If Islam Were To Be Established in Iraq

Gradual Implementation

The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (S), implemented Islam in a gradual way even though Islamic Jurisprudence was complete. The noble Qur'an, in its entirety was first revealed to the Messenger of Allah on a single occasion and later verse-after-verse in accordance with the events of the day.

But if it was possible (for us) to implement Islam 'in one go', we should do so, and we may not resort to the gradual implementation carried out at the time of the Messenger of Allah (S). The revelation was complete before the death of the Messenger of Allah, (S), as Allah the Almighty states:

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.13 But I am of the opinion that the implementation must be gradual if an Islamic government were to be established in any country, since it would be impossible to do so otherwise given current circumstances. It is therefore imperative to adopt a policy of gradual implementation where possible so that it does not bring about disorder in society, which could inadvertently result in destruction, harm and other difficulties. In any case, the possibility of implementation (of any aspect of Islam) must be studied on the basis of the principle of "priorities".

It is therefore incumbent upon the newly established Islamic government to create different committees consisting of Muslim jurists and experts of various fields to define the priorities in the process of implementation. This is to avoid any disturbance in the economy, politics, society, management and any other unwelcome outcome. The holy Qur'an, The Table Spread [^4]: 3.

For example, if it was decided to change the usury-based banking system to a system based on the Mudahrabah14 system, and the government announced the annulment of all kinds of interest at once - say in a week - one of two consequences could follow: Either the government would ban people from withdrawing their assets from banks in which case it will result in chaos and disorder and ultimately, the downfall of the government. Such action is, of course, contrary to the principle "People have dominion over their wealth".15

Or the government would not ban the people from withdrawing their assets, in which case it would result in all the wealth and assets being drained from the country's banks. This in turn would result in the collapse of the banking system and high inflation that would seriously harm the poor, the various ongoing projects and people's income. All of this would reflect upon the stature of the new Islamic government, and people would begin wondering whether the previous regime was a better one. This distorts the reputation of Islam in the eye of the people and leads them to think that the western model is superior to that proposed by Islam. Similar considerations must be taken into account for other laws of the country.

Therefore it is important that gradual implementation (of Islamic laws) is carried out according to detailed studies of the various committees, which consist of Muslim jurists and experts of respective fields in co-operation with different organisations.

Mudahrabah is referred to a business investment program where one party provides the capital and the other the business expertise. The parties share the profits and losses of the initiative as defined by the Mudahrabah regulations. M. Shirazi, "Islamic Queries", pages 518-519, cases 2283- 2289. 15The Messenger of Allah has stated this principle.

Dynamic Laws

All the laws of Islam are vigorous and spirited because they are legislation from a Powerful, Merciful and Wise deity who is Encompassing and Conversant with all aspects (of mankind) - personal, social, mental and physical, present and future characteristics . . . Allah the Almighty states: "O you who believe! Give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah comes in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom you shall (all) be gathered."16 However, some of Islam's laws appear more vigorous than others, for example:

A. The law of "Bayt_el_Maal"17 B. The law of "The dominion of people over their wealth and selves" C. The law of "Whoever precedes others to something not claimed by another Muslim, has more right to it."18 D. The law of "The land belongs to Allah and to whoever develops it."19

It is important for the young Islamic government to pay great attention and devotion to these laws and plan to earnestly and realistically implement these laws.

The holy Qur'an: Public Estate [^8]: 24. This may be referred to as the Central Bank or the Treasury. 18To use an analogy this is similar to say 'first come first serve' basis. 19These principles, in parts B, C, D have been stated by the Messenger of Allah (S).

A. The law of "Bayt_el_Maal" meets the needs of the poor such that the nation will be content with this policy since the surplus (of wealth) is distributed amongst the entire nation.

B. The law of "The dominion of people over their wealth and selves" gives people vast freedoms, which would satisfy various groups of society and facilitates opportunities to exercise their rights and activities.

Naturally a human being does not agree to the dominion of others over himself and their intervention into his affairs. If he realises that the government provides the opportunity to freely conduct his affairs - except for the forbidden ones - then he would be satisfied with the regime and would co-operate with it and its rule. This is why we see stability, continuation and prosperity of democratic governments whereas dictatorial governments fall quickly because they create poor and abject nation that cannot find a way to fulfil its needs.

C. The law of " Precedence" gives people the opportunity to use all of the earth's resources within the framework of "for you"20

D. The law of "The land belongs to Allah and to whoever develops it" in association with above law does not leave anyone able to work with any need.

With the inclusion of the law of Bayt_el_Maal to this, there will be no individual unable to work with a need. The west has implemented some of these laws and has consequently made significant progress, whereas Muslims abandoned these laws and the result was their painful decline and downfall, which is unprecedented in Islamic history. Imam Ali (A) (addressing the Muslims) said:

"By Allah! By Allah! Let not others precede you in practicing the teachings of the Qur'an." Therefore it is imperative for the newly established Islamic government to abide earnestly to these and similar laws, which would "It is He Who has created for you all things that are on earth..." - The holy Qur'an: The Heifer [^2]: 29.

please Allah and the Ommah (Islamic community) because such measures lead to prosperity and perfection. It is also important to revive the principle of 'Muslim Brotherhood' that allows every Muslim (from any country) to engage in all activities in the Islamic State which the Muslims of the country concerned can participate in, such as land ownership, marriage, business, "precedence" to the permissible21, etc. For example, if an Islamic government were to be established in Iraq, and since Iraq is an important centre for Islamic universities and contains many holy shrines in its cities, anyone who wanted to visit the holy shrines or to study must be allowed to travel to and stay in Iraq, similar to the way it used to be since the beginning of Islam. A visitor and a student should have total freedom to do what they wish within the Islamic and humanitarian framework.

The permissible is anything that is not forbidden or restricted in Islam. In Islam there are some restrictions on some aspects and beyond that, anything, which is not prohibited or restricted, is referred to as permissible.

The Penal System

Order and security are not established unless the guilty are chastised. Under Islamic jurisdiction the prescribed punishment are grouped in two categories:

For transgressing the right of Allah, e.g. consumption of alcohol or committing adultery. For transgressing the right of an individual such as murder or defamation. Under Islamic jurisdiction, both kinds of punishments have been prescribed, as mentioned in the book of "The predefined-penalties and punishment".22 Although the Council of Jurists must be referred to and consulted with, but in my view if an Islamic government is established, all punishments in the above two categories must be deferred to disciplinary (measures) for five years, say.

This deferment could be in the form of disciplinary detention or something similar so as to serve as a deterrent - as deemed by the Council of Jurists as well as the experts in the field - who would determine the form and length of detention. This is to give the government a chance to establish itself and take control so as to allow Islam to be implemented from the points of view of aspects such as economy, society, politics, all of which are related to punishment. Here a number of issues are taken into consideration:

The Messenger of Allah, (S), did not implement the penal system until after implementing Islamic rule in the holy city of Medina and he, (S), is an example23 (to us). The Messenger of

M. Shirazi, al-Fiqh series, vols. 87-88. "You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)" - The holy Qur'an: The Confederates [^33]: 21. 20 Allah (S) implemented the laws as a complete and indivisible system.

  1. Allah the Almighty states in the noble Qur'an: "Do no mischief on the earth, after it has been reformed."24 Therefore, before the complete and total implementation of Islam, there can be no reform!

The principle of "Priorities", which is a principle based on reason and rationale and is referred to in the noble Qur'an:

"And were it not that mankind might become of one (evil) way of life, We would provide, for everyone that blasphemes against the Most Gracious (Allah), silver roofs for their houses, and (silver) stair-ways on which to go up, . . ."25 (When one wishes to implement a law or a principle but is confronted with another issue which causes conflict, then, given the priorities of the circumstances one may have to revise the plan or even decide to abandon the plan altogether in order to prevent greater difficulties as can be seen from above Qur'anic verse. A number of other precedents may be cited, such as:)

The Messenger of Allah (S) on a number of occasions had stated that "Were it not for the people to say . . ." (This means the Messenger of Allah (S) would have carried out his intended plan were it not for another issue which conflicted with his plan and therefore he, (S), judged that the outcome of his intended plan would be in conflict with the other issue, hence did not proceed with his plan(s).)

The Messenger of Allah (S) is quoted as saying "Were it not for your people being recent converts to Islam, I would have demolished the Ka'bah and rebuilt it with two doors." Imam Ali (A) is quoted as saying: " . . . one battalion of my army would have been demolished." The holy Qur'an: The Ramparts [^7]: 56. The holy Qur'an: Adornment [^43]: 33.

Imam Ali (A) ignored those who performed a new kind of prayer despite the fact the Messenger of Allah, (S), banned it but they remained undeterred.

The Messenger of Allah (S) did not punish those who deserted the battle as well as those who had committed various sins. This is so that Islam is not misunderstood and its reputation not tarnished, amongst other reasons. (The teaching of Islam regarding punishment of the guilty may only be carried out if, and only if, all of the preconditions and criteria of the individual concerned and the circumstances are totally met. Otherwise the conviction will be null and void and the punishment, if executed, will constitute a sin and be against the teaching of Islam. Furthermore this will give the wrong impression of Islam, detrimental to its pure and true message. As a result, others (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) would conclude that the teaching of Islam is harsh, inhumane and incorrect and therefore Islam is incapable of addressing the issues of human affairs.) Therefore predefined-penalties (Hodud) may not be executed in enemy land as we discussed, in details, in book series al-Fiqh, "Jurisprudence Fundamentals"26.

Furthermore we have the principle that "The predefined-penalties are waived by doubt" and that Islam has laid down comprehensive set of preconditions and criteria (which must be met before any punishment is executed) to the extent that some of them prove to be sometimes inhibitory.

This is because Islam uproots corruption, so that there will be no poverty, . . . and natural crimes will significantly reduce. The course of Islamic history is a testimony to this fact. The vast number of problems and high levels of corruption in Muslim countries that we see today is due to abandoning Islamic laws, suppressing people's freedoms, widespread injustice, tyranny, etc.

The penal system, therefore, may not be implemented unless other Islamic laws are implemented so that a government provides all the necessities of complete and healthy life for the people. M. Shirazi, al-Fiqh series, vol. 141.