The True Meaning Of Politics In The Sharee’ah
Shaykh ‘Alee bin Hasan al-Halabee
Source: Fiqhul-Waaqi’ banyan-Nadhariyyah wat-Tatbeeq, Pgs. 28-37
The Meaning of Politics:
After comprehending what has preceded from the fixed principles and understanding them, it becomes necessary to know the siyaasah (politics) which the du’aat (callers) should follow and which they should call the people to proceed upon.
From Abu Hurayrah (radee Allaahu ’anhu) that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said:
‘‘The Children of Israa‘eel used to be led by the Prophets, every time one of them died, another would succeed him. However, there is no Prophet after me, but there will be khulafaa (successors) and they will be many.’’ They said: “What do you order us with?” He said: “Fulfil the pledge of allegiance to the first, then the first, then give them their rights, since Allaah will ask them about how they took charge over you.’’ (Saheeh al-Bukhaaree & Saheeh Muslim)
So siyaasah (politics) with its knowledge based and Sharee’ah definition is: ‘To protect and to take care of the affairs of the Ummah.’ And this is what Islaam came to establish – with the aayaat and ahaadeeth, with its orders and rulings, and with its orders and foundations. So the siyaasah in understanding the affairs is to apply the fixed and unchanging principles of the Book and the Sunnah upon the new developments and circumstances, without any futility, nor any deceptive argumentation!
And this siyaasah is not like the futile politics whose principles were laid down by the devious kaafir’s (disbelievers) and corrupting polytheists! Nor is this siyaasah like the Machiavellian politics, the politics of lies, deceptions, plots and conspiracies! Nor is it the politics of The Prince  which is built upon deceptive diplomacy, falsehood and hypocritical protocols! Rather, this siyaasah is:
‘‘The Divine siyaasah and the Prophetic clarification, which the ruler and the ruled cannot do without.’’ 
And applying this siyaasah to the present day situation – in order to know how to deal with it falls under one of two categories:
Firstly: Those new events which are very clear, about which – along with its clear proofs and firm evidences – the ruling of Allaah the Most Perfect is apparent. Thus, whatever correct ruling befits that situation is then applied to it.
Secondly: Those new events which are anticipated and based upon mere conjecture and speculation. These speculations are dealt with in a cautious manner, since they are not built upon any firm foundation, nor do they have a solid support. And most of the questions of modern day politics and its different manifestations follow on from such conjecture and speculation, and are built upon them.
However, this does not negate the taking of precautions and being aware and attentive. And there is no doubt – after all of this – that: ‘‘Protecting and taking care of the affairs of this Ummah requires a manhaj (methodology). So is there a manhaj to be found for this except Islaam? So Islaam is siyaasah (protecting and taking care of the affairs of this Ummah) upon the understanding of Islaam’’ ,
not upon the understanding of the media and the media reports!
Awakening to the True Reality:
And it is obligatory to know an unchanging Sharee’ah principle – which will produce a certainty that will open up our intellects and awaken us to the true realities of our state of affairs – and it is: ‘That whatever calamities have befallen us, or now befall us, or will befall us, then it is because of what our own hands have earned; and because of our falling short with regards to fulfilling the
obligations of our Religion.’ Allaah – the Most Perfect says:
‘‘Whatever calamity and misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your own hands have earned.’’ (42:30)
‘‘Whatever evil befalls you, it is from your own self.’’ (4:29)
Unfortunately, some of the du’aat have become accustomed to blaming the enemies for any and every misfortune and subjection. Yet this does not only contradict the Divine manhaj and clear Prophetic guidance, but it also contains grave and evil consequences and results in a number of negative attitudes, and from them:
 It contradicts the Book and the Sunnah in its analysis of the present state of affairs, since Allaah – the Most Perfect – placed the blame for the defeat at the battles of Uhud and Hunayn upon the Muslims themselves – even though it was the disbelievers who did what they did. Allaah – the Most Perfect says: ‘‘Indeed Allaah did fulfil His Promise to you, when you were killing your enemies by His permission; until you lost courage, disagreed over what was commanded, and disobeyed.’’ (3:152) And: ‘‘On the day of Hunayn, when you rejoiced at your great numbers, it availed you nothing.’’ (9:25)
 It contains an over estimation of the disbelievers in the souls of the Muslims – which only further increases the Muslims in their weakness.
 It contains the declaration of purity for ones own soul. Since it implies that we have fulfilled the obligations for victory to be granted to us, and deserve to be given establishment upon the earth – even though the disbelievers have the upper hand over us. With such a negative attitude, we will neglect to cultivate our souls, and neglect to take account of ourselves – just as it will lead to another grave and serious attitude – and it is:
 A suspicion that Allaah has not kept His promise to grant victory to the Muslims, and that the disbelievers have overcome the order of Allaah. Even though Allaah – the Most High says: ‘‘The promise of Allaah is true. And who is more truthful in speech than Allaah?’’ (4:122)
 This matter sprouts from weakness of yaqeen (certainty of faith) in Allaah, and weakness of ones tawakkul (reliance) upon Him. And the fact that the blame for what has befallen the Muslims lies upon themselves does not mean that we free the kaafir’s from any blame for what they do to the Muslims – since this is one thing and that is another. Since when we were informed by Allaah – the Most Perfect, the Most High – about the causes for the defeat at Uhud this did not mean that Allaah freed them for blame for what they did to the Muslims.
[Parts of the above were extracted from: As-Sabil ilaa Manhaj Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, Pgs. 38-39…]
So the true siyaasah is to recognise your own state; and that you look after the affairs of the Ummah, and that you truly understand your state of affairs, calling the people and those near to you. And anything other than this is lies, nonsense, hollow speech and the following of desires – since it is in contradiction to the guidance laid down by the Lord of the heavens, and a deviation from the manhaj of the Prophets, and far removed from the path taken by the callers who are upon the ways of guidance. However, as regards to those who gasp and pant after hollow politics and scurry behind the current affairs – which are empty and repetitive – then this is what is plotted for us by the enemies of this Ummah, so they can divert the Muslim youth away from their true position, and turn them away from their principle obligation, and distance them from their primary goal.
The Ruling of Siyaasah:
From that which the scholars are agreed upon and which is very clear to the students of knowledge, is that the Islaamic knowledge and Sharee’ah obligation is divided into two categories:  Fard ’Ayn (individual obligation), and  Fard Kifaayah (collective obligation).
Shaykh-ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) said:
‘‘There is no doubt that it is obligatory upon every individual to have a general overall Eemaan (faith) in what the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came with. Likewise, there is no doubt that knowing what the Messenger (sall-Allaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came with in detail is fard al-kifaayah (a collective obligation – i.e. if it is fulfilled by a sufficient amount of people, then others are freed from the obligation). Since this enters into contemplating over the Qur‘aan, comprehending and understanding it, having knowledge of the Book and the Wisdom and preserving the Reminder, and calling to the way of the Lord with wisdom, beautiful admonition, and arguing in ways that are best; and similar matters which Allaah has made obligatory upon the Believers – then it is fard alkifaayah (i.e. a collective obligation) upon them.
However, as regards to that which is an obligation upon every individual, then this will vary according to their varying abilities, understandings and requirements, and what they are individually ordered with. So what is obligatory upon one who the ability in hearing part of the knowledge is not obligatory upon one who is not able. Similarly, what is an obligation upon the one who hears the texts and understands them – with regards to the detailed knowledge – is not an obligation upon the one who does not hear this detailed knowledge. Likewise, there is an obligation upon the mufti (giver of legal rulings and verdicts), the muhaaddith (scholar of hadeeth) and the debater, that which is not an obligation upon those who are not one of them.’’ (Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, 3/312)
I say: So do you not see – O my brother Muslim – this scholarly and Sharee’ah classification? So in which of these categories is Fiqhul-Waaqi’ (understanding the state of affairs) with its prescribed Sharee’ah form – not its imaginary one?
Indeed there can be no doubt that anyone possessing perception that knowledge of the state of affairs is obligatory upon only certain individuals from this Ummah, who make clear – from time to time – the realities that appear to them; as result of their observations and their being alert to what the enemies of Islaam report against Islaam, in order to be aware and to warn – not merely to immobilize emotions, nor to empty peoples’ enthusiasms.
Thus, it is obligatory upon all those who delve into this knowledge to have a high level of awareness and understanding, such that they are not deceived by the false rumours of those in authority, nor by the foul reports of those who spread information. Nor as a child who merely repeats what he hears without understanding or comprehension, as is the case with many of those who delve into Fiqhul-Waaqi’ today, without having the ability to do so, nor the ability to understand it. And the frightening thing that has come upon Fiqhul-Waaqi’ lately, is that there is no doubt that it has no share in its connection with the correct Islaamic manhaj (methodology).
And severe criticism which those who call to this branch of knowledge repeatedly make against those from other than them from the people of knowledge and their students has – in reality – no justification, nor any truth. Since such callers claim that they are the knowledgeable ones with regards to understanding the state of affairs, and they are the ones who know the situations of the east and west, and they are the ones fully aware of the political games and therefore, they are the ones who are establishing this fardul-kifaayah (collective obligation, which if fulfilled by some, exempts others from this obligation). So if this is the case, then why do they criticise those who do not?! Allaah – The Most Perfect says:
‘‘So what is the matter with you? How do you judge?’’ (10:35)
Therefore, the Sharee’ah obligation is that some of those who are able to discern should study the state of affairs and follow them up, but only after a precise and detailed knowledge of the clear Sharee’ah realities and the different Divine warnings – so that the primary confused matter can be distinguished and matters do not become confused.
Then we say that they in which some of these callers write off and dismiss others – due to their – ‘ignorance of the state of affairs’ or ‘being ignorant and inattentive to the situation of the Ummah and the plots against it’, then such statements very often contain injustices and lies, and are far from being correct. Since, with what scales did they weigh this attentiveness, or with what scales did they weigh someone’s understanding of the state of affairs? Is it based merely upon some written quotations, or some lectures delivered, or collecting newspapers and magazines? How gross and how deviated this is!
Indeed, the relentless, painstaking and calm efforts with regards to understanding any part of the two noble Revelations (i.e. the Qur‘aan and the Sunnah) is a thousand times better than the clamour of the spreaders of information, and the rantings of the so called thinkers – most of which, is built upon suppositions, conjectures and feeble surmising!
The weak lions roar the loudest, whilst the strong ones need not feign, nor pretend.