Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Islam and Politics

Outline

  •  Islam
    • As a religion and abstract ideology
    • Muslim communities with their unique historical and sociopolitical conditions
  • Politics
    • Governance and Administration
    • Power and dominance
  • Political activity
    •  Liberative or resistive to oppression
    • Dominative or bullying
  • Political activities’ format
    •  Movement and revolutionary
    • Institution and fixed
  • Political Concepts in Qur'an (Islamic scripture)
  • Politics in Sunna (practice and sayings of Muhammad)
  • Politics in the Muslim Community (Umma) after Muhammad
    • Main political/theological split in Islam
      • Sunni (majority) Caliphate
      • Shia (Minority) Imamate
    • other early political movements
      • Kharijites
    • Historical stages and dynasties
      • First four Caliphs
      • Umayyads dynasty
      • Abbasid dynasty
      • Mongolian conquest
      • three Islamic empires 
        • Ottoman
        • Safavid
        • Mughal
      • WW I and Colonization
      • Salafism
      • Sharia and Civil Law

Political Concepts in Qur'an

Taghut (tyranny; Lexical meaning of Taghut: one that has steps outside his limits, demands and takes more than he deserved.)

Those who have faith fight in the way of God, and those who are faithless fight in the way of the Taghut. (4:76)

Certainly, We raised an apostle in every nation [to preach:] "Worship God, and keep away from the Taghut." (16:36)

Arrogant powers (Mustakbir) and the oppressed (Mustad’af)

And We desired to show favor to those who were abased (oppressed) in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the heirs. (28:5)

Why should you not fight in the way of God and the abased men, women, and children, who say "Our Lord, bring us out of this town whose people are wrongdoers, and appoint for us a guardian from You, and appoint for us a helper from You"? (4:75)

Immigration of the oppressed

Indeed, those whom the angels take away [their soul at the moment of death] while they are wronging themselves (they are not in state of practicing their faith), they ask "What state were you in?" They reply, "We were abased in the land." (we had not enough freedom to practice our faith) They say, "Was not God's earth vast enough so that you might migrate in it?" The refuge of such shall be hell, and it is an evil destination. Except the abased among men, women and children, who have neither access to any means nor are guided to any way. (4:97-98)

Alliance with the Oppressors

And do not incline to those who are unjust, Lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides God, then you shall not be helped. (11:113)

Tradition of Previous Prophets

O David! Surely We have made you a vicegerent/ruler in the earth; so judge between men with justice and do not follow desire, lest it should lead you astray from the path of God. (38:26)

It does not behoove any human that God should give him the Book, judgement and prophethood, and then he should say to the people, "Be my servants instead of God." Rather [he would say] "Be a godly people, because of your teaching the Book and because of your studying it." (3:79)

Commanding Right and Forbidding Evil

There has to be a nation among you summoning to the good, bidding what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. It is they who are the felicitous. (3:104)

But the faithful, men and women, are comrades of one another: they bid what is right and forbid what is wrong and maintain the prayer, give the zakat, and obey God and His Apostle. It is they to whom God will soon grant His mercy. Indeed God is all-mighty, all-wise. (9:71)

[The faithful are] penitent, devout, celebrators of God's praise, wayfarers, who bow [and] prostrate [in prayer], bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, and keep God's bounds; thus give good news to the faithful. (9:112)

any who have been driven from their homes unjustly, merely because they say: "Our Lord is God [Alone]." If it were not because God repels some men by means of others, cloisters, churches, synagogues and mosques -where God's name is mentioned frequently- would have been demolished. God supports anyone who supports Him-God is Strong, Powerful. those who, if We granted them power in the land, would maintain prayer and pay Zakat (charity), bid what is right and forbid what is wrong. And with Allah rests the outcome of all matters. (22:40-41)

Shura (consultation)

[faithful are] those who answer their Lord, maintain the prayer, and their affairs are by counsel among themselves, and they spend out of what We have provided them with. (42:38)

It is by God's mercy that you are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hardhearted, surely they would have scattered from around you. So excuse them, and plead for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs, and once you are resolved, put your trust in God. Indeed God loves those who trust in Him. (3:159)

Self-determination

Surely God does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition. (13:11)

Sources

Theocracy and Democracy by M Ja'fari

Islam and Democracy by F al-Samak

Islamic Political Theory by M Mesbah Yazdi

Shia Political Thought by A Vaezi

Imam Ali's Book of Governance by M Reyshahri

Monday, October 25, 2021

Islam, Social Justice and Human Rights

 O

Outline

   Introduction

o   Islam as a religion and Muslims as a community

o   Denominational, ethnic and cultural differences within Islamic community

o   Differences with Christianity

§  The authority

o   Historical context and background

·      Related teachings

o   Qur’an:

§  (Obligation of Justice) Indeed, God enjoins justice and kindness and generosity towards relatives, and He forbids indecency, wrong, and aggression. (16:90)

§  Say, "My Lord has enjoined justice," (7:29)

§  He [God] has prescribed for you the religion which He had enjoined upon Noah and which We have [also] revealed to you, and which We had enjoined upon Abraham, Moses and Jesus, declaring, "Maintain the religion, and do not be divided in it." … So summon to this [unity of religion], and be steadfast, just as you have been commanded, and do not follow their desires, and say, "I believe in whatever Book Allah has sent down. I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. Our deeds belong to us and your deeds belong to you. There is no argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together and toward Him is the destination.” (42:13-15)

§  (ٍEquality among followers of divine religions) Say, "O People of the Book!(=Christians, Jews and followers of other divine scriptures) Come to a word common between us and you: that we will worship no one but God, and that we will not ascribe any partner to Him, and that we will not take each other as lords instead of God." But if they turn away, say, "Be witnesses that we are Muslims." (3:64)

§      (Kindness with disbelievers) God does not forbid you in regard to those [disbelievers] who did not make war against you on account of religion and did not expel you from your homes, that you deal with them with kindness and justice. Indeed God loves the just. God forbids you only in regard to those who made war against you on account of religion and expelled you from your homes and supported [others] in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them it is they who are the wrongdoers. (60:8-9)

§  (Stereo type alert!) O you who have faith! Be maintainers, as witnesses for the sake of God, of justice. And ill feeling for a people should never lead you to be unfair. Be fair; that is nearer to God wariness, and be wary of Allah. Allah is indeed well aware of what you do. (5:8)

§  (Justice, the ultimate goal of all divine prophets) Certainly We sent Our apostles with manifest proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, so that mankind may maintain justice. (57:25)

§  (Base desire deviates one from justice) O David! indeed, We have made you a vicegerent on the earth. So judge between people with justice, and do not follow desire, or it will lead you astray from the way of God. (38:26)

§  (Support for the underprivileged) Charities are only for the poor and the needy, and those employed to collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and for the freedom of the slaves and the debtors, and in the way of Allah, and for the traveler (who has been left with no means to get back home) This is an ordinance from Allah, and Allah is all-knowing, all-wise. (9:60)

§  (Gender and ethnic equality) O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among you. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-aware. (49:13)

§  (Gender and ethnic relations) And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you. There are indeed signs in that for a people who reflect. Among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors. There are indeed signs in that for those who know. (30:21-22)

§  (Human rights) That is why We decreed for the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul, without [its being guilty of] manslaughter or corruption on the earth, is as though he had killed all mankind, and whoever saves a life is as though he had saved all mankind. Our apostles certainly brought them manifest signs, yet even after that many of them commit excesses on the earth. (32:5)


o    Other Quotations and Teachings:

§   (the Golden Rule) Imam Ali (a disciple of Muhammad and authority in Islamic theology) said to his son: "Set yourself as a criterion for judgment between you and others, so like for others whatever you like for yourself, and dislike for others whatever you dislike for others, and never do injustice to anyone like the way you don't like it for yourself, and be kind to others like the way you like others be kind with you, and do not say to others what you don't like to be said to you. (Nahj al-Balagha letter 31)

Again, Imam Ali wrote to one of his governors:

"people are two groups, either your brother in faith or equal in creation." (Nahj al-balagha letter 53)

o   In the legal system

§  Justice of the witness

§  In polygamous marriages:

·      If you fear that you may not deal justly with the orphans, then marry [other] women that you like, two, three, or four. But if you fear that you may not treat them fairly, then marry only one. (4:3)

·      You will not be able to be fair between wives, even if you are eager to do so. Yet do not turn away from one altogether, leaving her as if in a suspense. (4:129)

·      Slavery

o   Slavery in the ancient world

o   Freeing slaves in Islam

o   Atlantic slavery and Indian ocean slavery

·      Gender and Family 

Criminal Law and Penal Code


Webpages

Articles

Social Justice in Islam and Human Rights by: BILAL AHMAD BHAT

Books












Wednesday, October 20, 2021