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The Islamic History between Democracy and Despotism

It is hard to brief the Political History of Muslims in a few pages, this history that circles around the Right Guided Caliphs and the other caliphs, so it is much harder to make this brief study cover another deep religious and political matters. But we would still have to stop at a certain conclusive moments in the Islamic history that we will give an indicated address. We will start with the state of the prophet Mohamed.

the prophet’s state: Consultation “Al-Shora” = The direct Democracy :

The main feature here is that Consultation “shora” was an obligatory duty for every Muslim. It came from the Basic belief of Islam which is “ There is no God except Allah” and the Muslim individuals were practicing it in mosques “Just like performing the five Prayers”. And this feature is divided into certain meanings, in the following Koranic verses:

The Democracy is a part of the Islamic belief, because it is only Allah who is unquestionable, but everyone else is questionable. ( Al-Anbeyaa 23) and the Prophet Mohamed was ordered to practice Democracy ( Al-Omran 159). And this means that everyone that disdains to practice Shora, he would be rising himself over the prophet, so he will make a god of himself … and the repeating of the Pharaoh’s despotism that lead him to reclaim Godhood and destruction of himself and his people. So Despotism is a big disbelief with Allah, and the Democracy is one of the main Islamic beliefs.

And because democracy is a part of the Islamic belief, so it is to become an obligatory duty like praying. And we here point out to the fact that the Order to practice Democracy took place at Meka -before even the Muslim establish their state in Medina – at Democracy sura. And the order were written in a nominal sentence which means permanence and affirmation in the Arabic language.

Meantime the order of Democracy was put between the most two fundamental Islamic Duties in the Islamic belief, which are Praying and almsgiving. So it takes some terms of the praying in sense that it is obligatory to practice Democracy in Mosque and Home, and it is not permissible for anyone to act as a representative of any other individual in its practice. So it is a religious duty for every Muslim individual to attend the Democracy Meetings, which took place after the public pronounce “ Al-Azan” to perform a public council – not an assembly one- and discuss about everything. This is what the holly Koran told us, but the historical reference that was recorded during the Abbasyat Caliphate purposely ignored it along with the prophet’s Friday’s sermons. And both Democracy meetings and Friday sermons were mainly responsible for educating and cultivating the Muslim individuals to enable them to establish their first Civilized State in Medina.

We will be content with the Koranic speech about the Democracy meetings that was mentioned in the last three verses of Al-Nour Sura. And these three verses talked about some of the Mediona’s people who didn’t get used to attend these meetings, So they made excuses not to attend, or they sneak out of it. But the holly Koran warns them hardly of doing that and confirms the obligatory attendance for these meetings in order not to make the whole Society -including the sleeping majority- ruled by active minority and apply the representative administration, Then they apply the monocracy. And that what already had happened after the death of the prophet.

Now, we reach for a subsidiary feature, which is the political factor, which was clarified as:

1- The nation is the source of all authorities. And the prophet Mohamed while he was ruling the Islamic nation received the following words from Allah ““because of the mercy that god supplies you, you became soft with them, and if you was harsh and rough they would leave you alone. So forgive them and ask God’s forgiveness for them and consult them” and the quotation here is “and if you was harsh and rough they would leave you alone”.

The holly Koran says God supplied his prophet with mercy and he didn’t make him harsh or rough, because if he was so , they would leave him alone. And if that happened he will lose his sultan and his state. So what gives him the sultan and the state is their gathering and union around him, and before when he was in Mecca he was persecuted, and if they leave him he would be persecuted again. Then their gathering and union around him is the source of his sultan, and not from a divined authorization. And the wholly God made him soft with them to make them gather and union around him. And he worn him of being rough or they would leave him. So he ordered him to forgive them and ask God’s forgiveness for them and consult them, because they are his partners in ruling, and they are the source of his sultan and state.

2- And on the basis of previous principle the Islamic state doesn’t recognize the rule of the president and the Social Contract theory, because it demands the Society to directly rule itself. So when Allah talks about any political matter in Koran, the speech always addressed for all Muslims (Al-Nesaa58- Al-Nahl90- Al-Anaam151). Even the Word (yahkom - Rules) always cames with the meaning of judging, not ruling. (Review the word and its derivatives in the holly Koran) .

And the mechanism of the Islamic rule is based on the Shora, which guarantees the collective rule among Muslim individuals and the questioning for the people of trust “Oli Al-Amr” who were recognized in Koran as “ the people of experience” ( Al-Nesaa 59-83) . And this is not a utopian system, but it is a realistic, successful system who enables Muslims to establish their state. And it is very near to the modern system in Swiss and some European countries, where the president is just a regular employee for the people, they assign, fire and question him whenever they want. And whenever he is out of power, he becomes a regular citizen.

And correlating with this system comes the Islamic economy system which is based on the right of all society in positioning wealth, and the quotient right for Muslim individuals in wealth under a certain rules which prevents luxury and exploitative spending. To achieve a free of monopolization society.

Koraysh’s state during the judicious succession :

According to the direct Democracy that took place during the rule of the Prophet Mohamed we can answer the confusing question, which is: why didn’t the Prophet Mohamed assign a successor after him?

And the answer is simply is that the society was able to rule itself according to its ruling mechanism. But there was an outsider evolution, which is the apostasy war. When the apostates tried to attack Medina and its people. This war witnessed the alliance of the military forces of Koraysh in Meka and the military forces of Koraysh in Medina, and in this critical time there ought to be victims to this alliance. And the first victim was Al-Ansar people. But the most prominent victim was the Democracy (the direct Democracy).

Before we explain the details we affirm a pure fact that the political rule in this time was full of despotism in many levels. So it is a matter of time that the prophet’s state would be beaten by this Era’s tools from outside(the apostasy war) and from inside ( Koraysh in Meka and Medina, specially the Amowyan People) . So it is normal that the direct Democracy of the prophet’s Era was changed to political despotism (in the Ammoyat Caliphate) and to religious despotism (in the Abbasyat Caliphate). And this gradual change costs the Muslims a lot of denominationalism war, assassinations and sectarianism separations that begun with politics and ends with separation in intellect and religion. From Khawareg to Sheaa.. And we still live the same since then.

And the next step in this road of pain would be what I call “the Korayshan State” in the judicious Caliphate’s Era which appears in a certain attitudes:

Alsakifa homage: this homage was the main reason of moving Al-Ansar away, after banishing their leader “Saa’d Ibn-Obada” and assassinating him in Syria. In return of that all Arabsubmitted to Koraysh only And it becomes a matter of arbitrariness and despotis (Omar the second Caliphate was about to kill Saa’d Ibn-Obada and Al-Habbab Ibn Monzer in this homage)

After Alsakifa homage there was a rearrangement process for the Korayshan people to satisfy Omowyans and Hashimyans. Under the rule of Abo-Bakr (the first caliphate). So Abo-Bakr appointed Zeyad “the son of Aba Sofian who votes against Abo-Bakr” as an army leader in the Apostasy war. And Omar used force against Ali’s defenders and he even was about to kill Al-Zobayr Ibn Al-Awam then he pays homage to Abo-Bakr.

Koraysh managed to end the apostasy wars. And to prevent those Arabs from attacking them – considering the fact that they used to earn their living from steal and rubbery- they exported their military forces out of the Arabian Peninsula as soldiers under their command. And these forces widen the Islamic states under the name of spreading Islam. Then there was a new status after the Koraysh invented this method that contradicts with the holly Koran who affirms on fighting only for self-defense without any aggression and to punish the aggressor by imposing tax on him. But these conquests were based on aggression on countries and giving its people the choice between three options: becoming Muslim or paying the tax or War. And this how the gap between the Prophets State and the Korayshan State begins to widen.

In Omar’s Caliphate the gap increased to widen when he adds to Al-Ansar the people of the conquered countries who didn’t make anything wrong to Arabs or Islam, but they were conquered, rubbed, made slaves, paid tax and they finally became a low class citizen in the Islamic country. And in the main time the Army’s leaders were appointed as rulers for the conquered countries. Although Omar were very fair during his role, but this just was limited to Arabs only, so he forbids any non-Arab people to enter his Capital (Medina) fearing assassination. But he was finally assassinated by one of them who called Abo-LoaLoa.

After Othman took over he differed Omar in his just and strictness, so the Omowyans controlled wealth and power during his caliphate. And they made a lot of monopolization from the monies of the conquered countries and lifting a little piece for the rest of the Arabs who were the ordinary soldiers of these armies. And that was the main reason of the conflict that was known as “ the great sedition”. This great sedition began with rebellion against Othman which lead to his murder and ended up with separating Muslims into several fighting political parties to establishing a despotic rule based on power inheritance, revolutions and the use of the tribalism to reach and to keep authority.

(3) The Korayshan state during the Ammoyan caliphate:

The main features of this state were “Exclusion, Despotism and enthrallment”.

The Amowyans invented a new policy based on Exclusion in different levels. They prejudiced for Arabs against Non-Arabs who were given the name of “Almawaly” as a near status of slaves. And they prejudiced for some of Arab tribes against another to keep their state alive. They realized the importance of tribalism and they used it to strengthen their state.

Inside Korayshan people Amowyans were prejudiced for Hashemyians. And inside the Amowyans people the caliphate prejudiced for his son against his brother, and he appoints his sons for caliphate after his death and he deposes his brother, then the elder son take over and he appoints his sons and deposes his younger brothers. And the circle continues.

So the excluded people from the Political participation weren’t just Al-Ansar (at Abo-Bakr’s Era) or the people of the Conquered countries (at Omar’s Era) or the rest of Arabs (at Othman’s Era) or the rest of the Koraysh ( at Moawya’s Era) but it widened to include the caliphate’s brothers and cousins. The rest of the Arab tribes were contented by submitting to these rulers who ruled over them by force, intimidation and by controlling the Money House. So the Consulates groups were gradually shrunk to become a punch of tribes and army leaders and servants who were looking for the satisfaction of the caliphate.

And the Amowyan Policy of Exclusion, Despotism and enthrallment was correlated with the severity against the Non-Arabs and the Arabian rebels against the state. So they made three unprecedented actions in the first three years of Yazid’s Rule. In the first year they killed Al-Hussien and his people in Karbola. In the Second year they braked into Medina and they killed its people and captured its women. The next year they blockade and bombard the kaaba during the revolution of Al-Zobayr.

So we don’t wonder about AbdelMalik Ibn Marawan’s speech at 75 a.h. In Medina when he said “then, I am not the weekend caliphate (means Othman) and I am not the flatterer caliphate (means Moawya) .. So if anyone ordered me to fear God, I will break his neck” .

That indicated it was a despotic military rule based of pure force and intimidation and using every means to survive including religion, War, tribalism and Money. And those means contended together against the Amowyan State and destroy it.

(4) The Korayshan State during the Abbasyan caliphate:

The Amoyans were specialized in trade, and that was the way they earn their position. So they stand against Islam in Meka then they supported it afterwards. But Al-Abbas Ibn el Mottalib the prophet’s uncle stayed in his disbelief working on keeping the proprieties of Hashimyans and pilgrims. And he fought against Muslims in Badr campaign. Then he returns to Meka to continue his religious trade while his friend Abo-Sofyan practices his “Secular” trade.

During Meka Campaign Al-Abbas interceded for his friend Abo-Sofyan to the Prophet because he was a man of proud. Then the prophet pronounced the house of Abo-Sofyan as a safety house. But Al-Abbas stayed in Meka along with his son Abdullah in Meka although the prophet returns to Medina where he dies. Abdullah Al-Abbas’s son joined his cousin Ali Ibn Abou-Talib during his short caliphate as a governor of Basra, and when the caliphate collapsed he ran away with the House of Money ignoring his cousin’s invocation for him to return the money.

Then as we can see the despotic rulers were belonged to Amowyans (Abou-Sofyan, Al-Hakam Ibn Al-Abas) who were mainly concerned with getting money by anyway . And that was the policy of the military rule of Amowyans (the secular rule by our expression) or they were belonged to Abbasynians ( Abollah Ibn Abbas) who where a religion dealers aiming for Money and power. And this was the main difference between Amowyan and Abbasyan caliphate.

We can see this different in the two state’s policy. The Omwyan caliphate was an Arabic prejudiced despotic Arabic state. But the Abbasyan caliphate was a despotic religious state with a prejudiced religion doctrine. The history tells us that (Al-Akhtal) the Arabian Christian poet in the Amoyan Era was able to freely enter the Caliphate’s castle with his cross around his nick and he gladly gets out of there because he was Arabian. But the Egyptians –even if he becomes Muslim- had to pay tax. And in the Abbasian caliphate the caliphate was able to break the neck of any man who disagrees with him in politically or intellectuality by the accusation of atheism “Al-Zandaka”. Meantime there were a lot of real atheists living honored in the caliphate’s castle because they politically support the State against Al-Shea.

The Amowyan caliphate wasn’t established on a religious propaganda. It only used the low of Force. So it didn’t have to religiously justify its crimes against the prophet’s family and Medina and Meka. But the Abbasyan caliphate was established on a religious propaganda (getting contentment from Mohammed’s family by appointing one of his grandsons as a caliphate for the Islamic State) but after they established their state they persecuted all others including Ali’s Grandchildren with a slight difference. The caliphate had to get a religious justification from his jurists. So it is a low nation. But the low always comes from the caliphate’s jurists.

Shortly theAbbasyan caliphate was an obvious classical model for the religious state. Then the Fatimyans came afterwards with more fanatic religious policy. Then the Othmanyan State incorporated a medium policy.

Once, the caliphate Abo-Gafar almansor made a speech at Arafa day. He said “O, you people I am the God’s sultan in his land. I rule you with his guidance and he made me the keeper of his money, I give or prevent according to his will” so this Abbasyan caliphate ruled with the logic of the Middle Ages where the principle of “the divine right of Kings” were a common fact.

(5) Finally:

What is left to say that the despotism’s culture was against the holly Koran’s legislation that established the prophet’s state. And while the Islamic Doctrine was written during these despotic religious States, we can say that there was the political exclusion process was paralleled to a an equal legislation exclusions to the Koranic verses that opposes Despotism, injustice and enslavement. And instead of it they established a whole new religion based on a false narrates of the prophet Mohamed and the changing of the Koranic concepts under the name of abrogation “Al-Naskh”. Even though that “Al-Naskh” means to write or to give a literal proof.

Also they changed the Concept of “Al-Bayaa” -which means in Koran paying homage to hold on with right and defend it- to mean declaring submitting politically, religiously and Economically to the new sultan. Meantime they ignored the Concept of “Al-Malaa” in the holly Koran, which means the spoiling board that follows the ruler and they change it a new meaning which is “Ahl Al-Hall Wal-Akd” (the people of trust), Which contradicts –as we think- with the political reality. Because the center of influence mainly concentrated in the Women of the Abbasyan caliphates… they were the odalisques of the caliphate who became the mothers of the new caliphates.( except Zobayda the Husband of Al-Rasheed and the Mother of Al-Amin) those odalisques ruled the caliphate from behind the curtains in the Abbasyan (like Khayrazanah and Kabeha) , Fatimyan (like Shaghab) and Othmanyan caliphate ( like Woksalanah).

From a critical point of view to the Islamic Inheritance, It is clear for us that the Islamic State is a civil state based on the absolute right in thinking and justice for every Muslim individual, and the society’s absolute right in rule, wealth and security. And that happens with direct Democracy that may have been contradicting with the Middle Ages concepts, but it is convenient with our age. But it only needs Religion Enlightenment.

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