بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وْعلى ءآله وصحبه وسلم


What is regarded as intractable, age-old, Israeli-Palestinian mutual antipathy turns out to be of very recent origin indeed. This paper examines that origin against the backdrop of the much longer history of good will shown to the Jewish people in Palestine and across the umma by Muslims over almost a millennium and a half. Investigating the origin of the conflict means necessarily to explore great power dynamics, and also the operations of finance, most particularly fiat currency.


When a man of the tribe of Muḍar came to Madina and asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to send some knowledgeable Muslims to the tribe to present Islam to them, and assured their safety, it was unforeseen that a hothead from the tribe would break the compact of safety and raise the tribe to massacre the forty men, all but one. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, began to supplicate against the tribe.

Ibn Wahb from Mu‘āwiyah ibn Ṣāliḥ from ‘Abd al-Qāhir from Khālid ibn Abī ‘Imrān; he said, “While the Messenger of Allah a was supplicating against Muḍar, Jibrīl came to him and indicated to him to be quiet, and so he was quiet. Then he said, ‘Muḥammad, Allah did not send you as one who abuses or one who curses; He only sent you as a mercy. And He didn’t send you to punish “You have no part in the affair. Either He will turn towards them or He will punish them, for they are wrongdoers.”’ (Sūrah Āli ‘Imrān 3:128) Then he taught him the qunūt.”

O Allah! Truly we seek Your help and Your forgiveness 

and we believe in You and rely upon You.

We thank You and are not ungrateful to You and we submit ourselves to you 

and surrender and abandon all who reject You.

O Allah You alone we worship. We pray and prostrate to You. 

We strive and struggle in Your Way.

We hope for Your mercy and fear Your harsh punishment. 

Certainly Your punishment encircles the rejectors.2

Making sense of something is to ask about the meaning of it. This is a philosophical question even if it doesn’t necessarily involve Plato, Hegel and Kant, Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd. In one sense it is quite useless. If someone says: this is all a waste of time and we should supply blankets and food, we should protest and demonstrate, we should try to move Muslim governments to act etc., I would say that as noble as these actions may be they are still solutions framed within the construct that has created the problem in the first place. Nevertheless, I am utterly sympathetic to the priority that action now has. However careful reflection is beneficial even if it is not always useful.

First, it must be absolutely clear that we deplore the brutal Israeli assault on our brothers and sisters in Gaza and that we add our voices to those which call for an immediate end to it.


Making sense in terms of the Divine plan of great events, natural disasters and political and military events that affect great numbers of people requires some thought. How do we understand such events if they are remote from us, and indeed if we are right in the middle of them? Is that even possible? As an individual one may not understand one’s own destiny fully but one does have a sense of it and how and why things happen. It is a part of one’s relationship with one’s Lord. Sometimes with personal friends one gets a glimpse too. But for people in a land far away, speaking another language, with a different culture and history, it is not so easy. It is said that we are like the ant on a Persian rug with a beautiful and intricate design of which the ant knows nothing at all. Thus we trust that the larger patterning of events is meaningful.

Great events are made up of an extraordinary number of threads of individual destinies. The ocean liner sinks, and, for reasons we don’t know, some are saved and some drowned. We can’t discount that it might be the worst of people who are saved and the best who are drowned. We don’t know the meaning of all of these events, but because our own lives are meaningful, we trust that the overall pattern and the individual events are meaningful but on a scale that we cannot comprehend. The discerning see meaning beyond the apparent such as when the late President Alija Izetbegović of Bosnia said to Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, may Allah be merciful to them both: “it is a pity that my people had to find their Shahada in the funeral prayer.” He saw that in spite of the terrible atrocities visited on the Bosnians by the Serbs, it had also been the means for many to return to their Islam. Similarly, the practitioner of traditional medicine often sees the healing in the illness, contrary to modern practitioners who see the illness as a disruption of the right order of things.

So let us turn to political events. It has to be said that in outlining political and economic events, if one does not subscribe entirely to the official version or interpretation of events, the idea of conspiracy is less than useful. If sometimes it might seem as if one is edging towards such an approach, but that is probably just my poor expression and is not what I intend.

We have a twofold duty in knowledge and understanding: to know and understand our deen – life transaction, and to know and understand the world in which we live. The life transaction cannot be lived without understanding the context in which it must be put into practice. For a variety of reasons, that dual knowledge cannot be attained by amalgamating a qualification from a madrasa and a PhD from a university. And the task is made none the easier by the great outpouring of unhelpful if not always untrue concepts in the academic world and mainstream and social media, concepts surrounding colonialism, race, sex and gender, youth and age, and so on. They act like a great fog concealing the matters we need to grapple with. That is even the case where some of the fog is undoubtedly true.

What will prove a useful guide to us in this is to recognise that our situation is an emergency, and that thus encyclopaedic knowledge is a luxury we cannot afford. We need to be selective and seek out what is beneficial. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is reported to have said: “O Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge that is of no benefit.”3

Politics and Dawla

We talk about politics and Islam, political Islam and so on, but contemporary ideas of politics derive from the Greeks. Both Plato and Aristotle wrote works with names based on that Greek root, in Plato’s case his famed Republic and Aristotle his Politics. Both are based on the root word pólis – ordinarily held to be both city and state. If we take it in its meaning of city, then we have to translate it in Arabic as madina, and to do that would change our view of what politics is and how to approach it, for the Greek pólis with its rowdy quarrelsome democracy was very different from Madina al-Munuwwara. Our Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was uniquely the Prophet of Madina, and he left a model of that for mankind, and thus a politics or we might say a madaniyya, and then he expanded that to ‘umma’, both madina and umma being remarkably free of the class distinctions that marred the Greek experiment. But we have come on to a world stage set up by others, and we have accepted their preconditions and assumptions. And thus we have the Israeli ‘state’ terrorising and brutalising the Palestinians, and we assume that the answer is a Palestinian state or a two-state solution.4

As Prof. Mehmet Maksudoğlu makes clear in his Osmanlı History, our own political form is not a state but a dawla, because a state is an entity that legislates, whereas for us the legislation has already happened in the revelation, and thus we have a dawla to bring that legislation into effect. And yes of course there is room for administrative decisions such as traffic measures etc. outside of the matters that are decided in the revelation.

Thus we Muslims have not had empires, but we had the dawla of the Umayyads, the dawla al-‘Abbasiyya and the dawla al-Osmanliyya.

Ancient Times

In ancient times, the Assyrians under Nebuchadnezzar devastated the Israeli polity and took great numbers of the people of Israel into captivity in Babylon. Arguably the empires of that time were the same as those of the great opponents of the Prophets mentioned in the Qur’an, for example Fir’awn and Nimrod. They are the root of the modern state but contrary to the way of the Prophets.

Later at the beginning of the current era, taking the Christian era as our measure since we have all accepted that dating, the Romans quashed a rebellion of the Jews, destroyed Jerusalem and its temple and expelled the Jews from Palestine, including those of them who followed ‘Isa, peace be upon him. We must remember that from early on his followers were divided into two: first, those who continued to adhere to the shari‘ah of Musa, peace be upon him; and second, those who launched off into the Greek and Roman world, accepting converts from them, not requiring them to follow shari‘ah, and indeed introducing the false theology of that tradition which we all know about.

Having been overwhelmed by the might of great empires twice, Jews henceforth came to learn to live under their power adapting their religion to that end, even though as a Prophetic people they had been ordered to establish the worship of Allah in all aspects of their lives, which necessarily meant to establish a dawla. Through an unusual twist of history, the Greek speaking and Greek cultured Christians came to sit on the throne of the Caesars. The Caesars in a two-step process had first of all permitted Christianity, and then made it the state religion. Thus Christians came to exercise the power under which the Jews would live.

With the gradual adoption by the Romans of the Greek Christianity of Paul, Christians were allowed to live in Palestine but not Jews. It was ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, who, from his deep knowledge of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, permitted Jews to return to Jerusalem and to live there, just as he permitted non-Muslims to live throughout the Muslim domains under the contract of the dhimma, except for in the two Harams and the Jazirat al-‘Arab.


The umma of Islam has always been twofold: the umma of da‘wa comprising those invited to Islam, and the umma of ijaba comprising those who have accepted the invitation to Islam. The latter for many centuries were a minority, meaning that the Muslims were only a small number within the umma.

The original rulings on the People of the Book were extended to the Zoroastrians by the Prophet, peace be upon him. However, Muslim men cannot marry Zoroastrian women nor can Muslims eat their meat, contrary to the rulings for the People of the Book. Later the people of knowledge extended this ruling to Buddhists, to Indians who lived by the ancient Vedic religion, and to others. Now this is the case, but nevertheless we do not accept the concept of the ‘Abrahamic religions’. The Christians took an unacceptable metaphysical position on Jesus, peace be upon him, and differentiated him from the Prophets of the Children of Israel. The Jews rejected Jesus as a Messenger, although they were correct in not accepting the Christian metaphysical position. Both compounded their disbelief by denying Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. That said, enormous numbers of Jews and Christians accepted Islam. In any case, it is not permissible to coerce them into the deen of Islam, and it is obligatory by the Book and the Sunnah for us to have good and cordial relations with them. Dawla and what the Osmanlı called the millat system and the contract of the dhimma are what make this possible, and are what made it possible for Jews in particular to find a safe home in Muslim society, one of the most famous examples of which is Andalus, and, when that fell to the Christians, many Jews took refuge with Muslims in Morocco and Algeria and some travelled to the Osmanlı lands to live in safety.


What we call ‘anti-semitism’, which is a misnomer, is a peculiarly Christian phenomenon based on two factors: first, the Jewish refusal, quite correctly, of Christian idolisation of ‘Isa, peace be upon him, but also their refusal of him as a Messenger.

However, a second factor came into play: the Jews interpreted their Book to prohibit usury among themselves but to permit charging usury to strangers. The Christians also considered charging usury a major sin, but saw no harm in paying it. Thus they allowed Jews to live among them as bankers, although hating them for it. This was a symbiosis but a fatal one in many ways. For example, when the Crusaders set off on their mad escapades, they regularly butchered Jewish communities beforehand, plundering them too.

It is crucial to understand the complex Jewish-Christian relationship in order to grasp what is going on. The Jews had perforce learnt to be low and abased but to benefit off empire, some of them often becoming wealthy in the process. The Christians had both the religion of love and the throne of Caesar. The two parties formed a symbiotic relationship. Seeing Gaza as a peculiarly Jewish affair misses the point. The Israelis are and always have been actors within a greater power nexus, first the British and latterly the Americans. They, in turn, have also learnt to make use of the great powers for their own ends. The synthesis of the two parties we might designate as humanism.

Humanism began earlier during the Reformation, which was ostensibly between Catholics and Protestants. Unable to communicate with each other in a civil manner with the same language, whether of Catholicism, Protestantism or Judaism, Europeans invented the new language of humanism, science, and secularism and developed the forms of philosophy that characterise modernity.

The state

The modern state has evolved over some centuries through stages, one of the most critical of which is the treaty called the Peace of Westphalia (1648) that settled the Catholic-Protestant struggle known as the Thirty Years War (1618-48). It defines a state as a territory. That was to have fateful consequences, for the lines delineating territories divided some peoples, such as the Kurds now separated between Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran, and joined up others who did not belong together, such as Rwanda which brought together Hutu and Tutsi with horrendous consequences. What was the state before? It comprised allegiance to a leader, usually a king, but the territory could be fluid and often was.

The next phase was the American War of Independence of 1775–83 and the French Revolution of 1789-1799. Here was the rejection by the Americans and overthrow by the French of hereditary monarchy and the proclamation of republics. What you have to note in it is the distinctly religious quality of the event. This is a new belief system, not merely a practical way of governing human affairs.

Finance, banking and fiat money

The old financiers, the Church, were displaced by the bankers. Here also there appears a force that we will discover at work again and again with increasing power: fiat money, fiat meaning commanded into being, invented from nothing. It was first printed on paper. The French money was called assignats. But from this invention of paper money, there have come about many developments. Today only 4% of money is printed or minted, and all the rest exists in digital forms, and it is a genuine question as to whether that can be called ‘existence’ at all. Whatever the case, very real interest charges are made for its use. Today’s fiat money comes both from banks and the state in a synergistic way that calls into question their separate existences.

State proselytisation

The great missionary of the new humanist, secular, republican religion was Napoleon who enlisted the entire able-bodied French nation in his armies and set out to conquer the world. Literally. He was off to India if he could. He set out to conquer Egypt, and also saw the vital significance of the Holy Land, but was repulsed from Sham. In his role as missionary world conqueror he met his comeuppance in Russia, where he was defeated by the dreadful winter. Hitler paid no attention and met the same fate.

Later, after the eclipse of the British Empire, the role of evangelical missionary for the new order passed to the Americans whose War of Independence had preceded the French revolution and fuelled it. Woodrow Wilson entered the First World War as such a missionary of a universal order putting an end to the ancien régime and spreading a new international order, propagandised by Edward Bernais, Freud’s nephew, as ‘freedom’.5 In a way that is very illustrative of the nature of our epoch, America entered the war announcing that it was bringing Freedom, but really to guard the credit they had granted to their British and European allies, Italy, France and Russia.6

The state, science, technology and banking/finance

The idea of nation and state that was born in these Revolutions seized the imagination of the world and its peoples, most significantly Mahmut II (ruled 1808-1839) and the Tanzimat (1839-1876).7 In the abandonment of the Osmanlı tradition of dawla, zakat and awqaf, and their embrace of Western statism, banking, technology and science they saw the way forward. In order to obtain the technology they accepted the need for European, often Jewish, banking and monetarism. For a railway linking Osmanlı lands and Europe they embarked on loans from European banks whose interest guaranteed they could never be repaid, and they granted those banks the right to establish branches and new banks in Muslim lands. The Osmanlıs were not defeated from outside by military force, but from within by following the Jews and the Christians down the lizard hole as foretold by our Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace:

Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “You will follow the ways of those before you, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit until even if they had entered a lizard’s hole, you would have entered it.” They said, “The Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?”8 This is a Prophecy that is surely one of the many proofs of his Prophethood, so accurate is it. We could make a case, in light of Hölderlin’s famous observation, “but where the danger is, also grows the saving power,” that the way out of the lizard’s hole is by following those moderns who are earnestly seeking the way out, arguably reaching out towards Islam without consciously realising they are doing so, in much the same way that plants grow upwards towards the sun.

The lust for nation-states seized not only the Europeans under Osmanlı governance, the Serbs, Croats, Macedonians, and Greeks, but, for very different reasons, the Turks themselves. The Osmanlı had never called themselves Turks. They had the governance, through the millat system, of Muslims, Jews, Christians and more, a multi-confessional, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural commonwealth. But the argument, that they needed to ‘modernise’ and thus ‘westernise’ in order to safeguard their polity won out, with unforeseen consequences.

The First World War and the Bond

The Balkan wars that broke out in 1912-1913 were a precursor to WWI and the beginning of the end of the khalifate. The deathblow came about because of what came to be known as the First World War. No one expected that war to last more than a very short time. The following I learnt from a gentleman from Ramallah called Saifedean Ammous, an apostle of Bitcoin, but also someone who is alert to how fiat currency works: the British launched a bond to fund the war. Investors could buy the bonds and have them redeemed later by the government with the extra 4½% annual interest on it. But people were quite indifferent both to the war itself and to the investment that the bond represented. Then the Bank of England did an extraordinary thing: they invented money from nothing, fiat money, and they lent it to two of their staff who then bought the unsold bonds, thus allowing the war to go ahead.9 And that war proved to be the destruction of the old order, the ancien régime, including the Romanovs and ultimately the khalifate.


An event of the hugest significance for our story was that the British utilised the new national sentiments sweeping the world and, through their agents such as T. E. Lawrence, persuaded the Arabs to aspire to a promised ‘Arabic khalifate’, and to rise against the Osmanlı khalifate. Of course the promise was not kept, for at the same time they had entered into the Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916) in which they agreed with the French to dismember the Arab world into a series of completely artificial and what proved to be unworkable nation-states. There had been no such thing as Syria before but rather Sham comprising Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, and there had been no Iraq, which was hastily assembled by Winston Churchill out of three Osmanlı wilayats – they had been separate because the Osmanlı recognised that they could not safely be united – and henceforth would always required a strong despotic figure to hold them together.10

In April 1917 America entered WWI, and the October Revolution in Russia saw the institution of the Soviet era. In November, Balfour made his famous Declaration to Lord Rothschilds of the willingness of the British crown to countenance a national home for the Jews in Palestine. At that point, of course, Palestine was under Osmanlı protection and it did not belong to the British, so that they could not grant it to anyone.

The new Soviets quickly became customers of New York banks and faithfully paid their interest until the collapse of the USSR.

From the beginning of the War the British had bought supplies on credit on their own behalf from the Americans, and then they bought on behalf of the French, Italians and Russians.11

The Nation-state and Zionism

Thus it was that in the era of the new nationalisms Zionism too was born. Now Ian Dallas has shown in his magisterial The Time of the Bedouin that the nation-state is of its essence genocidal, and history has borne out that insight. The Balkan Wars’ nationalisms resulted in the deaths of millions, the expulsion of millions and the emigration of millions more.12 Zionism was to become one more genocidal nation-state out of the many. Not a few people have observed that Zionism bears all the marks of the era in which it came into existence which also gave rise to the other great isms: Nazism, Fascism and Soviet Communism.

After the War, the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland was created in order to handle German reparations, but in reality it was to become an early forerunner of the new banking world model that would be completed after the Second World War.


The contradictions unleashed by the First War would lead on inevitably to the Second,  decisively putting an end to the old order, and the Second would put in place the institutions of the new world hegemony. It began before the end of the War with the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944, which tied all the worlds’ currencies to the dollar that alone was redeemable in gold, thus licensing gargantuan post-war American spending which has dominated the era until today. Economist Maynard Keynes was instrumental in this, as he had also previously been in the employ of the Bank of England when they created false money to buy war bonds and thus ensured the First World War. He was the apostle of fiat money.

The World bank, IMF, CIA, NATO etc.

The institutions put in place included the World Bank13 and the IMF. The foundation of the United Nations in 1945 filled out the picture and its Security Council in 1946, among whose earliest acts was to accept Israel among the world’s nations. The toothless ICJ (International Court of Justice) was founded in 1945.14 Make no mistake, this IS the new world order. All the world’s nations from East to West are members of the political and banking institutions created then. With only the dollar redeemable in gold, the global lust to own dollars was immense, and the Americans took advantage of it by printing enormous amounts.

The ‘60s

The ‘60s were a watershed era in which the generation born after WWII grew up and asserted themselves in many ways. They were exposed to a variety of ideas that undermined the traditional order, which had already taken such a beating from the two Wars. When General de Gaulle realised that the American dollar was shaky and asked that France be paid the money it was owed in gold, student demonstrations were used to unseat him. Universities were transformed into training institutions for careers and professions,  a pedagogy aimed at technical rather than evaluative learning, servicing the needs of a technical driven society, rather than bodies where specialisation in subjects is integrated into an overall understanding by the inter-relations between faculty, staff and the student body, serving as a ground in knowledge to the civilisational project.


In 1970 Nixon severed the last connection between real money and the paper banking money. The dollar was no longer redeemable in gold. In effect, with the OPEC agreement that oil had to be paid for in dollars, we had now what is called the petro-dollar, and the desire of the world to own dollars continued unabated. The philosopher Giorgio Agamben says that at this point the belief in credit (from credo – I believe) that such fiat money represents is a new religion. It is a belief in belief itself.15

This act ushers in the next age making possible the quantitative easing of the 2008-9 financial crisis and of the pandemic, when the American and European governments recklessly deluged the world with fiat money making inflation inevitable on a massive scale and leading to recession and depression. Fiat was furthered by the development of the Internet in the ‘70s and ‘80s which allowed the creation of money at the press of a button and similarly its transfer at lightning speeds, enabling supercomputers to engage in trades on futures markets, thus, for example, making huge fortunes on crops multiple times before the crops have been planted.

Nixon marks another watershed moment with his opening the door to China in 1972. This is what paved the way for Western outsourcing of manufacturing and access to Chinese markets, particularly for technology. Then with the arrival of Deng Xiaoping in 1978, his embrace of capitalist modalities set the stage for the China we see today. This is not an authentically different new Chinese civilisation, but an off-shored banking creation. Western capital sought a new home having all but exhausted its host.16

The Soviet Union collapsed after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, in effect bankrupted by the growing amounts of money the Soviets needed to service the loans taken out from Western banks. The detritus of the KGB became an army of organised crime whose funds fed into the banking system for whom the money from drugs and human trafficking was no worse than any other. But one of them entered the Kremlin. We were in the new apparently uni-polar world, but beware of the rhetoric of BRICS and the multi-polar world, for the concept of BRICS was the invention of Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs.17


Israel as a strategic great power move

We must return to this symbiotic relationship between Israel and the dominant power which makes use of it to achieve its own global aims. Initially, that power was the British who encouraged an Arabic khalifate as well as making an agreement that divided up the Arab lands, at the same time introducing Israel to break up any possible unity among them. Oil was a strategic interest and the Muslims sat on top of most of it. Moreover the Suez Canal was a strategic crossroads in world trade and any independent Arabic political entity could pose a threat to it. Israel was placed there to make sure that the disunited Arab states stayed disunited.

Zionism, a protestant invention

Zionism, as Dr. Ali Azzali shows,18 was originally an English Protestant phenomenon which was transferred to the Jews. The echo of this origin remains in the strange phenomenon of American Evangelical Christian Zionism. Today the Americans have inherited the great power role and make use of Zionism for their own strategic ends.

A diagnosis

We have looked at the role of fiat currency and banking in the whole matter. It must be remembered that Allah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do not declare war on usury, as people often say, but rather He, glorious and exalted is He, announces war from Himself and His Messenger, peace be upon him, on mu’minūn who do not give up usury. What explains Muslims’ misfortunes in these last two centuries better than that war announced by Allah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on Muslims who engage in usury? And it has to be admitted that today we, Muslim individuals, families, businesses, cities and nation-states, are totally immersed in the usurious banking system, admittedly often out of pressing need, but regrettably sometimes out of a belief in it as a ‘modern’ system. Engaging with what is not halal out of necessity is one thing, but if we have built our houses in the swamp of usury out of emulation of the humanists that is another thing entirely.


Deen is not a strategy to regain power and dominance in the world. It is simply what we have to do. Power supports and sustains law. Without that support, law simply becomes theatre, as we see with the ICJ’s otherwise praiseworthy case against Israel. The Zionist project is not an authentically Jewish one, and many ordinary Jews are opposed to it. Europe and the US are by and large no longer Christian nations as such but secular and increasingly anti-religious nations. Britain, Denmark and some others are exceptions because they have Christian constitutional monarchies, something we ought to appreciate, since they provide a sort of shelter to us, even if limited.


In seeking to make sense of our situation, since Gaza is our situation, we must reinvigorate one of our terms for making sense: fiqh. It does not merely mean jurisprudence but understanding. It is not only a set of rulings on affairs, whether of this life or the next. This understanding is three-dimensional: of actions (islam), of the landscape of existence both seen and unseen (iman), and of the purification of the self and the heart called tazkiyah/tasawwuf (ihsan).

With respect to our understanding of existence, we say that Allah alone has true existence; our existence is a seeming. The worldview we live within posits the opposite: that the apparent way that things are is real, and the Divine a hypothesis. But the first part of this proposition has suffered repeated hurt from the most recent scientific discoveries dating from the beginning of the 20th century, thus undermining the second proposition. Beings were in His knowledge before there was any thing, and He commanded them Be! and they became. He wills every thing. The world is not random. Indeed, one of the most difficult practical problems in mathematics is to generate a random number. His power is not only control but also creative ability. The world is imbued by His wisdom. Nothing is meaningless. All is by His decree, and His decree is good as is He. He brought about death and life to test us. We are all a part of that test, and we ourselves are agents of it, wittingly or unwittingly. This is what He revealed to His Prophets throughout history, those of the Children of Israel and all the others in every land in every age, of whom there have been very many. We don’t make distinctions between them except what He has said: that He took Ibrahim as an intimate friend, that He spoke to Moses, that He supported Jesus with the Spirit of Sanctity, and that He sent Muhammad as a mercy to all mankind, may Allah bless him and them and grant them peace.

With respect to actions, our understanding divides them into acts of worship and ordinary transactions such as marriage, divorce, buying, and selling etc. A pivotal mistake was made two centuries ago to make a separation between acts of worship and ordinary transactions. It was thought that whereas acts of worship are important, ordinary transactions are neither here nor there. However, if we only have the former we have a religion, which fits within the hegemonic political order whose real interest is in precisely those ordinary transactions.

It is not the responsibility of scholars exclusively to understand the ordinary transactions, but it is an obligation for each man and woman if they intend to engage in them to understand what is permissible and what not, whether it is marriage or divorce, buying and selling and so on. If it was only scholars who were thus obliged then we would have a priesthood, and Islam has neither church nor priesthood.

The end of the uni-polar moment

The issue of Gaza is not a Palestinian one exclusively, but rather it is an issue of the umma. Israel is not really a Jewish issue but one of American power and global policies. That power is dominated by the dollar, whose strength and weakness is its nature as fiat currency. The hitherto uni-polar world of American and European hegemony is now threatened by the emergence of other poles, notably Russia and China. Muslim nations are being enrolled in this emerging counter-movement comprising BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the various institutions that China in particular has set up. But the issue is that these are merely dialectical opposites of what has existed hitherto that are not genuinely different. When dialectical opposites are shown to be essentially the same the result is nihilism, the loss of meaning. Chinese power is not traditional in any sense, but Marxist and thus based on Hegel. Deng Xiaoping simply wed communist doctrine to capitalist modalities. The hybrid is a totalitarian nightmare of social credit and state surveillance.


The events in Gaza have been a terrible shock to Muslims all over the world. First, because we are forced to be spectators, powerless to do anything, even to send our customary charity; and second, because our outrage cannot even be expressed, certainly not  easily in Western countries so tightly controlled is public opinion.

Although our outrage is directed at the Israelis, who are clearly the perpetrators of enormous crimes against the Gazans and Palestinians, there is some lack of clarity as to the role of the US in the affair. The facile assumption that the Americans are really rather nice people but a bit stupid in allowing themselves to be manipulated by the Israelis doesn’t hold water. Identifying the role of American geo-politics has, however, led many to make a dialectical jump into the camp of China, Russia and something that is being called ‘the Global South’, often identified with the expanded BRICS nations.

There will be some who think that our response to the situation ought to be a khalifate. However, while adhering to the consensus of the people of knowledge that the khalifate is an obligation, it seems clear that in its abeyance for more than a century a false doctrine has grown up around it, a doctrine that is actually the internalisation of the values of the hegemonic power: that the caliphate is a ‘state’. We have already seen one utterly disastrous attempt to erect an ‘Islamic state’ in the name of the caliphate, and no one wants to see the experiment repeated.

It is here that Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley takes our discourse forward. In a carefully considered essay he shows a realistic Muslim response to the issue: The War in Ukraine and Gaza.

Abdassamad Clarke


1  This essay came about through the suggestion of Fatih Alev Bey, the director of the Danish Islamic Centre in Frederiksberg in Copenhagen, who found many Muslims asking him how he was able to continue with his life given the heart-rending footage coming out of Gaza, and how he could make sense of the event? He asked me to prepare a presentation on the matter and this is an attempt, however partial, to respond to that.

2 Saḥnūn, al-Mudawwana al-Kubra

3  Al-Hakim narrated it in al-Mustadrak from Ibn Mas‘ud.

4  It is now openly acknowledged that the Israelis connived at the creation of Hamas in order to divide the Palestinians between Hamas and PLO. Thus, the obvious conclusion is that Hamas and the PLO should reach out to each other so that they can speak for all Palestinians.

5  See Adam Curtis’ BBC documentary “Century of the Self”, part 1.

6 See: Dr. Ali Azzali in his, “From Puritanism to Zionism: The Story of a Metamorphosis”, Part One

7  See Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi’s The Return of the Khalifate.

8  Ahmad, al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Majah and an-Nasa’i, Abū Sa‘id, al-Hakim from Abu Hurayra.

9  “In November 1914, the British government issued the first war bond, aiming to raise £350 million from private investors at an interest rate of 4.1% and a maturity of ten years. Surprisingly, the bond issue was undersubscribed, and the British public purchased less than a third of the targeted sum. To avoid publicizing this failure, the Bank of England granted funds to its chief cashier and his deputy to purchase the bonds under their own names.” (The Fiat Standard: The Debt Slavery Alternative to Human Civilization, Saifedean Ammous)

10  See Christopher Catherwood, Winston’s Folly: Imperialism and the Creation of Modern Iraq: How Winston Churchill’s Creation of Modern Iraq led to Saddam Hussein.

11  op cit, Dr. Ali Azzali

12  www.balkantale.com/videoes.php

13  Its five organizations are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The first two are sometimes collectively referred to as the World Bank.

14  The CIA was created in 1946, and in 1948 NATO was established.

15  See Giorgio Agamben, “Capitalism as Religion”, Creation and Anarchy, The Work of Art and the Religion of Capitalism.

16  Giovanni Arrighi in The Long Twentieth Century talks of the origin of banking in mediaeval Italy, then the movement of its centre to Amsterdam, London, and today New York. Clearly it is leaving New York and on its way East.

17  “…Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC in 2001 to describe the future growth economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China as consequential new actors on the global stage, he captured the early mood of that era: the rise of those countries was just beginning, and the emerging world was on the move.…The BRIC nations embraced the term, invited South Africa to join them in 2010 (hence, the BRICS with a capital “S”).” (Forbes Magazine)

18  Dr Ali Azzali, “From Puritanism to Zionism: The Story of a Metamorphosis”, Part One