Thursday, February 11, 2010

Islamic state

Probably everyone can agree that there is no Islamic state in existance. There are Muslim majorities (for example Egypt, Turkey, Morocco) and there are states claiming to be Islamic (for example Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan), but a Muslim majority doesn't mean all the laws are Islamic and saying you're Islamic doesn't mean you're really following Islam.

It makes me wonder: What would an Islamic state really be like?

Some things that come to mind:

-freedom of religion, and I believe this goes beyond only accepting "people of the book" (Christians and Jews) and it means also allowing all other religions to co-exist in this Islamic state. They would have the tax emposed on them, but I see this as them paying zakah, without it actually being zakah since they are not Muslim.

- certain things illegal - alcohol and drugs, extra-marital sex (would need 4 witnesses, meaning that actually it's sex in public that is punishable)

In trying to continue this list, I fall to a bit of a blank, really. I mean, there are so many things in Islam that are important like modesty and salat... so many others! But as much as these things are important, I don't think they are to be enforced. I think a person's religion is something private that needs to be developped at a person's pace, so this "Islamic state" cannot use force, but needs to simply encourage all these things. So:

- the Islamic state would have lots of mosques with easy access for women and children as much as men.

- it would have Islamic concepts and basics taught in schools from a young age.

- the general culture would be favorable to modesty (hijab, yes, of course, but also just being covered with loose clothing, and very importantly, modesty in BEHAVIOUR!)

With all these things, it seems to me that the Islamic state is nothing more than a state that favours and encourages Islam, submission to one God alone, without necessarily imposing an interpretation of Islam. It's obvious that it will encourage a certain view of Islam, but it's in staying open-minded that it will avoid falling into the unislamic (the oppression of minorities, oppression of women).

A person's relationship with God is very personal, so I think that no state can force that on you. The laws just need to reflect what Islam is. The compassion for others, punishment that does not exceed the crime, allowing freedom to the people, etc. Whatever mistake is made will be dealt with in the end and we can only do our own best.

9 Comentários:

Wrestling With Religion said...

Interesting! I am now curious how you see war - what could an Islamic state do in terms of war? Would it intervene in Palestine, for example? Would it defend a non-Muslim people that was being oppressed somewhere? If so, in what way?

Jamilah said...

One thing you could add to the list is that there would be no poverty. If the rules of zakat were followed correctly people who were in need would be taken care of.

I like this post, it puts an Islamic state in a nice perspective instead of a scary one that everyone outside of Islam seems to think it would be.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Does anyone know what the amount of jizya would be? There doesn't seem to be a set amount either in the Quran or Sunnah. For me, it would be wrong if it was more than what Muslims were paying in zakat.

Banana Anne said...

I agree with Jamilah, this does put what it would be like into perspective. Even though I'm Muslim, I still have the stereotype in my head that an Islamic state is oppressive and cruel, Astaghfirullah. And I'm sure that it comes from the fact that there are countries in the world that are oppressive yet call themselves "Islamic states". When I think about it, if the laws of Islam were truly followed, and everyone had their rights given to them (including non-Muslims), then it would be a truly great society. Insha'Allah this will happen someday soon, and all these so-called "Islamic nations" will realize that they are falling way, way short of what it truly means to be Islamic.

Candice said...

WWR: It's hard for me to answer these things. I imagine this Islamic State having a counsel of some sort to discuss these issues. For sure the state would need an army, in case of need to protect themselves. We should only attack in defense. I think that would include defending fellow Muslims being oppressed and other non-Muslims too, if we were capable.

Jamilah: Yes, I think zakat would definitely take care of that. As long as the country is "rich" enough. But by being Islamic, I think we can't go wrong...

Stacy: I really don't know what the amount would be... I imagine it as being pretty much the same amount as zakat. It just seems like zakat is the wrong name for what they pay since they are not Muslim. But I really wish to look up both words in an Arabic lexicon to find out more about their origins. Would give some insight on what the difference really is... Cause I don't know!

About both zakat and jizya, I imagine it would have to be taxed on earnings like our income tax is, and could vary based on how much need there is. A place with lots of ressources and governmental income might not need to tax the population as much for example.

Banana Anne: Yes they are falling way short! Too bad they don't realize!

Susanne said...

You make an Islamic state sound good. Unfortunately it seems those who get power - anywhere - rarely play by the nice rules. Instead they start imposing their own interpretations on the masses. Unless there was some balance of power this could get out of hand. I don't think anyone wants a religious police force out making people mind their morals in every.single.thing. (e.g. your robe is too long, your beard is too short, your hair is showing right there.)

True change comes from God working in people's hearts and thus society changes for the better when GOD changes people. The religious police cannot take this role - otherwise, you have Saudi Arabia.

And I don't think any of us want that.

I say Candice for Caliph! You seem reasonable and kind! :)

Candice said...

Susanne: Wow, I like the sound of that! Thanks for the laugh ;)

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

The thought of an Islamic state is scary to me simply because a lot of today's ulama are scary.

A big question is what would happen to minorities. Yes, they are protected in Islam but does that guarantee them complete equality? What if they do not want to be subject to Shari'a, understandably? Do we then allow them to use their own law? Which laws?

Great post!

Candice said...

CLA: Yes, I agree that it's scary to imagine what leaders today might do in an Islmaic state. It's scary to think of what they have done in the existing so-called "Islamic" states.

I think it would be just about impossible to make one right now... The Islamic world is just not "there" yet.

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