Monday, December 31, 2007


The word “politics” originates from an ancient Greek or Latin word. But today, it has come to be accepted as an international word. All languages throughout the world use the word “politics”.However, most nations in the world today understand and exercise politics only in its narrow and mistaken context.

Politics according to most people means the exercise or contest to gain the ruling power over a country. The ruling format and system of administration that will be exercised once power is gained, is not given serious attention. Issues related to the system of governance is never publicised, not as much as those related to the election campaign and the effort of gaining power itself.

The act of politicking has been mistakenly understood as the act of joining any political party, for the purpose of taking part in elections. Politicians are taken as people who have political parties or are members of political parties, and who take part in political elections held once in every several years. Whether or not they win the elections to qualify them to become the people’s representatives, as long as they remain party members, they are called politicians. On the other hand, those who are not involved in such politics, meaning those who do not take part in the contest for political power, who do not join any political party, who do not vote and obviously, who do not contest in elections, are not regarded as politicians. Because politics is commonly understood in terms of winning elections so as to gain power, hence the whole objective in politics is to win the elections. The desperation to win elections causes politicians to adopt all possible ways and means to achieve their goal. Be they permissible or prohibited, legal or otherwise, dirty or clean, disruptive or misleading. In certain places, giving bribes, buying votes, or even killing people are regarded as necessary and as such acceptable.

The equivalent word to “politics” in the formal language of Islam i.e. Arabic is “see-ya-sah”. In the dictionary, “see-yasah” is defined as knowledge of administration. In simple terms, politics is administration. If expanded furthur, politics can also be defined as the act to establish all aspects of human development and civilisation - be they spiritual or material in nature - and how to enkindle love, brotherhood and fraternity among mankind. It also involves the effort to administer and maintain the already prevailing infra structure and development, so that it can endure, perpetuate and if possible expanded and further developed. Hence, with politics, spiritual and material civilisation will continue to improve and advance in human lives. This will bring about great advantage, benefits, goodness and rewards to the society particularly in instilling love, brotherhood and fraternity so that society can live in peace and harmony.

Such is the nobleness, purity and greatness of the realm of politics in Islam. It truly complements the innate nature of humans, regardless of ethnic, race, creed and religion. One who undertakes politics of this kind, carried out according to the proper tenets of Islam truly deserves great rewards and greater still if the doer is the initiator or leader of the movement itself. Those who live in this Islamic political system will consequently lead peaceful lives, loving and caring among each other despite coming from different places and belonging4 to different ethnic, race and religion. Because in this system, people do not contend or fight for power which in the Western system is later translated into wealth and riches, but they compete to do good to others and to gain acceptance by Allah In order to understand the deeper and true meaning of politics in Islam, we need to discuss it further. To undertake Islamic politics or to become an Islamic politician, we must carry out administrative work, be it the administration of mankind themselves or matters related to mankind. That is to manage and administer matters in human life from the smallest to the most universal. There are different levels of human life. Among the levels of human life that must be administered are:

1. Politics at household level
2. Politics at group (jamaah) level
3. Politics at state level
4. Politics at national level
5. Politics at universal level (empire of ummah)

Under each level of politics stated above, there are various scopes and fields that must be administered. Among them are:
1. Politics in education
2. Politics in culture
3. Politics in stock farming
4. Politics in health
5. Politics in economy
6. Politics in agriculture
7. Politics in policing and law enforcement
8. Politics in national affairs

From this, we understand that politicians in Islam are not only the leaders or those vested with the power to rule, or those registered as members of political parties, but they encompass all levels of administrators in the state or nation. While leaders are people who plan and make administrative policies, administrators are people who carry out or imple- ment those policies. In Islam, leaders as well as administrators are all regarded as politicians.

A person who owns twenty goats, and he takes care of them so that they get enough food and water, shelter, health, comfort and security, while ensuring that they do not become a menace to neighbours, so much so the goats grow healthy, multiply and give generous returns without causing harm and hardship to other people, is indeed a good and successful politician in stock farming in the Islamic sense of the word. He is a politician or an administrator in his field of expertise. Though he may not have any political post, takes no part in elections, does not belong to any political party and does not contend as an election candidate, he has actually been politicking and has the right and true knowledge of politics particularly in his field.

Similarly is the case of people in other fields and disciplines. If they can successfully administer their portfolios while preserving love, brotherhood and fraternity, then they are true politicians. They are said to be safe and they are a saviour to others. On the other hand, a people’s representative who wins in a political election but does not have any project to administer, and makes no effort to nurture and educate his people or to carry out development work for their benefit, is not a politician. Giving away money to people in order for them to carry out projects does not suffice to make him a politician. He must at least teach and nurture the people, give them ideas, show them how to do things, help them to overcome problems and be together with them in the ups and downs of running a project. Whenever a problem occurs, he must know how to solve it wisely without sacrificing love and fraternity. Only then, may he qualify to be a politician, according to the Islamic perspective.

The same thing applies to other portfolios of the people’s representatives. Even if he is a minister, but if he does not carry out administrative tasks incumbent upon him, namely, he only mans and administers his office and makes no effort to ensure that spiritual and material development takes place among his people, or his administrative ways create crises and destroy love, brotherhood and fraternity, then he in actual fact is not a politician. Or we can say that he is a politician who does not practise politics.

I observe that in all nations throughout the world today, almost all of the so-called politicians hardly practise politics. They get lots of benefits, reward and advantages from their political posts but they in turn give little or no benefit at all to their country and their people. Some of them not only do not give any benefit, but they incur great losses and create grave problems in their countries. They threaten the unity and brotherhood among their people. They are not only politicians who do not practise politics but I would like to call them politicians who destroy and injure their nations. Unfortunately though, people do not realise such fraud and deception. And these politicians continue to fool their people so that they remain elected to stay in power. Politics has become so dirty and tarnished, distorted and misused, and all this is done in the name of Islam. Truly Islam prohibits such dirty practices in politics. Instead Islam put great emphasis on love and fraternity. Love, brotherhood and fraternity is universal and belongs to everyone in the world. It is required by all races, ethnics and religions.

On the other hand, there exist a group of people who work tirelessly, planning and initiating new projects like building new educational or economic centres, hospitals and clinics, factories and shops, mass media stations, new townships, office buildings, vegetable, fruit and stock farms, carrying out motivational, leadership and social work, so much so a complete social system is established. They are much like a government unto themselves. Despite having done all these, they are still accused of being anti-politics. They are labelled as Muslims who do not strive or struggle for Islam and who neglect politics which they say is an important aspect of Islam. Whereas in Islamic terms, these group of people are the true politicians in all aspects and they are up to their noses in carrying out Islamic politics and administration.

Even though everyone knows that they have made great contributions for the development of their society and nation, they are still looked upon as anti-politics. Although they have proven their capability and credibility over and over again to offer services and to build society, they are still regarded as non-politicians only because they do not register themselves into any political party. This is just like saying that a person who is clearly seen planting, watering and harvesting his crop cannot be called a farmer just because he has not enlisted into any agricultural institute and does not possess a certificate in farming. Is this logical?

How blinded have the muslims been in understanding politics in its true sense? This is because of the perverted way people look at politics forced upon them over a long period of time by the secular system. They were only made to understand Western and democratic electoral politics. They do not know that the Islamic system of politics is much more noble and virtuous.

People including misguided Muslims must realise that this group of people who are carrying out Islamic politics and who are struggling for the Islamic cause by involving themselves in human and material development, are the true politicians. They are politicians who do not belong to any political party. They are the Islamic fighters. They adopt the Islamic method or system of politics in its complete form, which is totally different from politics of the West. Theirs is the interpretation of politics that is correct and sensible. People must be made to think and to see this truth so that they will develop a distaste for Western politics and no longer be deceived by it.

May Allah allow this book to propagate this message of truth concerning politics and to show how wrong people have been in assessing and understanding politics. So, we may all realise who are the true politicians and who are not. And thus, we can start to learn how to practise politics in the true sense of the word.

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