Political Science in Islam
The foundation of political science in Islam is their belief in God. Islam is built on the premise that sovereignty belongs to the one God. All governments and rulers should abide to the laws of God. Based on this assumption, Muslims have been pushing for Islamic governments in the Middle East region. The current image of politics emerging from the Western perspectives has no any foundation to politics as defined in Islam. Unlike the Western conceptualization, politics in Islam is centralized to one thing, God. The four key elements of Islam includes prayer, alms-giving, fasting, and pilgrimage that helps to promote solidary among the Muslims and promoting their spirts (Huff, 2017). These four elements of Islam are critical in both spiritual and political lives of the Muslims. They are usually connected to human actions and activity in the society. During prayers, the Islam faithful are able to execute various activities including rational reflection, physical movements, and emotional enhancement. The Muslim faithful usually stands by each other’s shoulder and obeys the directive of the Imams during prayers.
Islam also promotes politics through its support for a government system. Qur’anic principles include promoting justice and other good values demands. The Islamic principles demands that believers should take part in the government affairs towards the doctrines stipulated by Allah. The Qur’an rejects disorder and anarchy and Muhammad, the Prophet emphasized the importance for authority and organization within the society (March, 2015). Likewise, Umar, who is the second Caliph argued that the creation of an organized society is not possible without having imams and insisted that nobody should disrespect the directives of the Imams. Islam also agrees that there is a need for holistic approach to life in the society stressing that religion was strongly connected with politics and society.
From the perspective of struggle for power, politics is even more important to Islam. It is because being a believer of Allah means to repudiate all persons who claim immense power and rights to push for oppression and injustice within the organization. Islam argues that political power that aligns with divine will does not lead to oppression of people in the society. In Islam faith, political power is not obtained for personal gains, but for collective societal gains. Islam places power through an active moral model. Such a perspective transforms the purpose and scope of political power as viewed in the Western practice.
The integration of religion and politics is a doctrine of Islam and it cannot be ignored. In Islam, ethics helps in setting a clear tone for political activities and the roles of political action. In the recent times, the influence of Islam in politics has become more complex due to the expanding complexity of the Muslim society. It follows the changing world whereby jurists, the ulama, and the Sufis have to operate. For example, some sufi teachers are not engaged in politics (March, 2015). In the 19th and 20th centuries, the integration of Islam with the Western practice undermined the focus of the Muslims in their Islamic civilization.
Modernists have westernized the thinking of modern Muslims pushing more believers away from the legitimate traditions and values of Islam. Some Muslims denounced the Islam traditions for Western technical knowledge and argued that the shift is supported by the Islamic doctrines. The modernism leads to the emergence of secularism among numerous Muslim intellectuals in the society. Unlike common beliefs, Islam supports organized governments as the Qur’an does not support anarchy. For example, Islam does not support any form of corruption in the life of the believers (Huff, 2017). Thus, politics and religion among Muslims are intertwined and they cannot be separated from each other.
Huff, T. E. (2017). The rise of early modern science: Islam, China, and the West. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
March, A. F. (2015). Political Islam: Theory. Annual Review of Political Science, 18, 103-123.