Retraction from worldly affairs has nothing to do with Islamic teachings

Believing that whatsoever impediments are there in increasing the presence of Muslims in political corridors can be overcome, Mohammed Atherulla Shariff calls upon the political thinkers and the Ulama to strategize political roadmap for the community, for Islam does not approve of bifurcation of life as worldly and religious.

Like any other field, politics is also a game of survival of the fittest. One who develops the factors of fitness in himself is likely to get the space though not sooner but later, surely. Some of the factors of fitness are a thorough SWOT analysis, scientific field study, lobbying and consistent efforts.

The only exception to the rule is the reservation for certain groups. Even this exception can be converted into a supportive factor with social engineering. None of the above explanations is mere a theory but observation of the on-going game before our naked eyes.

The marginalisation of Muslims in Indian politics is a hard reality. It is also a fact that nepotism, casteism, communalism, money and muscle power are the impediments in this path. But they are common to all and not exclusive to Muslims. Supposing if these impediments are considered exclusive to Muslims, still they are not the reason to cry ‘foul’. These are to be taken as challenges. Such impediments are not confined to politics alone, they are elsewhere too. They can be overcome definitely.

Electoral politics is not limited to Parliament and Assemblies. Urban and rural local bodies are vast areas and are not that tough to navigate. In fact, the graph of Muslims in these areas is increasing. Surprisingly, it is happening without any planned and collective effort from the community. Individuals are coming up on their own.

Why the community effort is absent in politics? One of the reasons is our approach to politics. Politics is considered a worldly affair, meaning a non-religious or irreligious matter. Politicians do not enjoy the acceptance and respect which the Ulama have in the community. God-fearing and pious people are not supposed to enter politics. They should take part in Masjid and Madrasa matters. Our Friday sermons are supposed to be free from worldly talks especially politics. If a Khateeb ‘violates’ this supposed religiosity and talks about political issues, he will be shown the exit door.

Moreover, the reason for our present miseries is found in our lack of devotion to religious deeds. As a punishment, the oppressors are ruling on us. Hence, we should be more devout believers in our prayers, fasting, charities and other good deeds. This way we will regain our glory and inherit the political power, it is thought. A good Aalim or a religious person is one who does not read a newspaper or watch a news channel because they contain all worldly matters. A good Madrasa is one where no newspaper is allowed. With this mindset, how can the community be politically strong?

This retraction from worldly affairs has nothing to do with Islamic teachings. It is improper interpretation and inference of Islamic teachings. In fact, after we lost the political power, the defeat mentality pushed us to seek refuge in comfort zones and an approval from religion for this syndrome.

What Islam teaches is quite contrary to this. The Qur’ān says, “And pray: My Lord! Cause me to enter where it be, with Truth, and cause me to exit, wherever it be, with Truth, and support me with authority from Yourself.” (Al Isra : 80) The Prophet ﷺ has been asked to seek from Allah support from authority and power. What kind of power? It is Political Power, obviously. Islam does not approve of bifurcation of life as worldly and religious. Islam is an indivisible and inseparable single unit. We need a complete reorientation and educate the people accordingly.

The political thinkers and the Ulama should come together and strategize political roadmap for the community. With organised and united efforts our weightage will increase and bargaining power will enhance.

Our present politicians should nurture young, educated and good character people in this field. Each MP or MLA should take care of the urban and rural local bodies that come under his constituency, create space for youngsters and patronise them.   

Apart from the political power, there are other power centres too which shall also be duly focused upon. Economic power, social power and educational power also have deep influence on political power. These too are not non-religious or irreligious matters. One who seeks education in a university is equally important like a madrasa student. A good businessman or an industrialist is also as important as an Alim.  Of the ten Companions of the Prophet who were called Ashr-e-Mubashira, four were rich businessmen.

Similar Posts