Occasional Paper No: 3
From the State of the Khilafah to the Nation State:
“The Transformation of Islamic legal politics”
Scholars are invited to contribute to this debate. if you have your manuscripts and unpublished matter on this subject, you are encouraged to submit to IRD for publication.
Many Islamist movements in the twentieth century have been calling for the establishment of a global caliphate under the rule of one caliph. These pan-Islamist movements are found in many parts of the world. They, however differ on how to achieve this goal. The advocates of establishing one caliphate or a super state believe that as a consequence of achieving this noble goal relations between the Non-Muslims and Muslims states cannot be peaceful; that Muslims are under an obligation to overwhelm the non-Muslims to establish the ideal super state and impose Shariah on non-Muslims; and that the cause of war in Islam is the elimination of infidelity or the subjugation of all non-Muslims. Other advocates of this idea are of the opinion that we have to work for a revolution based on the Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) time in Makkah and once we get the strength we have to declare a war on all non-Muslims who are against the establishments of ‘one caliph’s rule’.
As a matter of fact the mainstream religious scholarship prefers an ideal of peaceful relations with non-Muslims and unity among Muslims. They are cognizant of the practical and political reality that has existed throughout the Islamic political history, that we have always had different states and empires. The realist school of thought always recognized differences and difficulties in establishing the “one caliph’s rule” in the world. The idealist school has goals that are not practicable in a world which comprises of more sovereign Muslim states than one.