"The rights of God"

Really great two paragraphs here from The Spirit of Islamic Law, a book which I have really enjoyed. Read carefully, and more than once, and then ask yourself how your system of law, and specifically law and rule in Christian Europe, differ from what is outlined here.

I also think it shows very clearly why democracy is not a viable form of government for Muslims.

Again, read carefully:


The authority of the ruler can only be, in the thinking of the jurists, absolute. Governing authority is indivisible; all officials of government derive their authority from the ruler, whose delegates they are. They hold office only in accordance with his wishes and may be dismissed at any time. They are extensions of his will. A wise ruler will of course choose capable administrators and benefit from their counsel, but original earthly authority is his alone to wield.

The absolute character of the ruler's authority stems from the absolute character of the rights he represents and defends. These are not his rights as an individual, nor are they the rights of government or the state. Muslim juristic thinking does not know the concept of the corporate person and therefore does not regard the state or the people as a legal entity. Only individuals may be bearers of rights and obligations. Among these individuals is God himself, who is a bearer of rights only and who, to some extent, replaces the state or body politic as a body of rights. The state qua state can never be party to a dispute or make a claim against a party. Thus, when one pays taxes or serves in the military, one is discharging an obligation toward God, not towards society. Accordingly, the ruler represents and defends nothing less than the rights of God.


The Spirit of the Islamic Law
p. 180, 181
Bernard G Weiss

Comments

Fletcher said…
Abu!

Sorry I haven't posted lately, I've been really busy but I am still reading your blog, just not daily now... let's say twice a week :-)

Wanted to comment that Bernard Lewis reccomend (and I think to the US government) that we do NOT try to instantiate a democracy in Iraq, but rather a monarchy with a constitution. No one took him seriously at the time, but I'd wager now that hindsight is 20/20.... if they knew then what they know now I'd imagine he would have their ear! We never tried to understand the Islamic CULTURE before we invaded, we just assumed that our 'best' form of government would also work best for them: not so.
Abu Daoud said…
I think you're right, Monarchy is much more amenable to Islamic culture than democracy.

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