[This essay is part of the Solutions series.]
The need for an alternative system to all the prevalent models should be fairly obvious in the year 2016. Even in the most developed societies today, the poor are blamed for their poverty by the powerful,1 2 3 and the victims are condemned by the criminals.4 5 6 We are told that the Western model, as promoted by the US globally, is the cure for all such problems, but research has already proven that the average citizen in the US “has little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism.“7 This essay will explore the basic axioms of the Quranic State, whose future reign is mentioned in the Quran as the “Day of Deen” (1:4) (usually inappropriately translated as “day of judgement,”) and put forward the notion that it indicates an ‘end of history‘ event.
This term ‘end of history’ is a theoretical concept which posits a time where the economic and political evolution of humanity reaches a peak. It will be a time when humanity stops fighting itself and focuses on exploring and developing its full potential. This concept was most recently popularized by Francis Fukuyama, who began his now famous paper, written in 1989 at the end of the Cold War, by stating: “The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism.“8 Today his essay is criticized for being too naive.9 What’s interesting though, are the words Fukuyama ended with: “I can feel in myself, and see in others around me, a powerful nostalgia for the time when history existed… Even though I recognize its inevitability, I have the most ambivalent feelings for the civilization that has been created…” Even Fukuyama wasn’t too excited about the prospect of the Western model dominating all others. Even more interesting, was the critique of Fukuyama’s thesis, by his own professor, Samuel Huntington, the author of “The Clash of Civilizations,” who very publicly disagreed with his student’s thesis, even back in the late 90’s, when it seemed like the Occident was still ascendant:
“Normatively, the Western universalist belief posits that people throughout the world should embrace Western values, institutions, and culture because they embody the highest, most enlightened, most liberal, most rational, most modern, and most civilized thinking of humankind. In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous.”10
Huntington is basically acknowledging the flaw in the assumption that non-Western civilizations must follow the same trajectory as the West to be successful. With the glaring flaws in Western models visible today, this point is much more obvious in 2016, compared to when Huntington wrote this. However, just because the West was not able to come up with a universal model, logically does not preclude the possibility that a universal model is possible. The claim of the Quran is that it provides such a universal model. The core objective of the Quranic State is to completely remove all dependencies humans have on other humans.11 This is evident from the Quranic argument that no person is allowed to compel another to obey him/her.12 This sounds like a purely anarchist model, and the anarchists do have a very valid point in requiring justification for any and all authority. The Quranic system provides that authority via Divinity, which can itself be tested by trying out the system that is ordained for man in the Quran. The Quran challenges us to test out God’s system (as explained in the introductory post) and if it doesn’t work, it does not obligate us to follow it. Sadly though, the ‘muslim countries’ of today are far from implementing such an idea, nor does the community understand the core concept.
To highlight this deficiency, I’ll first present a short commentary on Islam and it’s incorrect understanding and implementation by none other than John Locke. He was likely hampered in his efforts by faulty translations and commentaries. But nevertheless, it seems he understood more about Islam than most ‘muslims’:
“It is ridiculous for any one to profess himself to be a Mahometan only in his religion, but in everything else a faithful subject to a Christian magistrate, whilst at the same time he acknowledges himself bound to yield blind obedience to the Mufti of Constantinople, who himself is entirely obedient to the Ottoman Emperor and frames the feigned oracles of that religion according to his pleasure.“13
In this letter, Locke makes two points. The first is that a Muslim can never be a faithful subject to a non-Islamic form of government. Locke said this because he recognized the inherently political nature of Islam. But this isn’t the truly interesting part. The second of his observations, is that while ‘muslims’ think they’re following God, in reality, they’re just blindly following false leaders, who aren’t following or implimenting actual Islam. This is clear from the words: “… frames the feigned oracles (i.e. commandments) of that religion according to his pleasure…” This judgement of Locke declares that the commands the Emperor (political leadership) and the Mufti (clerical leadership) are forcing their subjects to follow, are ‘feigned‘ i.e. insincere/simulated. This observation is remarkable because it indicates that Locke knew enough of that sourcecode (i.e. the Quran) to realize that the political/clerical alliance was misleading its subjects. How else would he know that the emperor and mufti were lying, if he didn’t at least know some part of the truth? It’s of course possible he just casually said it without much thought. But I doubt it. I think he knew exactly what he was saying, simply because his words are as demonstrably true today as they were in the 17th century.
The core of the Quran’s political axioms are neatly summarized in a mere three sentences of its concluding chapter (114:1-3.) Each sentence declares a fundamental political axiom, with the declaration of God being:
In these three sentences, God takes away the dominion of financial, political and religious elites, and declares that only God Himself is fit for these three roles in society. The title and responsibility of “Rabb” is associated with nurturer and hence takes away the dominion of the for-profit financiers, and their hold over capital.14 “Malik” is associated with sovereignty, and God has declared that no human can be made subservient to another human or group of humans.15 While “Ilah” represents the theological monopoly over issuing of divine commands, which undercuts the priesthood/clergy’s hold over the masses.16
All of these roles have now been relegated directly to God via His Quran. The State which would call itself “Quranic” must have a constitution which implements a political/economic/societal ruleset which is derived directly and solely from the Quran and nothing else, leaving no room for these three vested interests to legislate. That’s the actual meaning of ‘worshiping’ One God.17 There is no country in the ‘muslim world’ today which has adopted the above restriction to derive the totality of its laws. Even nations which have ‘sharia’ law do not properly apply the above restriction, as their sharia codes themselves contradict the Quran (a subject that will be covered in the following essay.)
Despite such dismal state of affairs, there is a verse in the Quran which declares a prophecy that there must come a time when the Quranic State will reign supreme over all competing systems (9:33.) A little bit of math and history will yield the result that the so called ‘golden age’ of ‘Islamic empires’ of the past does not fit the bill for this verse. First of all, the ‘caliphates’ following the Rashidun period, were empires and not Quranic States, nor were they nearly as powerful as the State indicated in verse 9:33. We must ask the question though, why did the state which Muhammad himself founded, not last long? I do not rely on unreliable histories of the era for this, as many accounts within them have been shown to be inconsistent by scholarship.18 One explanation is that the world of the 7th century simply was not ready for a the Quranic State. Perhaps certain preconditions had to be met which required a particular time-frame for all the parts to come together… What is obvious, is that the march of history is still ongoing, and the requirement for an alternative system is still there. As long as that debate continues, the ‘end of history’ will not dawn.
But why would the dawn of such an age qualify as an ‘end of history’ event? When Fukuyama made his argument, he assumed the Western model had prevailed and no other model could hope to replace it. We now know he was wrong. These days, the competition even between different Western models is still on-going, from the ‘far right’ to the ‘far left’ and everything in between the spectrum. A Quranic system would necessarily put an end to this variance. If the axioms are clearly established, then the rest is just a matter of logical deduction. The core of the system would be stable, without flux. No new core principles would be added or subtracted. Specific laws may change, but always within the axiomatic boundaries set by the Quran. In this sense, the result will be the ‘end of history’… that is, unless and until the system is broken again by the same vested interests, as it was soon after the prophet died. Humanity is, after all, free to deviate from God’s laws. That’s a necessary consequence of free-will.
All systems of exploitation require the poor to accept poverty as their place, the women to accept their place as a privilege, while the victims waive their God given rights and vacate all recourse… But why do they do this? All that pain and suffering, and patient tears, for what? Is it because the weak think ‘the meek shall inherit the earth‘? Are they waiting for God to come down from Heaven to save them? He’s not coming, and He’s not sending anyone. He already sent the guidance we need to correct the system ourselves via the Quran. There are no more prophets now, no more messiahs. We should forget the fairy tales we’ve been fed and get to work. The Quranic State will be established by people, not angels, by men and women who have figured out that it’s the only solution to all of their existential pain and darkest sufferings. When that “day” dawns and the mission is finally accomplished, that will be the ‘end of history.’
- Cooper, Ryan. “The grotesque moral atrocity of blaming the poor for being poor“. The Week. November 3, 2015. ↩
- Leo Montada; Melvin J. Lerner (30 September 1998). Responses to Victimizations and Belief in a Just World. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 1 ↩
- Eames, E., & Goode, J. (1970). On Lewis’ Culture of Poverty Concept. Current Anthropology, 11(4/5), 479-482. (JSTOR: Requires subscription) ↩
- Gray-Ray, Phyllis, Melvin C. Ray, Sandra Rutland, and Sharon Turner. “African Americans and the Criminal Justice System.” Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 21.2 (1995): 105-17. (JSTOR: Requires subscription) ↩
- Spinner-Halev, Jeff. “From Historical to Enduring Injustice.” Political Theory 35.5 (2007): 574-97. (JSTOR: Requires subscription) ↩
- Peirce, Gareth. “Justifying Injustice?” Socialist Lawyer 38 (2004): 24-25. (JSTOR: Requires subscription) ↩
- Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” Perspectives on Politics, Volume 12, Issue 3. September 2014, pp. 564-581 ↩
- Fukuyama, Francis. “The End of History?” The National Interest, no. 16 (1989): 3-18. (alternative link) ↩
- Stanley, Tomothy and Lee, Alexander. The Atlantic. “It’s Still Not the End of History“. SEP 1, 2014 ↩
- Samuel P. Huntington (1997). The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Penguin Books India. pp. 310 ↩
- Parwez, G.A. “Quran’s Constitution in an Islamic State: The Basis of Legislation and Outlines of the Constitution.” TouleIslam publications, pg 8. ↩
- Parwez, G.A. “Islam: A Challenge to Religion.” ISBN 978-969-8164-06-5. pg 230. ↩
- Gavin D’Costa (12 March 2009). Christianity and World Religions: Disputed Questions in the Theology of Religions. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 84 ↩
- Parwez, G.A., Lughat-ul-Quran, TouleIslam publications, Vol 1, pg 526-528 ↩
- Parwez, G.A., Lughat-ul-Quran, TouleIslam publications, Vol 2, pg 537 ↩
- Parwez, G.A., Lughat-ul-Quran, TouleIslam publications, Vol 1, pg 91-92 ↩
- Parwez, G.A. “Islam: A Challenge to Religion.” ISBN 978-969-8164-06-5. pg 260. ↩
- Lassner, Jacob. “‘Doing’ Early Islamic History: Brooklyn Baseball, Arabic Historiography, and Historical Memory.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 114.1 (1994): 1-10. (JSTOR: Requires subscription) ↩