I received an important and sincere letter in regards to a Sharia-law based government. I would like to take this opportunity to share my opinion on this topic, as I believe its misinterpretation is going to cause much distress and suffering to those who waste their limited energy and resources on it.
The letter reads:
“Salam be upon you dear master. My letter is long but please read it through. I am a young man who has been following your work for many years and trying to comprehend certain truths through your aid. But I find that I am a little confused and indecisive about certain topics. In your book ‘The Essence of Man” you talk about how there is no need for a government based on Sharia law. I don’t understand why you say this when even right now there are thousands of Muslims being killed around the world and there is not a single powerful Islamic government to stop this. I believe it is important for us to fight in the way of Allah. You say Islam is a system which has come to the people not to a government but if the government under which a person lives does not apply the laws of Allah how can we even talk about Islam? Of course what matters most is our faith. But why should we suffice with just our faith when we can live and practice Islam on a greater scale? I for example can’t even preach Islam for I am immediately labeled as a backward minded, sharia oriented person. Yes I am Sharia oriented, I do not deny this, I believe in the law of Sharia and feel responsible about its application. But I also want those who do not know it, to learn about it. Does not this writing of yours go against the command, “Fight until the religion of Allah prevails”? Will it not confuse those who try to practice this truth? If there were no need for an Islamic government why did the Rasul of Allah (saw) establish one? They could have practiced Islam under their already existing government too. And Allah would not have revealed the laws of Islam. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. May the salam of Allah be upon you...”
Should there be an Islamic Sharia-based government? How can such a government work? Is there an example of such a government on earth? Who will govern this government of Sharia?
Let me share my own story with you... When I was 18, I was just beginning to immerse myself in these topics. Taking every hadith and verse I read literally and feeling an overwhelming amount of love and enthusiasm I was methodically applying what I read in such verbal terms that forget shaking hands with a female, I wasn’t even looking at a woman. I would actually stick my head out the window and yell out to my female neighbors to cover their heads! I grew a beard, wore a skullcap and looked down upon anyone who wore a hat!
With that frenzied spirit and passionate keenness, I wrote for a newspaper called ‘Yeni Istiklal (New Independence)’ advocating the importance of why Sharia must be applied, under different names.
Then I started reading the works of Sufi scholars such as Imam Ghazali, Abdulqadir Jilani, Ibrahim Haqqi Erzurumi, Imam Jafar Sadiq, and Haji Bektash Wali. These were works that examined and probed the intellectual aspect of Islam. I began to realize and appreciate the importance of an intellectual approach rather than one based on memorization. Another facet of Islam had opened up to me through Sufism.
That is when I discovered the actual purpose of Islam. All my applications and practices began to change. I was experiencing many new insights... My point of view was completely transformed, and at the age of 20 I wrote my book ‘Reflections’, depicting my understanding at that age and time, and I can comfortably say, my point of view has not changed since!
During those days of insight I realized that what the Muslims present to us as ‘Sharia’ and what the actual original Sharia actually is, are two very different things. The original Islam comprises more in terms of human rights than any, secular government today. As long as one does not cause harm to others he is left alone with his faith, without compulsion or punishment.
It is very evident that the laws, which were applied during the time of the Rasul & Nabi of Allah, Muhammad (saw), and those that were applied after him, are significantly different... What we reference as Sharia today is like a snow-ball of innumerous thoughts and religious interpretations (fatwas) which has grown into an avalanche!
There was never a single Islamic government in the past after Hadhrat Ali (ra) passed on; only sultanates and dictatorships. And before that there was no such concept as government anyway. A tribal settlement was changed to some form of a government. The only thing in common with the government of then and now is the name!
Religious knowledge based on hearsay and rumors will only lead to loss!
For centuries, those in power, who presented and enforced their own corrupt understanding of Islam, exploited Islamic law in order to continue their dominance and power.
The origin of Islam is the Quran and Hadith!
Today’s flawed understanding of Islam is the Quran + Hadith + Comparative jurisprudence (Fiqh) + the common judgment of the people!
This is where things begin to stray!
Whatever is NOT a Verse or a Hadith is a ‘personal opinion’; it is an opinion (fatwa) and it does not bind anyone in the name of religion!
The biggest wrongdoing is enforcing upon others one’s personal opinion (fatwa) which is not based on a verse or hadith, as though it is a religious law!
As for the current times...
Is there a single government on earth today that is established upon ONLY the Quran and Hadith? No!
If one’s faith or Islamic understanding was according to the Islamic government or a government of Sharia, there couldn’t be a single believer who has embraced Islam on earth today. But thousands of awliya’ullah (friends of Allah) are currently living on earth, under non-Islamic governments and regimes!
Yes there are those who have formed governments based on their madhap, tariqah, sect and school; their ‘regional Muslim understanding’, who see anyone who isn’t of their way as a disbeliever(kafir). But clearly, this is not Islam. Claiming otherwise will only be reducing and debasing the reality of Islam to a position of ridicule.
The grandeur of Islam is far beyond the disparage caused by personal mistakes.
Are those, who refuse to see anyone who isn’t of their way and from their ‘sect’ as a Muslim, who shun down women who don’t wear a scarf and classify them as disbelievers, to establish a government of Sharia and govern the people with their sticks and canes??!!
Upon which madhap, tariqah or school of thought will they establish their government of sharia? And how many will reign over others in the name of Allah and religion thereby? I don’t even want to think about the implications of this!
How can we even think about an Islamic unity let alone the governance of that unity when the Muslims of today are too busy denouncing and defaming each other in the name of their personal Islamic understanding!
Let us be realistic and stop deceiving ourselves. Let us forego our provincial understanding and look from a global perspective and evaluate as such.
Know with certainty that if the reviver known as ‘Mahdi’ does not come as a commander on a white horse with an extraordinary army and force then this expectation of a “government of sharia” is nothing but a distraction, leading people away from the truth, making them squander their energy uselessly.
I wrote in 1985 that such a Mahdi will not emerge. Way back then I wrote about the possibility of him having started his function during those years (1400-1410 Hijri years)... Those who awaited his emergence every year at Hajj waited for nothing. And as long as the Saudi sultanate is in reign I strongly doubt he will ever emerge! This is my personal understanding. Those who live long enough will see its legitimacy, inshaAllah.
If the reviver (Mahdi) commenced his function during the years 1980-1985, what has he been doing all this time? What is he doing now?
Recognize well the realities of the current times!
Islam spread on earth not via the narrow-minded, bigoted, robot brained religious scholars who can’t go beyond their literal understanding and memorized repetitions, but by the people of the heart, the people of love who discerned and practiced the essence of Islam!
Let us try to conquer the hearts, not the government!
To strive in the way of Allah means to acquire real religious knowledge and warn people in the way of the Rasul of Allah (saw)! It means to explain to people what to believe and how to believe, according to their understanding, rather than trying to herd them like sheep.
Now is the time to be in service to the attainment of faith! Now is the time to address people according to their language and understanding! No message can be given via books filled with outdated language!
The Rasul of Allah (saw) was not a ‘Muslim of shape and appearance’! Appearance–based Muslimism is nothing but primitiveness! Only primitive minded people will try and apply restrictions and limitations to other people’s dress code. In matters that were not a concern of religion, the Rasul of Allah (saw) showed utmost respect to the customs and traditions of the idol-worshipping community in which he lived. This is the biggest and clearest example for us!
It is one thing to find inappropriate and oppose the current administration because it is based on wrong, unjust and perhaps even atheist ideologies, but it is something else altogether to apply another wrong in its stead, squandering away an entire lifetime!
How can you expect people, who can’t even bring a law against purse snatching, to bring solutions to much greater problems?
See the realities of the time in which you are living! Do not deceive yourselves, lest you are left with a very expensive consequence!
Research well and see who has been covertly inciting and supporting the ‘left-wing’ and the ‘sharia supporters’ in Turkey for years, to attain their own desires. Look at the position of the reformists who have bought into their lies!
Over the years and due to many reasons the understanding of religion in Turkey has degenerated and become corrupt. Those whose brains have become blocked in backdoor Quran schools and by limited religious templates have resumed positions of religious authority!
It is these so-called religious schools and sects, which raise scholars of literal understanding, that are the biggest impediments and obstructions to Islam, not the government!
It is imperative for all of us to urgently research and reassess religion, for our own sake! Life is speedily passing, time is running out quickly! If it’s only in the worldly life that we can acquire the eternal life, then this is our only chance!
Religion cannot be taught to people by imposing a single understanding, a single interpretation. But disclosing the real knowledge of Islam goes against both the interests of the government and the institutionalized religious schools and sects.
Does anybody wonder why?
I believe this is worth in-depth consideration!
No religious service can be done for financial gain! Otherwise it will become business, not a service to religion. Religion is not business! He whose career entails a religious position, is only occupied in business. Yes one may use religion to make money and gain other worldly goods, but in the end, he will only accrue loss.
He who lives by the god he creates in his own mind, will begin to legitimize everything according to his desires... Only those who understand Allah as disclosed by Muhammad (saw) and His teachings, lead their lives in a totally different way!
The life of this world is transient!
Jesus did not buy into the game of Barabbas, who wanted to use him for political gain. For he was a man of Allah! He knew what mattered more than anything was the eternal life after death!
So he left them to their own accord, to fulfill their servitude according to their creational purpose and worldly function!
How interesting it is that those who have not realized the reality of Sharia in their own lives demand it be exercised at the governmental level!
In truth, there is only one reason for all this misunderstanding: Selective understanding of particular verses and hadith ,oblivious to their context, rather than a holistic approach to the warnings and symbols of the Quran and the applications of the Rasul (saw) – and thinking the essence and reality of religion is comprised of the memorized teachings imparted in backdoor Quran schools and secret religious gatherings!
If the government was to allow people to freely express their views through the media, people would begin to recognize and understand the truth, just like they recognize the tele-comic theologians! Sadly, even this is not allowed. For freedom of speech does not exist in most countries!
Real freedom is the freedom of expression! And this freedom can only be practiced in nations that are truly civilized and developed.
The journey is long, but life is short... Severe catastrophes, earthquakes, landslides and meteors are on their way... The third world war is around the corner...
The arrival of the Antichrist is pending! The ‘reviver’ is fulfilling his function without physically emerging!
We are face to face with the risk of leaving this world without attaining the reality, without getting to know Allah, without comprehending the system and order of Allah, and thus, without preparing duly and accordingly!
The whole point of this worldly life is for us to discover and effectuate the Names of Allah comprising our essence, and to thus commence our eternal journey! If we fail to do this, we will be in an unimaginable state of misery during the infinite journey that will begin at the grave, in which we will be buried while fully conscious!
What is of the greatest importance for you in your eternal life to come is whether you have understood the non-dual Oneness of Allah, not whether you managed to establish a government of sharia and lead people into submission with a stick!
“...Had Allah willed, He would surely have enabled the realization of the absolute reality to all of mankind!” (Quran 13:31)
“...Over My servants (those who have believed in their essential reality - that they are beings of Consciousness) you have no authority (of enforcement)”(Quran 17:65)
Our principle has been set by the Rasul of Allah (saw):
“Ease and facilitate, do not harden; cause love, not hatred!”
May Allah ease and facilitate...
21 January 2006