There are very few Muslim countries today that keep entirely to the ideals of the Muslim state set up by the Holy Prophet. However, for those countries that have a large Muslim population and leaders, the following guidelines can be set which should affect their behaviour with other states, both Muslim and non-Muslim.
Table of Contents
Relations with Muslim countries
All Muslims, wherever they live, are one community and form one brotherhood although separated from each other by geographical boundaries.
Muslims are bound by the ties of Islam, which has established fraternity and solidarity among the Muslims and has abolished distinctions of color, race. language, status or nationality. This concept makes all Muslims, equal in rights and obligations.
A Muslim country should extend help in all fields of life and should live in peace and resolve its differences with other Muslim states through negotiations or through arbitration. If there is a war or dispute between two Muslim countries, it is the duty of other Muslim countries to arrange reconciliation and peace between the two. But if the aggressor is not ready to reconcile, the other Muslim countries should help the wronged party, till the oppressor is forced to make peace. The Quran says: “If two parties among the believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them, but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice.(49:9)
And also: “The believers are but a single brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers….. (49: 10)
Relations with non-Muslim countries
Relations between an 1slamic state and a non-Muslim allied state would he governed strictly in accordance With the terms of the treaty or alliance or pact concluded between them. The terms of the agreement would be fulfilled by the Islamic State under all circumstances.
In cases of a pledge or protection of security from foreign interference or invasion, the Muslim state will fully stand by it and protect them from their enemies to the. best of its ability. If at any time it can not guarantee its protection it will return its defence tax, Jizyah, as Khalid bin Walid did when he could not protect the Christans of Emmessa from the attack of the Roman Emperor. When returning their jizyah, Khalid said: “We accepted the Jizyah as a token of your good will and in return for defending you, but in this we have failed you.”
(Abdul Rehman Azzam: The Eternal Message of Muhammad)
Islam enjoins justice and fairness in human dealings. The Islamic state would base its relations with non-Muslim countries on the values of justice and equity, friendship and co-operation. It would co-operate with those countries which
are promoting the cause of peace, justice and human welfare. The Holy Quran enjoins upon its followers: “… Help ye one another in righteousness and piety but help ye not one another in sin and rancour..” (5:2)
Acting upon this principle, the Islamic state should extend its co-operation to all the states that are working to achieve human betterment in the fields of economic development, education, science, technology and social sectors.
One of the fundamental principles of the foreign policy of an Islamic state is to abide by its international commitments. The Holy Quran enjoins the Islamic state to honour its pledges even with the enemy states and not to be the first one to break a pledge made with them.
Islam also instructs its followers to help and liberate the oppressed and persecuted Muslims living in non-Muslim countries. However, help can only be gjven to those persecuted Muslims who are living in such countries with whom the Islamic state has no alliance or treaty of peace and friendship. But, if a treaty exists between the Islamic state and a non-Muslim country which is the oppressed people. in these case, the Islamic countries should pressurize the non-Muslim country to treat its Muslim citizens kindly. But if the non Muslim Country does not give up its oppression the Islamic state can break the treaty and intervene in favour of the oppressed Muslims. Whenever decisions have to be taken, the principles of Islam should be more important than pressures oppressing its Muslim minority, then the Islamic state is not permitted to help exerted by other states.