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Our Public Endeavors: Redefining Political Islam

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The word “Politic” is taken from the Greek word πολιτικός (politikos), meaning civic, taken from polis, meaning city.  Also, to be “politic” is to be prudent and sensible.  By extension, it can lead to the duties of civic leadership.  This is to clarify that “politics” and “political” should not really carry the stigma they carry today, after centuries of negative association between these words and the “professions” they typically represent.  They should actually be beautiful words.

Today, between those who misrepresent Islam from within, and those who misjudge Islam from without, “Political Islam” have been made into dirty words.  Often, this frightens and pressures Muslims into retreating away from political duties, sometimes relegating the entirety of the Religion to spiritual and neighborly deeds, things which certainly must not be left out.  It is another situation in which Muslims have to take back the words, learn their proper definitions and implications, and apply them on the self and the environment as should be done.

In the same way, the word “jihad” conjures visions of murderous barbarity, yet in the truthful origins of the Religion, mean things that must be embraced, not avoided or frightened away from.  We must call murderous barbarity what it is, and take back the word “jihad” which belongs to us and our beautiful Religion. And so with “political Islam”; we take back the words without shame or fear, understand our public and civic duties, and press forward to establish the objectives of our Religion among all human beings.  Here is Political Islam, our public endeavors and civic duties:

  1. Say “This is my Way: I call humanity towards Allah upon a clear vision of reality; I, and whoever follows me.”
  2. “You are the best of nations brought out to humanity.  You enjoin what is kind and just, and prohibit wickedness…”
  3. “And thus We made you a justly balanced nation, that you should be witnesses over humanity, and the Messenger should be a witness over you.”
  4. “And establish the weight of justice, and do not shortchange the scale.”
  5. “Oh, you who Believe: be those who stand up firmly for justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your relatives.”
  6.  and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah.”
  7. “Truly the Believers are no less than Brothers; so establish peace between your Brothers.”
  8. “He said; my Lord, forgive me and my Brother, and bring us into Your Mercy.”
  9. And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves(and one another)”

What can be the fear or shame in establishing such Truth?  When the basic obligations and objectives of our Religion are to establish and preserve moral conduct, life in all its quality, the intellectual and emotional health of humanity, the rights of children and the poor, and to safeguard the material gifts Allah has spread throughout the earth, then it is absolutely our duty to stand alone and in organizations and defend these basic necessities of humans and civil society.

Do not relegate the greatness of Islam only to reading books, hearing lectures, and conducting rituals !  Humanity in every corner and every home is in need of justice, mercy, and real solutions based on civilized decency. Our enemies today are savages wearing blue suits.  Everyday, they rape the earth and ravage the lives of children, women, and men all around us.  They deprive the youth of their intelligence, their hope for the future, and even their lives.  They would destroy all that is kind and all that is beautiful.  There is no code of decency that would allow this, particularly not our wondrous Faith.

Do not sit locked up seeking comfort in your homes, nor in your mosques, nor in your places of amusement.  The self-serving have declared war on the rest of us, and the only way out for us or our children is to face them. “Oh, you who Believe !  What is wrong with you, that when you are called to go forth in the Path of Allah, you cling heavily to the earth ?  Are you more pleased with the temporary life over the Hereafter ?  But what is the enjoyment of worldly life in the Hereafter but a little ? “

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