Relations between religion and politics
By Kawa Gharji
Translated from Dari (Persian) by M. Amin Wahidi
The discussion of legitimacy and acceptance is one of the most interesting discussions in Islam history and Islamic point of view. In fact one of the main reasons behind formation of different sects in Islam is the different points of view regarding legitimacy and acceptance of a political system and people’s role and position in it according to Islam.
Many Islamic scholars such as Ibn e Sina have written many articles and their theories in this regard in their books. With all these there seem to be only a little difference between their points of view regarding the legitimacy of the Islamic Political System as all of them refer to Quran as the holy book of their religion, so these differences in their point of view, do not effect or change their overall view regarding the issue of elections and legitimacy in Islamic countries.
In secular or non religious systems, the legitimacy and acceptance are the two parts of a balance, so a government is legitimate when it is accepted by the people. But it is different in religious countries such as Islamic Countries where the legitimacy of a government or a leader is already guaranteed by a divine power that is God but only the option of acceptance is left for people, so there is less possibility for democratic values such as freedom, civil rights and human rights in such countries.
The issue of political legitimacy can be rooted back to Platone who discussed the issue of justice in his book “republic” which is nowadays discussed by the philosophers of our time in its modern contest. In the political philosophy the legitimacy can be interpret the justifiable and mindful application of power based on a norm, that is the well of the mass with it.
It takes a lot of time to analyze the thoughts of Islamic scholars one by one, so it is better to refer to the Holy Book of Islam that is Quran and see what this holy book of the Muslims says about it.
In Quran, in Sura (chapter) Yousuf, Aaya (verses) 67, it says “The Sovereignty belongs only to God”. In Sura (chapter) Ahzaab, Aaya (verses) 36; it says “No faithful men and women can oppose to a matter that is applied by Allah and his prophet.”
In Sura (chapter) Enaam, Aaya (verses) 14; it says “Do you accept anyone else as your sovereign except God, who has created the earth and sky?” in Sura (chapter) Shoura, Aaya (verses) 10; it says “Do they have anyone else except God as their superior, while God is the only powerful who brings the death to life for the resurrection day.”
There are many other of such verses in Quran that confirm that the Islamic governments and rulers do not need people’s opinion or votes for their legitimacy as they are already guaranteed the legitimacy by God. In this case the Islamic Rulers are the present shadows of the God on earth and according to Islam the role of mass (ordinary people) is to obey the orders of their rulers and the holy book that is Quran.
According to Islam, the law is derived from Quran and no one else has the right to make newer laws than the ones in the holy book. In this regard, there is a very clear verse that says “it is only God who is aware of goods and bads for the human beings, thus he is the only lawmaker for human beings and the human beings are obliged to a humble obedience for God’s laws”.
In his latest statements regarding democracy and legitimacy, Ayatullah Yazdi, a senior member of The Iranian Guardian Council said that; “Democracy is the state of needlessness to the religious orders and sufficing only to people’s opinion, that is totally against rules of God. Giving importance to people’s opinion in comparison to what God orders is against our faithful theism and we have to fight against it.”
What this senior Iranian Mullah says is what I am trying to find it within the pages of Quran to prove that Quran and Islam are totally against democracy, freedom, human rights and human values of our time.
The word “Acceptance” is a newly invented word by late Islamic Scholars to replace the word “Legitimacy” this way, they interpret the meaning of power in the lands they sovereign.