View Full Version : Discuss the concept of state in Islam Punjab University LLB Part 1

12-06-2011, 08:14 PM
Concept of state
Q. Discuss the concept of state in Islam.
(1995, 1998, 1999, 2005/S, 2006/S)
1. Introduction
The conception of a state in Islam is that of a commonwealth of all the Muslims living as one community under the guidance and direction of a supreme executive head. Islamic state is a state in which every Muslim has a right to serve his life according to the principles of Quran and Sunnah.

Object of an Islamic state

The object of an Islamic state is to establish the system of prayers and Zakat and to patronize whatever God and his Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) regarded as virtuous and to forbid whatever they regard as evil.
“If we great them authority in this land will establish regular prayers and pay Zakat and enjoin what is virtuous and forbid what is evil.”( Surah Al Haj: 4)

Nature of Islamic political system

Islam is a complete code of life. It does not believe in the separation of religion form political science. Islam takes an integrative view of human life which it declares to be a preparation for the life hereafter the life in this world is meant for preparing for the eternal life of the next world, which is ever lasting. The concept of Islamic state should be understood on this very principle of Islam.
(I) Sovereignty of Allah
Sovereignty of Allah is the fundamental principle of the Islamic concept of state. In Islam, sovereignty does and can belong to Allah and no one can claim to be sovereign. He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnicompetent and omnipresent. The principle of Allah’s sovereignty doest not recognize the possibility of dictatorship absolute monarchy or autocracy in an Islamic state.
“To Allah belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth.” (42: 48)
“It is He who gives life and death He has power over all things.” (42: 48)
“He is the first and last, the Evident and the Immanent.”
(II) Khilafat
The Holy Quran proclaims the vicegerency of man. The institution of Khilafat came into being after the demise of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him). Under the sovereignty of Allah and the authority of his law, the caliph is the temporal ruler of the state and the defender of the faith. Quran says:
“And when the lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a khalifi (vicegerent) in the earth.” (2: 30)
“Lo! The earth is Allah’s. He gives it for an inheritance to whom He will and lo! The sequel is for those who keep their duty, (unto Him).” (7: 128)
(III) Government by consultation
Mutual consultation among the Muslims is a commandment of the Holy Quran and an injunction of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him).
Quran says:
“The afiairs of state are run by their mutual consultation.” (Surah-Ash-Shura)
The institution of Maijis-e-Shoora was developed by the Khulfa-e-Rashideen after wards.
(IV) Obedience of the ruler
The Quranic injunction calls upon the Muslims to obey the supreme commander among them.
(V) Participation of public in state affairs
Muslims shall be consulted in the affairs of state through their leaders in whom they profess confidence.
(VI) Equality of all mankind
In Islam, is no distinction or discrimination of man and man on the ground of race, colour, language, profession or country. All persons are equal in Islamic state.
(VII) Aml Al Maruf wall Nahi An-Al-Munkar (order good and punish wrong)
Islam enjoins the state to maintain morality. It asks the Muslims and the ruler to order good and punish wrong.
(VIII) Collection of Zakat
Collection of Zakat is one of the essential functions of the Islamic state and a primary duty or the Muslims.

Concept of state and Khilafat

Most of the jurists and philosophers upheld the idea of a single state known as the Khilafah under the leadership of Khalifah. The Islamic state existed under a single Khalifah for a long time. Later in some areas sultans or amirs started assuming power in different regions within the caliphate, and more than one Muslim state had come into existence now question is what is the status of those states in relation with Khilafat.
(I) View of Al-Mawardi
Most Mawardi defines caliphate are the institution replacing property in the defence of the faith and the administration of the world. It is demanded by the Shariah, not by reason.”
(II) View of Al-Ghazali
The view of Al-Ghazali is, while the practical affairs of the state are to be left to the sultan or Amir Khalifah should devote himself to religious and spiritual functions.
(III) View of Ibn-Taymiyah
He declared that period of the Prophet could not be described as anything but nubuwwah. The Prophet’s authority arose from his functions as a prophet and not the head of the state. Then he proceeded to separate the period of the first four caliphs from that of the umayyads, calling the former as Khilafat al Nabuwwah and the latter as Mulk. The Khilafat-al-Nabuwwah being inspired could not be passed on in succession or even imitated. The only thing that could be passed on was the principle of the supremacy of the Shariah. By doing this he provides that legal foundation for a multiplicity of states.

Classification of states by Ibn-Khaldun

Ibn Khaldun distinguishes four kinds of states as they had developed I the history of Islam.
(I) Khilafat
It was the ideal Islamic state established by the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) under Divine guidance of the Quran and maintained by the four Khulfa-e-Rashideen.
(II) Mulk under shariah
When the influence of the religion declined among the people the ideal state of khilafal was replaced by shariah. Although the outward form was Khilafat was preserved, but its inward from was changed though it was not so good as the ideal Islamic state, nevertheless, it was the second best, because it was still governed by the divinely promulgated shariah.
(III) Mulk under Sayasa Aqlia
The last state was the mulk or absolute monarchy under its rational regime, (siyasa aqlia) and political laws (qawanin siyasa) under it, shariah was merely a routine matter of religious injunction rites and rituals. The authority of the ulema to interpret it had ceased or rather it was confined to the duties of the judge or qazi the fatwas of the mufti, who were under the political of the ruler.
(IV) Siyasa madaniny
It was hypothetical state and never existed in actual life and history.

Duties of state

Following are the duties of Muslim state:
(i) Each Muslim community must establish din in accordance with the first purpose of the law.
(ii) A state must ensure the safety and welfare of all human beings under its governance.
(iii) The state must establish conditions for a sound family system in accordance with shariah.
(iv) The state must provide conditions for the growth of healthy minds e. g. by providing freedom of expression etc.
(v) The state must ensure the economic well being of the community as a whole.

Distinguish between Islamic state & western concept of state

I. As to sovereignty
(i) In Islamic state sovereignty belong to God.
(ii) In western concept of state sovereignty belong to the people.
II. As to making authority
(i) In Islamic state law making authority is only God.
(ii) In western concept of state law making authority are people.
III. As to religion
(i) In Islamic concept of state religion has important role and state religion in Islam.
(ii) In west the state may not have religion.
IV. As to legislation
(i) In Islamic state law making authority i. e. legislation is Majis-Shura. The law making powers of Majlis-Shura are limited.
(ii) In western concept of state the legislature is called parliament. It has unlimited powers of law making.


To conclude, I can say, that Islam takes a comprehensive view of life and covers all its aspects and phases. The basic aim of Islamic state is that man should devote his entire life to the causes of Allah. In Islamic state, political and religion go together which is different from western concept of state which is secular, national and legal.