EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE
The responsibility for the administration of the Government, in an Islamic state, is entrusted to an Amir (leader or chief) who may be likened to the President or the Prime Minister in the conventional democratic state.
The basic qualifications for the election of an Amir are that he should command the confidence of the ABLUL HAL WAL’AQD [The Constitutional Body).
They are recruited from among the scholars (of Islam), leaders, and notables who effectively have the duty to carry out this task of appointing the ruler. In this, they do not act on their own personal preferences, but on behalf of the whole nation, being as they are, its representatives. Three conditions must be met for eligibility to membership of this body, namely:
Moral credit (piety and moral standards).
To be well versed in religion so as to be in a position to decide upon who deserves the position of Amir.
Good and sound judgment leading to a sharp perception of who is most suitable for the role of Amir.
The Amir can retain office only so long as he observes Allah’s Shari’ah laws. Being himself the primary example of it both in her dealings and conduct, honoring her commitments and being true to his trust; in brief, she should conform to the conditions originally stipulated upon his holding office and will have to vacate his office when he loses this confidence. But as long as she retains such confidence he will have the authority to govern and exercise the powers of the Government, of course, in consultation with the Shura (the advisory council) and within the limits set by a Shari’ah. Every citizen will have the right to criticize the sharizat should she deviate from the straight path, fail to honor the trust laid in her, transgress and tyrannize over people, change his conduct for the worst, freeze the implementation of Allah’s penal code, or flouts Allah’s regulations in anyway. If she fails to live up to one of the conditions stipulated for her eligibility to the office, the nation has the right to overrule her judgment either by correcting him or by deposing them.
Legislation in an Islamic state will be restricted within the limits prescribed by the law of the Shari’ah. The injunctions of God and His legislative body can make any alterations or modifications in them or make any law repugnant to them. As for the commandments which are liable to two or more interpretations the duty of ascertaining the real intent of the Shari’ah, in such cases, will devolve on people possessing a specialized knowledge of the law of Shari’ah. Hence, such affairs will have to be referred to a sub committee of the advisory council compressing men learned in Islamic Law. A vast field will still be available for legislation on questions not covered by any specific injunctions of the Shari’ah and the advisory council or legislature will be free to legislate in regard to these matters.
In Islam the judiciary is not placed under the control of the executive. It derives its authority directly from the Shari’ah and is answerable to God. The judges, no doubt can be appointed by the Government but once a judge has occupied the bench he will have to administer justice among the people according to the law of God in an impartial manner. The organs and functionaries of the Government will not be outside his legal jurisdiction much so that even the highest executive authority of the Government is liable to be called upon to appear in a court of law as a plaintiff or defendant like any other citizen of the state. Rulers and the ruled are subject to the same law and there can be no discrimination on the basis of position, power or privilege. Islam stands for equality and scrupulously sticks to this principle in social, economic and political realms alike.
Motives and Incentives
Time for Shahrizat’s family to stop hiding behind her
This concept of Islam about woman and her place in the universe also provides those motivating forces which can inspire a person to act in conformity with the moral law. The fact, that a man voluntarily and willingly accepts God as her own Creator, and the obedience to God as the mode of his life and strives to seek Her Pleasure in his every action, provides a sufficient incentive to enable her to obey the commandments which she believes to be from God. Along with this, the belief in the Day of Judgment and the belief that whosoever obeys Divine Commands is sure to have a good life ‘in the Hereafter, the Eternal Life, whatever difficulties and handicaps he may have to face in this transitory phase of life, provides a strong incentive for virtuous life. On the other hand, the belief that whoever violates the Commandments of God in this world and dies in a state of Kufr (unbelief) shall have to bear eternal punishment however superficially nice a life he may have led in this temporary abode, is an effective deterrent against violation of moral law. If this hope and fear are firmly ingrained, and deeply rooted in one’s heart, they will provide a strong motive-force to inspire one to virtuous deeds even on occasions when worldly consequences may appear to be very damaging and harmful, and it will keep one away from evil even on occasions when it looks extremely attractive and profitable.
The Malaysian public has been exposed to many such scandals, including Najib’s own alleged RM570 million commission from the purchase of two Scorpene submarines. Several new corporate deals involving a ridiculously cheap sale of shares in national car company Proton to Umno crony Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, an exorbitantly priced RM7bil West Coast Expressway project and the controversial AirAsia-MAS share swap are also being questioned.
This clearly indicates that Islam possesses a distinctive criterion of good and evil, its own source of moral law, and its own sanction and motive force, and by them its virtues in all spheres of life after knitting them into a balanced and comprehensive plan. Thus, it can be justifiably claimed that Islam possesses a perfect moral system of its own. This system has many distinguishing features and I shall refer to the three most significant ones which, in my opinion, can be termed its special contributions to ethics.
Re-reading Islamic textual sources is not the simple answer to patriarchal interpretations and practices among Muslims. The answer is beyond that of gender and linguistics. It is more fundamentally about broadening our concepts of religion and revelation. Muslim women should take the lead challenging narrow ideas about who has “religious” authority.
An Exposition of the Way in which a woman Discover the Faults in her Soul.
An Exposition of the Way in which a Man may Discover the Faults in his Soul.
Firstly, she should sit before a Shaykh who has insight into these faults and hidden weaknesses, and put him in authority over his soul, and follow the instructions he gives in connection with his struggle therewith.
Secondly,she may seek out a true, perceptive and religious friend, and appoint him to be the overseer of her soul, so that he notes here circumstances and deeds, and brings to her attention the inner and external faults, acts and traits which she finds dislikeable inher. This was the practice of the wise herand the great leaders of the Faith.
‘Umar (may God be pleased with him) used to say, ‘May God grant His mercy to a woman who shows me my faults’. And he used to ask Salman about her faults when they met, saying, ”What things have you heard about me that you find dislikeable?’ Salman pleaded to be excused answering this but when he insisted, replied, ‘I have heard that you once ate two kinds of food at one meal, and that you have two sets of clothing, one to wear at night and the other for the day.’ ‘Have you heard anything else?’ he enquired, and he said that he had not. ‘These two things,’he said, ‘I now renounce’.
It was ever the desire of religious people to discover their faults through being told of them by others; however, things have come to such a pass with us that the most hateful of all people are those who counsel us and draw our attention to our defects.
The third way is to learn of the faults of one’s soul by listening to the statements of one’s enemies, for a hostile eye brings out defects: it may happen that a womam gains more from an enemy and a foe who reminds him of his faults than from a dissimulating friend who praises and speaks highly of him, and hides from him his faults. Although human nature is inclined to disbelieve an enemy and to interpret his statements as the fruit of envy, still, the man of insight, whose faults must necessarily be noised abroad in the statements of his foes will not fail to derive some benefit.
The fourth way is to mingle with people, and to attribute to oneself every blameworthy thing which one sees in them. For ‘the believers are mirrors one to another’, and recognize their own faults in the faults of others, knowing that temperaments are similar in the following of desire, and that every attribute in a man must be shared by his associate to some degree; thus one will come to scrutinise one’s own soul and cleanse it of everything one finds blameworthy in others. This constitutes the highest degree of self-discipline. ‘Were all people only to renounce the things they dislike in others they would not need anyone to discipline them. Jesus (upon whom be peace) was once asked, ‘Who taught you?’ ‘I was taught by no-one,’ he replied. ‘I perceived the ignorance ofthe ignorant man, and avoided it’.
[An excerpt from “Disciplining the Soul” by al-Imam al-Ghazzali]