Coil means to twist or move into a circular or spiral course. It also means to be disturbed or to be in turmoil. Uncoil means to straighten from a coiled state, or in other words, to be released from a spiral course or disturbed or turmoil state. It is safe to say that ever since the start of the decline of the Islamic System to the early 1900s when it ended (1) and to the current time, the ‘Muslim’ has entered into a coiled state. Most of us were born into the world of the colonial/post-colonial nation-state secular system and have thought, and many of us still do, that this is the way it has always been and will always be. Many of us cannot fathom anything better, or of a better alternative outside this framework. However, for the thinking Muslim, the present day compartmentalized nation-state secularized world is a difficult one to accept, as Islam envisions something better, a world where Allah’s sovereignty maintains and thus compassion and justice reigns throughout the world, rather than for just one artificially bordered part of the Earth against another, or for one class of people against another. This was the world project that was set out by Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) dictated by the Qur’an. This project was carried out by the Prophet’s successors afterwards. And it is this obligatory world project that the Muslim has forgotten. (2)
The Purpose of the Islamic System
The purpose of the Islamic System is to facilitate God-Consciousness (Taqwaa). However, the last remnant of this system was completely stripped in 1924 with the discarding of the last Deputy of Islam. The Caliphate/Deputation system facilitated God-Consciousness thru implementation of a compassionate social system (i.e. via old age pension, child benefits, etc. that Caliph Umar brought), thru a just economic system based on a redistribution of wealth and not on the current concentration of interest-debt based wealth where 8 men have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on this planet combined (3). Also, it was the Islamic System that brought justice for all, for example, it was the Islamic System that set up a free universal healthcare system (4) centuries prior to when segments of the colonial/post-colonial western world were just beginning to come up with this form of healthcare system. It is an obligation of the Islamic System to help fellow human beings (no matter their creed/religion) who are in need and/or suffering oppression (5). This is a duty set out by Allah for the Muslim which was practiced vis-a-vis the Deputation System (Khilafat/Caliphate system of Islam). If the Deputation of Allah’s system was in place do you think then the brutalization and rape of peoples in places like Burma, Kashmir, Africa, Middle East, Palestine, and elsewhere would continue?
What can the Muslim do?
The Muslim must do a self-analysis and see why he/she even calls him/herself Muslim? What is the point of calling oneself Muslim if one isn’t even exercising, or at least, attempting to exercise their Muslim identity? Exercising one’s Muslim identity means using Reason and taking Action (6) constantly, and, alertly working at controlling one’s selfish desires, and, being Aware. It is thru working in ways to invite others to the rational truth that we are convinced to adhere to (Islam), which is an obligation that many of us have been conditioned to neglect (7). The implementation of the Islamic System is a natural consequence of the sincere acceptance of Islam by the masses. Are you ready to uncoil yourself – to finally start exercising your Muslim identity? We all indeed will be held accountable for this responsibility, and at the same time great opportunity, that we’ve been given to act upon by The Creator.
1. Historians such as Dan Smith, Edward Freeman, Albert Hourani indicate that the Usmani (Ottoman) caliphate began to decline around the mid 1500s. Last remnant of the institution of the caliphate was abolished by the newly secularised Turkish regime in 1924.
4. The Prophet’s mosque in the city of Madinah held the first free hospital service in its courtyard. Also, during the early 700s under the caliph, Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik, the Muslims introduced a universal multi-purpose health system which not only looked after the sick but pioneered dynamic cures and preventive medicines. These health institutions were open 24 hours and had hundreds of beds to receive patients regardless of religion or background — not only these services were for free but patients were given money when they were discharged to help make up for the wages they had lost while in hospital. (Rahman, Haji Hasbullah Haji Abdul . “The development of the Health Sciences and Related Institutions During the First Six Centuries of Islam” & Miller, Andrew C [December 2006]. “Jundi-Shapur, bimaristans, and the rise of academic medical centres”. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.)
5. “And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.” (Qur’an 4:75) It was this Quranic injuction that moved the Muslims under the Deputation system to honour this Quranic command, one example is when the Muslims were called to rescue the Spanish Unitarian Christians from the oppressive Visigoths in Spain, hence their (Spanish Unitarians) overwhelming acceptance of Islam which led to the unrivaled civilization in Muslim Spain at that time. (Khaldun, Ibn. Tarikh Ibn Khaldun. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1988.)
6. Rationally discern the truth and then actively help convey to, or, share with others. Also see Usage of Aql: Islam’s Prime Method
7. “Invite them to the path of your Lord with wisdom and words of good advice; and reason with them in the best way possible.” (Qur’an 16:125)