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Social System in Islam - II

Social System in Islam - II
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 The Unique feature of Islam:

Islam was born with the unique feature of amalgamating the secular with religious, the worldly with the other-worldly, and with a clear approach to socio-economic affairs and with a well-defined administrative system.

The famous Italian orientalist Dr. Laura Veccia Vaglieri, stated: "With Islam, the spirit was liberated from prejudice, man’s will be set free from the ties which had kept it bound to the will of other men, or other so-called hidden powers, priests, false guardians of mysteries, brokers of salvation; all those who pretended to be mediators between God and man and consequently believed that they had authority over other people’s wills, fell from their pedestals.

Because the Unity of God embraces all other unities, this religion was born with the unique feature of amalgamating the secular with religious, the worldly with the other-worldly, and with a clear approach to socio-economic affairs and with a well-defined administrative system.

Man became the servant of Allah Alone and towards other men he had only the obligations of one free man towards another. While men had suffered from the injustices of social differences, Islam proclaimed equality among human beings. Each Muslim was distinguished from other Muslims only by his greater fear of Allah, his good deeds, and his moral and intellectual qualities." [Apologia dell Islamismo, pp. 33-34]

Allah Says (what means): {O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has piety. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.} [Quran 49:13]

The most important and fundamental principle in Islam, is the doctrine of Monotheism. Monotheism in Islam is not only a theological principle but it is the cornerstone of Islamic epistemology and the most basic principle of the methodology of Islam and all Islamic studies. According to this principle, authority, judgment and power belong to Allah. This doctrine liberates the whole of humanity from all sorts of domination, and every kind of intermediary and subjugation, and provides Muslims with a strong sense of independence. This doctrine, together with the Islamic principle of "the duty of enjoining, spreading and encouraging good and forbidding evil" provides Muslims with the legal, spiritual, social, theological and ethical justification to establish a Divine order. Islam never approves imperialism, dictatorship, colonialism, oppression, tyranny, power politics, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, theocracy, oligarchy and monarchy.

Main principles of Islamic way of administration:

1) The foremost feature of the Islamic administration is that its subjects should have implicit faith in Allah, and it should be clearly understood that Government has no absolute power over them, nor are they its slaves.

2) The main objective of the Islamic administration is to establish and promote the virtues approved by Allah as well as prevent and suppress the vices disliked by Him. It is for this reason that righteousness and respect for Allah should be displayed in the character of the head of the Islamic government. Government employees, judges and military officers should imbibe this spirit and, in turn, infuse it into the Muslim society.

3) The rule of the law is indispensable to an Islamic social order. The Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was sent with the Book, the Constitution of a Muslim community, the Balance, and the Divine standard in conformity with which Authority puts the Book into practice so that the people subsist by absolute justice. Nobody could be above the law in a Muslim society, nor could they transgress its limits. It should be enforced for all without any discrimination, the courts being free from outside pressure. History has witnessed that most of the Muslim Caliphs set up the best examples, adhering to this principle. In spite of enjoying more powers than kings of the past and presidents of the present, they adhered strictly to the law. Friendship and nepotism never induced them to ignore the prescribed rules and regulations, nor did their personal displeasure cause harm to any one against the cannons of the Islamic Law.

Men make their own history and are responsible for their own condition individually and socially:

1) Justice and the rule of the Law being the foremost articles of the Islamic constitution, it falls to the subjects to obey the government since Islam is strictly opposed to anarchy and social disorder. This, however, does not mean that the subjects must obey their rulers in every instance. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is reported to have said: “There is no obedience in sin…” [Abu Daawood], but the failure to obey does not mean it is necessary to break out in revolt against the government. Rather it means that Muslim individuals of the community are responsible for their own felicity and salvation. Allah Say (what means): {….Allah does not change the state of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves…} [Quran 13:11] Men make their own history and are responsible for their own condition individually and socially, thus advice and preaching should always come first.

2) Another important article in this constitution is the establishment of an advisory system of government. Advice of the learned, of pious persons and persons of sound judgment and expert knowledge enjoying the confidence of the people is always to be sought. In turn, these persons are expected to speak out and express their opinions according to the dictates of their conscience with precision and integrity. This advisory system is so important to a Muslim community that Allah speaks of the first, exemplary Muslim community as (what means): {…(those) who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation…} [Quran 42:38] in praise of them. This importance becomes more explicit when the fact that this first community was led by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) himself is taken into consideration, who was described by Allah in the following verse (what means): {Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.} [Quran 53:3] Allah again shows the importance He attaches to the advisory system or counsel by ordering His beloved Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to counsel with his companions.

Even after the reverse the Muslims experienced at the Battle of Uhud due to the disobedience of some Muslims’ soldiers to the Prophet’s orders  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) He instructs it. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and his rightly-guided successors never avoided counsel where and when it was necessary. Thus, counsel is one of the cornerstones of an Islamic government.

3) Many affairs are settled through counsel or consultation in Islam. A judge settles through consultation a case about which he cannot arrive at an established verdict in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah, thus consultation, like Ijtihad (a juristic opinion of scholars on matters which are not specified in the Quran or the Sunnah) and analogy, is one way of reaching a judgment. Further, any punishment, which is of a secondary nature, and not explicitly decreed in the Quran and the Sunnah can be given by the judge after consultation with authoritative Muslim jurists.

In Islam sovereignty is vested in Allah and the people are His representatives who carry out His commandments on earth. They have to follow and obey the legislations given by Allah through His Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). Government is subservient to the Divine Law and exercises its authority in accordance with the injunctions of Allah and within the limits prescribed by Him.

Although a system of Sultanate replaced this ideal system following the resignation of Hasan, the Son of 'Ali ibn Abu Taalib  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them most of the Muslim rulers remained faithful and obedient to the law and dictates of the Islamic constitutional system. Lastly, through consultation again, scholarly representatives of the people should be able to make the ruler abdicate when he deviates from the Right Path.

5) Another article of the constitution provides for freedom of opinion. Furtherance of virtue and suppression of evil has been enjoined by Islam not only as the right of Muslims, but their essential duty. Freedom of conscience and speech is the pivot on which the Islamic society and the administration function in the right direction. The people have the liberty to find fault with the most prominent among the Muslims when they go astray, and have the right to be out-spoken in all matters, in a way that won’t create or result in a greater evil. A way to avoid a greater evil, is by knowing the etiquettes of enjoining good and forbidding evil to "the rulers" and to "the ruled.”

6) The last article of Islamic constitution is that the Public Treasury is Allah’s property and a Trust of the Muslims. Nothing should be received except through lawful sources and nothing should go out except for lawful purposes. The ruler enjoys only so much jurisdiction over it as a trustee has over the property of a minor orphan under his custody:  Allah Says (what means): {...and whosoever amongst guardians, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his work)…} [Quran 4:6]

7) The ruler is bound to account for the income and expenditure of the Public Treasury and the Muslims have every right to ask him for a full account of income and expenditure.

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