Islamic Law / Shaykh `Abd al-Karim Zaydan

Abd al-Karim Zaydan_Nature of the Islamic State


Imam Dr. `Abd al-Karim Zaydan writes:

“The Islamic state is an ideological state based on the Islamic creed (`aqida) from which laws and systems arise (wa ma anbathaqa `anha ahkam wa nizam). It not therefore a provincial state restricted by a boundary and territory, neither is it a nation state restricted by a specific group of people, race or nationality. Rather, it is an ideological state that extends as far as its creed has reached. Morever, there is no place in it for advantaging or priviliging any colour, race or land. This is the Islamic state that can be a global state  (dawla `alimiyya) comprising of different types of races and peoples. If a person is able to embrace the creed of this state – which is the Islamic creed – he will become one of its citizens carying its creed and systems. If anyone refuses to embrace Islam, then he may live under the shade of its laws being also one of is citizens caryying its citizenship remaining upon his own creed as long there is not open opposition to the state.

As for the aims (ahdaf) of the state, it is based on its nature; as long as it is an ideological state based on Islam, then naturally its aims will be Islam’s aim itself. Its aims will not stop at providing security  and tranquility for each individual as well as protecting their lives and defending them against external aggession, but rather its aims will extend to implementing the Islamic laws in all aspects of the state as well as to carry the invitation to Islam to the entire world.

[The state] must establish people in the worship of Allah and make them live their lives in accordance with the Islamic creed with the method that Islam has shown. It must also prevent any obstacles that arise aside from that, to remove everything that opposes Islam, its thoughts and ideas, social and economic systems. Allah Most High said: {…those who if they are established firmly in the earth establish the salah, pay the zakat, command the ma`ruf and prevent the munkar and to Allah is the final return}[1] Thus, ‘establishing the salah’ indicates each individual being established on the worship of Allah and ‘commanding the ma`ruf and preventing the munkar‘ both indicate each individual living their lives according to the Islamic methods and the implementation of Islamic laws in all aspects of the state.

These are the aims of the Islamic state. In summary, it aims to secure the interests of each person and society through the method designated by Allah Most High. Thus, in this way, the state ensures the interests of all persons is secured – now and in the future.”[2]


[1] See surat al-Hajj:40.

[2] Zaydan, al-Fard wa ‘l-Dawla fi ‘l-Shari`at al-Islamiyya, pp.19-20.


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