Throughout the Muslim world, there is a reawakening of political thought based upon Islam. Many Muslims having realised that Islam is not just about rituals and religious rites are increasingly following events and occurrences and trying to view issues from the Islamic perspective. The thinking of years gone by, where Muslims would view the politics and occurrences in the world – from the angle of Western capitalism are fast fading. The battle for Muslim hearts and minds that some Western politicians talk about is about reversing the increasing trend for Muslims to view issues on the basis of Islam. The desire of the west is that Muslims form their thinking on the false and rotten basis that the West would like Muslims to embrace.
In order to further refine this reawakening of Islamic political thought – Muslims today need to have a more precise understanding of politics and Islam. Muslims must understand that Islam provides a special angle for them when viewing events in the world and without it their politics will be weak and ineffective- even if they understood the realities of events and occurrences well.
An effective politician has to have clear thinking about what his politics are about. This means that he has to develop an angle on the basis of which he views events and occurrences. If he does not possess this angle then he would be confused in a fog of often-conflicting situations, events and occurrences. He would be become ineffective in achieving his aims and his politics would be chaotic and contradictory.
In the Western world, kafir politicians have a very precise angle with which to view events and occurrences. They view it from the basis of capitalism and its fundamental ideas like secularism, democratic principles, the notion of freedoms and pursuing ones interests. When they engage in politics they understand that the nations foreign policy is about securing the national interest. They understand how to view other nations and what to seek in any relationship from them. Domestically they are aware of what the meaning of the state’s responsibility in looking after the affairs of the people is. They have ideas about how individuals should live their life, what the rights of people should be. They are aware of their ideology and embrace it and view the world through the framework laid down by it.
They also develop political concepts as they engage in political life gaining experience- through the political traditions in their countries. They learn self-preservation, duplicity, spin, justification and lying to cover their tracks when they are involved in potentially scandalous activities. They learn that the way to judge an issue is not about right and wrong rather it’s about how it meets with their interests; they pick up the ability to use incidents to their advantage and the disadvantage of others. They understand that there is a public face that they must portray a certain image in public regardless of what they truly feel and think. They learn that in their politics it’s the law of the jungle and a person may be a friend on one day and an enemy on the next. It is in this way that the western politician develops an angle about how to view events and occurrences- and what political actions he feels are important to him and his country.
Islam condemns most of the characteristics that are acquired by western politicians. As well as condemning the basis used by them to form an angle on the basis of which to engage in politics. Islam seeks to build politicians on the basis of the values of its unique principles and values. Instead of selfishness for example, Islam builds selflessness, instead of using dirty tactics to achieve an agenda Islam encourages truthfulness and frankness. Islam teaches that what a Muslim wants for himself he wants for his brother- the West predominantly teaches that individual interests come first before those of all others.
For the Muslims, politicians carrying the Islamic viewpoint almost disappeared during the decline of the Uthmani Khilafah. The colonialist enemies of Islam succeeded in poisoning the political thinking of the Muslims and distorting their political angle. They introduced and inflamed many alien political thoughts – like nationalism where Muslims from Arabia started viewing themselves distinctly from Muslims from Istanbul. After the Islamic state was destroyed in 1924 - politics in the Muslim Lands became dominated by socialistic or capitalistic ideas. The politicians and the political movements that worked within the state structures that replaced the rule of Islam became totally ineffective and were merely used as tools. Their political angle was devoid of Islam and as can be witnessed today is only fundamentally concerned with their remaining in power.
A list of such people involved in politics in the Muslim lands in the past century includes– Mustafa Kamal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar Sadat, King Hussein of Jordan, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussain, Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharaff and Benazir Bhutto. All of these individuals were very far from the politics of Islam and all served the interest of Western powers rather than their own people. Those that wanted to build their nations tried to do so on a weak political basis – the likes of Jamal Abdul Nasser had the weak basis of Arab Nationalism upon which to base his politics.
All engaged in a political system that was installed by the West and built upon Western concepts. For this reason it was not possible that anyone from within government or parties working within the system bring any good for the Muslims. The colonialists appreciate that as long as the angle held by politicians of the Muslim world is corrupted they can carry on with exploiting their lands.
It is for this reason that a band of Muslims began to culture themselves about Islam as an ideology and a way of life so that once again there would exist a political block amongst the Muslims that would allow the decline of the Ummah to be reversed.
The fruits of this study of the Islamic culture can be seen far and wide throughout the Muslim world and beyond. However as the Khilafah state has not yet been established- true political experience is lacking. For Muslims politics is about accounting the state when not in power and practically looking after the affairs of the ummah domestically and internationally when in ruling. In the absence of the state the most important and vital political work is that to establish a the Khilafah state- for Muslims to engage in any other type of political activity, through the existing government structures or to attempt to secure every immediate interest that ummah faces would be a distraction from the vital political issue- the re-establishment of the Khilafah state.
The Special Angle
When engaging in politics the Muslim must understand his viewpoint and his angle correctly. If he does not then it is possible for others to manipulate him for their agenda. If the angle and the viewpoint are not clear in the mind then this may lead the individual have weak political will that may lead him to abandon his aims.
The angle for politics that is taken on the basis of Islam is distinct and unique and therefore it may be described as the special angle. The special angle will act like a compass for the Muslim politician that will lead him to the correct political action and steer him in the correct direction.
The special angle from which Muslims should view events is not based upon their whims or desires rather it comes from their aqeeda. From the Islamic texts it is well established that Islam came to mankind as a deen and the angle of la-illa-ha-il- Allah is the prism from which all events must be seen. This means that the hukm shari rules and the understanding of the Islamic ideology are the lens through which the Muslim politician views occurrences.
The special angle of a Muslim towards events, occurrences and the issues faced in life must be built upon Islam and its rulings. It should not be built upon factors such as benefit or utility as is the case for the capitalists. This would corrupt the politics of that individual, movement or indeed the state. Understanding the why, where and the agendas of different political actors is not enough to engage politics effectively.
Forming the Islamic Political Angle
In normal circumstances for Muslims to form the special angle would be a simple matter. If Islam was implemented in state and society the concepts of the Islamic ideology would be well established in society and therefore in the individuals. The unfortunate situation that Muslim societies face today, where societies are based upon a jumble of ideas rather than having Islam as the basis of society leads to a corruption in the angle held by politicians.
Politics is often defined as looking after the affairs of the people – meaning that politicians act to address how the problems, needs and wants of the people might be met. In this age the Muslim Ummah faces many issues- in the Muslim world there is military, political and cultural occupation, hunger, starvation, inadequate opportunities for education and health care systems that do not work even for those that can afford to pay. Considering this is the condition of many Muslims around the globe – it would be only natural for individuals to try to address these issues
Many of those that start off sincerely trying to improve the situation of the people but often end up becoming corrupt and tools of the ruler in the Muslim world today. In some places in the muslim world trying to do something for the people is outlawed, often carrying punishments of imprisonment and torture as this type of activity, talk or even thought is seen to be a threat to the existing regime. In these circumstances many political movements have come and gone, or have been transformed to become something that is very far from the vision of their founders.
Before Muslims embark on an attempt to bring change or address the needs of the people, they need to form a very clear angle on the basis of which they will engage their work upon.
The Islamic Political Angle must be based Upon the Islamic Ideology.
The Islamic ideology is the basis upon which a Muslim conducts his life – and this applies to the politics he engages in. Therefore his political angle must be built upon Islam and the correct ideological understandings of what Islam is. He must view the realities and occurrences from this basis.
For example if some Muslims were to claim that power sharing in the existing regimes was the way to implement Islam, and they were to demonstrate in reality that they have indeed been successful in applying parts of Islam. He would reject their call on the basis of understanding the Islamic ideology, as there cannot be any partial implementation of Islam and co-existence of the system of Islam with the system of kufr. This would be a fundamental understanding of the Islamic ideology, which would allow the Muslim politician to form the correct angle about the issue.
Similarly if others were to claim that democracy is the way to bring good for the Muslims – he would reject their call as democracy is kufr and is contrary to the Islamic belief.
Some claim that the Khilafah is a distant reality and not likely to be established soon; in the meantime let us work for some immediate aims like helping individuals in the locality. If the angle was based upon the Islamic ideology – the individual would understand that whilst helping individuals in his community is an act of charity and is an action that Allah (swt) will reward for – but if his angle were correctly formed, it would tell him that his actions towards re-establishing Khilafah were more of a priority. He would give no consideration to the thinking Khilafah was a long way from establishment or not. In this way the correct understanding of the Islamic ideology is indispensable in forming the correct political angle.
If the fundamental understandings of the Islamic ideology are weakly held in the minds of those that seek to bring political change then, it is easy for them to be diverted and even abandon their political call. Therefore those that are interested in bringing political change must be very diligent in culturing themselves with the Islamic ideology otherwise they may stumble at the first hurdle. The political angle of a Muslim politician must always remain anchored to the Islamic ideology and he must never deviate away from this. The Muslim must first develop his sight i.e. his concepts with which to see, then he must develop his understanding of the world around him, events and incidences and then he must undertake his political actions- which today must be centred around reviving the ummah and re-establishing the Khilafah.