Opinion | Umm Abdillah, Radio Islam Programming, 2015.10.05, 21 Dhul Hijjah 1436
As matric exams 2015 dawn, no doubt many a Muslim student, even at the younger levels is deciding on a career path. For those who are fortunate enough to have some choice - choose Politics, says umm Abdillah.
Brilliant plans and flawless theories related to the spread of Deen-el Haqq, fall to nothing without practical implementation. The Muslim Ummah has a legacy to follow and a mandate to fulfill. Without knowledge and expertise in diverse fields we land ourselves further and further away from the Masterplan – viz. being an Ummah of Mercy and Justice for all of Mankind. Further, we only need consider Muhammad (ﷺ)The Politician, and our case is made for why more youngsters need to consider this career path.
While Politics as a term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, the term is also applied to institutions, fields, and special interest groups in the corporate, academic, and religious segments of society. It consists of "social relations involving authority or power" as well as the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy.
We could thus say that the skills applied in the field of politics affect all spectrums of our lives, even at a mosque, maktab madrassa, school or familial level.
Politics requires a thick skin and a quick wit. It develops skills to be a strong writer, a thorough researcher, and a patient listener. Also involved are developing the skills of understanding an audience, crisis management and problem solving.
The Secularism Debate
At a time of rising aggressive secularism (e.g. Charlie Hebdo) and another of aggressive, militant religiosity (eg. ISIS), rather than retreat, we need—and our country needs—a diversely skilled political witness that treats Islamic ideals as precious, good for all, and applicable to today’s needs and challenges.
If we understand that culture and politics influence each other, we can reengage politics in a way that is distinct and beneficial.
Nabi Muhammad ﷺ, the Politician
As a political leader the Prophet (ﷺ) unified the Arabian Peninsula and established an independent state whose capital was Madinah. Some go as far as citing a “Madina Charter” – the agreement the Prophet (S) made in 622 CE as the earliest recorded constitution. It contained the rights and responsibilities of the Muslim, Jewish, and other Arab and tribal communities of Madina Munawwara during wars between her and her neighbours. It also contained every aspect of running a country from the political to the human rights administration.
The Prophet (S) defeated his enemies, and had most successful military expeditions, his astuteness and negotiations too many to mention, suffice with his strategies and resoluteness at he Treaty of Hudaybia. However his (ﷺ) real political leadership was in the realm of morality and spirituality. Nabi (S) conducted himself perfectly in situations of weakness as well as strength. For eg: his way of dealing in Makkah resolving a major dispute between the people of Makkah when repairing the walls of the Ka`bah.
Other oft-mentioned examples are the alliance with the Najashi in Abyssinniya, and the letters dispatched to world leaders, and neighbouring monarchs.
We could go as far as saying that by buloogh or puberty a Muslim child is, and should be equipped with a spiritual and moral compass. By spreading that light and good in the political arena, it brings about mercy for all of mankind, thus accomplishing the Prophet (S)’s mission.
What else can I do with an Education in Politics?
As mentioned earlier there are so many opportunities in this field that blends into every fray. Here are but a few:
City or town management
Legislative, executive, or judicial services
Wa Billah, at-tau'feeq.