The State

To God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and He is powerful over everything. (3:189)

According to Quran, God Himself is the Ruler and the Law- giver. There is no god except Him and all power belongs to Him. No man has therefore, the right to subjugate other men, nor are men permitted to serve any except God. All are free irrespective of their inequalities in size, intellect, wealth, colour, race or nationality. In fact, Islam came to turn them to One God, the Creator, the Cherisher and the Master of the Day of Judgement.


God is the King

Say, ‘I am only a mortal like you; to me is revealed that your god (master) is One God, so stand firm towards Him, and ask for His forgiveness.’ (41:6)

Serve God, and do not associate with Him anything. (4:36)

Judgement belongs only to God; He has commanded that you shall serve none but Him. (12:40)


Follow His Book

To keep men on the right path, God provided Guidance (Huda) and Law (Deen) through His Books given to His chosen men. This continued till man was sufficiently mature to find his way without the agency of Messengers, provided he worked under the light of the Book of God. With the coming of Muhammad (may God bless him) the prophet hood was sealed, and man was given a complete, incorruptible code of life in the form of Quran. Rule of God, henceforth, meant obedience to commandments, given in the Quran, denying personal desires and man made theories and rejecting all "Pharaohs" that so often usurp power through intrigues and brute force and enslave humanity.

A Book, We have sent down to thee, that thou mayest bring forth mankind from Darkness to Light, by the leave of their Lord, to the path of the Mighty, the Praise worthy. (14:1)

Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and follow not the friends other than He. (7:3)

Never will the jews be satisfied with thee, nor the Christians, until thou followest their creed; say, ‘Guidance of God is the Guidance.’ (2:12)


State, a Necessity

The Quran lays down all the basic rules of social and economic life, shows Man his limits and assigns him his duties, leaving little for any ‘government’ to do except elucidation of details or implementation of law. Yet, influenced by devil hidden in man, people transgress against others and disturb peace. Then there are affairs which require a collective effort to fulfil God’s purpose, for instance, well-being of the community, harnessing the forces of nature, defence against external aggression, dethroning the rebels of God, etc. A political Organization (State), therefore, becomes a necessity.


Head of the State (or Imam)

All organized works need a leader to guide and carry the ship; leadership is more urgently needed for a huge, complex organization, like State.

The leadership was provided by Prophets, for day-to-day work, during their life-time, and their obedience was, therefore, made an article of faith.

Noah said, ‘my people, serve God, fear Him and obey me.’ (26:108,144,150,179)

Whoso obeys God and the Messenger has in fact obeyed God. (4:80)

However, Prophet hood ended with Muhammad (may God bless him), and Khalifas (successors), also called Imams, followed. Their obedience was, thenceforth, an article of faith. On his person now stood unity, discipline and progress of the community.

(Decline of Muslims during last three centuries brought Caliphate to end in 1924. Muslims should now obey their presidents and work to create Caliphate for the entire world once again.)



The State, as big as it is, cannot function with one leader only. Islam, therefore, enjoins making of basic units all over. About a thousand men living together should form the primary political unit, and be a united fraternity under the guidance of an Imam (Leader), well-versed in the teachings of the Quran. This Imam shall guide them in all their day-to-day affairs. He will look after welfare of the people, bid them good, forbid them evil, decide small disputes between them, prepare them for security and defense etc. His strict obedience is, therefore, compulsory. The Holy Prophet said that ‘when two of you find yourselves away from habitations, appoint one of you an Imam’.

The mosque is not only a place of worship where prayers are offered under a formal Imam. It is a community center established to solve collective problems. Each primary unit shall have one and only one mosque and one Imam. The Quran does not permit any division in the ranks of the Believers.

Those who divide their religion and become sects, thou hast nothing to do with them. (6:160)

O Believers, obey God, and obey the Messenger and the Commanders from among you; then if you should quarrel on any point, refer it to God and the Messenger, if you believe in God and the Last Day. (4:59)


No Rulers, No Servants

However, God Himself being the Master of all, this organization (State) is not to rule over men, for all are humble servants of God. The organization shall work legislate, execute and judge within the frame-work given by the Books of God and for the good of men. They only judge and command men, according to Law, as given by God in His Book, but they claim no preference over others. This is the First Principle of Politics of Islam.

Mutual Consultation

In such a society of free and ‘equal’ men, the working principle at the root of all its organizations is mutual consultation. The Quran lays down for the believers that.

Their Affairs is by counsel among them. (42:38)

The State should, therefore, work, all the time, by the counsel of the concerned. However, the State has millions of citizens to deal with and they are too many to be consulted at every need. Moreover, they have no time or even ability to advise on complex and technical affairs. They may, therefore, elect their representatives to carry out the State duties, during the pleasure of the people. The representatives should seek this pleasure every now and then and should even resign earlier than prescribed time, if their electors so desire.

The principle of mutual consultation is of such a fundamental importance that it should be visible at all levels of society, and there should be no embargo on its decisions except the Book of God. Discretionary powers to rule and expend money cannot be held by any.

By electing their representatives, people do not lose their right to suggest or express. On the other hand, all available means-speech, platform, press, radio, etc. shall be placed at the disposal of the people to express their opinions so that the representatives know the wishes of the people for whom they are working. The representatives who try to curb this right of the people, the life-line of freedom, are traitors to their electors and should be black-listed by Muslim society. If the atmosphere of free expression is lifted, there is left nothing but opinions of a few hundred persons who then become demi-gods and have to be destroyed by the Believers of One True God. Needless to say that limits on speech, as laid down by the Quran, will stay. Freedom does not give license for spreading lies, false rumours, indecencies, crimes, distortion of facts, scoffing at others, creating hatred among people, revolt against the State, disrespect to the Head of the State and other functionaries etc.


Representatives and Imams to be Qualified

If family disputes are referred to the just and the wise, if bodily health is not entrusted to quacks and if the State does not permit every juggler to befool the people, then how could the most vital and complicated affairs of the State be placed in the hands of persons who have no qualifications beyond the influence of birth or riches, and who, therewith, succeed in elections by hood or crook.

Qualifications for representatives and leaders are as essential as for doctors, lawyers and engineers.

The Quran rejects birth or riches to be a qualification. Instead, it makes knowledge and bodily fitness essential for leadership.

When his Lord tested Abraham with certain things, he fulfilled them. God said, ‘I am making thee a leader of the people’; he asked, ‘and out of my seed?’ He said, ‘My promise shall not reach the wrong-doers.’ (2:124)

They said, ‘how can he have authority over us; we have better right than he to authority; he has not been given amplitude of wealth. The Prophet said, ‘God has chosen him over you and has increased him broadly in knowledge and body.’ (2:247)

God Commands you to deliver trusts to their owners and that, when you judge between people, judge with justice. (4:58)

It is, therefore, essential to lay down for the leaders such qualifications as (a) knowledge of the Book of God, (b) standard of education, (c) experience of the affairs of the State, (d) maturity of age, (e) physical fitness, (f) reputation of good morals etc.

Being the guardians of the State, they should be just men of tested integrity who will work above personal interests. Anybody of low moral standard should not be allowed to contest elections. One who cannot be relied upon in daily life cannot be entrusted with State affairs as well.

Representatives should not behave as autocrat tyrants, but act according to law in co-ordination with experts.

Other checks to save the State from being the monopoly of a few rich and powerful may also be enforced so that all sections of the people are equitably represented.


Non-Party Government

Islam believes in one mankind and, within that, one unified Muslin community. It does not accept any divisions or bickerings or chaotic conditions in the community. Parties aiming to destroy other parties have no place in Islam. It cannot permit voting "with the party" when the party acts wrong. Everyone is to vote according to his ability and conscience and for the right cause, as he will be personally answerable for his actions on the Day of Judgement. Islamic State has to have a non-party Government where the best people are to be entrusted with responsibilities. However, if there happen to exist purposeful groups (causing no rifts in the community), all of them should be taken in the government so that it becomes an "All-Party" government. Islamic "democracy" does not accept a regular "opposition" for the sake of opposition. All elected members share the government as representatives of their section of the community.

Islam does not believe in the rule of ‘majority’. It is the rule of God over all. It is the experts who make the rules under the light of the Quran, and it is the just and the godfearing who implement them.


Functions of the State

The State has many functions to perform e.g. security, waging war against infidels, welfare of the people, provision of justice etc. but one Quranic injunction needs special mention.

If We establish them (Believers) in the land they shall perform the Prayer, pay the Due-Alms, bid the desirable and forbid the dejected. (22:41)

Prayer is meant for not only to remember and glorify God whose kingdom they uphold, but it is also an institution which binds people in a compact body under the command of a virtuous leader. It makes them a united fraternity, free of disputes, and it can turn them in an armed troop in hour of need. Due-Alms paid by the rich not only leave none hungry and destitute but also meet necessary expenditure of the State. Ordering good and forbidding evil means that society, from its basis (a 1000 persons or so), cleanses itself and works for everybody’s good. This way a homogenous society, just and free of all tyranny, is organized from village and mohalla level upwards.


Powers of the State are Limited

Basic law having been given by God Himself, the State is left with powers limited within the boundaries drawn by the Book of God. To keep the State within those limits, it is essential to make the following two pronouncements in the constitution:

    1. Any thing enjoined or forbidden by the Quran will have the force of Law on the citizens, even if it is not mentioned in the written codes of the State.
    2. Any law found against the dictates of the Quran will stand abrogated as soon as it is so discovered and proved by a competent Court of Law.

The constitution will be based on the principles given in the Quran in clear legal words for guidance of legislators and other functionaries of the State so that nobody can deviate from them.


Sources of Power

The first and the essential source of power is God and, therefore, the Book of God. Nobody is entitled to act against it. Every bill and law will be checked against it.

The second source of power is the people, as long as they act within the limits prescribed by the Book of God. The State derives its power from the people and is for them. It cannot thrust itself upon them or curb their liberties.

The third source are the Imams and the elected representatives, though indirect and secondary, as they derive power from the people. However, they are the final power and nobody can over-ride them. They are the real power in practice, and they will make law and appoint judges, executives, ambassadors, and other important bodies and commissions to carry out various functions of the State. The only limit upon them is the Will of God or the Will of the people. If people want them to quit, they must quit, and seek their pleasure by fresh elections. Checks against them are freedom of speech, frequent elections and reference of disputes to Courts of Law.


Legislators, Executives and Judges

In view of the above-mentioned principles, power to make or amend law lies only with the elected representatives of the people, unless the law is against the eternal Constitutions (the Quran), when it may be declared void by the competent court of Law. In doubtful cases the law may be referred to experts before implementation.

To enforce law and to execute policies, executives shall be employed by the Chief Imam. The status of these executives will be that of commanders of men. To save people from misuse of authority entrusted to them, checks and balances may be created within the organization and by giving people the right of appeal to the courts and to the body of the representatives. Services like Health and Education remain services and may or may not have command powers over the people.

The authority to appoint judges also lies with the Imam. Yet as the judges have to decide against people, against executives, and even against the law-makers, the system should ensure that judges work without any pressure from outside. They must be experts in law and men of highest integrity, above suspicion.


Must attend Assemblies

Those only are Believers who believe in God and His Messenger, and who, when they are with him on a collective matter, go not away until they ask his permission. Those who ask thy permission they alone are the ones who believe in God and His Messenger. So when they ask thy permission for some affair of theirs, give leave to whom thou wilt, out of them, and ask for them God’s forgiveness; God is Forgiving, Merciful. Make not the calling of the Messenger among you like your calling of one another; God knows those of you who slip away concealing themselves, but those who go against command should beware that trouble may befall them, or a painful punishment may befall them. (24:62-63)


Talking In Secrecy

O Believers, when you confer secretly, confer not in sin, enmity and disobedience to the Messenger, but confer in virtue and godfearing. O Believers, when it is said to you, ‘make room in the assemblies’ then make room, God will make room for you. And when it is said, ‘rise’, then rise, God will raise up in ranks those of you who believe and those who have been given knowledge. (58:9,11)


Act On Whole Law

Law is compact, contiguous and its portions on various aspects of life are interdependent. You cannot achieve any good unless you act on whole of it. By piecemeal actions you only bring forth confusion and unending problems. In fact you make a mockery of the law and invite disaster.

Do you believe in part of the Book and disbelieve in part; but whoso among you does that, his wage is nothing but disgrace in this life and, on the Day of Resurrection, they shall be turned to the most terrible punishment. (2:85)



Aggression can be stopped and peace established only by providing justice to the aggrieved. Where justice is not provided, aggression is met by counter-aggression, without end. The Quran, therefore, ordains:

O Believers, guard justice, witnesses for God, and let not detestation for a people move you not to be equitable; be equitable, that is nearer to piety; and fear God; God is aware of the things you do. (5:8)

O Believers, guard justice, witnesses for God, even though it be against yourselves or parents and kinsemen; whether he be rich or poor, God stands prior to them. So follow not caprice, lest you swerve in justice. And if you twist or turn aside then surely God is aware of the things you do. (4:135)


Protection of Life

Life of man is sacred and cannot be taken without right. It is safeguarded by the Law of Retaliation. In case of murders, it may, however, be forgiven by the heir of the deceased---- a provision to save the second life, where possible.

Whoso kills a soul without retaliating a soul or causing disorder in the land, it is as if he killed mankind altogether; and whoso saves a life, it is as if he saved mankind altogether. (5:32)

O Believers, prescribed for you is retaliation regarding the murdered --- freeman for freeman, slave for slave and woman for woman. Then if one is pardoned by his brother, follow the desirable and pay him with gratitude. This is a concession and a mercy from your Lord. And whoso shows enmity after this, for him shall be a painful punishment. (2:178)


Protection of Property

Most of the effort that the world makes in safeguarding property could be saved and diverted to constructive work by giving the thief exemplary punishment as prescribed by the Quran.

The thief, male and female, cut off their hands as a recompense for what they earned, a punishment exemplary from God. (5:38)


Protection of Honour

The Quran protects honour by stopping fornication, at least openly, a cause of so many troubles, including murders. (See punishment in the Chapter ‘Society’.)

For defamation, the prescribed punishment is a little less than that for the fornicator, so that accusation and defamation should not become a game.

Those who cast it on chasste noble women, then bring not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and do not accept their testimony for ever; for they are the transgressors, except those who repent thereafter and reform. (24:4-5)


Revolt, Disturbances and Chaos

The only recompense of those who fight against God and His Messenger, and hasten in the land to cause disorder is that they should bee slaughtered or crucified or their hands and feet cut on opposite sides, or they be banished from the land; that is a disgrace for them in this world, and they shall have a mighty punishment in the Hereafter. (5:33)

(Rape on women falls under this head).


Other Offences

The Quran has left punishments for other offences to the State to deal with. The general principle of equitable retaliation and compensation shall be observed.


Status of the Non-believers

A Muslim Community, with a set purpose and its bindings with the Book of God, cannot obviously accept Non-Believers for the delicate affairs of the government. They are however, given peace and normal facilities of trade, and are permitted to follow their own codes of life, provided such laws are not offensive to the Muslim society. For instance, usury and prostitution cannot be allowed. Moreover, they have to pay the compensatory tax (Jizya) for their protection and other benefits they draw from a Muslim State. Idolaters (the pagans without any Book of God) are, however, not to be tolerated at all. No idols and images can be permitted.

God does not forbid you regarding those who did not fight you in the matter of the religion and did not expel you from your homes that you be virtuous to them, and act justly with them; surely God loves the just. (60:8)


People must Obey Command

Although the whole political set-up is by the people and for the good of the people, yet once law is made and enforced, it must be obeyed as an article of faith. No one has then the option to disobey it. It may, however, be referred to higher authorities, if a dispute arises. Muslims are to live as a Jama’at (i.e Organised body) and obey the leader.


O Believers, advance not before God and His Messenger, and fear God; God is Listening, Knowing. (49:1)

Thus, Freedom and Obedience go together, and political. Administration stands delicately on them. They are so interdependent that when ‘statesmen’ become selfish and curb freedom, people will revolt, and when people disregard Law, State will curb their freedom.


The Holy Quran Society