Unjust Criminals, Greedy Desire, Political Fiqh

Issue 502 » November 7, 2008 - Dhul-Qida 9, 1429

Living The Quran

Al-Sajdah (Prostration)
Chapter 32: Verse 22

Most Unjust Criminals
"And who is more unjust than he who is given good counsel through the Signs of his Lord and yet he turns away from them? Surely we will exact full retribution from such criminals."

"The Signs of the Lord" are quite pervasive and cover a pretty wide range. If one bears in mind the Quranic descriptions of these Signs one will find they fall under the following six categories:

i. The Signs found in the wide expanses of the heavens and the earth and in the overall system underlying the workings of the Universe;

ii. The Signs manifest in man's procreation, his structure, and his existence as a whole;

iii. The Signs found in man's intuition, in his unconscious and subconscious, and in his moral conceptions;

iv. The Signs in the human experience of history;

v. The Signs manifest in the earthly and heavenly calamities that befall man, and

vi. Finally, the Signs that God has sent down through the agency of His Messengers in order to apprise man, in a reasonable and persuasive manner, of the truths that are corroborated by these Signs.

Taken together, these Signs consistently and emphatically impress upon man that he is neither without any God nor is he servant of a multiplicity of gods. Thus, all possible measures have been taken by God to direct man to the Right Way. So if man then turns a blind eye to all these Signs it would be no exaggeration to say that none is more criminal than man himself.

"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 8, p. 174

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Greedy Desire

The origin of all problems is greedy desire (shuhh). The Prophet explains this in the following sahih hadith:

"Beware of shuhh (greedy desire), for verily it destroyed those who came before you. It ordered them to be miserly and they were miserly, it ordered them to commit oppression and they oppressed, and it ordered them to cut family ties and they cut family ties."

Shuhh, which is the greedy desire of the self, causes miserliness by withholding objects of desire which have been acquired, and causes oppression by the taking of the property of others, and causes breaking of family ties, and it causes envy - which is to hate others possessing what one does not have, and wishing for its destruction. Envy itself entails miserliness and oppression, since envy is miserliness with that which one has been given, and oppression by wishing for others to lose the good which they have acquired.

"Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong" - Ibn Taimiya


Political Fiqh

The Islamic Movement should seek to rectify the defective, strange concepts and decisions that we read and hear, and the methodologies of deduction that are even stranger and more peculiar.

These peculiar concepts, rules and methodologies are most evident in political fiqh, which has not received in the past the same degree of attention devoted to the fiqhs of worship, transactions, marriage etc.

The political fiqh of today is afflicted with much misconception and ill judgments, and its basics are so much varied in the minds of Islamists that the rules applied by some may be far from those applied by others like east is far from west.

We have seen some people who regard shura [consultation] as mere informative, not a compulsory duty, we have seen others who vest the head of state with the right to declare war and conclude treaties without consulting the representatives of the nation, and we have seen still others who consider democracy as a form of unbelief.

We have also seen those who believe that woman has no place in Islamic politics and that her only place is her father's house, from which she may only go to either of two place: her husband's house or her grave. To them, woman has no right to vote in any elections, let alone run in the elections for local governments or the Parliament.

There are also those who see political plurality as an arrangement that is rejected by Islam, and believe that no parties, groups or bodies that have any political views or affiliations should be established in a Muslim state.

I was dismayed when some brothers showed me a treatise that some zealous advocates of the Call had written under the title "Monotheism Is Against Membership Of Parliament", for I saw that as a peculiar confusion of issues of practice with issues of doctrine. Issues of practice deal with right and wrong, not belief and unbelief, and they are part of Shariah politics where ijtihad is rewarded twice when it is right and once when it is wrong.

The same mistake was made by the Kharijites in the old days when they branded Imam Ali lbn Abu≠Talib as an unbeliever on account of a worldly matter related to politics that they had turned into a doctrinal issue, saying "He had given people control over the Religion of Allah, and none but Allah shall have judgment". The Imam's reply to their allegation was most eloquent, as he said, "A word of right intended to establish wrong"!

"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi