When the West challenged Islam with the Capitalist system, the Muslims were baffled by the greatness of the industrial revolution which took place in the West. In their minds they began to equate the solutions of Capitalism with the greatness of the inventions and industries. Thus they were driven to respond to this challenge by searching for the same Capitalist solutions but from Islam. Here flawed study and thinking occurred.

Thus the reality of the Islamic Ummah was that it lost the confidence in the suitability of Islam as a comprehensive system of life in the modern age. Due to this the Ummah lost its strong drive, and passivity has brought it to the brink of the abyss on the verge of extinction. Therefore the problem of the Islamic Ummah is the loss of confidence in what emanates from Islam in terms of thoughts about life and systems to organise the relationships and it is nothing other than this.

The Problem is not the Islamic Aqeeda

It is therefore a mistake to say that the problem is one of the Islamic Aqeeda, because this means accusing the Muslims in their Iman and this is not correct and a matter which is very dangerous. The Islamic aqeeda is present in every Muslim but it has lost three important things:

It has lost its relationship with the thoughts of life and the systems of legislation and therefore its vitality has diminished. For when the rational creed is separated from its thoughts, it dies and it becomes a lifeless corpse.

It has lost its vision of what is after life whereby it is no longer shaken by the punishment of Allah, incited by Jahannam or frightened by the Hellfire (al-jaheem). Nor does it aim for the Jannah nor yearns for its tranquillity. It is not attracted by what is in the perpetual bliss of Paradise, which no eye has seen and no ear has heard. Nor does it aim for the pleasure of Allah as the highest aim for the Muslims.

Thirdly it has lost the communal bond of the Muslims which is the Aqeeda of Islamic brotherhood. So they have become different peoples and states, different associationS and families, they have even become just individuals distinct from other individuals.

These three things of the Islamic Aqeeda have been lost from the minds of the Muslims so that it became a lifeless corpse. As for the Islamic aqeeda itself, it is still present amongst every Muslim, and every single Muslim still says morning and evening (La ilaha illalllah muhammadur rasulullah) [There is no deity except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger]). Even though when he says this not a single hair on his body moves and nor does his heart feel any emotion; nor is he pushed in life to raise a single finger and nor does it stop him from backwardness or decline. Therefore, the Muslims have not lost the Islamic aqeedah but rather they lost the confidence in what emanates from this Islamic aqeeda.

The Problem is not the Economy

It is also misleading to say that the problem is related to the economy as this would mean that poverty is the cause of decline and prosperity is the cause of elevation. This is invalid as wealth does not revive the individual, nor does it revive the Ummah because revival is intellectual elevation (irtifa¹ fikri). Whereby the correct revival is the intellectual elevation based on a spiritual basis. When thoughts exist then revival exists. And when the thoughts are non-existent then there will be decline. Thus, thoughts in any nation are the greatest resource it can acquire in life even if it is a newly established nation. It is the greatest gift one generation can give to another if the nation is well established in the enlightened thought. If the material wealth of the nation is destroyed, it is possible to be restored quickly, as long as the nation preserves its intellectual wealth. But if the intellectual wealth collapses and the nation retains only its materialistic wealth, this wealth will soon diminish and the nation will slide to poverty.

The reality of the Islamic Ummah is that it is one of the wealthiest of nations if not the most wealthy, when her resources are brought together under one State as Islam obliges it to be. Furthermore, for the economy to grow and move from being just agricultural to industrial such that the industry is the spearhead, there must be a strong incentive which incites the Ummah to strive for the economy. This strong incentive does not emanate from anything except the thought, the greatest of thoughts being the intellectual creed from which thoughts about life emanate. Therefore, the problem is not economic but rather intellectual i.e. the issue of having confidence in the thoughts which emanate from their creed.

The Problem is not related to Education or the Sciences

However if the ummah loses its way of thinking, it will soon become backward and eventually lose its discoveries and inventions. Despite the Islamic Ummah having hundreds of thousands of students and educated people, the Ummah is still behind in discoveries and inventions because it does not have thoughts to steer these disciplines and sciences towards a specific aim. Moreover, scholars and inventors are employees, it is possible to bring them from any nation as employees but bringing them or their likes will not solve the problem since there is no thought. Thus the issue is one of thought.

It is inaccurate to say the problem is one of legislation and laws. This would mean that the law is the basis of life and the state. This is not correct. For laws and rules are but solutions to daily problems which happen to human beings and which emanate from the viewpoint about life. Thus the origin is the viewpoint from which the laws emanate and not the laws themselves.

For example the same rules in the Islamic State that were implemented on the Muslims were also implemented on the Kuffar citizens of the state and there was no difference between them in applying the rules. Yet despite the Muslims and kuffar before the judge and ruler being equal, Muslims in the Islamic state were revived and exemplified. However the kuffar were under the shadow of Islam paying the jizya with willing submission and feeling themselves subdued.

Similarly Muslim lands in most areas of the world have the Western legislation and laws applied on them but despite this they have not caught up with the West in revival and nor are they intellectually elevated. They are still declined and behind the West by centuries and generations. Even though Western laws have been applied on them for decades, which indicates that the issue is not one of legislation but of the laws which emanate from a viewpoint about life i.e. the ideology.

The issue is to create confidence in the thoughts and systems emanating from the Islamic Aqeeda.

As for how we should solve this problem, it is by returning to the point from which the mistake started i.e. to solve the shaking of the confidence in the thoughts and rules emanating from the Islamic Aqeeda. It was this shock which destroyed the State and was on the verge of annihilating the Ummah. The objective of the solution is to revive the Ummah and re-establish the state to resume the Islamic way of life and carry the Islamic Call to the world. This is the issue and this is the core of the problem.

Therefore, the issue of saving the Ummah from annihilation is to re-establish the confidence in the correctness, veracity and applicability of the thoughts and rules of Islam. Via conveying the Islamic Da¹wa in its political path i.e. by the work to bring back the Islamic Khilafah through the dissemination of the Islamic thoughts and the struggle in its path. This is the path with which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) brought about the Islamic Ummah and the Islamic state.

Thus the person is made to take this path and adopt no other path. It is a Shari'a rule which must be adhered to and this course must be restricted to it, it would not be correct for him to follow any other path. Consequently, this is the only path Muslims are obliged to follow. So the vital issue which the Muslims are obliged to undertake is the establishment of the Islamic State i.e. the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah. The method for this being the intellectual and political struggle which destroys the false thoughts and demolishes the corrupt rule.

Adapted by Habib-ur-Rahman