Many people shun politics because they think that it doesn’t exist in Islaam. Politics does exist in Islaam. It is deep and profound. Unfortunately, many of the politicians today are unaware of Islamic politics. Politics today consists of deception, lying, flattery, and hypocrisy in most cases. However, Islamic politics is contrary to this. Islamic politics means: Good planning and management. By it, you will learn how to get out of situations without falling into lying. And you will know how to give precedence to advantages over disadvantages. You will know how to prioritize if there are evils, i.e. how to commit the least evil in order to avoid a greater evil. Knowing these things is from the politics that are religiously legislated.
What also falls under legislated politics is when the Messenger left the hypocrites to stay amongst the ranks of the Companions, even though he knew who they were, out of fear that it would be said that Muhammad kills his Companions. If he (sallAllaahi ‘alayhi wa sallam) were to have killed the hypocrites, whom he knew by name, the people who are not aware of the facts would have made a big issue out of it, as the saying goes: “They make a mountain out of a pebble.”
So the people would say: “Muhammad has started to kill his Companions.” This would then have harmed the course of the Da’wah (Call to Islaam), impeding it from moving forward. So it would have been halted and the enemies would have increased. Therefore, it was a greater advantage to let this number of people remain amongst the ranks of the Muslims for it would ensure that the Call to Islaam continues to progress in the world.
Another example of religiously legislated politics is when Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahi ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw the manner in which many people would be harmed by the door of the Ka’bah. The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahi ‘alayhi wa sallam) strongly wished to demolish the Ka’bah, connect it to the ground and then make two doors for it – a door from which people would come in and another door from which they would exit instead of the hardship and turmoil the people were going through at that time. However, as he (sallAllaahi ‘alayhi wa sallam) told ‘Aa’ishah: “If it were not for the fact that your people had just come out of the Days of Ignorance, I would surely have done that.”
If the Prophet (sallAllaahi ‘alayhi wa sallam) were to have demolished the Ka’bah and return it back to the structure of Ibraaheem, connecting the door to the ground, the people would have found great ease as they would have been able to enter from here and exit from there. Instead (at the time of the Prophet), the only thing that could be found was people climbing up and lining up on the backs of others. Whoever paid something would be pulled by his hand and mounted on top (of the backs of people to reach the elevated door). And whoever did not pay would be turned away and thrown to the floor.
However, all of this was a lesser evil – even though it caused hardship and grief to some people – than if it were to be said that Muhammad has begun to demolish the Ka’bah. If news of this were to spread throughout the earth, people would be hindered from entering Islaam. So by not doing that, he (sallAllaahi ‘alayhi wa sallam) was choosing the lesser of the two evils. This is a form of legislated politics. Examples of this are many. If you study the written works on religious politics by Imaam Ibn Taimiyyah, his student, Ibn Al-Qayyim, and others, you will realize that politics do exist in Islaam. However, it is honest politics and not false. So we should know this precisely.
So if you understand Islaam in terms of its beliefs, its acts of worship, its interactions and all of the other subjects that we mentioned – if you know all of this – you would be taking from the original source. You would be taking from the niche of prophethood. At this point, you would know where the Saved Sect is. But as before this, then no, you wouldn’t. You would be aligning yourself with everyone out there.
Today you hear about certain groups that call themselves the Islamic Group aligning themselves with Communists, secularists, and nationalists in supporting the oppressor over the oppressed. Why is this? It is due to their lack of understanding the Religion. It is just a mere claim – “Islaam, Islaam, Islaam!” This is not an empty word. Islaam is a Religion of actions. Acquire knowledge before you speak and act. This is how you will come to know the Saved Sect, which everyone wishes to be a part of.