Friday, December 4, 2015

The Importance of Tolerance, Universality and Rationalism as main Foundations of Islamic Foundation

Islamic civilization was founded on some important foundations involving many branches like economics, social and also politics. The Islamic foundations particularly in the political branch, it focused on the establishment of an Islamic government. By having an Islamic government that implemented the Islamic foundation, it would then led to the establishment of Islamic civilization. The Islamic foundations or principles that are important in the establishment of an Islamic government involve tolerance, universality and also rationalism

In Islam, it is important for Muslims to do justice. Justice here refers to the act of tolerance for all human beings who are living in the world. An Islamic ruler who was chosen to the throne, should implement the act of tolerance unto his people. This means to do justice for the people regardless of their backgrounds; whether they were Muslims or not, their skin colours or their different races. In the previous Islamic civilization, usually the Sultan or the ruler would try to implement the act of religious tolerance towards his people, where all the people including the Christians and the Jewish community could practice freely their religion. Besides, their places of worship also were given respect by the Muslims by not destroying them.

For example, during the time of Sultan Muhammad al-Fateh, after he captured Constantinople he did not kill the Christians who were seeking refuge in Hagia Sophia. He told them their lives would be spared and they could practice their religion freely in the city. After all, the people were joyful hearing the declaration of the Sultan. So, from there, even the Christians respected and paid their loyalty to the Islamic government. This event somehow showed the importance of tolerance in an Islamic government, that it could strengthen it by gaining support from the people.

Another important foundation in Islamic government is universality. As Islamic government further expanded into a wider area, it even included the non-Arab countries. From history, we would know that there were attempts made by some Arab rulers to spread the idea of Arabism. These Arab rulers did not agree with the Turkish people who were getting stronger in the Islamic government at that time. They started to preach the idea of Arabs superiority and this made the non-Arabs dissatisfied. It led to series of revolts against the Arab rulers. To highlight the importance of universality, the Arab rulers should not implement that idea in the first place as it obviously represented the feeling of Arabs superiority which means the opposite of universality. So, from history itself we can take that a government without the principle of universality would be in total disputes and stagnation.

Besides that, an Islamic administration in the Islamic civilization also implemented the principle of rationalism. Rationalism is an act of which the ruler governs his government based on reality and reasons. But, rationalism as an Islamic foundation does not only constitute of thinking and reasoning activities of the ruler. But, the ruler has to maintain and balance between reasoning and also the revelation of the Quran and Sunnah. By having these two subjects as the basis principle, the ideal Islamic government could be established.

Rationalism also means that the ruler should conduct all his affairs with all rationality and sound thinking without referring to any assumptions without proofs. All matters that are opposite to the Quran and Sunnah must be rejected. That is because all the issues that have been mentioned in the sources is the absolute truth and carry their own benefits. Thus, if the ruler follows what have been mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, it is most likely he will successfully maintain the harmony and peace of his government. And, all the people would support him as a ruler. This is exactly like in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) era, where all the people in Madinah were living peacefully under his supervision.

As a conclusion, the Islamic foundations are important to be implemented by every Islamic government. Any action that opposing the foundations will spark the disputes and downgradation of the Islamic rule. But, however, these principles were only meant to set up an ideal government according to the Quran and Sunnah while the Islamic governments that we are having today is the reality that we have to face.

December 4, 2015

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