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Solution and Complication - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The multiplicity of Islamic parties, movements and currents, all of which assert that their way is the only and correct path to the truth, stress that there is a state of disorder and scarcity in Islamic political jurisprudence. While hundreds of books and papers are written, printed and distributed on the jurisprudence of virtue, the production, research efforts and Ijtihad [independent interpretation] on Islamic political jurisprudence are still limited to the maximum degree, despite many worthwhile attempts.

We have witnessed different attempts of interpreting the concept of political governance in Islam by Ali Abdel-Raziq who was fiercely attacked and was accused of immorality and atheism as usual in light of his bold writings. Also, Abdul Rahman Al-Kawakibi sought to present an analytical view of the concept and meaning of tyranny and its consequences. This is in addition to various attempts by others. It seems that the Islamic view of coexistence and its political thought that reinforces it had shifted from the tolerant method of the enlightened Imam Mohamed Abdo on one hand, who was able to open up to the West, to learn from it, and to build bridges of cooperation with the West rather than fear it, to Sayyed Qutb on the other hand. Qutb had presented a discourse that is full of fear and warning against “loss of identity” , “loss of fundamentals” and the “dissolution of characteristics” because he believed that the West is a threat to us, therefore, we should isolate ourselves and be suspicious of everybody else as a way to protect ourselves. There is great difference between the two mentalities and attitudes. Civil society in the Islamic state was only implemented fully during the period of our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in Medina. During that stage, laws of coexistence with others were practically endorsed.

Nowadays, Muslims complain of the fact that their lands are occupied and that they are mistreated by occupiers. They forget the big difference between the reactions that they had received in Andalusia when they entered it with arms in comparison to Malaysia and Indonesia that they entered as advocates of Islam, after which they had established commercial relations in these countries. However, they basically entered these countries as supporters of Islam and eventually won over these countries despite the existence of other religions and cultures. The level of the new challenges facing the political and intellectual arena in the Islamic world and various contemporary crimes necessitates the development of a first political system that relies on a new form of modern civil state that is to be filled with various elements of formal interpretative development. All these elements emerge from modern Turkish secularism (which will remain an incomplete experience as long as it combats extremism only amongst some Muslims). Extremism exists in various forms; however it certainly does not emerge in the form of a woman’s hijab!

Intellectual ruin of Islamic jurisprudence in terms of political jurisprudence is what has allowed semi-ignorant people to present poison and promote it as the right path and the truth, believing that these methods are the solution. People of “solution” are not necessarily those who adopt the slogan “Islam is the solution”. It is possible, however, that those who adopt this slogan are in fact those who “complicate matters”.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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