It is obligatory to implement Islaam completely in one single go whilst gradualism is Haraam in regards to the implementation of its Ahkaam:
In The Name of Allah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem
The Qur’aan was revealed upon the Messenger of Allah (saw) in parts in accordance to the realities and incidents. Every time an Aayah was revealed he (saw) would hasten to convey it and if it contained a command then he and the Muslims would rush to implement it whilst if it contained a Nahi (forbiddance) he and the Muslims would abstain and keep away from it. Therefore the implementation of the Ahkaam was completed by its mere revelation alone without the slightest pause or delay. Therefore the Hukm that had been revealed became obligatory to apply and implement by its mere revelation and whatever that Hukm (ruling) was related to. This continued until this Deen was completed and His speech (swt) was revealed:
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا
Today I have completed for you your Deen and perfected upon you my favour and have chosen for you Islaam as your Deen (Al-Maa’idah 3).
After the revelation of this Noble Aayah it became required of the Muslims in a complete manner to implement and apply all of the Ahkaam of Islaam whether they were related to the ‘Aqaa’id (beliefs), ‘Ibaadaat (acts or worship), Akhlaaq (characteristics and attributes) or the Mu’aamalaat (societal transactions/dealings), and whether these Mu’aamalaat were related to those which occurred between the Muslims amongst themselves or they occurred amongst them and other peoples, nations and States, and whether these Ahkaam were related to the area of Ruling, Economics, Social relations, foreign policy in the case of peace or in the case of war.
Allah (swt) said:
وَمَا آَتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
And whatever the Messenger brought to you take it and whatever he forbade you from abstain from it, and fear Allah, verily Allah is severe in punishment (Al-Hashr 7).
This means to take and act with all that the Messenger brought to you and to abstain and keep away from all that he forbade you from. This is because ‘Maa’ (whatever) in the Aayah is from amongst the forms of generality (Siyagh Al-‘Umoom) and so it includes the obligation of acting in accordance to all of the Waajibaat (obligations) just as it includes the Wujoob (obligation) of abstaining and keeping away from all of the forbidden matters (Munhiyaat). The Talab (request) to take and to abstain from that has come in this Aayah is a Talab Jaazim (decisive request) representing Wujoob (obligation). The Qareenah (indication/linkage) for this is what came in the end of the Aayah when it commands Taqwaa and threatens a severe punishment to the one who does not take all that the Messenger of Allah (saw) brought and does not abstain from all that he (saw) forbade.
And Allah (swt) said:
وَأَنِ احْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ
And judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their desires and beware of them lest they seduce you away from some of that which Allah revealed to you (Al-Maa’idah 49).
Therefore this is a decisive command from Allah to His Messenger and to the rulers of the Muslims who follow him (saw) in respect to the obligation of ruling by all of the Ahkaam that Allah revealed, whether these Ahkaam represent commands or matters that have been forbidden. This is because the Lafzh (wording) used: ‘Maa’ (what(ever)), in the Aayah is from the Siyagh Al-‘Umoom (forms of generality) and as such it includes all of the Ahkaam that have been revealed.
Indeed Allah forbade His Messenger and the Muslim rulers who came after him to follow the desires of the people and to bend to their wishes when He (swt) said: “And do not follow their desires”.
Similarly Allah (swt) warned His Messenger and the Muslim rulers who came after him that the people will try and seduce them and divert them away from the application and implementation of some of what Allah has revealed in terms of its Ahkaam (rulings). Indeed it is obligatory to implement and apply all of the Ahkaam that Allah had revealed whether these were related to commands or matters which had been forbidden without paying any regard or attention to what the people want. This is where Allah (swt) said:
وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ
And beware of them lest they seduce you away from some of that which Allah revealed to you (Al-Maa’idah 49).
And He (swt) said:
وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
And whosoever has not ruled by what Allah has revealed then they are the disbelievers (Al-Maa’idah 44).
And in a second Aayah:
وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
And whosoever has not ruled by what Allah has revealed then they are the Zhaalimoon (transgressors, oppressors (Al-Maa’idah 45).
And in the third:
وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
And whosoever has not ruled by what Allah has revealed then they are the Faasiqoon (rebelliously disobedient) (Al-Maa’idah 47).
So in these three Aayaat, Allah Ta’Aalaa has made the one who does not rule by all that Allah (swt) has revealed in terms of Ahkaam be they commands or forbidden acts, a Kaafir, Zhaalim and Faasiq. This is because the ‘Maa’ that has come in these three Aayaat is from the Siyagh Al-‘Umoom (Forms of generality) and as such it includes all of the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah which have been revealed by Allah (swt) whether these are Awaamir (commands) or Nawaahiy (forbidden acts).
All that we have mentioned clarifies in a decisive manner in which there is no ambiguity that it is obligatory upon all of the Muslims as individuals, groups and a State to apply the Ahkaam of Islaam completely just as Allah Ta’Aalaa has commanded them to be applied without any delay, postponement or gradualism, and that there is no excuse for the individual, collective grouping or State to not apply them.
And the application must be complete (Kaamil) and comprehensive (Shaamil), in one go and not gradually. The gradual application is completely and utterly in opposition to the Ahkaam of Islaam making the one who applies some of the Ahkaam whilst leaving some of the Ahkaam sinful with Allah whether this was done by an individual, group or State.
So the obligation is obligatory and remains obligatory whilst it is obligatory to establish it. And the Haraam is Haraam and remains prohibited whilst it is obligatory to stay away from it. The Messenger of Allah (saw) did not accept from the delegation of Thaqeef for their idol Laat to be left for three years or to pardon them from the performance of the Salaah in order for them to embrace Islaam. He did not accept this from them and rejected it completely whilst being adamant about the destruction of the idol without any delay and for them to commit to the performance of the Salaah without any delay.
And Allah (swt) has made the ruler who does not apply all of the rulings of Islaam or implements some of them whilst leaving others, a disbeliever if he did not believe in the validity and soundness of Islaam or if he did not believe in the viability of some of the rules of Islaam that he had abandoned. And He (swt) made him a Zhaalim and Faasiq if he did not apply all of the Ahkaam of Islaam or implemented some whilst leaving some if he still belived in the validity and suitability of Islaam to be implemented.
And the Messenger of Allah (saw) made it obligatory to fight against the ruler and unsheathe the sword in his face if Kufr Bawaah (clear disbelief) manifested from him for which we have a Burhaan (clear evidence) from Allah. This is where he ruled by the Ahkaam of Kufr where there is no doubt that they are the rulings of disbelief. This is whether these rulings are a few in number or many as mentioned in the Hadeeth related by ‘Ubaadah Bin As-Saamit (ra) in which it was stated: ‘And that we should not dispute the matter (the rule) of its people (the rulers) unless you see Kufr Bawaah of which you have a clear proof (evidence) from Allah’.
And so there can be no negligence in respect to the application of the rulings of the Shar’a and there can be no gradualism in respect to the application of the Ahkaam of Islaam. This is because there is no difference between a Waajib (obligation) and another Waajib, or between a Haraam and another Haraam, or one Hukm (ruling) as compared to another. All of the Ahkaam of Allah are the same in that it is obligatory to be applied and implemented without delay, postponement or gradualism. Otherwise the following speech of Allah (swt) would apply upon us:
أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ فَمَا جَزَاءُ مَنْ يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ مِنْكُمْ إِلَّا خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَى أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ
So is it that you believe in some of the Book whilst you disbelieve in some. So what is the recompense for the one who does that from amongst you except disgrace in the life of the Dunyaa and on the Day of Judgment he will be returned to the most severest of punishment (Al-Baqarah 85).
There is therefore no excuse for any standing State within the Islamic world to not apply Islaam whilst using the argument that the capability to apply it is not present, or that the conditions are not suitable for it to be applied, or that the world public opinion will not accept its application, or that the world’s major powers will not allow us the opportunity to apply it, or other flimsy excuses and arguments which hold no real value. And whoever wants to use these arguments and excuses then Allah will never accept that from him