Riyasat and siyasat-e-Madina — I


Dr M Athar Khan

THE term Riyasat-e-Madina as it is used and understood in the present day political context denotes only an undefined model of an Islamic State and more of a party slogan than a solution to the problems facing the country. In fact the Riyasat-e-Madina is symbolic of the Islamic State that was created by the Holy Prophet (SAW) in accordance with the principles and injunctions of the Qur’an. Riyasat-e-Madina was created and established to counter the hostilities of the surrounding world of the time; hypocrites (Munafiqeen) among the ranks of the believers (Momineen), and propaganda against Islam. The world of Islam today is faced with the situation that bears resemblances to the circumstances that existed at the time of creation of the Riyasat-e-Madina. Of course, the present day conditions and situation of the country have created problems that only Allah (SWT) may help us resolve them. In other words it is only by following the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam (SAW) that can help us out of the present day situation and cure the social maladies that had plagued almost all segments of the society.
Idea of establishing and converting the present Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the model of the Riyasat-e-Madina is undoubtedly an all-time solution to the problems of the country and would provide bases for its excellence, and welfare and prosperity of the people of Pakistan. However, establishment of an Islamic State on the pattern of the Riyasat-e-Madina is not conceivable only in the instances of the acts and behaviours of the individuals as it is implied in the Statements of our present day leadership. Concept of Riyasat-e-Madina as models of Islamic State stems from and is based upon principles and laws of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW). The principles and laws of the Islamic State are not made by people to fulfill and suit to their own (this worldly) needs and desires that are conditional and subject to changes and reinterpretation. On the contrary the principles and laws that regulate functions of all organs of the State and control conduct of the people in the State are universal and absolute. They cannot be changed, modified and interpreted by any worldly power and authority. These principles and laws are both specified and defined in the verses of the Qur’an with reference to the individual, social and organizational lives of people in general and of the Momineen in particular.
Riyasat-e-Madina as model of Islamic State is founded on the principles and laws that have been made and prescribed by Allah (SWT) Himself for all human beings and for all times to come. Constituent elements of an Islamic State (as of any other State—population, territory, government and sovereignty) have their own meanings that distinguish it from the modern concept of State. The concept of population in Islamic State is based on the Qur’anic verses 10:19, 49:13, 3:110 and 10:19, which refer to humanity in general. However, in the context of Islamic State population refers specifically to Muslim Ummah (Ash-Shura: 38). Territory in reference to the Islamic State surpasses the definable geographical boundaries. Sovereignty of State, as in all matters belongs to Allah (SWT), It implies that He and He alone is the supreme authority and that there is none who shares His power and authority in any way (Ar-Rum: 25).
Siyasat-e-Madina in the same context denotes the politics or the political aspect of the State. The word ‘politics’ in all its meanings refers to the art and science of governance, which are concerned with formulating guiding policies and laws and exercising control over the State. In modern world they are determined by the people in democratic process: For the Islamic State they have been prescribed in the Qur’an with specific references not only to the aspects of the State but more importantly, they prescribe personality characteristics, role and responsibilities of the leadership as absolutes for all situations, times and places.
In State is created and exists for protecting and safeguarding this worldly lives and interests of the people as and in ways deemed fit and beneficial to them. On the contrary the Islamic State is concerned with the other worldly life and benefits of the people by establishing Salaah and practicing Shoora (Ash-Shura: 38). Establishment of Salaah emphasizes obeying Allah’s orders (without questioning them) in all matters (individual, social and institutional-that include the Islamic State also): whereas Shoora implies obtaining the best of others’ views through consultation and making decision accordingly. Shoora is the institution of the Islamic State that provides for a ‘horizontal communication’ in a cratic atmosphere of the State. It includes all levels of people and combines the elements of top-down and bottom-up communications as well as sharing knowledge and experience of all people for solving problems and increasing efficiency of functions of the State. However (for good reasons), participation in Shoora is restricted to the practising Muslims and those who have knowledge and understanding of Islam.