Page 100 - Islam In Focus

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promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of
a surety, make them His vicegerents in the land, as He made those before them; that
he will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them;
and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of
security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate any partner with
Me.’ (24:51, 55). God has decreed: It is I and My apostles who must prevail. Verily
God is one full of strength, able to enforce His will. You will not find any people who
believe in God and the last Day, loving those who resist God and His apostles, even
though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers or their kindred. For such
believers He has written Faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from
Himself (58:21-22)
5. The ruler, any ruler, is not a sovereign over the people. He is a representative
employee chosen by the people and derives his authority from his obedience to the
Law of God, the Law which binds the rulers and the ruled alike by a solemn contract
over which God is the Supervisor. The political contract of Islam is not concluded
between the administration and the public alone. It is between these combined on one
side and God on the other, and it is morally valid and binding only as long as the
human sides fulfill their obligations to the Divine. The rulers who are chosen by their
people to administer the words of God are entitled to support and cooperation from
the public in as much as they observe the very words of God. Should the public or any
member of society fail to render support to and co-operation with such administrators,
their act would be considered an irresponsible offense against the administration as
well as against God Himself. Likewise, if the administration swerves from the Path of
God or fails to observe His Law, it is not only committing a like offense but also has
no right to the support and loyalty of the public. The Qur’ an says:
O you who believe! Obey God, and obey the Messenger (of God) and those charged
with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God
and His Messenger, if you do believe in God and the Last Day. That is the best, and
most suitable for final determination (4:59)
Obedience to those charged with authority is conditioned by their own obedience to
the Law of God and the Traditions of His Messenger. In one of his conclusive
statements Muhammad said that there is no obedience or loyalty to any human being,
ruler or otherwise, who is not himself obedient to God and bound by His Law. The
early successors of Muhammad understood this principle very clearly and declared in
their first statements of policy that they were to be obeyed and helped by the public as
long as they themselves obeyed God, and that they had no claims to obedience from
the people if they were to depart from the way of God
6. The rulers and administrators must be chosen from among the best qualified
citizens on the basis of their own merits of virtue, fitness and competence. Racial
origin or family prestige and financial status do not in themselves make any potential
candidates more or less qualified for high public offices. They neither promote nor
hinder the merits of the individual. Every candidate must be judged on his own merits
of which family prestige, wealth, race and age as such constitute no significant part.
The candidates may be chosen by public consent through general elections, or they
may be selected and authorized by public leaders, who are, in turn, entrusted to
leadership by the free accord of the various sections of society. Thus, an Islamic State