General election 2019 – What is Islamic Politics?

The British general elections are looming. I have had all manner of discussions and heard numerous views amongst Muslims about what stance Muslims ought to take. You have the, don’t vote it is haraam point of view– which is true. Then you have the opposing argument, about what should Muslims do? There are those that swear blind allegiance to Labour. Others fancy the Tories as they reckon they will be good for business. A lot of this confusion arises as there is very little clarity about what Islamic politics is. Below are some of my views about key points to do with Islamic politics that might help clarify our stand point as Muslims.

  1. Politics is to do with management of the interests of a collection of people. So we have politics amongst and in families, in corporations, in tribes and in and amongst societies – usually in the form of a state. The politics that has the greatest effect on people collectively is the politics conducted in society by the state and its politics internationally.
  2. The purpose of a politician is not in essence to swindle, deceive or manipulate people as commonly thought. Rather it is to bring the best solutions to cater for the people’s rightful needs. This is why in the UK both the Labour And Tory parties are appealing to different segments of society-that they will look after them in best way. By ensuring that they will invest in the NHS , safeguard employee rights , increase the minimum wage etc…etc … so that they can secure votes and political power to enact rules that will in their view solve the problems of the nation in the best way.
  3. The way that the interests, rights and responsibilities of society are viewed depends on the ideological outlook. Labour for example because of its socialist leanings tends to champion workers rights and big government spending to keep people and business in work. Whilst the Tories on the hand believe more in free markets and a more ruthless form on “on yer bike” capitalism. Both the views resonate with different elements within British society. The policies that both major parties espouse are based on the secular creed with variations in policies coming from the ideological orientation of the parties.
  4. Politics is only practically implemented through state power. It is impossible to implement any policy to solve an issue without having the power of the state behind it. The state being the mechanism to execute the rules in society. Muslims in the UK might at one time have believed that they could influence the schooling system in Birmingham to engender an Islamic ethos. Along came Michael Gove as education minister who used the state apparatus of OFSTED to designate the schools as failing applied pressure and then proceeded to enact policies in line with the government thought- no more Islamic ethos and not even a hope of it.
  5. So where does this leave Muslims in the UK? What Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) brought to us defines what our rightful interests are. The rights and duties defined by Quran and hadith and enshrined in Shariah law. The right to life, the right not to be slandered, the right to have private family life, the right to own property are all rights that are given by the shariah. The obligation to carry Islam to other nations for example is the keystone in Islamic politics. As is the duty upon the state to ensure that blood is protected , that no one goes hungry that they have adequate healthcare facilities etc. Islam has given defined the rights of people (Muslims and non Muslims) and has obliged the ruler to implement the shariah rule over them. These rights and duties whilst they my overlap with western thought are based upon the Islamic ideology.
  6. For a Muslim it is not an option to leave Islamic viewpoints and adopt western ones even if they overlap. Muslims must understand that the vehicle for Islamic politics is not present in the world today. The politics in Pakistan for example is pseudo politics – it’s a charade like the recent Maulana diesel march – a politics that was left by British with the intention to cripple the Pakistani people for generations to come. The politics only serves the Pakistani establishment and the colonialists who keep them there work to achieve their interests and the Muslims of Pakistan are left to fend for themselves. In the Gulf there is similar situation where tyrants are enthroned by the colonialists and the only politics that are enacted is to preserve their positions.
  7. Without the khilafah state being present, the politics in their lands – will never grant the Muslim ummah the rights and the way of life that shariah entitles them to. Infact it will increase the oppression and the difficulties in everday life.
  8. Many Muslims in the UK cannot envision Islam as a political system. It is important for Muslims to open their eyes and see the difference between the Islamic and western ideologies. The Islamic system is distinct – unique. It has its own way of doing politics and it is not possible for 2 systems to mix.
  9. Should Muslims participate in British politics? I don’t see Islam as an ideology being accepted in British political circles any time soon. If they do then the certainly would have to leave Islam at the door. Muslims in Britain understand Islam as a way of life it makes no sense for them to participate. Not participating in British political life does not mean that Muslims do not participate in any part of life. Election turnout figures show that a lot of British voters are apolitical and don’t do politics – so why should Muslims be overly keen. Rather Muslim politics must focus on the resurrection of the Khilafah.
  10. Muslims are obliged in enjoining the good and forbidding the munkar, which in essence is political activity. They must understand this is done in a context , whilst they may persuade an errant Muslim not to miss salah, the true political work of accounting policies, pushing for certain policies or addressing trends that contradict Islam that occur in society can only be done in the Islamic system government.
  11. If the Khilafah ruling system is not implemented then Muslim political activity needs to be focused on returning the system along with accounting the rulers they must think about solutions to societal affairs and how a viable Khilafah state can be brought into existence.
  12. Some Muslims view that they can address the ills of western society like drugs, prostitution or phenomena like knife crime. They are sadly mistaken as the causes of these things lie in the ideology that is implemented. Rather than trying to remedy these ills, they should focus on aiding the call for re implementation of Islam in the Muslim world. These problems are caused by the system implemented.
  13. If Muslims in the UK don’t understand or care about Islam then they will follow the likes of Sajid Javid and Sadiq Khan – western politicians of Muslim heritage. There will be many in this category as it is an inevitable consequence of living in ideological society that works to uproot Islam from the minds and hearts.

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