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Concubines were the Decision-Making Circle during the Eras of Promiscuous Caliphs
Quranic Terminology: ''Retinue'': The Black Comedy of the Decision-Making Circle:

 

Quranic Terminology: ''Retinue'': The Black Comedy of the Decision-Making Circle:

Concubines were the Decision-Making Circle during the Eras of Promiscuous Caliphs

Was published in Arabic in October 20, 2015

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly: Islam (i.e., the Quran alone) contains neither the notion of political tyranny nor the notion clergy. Hence, Islam contains no such ''religious'' tenet or term as "the circle of decision making '' which is among the most revered terminologies by imams of the Sunnite creed; it means those who are the most influential persons with clout and power in a given ruling court/palace. Some Sunnite clergy/imams have claimed in their old and new books that this ''decision-making circle'' (of the so-called religious scholars) is part and parcel of the so-called ''Islamic'' system of ruling (i.e., caliphate).

1- We have written here on this website before that the really just state that could be deemed ''Islamic'' can never contain a ''ruler'' in the Middle-Ages tyrant sense of the word; real Islam (i.e., the Quran) forbids discrimination and differentiation among individuals in matters of faith (and there is nothing called clergy in Islam: the Quran) and in matters of the transient world: Islam does not sanction a tyrant ruler. Such discrimination or differentiation is deemed injustice by Islam. God does not overlook injustice. Because a nation is the source of authority in a given country, which is exercised via means of experts in the required fields who are liable to impeachment, questioning, scrutiny, and the possibility of being punished and fired. Hence, such experts are employees under the service of the state; they are not tyrant rulers or a group of elite rising in stature over the ordinary people. We have written before that direct democracy is the Islamic tenet of Shura (consultation), and this is applied in some Western states and some democracies within representatives elected by citizens within People's Assembly and Executive Authority. We have written that Western countries are the nearest examples of the ''Islamic'' state caring for human rights whose core tenets are established in the Quranic and applied by Prophet Muhammad. The exact opposite is the caliphate monarchies established by caliphs (the four ones after the Prophet's death, and the hereditary monarchies/caliphates of the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, and Ottomans) by combining theocratic and military rule. Such ruling system is still maintained in the so-called Islamic world countries by the Muhammadans, as we, Quranists, call them. Those Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi Muhammadans are deemed by Quranists as a disgrace to humanity and the archenemies and fierce foes of the real Islam and its state that cares for human rights.

2- Thus, in Islam, there is no such thing as rulers who inherited thrones from their forefathers, and likewise, there is no such a thing as a certain caste or social stratum that monopolizes wealth and authority in a given country. Accordingly, there is no ''retinue'' in Islam: i.e. those individuals who glorify and obey a ruler/sultan and get so many material benefits and financial gains from him. This retinue has been in tyrant states long ago before the revelation of the Quran. God tells us about such retinues in some Quranic stories. This retinue came back with a vengeance within tyrant caliphates. Imams of the so-called fiqh have created the term ''circle of decision-makers'' to sanction tyranny and corruption by such retinues of tyrant rulers. Such corrupt imams claimed that such retinue could solve problems, make decisions, give orders…etc.

3- Let us now turn to the Quranic stories in the discourse about the term ''retinue''.

 

Secondly: Types of retinues in the Quranic stories/discourse:

1- There is the ''higher retinue'' of God; i.e., the close angels near God. Among them was Lucifer/Satan before he refused to kneel down before Adam and therefore expelled from the higher retinue. Let us be reminded of these two verses: "I have no knowledge of the Highest Retinue as they dispute." (38:69) and the forbidding ordained by God to the Jinn from eavesdropping on the higher retinue: "They cannot eavesdrop on the Highest Retinue, for they get bombarded from every side." (37:8).

2- There was the retinue of notables (humans and Jinns) in service of Solomon: "He said, "O notables, which one of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?"An imp of the sprites said, "I will bring it to you before you rise from your seat. I am strong and reliable enough to do it."He who had knowledge from the Book said, "I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you." And when he saw it settled before him, he said, "This is from the grace of my Lord, to test me, whether I am grateful or ungrateful. He who is grateful, his gratitude is to his own credit; but he who is ungrateful-my Lord is Independent and Generous.""(27:38-40)

3- There was a retinue that was not corrupt within the Israelites: "Have you not considered the notables of the Children of Israel after Moses? When they said to a prophet of theirs, "Appoint a king for us, and we will fight in the cause of God." He said, "Is it possible that, if fighting was ordained for you, you would not fight?" They said, "Why would we not fight in the cause of God, when we were driven out of our homes, along with our children?" But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned away, except for a few of them. But God is aware of the wrongdoers."(2:246).

4- There were retinues of dignitaries or elite people – apparently – that ruled itself and its people in stories of ancient nations: "We sent Noah to his people. He said, "O my people! Worship God; you have no god other than Him. I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day."The dignitaries among his people said, "We see that you are in obvious error.""(7:59-60), "And to Aad, their brother Hud. He said, "O my people! Worship God; you have no god other than Him. Will you not take heed?"The elite of his people who disbelieved said, "We see foolishness in you, and we think that you are a liar."" (7:65-66), "The elite of his people, who were arrogant, said to the common people who had believed, "Do you know that Saleh is sent from his Lord?" They said, "We are believers in what he was sent with."" (7:75), and "The arrogant elite among his people said, "O Shuaib, We will evict you from our town, along with those who believe with you, unless you return to our religion." He said, "Even if we are unwilling?"" (7:88). All these examples of retinues were followed closely by the retinue of dignitaries of the Qorayish tribe in Mecca. This retinue was ruling independently without a leader or a single ruler to be flattered and glorified. God says in the Quran about their stance against the Quran and Prophet Muhammad: "The notables among them announced: "Go on, and hold fast to your gods. This is something planned. We never heard of this in the former faith. This is nothing but a fabrication. Was the message sent down to him, out of all of us?" In fact, they are doubtful of My warning. In fact, they have not yet tasted My punishment."(38:6-8).

5- We notice as well that there were retinues around tyrants who were so savage, oppressive, and corrupt like Moses' Pharaoh. We can draw the following features of such a retinue.

5/1: Such a retinue consisted of social strata. There is the group inside the palace of the Pharaoh, and then lower ranks spread within cities and villages in a central state under the firm grip and control of Pharaoh. This continues in any given state ruled by a tyrant in the East. For instance, Egypt was ruled by a line of kings each called Ramses; every Ramses was the owner of Egypt, leader of its army, and a deity worshipped by all Egyptians. This is similar to Nasser's Egypt, Gadhafi's Libya, and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Authority here used to infiltrate with its security apparatuses in all areas in a given country and even within every family! In the story of Moses' Pharaoh, we know that Moses killed unwittingly an Egyptian man in the street; the news went straight to Pharaoh via the retinue controlling this street, and hence the warning of a man to Moses: " And a man came from the farthest part of the city running. He said, "O Moses, the authorities are considering killing you, so leave; I am giving you good advice.""(28:20). This type of retinue filled the whole populated area in Egypt at the time; Pharaoh gathered the magicians from all cities of Egypt into the Egyptian capital in a controlled manner to a certain appointment: "They said, "Delay him and his brother, and send recruiters to the cities, to bring you every experienced magician." So the magicians were gathered for the appointment on a specified day."(26:36-38). This retinue infiltrated people to invite them to the day of the confrontation between Moses and the magicians: "And it was said to the people, "Are you all gathered? That we may follow the magicians, if they are the winners.""(26:39-40). Such a retinue used to spy on the Israelites and recruit Israelite agents to spy and report; hence the great fear of the Israelites: "But none believed in Moses except some children of his people, for fear that Pharaoh and his chiefs would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was a tyrant."(10:83). That is why we read in the Quran that God warned Moses that they will be followed (presumably by pharaoh's agents and spies) during their flight from Egypt: "And We inspired Moses: "Travel with My servants by night. You will be followed.""(26:52). News went fast to Pharaoh despite all secrecy and he gathered and mobilized all his men from all cities with one unified message: "Pharaoh sent heralds to the cities: "These are a small gang, and they are enraging us, but we are a vigilant multitude.""(26:53-56).

5/2: There was the retinue of those who were so near to Pharaoh, with special nature in relation to Pharaoh; they never refused him anything and flattered him with words that reflected and echoed his intentions and mind. The Quranic precision here tells us the same sentences uttered almost the same by Pharaoh and his close retinue. Please compare these two verses: "The chiefs of Pharaoh's people said, "Will you let Moses and his people cause trouble in the land, and forsake you and your gods?" He said, "We will kill their sons, and spare their women. We have absolute power over them.""(7:127) and "Then, when he came to them with the truth from Us, they said, "Kill the sons of those who have believed with him, and spare their daughters." But the scheming of the unbelievers can only go astray.Pharaoh said, "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread disorder in the land."" (40:25-26). This repetition asserts the tyranny of Pharaoh that is akin to tyranny of any Easter ruler, as if he owned the absolute truth: "…Pharaoh said, "I do not show you except what I see, and I do not guide you except to the path of prudence.""(40:29).

6- There was a retinue around a ruler 'mild' in his tyranny, like the retinue of the Hyksos king in the story of Joseph. The Hyksos king found the retinue facing him boldly to say that they cannot interpret his dreams: "They said, "Jumbles of dreams, and we know nothing of the interpretation of dreams.""(12:44). Likewise, the retinue of the Queen of Sheba when consulted by her: "She said, "O Counselors, a gracious letter was delivered to me. It is from Solomon, and it is, 'In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful. Do not defy me, and come to me submissively.'" She said, "O counselors, advise me in this matter of mine. I never make a decision unless you are present."They said, "We are a people of might and great courage, but the decision is yours, so consider what you wish to command.""(27:29-33)

 

Thirdly: Retinues consisting of the circle decision-makers between Fiqh theology and political/historical reality:

1- Writings of imams of fiqh about the lower parts of human bodies are countless tomes and volumes; yet fiqh on politics are neither great in value nor many in quantity. Save Ibn Khaldoun, who was a staunch believer in theocracy – for shame – the worst type of tyranny, we have next to nothing on the subject. Hence, Ibn Khaldoun, as we have written in a book published online here, believed in the myth of decision-making circle in matters of ruling.

2- Apart from the very little and valueless paragraphs written on the subject of circle of decision-makers, such paragraphs are contrary to both the historical reality in the times of caliphs of every sort and the historical reality of the retinues of the Hyksos king, the Pharaoh, and the Queen of Sheba. The control system unique on every levels to these rulers mentioned in the Quran was not to be found in the history of caliphs, both the good and the bad, the tyrant and the promiscuous, i.e., a caliph may or may not consult any retinue or men, according to his will, and that was the old concept of consultation in tyrannies: an Eastern ruler was not to make consultations and advice obligatory. We believe that continues till today.

3- It is historically known that the caliph Abou Bakr used to have consultants like Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, Abdul-Rahman Ibn Awf, Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubayr, and Talha Ibn Obaydallah. Almost the same group was consultants to the next caliph, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab. As for the next caliph, Othman Ibn Affan, he made Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam controlling everything, and Othman paid the price of this heavily. The next caliph, Ali Ibn Abou Talib, used to consult all people around him especially Abdullah Ibn Abbas, his cousin, but he used to give deaf ears to all advice and consultations. Mu'aweiya the firs Umayyad caliph used to listen and consult, and then deceive and plot. Likewise were Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam and Abdul-Malek Ibn Marwan. This was recurrent in those who established new caliphates like Abou Jaffer Al-Mansour. But in eras of wealth, stability, and extravagance, the nearest retinue of a caliph were his companion in promiscuity, slave-women, prostitutes, pimps …etc.

4- We tend to believe that this has not changed in the courts of Eastern tyrants: most of their secrets are known to Concubines !                          


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