To God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and He is powerful over everything. (3:189)
According to Quran, God Himself is the Ruler and the Law- giver. There is no god except Him and all power belongs to Him. No man has therefore, the right to subjugate other men, nor are men permitted to serve any except God. All are free irrespective of their inequalities in size, intellect, wealth, colour, race or nationality. In fact, Islam came to turn them to One God, the Creator, the Cherisher and the Master of the Day of Judgement.
God is the King
Say, I am only a mortal like you; to me is revealed that your god (master) is One God, so stand firm towards Him, and ask for His forgiveness. (41:6)
Serve God, and do not associate with Him anything. (4:36)
Judgement belongs only to God; He has commanded that you shall serve none but Him. (12:40)
Follow His Book
To keep men on the right path, God provided Guidance (Huda) and Law (Deen) through His Books given to His chosen men. This continued till man was sufficiently mature to find his way without the agency of Messengers, provided he worked under the light of the Book of God. With the coming of Muhammad (may God bless him) the prophet hood was sealed, and man was given a complete, incorruptible code of life in the form of Quran. Rule of God, henceforth, meant obedience to commandments, given in the Quran, denying personal desires and man made theories and rejecting all "Pharaohs" that so often usurp power through intrigues and brute force and enslave humanity.
State, a Necessity
The Quran lays down all the basic rules of social and economic life, shows Man his limits and assigns him his duties, leaving little for any government to do except elucidation of details or implementation of law. Yet, influenced by devil hidden in man, people transgress against others and disturb peace. Then there are affairs which require a collective effort to fulfil Gods purpose, for instance, well-being of the community, harnessing the forces of nature, defence against external aggression, dethroning the rebels of God, etc. A political Organization (State), therefore, becomes a necessity.
Head of the State (or Imam)
All organized works need a leader to guide and carry the ship; leadership is more urgently needed for a huge, complex organization, like State.
The leadership was provided by Prophets, for day-to-day work, during their life-time, and their obedience was, therefore, made an article of faith.
However, Prophet hood ended with Muhammad (may God bless him), and Khalifas (successors), also called Imams, followed. Their obedience was, thenceforth, an article of faith. On his person now stood unity, discipline and progress of the community.
(Decline of Muslims during last three centuries brought Caliphate to end in 1924. Muslims should now obey their presidents and work to create Caliphate for the entire world once again.)
CHAIN OF LEADERSHIP
The State, as big as it is, cannot function with one leader only. Islam, therefore, enjoins making of basic units all over. About a thousand men living together should form the primary political unit, and be a united fraternity under the guidance of an Imam (Leader), well-versed in the teachings of the Quran. This Imam shall guide them in all their day-to-day affairs. He will look after welfare of the people, bid them good, forbid them evil, decide small disputes between them, prepare them for security and defense etc. His strict obedience is, therefore, compulsory. The Holy Prophet said that when two of you find yourselves away from habitations, appoint one of you an Imam.
The mosque is not only a place of worship where prayers are offered under a formal Imam. It is a community center established to solve collective problems. Each primary unit shall have one and only one mosque and one Imam. The Quran does not permit any division in the ranks of the Believers.
No Rulers, No Servants
However, God Himself being the Master of all, this organization (State) is not to rule over men, for all are humble servants of God. The organization shall work legislate, execute and judge within the frame-work given by the Books of God and for the good of men. They only judge and command men, according to Law, as given by God in His Book, but they claim no preference over others. This is the First Principle of Politics of Islam.
In such a society of free and equal men, the working principle at the root of all its organizations is mutual consultation. The Quran lays down for the believers that.
The State should, therefore, work, all the time, by the counsel of the concerned. However, the State has millions of citizens to deal with and they are too many to be consulted at every need. Moreover, they have no time or even ability to advise on complex and technical affairs. They may, therefore, elect their representatives to carry out the State duties, during the pleasure of the people. The representatives should seek this pleasure every now and then and should even resign earlier than prescribed time, if their electors so desire.
The principle of mutual consultation is of such a fundamental importance that it should be visible at all levels of society, and there should be no embargo on its decisions except the Book of God. Discretionary powers to rule and expend money cannot be held by any.
By electing their representatives, people do not lose their right to suggest or express. On the other hand, all available means-speech, platform, press, radio, etc. shall be placed at the disposal of the people to express their opinions so that the representatives know the wishes of the people for whom they are working. The representatives who try to curb this right of the people, the life-line of freedom, are traitors to their electors and should be black-listed by Muslim society. If the atmosphere of free expression is lifted, there is left nothing but opinions of a few hundred persons who then become demi-gods and have to be destroyed by the Believers of One True God. Needless to say that limits on speech, as laid down by the Quran, will stay. Freedom does not give license for spreading lies, false rumours, indecencies, crimes, distortion of facts, scoffing at others, creating hatred among people, revolt against the State, disrespect to the Head of the State and other functionaries etc.
Representatives and Imams to be Qualified
If family disputes are referred to the just and the wise, if bodily health is not entrusted to quacks and if the State does not permit every juggler to befool the people, then how could the most vital and complicated affairs of the State be placed in the hands of persons who have no qualifications beyond the influence of birth or riches, and who, therewith, succeed in elections by hood or crook.
Qualifications for representatives and leaders are as essential as for doctors, lawyers and engineers.
The Quran rejects birth or riches to be a qualification. Instead, it makes knowledge and bodily fitness essential for leadership.
It is, therefore, essential to lay down for the leaders such qualifications as (a) knowledge of the Book of God, (b) standard of education, (c) experience of the affairs of the State, (d) maturity of age, (e) physical fitness, (f) reputation of good morals etc.
Being the guardians of the State, they should be just men of tested integrity who will work above personal interests. Anybody of low moral standard should not be allowed to contest elections. One who cannot be relied upon in daily life cannot be entrusted with State affairs as well.
Representatives should not behave as autocrat tyrants, but act according to law in co-ordination with experts.
Other checks to save the State from being the monopoly of a few rich and powerful may also be enforced so that all sections of the people are equitably represented.
Islam believes in one mankind and, within that, one unified Muslin community. It does not accept any divisions or bickerings or chaotic conditions in the community. Parties aiming to destroy other parties have no place in Islam. It cannot permit voting "with the party" when the party acts wrong. Everyone is to vote according to his ability and conscience and for the right cause, as he will be personally answerable for his actions on the Day of Judgement. Islamic State has to have a non-party Government where the best people are to be entrusted with responsibilities. However, if there happen to exist purposeful groups (causing no rifts in the community), all of them should be taken in the government so that it becomes an "All-Party" government. Islamic "democracy" does not accept a regular "opposition" for the sake of opposition. All elected members share the government as representatives of their section of the community.
Islam does not believe in the rule of majority. It is the rule of God over all. It is the experts who make the rules under the light of the Quran, and it is the just and the godfearing who implement them.
Functions of the State
The State has many functions to perform e.g. security, waging war against infidels, welfare of the people, provision of justice etc. but one Quranic injunction needs special mention.
Prayer is meant for not only to remember and glorify God whose kingdom they uphold, but it is also an institution which binds people in a compact body under the command of a virtuous leader. It makes them a united fraternity, free of disputes, and it can turn them in an armed troop in hour of need. Due-Alms paid by the rich not only leave none hungry and destitute but also meet necessary expenditure of the State. Ordering good and forbidding evil means that society, from its basis (a 1000 persons or so), cleanses itself and works for everybodys good. This way a homogenous society, just and free of all tyranny, is organized from village and mohalla level upwards.
Powers of the State are Limited
Basic law having been given by God Himself, the State is left with powers limited within the boundaries drawn by the Book of God. To keep the State within those limits, it is essential to make the following two pronouncements in the constitution:
The constitution will be based on the principles given in the Quran in clear legal words for guidance of legislators and other functionaries of the State so that nobody can deviate from them.
Sources of Power
The first and the essential source of power is God and, therefore, the Book of God. Nobody is entitled to act against it. Every bill and law will be checked against it.
The second source of power is the people, as long as they act within the limits prescribed by the Book of God. The State derives its power from the people and is for them. It cannot thrust itself upon them or curb their liberties.
The third source are the Imams and the elected representatives, though indirect and secondary, as they derive power from the people. However, they are the final power and nobody can over-ride them. They are the real power in practice, and they will make law and appoint judges, executives, ambassadors, and other important bodies and commissions to carry out various functions of the State. The only limit upon them is the Will of God or the Will of the people. If people want them to quit, they must quit, and seek their pleasure by fresh elections. Checks against them are freedom of speech, frequent elections and reference of disputes to Courts of Law.
Legislators, Executives and Judges
In view of the above-mentioned principles, power to make or amend law lies only with the elected representatives of the people, unless the law is against the eternal Constitutions (the Quran), when it may be declared void by the competent court of Law. In doubtful cases the law may be referred to experts before implementation.
To enforce law and to execute policies, executives shall be employed by the Chief Imam. The status of these executives will be that of commanders of men. To save people from misuse of authority entrusted to them, checks and balances may be created within the organization and by giving people the right of appeal to the courts and to the body of the representatives. Services like Health and Education remain services and may or may not have command powers over the people.
The authority to appoint judges also lies with the Imam. Yet as the judges have to decide against people, against executives, and even against the law-makers, the system should ensure that judges work without any pressure from outside. They must be experts in law and men of highest integrity, above suspicion.
Must attend Assemblies
Talking In Secrecy
Act On Whole Law
Law is compact, contiguous and its portions on various aspects of life are interdependent. You cannot achieve any good unless you act on whole of it. By piecemeal actions you only bring forth confusion and unending problems. In fact you make a mockery of the law and invite disaster.
Aggression can be stopped and peace established only by providing justice to the aggrieved. Where justice is not provided, aggression is met by counter-aggression, without end. The Quran, therefore, ordains:
Protection of Life
Life of man is sacred and cannot be taken without right. It is safeguarded by the Law of Retaliation. In case of murders, it may, however, be forgiven by the heir of the deceased---- a provision to save the second life, where possible.
Protection of Property
Most of the effort that the world makes in safeguarding property could be saved and diverted to constructive work by giving the thief exemplary punishment as prescribed by the Quran.
Protection of Honour
The Quran protects honour by stopping fornication, at least openly, a cause of so many troubles, including murders. (See punishment in the Chapter Society.)
For defamation, the prescribed punishment is a little less than that for the fornicator, so that accusation and defamation should not become a game.
Revolt, Disturbances and Chaos
(Rape on women falls under this head).
The Quran has left punishments for other offences to the State to deal with. The general principle of equitable retaliation and compensation shall be observed.
Status of the Non-believers
A Muslim Community, with a set purpose and its bindings with the Book of God, cannot obviously accept Non-Believers for the delicate affairs of the government. They are however, given peace and normal facilities of trade, and are permitted to follow their own codes of life, provided such laws are not offensive to the Muslim society. For instance, usury and prostitution cannot be allowed. Moreover, they have to pay the compensatory tax (Jizya) for their protection and other benefits they draw from a Muslim State. Idolaters (the pagans without any Book of God) are, however, not to be tolerated at all. No idols and images can be permitted.
People must Obey Command
Although the whole political set-up is by the people and for the good of the people, yet once law is made and enforced, it must be obeyed as an article of faith. No one has then the option to disobey it. It may, however, be referred to higher authorities, if a dispute arises. Muslims are to live as a Jamaat (i.e Organised body) and obey the leader.
Thus, Freedom and Obedience go together, and political. Administration stands delicately on them. They are so interdependent that when statesmen become selfish and curb freedom, people will revolt, and when people disregard Law, State will curb their freedom.
The Holy Quran Society