Islam's response to contemporary world problems (48)

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Having finished the topic of "Economic Peace" in the last installment 47, we are going to start a new chapter in this series on "ISLAM'S RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEMS OF THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD" by shedding some light on "POLITICAL PEACE" in the light of the true teachings of the Holy Quran.

(You can consult the references of the Holy Quran at https://www.ahmadiyya-islam.org/es/coran/ 


"Verily, Al'lah commands you to return what has been deposited to its owners, and when you judge between men, judge justly. Verily, excellent is that to which Al'lah exhorts you! Al'lah is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing" (4:59). 

Political peace 

Political peace must be examined in detail at the national and international levels.

As far as national politics is concerned, the main issue is which political system is good or bad for man. Again, we need to find out whether it is the failure of political systems and their inherent flaws that are responsible for people's suffering and dissatisfaction or other causes. Is the system or those who run it to be blamed? Can, for example, a selfish, greedy or corrupt immoral political leadership that comes to power by democratic means really be good and beneficial to society rather than, for example, a benign dictatorship?

In order to establish and guarantee international peace, Islam has a word of advice for contemporary politicians.

Islam places extraordinary emphasis on the introduction of absolute morality in all spheres of human activity - and politics is no exception.

No outright censure of any political system 

We begin with the observation that Islam does not mention any political system as the only valid system in the face of all others.

There is no doubt that the Holy Quran speaks of a democratic system in which rulers can be elected by the people, but it is not the only system recommended by Islam. Nor can it be the fundamental prerogative of a universal religion to choose a single system of government without due consideration of the fact that it is not possible in practice to apply a single system to all regions and societies of the world.

Democracy has not developed sufficiently to reach the level of government that corresponds to the ultimate political vision of democracy even in the most advanced nations of the world. With the rise of capitalism and the construction of an extremely powerful machinery in capitalist countries, truly democratic elections cannot be held anywhere.

Add to this the growing problem of corruption, and the rise of the Mafia and other pressure groups, and it can be safely concluded that democracy is not in safe hands even in the most democratic countries of the world. So how can it be appropriate in the Third World?

Therefore, to claim that Western democracies can prevail in African, Asian or South American countries or in the so-called Islamic countries of the world would be tantamount to making an empty and unrealistic statement. 

In our view, Islamic teachings do not reject any political system in the world: Islam leaves it to the choice of the people and the historically established traditions prevailing in any country. What Islam emphasises is not the form of government, but how government should be conducted.

As long as a system of government conforms to the Islamic ideal in fulfilling the trust owed to the citizens, the various systems of government, such as feudalism, monarchy, democracy, etc., can be made suitable to Islam. 


Monarchy is mentioned repeatedly in the Holy Quran without being censured as an institution.

A Prophet of Israel reminds the Israelites of Talut: 


"And their Prophet said to them, "Al'lah has appointed Talut (Saul) as king over you. They said, "How can he be sovereign over us when we have more right to sovereignty than he, and he has not even been given wealth in abundance?" He said, "Verily, Al'lah has chosen him over you and made him far superior in knowledge and strength." And Al'lah gives sovereignty to whomsoever He pleases, and Al'lah is Generous, Omniscient." (2:248).

Kingship is also mentioned in the broader sense of considering the people themselves as monarchs: 


"And remember when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favour of Al'lah towards you when He appointed prophets from among you, and made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to anyone else in the whole world." (5:21)

Again, sovereignties created or expanded by conquest are not generally in good standing, as we find in the verse about the Queen of Sheba warning her advisor.

The Queen of Sheba's decision is stated as follows: 


She replied: "Verily, mighty kings, when they enter a country, despoil it and make wretched those who occupy the highest positions among them. And so they will act (27:35).

Kings can be good or bad, of course, just as democratically elected presidents and prime ministers can be good or bad.

But The Holy Quran mentions a category of kings who were chosen by God. Such monarchs are like King Solomon (as), who was not only a king as understood by Jews and Christians, but also a prophet of God according to the Holy Quran.

This shows that sometimes the offices of prophet and sovereignty are combined in one person and that they are sovereigns directly appointed by God.

Another type of sovereignty through the authority of a prophet is mentioned in the Holy Quran. The following verse illustrates this fact: 


"O you who believe! Obey Al'lah, obey His Messenger and those in authority over you.  And if ye differ concerning any matter, submit it to Al'lah and His Messenger - if ye are believers in Al'lah and the Last Day. This, in the end, is the best and most advisable thing." (4:60)

This verse not only lists the categories of sovereignty, but emphasises that, according to The Holy Quran, sometimes democratic choices are not necessarily the right ones. It is quite likely that the overwhelming majority of people do not recognise the essential qualities of great leadership in a person and will protest against his election if it is imposed on them. By all political standards, their appointment would be described as dictatorial. The choice might be against the will of the people but certainly not against the public interest.

The inherent weakness in the democratic form of elections is that the masses base their choice on superficial impressions and hasty assessments and are unable to judge for themselves the right qualities of leadership best suited to their ultimate benefit.

It seems that in the history of people favoured by God, there have been times when their political survival required divine intervention. In such times, God places the choice of a king, ruler or leader in His own hands. It should not be inferred from this that all monarchs or rulers are divinely chosen by God or sanctified as such. This misconception which has been common in the medieval Christian system is not shared by the Holy Quran. For example, King Richard laments:

"All the waters of rough seas cannot carry away the balm of an anointed King (Shakespeare)."

(lpbD) - God's peace and blessings be upon him.

(To be continued in the next instalment, number 49, linking to this new chapter we have started in this instalment, which will be on "Political Peace").