Changes Through The Way Of The Ummah (Ďan Thariq Al-Ummah) Does Not Mean Through The People Power or People's Revolution

15 March 2011

By Al-Ikhwah Al-Mujhaidun

In these recent weeks, we are still heated by the news related to the revolutions that occurred in some parts of the the Muslim countries in the Arab lands, such as that happened in Tunisia and Egypt, where the people succeeded in overthrowing President Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak who had been in power for more than 23 years and 30 years respectively. These revolutions turned out to be an inspiration for some other Muslim countries especially in the Arab lands, for them to perform the same action i.e. to take to the streets demanding the rulers to step down from the throne of their power. In Indonesia, the same thing has ever happened i.e. in 1998 where the people and students succeeded in overthrowing the Suharto regime which had been in power for 32 years.

If we look at the reality of the changes that happened above, we can simply conclude that apparently the power to make the change could come from outside the parliament, and do not always come from within the parliament. And at least, history has never recorded any change that could be done by way of parliament, although it can be done. The changes in question here is the change from the kufr system to Islamic system, or in other words from the Kufr State (Darul Kufr) to become an Islamic State (Darul Islam).

From the above brief description, we can also conclude that apparently it is through the people or ummah that changes can be realized, namely when the ummah become more and more aware and when they understand better how untrustworthiness their leaders are. That awareness makes the ummah demand and call for the rulers who are in power to step down from the reins of power. But it is quite unfortunate, the ummah who already understand and are aware of the untrustworthiness of those rulers, are not balanced with the correct understanding of how damaging the applied system is. The ummah are only seeing those personages who led them, but they still do not understand that the problem is not just who is leading them but also what system is used to lead them.

However, by looking at the reality of the changes mentioned above, i.e. through the implementation of a People's Revolution, it does not mean that it is allowed by shara'. So the question is, how is the ruling of shara' related to the changes by means of the People's Revolution, although it is also through the way of the ummah (Ďan thariq al-ummah)?

It was mentioned that the changes that we mean are the changes in the perception of Islam, i.e. from the kufr system to Islamic system, or the changes from the kufr State to the Islamic State. Therefore, the changes made should be resembling what Rasulullah SAW had done when he succeeded in establishing the Daulah (Sovereignty) of Islam in Madinah. But in this case, we will not discuss in depth the subject about the marhalah (implementation) of the da'wah of Rasulullah, because what we're looking at here is the issue of changes through the way of the ummah, is it just the People Power or is there any other means?

Changes Through The Way Of The Ummah

1. People Power

The People Power is the strength of the people; usually used to make changes by toppling the existing regime and then replacing it with a new regime. These changes through the power of the people can be used for the purpose of reform, as well as revolution, whether it be for changing some parts of the existing system or replacing the whole of the existing system with a totally different system. This is as we can see from what have happened, be it in Tunisia, Egypt or Indonesia.

However, it is very ironic when we look at how those changes came about. Isn't it the purpose of changes to go towards something that is better? But the fact is, the People Power or People's Revolution often causes tremendous chaos, among others are at the expense of public properties such as road signs which got vandalized, looting, destruction of other public facilities, as well as the impacted welfare of the people. In fact, we even see the large numbers of victims, either killed or injured. As this condition goes on, the aim to achieve a better life is a far cry from reality. Moreover, this way can also trigger a horizontal conflict which will result in the split amongst the ummah. The question is, is it possible to build a solid state and government that can ensure the operation of the entire system if the ummah or citizens are divided? It is obviously impossible.

Besides that, the method of change such as this is clearly contrary to the ruling of shara', both in terms of the activities which are destructive to public properties and the method of change itself which had never been exemplified by Rasulullah SAW, although in reality it is through the wishes of the ummah in general.

2. Developing The Awareness Of The People

The second alternative is by way of extensively developing the awareness of the ummah about importance of change, which is not only limited to the change in the regimes but also the system. The ummah must be groomed to believe and accept the Islamic system, whether it be the system of governance, economics, social, education, legal sanctions, as well as its foreign policy. Because, the strength of the state and government in the view of Islam lies in the ummah. Because, the fact is that the state is a technical entity that implements the entire conception (mafahim), standardization (maqayis) and conviction (qana'ah) accepted by the ummah. Due to that, the acceptance of the ummah on those Islamic conception, standardization and conviction become the basic pillars for the establishment of the Islamic system. And same goes vice versa.

Therefore, it is important for a tasqif to be performed on the ummah, be it tasqif murakazah (intensive development) or tasqif jama'iy (the development of the ummah in general). The ummah should be made to understand about the the perfection of Islam as a religion, and at the same time as an ideology that gives birth to a system, namely the Islamic system. So it will make the ummah understand and realize and with it the ummah will naturally want a change, both on the untrustworthy leaderships and the applied system.

Because, the problem is not just who is leading, but also what system is used to lead. Put a trustworthy person to lead, one with good akhlaq, but if the system used is not the Islamic system, then it can be argued that he is a righteous leader but one who is being in the wrong place.

The Process of Change

After the ummah have been made to understand and realize about the perfection of Islam, both as a religion and ideology, then the activities used to actualize the next changes are the activities of thalab an-nusrah or demanding of power. This was what Rasulullah SAW had done, since he was doing the da'wah in Makkah to the time when he successfully established the daulah of Islam in Madinah.

The method which has been outlined by Rasulullah SAW, the way used by Rasulullah SAW in making changes, which includes in it the establishment of an Islamic government, was through the thalab an-nusrah; namely by seeking help from anyone who did have the power and was able to aid his da'wah.

Since the party that had the power at that time were the chieftains of the various clans and tribes, so it was from them that Rasulullah SAW really tried to get help. Rasulullah had approached the Bani Tsaqif in Taif, Bani Hanifah, Bani Kalb, Bani Amir bin Sa'sa'ah and a number of other tribes. But it turned out that they all refused. There were those who refused harshly, in fact even inhumanely, such as what he suffered in Taif, there were also those who refused unconditionally, such as what he received when he expressed his wishes to the Bani Hanifah, or he was rejected because he did not want to grant the preconditions set by them, such as what he experienced with the Bani Amir bin Sa'sa'ah.

In the current context, the thalab an-nusrah can be made to the heads of state, the chieftains of the clans and tribes such as the chieftains in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the police, military or anyone who has the power and influence in the community. But first, they must believe in the Islamic system and acknowledge its truth. As the Prophet did and asked from the chieftains of every kabilah, or to the rulers of the Arab countries at that time. He also asked them to acknowledge him and provide him protection.

With that, what is meant by Ďan thariq al-ummah (through the way of the ummah) is not the People Power or the People's Revolution, except hard and systematic efforts to build a system based on the strength of the ummah, through their conviction, support and implementation of that system. As for the process of change, from the kufr system to the Islamic system, it is only done through the thalab an-nusrah, no other way. Wallahu A'lam. []

Original Author: Adi Victoria


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