The basis of the Islamic foreign policy consists of taking the message of Islam to every people and every nation. For Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۖ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
“O Messenger! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed his Message.” [Al-Ma’idah, 5:67]
When the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم established the Islamic state in Madinah, the foreign policy of the state was implemented without delay. Examples of this was when He صلى الله عليه وسلم signed the treaty of Hudaibiyah with, many Muslims were displeased with some aspects of the agreement, to such an extent that Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra) approached the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and expressed his disagreement. However, he صلى الله عليه وسلم reminded Umar (ra) that his first priority was please Allah سبحانه وتعالى and to obey his commandments. Hence the treaty of Hudaibiyah helps us to understand that certain political manoeuvres which need to be taken to spread dawah. Also, it is vital to generate a good public opinion to earn respect and trust of the people.
He صلى الله عليه وسلم also sealed treaties with the Jews of Madinah to convey the Message in Hijaz.
The basis of international relations in Islam has always been a set concept and can never be changed; this has been the case from when the Islamic state was established and up until it was destroyed. The Islamic State cannot place a bubble around it and just be concerned about its own people; the state will need to constantly monitor international politics as well as local politics (i.e. affairs of the state). This is what it meant by foreign policy.
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said in his Khutbah al-wada’ (farewell speech):
“Would the present tell the absent, for the absent may be more conscious than the listener.” He صلى الله عليه وسلم also said, “May Allah brighten a man who listened to my saying, understood it and conveyed it as he heard it.”
The implementation of the Islamic foreign policy is through dawah and Jihad. This method has always been used as a means to execute the foreign policy of the Islamic state.
Due to the way Islam has been degraded by western governments and the media, it has had a negative impact on the perception by non Muslims and some Muslims. It would be absolutely vital that the state works towards refuting the arguments that are being hurled against Islam; this would ensure that the correct version of Islam is presented and would not affect the foreign policy and the states work to open lands to Islam. Here, the media would be used as a tool to propagate Islam and to show the strength of the State to masses. Styles and means such as debates and lectures would be utilised to demonstrate the success of the state and how it would be flourishing in terms of economic, educational and scientific progress. Equal rights would be given to every citizen whether they are Muslim or non Muslims. Every citizen would have access to free education, jobs and medical care.
Exposé of fallacies of contradicting ideologies would also be relayed to the public. Hence, media is key in facilitating the foreign policy and to propagate the values of Islam and to eradicate the capitalist ones.
The State would be independent from international organisations such as United Nation who from the very basis contradict the Islamic ideology. The sole ambition of this organisation is to propagate the capitalist ideology. The state would work to unify the Muslim world under the shade of Islam and would set itself free from any organisation that will act as an obstacle towards the objectives of the Khilafah.
As Muslims we should be very vigilant of the erroneous beliefs of international law. Internal law emerged initially to counter the Ottoman Khilafah. During the 17th century the European states collaborated with one another to confront the Ottoman state. The relations between the states were regulated by certain rules which were agreed upon. The questions which we need to raise in this day and age are: How can International Law be successful, applicable or universal when its main focus is just to keep stronger nations in power. Their aim is to protect the interests of capitalist states, rather than any other ideology be it communism or Islam. The United Nations is weak in comparison to powerful nations such America. An example of the failed attempts by the UN was the Srebrenica massacre. Currently in its 14th year anniversary of a massacre that the United Nations facilitated by gathering the victims together, disarming them, and then refusing pleas for the return of their arms as their predators closed in. This resulted in more than 8000 Muslims being massacred.
Another major concern for Muslims is Guantanamo Bay and how it has remained open for 6 years without any type of justicafication. Though the UN displayed signs of disapproval, they couldn’t even manage to shut it down or put a stop to the regime of torture and humiliation of our brothers.
And lets not forget the dark days that we witnessed earlier this year; the massacre in Gaza. Once again the UN demonstrated the flaws of their organisation. The superpowers would always protect Israel and would veto against any motion passed against it.
The list of failed attempts of peace by the United Nations is endless.What the Ummah needs is for their affairs to be run by the laws of Allah سبحانه وتعالى not by the United Nations. Contract/oath with this organisation would not be allowed, this is to prevent any type of interference on how the Khilafah would be run.
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ
“The Unbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless you do this, (protect each other), there would be fitna on earth, and great mischief.” [Al-Anfal, 8:73]
We need to rely on Allah سبحانه وتعالى laws and on each other to liberate the lands which have been occupied by colonialists. The state would not be allowed to keep ties with countries that have occupied Muslim lands and would not be allowed to sign economic treaties or keep diplomatic relations with them. However, the State would be allowed to establish relations with neutral states; Non Muslim states. Any type of treaties established with these nations would need to be done according to Islam.
Furthermore, the Khilafah would need to ensure that they are progressing in the field of technology to build certain relations with places such as Japan. Advancement in nanotechnology, nuclear and solar power would aid this. Japan is an economic giant and is blooming in technology. The countries strength lies within its economy; it is one of the highly developed countries in the world. The Industries heavily rely on importing raw materials from other countries; this would work in favour for the State as we would use this opportunity to liaise with them. The State would either exchange information or even supply raw materials to aid the manufacturing process. This would solidify relations between the two nations.
Domestic natural resources such as oil, diamonds and gold are widely recognised as being great assets for Africa. The state would encourage Africa to manage their resources effectively and not sell them for insignificant costs to feed US interests. The same thing would be said for Latin America; it is rich in resources and agriculture but is in poverty due to it being bankrupt by capitalist nations.
Building relations with neutral nations would smooth the progression of the state in terms of economy, technology and military power. This would set a powerful image to show the strengths that the state would have.
In conclusion, the state would need to be diligent of the domestic and international Politics. This means that it would need to be conscious of the internal and external threats to prevent any type of danger to the state and the Ummah. The state would work towards strengthening its military power, economic status and convey the correct version of Islam to the world. The Ummah needs to look towards the Islamic state to protect their interests and not the United Nations or capitalist nations.
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Deceiving years will come where the people would believe the liar and not believe the trustworthy, and the traitor would be trusted and the honest would be distrusted. In those years, the Ruwaybidah will speak.” He was asked, “And what is Ruwaybidah?” He said, “The shallow man who speaks about the public affairs.” [Zainab Saleem]