Sunday, June 27, 2010

Muslim Political Philosophy

Sunni political philosophy crystallized around 1000 AD. The philosophy can be summarized in one word: nonresistance.

Ibn Hanbal affirmed our duty of absolute obedience to a ruler except under two rare and extraordinary circumstances: apostasy and failure to ensure communal prayer. Indeed, so long as these conditions are met, even a usurper, if successful, must be obeyed. The only criterion, then, is military success.

Al-Ashari denounced 'those who hold it right to rise against the leaders whenever there may be apparent in them a falling away from right...We are against armed rebellion, and civil war."

This was the culmination of an earlier theory of government, which was criticised by the Mutazilites. Al-Jahiz, for one, held that a tyrant may be deposed and criticised the Traditionists as 'innovators of our time...[who] pretend that to speak against bad government is tantamount to civil war, and that to curse tyrants is tantamount to heresy (bida')". Indeed, resistance finally did become tantamount to bida'.

Al-Mawardi and Al-Ghazzali became major proponents of nonresistance.

Today, we have come under western influence and have become rational Mutazilites again. As a Muslim country, we must abandon the seditious philosophy of the west, and reclaim our political heritage.

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