If Not Elections and Democracy,
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
The Good English Teacher
It seems an English teacher, to whom a set of our books had been given as a gift, commented that he appreciated our writings, but disagreed with our views on Democracy and Elections.
This to me is great news. And when Muslims see good things and hear good news they say: Mashallah.
So, I say: Mashallah!
Mashallah means what a wonderful thing God Almighty made happen.
First of all, someone gave someone any of our work, which is great. It is great because that is what we are all supposed to be doing: sharing Islam – and Islamic literature – with each other.
It is part of taking the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it – and which one does not?
Islam Comes Down to Caring about Each Other
Addeen Annaseehah, says the Hadith.
That means Deen (the true spirit and practice of Islam) really comes down to all of us being after each other all the time; all of us sharing good things with each other; all of us being concerned about each other; and all of us being solicitous of each other all the time.
Second, that person read the books that were given to him, which is really wonderful, Mashallah. For, Muslims generally do not read, even though the first and the most important commandment in the Qur'an is: READ!
Islam Is Also about Thinking
And, evidently, this individual is also a thinking person, which is another most important commandment in the Qur'an:
Do You Not THINK!
Do You Not See?
Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam,
Came into the World as a Teacher
So, we are absolutely, positively blessed to have someone, and a teacher at that, to read any of our work. For, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was sent into this world primarily as a teacher:
Innamaa Bu-ithtu Mu’alliman!
And a thinking and rational person should do that is an added blessing. The fact that this teacher of the most beautiful English language should agree with some of our views, and disagree with some others, clearly establishes him as practicing what the Qur'an says we all should be practicing: Think and Analyze and Ponder and Reflect.
When People Disagree
Personally, nothing makes me happier than when people come and say to me that they disagreed with any of my views.
Recently, I systematically taught and trained some of my students how to “disagree” with me. And, boy, did they come out swinging at the end of it!
But thinking could also be problematic in some ways. And that is where I have tons of fun with my students. For, when they have learned to disagree with me, I then meticulously take apart their opinions and arguments, which – someday – will make them better and more responsible and productive thinkers.
So, this wonderful teacher of the English language is supposed to disagree with my views on Democracy and Elections. His “interlocutors,” that is those who are in communication with him, should engage him on that subject.
They should ask him: What Do You Mean?
That Most Important Question of All:
What Do You Mean?
Those are some of the most important and powerful words ever spoken in the English language?
And uttering those words from time to time will make our world a better place. And it will make all of us better people.
So, someone should ask our beloved English teacher:
When you say you disagree with Dr. Pasha’s views on Democracy and Elections, what do you mean?
If nothing else, that question would make our dear English teacher think a little deeper and wrestle with his own thoughts and ideas a little harder.
Muslims Live in a World Full of Clichés
Most people, most Muslims that is, are not likely to have given these questions – of Democracy and Elections – much thought. Most Muslims live in a world of clichés and Make-Believe, divorced from reality in all kinds of ways.
To them, Democracy and Elections are not Islam, because it is mostly the West that practices them. To many Muslims, they are Western innovations and abominations.
To them, the way of Islam is Istikhlaaf. That is, being ruled by a Khalifah: whatever that means.
And that is where the catch lies:
How does a Khalifah get appointed in real life?
How Does a Khalifah Come to Be?
Just how does a community or a nation or a society get to have a Khalifah as its ruler?
Chances are most Muslims never gave this question much serious thought.
They were fed the capsule that says Khalifah is the way to go. And Muslims quietly swallow that pill. And never regurgitate it.
They don’t know what it means; and they don’t understand how it works. They are told that is Islam. And, like “Good Muslims,” they “submit” and swallow the pill of Khalifah.
So, the question each and every Muslim male and female must answer is this:
Just how and from where do you get your Khalifah?
Imam Mahdi, Alaihis Salam
I know Imam Mahdi, Alaihis Salam, will just show up – just out of the blue as it were, in a manner of speaking that is.
I also know that Isa, Alaihis Salam, will descend from above, resting his arms on angels’ wings.
We all know, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, personally declared himself the Rasul of Allah – and spent the rest of his life of 23 years convincing others that he indeed was what he said he was.
Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
I believe in all these things – fully and without any reservation whatsoever.
But the Khalifah?
That Is a Different Ballgame Altogether
But from there, you want to tell me that someone I don’t know, and have never seen before, will suddenly knock at my door in the middle of the night, and extend his hand and ask me to commit to him my entire life forever and ever, and without question, now that is a different matter altogether.
Frankly, rather than pledge ever-lasting allegiance to such as a man – give him my Bayi’ah as it were – my quick and reflexive reaction may be to call the cops or to reach for my shotgun.
No Earthly Way Out
So, is that how Muslims are going to get their Khalifah – from Burundi to Rwanda; from India to China; from England to Spain; and from anywhere to everywhere else?
Not just one super-Khalifah, but all kinds of dozens of Khalifahs in all kinds of places and for all ages and times?
Common sense would say – and it is clear as daylight – that there simply is no earthly way out for Muslims – or for anyone else for that matter – to pick their rulers other than through choice and mutual consent.
The name for a formalized process of choice and consent in the English language is Elections.
Pure and Simple!
The Real Challenge before Muslims
So, the real challenge for Muslims is not to dive in the nearest Masjid (like the Tabligh People will likely tell them to do) and quickly pray two Raka’t Nafil Namaaz (Extra), but to think – and to think hard and long.
And to think seriously and systematically. That is the real challenge that Muslims are facing – today, or at any time.
Just from where, and in what specific manner, are they going to get their Khalifahs? Their “Rulers” that is.
Two Ways to Get Your Rulers
Replace the expression Khalifah with “Rulers,” and Muslims will begin to see light.
Muslims will then realize that there are only two ways to get a “Ruler”:
a) Either choose one yourself;
b) Or have one chosen for you by others.
There simply is no third way.
Choosing your own rulers is the way of Islam – and of Allah. It is what guarantees freedom and rights to human beings.
Forcing a ruler down the throat of the people is the way of Shaitan. That is how people are robbed of their rights. That is how various forms and levels of slavery are imposed upon people.
Kings, Dictators and Colonial Masters
That is how dictators and kings are imposed on people – often against the will of the people.
And that is how Colonial Masters dominated and controlled the Muslim People around the world – and pillaged Muslim wealth and plundered Muslim resources: by forcibly imposing upon Muslims all kinds of tyrants, military dictators and royal rulers.
And the name for “choosing” your rulers in English is “Elections.”
Muslim Fear of “Elections”
Muslims fear that expression “Elections,” because they think it is a Western legacy – and embracing it will make them traitors to Islam.
It is not – and it will not.
The word “Elections” may be English, but the concept behind that expression is not Western, but purely Islamic.
For, before Islam, it was kings who owned everything – people; land; resources; everything. Islam came and gave people their rights. And gave people their freedoms.
Islam declared human beings – all human beings – free people. Islam called them An-Naas: People!
And Islam made it perfectly clear that human beings were born free – each and every one of them. And they were in no shape or form the property of kings and queens and landlords and aristocrats – or Colonial Masters.
Islam Gave People Rights
Islam came into the world and gave people all the rights that they did not have before.
Among these rights were the rights to life, liberty and property.
And to dignity – and to the protection of their fair name and reputation.
And to equality of status and treatment – regardless of the distinctions of race or religion or region or anything else.
A Most Thoroughgoing Sociopolitical Revolution:
The Right to Choose Your Own Rulers
And among these rights, conferred by Allah upon people, all people, was the right to choose – or “elect” – their own rulers.
That was part of the most sweeping sociopolitical revolution that Islam unleashed upon this world 1400 years ago.
And under the law of Allah, sociopolitics and economics, and everything else in life, are all part of Islam.
Allah’s Way or Your Own Way
And there are only two ways of practicing them – all aspects and dimensions of living and practicing life in its totality.
a) Following the Law of Allah. The Qur’an calls it Islam.
b) Following your own way. The Qur’an calls it Hawaa.
That means, you either practice life and all its concomitants and ingredients the way Allah wants – which is basically fairly and justly and honestly and with full transparency and accountability.
Or you practice them all your own way, which is essentially selfishly and unfairly and in the interests of yourself and your own kind, and often to the detriment of all kinds of others – regardless of whether your discrimination and exploitation and abuse and unjust treatment of others is based on race, religion or region, or something else.
That is what the Qur’an calls Hawa: Your Own Way.
So, the only way the People can guarantee their freedoms and rights is by freely choosing their own rulers – at all levels.
That is what is called “Elections” in the English language. And, from this point of view, it is as Islamic an expression as you can possibly imagine.
It is part of Islam. Call it actually the core of Islam.
And without it, there is no Islam. It is as simple as that.