Considering State Politics and Legislative Policy in the Islamic field

Ridwan Al-Seyyed

The term “Politics” gained prominence in the Islamic way of life – in the context of the arts and means of managing city and state – in the mid 13th century Hijri / 9th century AD. This was during the times of Islamic philosophers such as Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi – who gave much attention to the term, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd alongside philosophers in 4th century Hijri / 10th AD, known as Ikhwan al-Safa' (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). As for jurisprudents of the four doctrines in Islam, the term “Politics” carried many interpretations as diverse as their own outlook on things. This difference may be due to the diverse fundamentals of Istinbat and Ijtihad (exercise of judgment in a particular case); which led some of them to coin the term “Legal Policy” (Al Siyasah Al Shariayah). It was described in essence as any action drawing people towards righteousness and further away from corruption even if it was not addressed by the prophet or was established by revelation. This considered politics as a means of achieving justice even if it was not based on a Quranic text, or a prophetic tradition, or a juristic command. The significance here was in the objectives, aims, and outcomes; where this political action led to the betterment of the people driving them away from corruption. The study goes on to display the evolution of the term “Politics” in an Islamic state according to different theologians across different eras - and their respective doctrines – like Abi Al Maali Al Juwaini, Ibn Aqil Alhanbali, Almawardi, Abi Ya’ala Al Hanbali, Al Shatibi, Al Tartoshi, Al Qurafi, Al Tartousi, Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyya, Ibn Taimia, and other scholars until we come to our present day. The author then concludes his study by indicating critical observations on the usages of the term in recent times and the blemishes found in the understanding and application of these practices. This is due to its oscillation between Shariah and the Law, In addition to its need for reconstruction and rationing and the presence of some issues in contemporary Islamic societies, such as: the presence of non-Muslims in the fabric of these societies and what that entails for establishing citizenship in the modern state on the basis of equality as seen by jurists.

(Full English translation of the study is currently not available.)

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