Monday, 21 November 2011

Islam and Politics – How they got Separated?

IQRAQ has been always the key factor for Islamic Civilization progress. The early Muslims accepted the message of Allah in the Qur’an enjoining upon Muslim to read (Iqraq). The verse (the first to be received by the Prophet – an illiterate man) did not specify, much less limit what Muslim should read. 

The early Muslims read and eventually translated all the writings of the Greeks, the Indians and others. Obviously they had to learn these languanges first. Then they followed up by doing their own research. 

And so the early Muslims were learned in the subjects pioneered by these other races and this added to the body of knowledge they had acquired. 
That’s why during the early days of Muslim civilization, you can see most of them especially Ulama’ are master of both worlds. Abu Bakr, Umar Al-Khattab, Usman, Ali, Khalid and many more, all of them are masters of both world. If they didn’t master, how they can rule and expand the Islamic civilization. Master of both worlds – Master of Religious knowledge and Master of non-religious knowledge (science, politics, chemical, etc). That’s why the Islamic training were not separated, that’s why Islam is the way of life. The training of all Muslim / Ummah were based on core world IQRAQ. And that’s why Islam and Politics during that moment were not separated. Because it is part of learning curves.


But around the 15th Century of the Christian era, fatwas were made by Muslim Ulamas that Iqraq or read was intended for reading and studying religion only. From then on, the Muslim scientists, physicians, mathematicians etc stopped their study of these subjects in order to study only religion exclusively. Then the split began, the people who study religion and the people who only study non-religion knowledge, theres no more unison.

If we care to read the history of the Muslims and the Europeans, we would notice that from around the 15th Century of the Christion era when the Muslim rejected what they regarded as non-religious knowledge, the Muslim civilization began to regress/decline. The Europeans, after acquiring the knowledge of the Muslims started to emerge from the Dark Ages and to build the civilisation that we see today. Unfortunately, Muslim historians seem not to have noticed the significance of the fatwas of the 15thCentury A.D. Even today Muslims seem unwilling to connect this decline of their civilization with the neglect of non-religious knowledge. And the indirect effect the split of Islam and non-religious knowledge like politics, science etc.

We can make an easy comparison between the Ulamas that were born before 13th Century and 16th Century till to date. When you checked out the biographies of the Ulamas that were born on this two different timeframe, you will see a pattern. The Ulamas that were born before 13th Century have the same training/schooling system. By 6 years old, they mastered the knowledge of tahfiz (The Knowledge of Quran) and after 6 years old they were sent to master the non-religion knowledge which they have interest in like military, medical, engineering, administrative, business and many more and some choose to continue to further their knowledge in religion like detailed Feqah etc. But for the Ulamas that were born after 16th Century till to date, they only have training on religion knowledge only, no training on non-religion knowledge at all.

 I take very easy example, Umar Al-Khattab R.A. (born before 13th Century) and Nik Aziz in our country (born after 16th Century).

As we all know, Umar Al-Khattab are very verse in Religious knowledge, that undeniable. But we can check out his exploit in non-religion sector. I pick one of his success, ADMINISTRATION+POLITICS. Umar is considered as a political genius, as an architect of Islamic Empire. He is best known to built up an efficient administrative structure of the empire, that held together his vast realm. He organized an effective network intelligence, partly a reason for his strong grip on his bureaucracy. His judicial reforms were fairly modern and advance in nature when compared to contemporary systems of his era. 

The government of Umar was more or less a unitary government, where the sovereign political authority was the Caliph. The empire of Umar was divided into provinces and some autonomous territories like in some regions Azerbaijan and Armenia, that had accepted the suzerainty of the Caliphate. The provinces were administered by the provincial governors or Wali. Provinces were further divided into districts, there were about 100 districts in the empire. Each district or main city was under the charge of a junior governor or Wali. The concept is exactly most of the countries today like United Kingdom, Malaysia today whereby the Caliph is like the Prime Minister and the Wali is like the Menteri Besar. 

Bare in mind, Umar Al-Khattab structured this during somewhere 600-700AD where during that the Europeans doesn’t know how to use soap for bath. One of Umar’s most powerful department was his intelligence department of secret services. His agents were every where, in the army, in the bureaucracy and in the enemy land. For the officials of Umar, it was said to be the most fearsome department . Its like CIA/MOSSAD today. These guys are PRO! Umar Al-Khattab R.A is a very smart, well informed and knowledgeable guy.

Now lets check out Nik Aziz. He might be well verse in the Religion Knowledge, but I do not know what is his non-religion mastery. In order to run a country, u must know/master the non-religion knowledge too like Umar Al-Khattab R.A did. Hudud is just a law, you still need the palnning, the organization, the resources, the techniques, the brains, the people, the supporting structure and many more to execute it successfully like Umar Al-Khattab R.A did. Now a simple question, can Nik Aziz do it successfully like Umar Al-Khattab?

Islam religion were split form the wordly knowledge (ilmu keduniaan) far before the word secularism were invented.

Another common feature during the Islamic Golden Age was the large number of Muslim polymath scholars before 13th-14th Century, who were known as ”Hakeems”. Some of them are judge or “Qadi”, each of whom contributed to a variety of different fields of both religious and secular learning (non religious). During the Islamic Golden Age (before 13th-14th Century), polymath scholars with a wide breadth of knowledge in different fields were more common than scholars who specialized in any single field of learning. These are the lists of those Ulamas, Hakeems and Qadis that were born before 13th-14th Century. There are quite famous ;

Al-Biruni, Al-Jahiz, Al-Kindi, Ibn Sina, Al-Idrisi, Ibn Bajjah, Ibn Zuhr, Ibn Tufail, Ibn Rushd, Al-Suyuti, Jabir Ibn Hayyan, Abbas Ibn Firnas, Ibn Al-Haytham, Ibn Al-Nafis, Ibn Khaldun, Al-Khwarizmi, Al-Masudi, Al-Muqaddasi, Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi

These are the type bunch of guys who deserve the title ”Ulama’ : Pewaris Nabi”. Because Muhammad S.A.W and Al-Quran is all about knowledge. In Quran, have the knowledge about Allah and the non religious one too, especially the functions of oceans, stars, the sun, our body, our human psychology and attitude (elements of greed, kindness and many more), history and many more. Those non religious knowledge can be tool for us, humans to perform better as a khalifah and to put our mind (akal) to good use. With the fusion between the religious and non religious knowledge allows them to execute the Khalifah rulling system and the Law (Hudud and many more) to be very efficient system during that time.

During those days before (13th-14th Century), is not easy to get the title Ulama’, Hakeem, Qadi because you have to master virtually everything (the religious and non religious knowledge). But today, I found it quite easy compared to those days. Today you just need to finish the sekolah pondok, go to Al-Azhar and graduate, after that wear serban and jubah (robes) and then PRESTO!! You are an Ulama already, right? And then they earn the right to have the title “Ulama : Pewaris Nabi”.

History must have its logic and reason. That’s how I look at it. Theres many historical informations out there and it is up to you to determine whether it is right or wrong. That’s why when people said Mustapha Kamal is the sole responsible for the removal of Khalifah system in 1922, I can easily say, all of you are wrong. Theres many things happened before that year. The system have died somewhere in 1828, 1908 its dissolution, 1914 the WW1 events like the Arab Revolt (Lawrence and Arab partnership) and finally 1922.

What Mustapha did was removing the system that have already dead. Why the Khalifah system is already dead, it is because of the Khalifah himself. I didn’t say Mustapha Kamal is a hero, he just did a small share of the Khalifah system collapse. And worse Mustapha out of anger towards Arab people and the Increase of Nationalist spirits of Turkey population during that time, he changed all Arabic language within Quran to Turkish and many more scarf and all. My question is always, why a person like Mustapha Kamal who have been defending the Khilafah system / Ottoman Empire all his life in all fronts, EAST and WEST, suddenly he acts this way towards Islam and Ottoman Monarchy? Did you know, he gave the most inspiring speech to his Turkish / Muslims in the Gallipolli, that speech sounds like an old Muslim Mujahideen speech. Why he changed? Most of the answer lies in the Arab Revolt History, Occupation of Istanbul, WW1 events and Partition of Ottoman Empire (before Balfour Declaration) by the Allied forces.

People especially Muslims only see what happened after 1922 and blame it all on Mustapha, but no one want to know what actually happened before that. Why? Because it points back to the Khalifah and people behind the failures / collapse of Khalifah system. However, I still think what Mustapha did after 1922 still bad for Islamic Civilization. And by the way, the REAL and ACTUAL Khilafah system have already dead along with the last Khalifah Rasyidin death Ali Abi Talib R.A. After that was more on monarchy system. The khalifah was only a symbol for the monarchies. And Ottoman Empire was based on Monarchy and Khilafah was only a symbol as usual. The logic behind the collapse of Khilafah system in Turkey sound like this :

How can a man Mustapha could abolished the system that have been in the heart and minds of the Turkish people for more than 800 years can be done in one day? And why there are no heavy resistance at all from the Turkish Population, they seemed happy, the abolishment were not done by force at all, why?

Because the khilafah systems have failed the people of Turkey and other Mulims and non-Muslims subjects. Can you imagine that the people under system cant even put a food on the table during that time? Does the system failed? NO!! Why? Because the khilafah system have succeed before. Why the system failed during that time? Because the people who run the systems like Khalifahs, Ulamas make it failed with their incompetencies, stupidies, inefficiences, holier than thou attitude (saya lebih alim), always fight each other, “kafir mengkafir” and many more. THIS HISTORICAL FACTS MANY MUSLIMS TODAY DOESNT WANT TO LEARN!!. They prefer to learn about Mustapha Kamal bad side and blame it on Kuffar only! That’s why today, if we want want to implement the Khilafah system today, will it succeed? Or we just leave it to God? Remember, God create this history for us to learn from the mistakes.

Did you know that 130 years between 16th-17th Century, the Ottoman Khilafah were influenced or run by women? What in the Gods name khilafah is that!!! How in the world the Ulamas approved this?!!! It simple, because a fatwa / tradition : “A mother’s right is God’s right”. I got the message that in Islam, mum is very important position, but just in the family for God sakes, you aint running / calling the shots in the vast empire!!!

And because of these women influenced and rule have cause the decline of the Ottoman Khilafah in the 18th Century and let it to dissolution in early 19th Century. How does it happen? Because most of those Khalifah / Sultan were so intoxicate / distracted with women and many of the Sultan during that time were children / incompetent so the mum run the show. I’m going to give to you a lists of women that run / influence the show of Ottoman Khilafah / Empire :

1. Valide Sultan
2. Hurrem Sultan
3. Mihrimah Sultana
4. Nurbanu Sultana
5. Safiye Sultan
6. Kosem Sultan
7. Hatice

This is the period called the Sultanate of Women. Cant you see the decadence, the wrong doings. The corruptions, the failure, the stupidities, the inefficiences, the suffering, THE SHAME!! Of Ottoman Khilafah between 16th Century till 1922? If the Ottoman Khilafah were allowed to continue until today I do not know what were allowed to continue until today, I do not know what more SHAME install for us Muslims around the world today.

Somehow, Allah was right (always right, of course). Everything have its hikmah. What Mustapha Kamal did to the Khilafah have its hikmah. One of the first hikmah was during that time Turkey was the Sickman of Europe and today 80 years to be precise, Turkey is on her way to become the economic powerhouse in Europe. And even the Islamic Party that won in Turkey today are strangely have high respect to Mustapha even he did the wrong thing. Another hikmah, so all of us could learn from the mistesk of Ottoman Khilafah, so one day the new khilafah wont do the same.

So thats the basic conclusion that how Islam and Politics (wordly knowledge) got separated.
It was the fatwas or rulings that made exclusive the Iqraq to religious training only for the Ulamas and wordly knowledge became secondary but still it holds almost equal importance.

The misunderstood between category of Fardhu Ain and Frdhu Kifayah. Eventhough Fardhu Ain which are more foucs on the religious and Fardhu Kifayah on the wordly issues, but people misunderstood it between categories and importance. People tend to give more focus on Fardhu Ain and tend to neglect or consider only secondary impratnce of Fardhu Kifayah. Actually both must come together, because both are important in its different way. Both should have more parallel like in the days of Khalifah Rasyidin and the Golden Age of Islam. Theres no which is lesser important. Than the splits begin slowly.

So when all the people give all the focus on Fardhu Ain knowledge and Fardhu Kifayah as secondary options, the professionals and people that masters in Fardhu Kifayah become lesser everyday. Ad the most of the Fardhu Kifayah knowledge like sciences are left behind, and then the Europeans pick it up to build their civilizations today. After the Islamic Civilization like Ottoman start to decline, they finally (after a few hundreds years) figure out that they made mistakes on that decision and start sending their youngsters to Europe to learn back the Fardhu Kifayah knowledges like sciences. But the problem is, the youngster that were sent to Europe just didn’t bring the knowledges back, but the way of thinking too which can be dangerous to Islamic way of thiking. As you can see what happened to Turkey and most of Muslims countries today.

It makes me laugh when people say that secularism is the main cause that split between Islam and Politics, also other wordly knowledges while actually the word secularism was born on 1851 by George Holyoake. As you can see on the 1851, our Islamic world have basically collapsed earlier than that partly because of non-mastery of Fardhu Kifayah knowledges like sciences and others. Why theres on-mastery, it is easy cause of the split which we Muslim have done to ourselves.

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