The ordinances pertaining to preservation of the Islamic system and defense of the territorial integrity and independence of the Islamic ummah also demanded the formation of a government. An example is the command: “Prepare against them whatever force you can muster and horses tethered” (Qur’an, 8:60), which enjoins the preparation of as much armed defensive force as possible and orders the Muslims to be always on the alert and at the ready, even in time of peace.
If the Muslims had acted in accordance with this command, and after forming a government, made the necessary extensive preparations to be in a state of full readiness for war, a handful of Jews would never have dared to occupy our lands and to burn and destroy the Masjid al-Aqsā without the people being capable of making an immediate response. All this has resulted from the failure of the Muslims to fulfill their duty of executing God’s law and setting up a righteous and respectable government. If the rulers of the Muslim countries truly represented the believers and enacted God’s ordinances, they would set aside their petty differences, abandon their subversive and divisive activities, and join together like the fingers of one hand. Then a handful of wretched Jews (the agents of America, Britain and other foreign powers) would never have been able to accomplish what they have, no matter how much support they enjoyed from America and Britain. All this has happened because of the incompetence of those who rule over the Muslims.
The verse: “Prepare against them whatever force you can muster” commands you to be as strong and well-prepared as possible, so that your enemies will be unable to oppress you and transgress against you. It is because we have been lacking in unity, strength, and preparedness that we suffer oppression and are at the mercy of foreign aggressors.
There are numerous provisions of the law that cannot be implemented without the establishment of a government apparatus; for example, blood money, which must be exacted and delivered to those deserving it, or the corporeal penalties imposed by the law, which must be carried out under the supervision of the Islamic ruler. All of these laws refer back to the institutions of government for it is the government power alone that is capable of fulfilling this function.
After the death of the Most Noble Messenger (s), the obstinate enemies of the faith, the Umayyad (God’s curses be upon them), did not permit the Islamic state to attain stability with the rule of ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (‘a). They did not allow a form of government to exist that was pleasing to God, Exalted and Almighty, and to His Most Noble Messenger (s). They transformed the entire basis of government, and their policies were, for the most part, contradictory to Islam. The form of government of the Umayyads and the Abbasids,17 and the political and administrative policies they pursued, were anti-Islamic. The form of government was thoroughly perverted by being transformed into a monarchy, like those of the kings of Iran, the emperors of Rome, and the pharaohs of Egypt. For the most part, this non-Islamic form of government has persisted to the present day, as we can see.