Shariah (Islamic Law) >> Political System of Islam

RELIGION and politics are one and the same in Islam. They are intertwined. We already know that Islam is a complete system of life and politics very much a part of our collective life. Just as Islam teachers us how to say Salah, observe Sawm, pay Zakah and undertake Hajj, so it teaches us how to run a state, form a government, elect councilors and members of parliament, make treaties and conduct business and commerce.

A detailed discussion of the Islamic political system would be desirable, but we have to content ourselves with its basic principles and main features.
The Islamic political System is based on the following main principles:
1. Sovereignty of Allah
Sovereignty means the source of power. In Islam, Allah is the source of all powers and lows (3:154, 12:40, and 25:2, 67:1). It is Allah who knows what is good and what is bad for his servants. His says final. All human beings unitedly cannot change His law. The Qur'an says, "As for the thief - male and female, chop off their hands. It is the reward of their own actions and exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise." (5:37) According to Islam, this order is unchangeable by any parliament or any government which claims itself to be Islamic (5:44, 2:229). There are many more laws in the Qur'an concerning our life and those laws must be put into practice by an Islamic state for the greater good of human beings.
2. Khliafah of Mankind (Vicegerency of man)
Man is the vicegerent, the agent or the representative of Allah on earth (2:30, 6:165). Allah is the sovereign and man is His representative. Man should do as Allah commands him to do. But he has a choice to either obey or disobey Allah and, because of this freedom of choice he will be tested on the day of judgement. In the political sense, Khilafah means that human being should implement the will of Allah on earth as his deputy or agent. As Allah's agents, human beings will carry out the will of Allah on His behalf as a trust (Amanah). Khilafah is a trust. An agent is always expected to behave as his master wants him to behave (10:14)
3. Legislation by Shura (Consultation)
Islam teaches us to run a government, to make legislation and decisions by process of Shura. Shura means "to take decisions by consultation and participation" (3:159, 42:38). This is an important part of the Islamic political system. There is no scope for despotism in Islam. The Qur'an and the sunnah will be the basis of legislation in Islam.
4. Accountability of government
The Islam political system makes the ruler and the government responsible firstly to Allah and then to the people. The ruler and the government are elected by the people to exercise power on their behalf. We must remember here that both the ruler and the ruled are the Khalifah of Allah and the ruler shall have to work for the welfare of the people of Islam. Both the ruler and ruled will appear before Allah. And account for their actions on the day of judgement. The responsibility of the ruler is Beauvoir than the ruled.
Any ordinary citizen of an Islamic state has the right to ask any question on any matter to the ruler and the government.
5. Independence of judiciary
In the Islamic political system, the judiciary is independent of the Executive. The head of the state or any government minister could be called to the court if necessary. They would be treated to differently from other citizens. The Qur'an has many injunctions about justice One of the main functions of the Islamic state is to ensure justice to all citizens (4:58, 4:135, 5:8). The ruler and the government has no right to interfere in the system of justice.
6. Equality before law
The Islamic political system ensures equality for all citizens before the law. It does not recognize any discrimination on the basis of language, color, territory any dissent. Islam recognizes the preference of one over the other only on the basic of Taqwa (piety or fear of God). One who fears Allah most is the noblest in Islam (49:13).


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Category: Shariah (Islamic Law)
Title: Political System of Islam
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