Close Link, Political Freedom, Conscience and Consistency
Issue 777 » February 14, 2014 - Rabi al-Thani 14, 1435
Al-Anam (Cattle) Chapter 6: Verse 92 (partial)
It is true that those who believe in the life to come, when people will have to account for their deeds and be rewarded or punished for them, also believe that God will no doubt send to mankind a messenger to convey to them His revelations. They have no problem in believing in this messenger. Indeed, they are inclined to believe in him.
Because they believe in the life to come and in the Quran, they are always mindful of their prayer, so that they continue to maintain a close link with God and continue to demonstrate their obedience to Him. This is, then, all a part of human nature. When we believe in the Hereafter, we accept that this Book, the Quran, is revealed by God and we are keen to obey Him in order to enhance our closeness with Him. We need only to look at different types of human beings to be sure that all this is absolutely true.
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 5, p. 237
It is the duty of the Islamic Movement to stand firm against totalitarian and dictatorial rule, political despotism and usurpation of people's right. The Movement should always stand by political freedom, as represented by a true, not false, democracy. It should clearly declare its refusal of tyrants and steer clear of all dictators, even if some tyrants appear to have good intentions towards the Movement in order to obtain some gains and only for a time that is usually short, as has been shown by experience.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in a hadith: "When you see my Ummah fall victim to fear and does not say to a wrongdoer: 'You are wrongdoer', then you may lose hope in them." So how about a regime that forces people to say to a conceited wrongdoer: "How just, how great you are; O Our hero, our saviour and liberator!"
A close look at the history of the Muslim Ummah and the Islamic Movement in modern times should show clearly that the Islamic Ideology, the Islamic Movement and the Islamic Awakening have never flourished or borne fruit unless in an atmosphere of democracy and freedom, and have withered and become barren only at the times of oppression and tyranny that trod over the will of the people which clung to Islam. Such oppressive regimes imposed their Secularism, Socialism or Communism on their people by force and coercion, using covert torture and public executions, and employing those devilish tools that tore flesh, shed blood, crushed bones and destroyed souls.
On the other hand, we saw the Islamic Movement and the Islamic Awakening bear fruit and flourish at the times of freedom and democracy, and in the wake of the collapse of imperial regimes that ruled people with fear and oppression. Therefore, the Islamic Movement cannot support anything other than political freedom and democracy. The tyrants allowed every voice to be raised, except the voice of Islam; and let every trend express itself in the form of a political party or a body of some sort, except the Islamic current which is the only trend that actually speaks for this Ummah and expresses its creed, values, essence and its very existence.
"Priorities of The Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 186, 187
Conscience and Consistency
Defending one's principles, exercising a duty of conscience or consistency, and asserting one's independence in the face of all blind loyalties (be they ideological, religious or nationalist) certainly demands an ethics, but it also takes willpower and courage. We have to face the criticisms from within, from men and women who regard this attitude as an act of desertion or betrayal that plays into the hands of the 'other' or the 'enemy'.
In the new fictitious relationships between 'civilizations' that are 'clashing', emotions run high and blindness runs deep: Jews who denounce Israeli policies or the silence of their co-religionists, Muslims who denounce the attitudes of countries with a Muslim majority or the behaviour of certain extremists and the Americans and Europeans who denounce the inconsistencies and lies of Western politicians are seen as men and women who, respectively, nurture self-hatred, act against the interests of the umma or have a guilt complex and outdated 'leftist' ideals that lead them to declare their guilt endlessly, and dangerously. The virulence of rejection from within, by one's own community of affiliation, is proportional to its lack of self-confidence and sense of insecurity: a critical attitude is seen as a betrayal from within, and as marking the emergence of a 'fifth column' that is working and plotting on behalf of the 'enemy'. When we are faced with this fear and hyper-emotionalism, it is difficult to argue rationally that this independence is based on a rational ethics, and that it is not a matter of 'playing into the other's hands', but of 'being reconciled with oneself' and one's ideals. It is a matter of conscience and dignity.
"The Quest for Meaning" - Tariq Ramadan, p. 107