"Lessons from the Maneuver of Politics "Lessons from the Maneuver of Politics
Prof. Muhammad Abdul Fadeel al-Qousy
Member of the Authority of Senior Scholar
 
   
     
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Distrustful ones should not think that the penetrating vision of public Islamic awareness became obscure regarding the essential differences between the concept of righteous "lawful politics", which establishes standards of "justice" and stands up for the "right" all over the world, and the "Maneuver of Politics", which exploits "the religion" altogether to seize power irrespective of violating sanctities and shedding blood!!

Distrustful ones should not also think that "Maneuver of Politics" with this limited procedural concept is recent; however this maneuver has been obvious and stored in the collective memory of human beings –before Machiavelli and after him. It is associated with various behavioral patterns which kept it away from "the spirit of Islam" and its exalted moral values.

When the era of Rashidun Caliphate ended and the era of Umayyad era began, its caliphs realized that they were in dire need of intellectual "advocacy" and a religious reference to justify to the public their rise to power and some manifestations of violence which accompanied their regime, in addition to some harsh actions of its rulers and workmen in the countries which exasperated the public.

Therefore, the "justificatory intellectual means" which propagated in the Islamic society were unavoidable. The Umayyad caliphate used these means to refute the accusation of staying away from "the image" of Islam and to eliminate compunctions of those pious ones who expressed deep remorse at yielding to the harsh rule of Umayyad, comparing it with abstinence, asceticism and abandonment of welfare during the Rashidun Caliphate.
Three Umayyad lessons characterize "Maneuver of Politics" in the Umayyad Era and should be taken into consideration during these critical times of our contemporary life, in order to have insight into matters and be cautious of what we accept and what we reject.

First: "The Umayyad Maneuver of Politics" exerted strenuous effort in circulating the doctrine of Obligation 'Jabariyyah. This doctrinal expression is founded on the beliefs that human beings are 'compelled' in terms of committing  good and evil actions and that they do not have the choice or free will to accept or reject anything, based on the fact that predestined  Qadaa and Qadar will inevitably take place. Thus, the rule of Umayyads, in accordance with "the Umayyad Maneuver of Politics", is a predetermined fate and an ineluctable destiny. In other words, there is no way to escape it and all attempts of resisting, rejecting it or opposing its power are in vain. Accordingly, this gives the Umayyads justification for crushing all forms of resistance and suppressing all forms of opposition. Ibn Qutaybah narrated in his book, Al-Imama Wal Siyasa (Imamate and Politics), that Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, after killing one of the Umayyad opponents, sent somebody to call out: Amir al-Muminin has killed your companion as ordained by the book of fate!

However, a little reflection on Holy Quranic verses affirms that Man's destiny depends on his actions; otherwise he is not responsible for his destiny, refuting the claim of obligation Jabariyyah without doubt. Moreover, a little reflection on human actions, whether major or minor, shows clearly that human actions are inseparable from his free will, independent determination and individual intention.

In this regard, Ibn Qutaybah narrated that some people went to al-Hasan al-Basri complaining of the injustice, oppression and corruption of rulers saying: "This happens according to Allah's will". He replied saying: "Enemies of Allah are liars".    

Second: the Umayyad "Maneuver of Politics" had made every conceivable effort in spreading the doctrine of "deferral" Murj'ah which means, verbally, postponement and adjournment, which  significantly indicates that "there is no harm to commit a sin while having faith" as Al-Shahrastani says. However, the Umayyad's "Maneuver of Politics" had for this indicative content, two functions, one in the earthly life, and the other in the hereafter. As for the earthly life, according to the Umayyad's "Maneuver of Politics", kings and governors have the privilege to commit every kind of injustice, inequity and oppression without any detraction from their faith. However, the penalty for the sins of such kings and governors is adjourned till the hereafter. This tyrannical indicative content allowed tyrants and oppressors to escape the penalty for the injustices they committed.

Third:  the Umayyad's "Maneuver of Politics" had exerted every possible effort in spreading the concept of adhering to the superficial meaning of the authentic Hadith, which is a praying by Prophet Muhammad (bpuh), and narrated by al-Bukhari:
"O Allah! Nobody can withhold what You give; and nobody can give what You withhold; and the high status of a person- meaning rich and wealthy persons- is of no avail against Your Will". 

Indeed, a Man can realize the consequences of spreading the two doctrines of "Obligation" 'Jabariyyah and "deferral" Murj'ah, in order to stabilize the Umayyad's rule. Moreover, the effects of unilateral understanding of this Hadith, could be recognized, including submission, abidance and surrender, without taking into consideration the necessity of combining this Hadith with other authentic texts from Qur'an and Prophetic Hadiths, which urge the resistance to injustice, confronting tyranny and countering aggression.
Then I would say that: is not what we examine nowadays of exploiting religion in the "Maneuver of Politics", a restoration of the Umayyad history in the "Maneuver of Politics", either in its broad lines, or its elusive justificatory method?

Again, was not Sheikh Muhammad Abduh right in his saying when he sought refuge in God from the "Maneuver of Politics", its derivatives and elusive and ambiguous ways? It is this saying that we keep repeating, while we witness the outcomes of the "Maneuver of Politics", including separation, discord, bloodshed and slaughter.