Evidently Man has created nothing in this universe. The only one who can claim that he created anything is the one who has in fact created everything - Allah (SWT). Moreover, we have a principle that the one who claims anything will have it attributed to him until another one claims it, and only Allah (SWT) has ever claimed that he created the universe. When we look around, we can see that all the creation is subservient to almighty Allah, the heavens and earth, the mountains, animals etc…Only man has the option to be subservient or not and Allah (SWT) sent the Messengers to guide him, the malaalikah to whisper for him to do good, and the shaytaan have been appointed to mislead him. Hence the whole philosophy of life is Al-Ibtilaa i.e. a test from Allah (SWT). However, Allah (SWT) has given us all the answers already, surely it is therefore foolish of us if we ignore them and it is therefore only right that if we ignore it we deserve to be punished. The test could be in our wealth or health etc…either we use it to please Allah (SWT) e.g. in daw’ah and Jihad etc… or we use it in order to displease Allah (SWT). So the test could be either Ne’maa (a reward) or naqma (a punishment) from Allah.
As for the word Ummah, it is linked to the topic of Tawheed. If we obey Allah and his Messenger, we get Jannah, otherwise we get hell-fire. We choose our destiny by our own free will. This is a matter of belief and conviction for us. Tawheed is to recognise that there is only one God who deserves to be worshipped exclusively. God must also therefore have a definition and meaning for us. Indeed Allah (SWT) has names, attributes and functions which we must not associate with whatsoever. Whether that is in our prayer, fasting, buying, selling etc… Further, we cannot make Tawheed with his attribute of creating but associate with him the attribute of legislating! It therefore follows that we cannot vote for man made law. Rather we are supposed to be the ones who say la illaha illalah – that there is No God but Allah, no creator but Allah, no legislator but Allah etc… Although in Arabic the word Ummah means ‘People from different backgrounds bonded to the same belief’, so it could be referring to Christians, Jews or Muslims etc… and the word Ummah by itself is not holy, the Ummah of Al-Islam is different because it is linked to Tawheed.
If we study Tawheed, we can see that it has two pillars, for which we must give up before we take up i.e. Atakhalli qabla tahalli.
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: ‘…There is no compulsion in the Deen…’ NB. The Deen is what you believe in, live by and die for, just as some believe in, live by and die for democracy and freedom, we must do so for Islam. ‘…Fa may-yukfur bi taghout wa u’min billah fakadistamsaka bil urwatil wuthka…’ (Whoever disbelieves in taghout and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break) [EMQ 2:256]
Ibn Abbas (ra) said concerning al-urwata wuthka that it is la illaha illalah and Imam Shaafi said ‘whoever doubts the Jews or Christians are kaafir and whoever doubts that their Deen is correct are also Kaafir!’
It follows from this that the precondition to have Ummatun waahidah is to have unification on Allah (SWT), we must worship Allah (SWT) exclusively before we talk about unity, because any unity in Islam must be for the sake of Allah (SWT).
In addition Allah (SWT) says: ‘We created you a highest Ummah, to run the affairs of mankind on the Shari’ah’ From this we can see that the attribute of Muslims is that they must rule by Islam and govern the affairs of the people by Islam, for how else can we be people who manage and run the affairs by the Shari’ah? Only then will we become the Ummah of Tawheed, of Jihad or Daw’ah. As opposed to an Ummah of humiliation, of shirk or bidda or of nationalism. Verily the Messenger Muhammad (saw) never said ‘I am an Arab Muslim’ and Allah (SWT) also only said that ‘the believers are a brotherhood’ - one entity believing in Allah exclusively and following the Messenger Muhammad (saw) exclusively.
Hence the Ummah has certain characteristics. One is that we are the best Ummah because we command good and forbid evil, otherwise we will become the worst. After the time of the Messenger Muhammad (saw), the Muslims had 1300 years of ruling by the Shari’ah, when Jews and Christians were living under Islamic law with dignity, despite having no love in our hearts towards the kufr and the kaafir. This is in contrast to the kuffar who say that they love us and their neighbours, and yet, when they have authority, they are not hesitant to murder, rape and pillage and commit ethnic cleansing.
As regards to At-taghout, it has been defined by Imam Malik, from Anas Bin Malik, as:
‘Anyone you follow, obey or worship instead of Allah’
To disbelieve in this is a precondition to believing in Allah, see [EMQ 2:256] above. The thing you might worship instead of Allah (SWT) could be a cow, a man or an idol etc…
In order to reject Taghout we must do five things:
1. To believe taghout is falsehood. Hence if Allah is Haq shaytaan is Baatil
2. You must keep distance from Taghout, you cannot be his minister! Allah (SWT) says ‘…keep away from taghout…’
3. To Hate taghout. Ibraheem (ra) said to the Mushrikeen:
‘O people me and the believers are free from you and what you worship instead of Allah, we reject you and declare kufr on you and between us is animosity and hatred forever..’
4. To Have Animosity towards the taghout (see above). For example, we must treat the ones who occupy our land as enemies even if we do not have the military capability to fight them, rather we will still hate them until we can fight them!
5. To declare that Shaytaan is kaafir. Hence all leaders are kaafir, because for example, they all adhere to the United Nations. And we must say that they are kaafir as well, because we worship Allah (SWT) by doing so. Just as we worship Allah (SWT) with prayer and fasting so we must with defending his sanctities including the duty to declare kufr on those who associate themselves or others with Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) being the only legislator. Ibn Abbas (ra) explained that those in hell-fire were committing shirk without knowing.
In conclusion Ummatun Waahidah has as a precondition to have the correct Tawheed in Allah (SWT).