Islam on Regulating a Superpower

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society Topics: Islam Views: 7597

Monopoly businesses are controlled using regulation. How do we control a superpower? By resorting to nothing other than self-regulation! In Islam, God, the Ultimate Superpower, has a rule for Himself. Conscious of His Almightiness, He has forbidden Himself from oppressing His creation and ordered Muslims to avoid oppressing others. Since God pervades time and space, He is fully informed. The convergence of both these factors effortlessly makes Him Al-Adl or the (Most) Just. For America, to claim that it is a just society is to use all evidence eschewing selective or twisted recall in assessing the current state of affairs and potential outcomes.

God teaches mankind that next to righteousness is fairness and that we should stand as witness even if it is against our near and dear ones and ourselves. Thus, before our claim to greatness can be justified the condition above has to be fulfilled. Democracy, a.k.a. domestic justice, is but one step in that direction.

Moreover, when a dominating power stands down, it stands out. This is an outcome of mercy, forgiveness and forbearance. God says, in the Quran, that He steps 10 steps toward whoever moves one step toward Him. On the other hand, He moves one step back from whoever moves one step away from Him. To Him all sins, except the sin of partnering anything with His Divinity, are forgivable. God labeled Prophet Mohammed as Mercy to the Worlds and instructed him to lower His wing of mercy toward those around him if they are not to be turned off by him. Prophet Mohammed did just that all through his prophetic mission and, finally, before liberating Makkah, when he relinquished his clan's claim to blood feud entitlements, while at the same time forgiving all the opposing forces of Makkah, forces who had persecuted him for 23 years. Then, based on the Quran, and as a mark of humanity, the Prophet ordered powerful Muslim moneylenders to forgive and forgo spiraling interest accumulation.

About seven centuries ago, another example of ultimate peace-broker, Yusuf ibn Ayub Salah Uddin a.k.a. Saladin, of Kurdish-Egyptian heritage, imbued with Quranic values and Prophetic traditions, resorted to the same move after liberating Jerusalem from the Crusaders. Shortly before his assassination, Malik Shabbaz a.k.a. Malcolm X, too, started to play in the new role of a consummate peace-broker. Just a few years ago, so did the long incarcerated and now triumphant Nelson Mandela.
Today, stand down is a tool some American Muslims could pass along to reverse escalating gang related violence in America's inner cities. Somebody has to take the leap of faith to break out of a vicious cycle. Usually, it is more fruitful when the dominant party among a group of conflicting or competing parties makes the first move out of a no-win to a win-win situation. Whether in a conflict or a competition, it should be easier for a perceptive & perceived winner to give up his crown, cape or scepter, because he has enjoyed it and he is the one who possesses it. While the physical ownership is handed over voluntarily, the glory as well as the moral force remains forever with the winner, untarnished. Whoever says that this is tantamount to caving in does not understand the difference between lasting peace and ephemeral peace. He is also not able to gauge how much is enough!

A nation, more than any individual citizen, is eminently capable of pulling this off. But the individual citizen leader must pull such a trigger of profound and lasting reconciliation. The crest-fallen Muslim civilization even today resonates from this heritage. Events such as those noted earlier, and principles underlying them, are the real reasons shoring up Muslim generosity and inclusiveness over the generations. They have always, unfailingly, served to diffuse any human tendency among Muslims to be impetuous and condescending toward fellow humanity.

Nowadays, we are feverishly fixing our intelligence and monitoring technology to counter future incendiary moves by ruthlessly fecund minds. But these instruments of national security are not broken unless we believe ourselves to be a police state. We are convincing ourselves that the new state of "slight" inconvenience is acceptable. Indeed, while this may be very prudent and the cost to civic freedom marginal, we should remember that the terrorists, who apparently believe their nation states have been co-opted, marginalized and neutered even on matters of self-interest by today's dominant international forces unwilling to countenance the slightest disfigurement of their strategic objectives and plans, have finally graduated to thinking outside the box. Their self-proclaimed mandate grows out of this perception of impotence and utter disenfranchisement. And the more uneven the playing field, the more random, desperate and indiscriminate becomes their response.

How far can we and should we go to anticipate their potential nefariousness and adjust accordingly? Is the updated profile of a terrorist going to be adequate six months to a year from now? Are we then facing a spiraling, no-win situation? It is precisely in anticipation of this type of situations that the issue of ensuring lasting peace crops up. It is then that genuine introspection on issues of wanton interference, jurisdictional overreaches, usurpation of property and other rights, and heavy handedness surface. Then scaling back to disown, defer and distance from potential excesses and forging of fair compromises becomes the name of the game. Tit for tat retribution may produce some satisfaction, but it is soon reduced to a never-ending vicious cycle. Yes, we should pursue the current batch of miscreants but what about those uninitiated or unborn? If we should fear and hate anything post September 11, it is stepping into this type of lock box that should cause our hair to stand on its end.

Then, should we not ask: While our society is a very accomplished, nourished and fulfilled body, are its ego, wisdom and self-restraint equally robust to parlay justice for the other? It would mean knowing how much defense is too much. How much justice is too little? It would mean asking how much forgetfulness is wishful and self-defeating. What sense of impermanence drives a society to be beholden to itself? If it is inevitably organic that the rich and powerful part company with the wise and mellow, should we worry about the Republic? And at the end of the day, is there no difference between yesterday's Rome and today's DC for the minions littering the borders? Once we understand the scope and demand of America's global role, only then we might catch a glimpse of The True Superpower! Then, and only then, our humility will be our greatest wealth and weapon. The land will be then truly free and it will be the home of the brave and not of those given to bravado!

  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society
  Topics: Islam
Views: 7597

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Older Comments:
I think your thesis is that those who possess great power, either as individuals or as entities, only actualize the true potential for greater good by withholding the full exercise of that power.

This is a good theoretical point, of course - but given that the interests of modern superpowers are complex, self-interested, and neo-imperial in nature: what is it that anyone can do to check un-checkable power?

One can only act very locally and microscopically and at best coordinate with like minds across a nation to influence things from the bottom. But as for that mentality permeating the inner circles of 'the system,' it is tough to be optimistic.

Very good and well-articulated idea.

I honestly feel the writer makes some good points regarding justice, however, it seems what he is justifying is the submission of the Muslim world to American and Western Rule, note I am not saying Arab, African, Indian Asian subcontinent, or Indo Chinese countries. This is a religious article asking for the Muslim population of the world to accept its subjugation to American power, dominance, and rule, as well as its puppet regimes. The author is asking us to ask the U.S. to be just with us. You miss the point my dear brother, justice comes from Allah and those that serve Allah. This is why Prophet Muhammad(saws) acted as he did, as well as those who followed his message. Do not ask man for rights given to you by Allah, or permission to comply with your obligations to Him. You are what you live by.

Very interesting article indeed.