Monday, December 31, 2007

Chapter 1: The True Politics

Politics as defined in the preface of this book means the knowledge of administration. As such, true politics must mean safety and salvation. That is what is required by the teachings of Allah.

What is meant by safe politics? It means the knowledge and the endeavour to plan, carry out, manage, maintain and upgrade all kinds of spiritual and material development for mankind as commanded and willed by Allah SWT (the Most Pure and the Most High), according to His rules and regulations which is the Islamic shariah.

Because of the fact that Islam means safety and salvation, and because the Islamic way of life is complete unto itself, hence, the knowledge of true administration which gives safety and salvation covers all spiritual and material aspects of the life of mankind. Among these aspects are leadership, education, economy, social, agriculture, stock farming, motivation, health, information, welfare, public relations, military, judiciary and others. When all aspects of living have been planned, carried out, managed, administered, maintained and upgraded according to the teachings of Allah SWT, both spiritually and materially, that is what we call the true system of politics which brings about love, brotherhood and fraternity which in turn will breed safety and salvation.

Those involved in this system, whether they are the rulers who are the planners and decision makers of development policies or they are administrative officers who implement and carry out those policies, or they are just ordinary workers who are involved in the actual work down to the lowest level, are all regarded as true politicians in Islam.

In short, politicians are divided into two groups:
1. Policy makers
2. Those who implement policies

The difference between the Islamic or the true system of politics and other systems of man made or secular politics - be it at the level of the family, group or jamaah, state, nation or empire – is that everything that is done in Islamic politics must always fulfil five conditions. In other words, in implementing the theory and knowledge of Islamic politics, one must always abide by Allah’s laws and regulations. So that the theory and implementation of Islamic politics is consistent and do not contradict each other, and thus accepted as good deeds by Allah SWT. It must also simultaneously serve Muslims as well as other ethnics, religions and races within a system that is congruent and commensurate with the innate or inborn human nature. If the five conditions are not fulfilled, no matter how great the achievement, it does not become a good deed for Muslims and will not be accepted by Allah SWT. It will go to waste because it does not meet the criteria of true politics. There is no reward for deeds rejected by Allah. The doer is said to have strayed from the path of Allah. The society in turn, will reject it because it goes against the innate nature of mankind. The five conditions are:

Rightful intention (for Allah)
Full observance of Islamic laws and rules (shariah) in implementation
Clearly permissible in Islam
The result and outcome must fulfil the will of Allah
Basic practices of worship are not neglected

To clarify this, let us see how true Islamic politics implemented in a household can actually become a deed of worship. In order to set up an Islamic family system, so that all members of the household will get Allah’s rewards and be granted the title and position of a good servant, the following should be observed:

All family members must have the intention to build a ‘safe and salvaging’ Islamic family system for the sake of gaining Allah’s acceptance and blessings. It is He who allows and encourages marriages and to have large families. Therefore it should be done for His sake.

Everything that is done in the household by all family members must always be permissible or righteous according to the rules of Allah SWT. All items in the house must be obtained and procured by halal and righteous means. Not through theft, deceit, or corruption. In other words, do what Allah loves and leave what Allah abhors from the smallest to the biggest matter. Among others, ensuring that love and fraternity is preserved among family members, implementing only the harmonious education system, engaging only in clean and righteous economic activities that are free from usury, deceit, oppression, corruption and monopoly for all these can nullify love and fraternity.

All the above matters must be carried out according to the teachings and regulations of Allah SWT and complying with His disciplines. These disciplines include being tolerant, cooperative, compromising, respectful of the feelings of others, forgiving, accommodating, understanding and so on.

When everything in the household is done according to lawful and righteous ways then the outcome must surely be good. For example, the house can be used as a place to entertain guests and not as an object of pride and pompousness. In building the house it must not cause difficulty to neighbours. That is why in Islam, before a house is built, neighbours must first be consulted. If this is done, it will enhance future relationship. Subsequently, when the household is able to do good things within the family, its members must take a step further by calling upon others to emulate them. They cannot despise and look down upon others who do not.

In the effort to build a safe and salvaging family, the basic obligations of a Muslim such as performing the five daily solah (prayers), learning the fundamental teachings in Islam, such as the five pillars of Islam and the six articles of faith must not be neglected. Neglecting the basics will cause all other undertakings to be nullified.

The same applies to all other aspects of life, be they in leadership, education, economy, health and others. When everything is planned, implemented, managed and upgraded according to the discipline set by Allah SWT, it will automatically comply with the innate human nature. Hence, people will feel good and safe. Islamic politics is thus established in the lives of people be it in the household, group or jamaah, state or nation. In Islam, such undertaking is considered a good deed in its general sense. For muslims, true politics breeds love and harmony. Love and harmony suits the needs of all mankind irregardless of ethnic, race and religion.

It is mentioned in the preface of this book that politics takes place at many levels. It is not confined to political parties or to the state or nation alone. These levels are:

The household
The group or jamaah
Empire (ummah)

The difference in politics or administration at the different levels stems from the different degree of completeness in the practice of Islam at each level. The areas to be managed in turn vary. Certainly family matters are different from matters that touch on groups or jamaah. Likewise the political sphere at group or jamaah level is different from that at national level. For example, a group or jamaah is not allowed to set up its own military and judiciary system. Therefore, it is not possible to have politics in military or judiciary matters at that particular level, but they certainly exist at national level. The true system of politics as aforementioned is a safe and salvaging system. It must be put under the power of a capable and charismatic leader or caliph. He will be the one able and responsible for the planning, directing, mobilizing, implementing, managing, monitoring and upgrading the system, (by way of making spiritual and material development) according to the discipline of Allah SWT (the Most Pure and the Most High).

For this purpose, the caliph can appoint a team of qualified and responsible leaders. Islam grants its caliph the power to determine the position or post of the leaders under him and to retain or take away such post whenever they breach any discipline, display weak leadership or when it is strategic to do so. Under true or Islamic politics, the people and lower leaders must obey their caliph and leaders appointed by the caliph as long as they strive to enforce the laws of Allah. The command for Muslims to obey their leaders are clearly stated in the Quran:

Meaning: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger (Muhammad) and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.” (An Nisa: 59)

This command is applicable as long as the leader abides by the rules of Allah and His Prophet. It automatically ceases once they go astray. The Prophet says:

Meaning: “There is no obedience to anyone in transgressing the rules of Allah SWT.”

Such are the conditions and discipline that Allah SWT sets for true Islamic politics which is safe and full of salvation. Everything is for the purpose of giving benefit to all mankind, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The system will transform the chaotic world into a temporary heaven on earth before the believers depart to the perpetual heaven in the Hereafter. The fruit of implementing true politics, will bear a nation so desired by Allah SWT as mentioned in the Quran:

Meaning: “A fair land, peaceful and prosperous; and blessed by the Oft-Forgiving Lord.” (Saba: 15)

This model of a beautiful nation has in fact existed in the folds of history. And it will recur in the last era by the will of Allah SWT.

Nations of the world today are being ruled by erroneous and tyrannical politics. Being so, it cannot qualify for Allah’s forgiveness and blessings. In fact even law and order cannot prevail let alone prosperity. Though some nations may claim to be prosperous, its prosperity is enjoyed only by a small group of elites. The rest and in fact the majority of the people remain poor and destitute. This is not a prosperous nation in the Islamic sense.

Similarly the same condition is seen in most Islamic groups or jamaah that claim to be practising Islamic politics. Even in most Muslim families, we have yet to see them qualify to be endowed with Allah’s forgiveness.

Muslims today are not practising Islamic or true politics the way they should. They do not employ the Islamic system as a way of life in their struggle. Even if they have projects, such projects do not meet the required conditions set by Islam. Therefore the projects are not regarded as good deeds in Islam and are not rewarded by Allah. Muslims must take heed that Islam must be in accordance to its knowledge, and its practice must be based on faith.

All these while, Islam is beautiful only in theory, but not in implementation. Muslims have been lauding “Islam is the way of life”, but Islamic signs and symbols (shiar) are yet to appear in society. The so called Islamic politics based on the democratic system is pursued only in the form of campaigns, manifestos, slogans and propagandas. It is used only in election campaigns and in the fight for power. After the election their Islamic struggle ends. On top of that there is nothing to fill the power and the administration, in the state or nation that is won. This is why the secular system continues to persist though the system is aged, distressing and doing a lot of harm to all of us. The fact is, it is not the true Islamic politics that we have been practising all these while, but politics that are totally against and unacceptable to Islam, but nonetheless labelled as Islamic. We have all been deceived and misled, whether we realise it or not. That is why politics practised by the Muslims today is hurting everyone, Muslims and non- Muslims alike.

I seek Allah’s protection from being one who only knows to comment, but doesn’t know how to perform which is very much abhorred by Allah. And I seek Allah’s protection from being a critic who doesn’t know how to practise. But truly, what Rufaqa is trying to do is to implement Islamic politics in its truest sense. All praises be to Allah, and it is with His permission and endowment that Islamic politics has become a reality in Rufaqa, though still at its basic and early stages. For members of Rufaqa’, it is the arena to practise Islamic politics. For Muslims and non-Muslims who are interested in Islam, the system is an alternative to the failed secular political system. However, there are certain people who are not happy and who feel threatened. May Allah help Rufaqa to become the one Islamic organisation, that implements Islamic politics that is safe and full of salvation because it brings about love, brotherhood and fraternity.

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