried about the growing economic and political influence of Russia.

3. Oil and Petrodollars. One of the achievements of the US in the 1970’s was to peg the price of oil to dollars. This meant that oil transactions are carried out in dollars only. This has allowed the US to maintain the dollar as the world premier currency and the currency of choice for foreign reserves.

However one of the key factors behind the rise in the price of oil is the devaluing of the dollar. Now trading countries want more dollars for oil simply because the dollar is worth less – this would have increased the price of oil regardless of the increasing demand for it.

Today the European Union led by Britain and Germany are increasingly calling for pegging oil to the Euro; thereby stabilising the price of oil, and giving a stable revenue to oil producing countries. However, this severely impacts the dollar as a currency and if this was to happen would perpetuate America’s economic crisis as the dollar would devalue even more.

Although this is not yet an impending threat, if America cannot bring itself out of its severe downturn, this threat may become more real – particularly if China was to add to this growing call.

4. The importance of the Middle East. Despite current supply shortages of oil around the world and the future restrictions, the importance of the Middle East, will not lessen. In fact it will become the most crucial area in the world.

This is because 66% of the world’s oil reserves are in the Middle East. “Proved” oil reserves are those quantities of oil that geological information indicates can be with reasonable certainty recovered in the future from known reservoirs. Of the trillion barrels currently estimated, 6% are in North America, 9% in Central and Latin America, 2% in Europe, 4% in Asia Pacific, 7% in Africa, 6% in the Former Soviet Union. Today, 66% of global oil reserves are in the hands of Middle Eastern regimes: Saudi Arabia (25%), Iraq (11%), Iran (8%), UAE (9%), Kuwait (9%), and Libya (2%).

Currently of the 11 million barrels per day (mbd) the US imports 3 million barrels per day from the Middle East. But in the years to come dependence on the Middle East is projected to increase by leaps and bounds. The reason is that reserves outside of the Middle East are being depleted at a much faster rate than those in the region. The overall reserves-to-production ratio — an indicator of how long proven reserves would last at current production rates – outside of the Middle East is about 15 years comparing to roughly 80 years in the Middle East. It is for this reason that George Bush said last April, U.S. dependence on overseas oil is a “foreign tax on the American people.”

This is on of the most volatile region in the world; and its importance will only grow stronger. The US is currently very worried about political developments in this region. A return of the Khilafah as predicted by several think tanks can potentially cripple America’s economy, at a time where its political leverage is at its weakest since the end of the cold war.

Conclusions

The Oil price crisis once again highlights that the greed of speculators knows no bounds. It was greed that drove many banks to lend sub prime loans to individuals with no ability to repay the loans. It is again greed that is driving speculators to bet on Oil prices with no intention of actually purchasing the oil in order to make profits on the price differences – whatever the affect on the world. Such speculators drove the dot.com bubble, and then moved to the sub prime bubble once it burst and now they are pouring into the last remaining sector commodities – it is for this reason food and oil prices have reached astronomical levels, well beyond the reach of those who need it most. The Western world consumes 50% of the 21st century’s most important resource; oil, it produced less then a quarter of it. It is over consumption rather then China and India that are causing the crisis. The US specifically produced only 8% of the world’s oil but consumes 25% of it.

The Oil crisis also reveals the treachery of the Muslim rulers, whilst China and Russia are manoeuvring to weaken the US Saudi Arabia increases production of oil to ease US oil prices. Without the help of the Muslim rulers the US may not even be a super power, the Muslim lands hold what’s is considered the resource of the 20th century and most likely the resource for the 21st century, they should be the worlds superpower dictating global politics and actually doing what they continuously say they do – carrying dawah to the rest of the world.

As US consumption continues to rise the competition for dwindling energy sources will intensify, this will make the Muslim lands even more important and as with Iraq occupation may well be justified for stable supplies of the black stuff.

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Understanding Fate(Al Qada) and destiny(Al Qadar)

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The following is a transcript of a discussion presented on this subject and therefore may not be gramatically acurate.

The subject of al Qada wal Qadar is a subject that engaged Muslims in a massive debate throughout the centuries, for this reason it is impossible to cover all aspects of this discussion in today’s presentation.

The subject of al Qada wal Qadar is an important one, it is from the rational elements of the Aqeeda. It is a subject that many of the Ummah are confused upon to this day. It is a concept that is related to the relationship of this life with the hereafter, if we misunderstood this concept there would be a major vagueness in the relationship between this life and the afterlife in terms of accountability. We may even conclude as those in the past that there is no relationship and therefore can act as we please. Therefore it is important to understand the subject in depth including its origins in history, the different views regarding it and the correct position.

History of the subject of al Qada wal Qadar

The subject of al Qada wal Qadar was never explicitly discussed as a subject by the Prophet (saw) or any of the Sahaba. What they discussed were other issues related to the textual element of the Aqeeda such as al-Qadar referring to the knowledge of Allah (swt) or al-Qada in its linguistic meaning that can mean many things.

This discussion came about amongst the Muslims after the translation of the Greek philosophies into the Arabic language. It was the Greek philosophers who engaged in inquiry and controversy over this issue. They had put forward questions such as: Does man have free will or is he forced to carry out his actions?

There were two main schools of thought regarding the issue amongst the Greeks, the Stoics and the Epicureans.

The Epicureans believed that the will is free in choice and that man does all of his actions according to his will and without compulsion.

The Stoics on the other hand believed that the will compelled to take the path it takes and that it is incapable of departing from it. Man, they said, does nothing in accordance with his will; rather he is compelled to do whatever he does; to do or not to do is not within his control.

With the advent of Islam and the infiltration of the philosophical thoughts Muslims came into contact with these ideas they attempted to answer the same questions from the viewpoint of Islam. One of the major issues that the Muslims began to discuss was the attribute of justice on the with regard to Allah. Islam is based on the concept that Allah is just, and according to this justice we have reward and punishment. Accordingly, the Muslim thinkers attempted to reconcile this premise with the philosophical questions posed by the Greeks.

The most prominent of these was the discussion by the Mu’tazilah; it was the prototype in this matter; the discussion of the other scholastics was a response to repudiate the views of the Mu’tazilah. Thus the Mu’tazilah are considered the pioneers in discussing the issue of al-Qadaa’ wal Qadar, and even in all the topics of scholasticism that the Mutakallimeen engaged in. The head of the Mu’tazilah was Wasil Ibn Ataa’ who had been removed from the circle of the famous scholar Al-Hasan Al-Basri for his views.

The Mu’tazilah responded by first establishing the central role of Allah’s justice in order to prevent anyone accusing Allah of oppression. They concluded that Allah’s justice has no meaning unless man has free will. Thus, they said man created his actions and he if free to do what he likes because if he does something from his own will, by choice without coercion, then his reward and punishment are both rational and just. They maintained that if Allah creates human beings and also forces them into a certain path, such as making people sinners or believers, then to punish the sinners for being sinful and rewarding the obedient believers for believing would be unjust.

In their methodology they followed the Greek way of thinking. Muslims assumed, like Greek philosophers, that Allah follows laws and codes like man does. They made analogy between Allah (swt) and man. Commenting on the will, they said that the person who wants good is good in himself, and the person who wants bad is both bad and evil. Likewise, he who orders justice is just, and he who orders oppression is an oppressor. Accordingly, they maintained if we assume the will of Allah embraces every aspect of life, both good and bad, Allah would then be described as good and bad, just and oppressor; which is clearly impossible.

They were clearly influenced by Greek logic in their argument. They also said that if Allah wants the disbeliever to be a disbeliever (Kafir) and the sinner to be sinful then He should not warn and admonish them from sin and disbelief. How could it be possible that Allah wanted Abu Lahab to be a disbeliever and yet commanded him to believe and warned him from disbelief. If any man had done such a thing he would be called a fool and ignorant. Allah who never be accused of such things. If the disbelief of the disbeliever and the sin of the sinner were wanted by Allah then they should not be punished, because their actions were obedient to the will of Allah. The Mu’tazilah repeated such arguments, with proof derived from their mind.

The Mu’tazilah supported their opinions based on logic with verses from the Glorious Quran, such as, -in translation:

“But Allah never wishes injustice to His Servants.” (Ghafir:31).

“Say: “With Allah is the argument that reaches home: if it had been His Will, He could indeed have guided you all.” (Al-an’aam:149)

“Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties.” (Al-Baqarah:185)

They concluded from this the opinion that man has the freedom of will to do an act or refrain from doing it; thus if he does, it is according to his will and if he refrains from doing, it is also according to his will. As regard the issue of the creation of acts, the Mu’tazilah said that the acts of people are created by them and they are of their own doing not of Allah’s; it is in their power to do these acts or refrain from them without any intervention of the power of Allah. The proof of this is the difference which man feels between the voluntary and the involuntary movement, such as the movement of a person who voluntarily moves his hand and the movement of a trembling person, and the difference between the movement of someone going up a lighthouse and another falling from it; thus the voluntary movement is in the power of man; it is he who creates it; but he has no role in the involuntary movement; also, if man was not the creator of his acts, the takliif (obligation to comply with Shari’a) would be invalid, since if he was not capable of doing or refraining from doing, it would not be rational to ask him to do or to refrain from doing, and this would not have been the subject of punishment and reward.

They used logic to prove their arguments, and then tried to quote many naqli (textual) proofs to support their argument such as:

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).”(Ar-Ra’d:11)

“That Day will every soul be requited for what it earned.”(Ghaafir:17)

In following the methodology of the Greeks they began to discuss the issue and the offshoots of the issue, one of the offshoots of the creation of actions which they discussed was the issue of results.

After the Mu’tazilah had determined that the acts of man are created by him, a question arose from this: What about the acts that result from his action? Is created by him as well? Or is it created by Allah, for example the taste that a thing comes to have as a result of the action of man, the cutting that occurs from a knife, pleasure, health, lust, heat, coldness, humidness, hardness, cowardice, courage, hunger, satisfaction, etc.. They said that all these are part of the action of man because it is man who causes them when he performs his acts. Thus they are resultant from his act and consequently they are created by him.

To summarise their view, they believed that due to Allah’s Justice which has been mentioned in the text it is impossible that Allah forced man to act and then punish or reward him as this would be unjust. Therefore people have free will in all of their actions and it is they who creates their actions and the attributes that occur in things as a result of their action.

Al Jabriyah

In the atmosphere created by the Mu’tazilah a new group emerged, known by the name AI Jabriyah; the most famous of whom was known as Al Jahm ibn Safwan. They held the opinion that man was compelled to carry out actions, man had no free will and no power to initiate his actions. In other words, man was like a feather in the wind or a log floating on the sea.

They argued, if man creates his own actions then Allah’s power does not extend to cover everything, i.e., man is a partner with Allah in creating things in this world. if it is held that Allah’s power creates things, then, by definition, man has nothing to do with creating the actions; neither in part or in full.

AI-Jabriyah maintained that Allah is the creator of man’s deeds and according to Allah’s will the individual carries out the action. AI-Jabriyah believed that man was nothing more than a receiver compelled by Allah, like any object, to carry out actions without any will or influence. They brought verses. of Quran to support their opinions, such as: “You do not guide whom you like, rather Allah guides whom He likes.” [al-Qasas] “Allah has created you and your handiwork.” [as-Saffat:96] “Allah is the creator of everything.” [as-Zumur]

As for man’s organic needs and instincts, and the effects and attributes of the actions, such as: taste, joy, hunger, courage, the knives ability to cut, or the fires ability to burn, they said all these thing are from Allah.

Ahl-us-Sunnah

The people of Sunnah (ahl-us-Sunnah) responded to the ideas of AI-Mu’tazilah and AI-Jabriyah. They came out with a compromise solution as they didn’t except the extremes of the other views so they attempted to bring together the views of the Mu’tazilah and Jabriyah in a synthesis. They said that their third opinion which has come out from the two opinions is ‘the pure milk that is sweet to drink that comes out of the excrement and blood’. The most famous amongst them were Abul Hassan al Asharee and his student al-Maturdi.

They said all man’s actions occur by the will of Allah. If Allah wants something He merely says “Be and it is.’ They contented that Allah has bestowed on every creature certain qualities, like good and bad, and these qualities contain reward and punishment. Man’s deeds, therefore, are the result of destiny. As for the sinful and disbelievers, they argued that Allah wants the sinners to be sinful and the disbelievers to be disbelievers, not by obligation but by their choice. Allah knew that they, by choice, would become sinners and disbelievers.

They were different to the Jabriyah in that they believed that man has free will but Allah creates mans actions, in order to explain this they came out with the concept of Kasb Iktiari. This concept is abstract and contradicts the reality and thus is difficult to understand.

Basically it means that man has free will but Allah knows mans will do and therefore creates mans actions in reality. So you have the free will to turn right or left, if you decide to turn left Allah knows this and makes you turn left. You have the free will to attempt to hit someone, if you decide to hit him, it is Allah that creates the action.

They used the same evidences as the Jabriyah in proving that Allah creates the actions of man. Some of the textual evidences they used for proving the concept of Kasb Iktiari are:

“Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” (Al-Kahf:29) and His (swt) saying, “It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.”(Al-Baqarah:286)

In reality their conclusion is the same as the Jabriyah’s as they believe that Allah knows what you are going to do before you do it and forces you to act to undertake what he knows your going to do, therefore he forces you to act even if you have free will.

Errors in the way the approached the subject

The Mu’tazilah took the issue of ‘al-Qada wal Qadar’ or ‘compulsion and free choice’ from the Greek philosophy under they discussed it using the logical method of the Greeks by viewing it from the perspective of their own view of the Justice of Allah. This led to the emergence of the Jabriyah and Ahl-us-Sunnah to refute the views of the Mu’tazilah, which they did according to the same precepts and on the same basis.

All of them discussed the issue from the perspective of the attributes of Allah not from the perspective of the actual subject of free will and choice. They all made the fundamental error of linking the texts to do with the attributes of Allah such as Iradatullah (The will of Allah), Ilmullah (The knowledge of Allah) and al Lawh al Mahfouz (The Protected Decree) which is an expression of the knowledge of Allah. So they approached the issue from a textual perspective although it is obviously a rational discussion.

By linking the texts related to the attributes of Allah one would definitely become confused on the subject as if you looked at the texts from this perspective they would look contradictory.

An example are the following texts:

In Surat Al-Tawba, He (swt) says in translation:

“Say: Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us. He is our Protector and in Allah, let the Believers place their trust.” [9:51]

“If some good befalls them, they say: This is from Allah. But if evil, they say: This is from you (O Prophet). Say: All things are from Allah. But what has come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact?” [4:78]

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).”(Ar-Ra’d:11)

Some people in history even said that discussing Al-Qadaa’ wal Qadar was absolutely impermissible because the Prophet prohibited this, and they would quote the hadith that at-Tabarani recorded which is Hasan in Sanad (narration): “If the qadar was mentioned abstain from discussion”.

In fact it is a common error of many that they link the term Qadar when mentioned in the text to the subject of al-Qada wal Qadar which is completely unrelated.

Al-Qadar as a word is Mushtarak i.e. it can have more than one meaning, as an example it can mean estimated (taqdeer), Knowledge (‘ilm), arrangement (tadbeer), the time (al-waqt), the preparation (tahi’yah) and making an attribute in the thing. Some of the different linguistic meanings of the term have been used in different text in the Quran and the Ahadith.

In many occasions the word Qadar or its derivatives have been mentioned in the text with the meaning of the Ilmullah (Knowledge of Allah).

From Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Adam argued with Mousa. Mousa said : Are you Adam, the one who brought your offspring out of Jannah? Adam said: Are you Mousa, the one whom Allah has bestowed upon you His messages and speech? Then you blame a mater which has been decreed for me (qudera ala’y) before I was born. Thus Adam convinced him”. It means that it was decreed to me by the knowledge of Allah.

Tawoos said, I heard Abdullah ibn Omar say, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Everything is with qadar, even impotence and cleverness, or the cleverness and impotence”. This means that everything is according to the knowledge (‘ilm) of Allah, which means that Allah has written that in the Protected Tablet.

The word qadar has been mentioned in the hadith of Jibreel in some narrations. He said: ‘Believe in al-qadar whether good or bad’

The Messenger of Allah (saw) also said, ” … If anything befell you don’t say: Had I did (this), it would have been such and such, but rather say: Allah estimated (qaddara) and He did what He willed.” This means that Allah recorded (Kataba) in the Protected Tablets (al-lawh al mahfoodh), i.e. He knew. All of these matters are related to the attributes of Allah, and that He knows the things before they happen, and they happen (occur) with qadar from him, i.e. with His knowledge. All of this has nothing
to do with the subject of al-qada wal qadar.

The term Qadar when used in the various texts is not used to mean what the Mutakilmeen (scholastics) differed over in reference to al-Qada wal Qadar.

The term Qada is also Mushtarak and has many meanings that have come in the text such as making a thing with precision, completing a matter, ordered, executed, etc. Again the use of the word al-Qada mentioned in the Ayat or Ahadith are not related to the discussion of al-Qada wal Qadar that the Mutakalimeen discussed.

The correct view

The basis of the discussion in al-Qada wa al-Qadar is not the action of man in terms of whether he created the action or Allah created it. Neither is it the will of Allah (SWT) in the sense that His will is conditional on the action of man so it must exist by this will. Neither is it the Knowledge of Allah in terms of Him knowing that man will do such and such action and that His Knowledge encompass that, nor that this action of man is written in the al-Lawh al-Mahfuz so he must act according to what has been written.

The basis of the discussion is definitely none of these things, because they have no relationship to the subject from the viewpoint of reward and punishment. The topic of discussion on whose basis the question of al-Qada wa al-Qadar is built is the issue of reward and punishment for an action i.e.: Is man obliged to perform an action, good or evil, or does he have a choice? And, does man have the choice to perform his action, or does he have no choice?

When we say the basis is reward and punishment, we mean this from the perspective of the origin of accountability i.e. free will. This is because without free will reward and punishment would be meaningless.

The person who scrutinises the actions of people sees that we live within two spheres: 1) one which we dominate, seen as the sphere that is present within the region of our conduct, and within which our actions happen absolutely by our choice; 2) the other sphere dominates us, we exist within its domain, and the that which occurs upon us within it happen without our choice, whether they originate from us or fall upon us.

The actions that fall within the sphere that dominates us, we have no choice in them or in their existence. They can be divided into two kinds: The first are those required by the law of the universe. The second are those actions which are not directly necessitated by the laws of the universe. We are not accounted for anything that occurs within this sphere and it is classified as fate (Qada) from Allah (swt).

The laws of the Universe being from Allah is fairly simple to grasp. However understanding how those things that fall upon us which are not necessitated by the universal law are Qada from Allah requires more thought.

The easiest examples for this are the accidental happenings such as the contracting of an illness, train accidents or tripping and spraining your ankle. However this area of the sphere which dominates us is not limited to accidents it also includes things we intend such as arriving at a destination, passing an exam or establishing the Khilafah. The key issue to grasp is that we only control our actions i.e. our limbs and not anything beyond this. When it comes to the examples that I mentioned such as reaching a destination, passing an exam or establishing the Khilafah we only control our actions and therefore make an attempt to achieve a goal, the result is definitively not in our control and involves complex interrelationships between people and matter, it includes many factors that are not in the control of people. When embarking upon a journey we may make an attempt to reach a destination but fail due to many factors such as the car breaking down or an accident on the motorway – so we do not definitively control whether we will arrive at our destination.

We attempt to re-establish the Khilafah but where and when we establish it is not in our control. Even though there were bloodless coup attempts in the past, the da’wa carriers not control the outcome.

Complex situations must be studied carefully to ascertain which aspects are actually Qada and which aspects are in peoples control, it is dangerous to generalise and label things as Qada without making this distinction. Take the example of marriage, often people label this as Qada, upon further scrutiny we would ascertain that there are elements which are in man’s control and elements outside of his control. Whether the man and the women initially meet or not is not in their control, once they have met the decision they make to agree to the marriage is their decision and is not forced upon them by Allah (swt). Even if they decide to marry whether they are able to make it to the actual wedding is not within their control.

If we do not control something then by definition it falls into the second sphere and therefore is from Allah (swt).

It is important to understand that when we say what is in man’s control and beyond man’s control we mean man as in mankind not an individual man. As something may not be in your control as an individual but is in someone else’s control and therefore cannot be Qada from Allah (swt), an example is if someone swears at you, it is in his control and so is not Qada. Rather it is an action that he will be accounted for.

If something occurs upon us which we don’t control such as winning a prize or tripping and breaking a leg we can conclude that this is from Allah (swt) but is beyond the role of our minds to understand how Allah (swt) ensured that this would happen to us. It is beyond our perception to discuss how Allah does things and ensures that certain things will occur upon us without our control.

As for the sphere that man dominates, it is the sphere in which he proceeds willingly according to the system he chooses, whether it is the divine law (shar’iyah) or any other. In this sphere, actions carried out by man or befalling him occur by his will. For example, he walks, eats, drinks and travels anytime he likes, likewise he refrains from doing any of these things when he likes; he also burns with fire and cuts with a knife when he chooses; and he satisfies the instincts of procreation and ownership and the hunger of the belly as he likes. All this he performs or abstains from willingly. Therefore, man is accounted for those deeds which occur within this sphere. Thus, he is rewarded for the action which is rewardable, and he is punished for it if it is punishable. These actions have nothing to do with al-Qada or vice versa. Because man is the one who undertook them with his own will and choice. Therefore, actions of choice do not come under the subject of al-Qada.

The issue of Qadar is to do with the attributes of things that Allah (swt) placed within the universe, man and life. In reality it is a subset of the discussion of Qada as it is related to the universal laws in the sphere which Allah dominates, however due to the controversy that existed over it during the centuries it was discussed as a topic on its own. It is clear from the observation of reality that all attributes of the universe, man and life are from Allah (swt) whether this is the weight of a stone, the sexual inclination in man or sharpness of a knife.

Although we are subject to al-Qada wal Qadar this does not mean that we become fatalistic and submit ourselves to whatever is going to happen to us as we have no knowledge of that. There is a difference between Aqeeda and Hukm Shari and in issues of action we must refer to the Shariah rules as Allah (swt) has ordered us regardless of whether we control the outcome or not.

Abu Ismael

For more in depth knowledge on the subject see the chapter about al-Qada wal Qadr in the book ‘Shaksiyyah Islamiyya’ (The Islamic Personality) Volume 1 by Sheikh Taqi ud-deen 

an-Nabhani

 

 

 

 

 
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WHY ARE YOU A MUSLIM?

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‘Why are you Muslim?’ It may sound like an obvious question, but often many of us don’t have a clear answer to it. I remember being asked this question by my elder brother when I was fourteen years of age, my initial answer was ‘Well, our family is Muslim’, his reply to this made me think, he said, ‘If your family were Hindu or Christian, would you be as well?’. I replied with a strong ‘No, Islam is the truth’, the discussion that followed made me question the basis of my life and changed my life for ever. He triggered me to think about how to prove that Islam is the truth rather than just believing it emotionally or blindly. In fact Allah (swt) has condemned people for imitating their forefathers and adopting their belief without clear evidence.

In the Holy Qur’an, He (swt) says:

“And verily guess is no substitute for the truth.” [TMQ 53:28]

“They have no (certain) knowledge. They follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not (‘Isa).” [TMQ 4:157]

“These are nothing but names which you have devised, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow nothing but conjecture and what their Nafs desire. Even though there has already come to them the Guidance from their Rabb” [TMQ 53:23]

“Do you have Ilm (knowledge) for that which you claim so that you provide us with? You follow nothing but conjecture (Zann).” [TMQ 6:148]

The followers of other religions have no decisive proof for their belief, therefore they believe in their religions emotionally or through imitation. Some of them think that you just have to have faith without clear proof. However when it comes to normal things in life people apply a lot of thought such as buying a car, house, choosing a University course or which bank to join, so how can it be that when it comes to the most important questions about life; which define the purpose of our lives that we should just have ‘faith’ without being convinced absolutely.

It is therefore vital for a Muslim to believe in the existence of Allah (swt) without any doubt whatsoever and to believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad (saw) and that the Qur’an is the final revelation sent by Allah (swt) to humanity. Islam is unlike all the other religions as it has a decisive proof that convinces the mind.

Proof of the existence of God

Let us begin by discussing the proof of the existence of Allah (swt). Although we are taught theories regarding the origin of the Universe and origin of the Man such as the big bang theory and the theory of evolution, we should realise that they contradict the clear reality which everyone can sense.

The fundamental proof that God exists is that everything that we sense around us whether it is the mountains, the trees, the sun, the moon, the stars or animals and fellow human beings are limited things and are not eternal. By limited we mean that they have restrictions, a starting point and an ending point, and they have definable attributes i.e. they are all finite. Human beings are born and die. There is no-one alive who will not die. During their life span, they will grow to a certain height, weight and volume.

It is true that there are differences between the things that exist in the Universe however all of them share the quality of being limited and finite, the earth may be huge but it still has a certain shape, weight, volume by which it is limited, this applies to all planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies. Even though a galaxy may look huge to us as the earth looks huge to us and it is not eternal. Even if all of the galaxies and elements of the Universe are added together they do not become unlimited and therefore require an origin. No scientist could ever prove using hard facts that the universe has no bounds. In fact when they say that the universe arose from the Big Bang and is expanding they inherently admit it is finite in size, otherwise it could not expand! There is nothing in reality which is unlimited. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to find anything unlimited around us. All we can perceive is finite and limited.

It is a simple principle that something cannot come from nothing, therefore, where did the Universe come from? It cannot simply exist without having any cause as this contradicts the clear reality which everyone can sense, for example, if we see a car no one would ever think that it simply exists without any manufacturer, this can be applied to anything around us. The following example demonstrates this point well.

Imam Abu Hanifa was once asked by an atheist, “Is there any proof that God exists?” he replied, “Forget it! At the moment, I am busy thinking about this ship.People tell me there is a big ship; it contains different goods on board. There is no one to steer it, no one maintaining it. Yet, this ship keeps going back and forth; it even traverses big waves on the oceans; it stops at the locations that it is supposed to stop at; it continues in the direction that it is supposed to head. This ship has no captain and no one planning its trips.” The atheist who posed the question interrupted and exclaimed, “What kind of strange and silly thought is this? How can any intelligent person think that some thing like this can occur?”

Imam Abu Hanifa said, “I feel sorry about your state! You cannot imagine one ship running without some one looking after its affairs. Yet you think that for this whole world, which runs exactly and precisely, there is no one who looks after it, and no one owns it.”

The attribute of everything around us is that they are all needy and dependent in order to continue existing. They are not self-sustaining or independent. Man has needs he has to satisfy in order to survive. He has organic needs for example he must eat and drink if he is to survive. If he does not he will die. We see the need and dependency in plants and animals. They depend on other parts of the food chain for their existence. The water cycle is dependent on the sun, which is dependent on the laws of the galaxies and of burning mass, and so on… Nothing we can perceive is self-subsistent. So things exist, but do not have the power of existence. They cannot control when they die or when other bodies die. Thus what we see is that everything around us is limited and finite. Everything that is limited and finite is dependant and everything that is dependant is dependant upon something greater than itself. Applying this to everything we see will bring us to a conclusion. If everything in the universe is dependant because it has not the power of being in existence on its own accord, and is also finite and limited, then what is everything dependant upon for its existence? It must be an unlimited and independent creator.

Today the various theories that exist about the origin of the Universe such as the ‘Big bang theory’, ‘Big bang – Big crunch theory’ or ‘dialectic materialism’ they contradict the simple fact of the need for an unlimited creator.

One example that highlights this is that of the origin of life. Living things like plants, animals and human beings are different from inanimate or dead things as they have certain features such as independent growth, motion and reproduction. If people believe that the Universe has existed forever or that it evolved from single blast etc, this means that they believe that life also evolved from inanimate or dead matter such as gases, liquids or solids. If this is the case, then they should be able to show us one example at least of non-living things producing life, no such example exists. In fact some of them say that this happened by coincidence millions of years ago when certain amino acids and chemicals mixed together to produce the first life. If this is the case, then they should be able to reproduce this ‘coincidence’ with their billions of dollars worth of technology. But they are unable even to produce the most basic life form; an amoeba, which is a single celled organism. What scientists can do is manipulate the attributes that exist within living cells such as in genetic cloning; however this does not mean that they are creating life from dead matter. They are simply manipulating the attributes that Allah (swt) has placed within life, just as we manipulate metal to produce knives and cars.

Therefore, it is a simple fact that this universe must have a creator. The question remains is this creator like the universe i.e. limited or is the creator unlimited and eternal. If the creator was limited like the universe then He would also require a creator as this is the case with every limited thing. So if the universe was caused by a big bang as they claim, what was before the big bang? If it was something else like another universe then what was before that? This chain would continue until there would be a beginning or origin, this could only be caused by something which is uncaused or eternal, which we call God or Allah (swt).

Furthermore the amazing design of every part of the universe, man and life are testament to the fact that Allah (swt) exists. Imam Shaa’fi explained this when he said, “The leaves of Toot (berries) are all but one. Each leaf tastes exactly the same. Insects, honey bees, cows, goats, and deer live off of it. After eating these the insects produce silk; bees produce honey; deer give musk (a special kind of scent), cows and goats deliver off-springs. Is this not clear evidence that one kind of leaf has so many qualities, and who created these qualities? It is the Khaliq (Creator) who we call Allah (swt)) Who is the Inventor and the Creator.”

We see that the Qur’an draws attention to everything around us and to conclude from this pondering the existence of Allah. There are hundreds of Qur’anic ayat expressing this meaning. Such as,

إنَّ فِي خَلْقِ ألسَمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ وَاخْتِلافِ ألَّيْلِ وَالنَّهــارِ لأََيــاتٍ لِأُوْلـــىالْبــَابِ

“Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alteration of night and day, these are indeed signs for men of understanding.” [TMQ Al-Imran: 190]

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Behold! herein indeed are signs for men of knowledge.” [TMQ Ar-Rum: 22]

أَفَلاَ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الإِبْلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ وَإِلَى السَّمَآءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ وَإِلَى الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ وَإِلَى الأَرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ

“Will they not look at the camels, how they are created! And the heaven, how it is raised! And the mountains, how they are set up! And the earth, how it is spread!” [TMQ Al-Ghashiya: 17-20]

فَلْيَنظُرِ الإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ خُلِقَ مِن مَّآءٍ دَافِقٍ يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَآئِبِ

“So let man reflect, from what he is created. He is created fom a gushing fluid, that is issued from between the loins and ribs.” [TMQ At-Tariq: 5-7]

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِن مَّآءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

“Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and in the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth are signs (of Allah’s sovereignty) for people who have sense.” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 164]

“Were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay they have not firm belief.” [TMQ At-Tur 35-36]

Proof of the Qur’an

Once we have concluded definitively that Allah (swt) exists the next obvious question that arises is that has Allah (swt) sent a revelation for us to follow. It is clear that we are not able to communicate with God and therefore we are unable to know what He wants us to do, how He wants us to worship Him and how we should solve the problems we face in life. All of these questions would remain unresolved unless there the creator has communicated with us and given us a guidance to follow.

As Muslims we believe that throughout history, there have been messengers and prophets, men sent from the Creator, bringing laws or revelation on how man should conduct his life. They were given miracles which proved to mankind that they had a communication with God and a revelation from Him. A miracle is something which goes against the laws of nature which is impossible for anyone else to do; by miracles the Prophet’s were able to prove their direct relationship with God. For example prophet Musa (as) had a stick which parted the Red Sea, Prophet Isa (as) had the ability to cure the sick by just touching them.

But how do we know if these messengers existed? The miracles performed by the above prophets were only miracles for that specific period of time. But how do we know that they were not just legends or fables? So what miracle do we have right now to convince us and guide us through our lives?

The Qur’an itself is the main miracle that the Prophet (saw) brought which is different to the physical miracles of the other Prophet’s as they were limited to their times only. The Qur’an is an intellectual miracle that proves Islam. It was revealed to Muhammad (saw) in the 6th Century, it exists today and has been revealed for all times.

It is an established fact that the Qur’an was proclaimed by Muhammad (saw) in Arabia over fourteen hundred years ago. In order for us to prove decisively that it is from Allah (swt), we must first consider the possible sources of the Qur’an and then eliminate these to arrive at its true origin.

The only possible sources for the Qur’an are:

a) The Arabs
b) Muhammad (saw) himself
c) Allah (swt)

At the time it was revealed, the pagan Arabs were deeply into poetry. It was an indication of nobility in society. People used to go to the desert for days just to write poetry. The Arabic language has great fluidity and depth of expression, so it was held high in esteem by the Arabs. Allah (swt) in the Qur’an challenged the Arabs to produce something comparable to it in language and they failed to do so.

Initially Allah (swt) challenged them to produce ten chapters (surah’s) similar to it:

“They may say: He forged it (the Qur’an). Say: “Bring you then ten forged surah (chapters) like unto it, and call whomsoever you can, other than Allah (to your help), if you speak the truth!” [TMQ 11:13]

They failed to do so. Allah (swt) then reduced the challenge to something that at first glance may sound easy, He (swt) said:

“If you are in doubt of what we have revealed to our messenger, then produce one chapter like it. Call upon all your helpers, besides Allah, if you are truthful” [TMQ 2:23]

The smallest chapter in the Qur’an, Surah al-Kauthar is only three sentences long, surely someone in history must have matched this challenge? The Arabs at the time of Muhammad (saw) failed to do so, although they were the best in the Arabic language. Furthermore no piece of Arabic literature before them or after them until today has even come close to matching the language of the Qur’an.

For non-Arabs sometimes this may be difficult to perceive as they do not appreciate the language of the Qur’an directly. However, everyone can agree that any piece of literature written by human beings can be matched; people can copy its style and produce something comparable to it in quality. If we look at great English authors like Shakespear no one would claim that they were Prophet’s and that their works are miraculous in nature. Even though they may have been geniuses in language, people can easily write something similar in excellence to three sentences from their books. Despite having the Arabic language, its letters, grammar, syntax and dictionaries available today, the Arabic linguists cannot construct any piece of language that is comparable to the Qur’an. Therefore, it is impossible that the Qur’an was written by any of the Arabs.

It is also inconceivable that the Qur’an is the speech of Muhammad (saw). After all he was one of the Arabs. Also, whatever level of genius people may assign to him, he was still a human being and one of his tribe and nation. Since the Arabs failed to bring the like of the Qur’an, this equally applies to Muhammad (saw). Moreover, Muhammad (saw) has left saheeh ahaadeeth (sound narrations) and mutawaatir ahaadeeth (definitive narrations) whose authenticity is beyond doubt. If any of these ahaadeeth were to be compared with any verse of the Qur’an, there would be no similarity between them in style. He (saw) used to utter the revealed verse and say the hadeeth at the same time and yet there is a difference between them in style. Whenever any man attempts to diversify his speech, it will remain similar in style, because it is a part of him. Since there is no similarity between the hadeeth and the verse in style, the Qur’an is absolutely not Muhammad’s speech. It is important to point out that none of the Arabs, who despised Muhammad (saw), particularly at that time, were the most acquainted with the styles of Arabic speech yet never claimed that the Qur’an was Muhammad’s (saw) speech, or even similar to his speech.

Since it is proved that the Qur’an is neither the speech of the Arabs nor the speech of Muhammad (saw), it is definitely the speech of Allah as this is the only rational possibility we are left with.

The Qur’anic challenge is unique because the Creator, Allah (swt), pushes man to use his ability to undermine the authenticity of the Qur’an. It is such a profound yet simple challenge. Imagine throughout the history of Islam, all her enemies needed to defeat this challenge to destroy the whole basis of Islam. Yet not one, non-Muslim Arab or non-Arab has been able to do this even though all the tools of the Arabic language are at their disposal. The Western government’s hatred of Islam is well known. All they have to do in order to defeat Islam and to make over one billion Muslims apostatise from it, is not to spend billions of dollars in invading Afghanistan, Iraq and launching a mythical ‘war on terror’. They simply have to produce one chapter similar to the Qur’an.

To this day Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have not been able to find any contradiction or mistake in the Qur’an. Moreover, if one was to compare word by word a copy of the Qur’an published today to one of the first copies of the Qur’an available then one would find that not a single word has been omitted or added. Copies of the Qur’an dating back to the first century of Islam can be found in Istanbul and Tashkent. Allah (swt) says:

“Do they not ponder about the Qur’an? If it had come from other than God they would surely have found therein much contradictions.” [T.M.Q 4:82]

There are many texts available today claiming divine status from God, like the Bible of the Christians and the Torah of the Jews etc. However, they have no proof that they have been revealed by God, if they are not miraculous in nature then there is no reason to believe in them.

As Muslims we believe that Allah (swt) revealed different books through history such as the original Injeel (Bible) and Torah, Allah (swt) informed us of this in the Qur’an this is why we believe these. However, we have also been informed that these books have been altered and therefore the versions that exist today are not that which was revealed by Allah (swt). Besides this, the Qur’an is the final revelation from Allah (swt) which abrogates all others.

Allah (swt) says, “Say ye: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord: we make no difference between one and another of them: and we bow to Allah (in Islam).” [TMQ Al-Baqarah:136]

Once we have established through rational proof that Allah (Swt) exists and that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah, we must believe in everything that the Qur’an informs us of and commands us with, whether we can perceive them or not. Therefore, we must have Iman (belief) in the Day of Resurrection, in paradise (jannah) and hell, in reckoning and punishment, in angels, in jinn, in Shayaateen and all others that the Qur’an or hadeeth mutawaatir (definitive narrations) have mentioned. To believe in these things is therefore not irrational just because we cannot see them or sense them physically as we have conclusively proved the Qur’an being from Allah (swt) which informs us about all of these.


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ آمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيداً

“O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger, and the Book which He sent to His Messenger and the Book which He sent to those before (him). Any who denies Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgement, has gone far, far astray.” [An-Nisa: 136]

Once the Iman in Allah, His Messenger and the Qur’an has been proven, every Muslim is obliged to believe in the Islamic Shari’ah as a whole. We cannot pick and choose as we like. As the Shariah was revealed in the glorious Qur’an, and the Messenger (saw) conveyed it. If someone disbelieves in this he would be a (disbeliever) Kafir. Therefore, it is disbelief (Kufr) to deny the shariah rules as a whole, or any definite detailed rule amongst them. This is the case whether these ahkam (rules) are connected with worships (ibadaat), transactions (mu’amalaat), punishments (uqoobat), food, etc. So the rejection of the verse:

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ

“So establish regular prayer” [Al-Baqarah: 43]

Is the same as rejecting the following verses:

وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا

“But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury,” [Al-Baqarah: 275]

وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُواْ أَيْدِيَهُمَا

“As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands,” [Al-Ma’idah: 38]

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ

“Forbidden to you (for food) are dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of any other than Allah.” [Al-Ma’idah: 3]

We must completely surrender to all the rules revealed by Allah (swt) whether we see rational reasons for them or not.

فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no (real) faith, until they make you judge in all the disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest submission.” [An-Nisa: 65]

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Adam Smith’s praise of the Caliphate

Adam Smith's praise of the Caliphate

Adam Smith, the 18th Century founder of modern economics whose picture is printed on the current UK £20 note, was exceedingly inspired by the Islamic method of governing. He proclaimed that:

“…the empire of the Caliphs seems to have been the first state under which the world enjoyed that degree of tranquility which the cultivation of the sciences requires. It was under the protection of those generous and magnificent princes, that the ancient philosophy and astronomy of the Greeks were restored and established in the East; that tranquility, which their mild, just and religious government diffused over their vast empire, revived the curiosity of mankind, to inquire into the connecting principles of nature.” *

* Adam Smith, ‘History of Astronomy’, The Essays of Adam Smith (London, 1869), p. 353

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The EU model v/s the Islamic Caliphate

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The birth of the Eurozone was hailed as a successful model of unity. It sought to accumulate Europe’s economic and political power, into one block. With years of meticulous work, the formation of this block, came with a multitude of advantages for businesses and investors, promising to promote both trade and travel, through some uniformity of laws and ease of mobility throughout the zone; and this economic unity, also invariably implied ‘aggregated’ political power in decision making in world events.

 

In the Muslim world, the debate on the role and importance of unity now had an additional reference points, i.e. the EU. The ‘Organization of Islamic Conference’ known as the OIC had primarily been the focal point for discussions on unity of Muslim nation states. The OIC has for years, served as a vent for the political opinions of the Muslim Nations. The platform provides a means for Muslim-majority nations to come together, and discuss various issues, ranging from politics to trade and commerce. It also over the years passed several resolutions voicing the opinion of the Muslim nations. However, the OIC, despite expressing the desire for greater unity, had made little progress in articulating a roadmap to achieve it. The formation of EU and its adoption of single currency have been looked up at, by various academics and opinion-makers in the Muslim world, who have sighted it as an example for the Muslims to replicate.

The EU today is a union of independent Nation-states, which all embrace a common model of governance i.e. Democracy and are essentially capitalist states. On the other hand, the Muslim world has a range of governance types, from dictatorships -with either ruling Monarchs or Generals- to democracies. While the governance Model in the EU, i.e. Democracies enjoy indigenous support and greater stability, the regimes in the Muslim world, remain gripped in political instabilities in various degrees.

Today, as the Muslim world yearns, for unity, it is imperative, to critically evaluate any models of unity which may be presented to her as adoptable alternatives. At present, primarily two specific models of unity are often discussed, one if the EU and the other is that of an Islamic State, i.e. Caliphate.

The EU is primarily a voluntary union of sovereign states, in wich member states have democracies, where elections can affect the political decisions made by the state. These decisions may be made independent of the benefits or effects on other member states. Hence the union in essence, is for a ‘win-win’ situation, where common interests are what bind the member states. Contrary to this the Islamic State’s model of unity, is centralized. It’s neither a union nor a federation. Member ‘states’ (lands) effectively merge within the Islamic State, and are hence designated as ‘Wilaya’ (Province). A Wilaya, cannot opt to disembark from the central state, and hence, this ensures that pursuit of local interests cannot dent the overall interests of the State.

Currency is another key factor in any model of unity. The common currency, Euro, adopted by member states, is used in parallel to the local currencies. While this comes with advantages, it also creates complexities. The Islamic State, has singular currency, backed by gold (& silver), and hence, its value is not susceptible, unlike FIAT currency. The singular currency ensures that wealth throughout the state has an even representation, and is not subject to any internal imbalances.

In the EU model, which is based on a union of democracies, the adherence to rules of the union can be terminated, if the citizens of any state, no longer accept to abide by them. In an Islamic state, the ‘Wilaya’ (Provinces) do not have their independent status, and therefore, adherence to rules is mandatory.

In Today’s world, with global trade and commerce, often the economies of countries are interconnected. This inter-connection is fortified, when countries assist each other through loans, bail-out packages, and investments etc. For example, the current problems in Europe can have an effect on the US, and it is for this reason, that Presidential candidates in this election year are eager to resolve the crises. In the recent G8 summit, in a bilateral talk between Obama, and David Cameron, the UK Prime Minster, stated that he detected a “growing sense of urgency that action needs to be taken” on the Eurozone crisis. In contrast, the Islamic State, will seek to have a robust economy that is least dependent on other major economies. It will not engage in interest-based loans with other countries; It will avoid any investment venture in stocks of other economies, and will not lend assistance – e.g. in the form of bailouts – to other economies, based on capitalist principles.

In the union, sovereign states pursue their own interests along with the mutual interests. However, interests of one Member State may eclipse that of another. For example Germany, which has Europe’s relatively larger economy, imposed tight austerity, measures as criteria for International loans, to relatively small economies in the zone, such as Greece. According to critics, these policies resulted in fueling unemployment in Greece, and pushing it to near bankruptcy, and in Italy and Spain, it had added to the already existing crises. An Islamic state, on the other hand, is not prone to such skewed and biased policies. The accumulated wealth of the state, is put to effective use, and shared on need basis. A wealthier ‘Wilaya’ cannot impose its policies on poor or less wealthy ‘Wilaya’ by influencing the center. This ensures that generally and in particular at times of crises, the single unit state, acts as ‘one for all and all for one’.

In a union, there is a possibility, that the people may vote a new government, which representing its electoral vote bank, chooses to ignore the promises made by previous governments. In such a scenario, the center, cannot force it, to abide by the promise of previous government. For e.g. in Spain, the new government, led by Prime Minster, Mariano Rajoy, stated its government did not feel bound by the ‘adjustment programme’ which were agreed by the previous administration. This stance was rebuked. However, in essence, it carried weight; and the ‘Adjustment Programme’ for Spain, was being considered to be made more lenient. A Caliphate structurally is not prone to such weakness, because the Caliph, has the legal authority to ensure, merger states, comply by the rules agreed upon.

The EU, is technically designed on the assumption that a member state will not consider departure from the union, because the cost of it will be high, as compared to the benefits of staying with the Union. However, recent events, especially in the case of Greece, indicate that this assumption may not perpetually hold valid. An overburdened state, unable to meet its obligations to the union may consider an exit as advantageous. In an Islamic State, the burden (needs of citizens) is shared horizontally amongst the merger states.

Daniel Gros, Director of Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies, recently wrote on the crises facing EU that “Financial markets have reacted as strongly as they have because investors recognize that the “sovereign” in sovereign debt is an electorate that can simply decide not to pay.”. On the contrary, Islam’s model of unity, i.e. the Caliphate, embodies a political and economic system, that provide a stable environment for investors.

In a recent Editorial on ’21st May 2012′, M. A. Niazi (Editor, The Nation newspaper), had made a valid point, by stating that “there does not seem any intrinsic reason why a Caliphate cannot be established. It’s not as if Indonesians have horns on their heads, or Algerians breathe nitrogen instead of oxygen. We’ve had experience of living in a federation with other nationalities, so why can’t we have a Caliphate”.

Today, while there is a huge potential, for economic growth, and political power, much of the Muslim world, remains mired in a plethora of problems. Discussions on need for greater cooperation are often restricted within the apparatus of OIC or other groupings, which so far have failed to effectively deliver. As the debate for greater unity gains momentum, it is imperative for the intellectuals, opinion-makers and key power holders to approach this topic with sincerity, and critically evaluate all models of unity which are presented to it.

References:

[1] EU -http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/06/201263112548566574.html

[2] G8 – http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2012/05/2012519173652632938.html

[3] Editorial – http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/lahore/21-May-2012/defining-a-terrorist

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