In the Name of God بسم الله
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Assalam O Alaikum Wa Rehmatullah Wa Barakatuhu, This verse is the basis of the whole religious, cultural and political system of Islam and is the first and foremost article of the constitution of an Islamic State. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا O believers! Obey Allah, obey the Rasool and those charged with authority among you. Should you have a dispute in anything, refer it to Allah and His Rasool, if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. This course of action will be better and more suitable. [4:59] It lays down permanently the following fundamental principles: (1) In the Islamic system, Allah is the real Authority who must be obeyed. A Muslim is first of all the servant of Allah; all his other capacities come after this. Therefore, a Muslim as an individual and the Muslims as a community owe their first loyalty to Allah and they must subordinate all other loyalties to this. Allegiance and obedience to anyone else shall be acknowledged only if these are not opposed to the allegiance and obedience to Allah but are subordinate to it. All other allegiances that are opposed to this basic allegiance shall be broken asunder. The Holy Prophet has explained the same thing in a Tradition: "There is no obedience to any of His creatures in what involves disobedience to the Creator." (2) The second fundamental principle of the Islamic system is allegiance and obedience to the Holy Prophet. This obedience is not inherent in Prophethood but is only practical shape of obedience to Allah. A Messenger is to be obeyed because he is the authentic means through which we can receive Commandments and instructions from Allah. Hence, we can obey Allah only by obeying His Messenger, for no other way of obedience is genuine. As a corollary of this, the breach of allegiance to the Messenger shall be a rebellion against the Sovereign, Whom he represents. A Tradition explains the same thing thus: "Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah." The same thing has also been explicitly stated in v. 80 of this Surah. (3) After the first and the second allegiance, and subordinate to these, the Muslims owe allegiance to those invested with authority from among themselves. The Arabic word ulil-amr is very comprehensive, which comprises all those persons who are in any way at the helm of the affairs of the Muslims-religious scholars, thinkers, political leaders, administrators, judges of law courts, tribal chiefs and the like. In short, all those, who are in any way invested with authority from among the Muslims, are to be obeyed, and it is not right to disturb the peace of the community life of the Muslims by entering into conflict with them, provided that (a) they are from among the Muslims, and (b) they are obedient to Allah and His Messenger. These two conditions are a pre-requisite for obedience to them, and these have been explicitly laid down in the verse and have also been fully explained by the Holy Prophet. In support of this some Traditions are cited below: (a) "It is obligatory on a Muslim to listen to and obey orders of those invested with authority, whether he likes it or dislikes it, provided that it is not sinful. However, if he is ordered to do a sinful thing, he should neither listen to the rulers nor obey their orders." (Bukhari, Muslim). (b) "Obedience to anyone in a sinful thing is forbidden. Obedience is obligatory only in what is right." (Bukhari, Muslim). (c) The Holy Prophet said, "There will be rulers over you who will practice right things as well as wrong things: (In such a case) whoever protests against the wrong things, shall be absolved from the responsibility and whoever dislikes the wrong things, also shall escape (punishment). But whoever approves of and follows them, shall incur punishment." The Companions asked, "Should we not then fight against such rulers?" The Holy Prophet answered, "No, as long as they offer the Salat." (Muslim) That is, if they discard the Salat, it will be a clear proof of their disobedience to Allah and His Messenger. Then it will be right to rise against them (d) The Holy Prophet said, "Your worst rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you, whom you curse and who curse you." The Companions asked, "O Messenger of God, should we not rise against such rulers?" The Holy Prophet answered, "No, as long as they establish the Salat among you." (Muslim) In this Tradition, the condition about the Salat laid down in the preceding one, has been made more explicit. One might have inferred from (c) that if they offered the Salat in their individual capacities, no rising should be organized against them. But Tradition (d) explicitly lays down that the condition for obedience to those in authority is the establishment of the system of Salat by them in the Muslim Community. The rulers should not only themselves offer the Salat regularly, but they should also establish the Salat in the system of government run by them. This is the minimum condition that ' makes a government Islamic in principle. If a government lacks this, it will mean that such a government has discarded Islam, and the Muslims will be justified in overthrowing it. This same thing has also been stated in another Tradition thus: "The Holy Prophet took a covenant from us regarding certain things. One of these was that we would not engage in a dispute with those invested with authority unless we saw in them clear signs of disbelief, which may provide us with a cogent reason to present before Allah." (Bukhari, Muslim) (4) The fourth thing that has been laid down as an absolute and permanent principle is that the Commandments of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger are the fundamentals of law and final authority in the Islamic system. Hence, if a dispute arises about any matter between the Muslims or between the rulers and the ruled, they should turn to the Qur'an and the Sunnah for a decision and they should all submit to the decision. Thus, the essential element in the Islamic system that distinguishes it from un-Islamic systems is to acknowledge the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger as the final authority and to turn to these and to submit to their decisions in all problems of life. Any system void of this is most surely an un lslamic system. Some people doubt the soundness of this principle. They say that it fails in practical life for the simple reason that there are many aspects of life (e.g., Local Self department. Railway department, Postal department, etc. etc.,) for which there are no rules and regulations at all in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. How then can they find the solution of the problems they meet with in such aspects of life as concern such departments? This doubt arises because they do not, understand the fundamental principles of Islam. Islam allows freedom of action in all those things about which the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger are silent. What distinguishes a Muslim from a non-Muslim is that the latter claims absolute freedom but the former considers himself to be the servant of Allah and uses only that amount of freedom which Islam allows him. The non-Muslim judges all matters in accordance with the rules and regulations made by himself and does not believe that he stands in need of Divine Guidance. In contrast to him, the Muslim, first of all, turns to Allah and His Messenger for guidance about everything and abides by their decision. But if he does not find any commandment therein about a certain thing, only then he is free to act in a manner he considers to be right. The very fact that the Law is silent about a certain thing, is a proof that it allows freedom of action in that particular matter. In the first part of this verse, the Quran enunciates the four fundamental principles of the Islamic Constitution, and in the second part teaches the wisdom that underlies them. The Muslims have been enjoined to follow the four fundamental principles if they are true believers; otherwise their profession of Islam will become doubtful. Then they have been taught to build their system of life on these because therein also lies their well-being; for this alone can keep them on the right path in this world and lead them to a happy life in the Hereafter. Jazak Allah Khairan.
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