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Islamic Polity In Modern Times, AUTHOR : Syed Abdul Quddus . PUBLISHER : Ferozsons (Pvt) Ltd .

  • Islamic Polity In Modern Times
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AUTHOR :  Syed Abdul Quddus
ISBN :  9789690007803
PUBLISHER :  Ferozsons (Pvt) Ltd
YOP :  1987 SET OF :  1

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  1. Reviwed

    Posted by Dr Umar Jawaid on 14th Jan 2013

    Syed Abdul Quddus is an intellectual author, bureaucrat and humanist of international stature. He is also an intellectual and scholar of great merit. He specializes in his writings about Islam and its modern image but also political subjects and is regarded as a political scientist. He joined Federal Government of Pakistan through Central Superior Services in 1961 and has served in many positions of responsibility. He has visited many countries of the world including most of Europe and South Asia. He has been compared to Bertrand Russell of England and Jean Paul Sartre of France by Professor Guiseppe Buricchi of Rome. In addition to this book his other famous works of distinction are “The North West Frontier Province”, “The Islamic Revolution”, “The Pathans”, “Baluchistan” and “Local Self Government in Pakistan”.
    In this book “Islamic Polity in Modern Times” the author has tried to differentiate Islam and its polity from those of Western and other Eastern ideologies. He tries to depict Islam as the most feasible modern ideology as the most dynamic, progressive and forward moving force and is unique in being relative for all times and places. It’s another contribution is to make International reader generally understand real picture of Islam in contrast to distorted and somewhat biased views, even of some of the most enlightened scholars of the West about Islam.
    The writer has truly depicted that a true and long-lasting religion cannot bear the liability of separating religion from politics, a trait and attribute that only Islam has resisted in the modern times. The uniqueness and distinction of Islamic polity lies in it being a comprehensive mode of life in all respects in contrast to capitalism and socialism which are just economic systems without moral values. He further elaborates that reforming Islam is synonymous to destroying it. He has quoted and given references of many western scholars and writers in this whole work depicting their misunderstandings about Islam even in its basic values and rituals. He tries to maintain a puritanical outlook of Islam as envisaged by Shah Walliullah and Allama Iqbal and quotes them on many occasions in reply to grieve accusations against it. The writer regards Islamic resurgence as the only possible source and forward-moving force for promoting and establishing International peace.
    The book is in a logical order of events and analytical style of writing as a kind of comparative study on how Islam is misinterpreted by Non-Muslims and what real position of facts is. The first few chapters of the book describe the introduction and meaning of Islam and that submission to God needs pragmatic observation rather than empty rhetoric and also that it is the most tolerant but non-compromising religion. It also depicts the type of people in a society with respect to Islam ranging from “Momineen” to the “Minorities”. Islam gave a more comprehensive charter than the modern UN charter 1400 years back, respecting humanity above language, status, cast, color and creed. It also tells that a religion should be in temporal, physical and intellectual and not just spiritual control of its followers. The separation of secular and sacred duties in a society with respect to religion brings destruction. The writer compares the two modern approaches of, socialism in the form of “Dialectical Materialistic” and capitalism as the “Western Idealistic Philosophy”, both having their failures in not realizing creative and religious aspect of a creature and of deeper concept of oneself respectively.
    Next is the evolution of religion from a primitive sense of fear and pleasure to the modern times of economic race describing Confucianism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianism and Islam. In the next chapter Communism and its contradictions are described by the states endorsing it especially soviets, in demonstrating religious freedom on the face with propaganda while on the other hand endorsing Anti-Religious activities and rhetoric behind iron curtain as essential part of policy. In the next few chapters the comparison of Islam with Socialism, West and other ideologies is taken into account with reference to different scholars and authors from both sides.
    The writer sees Capitalism and Socialism only as economic systems trying to attain ends without authentication of means. The capitalist society is prey to dualism as split of church and state where day to day life is divorced from moral compunctions. The injection of racial-national virus brought about ultimate failure of western civilization. Similarly Socialism though thrived rapidly after Russian revolution in 1917 but Social injustices and inequities along with confiscation of individual freedom is still the cause of failure of Socialism. Islam on the other hand has a spiritual discipline leading to a balanced society against racialism and with social equality. The feasibility of Ijma and Ijtehad is its unique feature. It abolishes class consciousness, as although equality of income may not be possible but through zakat and sadqaat equity may be. The many differences between Islam and west are due to Enmity, Bias, Hatred, Distortion and Misrepresentation along with a match between liberalism and modernism.
    The Islamic concept of a state includes the attributes of fraternity, equality, liberty, justice and equal responsibility towards societal protection and development. It differs from western state in lacking human sovereignty as it belongs to Allah only. It is the kingdom of God on earth with man as His caliph deriving power from Quran and Hadith.
    Although the book is well researched and a comprehensive analytical study of Islamic polity as elaborated above, yet some points remain to be explained and debatable. The writer in early part argues that every true religion will lead to success on judgment day if practiced fully. It seems the writer has gone a bit too far to create harmony among religions as being Muslims we have firm belief that Islam is the only acceptable religion now and abrogates all previous ones. Then while describing the evolution of religion the writer has not given a sequential order of its evolution, rather has travelled quickly from its primitive form through Greek and Roman to modern day with not much detail if any about Judaism and its evolution into Christianity and finally Islam thus abolishing all previous laws and norms.
    The writer also seems prejudiced about Communism and Socialism as he depicts separate chapters about them and compromises neutrality while analyzing them as he starts off in a negative manner. Capitalism on the other hand mentioned is not analyzed as whimsically or in detail. The reason could be the backdrop of the country(Pakistan) being in a proxy war with Soviet Socialism in Afghanistan at that time, also with the help of Capitalist USA which may have led to a softer stance to it as compared to socialism.
    Another deficiency seems to be the description of the type or form of government most suited to Islamic Polity as the way ahead, and form of democracy if applied. Also how in the wake of Muslim downfall the Islamic polity can lead to not only prosperity of Muslims but also to move with western ideologies if entirely different from them. What could be the method and leading force to make Islam practically understandable and acceptable to other ideologies? As the writer has claimed Capitalism and Socialism as only economical systems with injustices and inequalities with can’t move with Islamic polity, what will be circumstances if we can make them just and equitable to come to a consensus with them? Surely a middle way must be aspired for rather than “All or None” Law.
    The difference between philosophy and ideology is marked as being the motivation to act in case of ideology but what makes a person or nation to be motivated into action and thus cause of difference is not quite clear in the analysis. Similarly the concept of “Ummah” rather than Nation states has been wished but in the backdrop of so much disintegration among Muslim states how to manage it is quite hard to perceive. Finally the “Current Islamic Resurgence” as depicted in that era proved a bubble under dictatorship as will of people was absent and it was endorsed to fight socialism with the help of capitalist economy and situation has deteriorated since as far as Islamic Polity is concerned.
    Overall the real fruit of the book is its ability to act as food for thought and discussion. It highlights that Islamic renaissance is the order of the day and that it contains many positive implications for the whole world. It enriches human qualities as defenses of peace are made in the minds of men. The book is well referenced and a bibliography of precious resources of the topic both Western and Eastern authors is given in the end. I would recommend this book to the upcoming political scientists and Scholars of the subject as a very useful introduction and analysis of the subject.

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