Consider the treatment of humanity: for millennia the world’s religious, atheist and secular

 leaders and governments have applied their collective genius to the riddle of statehood. The results have been corruption, secret sex societies, cultic obsession by the elite with child sex, secrecy, aggression, state sponsored homicide and genocide, war, famine, infanticide,

slavery, control, exploitation, manipulation and abuse of the masses

in a variety of ways so scary that it defies description.


The need for the Quranic order arises from the fact that in the absence of a universal way of life, mankind must remain divided into mutually hostile groups. Under such conditions, there can be no enduring peace, no permanent security for the individual and no prosperity and happiness in the world. The Quran, for this reason, constantly draws attention to the unity of mankind, although conflict cannot be eliminated immediately.


The urgent need for a political organisation which would embrace all humanity cannot be denied. The existing political systems only divide mankind into warring camps. Each group has devised a system that serves its own interests and gives support to its own ambitions. Each of the political ideologies is suited only to its authors, but fails to serve others. The supremacy of a single group, racial or cultural, is either implied or expressly affirmed in these ideologies. Nazism and Fascism defend the right of the stronger race to exploit the weaker one. Communism theoretically asserts the supremacy of the workers but practically places political power in the hands of the party elite. Democracy inculcates belief in the cultural superiority of the people of one state, and seeks to make them prosperous even at the expense of peoples of other countries.


The Quran alone offers the system for the equitable welfare of all individuals and communities. Human equality and human worth are its cornerstones. Its goal is the uplift and unification of all mankind. It counters all attempts to break up mankind into groups. It dismisses the physical differences among men as of no consequence and treats as important what is basic in them, and therefore, common to all men. This is why the Quran speaks of God as the Rabb (Sustainer) of the universe. (Verse 1:1), of the message as “as a mercy from Us towards the whole world.” [Verse 21:107] and as a reminder for mankind. [Verses 12:104; 38:87].


We can briefly look at some popular political ideologies before describing the Deen-Islam as found in the Quran.


Capitalism: also called  free market economy, or  free enterprise economy,  the economic system dominant in the Western world since the breakup of feudalism, in which most of the means of production are privately owned and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets. This type of economic system can lead to excesses which leave the less able and those trapped in poverty in a perpetual state of hardship. This is because, despite regulation and laws, the bottom line is money. This can also lead to superficial growth and a temporary boom in the economy as seen in the west in the nineties. Irresponsible lending led to the collapse of some banks. Even countries such as Greece, Ireland and Spain faced hardship not seen for a long time. No doubt some people did benefit from this chaos, but most people suffered. The post boom era also saw the growth of legalised usury when companies loaned relatively small amounts of money (i.e. Pay Day Loans) to the poor for interest rates of around 4,000%. This is legalised economic oppression. Capitalism may encourage a free market economy but it is at the expense of those who can ill-afford it.


Communism: the political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, factories and crops) and the natural resources of a nation. Communism is thus a form of socialism, a higher and more advanced form, according to its advocates. Exactly how communism differs from socialism  has long been a matter of debate, but the distinction rests largely on the communists’ adherence to the revolutionary socialism of Karl Marx.


Democracy: this is now generally regarded as the best form of government. It developed chiefly in the west, but people in Asia and Africa also regard it as the last word in political wisdom. How far is the praise showered upon it justified? Democracy has been defined as the government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is mainly the second factor in this definition that calls for comment. It means that in a democratic state there is no distinction between the rulers and the ruled. The people are supposed to rule themselves. They cannot do so directly, so they elect their representatives. These representatives, in turn, select the ministers who actually run the government. The laws and policies of the state and the principal measures adopted by the government do indeed reflect the will of the people, not of the whole people but of the majority of them. This is how democracy is perceived, the reality is in fact different.


In a single sentence, democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Yet, there is no doubt that this is the best system man has been able so far to evolve for himself. The basic concept on which it rests, namely, that nobody has a right to rule over another, is ideal. But the question is whether it has achieved, or is capable of achieving the aim it has laid before itself. The west has been the cradle of democracy, so we may ask what the thinkers here have to say about it.


One thinker, Rene Guenon, in his book The Crisis of the Modern World describes it. The relevant passage deserves to be quoted in full:


If the word ‘democracy’ is defined as the government of the people by themselves, it expresses an absolute impossibility and cannot even have a mere de facto existence in our time any more than in any other. It is contradictory to say that the same persons can be, at the same time, rulers and ruled, because, to use the Aristotelian phraseology, the same being cannot be `in act’ and ‘in potency’ at the same time and in the same circle of relations. The relationship of the ruler and ruled necessitates the joint presence of two terms; there could be no ruled if there were not also rulers, even though those be illegitimate and have no other title to power than their own pretensions; but the great ability of those who are in control in the modern world lies in making the people believe that they are governing themselves, and the people are the more inclined to believe this as they are flattered by it and as they are in any case, incapable of sufficient reflection to see its impossibility. It was to create this illusion that ‘universal suffrage’ was invented. The law is supposed to be made by the opinion of the majority but what is overlooked is that this opinion is something that can very easily be guided and modified; it is always possible by means of suitable suggestions to arouse in it currents moving in this or that direction as desired.


Many writers have taken pains to show that the belief in democracy, sovereignty or the absolute and unrestricted right of law-making belongs to the people, has no basis in fact. It has been supposed that the law enacted by the majority vote of the representatives of the people embodies the unanimous decision of all the citizens of the state and that, therefore, it is based on justice. This assumption is the chief cause of the decline of democracy in the present day.


Yes, democracy may be the best political system devised by Man, but, in practice, it can lead to the worst excesses of power in the state. This was especially proven true when Adolf Hitler, a dictator, came into power, in Germany before the second world war. In 2003, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair, on the basis of a fabricated dossier, waged war to remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. This was despite overwhelming public opposition in the United Kingdom to such a war.  Even in a democratic state the politician fears no restraints such as ultimate accountability to God. Democracy is based on two fundamental suppositions: the first is that sovereignty is vested in the people and the second is that the decisions arrived at by the majority are always right. However, the latter is neither logical nor true. The fact that a majority of people consent to an act which is wrong, does not make it any less wrong. Collective wisdom is as imperfect and fallible as individual wisdom.


Ad-Deen: (The Deen)is the Social Order or System, in the Quran: the Deen-Islam. A system of laws and values based on the Absolute Laws and Permanent Values given in the Quran. All people are encouraged to follow the example of Abraham and Jacob who were exemplary in applying the laws and principles of this Deen:


Who would forsake the creed of Abraham as an example, except the one who is intemperate with his own Self? We have given him high regard in this world and in the future he will be among the righteous. When the One who sustains him said, “Submit,” he said, “I submit to the One who sustains the universe.” Moreover, Abraham exhorted his children to do the same, and as did Jacob: “O my children, God has pointed out for you this Deen-Islam; the established order, so do not die except as submitters to this Deen.” Had you witnessed Jacob on his death bed; he said to his children, “Who will you serve after I die?”. They said, “We will serve your God; the God of your fathers Abraham, Ismail and Isaac; the One God. To Him we are submitters.” [Verses 2:130-133],


Deen-illah the system or the (social) system of God: As mentioned there are many systems but the only system acceptable to God is Deen-illah, the System of God: Deen-Islam, the harmonious order. The social system that God has defined is based on Permanent Values and  only this is acceptable to God: Anyone who seeks to follow other than Deen-Islam as a way of life, will never be accepted by Him, and in the life yet to come he will be among the losers. [Verse 3.85].


God is the sovereign lawmaker, and anyone who harmonises with His laws will live in peace and security. For example, God’s law is that fire burns. You can use it for light and heat but if you abuse it you will suffer. Similarly there are laws for moral guidance. Anyone who goes against these values will too suffer the consequences.  The principles given in the Quran are minimum, the essence and foundation of a legal system. A large number of rules and regulations can be stifling and restrictive. “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws”, as Tacitus said. Laws founded on a few sound and basic principles are far better than hefty legal tomes micro-managing people like a nanny state or worse, like a police state.


Islamic government, God’s system: a system of government that is in fact a ‘benevolent authority’, based on Islamic ‘Deen’. Islamic government works only for the progress and welfare of Mankind. Only immutable, external laws, which are not man-made, can give us the standard for absolute accountability (to God). This is ensured when the Islamic government adheres to the Absolute Laws and Permanent Values enshrined in the Quran. The elected administration is free to make by-laws according to the needs of time and location, but these must remain within the Quranic principles, values and laws. It is the state’s responsibility to establish an environment in which an individual can pursue these absolute values. The government is thus enabled to establish a principle of progress in society that is also a standard of measurement to assess the relative worth of different societies. [Verses 2:177; 103:1-3].


God’s will or God’s ordinance are laws determined by God. Absolute Laws that operate the universe and are being enforced, whether we are aware of them or not. God’s law (His will) determines that every action will have a consequence. We are free to make a choice but once the choice is made we cannot control the outcome. The result is according to God’s Laws of Requital.


We generally understand a law to be a rule or body of rules made by a government. But a law can also be a law of nature; for example, the laws that govern the physical world. These laws are stable and always work given certain conditions. That’s why we can make an airplane fly, or a ship sail, because we know these laws always work. In the same way, there is another law. This law, the Law of Requital, states that every action of man has consequences which he has to bear whether he likes it or not. More important than the external effect of the action is the action’s effect on the personality of the perpetrator. All actions however do not modify personality. An action which has been performed inadvertently or carelessly has little influence on man’s Self. But an action performed deliberately for a set purpose or with a high degree of ego-involvement, changes personality for better or worse. It strengthens or weakens the moral fibre. The Law of Requital is in its purest form in the moral sphere. A person may continuously commit offences without being aware of the gradual harm that he is doing to his own personality. The man who is morally sensitive can perceive this effect coming about and check himself, before irretrievable damage is done.  See verse 1:5 and footnote.


For a political system  to operate for the welfare and progress of all the people without bias, needs to be based on Permanent Values – the universal set of rules which hold true regardless of time or location. Any political party that wants to establish such a system must necessarily operate within the parameters given in the Quran. As the Quran, which in verse 42:38 advocates rule by consensus, a voting system to decide the party that will implement the Quranic laws, even a vote to elect the leader for the party is not only acceptable, but a requirement. The only condition for any political party to form a prospective government is that it should adhere to the Quran and Quran alone for its values, principles and absolute laws. This does not deny the freedom to make and apply any other laws within the stricture of the Quran.


It should be pointed out that the idea of a khilafat or an Islamic State is not in the Quran, neither is a sultanate or a republic. These are innovations and not referred to in the Quran. Muslim leaders after the messenger created their political structures based on the principles of Permanent Values and Absolute Laws; values, rights, obligations, justice and truth as defined in the Quran. Therefore, the ideal should be NOT an Islamic State but the state of islam, i.e. a state ofharmony: peace and security.


A nation that bases its constitution on the Quran and a political party that bases its manifesto on Quranic values is still free to form other laws within its boundaries. Such an administration is a Benevolent Authority and reflects unchanging principles in and for changing times: permanence and change; Absolute Laws and Permanent Values from the Quran with other laws made and applied according to the changing times and needs of the community or nation. See verses and footnotes3:159; 42:38.