No doubt, the form of government envisaged by the Islamic
Political Law is an aristocracy based on the piety and wisdom, political acumen
and statesmanship of the individuals who constitute it. It is neither a
dictatorship in which a despotic ruler and his few henchmen exercise absolute
powers, nor is it a monarchy in which only the members of a royal family are
entitled to rule. Moreover, it is not even a democracy. No doubt, as directed by
the Qur’ān, it comes into existence on the basis of a public mandate and
continues to exist as long as it commands the support of the majority, but
besides other differences with democracy, it also does not recognize the right
of the people to elect whoever they like to such a position of authority; on the
contrary, it has directed them to elect only those people who possess certain
qualities of head and heart. They must come up to certain standards which have
been fixed by Allah and His Prophet (sws).
The Qur’ān and the Hadith explicitly spell out the
qualities which those charged with authority of an Islamic State must possess.
The Qur’ān has used the term ool-ul-amr for all those who are part of an Islamic
Political System, whether they are the representatives of the Muslims in the
parliament or their administrators. They are eligible for this position if they
have the following qualities in them:
Firstly, they must be well versed in the skills of
statecraft; they must be able to delve into matters pertaining to religion and
state and be able to form an opinion by analyzing them.
Secondly, they should also be distinguished in the society
as regards their character and integrity. People who are corrupt and immoral,
dishonest and unscrupulous, and who are indifferent to their religion do not
have the right to rule merely because they have elected by the masses.
Thirdly, they must not have greed for an office in the
government. It cannot be tolerated in an Islamic State that people should come
forward and present their names, go about proclaiming their qualities and
services in streets and employ other means, which are now considered an
essential part of present day democratic ethics to allure the public. In Islamic
ethics, this shameless attitude is not permissible at all.
These are the qualities which those charged with authority
must necessarily possess. However, the Qur’ān specifies certain other qualities
as well for a person who is elected from these ool-ul-amr as the head of an
Islamic State: He should have a commanding and an awe-inspiring personality and
should be the most distinguished among them as regards integrity, wisdom and
intellect. These qualities have, therefore, been cited by the Qur’ān as the real
reason behind the nomination of Taaloot (Saul) for the supreme leadership of the
"Indeed, Allah has chosen him to rule over you and has
gifted him abundantly with wisdom and physique." (2:247)
It is evident from this that such elements are not
suitable to head an Islamic State who lack intellect, wisdom and masculine
attributes; who instead of being venturesome and enterprising are passive and
receptive by nature, and who instead of influencing others are more liable to be
influenced. The reason for this is that the ruler of an Islamic State is not one
who only heads them, he also leads the believers in Prayers, Haj and Jihaad.
Moreover, he is like a father to his nation, and a model and a guide for them.
He is the voice of their conscience, a representative of their ideology, a
symbol of their cognizance---someone in whom their sense of honour is
personified. It is vital, therefore, that he be someone who instead of delicacy
has the ability to take the initiative and who instead of resignation and
tenderness possess resolution and tenacity. Whether he be addressing the
parliament, the Juma congregation or his soldiers in a battle, it is his
authoritative yet majestic, dominating yet gracious and awe-inspiring yet
benevolent personality which commands the love and respect of all. It is this
towering stature of a Muslim ruler because of which the feeble feel secure, the
old feel revitalized and the young are inspired to daring deeds.
After assuming an office in the government the Prophet
(pbuh) has decreed that all the officials of the government including the head
of state must necessarily follow three principles:
Firstly, they must have the same standard of living as
that of a common citizen.
Secondly, their doors should always remain open to hear
the grievances and problems of the general public.
Thirdly, the Friday prayers must be led by the head of
state in the federal capital and by his administrators in other cities.
These principles can be termed as Sunnat-i-Thaabitah.
During the Prophet's time and the period of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, they
were strictly adhered to. Today also, they must necessarily be followed by our
rulers and administrators. It is because of these norms of leadership that, in
the words of the Prophet Christ, an Islamic State is called the `Kingdom of God'
and whenever it is established on earth, people receive the blessings of the
Almighty from the heavens above and the earth below.