3.4 Sayyid Qutb on Democracy

            Qutb’s opposition towards democracy and democratic systems can be seen clearly in his numerous writings. However, Bouzarinejad, Zarpeyma, & Marandi (2016) noted that Qutb only opposed the concept of democracy when it comes to the notion that desires and wills of the people are the source and origin of legislation and regulation and not the will of God. For him, decree in Islam should be the decree of God and not the popular mandate. This showed that Qutb does not necessarily opposed the whole idea of democracy and in fact there are some of his thoughts that are compatible with the concept of democracy.

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            In giving his idea of state’s legislation, Qutb did pointed out the concept of hakimiyyah in which the government were to uphold all of Islamic laws that were clearly revealed by God and also to legislate new laws for the betterment of the society within the restriction of the Shari’a. This indicates that there is limitation for the government in formulating laws and the idea of limitation of governmental rule implies the concept of democracy. In the view of many scholars of comparative political systems, ‘limitation of governmental power in regulating the affairs of the people to the law is the central principle of constitutional rule’ (Soage, 2009). In this way, Qutb’s concept of hakimiyyah (sovereignty) is not against democracy, as such, but compatible with it.


4.0 Al-Mawdudi’s Concept of Civil Society

            The concept of civil society by Al-Mawdudi can be derived from his idea on the establishment of Jama’at-e-Islami. Al-Mawdudi founded the Jama’at-e-Islami due to his views that Islam and the Jahilliyah is always clashed between one and another. Jahilliyah according to Mawdudi is the worldviews and systems of thought, action and belief that deny God’s sovereignty and the authority of Divine sources (Mawdudi, Nations Rise and Fall – Why?, 1976). This battle between Islam and Jahilliyah was not only occurred in the sub-continent but all over the globe, and Islam was on the losing side. This specific view of Mawdudi were influenced by the fall of the Ottoman Empire, he saw that Muslims after the fall of Ottoman Empire were living in a tyrannical order under the leadership of the Jahilliyah (Isani, 2010). For him, it is vital to make “an effort to re-establish Islam in its pristine purity and to reconstruct the fabric of life and society in given space-time context in accordance with Islamic values and principles” or known as Tajdid (Mawdudi, Political Theory of Islam, 1960). In order to realize the effort, there must be a social movement that aimed to revitalize Islam and it must lead by a reformer or Mujaddid. Hence, the Jama’at-e-Islami was created with its sole purpose to bring reformation in the Muslim world. In brief, the concept of civil society according to Mawdudi can be understood through his understanding about the nature of Islamic movement.

            It is vital to note that Mawdudi was concerned about the future of Muslim minority after the independence of the Indian subcontinent (A. B Rahman & Ali, 2012). He noticed that the states within the subcontinent were moving towards to democratic and secular states because the Indian National Congress laid the democratic and secular foundation for an instance, declaring that the citizens of India would live in a single nation regardless of race, culture, and religion. This attempt were perceived by Mawdudi as an attempt to eliminate Muslim’s identity and their sense of nationality. The discrimination of Muslim minority will obviously occurred because the government will be in favour of the Hindus as Hinduism is the religion of the majority. Due to protect the Muslims, Mawdudi has founded an Islamic movement named Jama’at-e-Islami. According to him, the objective of the Islamic movement is to revolutionize the leadership (Mawdudi, The Islamic Movement: Dynamics of Values, Power and Change, 2001). Leadership that is God-conscious, righteous and committed in following the Divine Guidance need to take place rather than leadership that rebelled against God or ungodly leadership. Mawdudi argued that whatever form of injustice that occurred in this world such as corruption, oppression, misuse of knowledge and resources are stems from leaders that are occupied by materialism and ungodliness. He also proposed that in order to change the leadership preaching and inviting people towards Islam is not enough instead, it must be done through collective effort: a group of righteous people must stand together with common cause to gain control of society from the corrupt administration.

            In addition, after finding the right purpose of an Islamic movement which is to replace bad leadership with the good leadership that consists of Islamic values, Mawdudi also proposed the method on how to carry out the revolutionary process. He based his method of revolution on the basis of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W method in spreading Islam at the earlier stage (Isani, 2010). The initial stage of the revolution is to promote the idea and the importance of Islamic revolution to the Muslim society as what Prophet Muhammad S.A.W did which was called people to faith, to build a strong structure on solid foundations. Next, to organize those who responded to the revolutionary call through programs that can boost their moral, intellectual, and social values that embedded with the true spirit of Islam. This action is also similar with the action of Prophet Muhammad in organizing all those who responded to the call of Islam on one platform, instilling the Islamic belief and practicing the Islamic way of life, and formulate strong public opinion which fosters good and forbids evil. 

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