The dimensions of Islam
Fatwa No: 84670

  • Fatwa Date:17-8-2002 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 9, 1423
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I'm a politics student, currently studying the major ideologies in the West. Although I understand that Islam is more than a religion and ideology; its a way of life, nevertheless, I would like to know the political side of Islam.
1. What are the defining values/themes that are the basis of Islam as an political ideology. For example liberalism; individualism and freedom.
2. What is Islam's stance on the major political ideologies; liberalism (individualism and freedom) socialism (collectism and common ownership) conservatism (society and authority).
3. What is Islam's relationship towards: the state, human nature, democracy and the economy.


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Here in this Fatwa, we cannot provide all the details you are asking about. The detailed answer might need a complete book. However, we highlight the basic points concerning this subject and give some references related to this subject.
First, Muslim jurists are fully aware of the importance of politics in Islamic Shari'a so, they compiled many books dealing with this subject and this subject is discussed extensively in Fiqh books.
Some books are as follows:
a) al-Siyasah al-Shar'iyah, written by Ibn Taymiyah .
b) al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyah, written by al-Mawardi .
c) al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyah, written by Abu Ya'la .
d) al-Turuq al-Hukmiyah Fi al-Siyasit al-Shariyah, written by Ibn al-Qayyim .
e) Giyath al-Umam, written by al-Juwany .
Second, politics in Islam is not isolated from faith and good character.
Third, Islamic politics assures the rights of individuals and society as well; it maintains the rights of both of them as long as there is no contradiction between them. In the case of contradiction between the right of the individual and that of the society, the general benefit will be preferred to the private one and the one who suffers damages will get compensation for that. Imam Shatibi said in his book 'al-Muwafaqaat', 'the priority is given to public interest' .
Fourth, the system of ownership in Islam is very moderate. On one hand it approves the ownership of an individual with certain conditions. This is contrary to socialism. On the other hand it approves common property. This is contrary to capitalism.
Fifth, Islamic politics relies on the ways of consultation in opposition to 'dictatorship'. It also sets the basics for consultation, i.e. consultation would be limited only to the people concerned unlike democracy that takes the opinion of every person even from the rabble.
Sixth, Islamic politics emphasizes establishing the Caliphate; for Muslims that is the highest authority in the Muslim Ummah. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was not buried after his death till Abu Bakr (Radiya Allahu Anhu) was made the Caliph of the Muslims. For more details, please read the book "Dirassat wa Buhooth Fi al-Fiker al-Islam", written by Dr. Fathi al-Darini .
Allah knows best.

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