Is Islam A Political Ideology ?
Talk given by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
I think a very interesting section here is jurisprudence and politics
One of the things that modern Muslims have really come to believe is that Islam is a political philosophy, which is very interesting because that at essence is the claim of Zionism.
Zionism turned Judaism into a political philosophy and one of the signs of the end of times is that the Prophet(s)said that you will follow Bani Israel. An you will become like Bani Israel and so just as Bani Israel wanted a Zionist state, there are now modern Muslims that want this thing called an Islamic state.
An Islamic state is the idea that you can force people to be a good Muslims, which is a completely insane idea. It’s never existed and it will never exist. If you think religion can be legislated by a government, you’re completely deluded. It’s a delusional State and i have no other word for it and Allah subhanahu wa’ta’ala says in the Quran
“do you think you can force people to be believers ?” (Qur’an, 10:99)
أَفَأَنْتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ
Do you think you can force people to believe ?
It doesn’t work. Islam is an internal mechanism. The best thing the government can do is to provide as close as possible the court system that is not open to bribery.
Even the Prophet(s) said. “out of three judges, two go to hell”, which is bad odds and that is why traditionally muslim scholars never wanted to be judges and that is why all four of the Imams were completely apolitical. They were not involved in politics.
The only political stand that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal took, was actually not a political stand, it was related to akidah because he declared openly the Quran was uncreated because the Mu’tazilites had convinced the ruling party that the Quran was created. It was a stupid period, people did some really stupid things,
Imam Abu Hanifa refused to enter into politics and was imprisoned for it
Imam Malik, if you read the entire Mudawwana does not have one political statement..
He was once accused of sympathizing with Muhammad Nafz Zakia who was one of the family of the Prophet(s), that lead a rebellion in the hizjazz but he didn’t have political positions. All he was doing was teaching sharia.
If you want to learn it and apply it, marhaban.
If you don’t, good luck in the akhira. And that is the way the religion has to be.
It has to be free of politics.
Once the scholar becomes engaged in the political process he’s corrupted by it, because that’s the nature of the world
It’s a corrupting element and so you don’t want religion to be tainted by the temporal
You always want religion to have that atemporal quality to it.
That’s why Islam did not create a priesthood or create an ecclesiastical society.
The idea is that every believer should try to be as close to God as he can or she can. So you don’t want a group of priests dictating for you things, no. And the scholar, anybody can become a scholar, there’s no ordainment
scholars if they’re really rooted and trained can have difference of opinion
so there’s no official Church theory. The Pope says “now you all have to agree with me”.
No the ulama differ, one of them says this and other says that and people are deemed intelligent enough and with enough common sense to
be able to discern right and wrong in a healthy society
This modern concept is really unfortunate. It just had a really bad effect on the Muslims because what happens is if if these guys get into power they’ll be just as bad as the previous government, if not worse, it’s as simple as that
They’ll create the same intelligence mechanisms and they’ll do the torture and they’ll do all the other same things
If you don’t think this country has it ? We have it, just doesn’t happen in the same way.
The school of the Americas, that’s what they did, they trained people to torture and do all that stuff. They do it in South America, they do it in the Middle East
That’s why with some of the Al-Quaida guys, they wanted to interrogate them in other countries. So they can put the electrodes on do all that stuff and feel good about it because it didn’t happen inside the United States
The fuqaha can become like lawyers everywhere. Jurists know how to manipulate the law for their own ends and they’re always been jurors who would sell their skills to the powers-that-be. Every King has had an official mullah or two who is willing to issue whatever Islamic edicts were necessary for the government to function the way the King desired. So it still goes on.
That is why Muslims always saw that scholars that were aligned with government rulers or government leaders that were in their pay and things like that, to visit them, to speak the truth to them, that is encourage.
An alim should go, if he’s able to tell the truth, to an oppressor or to a ruler. Most rulers are oppressors in some way or another, that’s encouraged, but to become a court mullah ?
The real scholars fled from that like they would flee from a lion because they knew what it meant and then in our view of things politics was never a very important issue for the vast majority of Muslims throughout history like most people many Muslim thinkers were intensely interested in establishing social harmony and equilibrium on the basis of Sharia but they do not see this is something that should or could be instituted from above,and that’s the truth.
If you look at all these ulama and read their books, they never saw the idea that you could institute ethics or morality in a society.
Ethics and morality comes from families, comes from the way you were raised. Comes from how your parents taught you and whether you’re going to live up to those ideals and morals that they gave you.
In bad societies, parents don’t have ethics or morals to transmit to their children. A lot of the world now it’s just very little real ethical moral behavior because people aren’t raised with those ideals anymore. They see their parents cheating and doing all these things and that that’s what they end up doing.
So it is as simple as that.