Given the fact that the Muslim Ummah is under the British occupation, the topic of politics from an Islam’s perspective remains controversial and very confusing for the masses. As it has done with all other disciplines, the British Empire has contributed a great deal to the distortion of concepts and language. The concept of rights, politics, economic power, family, tribe, and freedom as opposed to slavery have been mingled with one another.
Under the British Empire, politics refers mostly to the process of electing a ruler, which, from an Islam’s perspective, is not something that masses should be indulged in. For this reason, Muslim scholars are going to frown upon whoever embarks on this activity while in the West apparently the process of elections, no matter how theatrical and fake might seem, is encouraged.
On the other hand, when masses speak of politics and power, they actually refer to the domain of personal rights, economic power and more freedom on decision making. In order to achieve these, the British Empire gives as an option the participation in the theatrical process of elections while this is exactly what Islam frowns upon because it is a waste-of-time process; it is not for the masses.
I think there is much confusion and lots of word-play here. There is a difference between what the British Empire calls politics and what people in reality need, and between what Islam frowns upon and what the British Empire deceives people about. In this regard, the Qur’an is the most clarifying book on the topics of politics, the necessary power and what people need.
Certainly, the ultimate purpose of Islam is the achievement of monotheism – to believe that Allah, the Creator, is the only god to be worshipped, and the mission of all prophets has been to call people to this truth. Therefore, it is very common to hear from Muslim intellectuals and scholars, especially under the British occupation, that political power in not necessary to achieve this truth.
Nevertheless, this life is subject to unchangeable laws or the sunnah of Allah. Monotheism does not necessarily or immediately require political power, but without legal freedom, economic power, and family independence, no idea will survive for a long time. For this reason, many prophets, such as Moses, Lot, Shuaib, and Salih, and above all Muhammad (peace be upon him), their mission involved a clear aspect related to power – political and economic, because monotheism cannot survive if Muslims have no political freedom, no money, no legal freedom, no land, no businesses, and no family independence. While these are means, they are often necessary for the long term survival of the Muslim community and monotheism itself.
Under the British Empire, striving for such rights is not allowed while in Islam it is necessary and common sense; the former encourages elections to distract people whereas Islam warns against that waste-of-time process.